As the World Series of Poker Online series gets underway on the GGPoker Network, we check in with some of the Natural8 ambassadors (aka Team Hot) to ask them about their WSOP grind, get advice for first-timers, and try to predict who will walk away from the online series with a new piece of poker hardware.
As one of Japan’s top poker pros, Kosei Ichinose is ready to bring home a World Series of Poker gold bracelet while playing on Natural8. After all, online poker is where Ichinose got his start, grinding the PokerStars tables and becoming the first player from Japan to achieve Supernova Elite status back in 2012.
Even though online poker was where Ichinose thrived early, he also has amassed over $650,000 in career live earnings while playing on the Asian circuit. He has claimed victories in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, the Macau Poker Cup, and the Asian Poker Tour. He registered his career-high live cash in the 2016 Asia Championship of Poker warm-up event where his third place finished earned him over $83,000.
It’s been since 2012 that Ichinose has attended the World Series of Poker. That year, the cashed three times including a money-making run in the Main Event where he finished in 400th for over $24,000. This year, the WSOP is taking place right on his home site of Natural8 and he’s ready to spend his weekends looking to take his career to new heights.
What is your schedule like for the upcoming World Series of Poker events on Natural8?
I’m planning to play mainly on weekend schedules.
Which particular event are you most looking forward to playing?
Looking forward to PLO events and of course the Main Event.
What would it mean to you to win a WSOP bracelet this year?
Winning a bracelet means a lot to me as it will be the biggest achievement of my career so far, if it actually happens.
How will the WSOP events change your normal playing schedule?
It doesn’t change much to be honest. It’s hard for me to play all the schedules from an Asian time zone, will most likely play weekend events. I won’t attempt to play all events as I know I won’t be able to fully focus in the games.
What’s your typical day look like when you’re playing online? Do you have a routine you follow before or after you start playing?
When I prepare for long sessions like MTT grinding, I’ll take a nap before sessions or set the time schedule for the MTT time from days before. I enjoy daily grinding on day time so I don’t usually play too hard on MTT these days.
What is your favorite way to unwind or celebrate after a big win or score?
Nothing specific but I like to spend time with my close friends and girlfriend.
What would you tell people playing in a high pressure, prestigious event for the first time ever?
I always tell them, including myself, to play as you feel and practice. You won’t be better than what you know in the moment, so always try your best to play and not worry about the end result.
Tell us one player you think will win a bracelet this year?
I hope it will be myself.