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With Macau facing a bleak poker scenario due to legal and regulatory clampdowns, Vietnam has seen its fortune rising with popular brands like WPT and APT hosting regular events in the country. Vietnam firmly established itself as one of the top poker destinations in Asia last year and has kicked off the New Year with a bang with the Asian Poker Tour (APT) Vietnam 2019 that is currently underway at the Pro Poker Club in Ho Chi Minh City. The series kicked off on January 9 and is slated to run till January 20 with a full schedule of 22 events (all with a big blind ante format) guaranteeing a total of VND 14 Billion in prizes.
Headlining the series is the VND 22 Million Main Event (January 10 to 15) that guarantees an impressive VND 8 Billion in prize money, alongside the VND 38.5 Million Championships Event (January 16 to 20) with a VND 6 Billion guarantee. The official sponsor of the stop, Dafabet, is hosting great promotions including the Dafabet APT Survivor surrounding the Main Event and their sponsored Head Hunter event.
The series has already crowned two champions in just two days of play, with Michael Kim Falcon winning the Monster Stack event and Alex Lindop taking down the Super High Rollers event.
The second day of the series also signaled the start of the featured event at the stop, i.e. VND 22 Million Main Event with the first of three starting flights registering 105 entries. After end of play, 42 players advanced to Day 2 including six Indians, namely, WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant (88,600), Akash Malik (56,600), Nishant Sharma (54,900), Eka Vedantham (46,100), Siddarth Jain (36,200), and Siddharth Kapoor (9,500).
Team India may have bricked the PokerStars Players Championship in the Bahamas, but they are eager to make amends as over a dozen Indian challengers have flown in for the series and three among them have already cashed the opening event.
Comprising the Indian representation at the series are WSOP bracelet winner Aditya Sushant, Dhaval Mudgal, Kunal Patni, Romit Advani, Meherzad Munsaf, Shravan Chhabria, Eka Vedantham, Madhav Gupta, Abhinav Iyer, Vinod Megalmani, Akshay Nasa, Nishant Sharma, Akash Malik, Siddarth Jain, Siddharth Kapoor and Vishal Tajpuria among others.
Vietnam has been a very fertile land for Team India in the past, most notably Dhaval Mudgal, who took down the WPT Vietnam 2018 Main Event for VND 2,427,580,000 (~₹76.02 Lakhs) last year. As expected he is back again for another series here and will be looking for another profitable outing.
However, Zarvan Tumboli who had won the Ho Chi Minh Cup at the WPT Vietnam stop last year is missing in action this time around.
Among the 174 entries (141 unique entries + 33 re-entries), only 54 runners made it past the opening day. With a VND 11,000,000 buy-in, the field size collected a total VND 1,687,800,000 prize pool with the top 29 players finishing in the money. The event was taken down by APT regular, Michael Kim Falcon who claimed the VND 383,346,000 top prize for his efforts.
Four Indians namely Aditya Sushant, Meherzad Munsaf, Shravan Chhabria and Vishal Tajpuria made it to final day. Sushant started off with a very workable 150,000 stack coming into the final day but missed the money line. Munsaf came back with 100,000 in chips and did slightly better by sneaking in a min-cash at 29th place worth VND 13,373,000 (₹40,608). Tajpuria ran the deepest with a 15th finish for VND 23,109,000 (₹70,172), while Chhabria settled for a 17th place finish for VND 23,109,000 (₹70,172).
Final Table Recap
After the fall of Quan Nguyen (10th place) and SJ Kim (9th place), Falcon eliminated Lim Yohwan aka Boxer in eighth place in a classic cooler of a hand that saw the former’s pocket aces dominating Boxer’s pocket queens.
Falcon had amassed over half the chips in play with 7 players remaining and before long, Antoine Follet (4th place), Tin Nguyen (5th place), Steffen Endres (6th place) and Huy Coshet (7th place) were eliminated in quick succession.
Down to three-handed, Falcon eliminated Tung Nguyen when his won against the latter’s . In the heads-up play, he came up against local talent Huu Tuan Nguyen, starting off with a seemingly insurmountable 10:1 chip lead. All it took were three hands of heads-up action for Falcon to win the title!
Final Table Results
The VND 107,500,000 buy-in Super High Rollers registered 24 unique entries with four additional re-entries creating a total VND 2,716,000,000 prize pool. The top five players crossed the money line with UK’s Alex Lindop topping them all to win the winner’s cheque worth VND 1,160,333,000.
13 players advanced to the final day including Ji Xia Qing (1,584,000), Feng Hua Huan (1,498,000), Linh Tran (1,241,000), Alan King Lun Lau (418,000), and Phachara Wongwichit (309,000).
Eventual champion Lindop bagged the overnight chip lead with 2,533,000 in chips and after seven hours of grueling action on the final day, came out on top after defeating Feng Hua Huan heads-up, to win the title.
Final Table Results
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