Japan's Akutsu Masaaki outwitted a field of 112 players to take home Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino's 2010 1st Blackjack Challenge championship trophy and the $70,000 dollars cash prize. The two-day blackjack event was held from June 12th, 2010, Saturday, with the semifinal and final events before reaching its conclusion on June 13th, 2010.
There was a $1,000 dollars entry cost for the tournament and from the initial rounds until the semifinals, participants started with three thousand dollars worth of chips. Before each round, participants get a number to make sure that their seating arrangement is randomize. The tournament rules required a minimum wager with a $1,000 dollars limit per card hand.
In the semifinals, forty-nine players played through a pair of eight-deck shoes. After the opening rounds on Saturday, the forty-eight players with the biggest chip count made the cut and a randomly drawn wild card from the eliminated players will give one player $1,500 dollars in total chips and the opportunity to participate in the finals.
Aside from Masaaki, Jun Mabuchi Koji Okuyama, Yoshiko Muranishi, Hiraide Isamu and Yoo Shik Park all advanced to the final table of the event. The final seven players started with five thousand dollars in total chips and followed the same rules of game play. Muranishi was one out of only fourteen female participants and maintain the lead until the last card hand.
Ahead of Masaaki in total chips (9,400-9,025), Muranishi was placed in front of Masaaki, which helped the champion calculate an advantageous wager to grab the lead in the end. After Muranishi lost to the blackjack dealer, Masaaki won his wager and grabbed it at the last second. But Muranishi was still all smiles as she accepts his 2nd place trophy and $25,000 dollars cash prize.
Mabuchi accepted his 3rd place trophy with his $13,000 dollars cash prize and the remaining four players each won $1,000 dollars. Masaaki graciously refused to comment on the event and requested not to be pictured but Muranishi commented that she and her husband have enjoyed their stay at the Dynasty throughout the tournament.
Casino Pit Manager Nimfa S. Alarde said that most of the participants consisted of high-roller loyalist. She said that most of the participants are composed of Japanese and Korean players.
She added that although they have slightly smaller turnout compared with last year, they are still happy that everyone have a good time and their upcoming 2010 Baccarat Challenge event on July 10th, 2010-July 11th, 2010 is expected to be bigger than their blackjack event.
Tinian Dynasty's Second Blackjack Challenge event for 2010 will be on December 11th, 2010-December 12th, 2010.
Emma Green - Wednesday, July 14 , 2010