Rikiya “Powerful One” Jibiki Leads the Final 14 for the WPT Prime Championship Gold Coast

Rikiya Jibiki

From a Day 2 field of 194 hopefuls, Japan’s Rikiya Jibiki leads the final 14 at the Star Gold Coast for the WPT Prime Championship Event. He bags 7,725,000 to take to Day 3 in contention for 1st place.

Jibiki now calls Sydney home with his wife and has been playing some more professional live poker around Australia. Jibiki tells us his name means “The Powerful One”. This certainly has translated to the felt today with Jibiki coming up against Marc Seymour on multiple occasions. Seymour went into battle not once, not twice but three times against Jibiki and unable to catch a break Seymour was eliminated in 18th at the hands of Jibiki’s higher straight.

Maintaining a solid lead throughout most of today was Chin Yaw Chan until a fateful hand against Andres Vasquez which saw him lose half his stack. Unable to bring it back up to its original state, Chan took the rest of the evening at a slower pace and finishes up on 2,550,000.

PMA also caught up with Andres Vasquez (5,725,000) before signing out for the evening. Vasquez tells us he started the day with just 25BB and was “super patient, super calm and tried to be present and off distractions such as (the) phone”. Vasquez mentions that whatever happens tomorrow he is already grateful, enjoying the experience, moments lived and having friends around.   

Andres Vasquez

Making it to the rail today was Kannapong ‘Tent’ Thanarattrakul who had an in-tents-e day although consistent but was unable to find momentum and busted out in 19th for $17,000 adding to his impressive $3mil in live earnings. Thanarattrakul came up against Isaia Fetineiai’s pocket 7s and with no improvement for his [pkn]Ah3d[/pkn], thus ended his tournament.

Though Jibiki leads the field, Brisbane’s Martin Ward is today’s ‘rail-proclaimed’ hero. With an enthusiastic rail behind him, Ward started off the day with a mere 10BB, just 105,000, but will end today coming in at 6,925,000. Rising to the top of the field through a big double up from Daniel Hachem followed by a turning point of A10 hitting an Ace on the flop against his opponent’s 9s, Ward has told PMA that he now “needs to get the job done, it’s not over til it’s over.” “To tell you the truth it was just one of those most beautiful days of poker, where everything you’ve got you hit” he says. Going in to Day 3 just shy of 7 million, Ward is sitting in second position.

Martin Ward

Amongst the other survivors going through to Day 3 are fan favourites Bert Perry (700,000) and Amin Chehade (900,000), as well as Dylan Desmarchelier (2,125,000), Lorenz Schollhorn (5,425,000) and Joshua Duce (4,850,000).

Lorenz Schollhorn

With all players eyeing off the top prize of $401,510, this event has exceeded all expectations. The $2,500,000 prize pool is a record for the WPT Asia-Pacific Region, as is the 1,395 entries. Play concluded with just 14 players remaining who will return tomorrow at 12:30pm to battle it out until we crown a winner. Blinds will recommence at Level 28: 75,000 / 125,000 / BB Ante 125,000.


1Rikiya Jibiki7,725,000
2Gary Shu5,800,000
3Joshua Duce4,850,000
4Amin Chehade900,000
5Chin Yaw Chan2,550,000
6Lorenz Schollhorn5,425,000
7Travis Endersby2,475,000


1Michael Fraser3,000,000
2Marco Perri4,100,000
3Bert Perry700,000
4Dylan Desmarchelier2,125,000
5Isaia Fetineiai3,450,000
6Martin Ward6,925,000
7Andres Vasquez5,725,000

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