With 201 people still alive in the World Series of Poker $1,500 HORSE event, a survivor could be forgiven for not knowing everyone at the table. There were nearly 800 people in the field, and things get blurry when one is cycling through five games. Only one day of play has passed so far, and there is a long way to go before the money bubble breaks. Regardless, if you or someone you know are still alive in the HORSE event, do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with Naoya Kihara.
I’m unofficial chip leader according to the report!
— Naoya Kihara 木原直哉 (@key_poker) June 8, 2016
Kihara is quiet and unassuming, a gentleman from Japan with a smile that goes on for days. He will also happily eviscerate you and keep smiling while stacking your chips. The member of Team PokerStars Pro Online may look the part of an easy target, but he is anything but.
It’s been four years since Kihara announced himself at the WSOP with a half-million-dollar win in the six-handed PLO event. While that is his “only” bracelet, Kihara has 15 cashes in his WSOP career and in world-wide rankings is Japan’s second-biggest earner in history. Don’t let that smile fool you.
Vamooooo!!!!! Dia 2 do Horse Wsop! Weeee #2 https://t.co/pEOUSs0rGg
— andre akkari (@aakkari) June 8, 2016
Andre Akkari currently sits in 29th place with a comfortable 50,300, despite the fact he discovered yesterday that his eyes might be getting a little old for stud games. (Having recently experience this phenomenon myself, I have nothing but sympathy for the man from Sao Paulo. Sorry, Andre.)
Meanwhile, we need to offer our sincere congratudolences to Team PokerStars Pro Barry Greenstein who finished in ninth place last night in the $1,500 2-7 Lowball event. While good for a $5,781 cash, it came with the sting of being within a few places of winning his fourth WSOP bracelet.
In the meantime, good luck to Kihara and Akkari as they work on getting that $1,500 HORSE bracelet.