Friday, August 19, 2005

But enough about me...

What's up with poker in Japan?

I finally noticed some of the links on the JPPA Home Page to some of the members' blogs. So I found the blog of "Bluejay" Hiroshi Shimamura. It's all in Japanese, so be warned.

He seems to take his blogging reasonably seriously, and has been experimenting recently with imbedding video and trying some voice blogging. Hmm, wonder if we'll see a podcast from him at some point?

From there I found a link to Tom McEvoy's article in Card Player describing his visit to Japan, and a little of his rationale for choosing Satoh Tamao, former pink power ranger and miniskirt wearing policewoman, to go try her luck at the 2005 WSOP main event.

And I still haven't seen any followup tv show on her Las Vegas trip! I've been taping the weekly show, but it has been pre-empted by baseball games a lot recently. Yesterday they showed an ep but no WSOP story. Bah.

Following a few more links on Bluejay's site, I found something very interesting. A darts and billiards bar here in Tokyo is having weekly poker tournaments on Saturday nights! Details (Japanese again!) are here.

For 13 weeks, they have a series of satellite games to earn spots into the main tournament, which starts September 17. Winner of the main tourney gets... a trip for two to Las Vegas! Hey, hey, now this is a plan I can get into!

My chances of winning the trip are basically nil, but this is exciting for other reasons. Poker tournaments in sports bars sound like they're common in the States now, but certainly not here. Darts caught on as a very popular trend here several years ago. Two years ago it seemed that half the japanese males in their 20s were learning darts and playing seriously whenever they could. Darts bars are still pretty commonplace here, though the mania seems to have dropped off.

If poker finds a home in Japanese darts and billiard bars, and appeals to the same crowd, it could really pick up quickly. That won't change the anti-gambling laws, but it would certainly give me a lot more opportunities to play live, and start shifting public opinion towards legalization.

Of course I'm going to go check it out tomorrow night.

I was wondering why the JSOP event for this weekend didn't start until midnight - probably the main players will be off at this bar tourney and then come back to the card club for the JSOP game. (This week is Omaha-8, I believe.)

Report later.

No comments: