Takarabe Captures the Red Dragon

Posted at 18:51 2010-07-13

The latest Macau Poker Cup has continued to make in-roads on the Asian Poker scene with yet another record setting series. Held at the Grand Lisboa Casino in Macau, the series has become a popular fixture for local poker players. The recently completed Macau Poker Cup has become the biggest to date paying out AU$629,360 in prize money.

The feature event of the Macau Poker Cup is the Main Event known as the Red Dragon Event. The tournament has proven popular among Japanese visitors due to its close proximity to Japan and one of the 74 Japanese players in the field would be taking the top prize back to the land of the rising sun. PokerStars qualifier Kenichi Takarabe beat out 295 players to win AU$91,287. Takarabe’s win is sure to prove popular in his homeland as the first Japanese winner of the event.

Takarabe had to use all of his poker skill to hold off a stiff challenge from eventual runner up and Team PokerStars Pro Asia member Bryan Huang. After a double elimination left them heads up for the tournament, Huang kicked things into overdrive and began chipping away at the significant lead of Takarabe. It looked as though the amateur would be unable to hold off the pro, but Takarabe exhibited patience beyond his experience and waited until the perfect moment to pick Huang off. With a {tx}{9x}{8x} flop the players traded raises before Huang got all in with an open ended straight draw. Takarabe made the called with middle pair and held up to take down the title. It proved a popular victory with a vocal rail who celebrated with the champion.

Upon accepting his trophy and prize money Takarabe said, “I have played Macau Poker Cup many times before but to win this (Red Dragon event) is like a dream come true.”

PokerStars Macau Operations Manager Danny McDonagh seemed pleased about the possibility of increased future Japanese involvement on the back of Takarabe’s breakthrough victory. “The Japanese have really embraced the MPC. Kenichi has participated in previous MPCs so he’s become somewhat of a pioneer for poker in Japan. I’m really happy for him.”

Overall McDonagh was pleased with the cumulative growth of the series. “It’s a great finish to yet another record Macau Poker Cup. We were confident that the region would support the MPC despite having the WSOP and World Cup running at the same time,” said McDonagh.

The Japanese, and indeed players from all over the Asia Pacific region, will be headed back to Macau soon with the Macau Millions set to place between August 4-8. The event is expected to set a new record for number of players in a poker tournament in Asia. The Macau Millions has a guaranteed prizepool of AU$147,308 and online qualifiers are running right now at PokerStars.

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Kenichi Takarabe won the Main Event of the Macau Poker Cup Kenichi Takarabe won the Main Event of the Macau Poker Cup

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