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The last few days have seen the action peaking at the Asia Poker League (APL) Da Nang, the tournament brand`s second stop this year in Vietnam and first-ever at the host venue Risemount Premier Resort.
A small group of Indian players ensured to keep the Indian rail back home glued to the action with the newly minted APL Ambassador Sumit Sapra going above and beyond. Sapra set the Indian rail back home on fire by storming his way into the final table of the VND 8 Billion GTD Main Event. Coming into the nine-handed final table placed seventh in chips, the Indian pro did well to eventually finish fifth to win VND 477,900,000 (~₹14.68 Lakhs) in prize money.
Coming out on top in the Main Event was Vietnam`s Nguyen Minh Tuan who defeated China’s Liu Jian heads-up to win the title and a career-best VND 2,026,500,000 (~₹62.02 Lakhs) in prize money.
The most awaited event of the 16-event series, the VND 8 Billion GTD Main Event logged in 525 entries across its four starting flights. Tuan was the only Vietnamese on the final table and came in with the second-largest stack in play.
For Sapra, the series marked the start of his appointment as an APL brand ambassador. Sapra is the only Indian in the APL’s ‘Da Dors’ roster of team pros, and he undoubtedly made his run at the APL Da Nang Main Event count! After cashing in the Kickoff Event, Sapra entered Day 1A of the Main Event and was among the 133 players from the 525-strong field who made it to Day 2. Despite a roller-coaster ride, Sapra was able to make it to the final table where he ended his brilliant run in fifth place!
Though not his career-best score (Sapra had finished third in the APL Road Series Vol. 3 High Rollers last year for ₹25.65 Lakhs), it adds to the Indian pro’s long list of achievements on the Asian circuit. The seasoned Indian pro wasted no time entering Day 1B of the High Roller that was already underway by the time he busted the Main Event.
Talking to us later, Sapra said, “Playing the HR now, had a good run, got a little unlucky at the end but no complaints as I did get lucky earlier to survive KK vs. AA. Hoping to take this form into the new year as there are several events in India and abroad in January.”
Besides Sapra, two more Indians, Vikas Sahni (36th for VND 49,000,000 – ₹1.49 Lakhs), and Manish Lakhotia (53rd for VND 41,500,000 – ₹1.27 Lakhs) had posted scores in the Main Event.
There are six more events to go before the series comes to a close on December 21, so stay tuned for more updates from Sapra and Team India.
The 525-entry field in the Main Event helped generate a prize pool worth VND 10,185,000,000. The top 66 places got paid, and the payouts list featured names like Soo Jo Kim (34th for VND 56,700,000), Ricky Cheung (35th for VND 56,700,000), Nguyen Toan Hung (40th for VND 49,000,000), Tran Huy Hoang (46th for VND 41,500,000), Linh Tran (50th for VND 41,500,000), Tobias Peters (57th for VND 35,000,000), Cao Ngoc Anh (63rd for VND 35,000,000), and Jeon Seung Soo (64th for VND 28,900,000).
Day 3 played down to the nine-handed final table, where coming out on top as the end of play chip leader was Anton Widjaya (3,545,0000 – 118 BBs). Nguyen Minh Tuan (2,700,000 – 90 BBs) was a distant second in chips while Sumit Sapra (970,000 – 32 BBs) was one of the shorter stacks on the final table.
Final Table Chip Counts
Watch the final eight in action below.
Final Table Recap
The first hand on the final table was scooped by APL Ambassador Sumit Sapra.
Six hands later, it was short-stacked Young Hwan Sun making his way out to the rail in ninth place, his ace-ten cracked by start-of-day chip leader Anton Widjaya’s pocket queens.
With eight players remaining, the tournament organizers fired up the live-stream of the action on the Vietnam Series of Poker (VSOP) Facebook page. At this point, Widjaya was still holding on to his lead with a stack of 3,355,000. Sapra had improved to 1,155,000.
Then came the defining hand for Sapra where he doubled up through Tiger Lee Seok Young to ladder up to 2.115 Million. It was Sapra’s cowboys pitted against Seok’s pocket rockets, but a king on the window surged Sapra ahead with a set.
Next to go was Lee Jong Wook, whose all-in call with ace-six got looked up by Nguyen Minh Tuan, who was holding pocket aces. Failing to connect to the board, Wook was eliminated in eighth place.
Some of those chips went Sapra`s way when his pocket sevens dominated Tuan`s king-three.
About an hour later, Tuan scored his next knockout when he called off Zhang Chi’s preflop all-in shove. Tuan`s ace-king had Chi`s ace-queen dominated, and the rundown confirmed the latter`s departure in seventh place. Ten minutes later, Song Daewoong crashed out in sixth place.
The final table play had been a turbulent ride for India’s Sumit Sapra, and despite some early spin-ups, Sapra became the next player to fall. After Daewoong’s departure, Sapra lost some of his chips to Anton Widjaya. Soon, the Indian found his title hopes quashed. With the action folded to him, Sapra limped in from the small blind to see big blind Liu Jian move all-in. Sapra called at the risk of his tournament life with and was in good shape against Jian’s . Sadly for Sapra, the rundown gave Jian a better pair.
The chips exchanged hands for the next 90 minutes before Korea’s Tiger Lee Seok Young was booted out in fourth place. Lee had raised to 250,000 on which Jian 3-bet jammed. Lee tank-called, putting himself at risk.
Tiger Lee Seok Young
Jian hit two-pair on the board , cutting Young’s title hopes short.
The start-of-day chip leader, Indonesia’s Anton Widjaya had become the short stack after suffering several major blows. He made a vain attempt to improve by announcing all-in with . Jian came along with a call tabling and rivered a straight on the runout, eliminating Widjaya in third place.
Widjaya’s departure set up the heads-up match between China’s Liu Jian and Vietnam’s Nguyen Minh Tuan. Tuan was ahead with 8.745 Million versus Jian’s 6.93 Million, and it took him a little over a half-hour to close out his win.
Jian got a good headstart and started to close the distance, but Tuan reclaimed the lead soon after that. On the eighth hand of the heads-up, Tuan opened for 240,000 and Jian 3-bet to 850,000 to hear a call from Tuan. With the flop open , Jian fired a bet of 650,000, which Tuan called. After the turn, Jian led out for 1 Million, and Tuan called for the third time. The fifth street brought the , and Jian checked before Tuan jammed all-in. Jian risked his tournament life by calling it off.
Nguyen Minh Tuan
Tuan, with his king-high straight, took down the pot to win the Main Event title, while Jian had to concede to a runner-up finish.
Final Table Results (VND)
Content & Images Courtesy: Somuchpoker and APL
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