By Sean Chaffin and Will Butcher
Many players around the world dream of winning a WPT title. After some big finishes in WPTDeepStacks events in Europe, Japan’s Yuri Ishida was looking for a breakthrough performance at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. After making it to late on Day 3, Ishida guaranteed herself the biggest WPT score of her career.
Ishida hails from Kobe (home to the famous beef) and has $524,240 in lifetime live tournament winnings. Most of her earnings came in Asia and her biggest score came as a runner-up in an event on the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour in 2014 for $41,635. She also finished 440th in the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2012 for $28,530. Ishida ultimately finished 40th for $33,495 and spoke with WPT.com about her poker life and experience playing in the Five Diamond.
How did you get started in poker?
I originally was a casino dealer about 10 years ago in Saipan [in the Northern Mariana Islands], and that was my introduction to the game of poker.
What are your thoughts of this year’s WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio?
It’s an event with a rich tradition. When I saw there would be so many famous players in the field, I was a little unsure if I would play. I didn’t play any of the WSOP events this fall, so I decided to enter this tournament instead. I enjoy WPT events, so I put aside my worries about the high level of play and I’m glad I chose to enter. I’ve learned a lot and it has been fun!
Would you say you consider yourself a professional player?”
Well, I have been playing a lot of events abroad recently. I am sponsored by the AJPC, which normally holds events in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
How was Day 3 been in terms of being able to chip up?
I’ve had a little bit of everything happen today. I’ve been able to chip up some, but have also swung down a bit. I got very lucky earlier and I’m not sure if it’s because the other players are so good, but I feel like they’ve been respecting my bets quite a bit and I’ve been able to get away with a few bluffs here and there.
What are your plans for after this event?
I love to travel and I’m planning on entering tournaments in various countries in 2022 as well. Las Vegas is great, but I’m also looking forward to seeing what tournaments I’m able to enter in other countries.
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer based in New Mexico and Texas. His work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions. Will Butcher is WPT marketing coordinator and helped with Japanese translations.