Naoya Kihara: Japanese Poker Market Will Be Huge If Legalized
Naoya Kihara is on the leading edge of poker in Japan and says that if the government decides to legalize it, the market is going to be huge. Right now live poker is illegal in his country but Kihara says that it's frustrating since there are more than 10,000 locations where you can play live Mah Jong. Pachinko is also a huge industry in Japan and operates in a legal grey area. Kihara also says that most Japanese people don't understand poker, and think it's a gambling casino game as opposed to a skill game where hard work and education can pay off. But despite the current situation Kihara is optimistic about the future of poker in Japan. He says that Japanese people are passionate about games in general, and that their skill and experience in video games will translate perfectly to online poker. Right now Japanese people are able to play online and Kihara is helping to grow that scene with his Team PokerStars Online sponsorship deal. Check out this video to hear the story from Kihara himself and keep watching PokerListings.com for the latest video and news from the 2014 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.