Interview with Yu Kurita: “I’m Looking Forward to Play with Phil Hellmuth at the Final Table


Have you heard of Yu Kurita before? Maybe not, but the Japanese player from Tokyo, who arrived at the airport two days ago made WSOP history yesterday, when she made it to the final table of the $2,200 Six-Max event at the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific. No woman has ever final tabled a WSOP APAC event before. The achievement doesn’t get less interesting by the fact that the poker brat Phil Hellmuth is one of the final six, chasing his bracelet no. 14.

At this point Yu Kurita has got $76,408 in live tournament earnings according to The Hendon Mob Poker Database, but this number is bound to go up today.  The six remaining players are guaranteed at least AUD$19,809 and there’s AUD$128,784 on top for the winner.

PokerWomenNews caught up with Yu Kurita for a quick interview before the final table.

PWN: Congrats with making it to the final table.
Kurita: Thanks for the support. I feel very lucky to have made it this far, and I’m going to do my best tomorrow.

PWN: How long have you been playing poker?
Kurita: It’s almost five years ago since I started to join major tournaments (PWN: Kurita has played in Macau, Las Vegas and Manila).

PWN: How have the last two days been for you?
Kurita: They have been really tough, ‘cause I first arrived in Melbourne on the morning of the 9th of October and I started to play Day 1 of the $2,2k Six-Max right away. But somehow my tiredness made me concentrate even more on playing.

PWN: Did you have a strategy for playing the 6-Max, and are you used to shorthanded play?
Kurita: I didn’t have a clear strategy. I tried to play a little more aggressive and play a wider hand range than usual. I have played 6-max and 4-max before, but I’ve never played as good as the last couple of days.

PWN: How has it been to play with the poker brat, Phil Hellmuth, himself?
Kurita: It’s been really exciting!! I have seen him on YouTube, ESPN, everywhere. Unfortunately, I doubled him up with AK vs. his KQ on Day 1. I’m looking forward to play with him at the final table. It’s great.

PWN: Out of the remaining six players, five of you are almost equal in chips. What’s your strategy on Day 3? And how do you see your chances?
Kurita: I think everyone at the final table has a chance to earn chips, including me of course. I have a strategy, but I would rather not explain it in details now, Kurita says laughing. To be honest, I don’t think my skill is good enough compared to the other finalists, but hopefully I’ll play well and I want to learn.

The final table will begin Saturday 12:10 local time.

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