Daily 3-Bet: Squid About Europe, WPT Japan, Full Tilt Auto

Tokyo
At long last, Tokyo!

The PokerListings Daily 3-Bet is a cleansing onsen dip, a fresh yukata and just enough sake to not fall through the paper doors of your afternoon poker news ryokan.

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Today in the 3-Bet we find Sam Grafton back on the poker horse in Bucharest, the World Poker Tour hits Japan and an auto shop with some marketing issues.

1) Like Squid From the Sky

There are few players more enjoyable to talk to about poker - or the world-at-large - than Sam "SquidPoker" Grafton.

sam grafton 1
Squid on the grind again.

You might know him from his stint last year as one of the Global Poker League's co-hosts but he's been around the poker block for years as a veteran online pro and live event dabbler.

He's also got a pretty fantastic Twitter account that's very much worth a follow.

After a couple years respite Grafton made an extended visit to the World Series of Poker in Vegas this year and played a full slate, cashing 7 times and, he says in a new interview with the PokerStars blog, "really enjoyed it."

Back in Europe (he lives in Warsaw) Grafton settled back in for his bread-and-butter online games and promptly won a seat to PokerStars Festival Bucharest, which is where the PStars blog caught up with him.

It's a good chat ranging from his love of poker Twitter to his most recent SCOOP win and his continued appreciation of life as a poker professional. If you have some time, enjoy it here.

2) Konnichiwa, Japan

India. China. The Philippines. Korea. Thailand. Even Vietnam and Cambodia.

Lyn Gilmartin WPT
WPT host Lynn Gilmartin.

The Asian poker scene has grown exponentially over the past decade and accordingly, as legal issues and logistics have been sorted, seen very successful World Poker Tour stops introduced across the continent.

One place the WPT had yet to surface in, however? Japan, whose poker scene is likewise booming (thanks to trailblazers like Naoya Kihara), but whose confusing gambling laws have likely kept it from happening. 

Consider that solved, at least to some degree, as the WPT announced today it will host its first-ever WPT event in Tokyo from November 23-26:

“The World Poker Tour is honored to partner with the Japan Poker Union Corporation for this momentous occasion, not only the history of the World Poker Tour, but for our industry,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour.

  

“Japan is a truly spectacular place, and the Japanese poker market is a flourishing one that deserves to be showcased on a global stage such as the World Poker Tour. Having spent a considerable amount of time in Japan, I strongly encourage poker players of all levels from around the world to come to Japan and experience first hand everything this beautiful region has to offer.”

Four events are on the WPT Japan schedule but given the restrictions on gambling prizes will only be packages to future WPT events. The WPT Japan Main Event winner will receive a package for both the Season XVII WPT Main Tour event in Beijing and another WPT event of their choice in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Pliska's right about Japan, though - it's spectacular. And worth visiting regardless of the payouts. If you don't trust us, trust Liv Boeree at least:

Full info from the WPT here.

3) Gold Jersey for Every Tire Rotation

WSOP Main Event champ Ryan Riess stumbled across an interesting automotive business in his Michigan home town the other day and shared his findings on Twitter. Some comedic relief ensued with a gold star to Mike Leah, a famed FTOPS crusher, in particular.

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