『Produced by GACKT! POKER×POKER 〜Industry One-on-One Tournament』is a regular broadcast program on AbemaTV’s AbemaSPECIAL channel that airs every Friday at midnight. The four representatives from their respective industries that will be taking part in the August tournament have been announced.

『Produced by GACKT! POKER×POKER 〜Industry One-on-One Tournament』is a poker program that is produced by GACKT, who possesses such a level of skill that he has even taken part in international poker tournaments. Geared towards poker beginners, it is conducted in a style where GACKT himself will explain the rules and commentate on the players’ psychological state, and there will also be telop explanations of the roles and terminologies by the character Daiya-chan, voiced by voice actress Kakuma Ai, creating content that can be fully enjoyed by poker beginners as well.

Monthly champions are crowned on this program, and just like in past tournaments, as specified in the title, four guests representing their respective industries staking the pride of their industries on the line and challenge each other in poker.

In May, idol representative Yaguchi Mari shone as the champion, and in June it was motorsports representative Kobayashi Kamui who shone. In July, Aizawa Emiri from the hostess world who is currently active as a model on the magazine「Koakuma ageha」, while showing her ability as an entrepreneur in establishing her own brand「EmiriaWiz」took part, along with Ooi Takaharu, a professional mahjong player from the mahjong world, Takeru who is K-1’s first ever triple class champion and the existing K-1 WORLD GP Super Featherweight champion from the K-1 world, and Ryucheru from the reader model world who has recently become a new father. The four of them battled, and in the previous broadcast, Ooi Takaharu from the mahjong world has emerged victorious as the champion.

And now, the four contestants who will represent their industries for the August tournament will be announced. Okai Chisato from the variety idols world, an ex-member of the idol group ℃-ute which has unfortunately disbanded last year, along with the program’s first representative from the comedians world who is also an entertainer, actor and commentator, Cunning Takeyama, Shirota Yu from the actors world who also dabbles a lot in musicals, and in the lingering heat of the world cup, Japan’s well-known commentator from the soccer world, Matsuki Yasutaro will be taking part.

In addition,「SUPERCHOICE」will be used in conjunction with the program for viewers to guess who will win. Those who guess correctly will have the chance to be picked to win luxurious prizes, so while reading the spirited comments from the guests, do try guessing who the winner of the July tournament will be.

※SUPERCHOICE is a prediction poll service managed by CyberAgent, Inc.. This is a service that can be used by anyone on their smartphones or PCs for free.

■Variety idol world representative – Okai Chisato
ーーHaving tried playing poker, what do you think of it?

In the beginning, when my manager said to me, “Remember poker”, I thought, “Impossible!”. Because I’ve always had the idea that games revolving around trump cards are difficult, I’ve never really played much of it but I was told “Well, it’s easy” and once I tried it, it really was easy to remember, and right from the start, I thought, “Ah! I think I can do this!:” so I practiced yesterday and gave it a go today!

ーーWhat do you think of GACKT-san’s commentary?

GACKT-san is someone who I’ve seen on TV since I was a child, and my father and my mother, they were among those who would go “Kyaー Kyaー So cool!”, so even in my generation, he became someone who who’s thought of as really cool. So poker makes me nervous, but GACKT-san gets me nervous too.

ーーHe was pretty close to you too, wasn’t he?

I was being watched a lot at such a close range, and when he said, “Chisato-chan”, I was so moved, thinking, “He called me ‘Chisato-chan’!!!”. He also said things like “What an adorable lady…” and normally, in variety shows, I don’t get called cute, and I was in the middle of a game with Cunning Takeyama too, I felt like I was being treated as an aunty too… But having been called cute by GACKT-san, that gave me a bit of confidence (lol)

ーーYour first opponent was Cunning Takeyama-san.

Actually, Takeyama-san himself isn’t scary but, I was worried about whether I can actually win or not. I had the impression that he was smart, and he was someone who was not only involved in the variety scene, but also in news, movies and a whole variety of genres, so I had the idea that my chances of winning were slim… I think I’m not very confident.

ーーWhat’s a highlight of the program?

Even I managed to practice and remember it in one day, so it’s a game that’s easy enough for anyone to take part in a program in, and I think that it’s a game that you can get excitement from watching too, that you can enjoy watching others play too. I do hope viewers will watch my interaction with Takeyama-san since our characters are so different!

ーーDo you think you will play poker after this?

I would like to! I’d like friends who are good at this to teach me so that I can get better!

■Comedians world – Cunning Takeyama
ーーWhat’s your history with poker?

In terms of history, I started playing it when I was a high school student. In games, with friends.

ーーHave you always enjoyed poker since then?

