Naoya Kihara won this same event last year, topping a field of 419 in order to do so. His title defense got off to a slow start during the first two-and-a-half levels today, however, with his stack sliding down to less than 5,000 and having spent all three of his lammers.
Just now Kihara saw one opponent raise to 450 and another call from the button, and Kihara called from the big blind. The flop came . Kihara led for 450, and the original raiser made it 1,050 to go, forcing out the button. Kihara called, then the pair checked both the turn and river.
Kihara showed for trip tens, and his opponent mucked.