Japan’s Tetsuya Tsuchikawa has been one of the biggest supporters of the Asian Poker Tour for give or take seven years and all throughout, he has earned numerous side event titles including the APT Player of the Year 2017 title. Tonight, Tsuchikawa landed himself the jackpot, winning the Main Event to capture his first-ever APT major championship title.
APT: Congratulations Tetsuya! How does it feel winning the Main Event?
Tetsuya: Just happy but also the feeling is “FINALLY”. (laughs) At last, at last.
APT: You’ve been a big supporter of the APT for many years, how long have you been working towards this?
Tetsuya: For six years. I came runner-up three times but never won until now. I always just win side events so my friends call me “Mr. Side Event”. I’ve won at other poker events, at WPT and PokerStars twice but from APT, I’d never win.
APT: What were some of your key moments on the road to the title?
Tetsuya: There were two moments. The first one was on Day 3, we started with 85 players. I started with only 12 bigs and we were two places to the money. 83 in the money. I was under-the-gun, I shoved with A-J offsuit, Zarvan was on the button and he instantly called with pocket kings. The flop had a jack and the turn also a jack. I gave him a very bad beat. So at that moment I told myself that I have to win this event for Zarvan.
Then in the middle of the day, I had A-K suited in middle position and Duy Ho woke up with pocket kings. He three-bet me, I four-bet jam. He instant-called. An ace came on the flop. So I also gave him a bad beat. Both Zarvan and Duy Ho are very my good friends so I had to win this event. I had to make good use of their chips. I have to take care of them. So at the final table, I played carefully because I have to win. I played a little bit tighter than usual.
APT: Were there any players you felt were threatening today?
Tetsuya: I had to watch out for the player to my left (Benjamin Gonzva) because he is very good player. The other one was the runner-up, Quang, he was also very good and experienced. The other players were short stacked. Luckily when I had a big hand, they jam first it makes for an easy game because all I have to do is call.
Actually all of them except the Malaysian Teoh play very tight. They play their hands. But Teoh is the only one who can c-bet, double-barrel, triple-barrel, with air. But fortunately he had a small stack so he also had to play tight. It was lucky for me.
APT: Entering heads up, you had the chip lead against Quang. What was your strategy against him?
Tetsuya: We needed a big hand to happen because he had about 35 big blinds. I couldn’t three-bet with air because I was ahead and couldn’t waste chips. One time I hit full house on the river, I overbet the pot times two. He almost called with ace-high.
APT: So what does this victory mean to you?
Tetsuya: Confidence. It gives me confidence.
APT: Anyone you want to send a shoutout to?
Tetsuya: Yes. First to Zarvan and second to Duy Ho, I did it! Then to every Japanese player who celebrated with me and always supported me. Two weeks ago my mother passed away, she never knew I played poker but she also always supported me. And to my wife, always there for me.
APT: Thank you Tetsuya and congratulations again!
Tsuchikawa also won the CoinPoker Last Man Standing promo and 3rd place at the APT Player of the Series race.
The MAIN EVENT attracted 498 runners and at VND 22,000,000 each it brought about a smashing prizepool of VND 9,661,200,000. The six-day event ran from October 6 to 11 at Pro Poker Club. You can watch the final table action at APT Twitch and APT YouTube.
Final 7 payouts
1st Tetsuya Tsuchikawa – VND 1,638,200,000
2nd Nang Quang Nguyen – VND 1,092,130,000
3rd Benjamin Gonzva – VND 762,500,000
4th Teoh Ming Hong – VND 555,030,000
5th Mei San Ang – VND 419,470,000
6th Le Long Stephane – VND 327,860,000
7th Vu Manh Phong – VND 264,060,000