I like poker. I do play poker games often too, I really like it.

ーーWhen you received the invitation to take part in GACKT-san’s poker program, what were your thoughts?

I watched it once on AmebaTV. I was wondering, “Is there such a program?” so I went and watched it though. Actually, coming here and playing it is most enjoyable. When you’ve played it yourself, you’ll come to understand that it’s that much more interesting.

ーーAfter appearing on this program, what is a charm of poker that has been re-emphasised to you?

It’s that competitive instinct that comes with each moment, the reading of each other’s flow. I like the phrase “poker face”, which is related to looking at your opponent’s expressions and “reading a person”. In fact, it’s not only the joy of the reading of cards, but also the joy of reading of a person that makes this battle interesting. I think that I’m someone who can read a person’s heart quite well but reading Okai-chan was rather difficult. That’s why I wondered if I was selling it.

ーーWhat do you think of GACKT-san’s commentary?

I think GACKT-san is amazing. A joy of this program is getting to see GACKT-san being so talkative, something that you don’t see on other programs. He’s an artiste, and he’s done a lot of lives since his younger days, so it’s of course but it’s possible that he converses even better than an entertainer.

With the situations in poker, it’s easy to understand. When I watched the program, I did think so too, but he talks so much. Having come here, it’s easy for viewer to understand and there are proper explanations for the players too, so I think you can even say that he’s the leading expert in poker in Japan. It’s a different GACKT-san, isn’t it? I can’t imagine this version of him from the GACKT-san you’d see on stage. This frankness. I thought that he’s a regular guy, one who’d casually ask “Shall we go out and eat today?” or say “Let’s go!”, he’s a nice guy.

ーーWhat’s a highlight of the show?

I would like people to watch the battle between me and Okai-chan, a veteran and a beginner, to see how the fight will turn out. I would like them to see the miracle that happens. I think that this is the interesting part in this fight. My opponent, Okai-chan’s intuition was great.

■Actors world representative – Shirota Yu
ーーWhat’s your history with poker?

I played on occasion, but it’s as good as none. I’ve had experience playing Texas Hold’em Poker with a big group of people a few times, but that’s about it. Just a little bit between friends.

ーーWhat did you think is the enjoyment or the charm of poker?

A big part of it is the psychological battle, isn’t it? That sets it apart from a regular card game, that there’s a psychological battle in addition to whether your cards are good or bad. The amount of chips you hold, the amount you bet, your decisions change depending on how many chips you have in total, and you need the ability to make split second decisions and the ability to respond.

ーーWhat do you think of GACKT-san commentary?

It’s easy to understand, it’s wonderful. I’m a beginner, so while listening to what GACKT-san said while I played, there were moments that made me think, “Ah~ I see, I see”.

ーーWill you play poker after this?

I love games, and I’m basically the type who will get addicted and play all the time, so I do wonder what I’ll do when Japan has casinos (lol)

Poker really has always been a game that I’ve been wanting to remember, so today really was a great opportunity. I would like to play among my friends too, and maybe come on this program again.

ーーWhat’s the highlight of this program?

What I can say, without a doubt, it the unexpected developments! And it’s something that no one could’ve predicted, so even for me, myself, there was one thing that I never expected. Furthermore, I thought that there really was that thing known as “flow”. In my battle against Matsuki-san, with one sentence from one of us, the whole flow changed. I would like viewers to look out for that one flow-changing sentence, that one play that changed everything.

■Soccer world representative – Matsuki Yasutaro
ーーWhat are your thoughts after having played poker?

Playing poker for the first time in a long while, I had fun!

ーーWhat part of poker embodies the joy of the game?

Isn’t it the special rules on this program, including the question of whether we’ve been bluffed till the very end, and the opening of the cards? Normally the cards won’t get opened, so you’d be left wondering and thinking about all kinds of things, but that rule creates an interesting part where it links to the next game. I think I’ve once again got a taste of the joy of poker for the first time in a long while. I also enjoyed the pushing and pulling.

ーーWhat’s the highlight of this program?

Basically, the fun of a card game, and the “expressions”. Since there’s a rule that states that you can’t laugh, it’s been awhile since I haven’t laughed this much on a program (lol)

For me, as to what kind of person I am, I’m the kind who tends to grin a lot, so I’ll be showing expressions that I don’t normally make. I think that this program is one where you can enjoy seeing the various “expressions” made by persons from different industries too. That’s why, there’s the essential enjoyment of playing cards, but I think that this program also has the fun of seeing the kind of personalities that show up here. If I ever had the chance, I would like to take on this challenge again.


Translation: GACKT ITALIA Team

Translation © GACKT ITALIA