Poker players around the world are awaiting the widescale return of live poker in Europe and Asia, including major live poker festivals such as the European Poker Tour.
One of the winners at the last EPT, held in Prague in December 2019, was Natural8 Ambassador Tsugunari Toma.
He took down two High Roller tournaments, and final-tabled another for combined cashes of over $750,000.
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Returning to Poker
Toma says he’s been waiting for a long time to get back to the live circuit, and he tries to play online where possible.
“Since I work during the day, it’s difficult to play long games in online poker, so I’ll do my best to get my work done and take a break.”
|December 2019||EPT Prague High Roller||€10,300||1st||€523,100|
|August 2019||EPT Barcelona Super High Roller||€100,000||5th||€496,740|
|December 2018||EPT Prague High Roller||€25,000||2nd||€191,840|
|December 2019||EPT Prague High Roller||€10,200||1st||€135,220|
|November 2012||APPT ACOP Main Event||HK$100,000||6th||HK$952,000|
Combining Business and Poker
Toma is unmissable at live poker tournaments, with a sharp fashion sense and silver-studded shoes. Away from the poker tables, he’s a successful businessman, and is a prime example of enjoying the game of poker for what it is.
“I used to work in a bank,” Toma told PokerNews. “My business is as a management consultant, so we were applying for subsidies and loans for our customers as a result of COVID-19.”
With no legal casinos in Japan, Toma says that so-called “amusement casinos” are in fashion, so much so that Toma opted to buy one himself.
Poker in Japan
Poker was increasing in popularity prior to 2020, but COVID-19 gave the sport a real boost. In May 2021, the Japan Poker Tour broke an attendance record
Toma himself organized a tournament called ‘Top of Poker Championship in Japan’ that he says was a great success.
“The tournament is held at amusement casinos nationwide with an entrance fee of 6,000 yen. I sponsored the tournament, which generated a prize pool of $140,000.”
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