WSOP APAC: Yu Kurita Tangling with Phil Hellmuth in 6-Max Event


Today the AUD$2,200 Six-Handed NLHE event kicked off at World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific in Melbourne. Last year only 167 players entered the tournament, but with the buy-in less than half the amount, more players were expected, and when registration closed 243 players had signed up to play.

The event attracted a lot of bracelet hunters, including 13-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, 6-time bracelet winners Daniel Negreanu and Jeff Lisandro and WSOP Main Event champions Jonathan Duhamel, Greg Merson and Ryan Riess. Jackie Glazier, who haven’t been running good on home soil so far, also entered the event to chase her second gold bracelet. She was followed by other female players like Vanessa Rousso, Xuan Liu, Yu Kurita, Kitty Kuo, Yaxi Zhu and Sixiao-Juicy Li.

As expected the action was wild and furious and when the day concluded only 31 players remained. Jackie Glazier, who considers the Six-Max her favorite tournament, didn’t come off to a good start and she busted very early:

Vanessa Rousso was the next in line and soon after Xuan Liu followed her to the rail, when her pocket queens ran into November Niner Bruno Politano’s pair of aces. Kitty Kuo was eliminated pretty quick too and she was far from contend with her play, saying on Twitter that she had played “bad”.

Chinese player Sixiao-“Juicy” Li was seated at the same table as the current WSOP Player of the Year leader Brandon Schack-Harris. The two players were involved in a lot of pots together, but at last Schack-Harris got the better of “Juicy” Li, when she was all in with

vs. Schack-Harris’ and failed to improve on a board of . “Juicy” Li has just recently been signed by Poker King Club in Macau as a sponsored player and she is ranked #3 on the GPI China.

Two Last Women Standing
After “Juicy” Li’s exit Yaxi Zhu and Yu Kurita were the last women standing. Fortunately both players survived among the final 31 to return on day 2. China’s Yavi Zhu will return with 31,900 in chips tomorrow, average is 47,032.

Yu Kurita from Tokyo, Japan, had a rollercoaster day. She busted Mike Watson with A9 vs. A7, and then she was involved in a pot with Phil Hellmuth with his tournament life at stake. The action started when Hellmuth raised from the small blind to 1,400 with blinds at 300/600. Yu Kurita 3-bet to 5,400 and Hellmuth went into the tank. At last he moved all in and Kurita called the additional 625. The cards were turned over, and Hellmuth was in bad shape with his

vs. Kurita’s . Unfortunately for Kurita the flop brought the to see Hellmuth flop a flush. Kurita was hoping for another spade to prevail on the turn or the river to give her a higher flush, but she missed, and Hellmuth doubled up to 12,500. Hellmuth was able to finish the night in 4th place with 82,500 in chips and a dream of winning his 14th bracelet.

On the last level of the night Kurita opened to 1,800 from the cutoff and November Niner Bruno Politano called on the button. A short stacked Dylan Hortin reraised all in from the big blind. Politano folded and Kurita made the call with a pair of tens vs. Hortin’s pocket fours. Kurita’s hand held up and Hortin was eliminated. Kurita was now sitting with 68,500.

Kurita lost a big pot and the end of the night, and she will enter Day 2 with an average stack of 45,900

PokerWomenNews wishes both Yaxi Zhu and Yu Kurita the best of luck and run good on Day 2.

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