The New Year’s first Asia Poker Tour (APT) tournament saw Japan’s Takumi Samejima (pictured) bring home US$38,020 after winning the tourney’s main event, according to a press release from the tournament organizers.

Along with the first place purse, Samejima also brought home the APT championship trophy and the APT Championship Ring. The APT, which was founded in 2008, was held from January 11 to 19 at the Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.-operated Resorts World Manila in Pasay City, Philippines.

The win marked Samejima’s first-ever poker championship title, according to event organizers, and the tournament winner has been playing home games and cash games for a few years. The APT marks only his third live appearance. According to tournament organizers, after the Second Double Up, Samejima dominated and never relinquished his lead. Following that, the final hand of the Final 8 showdown saw Samejima overtake Filipino pro Czardy Rivera with a winning straight on the river. Rivera took home the second place prize of US$23,210, and the UK’s Samad Razavi left with the third place purse of US$16,790.

The US$1,650 buy-in Main Event ran five days and the total prize pool for the APT Kickoff 2017 was US$139,680. Next up on the Asia Poker Tour 2017 is the tournament which will take place at the Hotel Inter-Burgo Casino in Daegu, South Korea between March 22 and 30.

Since its inception, the APT has visited South Korea, Macau, Cambodia, India, Mauritius, Australia, and London.

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