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Mike Takayama becomes First Filipino Ever to Win 2018 Asia Player of the Year

Tags: Asia Player of the Year, Mike Takayama, The Philippines.
Posted on 01 October 2018 by "T".

Remember Mike Takayama, the first Philippine poker player to win a WSOP bracelet this past summer? Well, he has made his home country proud once more, because it turns out that his WSOP bracelet win helped him become the 2018 Asia Player of the Year!

Mike Takayama, age 29, an ex-billiards pro player from Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, has been crowned the 2018 Asia Player of the Year (APOY), thus becoming the first Philippine poker player ever to win the prestigious title.

He topped this year's APOY Leaderboard with 10,230 points. The player who ranked second was Alexis Lim with 5,931 points.

The race covered the period between November 27, 2017 and August 12, 2018. The winner's name will be engraved on the special trophy and they will also be awarded a cool amount of $20,000. Takayama said he's planning to invest the prize in a billiards-themed café.

Takayama said, "I feel very happy because winning the APOY is a dream! A lot of players also aspire to win this award. I hope they use me as an inspiration. There are a lot of excellent Filipino poker players who are still waiting for their big break. Just continue playing and you can also win like me. Perseverance is key. I would also like to thank my wife for supporting me through everything, and I would also like to thank God and my friends."

During the APOY race, Takayama's highest score that obviously propelled him to the top spot was when he emerged victorious at the 2018 WSOP Event #59: $1,000 NLH Super Turbo Bounty, defeating a player field of 2,065 entries for $198,568 plus his very first gold bracelet. His first gold bracelet was also the first-ever won by a player from the Philippines. He said, "I'm very happy, because winning the bracelet is everyone's dream. I'm the first Filipino to win a bracelet, so I'm really, really, really happy about that."

Here are Takayama's other notable scores throughout the APOY race:

  • $240 NLHE Aria Poker Classic Event (1st place): $5,470
  • WSOP Main Event (421st): $29,625
  • Manila Megastack 9 Single Day High Roller (2nd): $20,314
  • APL Road Series Angeles City Hyper Turbo (1st): $1,080
  • APPT Macau Poker Cup 28 Baby Dragon (2nd): $95,000

Also, he's a Metro Team Pro and was able to secure a seat into January's PSPC after winning a $30k Platinum Pass at the PokerStars LIVE Manila Super Series Season 5 (he won the Warm-Up event for $5,106 and also the Main Event for $17,875).

Takayama started out his poker career when he managed to win a local international event for a brand-new BMW vehicle. Since 2010 in the live tournament circuit, he has accumulated a total of $936,583 so far, putting him in 3rd place on the Philippines all-time money list, behind John Tech in 2nd ($1,106,221) and the late Noli Francisco in 1st place ($1,350,550).



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14 comments on "Mike Takayama becomes First Filipino Ever to Win 2018 Asia Player of the Year"

 doubletop77701/10/2018 08:00:46 GMT
I always think that it is a great honour to be named player of the year in any sport. After winning a much coveted WSOP bracelet, this award was thoroughly deserved and many congratulations to him
 Mober01/10/2018 08:49:59 GMT
Obviously it was a great turn, from playing billiards professionally, to playing poker.
Dont know how much he could have made with his first choice, but for sure he is
doing very good now.
Great results with big payouts. Will help him to advance further more.
 dule-vu01/10/2018 16:27:59 GMT
cant say that I heard for him before,but now I see that he had some good result in this year!some nice winnings and especially this event at WSOP!so with this amount of money he deserved to win this trophy for asian player of year!now will see will he invest money at this cafe!
 pajalnick01/10/2018 20:54:12 GMT
of course it's a little unusual that the poker player becomes the main athlete of the year but poker is certainly a sport of some degree so everything is ok and he certainly deserved for the title the most excellent game with a great achievement I hope to Hear about it Spade Club Heart Diamond
 CALICUL01/10/2018 23:10:16 GMT
To be noted is the fact as he will win a prize of 20.000 dollars for the winner of 2018 Asia Player of the Year (APOY). Does Europe have such a prize for the best European player in 2018? If it does not then it should provide an annual award because there should be a top in every year with the best player.
 Gerimantas02/10/2018 04:36:14 GMT
Good to him to make some history in his country, also it is very good situation to him because now to win some money from poker he can open billiard themed cafe and he is an ex billiards players so this is again hos dream i think. Congratulations mike takayama
 Mober02/10/2018 09:17:00 GMT
He is playing the game for the game and the money. Does it really matter for him if
he is the first from his country or not. Just for the history Smile
All it does matter is the money he got.
Of course you can say the same for the titles and bracelets.
Some are in just for the money and nothing else.
 Calmplay02/10/2018 17:33:46 GMT
I think that WSOP helped him alot to win this title otherwise it would have been someone else from a bigger asian country. Too bad as in the Philippine poker is very popular and that there is many good players there. But because it is a small and poor nation, they don't get too much opportunity to show their talent...
 CALICUL02/10/2018 23:11:17 GMT
I do not know if WSOP help players to win titles and bracelets. That would mean to be a mutual understanding and a fraud for rest of the players. I've seen in movies or on youtube players or dealers how cheating with the cards but at WSOP tournaments... it would be a colossal scandal if dealers would help some players to win. I do not think this is happening.
 Tony_MON7ANA04/10/2018 18:18:20 GMT
Congratulations to Mike Takayama for winning the 2018 Asia Player of the Year!
Takayama is a common Japanese surname meaning "high mountain."

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”
— Barry Finlay, Kilimanjaro and Beyond
 bowie198404/10/2018 19:56:14 GMT
Posted by CALICUL:
... it would be a colossal scandal if dealers would help some players to win. I do not think this is happening.

KInda... really not that hard to cheat especially when many players at the tables wearing sunglassses and headphones so they making hard for themselves to find out if certain mechanics are playing into the shuffling method.
But also, many playes and tournies are using special shuffling machines so those have the reputation to upheld by not making it easy to cheat da system.
 CALICUL07/10/2018 23:16:27 GMT
If now i'm staying and looking on the Internet, i can find some methods of cheating but there are many players who know these methods. It is not easy for dealer to cheat and to help a player to become a winner of a tournament. Especially as more dealers are needed and there are players, who can easily notice about this and tv camera. Anyway it's not my job, they know better how it is.
 Gerimantas08/10/2018 10:28:28 GMT
I personally not understand what is it good to have win of asia player of the year, of course nice sound and you can do some interview and be cool to friends but what about money, is titke something good to this, do you win some money or something else of good value
 CALICUL08/10/2018 23:17:31 GMT
The prize for Asia's most valuable poker player is 20,000 dollars in every year. This amount is very high in some countries like China or Philippines. Why Europe does not offer an annual award for the best poker player? could somebody do this but someone has to talk with owners of casino and online poker rooms & casinos. I say it's worth it. Smile

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