The ‘PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams’ poker room recently completed the ACOP Platinum Series II (Sept 12-15) and crowned China’s Jian Yang as the weekend’s big winner. But perhaps overshadowing Yang’s victory was the shake-up of the Asia Player of the Year (APOY) leader board and, in particular, Tetsuya Tsuchikawa who passed Terry Fan for the top spot.
Tsuchikawa entered the weekend as the No. 4 player in Asia and the Japanese poker pro would make his 7th final table appearance of the season in the HK $5,500 Main Event. He would need a 6th place finish or better to gain enough points to pass Fan who had already been eliminated from the tournament.
Once China’s Chongxian Yang busted in 7th place, many expected Tsuchikawa to celebrate but the new No. 1 pointed towards Hong Kong’s Sparrow Cheung who was still on the final table as well. Cheung was on his second final table of the week and needed to place 4th to also pass Fan and potentially overtake Tsuchikawa on the leaderboard.
However, Tsuchikawa and Cheung would finish in 5th and 6th place respectively. Cheung’s performance at the Platinum Series improved his rank from No. 7 to No. 4.
Nearly going unnoticed was Taiwan’s Neo Chen whose runner-up finish in the KO Bounty side makes him the new No. 3 — just 25 points shy of Fan. Chen has put together a solid campaign with five final tables but hasn’t been able to secure a title yet. Unfortunately history is not on his side as no player has ever secured the APOY without at least one title trophy.
Tsuchikawa is ensured of retaining the No. 1 rank for at least 4 weeks until the 2013 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) begins on October 18.
The ACOP has eleven Official Asia Player of the Events to conclude the 2013 season.
2013 APOY Rankings
1. Tetsuya Tsuchikawa (Japan) 3,515
2. Terry Fan (Chinese Taipei) 3,400
3. Neo Chen (Chinese Taipei) 3,375
4. Sparrow Cheung (Hong Kong) 3,265
5. Gie Reyes (Philippines) 3,120
6. Ryan Yu (China) 3,100
7. Alexandre Chieng (China) 2,827
8. Yoshitaka Okawa (Japan) 2,671
9. Chris Chong (Singapore) 2,653
10. Kyung Sik (Jung Korea) 2,348