Los Angeles, CA (September XX, 2021) – For the third consecutive year, the World Poker Tour® has broken entry records at the WPT® Japan festival in Tokyo, Japan. Kimijima Shoki navigated his way through the 1,291-entry field to win WPT Japan and a WPT Passport worth $30,270.

With 1,291 entrants, this is the first time in the five-year history of the event that the field topped 1,000 runners, a 77.8% increase over the 2020 field, which held the previous record of 726 entrants.

“Thanks in part to a fantastic partnership with Sammy Inc, WPT has broken another record in Japan, as the popularity of poker in the Asia-Pacific market continues to rise,” said Angelica Hael, VP of Global Tour Management for the World Poker Tour. “The excitement and enthusiasm of the players was only matched by the experience provided by Sammy Inc. and the Japan Poker Union.”

As in years past, players were able to qualify for this event through live events across Japan. Earlier this year, Sammy Inc. launched a new poker app called M Hold’em which offered online qualifiers for the first time ever.

Multiple starting flights were held in Tokyo and Osaka, with the final two days of action taking place at the Sammy Inc. headquarters in Tokyo. The top 31 finishers split a prize pool of $95,000, which was paid out in the form of WPT Passports.

“This is an honor to be able to co-sponsor WPT Japan this year. We trust that the players who played in the exciting games at the 2021 WPT Japan event will lead the Japanese poker market and create a poker boom moving forward. Sammy Inc. will continue to contribute to the development of the poker market for all people who love mind sports,” said event host and sponsor Sammy Inc.

In 2017, the first WPT Japan event drew 460 entries, which was followed up by 322 runners in 2018. The following year saw a 68.3% increase with 542 entrants. That led to the 33.9% increase in 2020 when 726 players entered.

“That we were able to break the entries record again this year is a testament to the growth of the poker market in Japan,” said Tatsumune Miyata, Event Director for Japan Poker Union. “We want to continue our efforts to provide global poker tournaments, not just domestic ones.”

Full results from WPT Japan are available here. For more information, including World Poker Tour event schedules and the tour’s latest news, visit

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Lance Bradley
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