Tag Archives: Nacho Figueras

Haute Secrets: Tommy Kato Shares His Favorite Places in Miami

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Marianne Dieterich & Thomas (Tommy) Kato at Floyd Mayweather’s 40th Birthday Party

The Miami Beach resident and Harvard alum is a modern-day renaissance man. Thomas (Tommy) Kato is known for many accomplishments, including developing commercial properties for Fortune 100 companies, becoming Founder & CEO of global credit card processing company Merchant Hub, playing worldwide exhibition polo and backing children’s charities. Find out the inside scoop on his Haute Secrets to Miami:

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Where were you born: Michigan

How long in Miami: 10 years

Neighborhood: South Beach

Occupation: Real Estate

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Merchant Hub To Sponser The HPA Gaucho International Polo

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The HPA Gaucho International Polo kicks off in London on May 2 – 21, 2013 with a festival of music, complimentary wine tastings and the highest quality international polo.

Merchant Hub is proud to be sponsoring the HPA Guacho International polo.  Ranked as one of the top 100 polo players in the world, Nacho Figueras, sometimes called the “David Becham of Polo” will be joining the Merchant Hub team in London. The HPA Gaucho International Polo (www.gauchopolo.com) brings together the world’s greatest polo players for three matches of exciting arena polo, culminating with the anticipated IG England v Cheval des Andes Argentina match where British Captain Jamie Morrison will go mallet-to-mallet with Argentinian rival Nacho Figueras.

The evening kicks off at 5.30pm with a festival of music, complimentary wine tastings, and international polo with the headline match at 8pm. A Gaucho Hospitality Experience package offers a full day of sport and festivities with backstage tours, a ‘Meet The Polo Player’ three-course lunch and an exclusive private tour of the Wine Tasting Village and VIP Grandstand seating.

Tickets for Gaucho Polo are available now, starting at £20 by visiting gauchopolo.com/tickets/.

To book the Gaucho Polo Player Menu, please visit www.toptable.co.uk.

For more information about the event, please visit www.gauchopolo.com.

Merchant Hub CEO, Thomas Kato Takes on The Sport of Kings

Thomas Kato at the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach World Polo Cup

For it’s 8th year in a row, the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup brought the “sport of kings” to the shores of South Beach this past weekend.  First held in 2005, the Miami Beach Polo World Cup features an international lineup of competition, with polo teams coming from as far away as Argentina, Brazil, and Germany to compete for the La Martina Trophy.  All Miami Beach Polo World Cup polo matches are held on the beach — making the South Florida polo tournament “the world’s largest and most prestigious Polo Tournament on the Beach.” drawing celebrities and top-notch, famous polo players including, Nacho Figueras, Jamie Morrison, Luis Escobar, and Nic Roldan to name a few.

Polo Player Kris Kampsen with Directors from Gascon Wines, Polo Player Nic Roldan, and Polo Player Thomas Kato at the opening for the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup

Thomas Kato, Merchant Hub CEO, first developed an interest and passion for polo 5 years ago when he attended the Miami Beach Polo World Cup in 2007 and told himself, “I have to learn how to play polo and ride so I can play in this tournament.”  Merchant Hub has been involved in the sport of polo all over the world sponsoring competitions in London, China, Palm Beach, and Miami.  This year though marked the entry for Kato into the professional world of polo as a player for Team Lufthansa in the Miami Beach Polo World Cup.  Kato also served as the team patron and hired legendary polo players Luis Escobar and Jamie Morrison to play alongside him.

Thomas Kato with Merchant Hub sponsored Argentine team at the HPA Gaucho International in London led by Team Captain, Nacho Figueras.

Thomas Kato and Adolfo Cambiaso, World Renowned Polo Player taking in a charity polo match.

On Friday, Kato’s team – Lufthansa Private Jet was matched against The Raleigh and were defeated with a score of 9-6.  As play continued Saturday against Yellow Cab, although Lufthansa was not able to cinch the win, Kato did score his first goal for the team.  Well done!

“I feel really good about how we played this weekend.  I’m excited and motivated to work even harder training to become a better polo player and looking forward to competing in my next professional polo match.” said Kato.

Thomas Kato at the Santa Clara Polo Club in Wellington, FL.

Congratulations Thomas on such an incredible achievement and we too look forward to following your aspiring career in the esteemed sport of polo.

Merchant Hub Spotlights Britain’s Finest Polo Player – Jamie Morrison

Jamie Morrison will play this weekend in the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo Cup on the sands of South Beach alongside teammates Luis Escobar and Thomas Kato for Lufthansa Private Jets and once again against Nacho Figueras.

Nacho Figueras, Thomas Kato, & Jamie Morrison at Gaucho International Polo

Morrison sat down with Anna Tyzack and shared his history with the sport of polo and what he calls the perfect weekend.

Unless something extraordinary happens, I play polo every weekend, which is exactly how I like it. I look forward to it all week and take it very seriously. On Friday night I never want to go too crazy as I’m worried about being off form for the game on Saturday morning. My ideal would be a quiet dinner with some friends at the local pub – it’s a far cry from any of the racy antics portrayed in Jilly Cooper’s book Polo.

Saturday morning is invariably an early start as the game gets under way at 10am and I’ll want to spend some time getting focused beforehand. People often assume polo is only played on grass in the summer in Britain – which used to be the case – but now, with arena polo, it can be played all year round. I have two strings of ponies; one for winter and one for summer. I adore all of them but Twiggy is my favourite for winter and Louisa is my top pony for summer.

It was my dad, Bryan Morrison [former music mogul, manager of Pink Floyd and publisher of music by Elton John, the Bee Gees and Wham] who got me into polo. He started playing when he was about 30, having never so much as sat on a horse before. He went to watch a game at Ham Polo Club on the edge odf west London and that was that: love at first sight. He learnt to play and soon afterwards founded the Royal Berkshire Polo Club with Prince Charles as the first member. Prince William and Prince Harry have played with us on many occasions.

That said, our membership is much more diverse than you might think. It ranges from successful entrepreneurs to kids just taking up the game. My father’s view was that if anyone wanted to play polo, they should have a right to do it. Back when he started, the game was a bit stuffy and old money and Army; the arrival of an Essex boy made good changed everything. Whenever Dad saw something he thought was special, he believed everyone should be able to do it, not just the privileged. He once saw a real tennis club he liked; so he bought it, and opened it up to new members. That’s what he was like.

It was Dad who brought arena polo to Britain. He was in Chicago on a business trip for George Michael and saw a sign for polo. He followed the signs for a few blocks until he reached an underground arena. When he got back home he built a similar all-weather arena at home and we started playing through the winter. Now, 18 years later, arena polo is a serious business, ensuring the top players don’t necessarily zip back to Argentina or Barbados during our winter. On Wednesday I’m playing at London’s O2 Arena for the Gaucho International.

 *Posted story By Anna Tyzack, of The Telegraph – “Jamie Morrison, England polo player, shares his favourite weekend”.