Seat 1: Ken Hirosawa, 30 (Japan) – 185,000 in chips
You won’t normally find Japan’s Ken Hirosawa in tournaments; he works as a restaurant director who primarily plays $2/$5 cash games. However, the 30-year-old told us that he enjoys the challenge of the APPT because “play is more serious than in cash.”
He has only been playing the game for a year, having learned from a friend, and he says his poker hero is Japanese player Takaaki Nakayama. This will be his biggest score to date, regardless of where he finishes.
Seat 2: Michael Egan, 26 (Melbourne, Australia) – 354,000 in chips
Australia’s Michael Egan is a professional poker player who has been at the game for seven years now. He got his start in online freerolls but these days frequents the $5/10+ online cash tables. Egan’s best result so far is a 5th place finish in the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller for $405,162 last August.
The Australian says his favourite thing about the event so far is not busting out, and tells us he enjoys multi table tournaments when he’s not grinding cash. Egan also implored us to share that his hero is fellow countryman and poker crusher Alex ‘Alextrev1111’ Trevallion.
Seat 3: Shenghua Qian, 27 (Shanghai, China) – 771,000
Shanghai resident Shenghua Qian is a 27-year-old gamer and poker player who has been learning the game over the past five years. His biggest live score to date – in fact, his only live score prior to this event – came when he finished 22nd at the $1,600 No Limit Hold’em main event at the WPT National in Sanya, China.
His favourite thing about APPT10 Seoul has been the deep blind structure, while his favourite moment was when his pocket jacks cracked Windsor Nguyen’s pocket Kings by spiking a two-outer on the turn for a huge pot.
Seat 4: Tetsuro Tomita, 33 (Tokyo, Japan) – 542,000 in chips
Hailing from Japan, Tetsuro Tomita starts this final table third in chips. He’s been playing poker for seven years now and he first learned the game from a friend. Tetsuro usually plays $2/5 stakes and his best result to date was a cash in the 2011 APPT Macau Main Event for $6,591. That means this guaranteed final table finish will be his best ever live score.
Tetsuro says his poker hero is Tom Dwan and he enjoyed the battles on the felt during the bubble this week. He attributes his ability to make big laydowns at crucial points to getting him this far, and when he’s not at the poker table he likes to play Mahjong.
Seat 5: Windsor Nguyen, 30 (Vancouver, Canada) – 82,000 in chips
Windsor Nguyen starts the final table as our short stack after a string of bad luck in the later stages of Day 3. The Canadian has been playing poker for a decade now and got his start in casinos. With this final table appearance Nguyen has already eclipsed his best live result so far – a 10th place finish in the West Coast Poker Championship for $8,697.
Aside from poker, his hobbies include basketball and computer games. Nguyen also tells us he has enjoyed the free food here this week, and that his hero is his mom.
Seat 6: Satsuki Ochiai, 34 (Tokyo, Japan) – 234,000 in chips
Despite a handful of results from PokerStars events in Macau and Manila, 34-year-old Tokyo resident Satsuki Ochiai is in for his largest live cash here in Seoul. He’s not new to the game though, having notched up online results in his three years of playing, including a US$10,000 win in a weekly $2 tournament. His average buy-in in online multi table tournaments is $30.
He says it’s his ability to adapt to players with different styles that is the most crucial part of his success in this tournament, and he’s excited to keep going. His highlight so far was when he pulled off a river bluff for a big pot with just queen-high. In his spare time, Ochiai enjoys cycling.
Seat 7: Albert Paik, 27 (USA) – 952,000 in chips
Albert Paik has had a great week at the tables here in Seoul, he begins this final table out in front with 952,000. He started playing in high school back in the United States, but after college he relocated to right here in Seoul. Paik learned the game watching training videos and playing online and these days he mainly plays $500-$1,000 cash games. He tells us having only played daily tournaments before this will by far be his greatest result.
Paik says that his poker hero is Phil Ivey and that since he usually plays cash games he had some difficulty staying focused over the eight hour days. Despite leading the charge for this final seven, Paik stays humble, attributing his success to luck and saying that he made many mistakes.