Nozomu “Lasone” Shimizu wins APT Hanoi Super High Roller, Secures GPI Japan Top Spot

The Asian Poker Tour Super High Roller at the Hanoi Billions 2023 with the event’s largest-ever prize pool, got a Japanese winner after the final table played out on Sunday evening.

Having the poker gods on his side, Nozomu “Lasone” Shimizu demonstrated his skills and composure at the tables, with the Japanese businessman claiming a $162,225 first prize, the fourth largest of his poker career which has only really started this year when we look at his Hendon Mob. Shimizu had already finished second in the Super High Roller event during the APT Incheon in September of this year, good for a prize of $78,192.

No Guts, No Glory

A familiar face at the Asian Poker Tour and a fan-favorite, Shimizu was determined to win this time, even as his heads-up rival pushed him to his limits. Holding a commanding 3-to-1 chip lead as the heads-up began, Shimizu saw his advantage challenged when Lee managed an early double-up, while taking even more chips from Shimizu’s stake at what looked to be a change of momentum. Nevertheless, in the game of poker, anything can happen.

Shimizu, someone who loves action on the tables, certainly had faith in a positive outcome. He started moving all-in three times in a row and winning with the worst hand pre-flop in each occasion. Twice he beat AK with 46s while also besting AK again while holding Q3. It surely was written in the stars that this tournament crown was his to take.

In the decisive hand of the tournament, both players went all-in on a flop showing ace-high with two diamonds. Shimizu, with a jack-five, hit a pair of jacks, needing only to avoid Lee completing a diamond flush. The turn brought a five, giving Shimizu two pairs. Then, a seven on the river, not a diamond, sealed his victory, earning him the biggest first prize in APT Super High Roller history and his first APT title.

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Shimizu to Win Global Poker Index Player of the Year Japan 2023

Shimizu is having an amazing year with not just successes on the Asian Poker Tour, but also at other poker tours, including the European Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. But before all that, it was his first-place finish in January at the KRW 700,000 No Limit Hold’em – Masters during the Asia Series Poker Tour, that in hindsight was a sign of all goodness to come for the year.

So far, this year, the Japanese businessman is outperforming all Japanese poker professionals and is almost guaranteed to win the Global Poker Index Player of the Year 2023 for Japan, which currently has him ranked in first place with 2,939.93 points prior to his latest win. This is more than 500 points ahead of those in second and third spot of the prestigious rankings, Masashi Oya and Masato Yokosawa, while his win in Hanoi will extend his lead by a minimum of 200 points.

Success Across the Globe at the European Poker Tour

This year, Shimizu has travelled across the globe to pursue his love for poker. This has led him to record some good results at the European Poker Tour’s flagship event held in Monte Carlo, where he finished in the money four times. His best result was winning the €5,150 + 5,000 No Limit Hold’em – Hyper Turbo Knockout Freezeout good for €90,250. He also clinched 4th place in the €25,000 No Limit Hold’em taking home €176,400. Not bad for someone making his debut at an EPT event!

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Three Times a Charm at WSOP 2023 in Las Vegas USA

Having bagged his first EPT win in Monte Carlo, the Japanese businessman decided to make his first appearance ever at the world’s most famous poker championship series, the World Series of Poker. Continuing his good form from Europa, Shimizu came close to winning his first WSOP bracelet, by taking third place three times!

The first final table of the WSOP 2023 that “Lasone” sat on was Event 12: $5,000 No Limit Hold’em – Freezeout – 8-Handed where he took $287,106 for third place beating James Chen from Taiwan and Jinho Hong in the final stages of the tournament.

A few days later, he repeated his success by making it to another final table, this time that of Event 22: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship alongside the likes of Nick Schulman, Daniel Idema and Josh Arieh. Unfortunately, not a bracelet but again a strong Nozomu “Lasone” Shimizu .

He made 5 more ITM finishes before on the final days of the WSOP making it to his third Final Table of the series and yet again a third-place finish winning $305,474 in Event 94: $5,000 No Limit Hold’em.

Shimizu Enters Top 10 on Hendon Mob Japan All Time Money List

With his latest win of $162,225 in the APT Super High Roller event during the APT Hanoi Billions in Vietnam, Shimizu has now moved himself to 10th place on the Japan All Time Money list on Hendon Mob with a total of $1,464,523 in career earnings. And more than $1.4 million of this was earned in 2023 alone!

Looking Ahead to 2024  – Triton Poker and Top 3 on Japan All Time Money List?

As we look ahead to 2024, we can not be anything less than excited to see what will be in store for this talented Japanese businessman who already can be considered a heavyweight in the poker scene. And it is not just us that is looking forward to next year’s APT, WPT, EPT and WSOP events.

After his fans have seen him take big prizes this year on three of the world’s five continents, some have shared their hopes of seeing “Lasone” join the Triton High Roller Series in 2024, where he would then compete for $1 million top prizes on a regular basis. We know that, if he decide to do so, odds are that the number 1 spot on the Hendon Mob Japan All Time Money List will then be within reach.

However, should Nozomu “Lasone” Shimizu decide not to be playing the Triton Series, his stellar performances of 2023 are no less than a strong indication of what is possible in the next year. We wish him all the best for 2024!

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