The Japan Open Poker Tour is the biggest poker event in Japan. It's also one of the longest-running, having been in place since 2011. This year, things have kicked off as usual, with the event beginning last month. Where the fun really begins is in the Grand Finale, which is taking place over the coming weeks. Taking part are some of the best players out there, and there's a whole range of different games on offer too.
Playing poker in Japan
It may come as a surprise, but in Japan, it's actually not possible to play for real money prizes in poker. Instead, players actually compete to get player contracts from the Japan Open Poker Tour. Gaining these contracts does mean that players are able to join in overseas tournaments run by the World Series of Poker.
That being said, poker is enjoying explosive growth within the country due to various social media channels. This has made it even easier to learn the game and join in domestic tournaments. Gambling in japan has generally been steadily increasing for a long time. This applies not only to poker, but also games on horses, pachinko and not least online casino. More and more sites like https://internetcasino.jp/ are popping up as a result.
Japan tour in 2021
In May, the first tour of the year was finally concluded. Impressively, this live series broke a lot of records. In fact, the tour had an impressive 5989 entries across the events on offer. This is partly to do with the postponed Season 19 event joining up with Season 20, making this joint event pretty impressive.
There were two main events during the month, as well as an impressive 30 side events that included No Limit Holdem, Pot Limit Omaha, and even HORSE.
The Grand Finale
With the main part of the Japan Tour complete, the next thing on the calendar is the Grand Finale itself. This event is to take place from 21st July to 25th July. There are a ton of events taking place throughout these five days. What's great about these five days of poker is that there is also a good range of buy-ins available. This means that players of all budgets can actually have a shot.
Some events available include the NLH Turbo, Survivor and Mix HORSE.
Getting to play
In order to get in on the action, players in both of the Main Event fields have to qualify through live satellites at poker rooms within Japan, or in qualifiers. The latter option requires players to join online satellite qualifiers through GGPoker.
Currently, there are a number of top players to keep an eye out for. For instance, Yuta Aikawa became the Season 19 champion. This year, Toshiya Ishikawa tops the field and has already won a contract worth in excess of $30 million, which is the biggest prize yet.
There have been a number of other notable players already in this series too. And these include Keisuke Kimura who beat out a massive field in the NLH Megastacks in May. The youngest ever player, Hiroki Kaaratsu, took one of the nightly NLH Hypers too.
All in all, this Grand Finale 20 looks to have a lot of action in the offing.