WPT Vietnam: India’s Alok Birewar & Praveen Dwarknath Advance to Day 2 in Kickoff Event

WPT Vietnam Cover
  • Profile picture
  • Namita Ghosh March 15, 2019
  • 3 minutes Read

After a successful inaugural run in Vietnam last year, World Poker Tour (WPT) once again returned to the Pro Poker Club in Ho Chih Minh City, Vietnam yesterday for its second edition.

Given Team India`s trailblazing run at the inaugural edition last year, we once again have a sizeable Indian contingent present in Vietnam this time around as well. 

The 11-day long series features 15 tournaments and the opening day saw two events, i.e., Kickoff and Deeptack take flight. While 74 runners entered Day 1A of the Kickoff event, the two-day Deepstack registered 88 entries.

The unique format of the Kickoff event has each flight of the event play down till the money. A full day of poker later in the first flight, only nine players managed to find a bag for Day 2. All nine players are in the money, and the list of survivors features two Indians – Alok Birewar (222,000) and Praveen Dwarkanath (84,000).

Alok Birewar
Alok Birewar is second in stacks among Day 1A Kickoff survivors

Birewar has enjoyed a breakout 2018 and has been on a high wave of wins and deep runs since last year, where he won the February 2018 DPT ₹65K High Roller for ₹17.74 Lakhs and went on to finish runner-up in the July DPT Adda52 ₹65K High Roller 8-Max for ₹18,70,000. Birewar is no stranger at WPT Vietnam as he had finished third in the NLHE Team Freezeout last edition for VND 13,970,000. He capped off a hugely successful year with another win by taking down the 2018 WPT India 25K Big Bounty Event for ₹7,80,000. Among the Kickoff Day 1A survivors, Birewar’s stack is second only to Israel’s Ifay Kav (250,000).


Indian Participation At WPT Vietnam

Vietnam has fast emerged as one of the most preferred poker destinations in Asia for Indian players. Last year the first-ever WPT Vietnam was hosted from September 26 to October 4 with 14 tournaments on the schedule and met with a great response from the Indian poker community. The 2018 WPT Vietnam set a record prize pool, with the Main Event turning out to be the biggest poker event ever hosted in Vietnam.

Team India dominated the felts at the inaugural WPT Vietnam with Zarvan Tumboli claiming the Ho Chi Minh Cup, and Akshay Nasa taking down the NLHE Deepstack Turbo. It was, however, Dhaval Mudgal who captured the limelight by taking down the Main Event for his career-best score of VND 2,427,580,000 (~US$104,000 or ₹76.02 Lakhs).

The Indian challengers will be looking to repeat their feat and the Main Event defending champion, Mudgal was at the venue yesterday and spoke to us. “I will be playing most of the events as I really enjoy playing in Vietnam. I’ve found playing a fairly basic strategy is quite profitable here so will try and stick to what works. Am looking forward to the opportunity to defend my title!” 

While Kalyan Chakravarthy, Sahil Mehboobani, Abhinav Iyer, VB Vinstill and Abhinav Iyer have also confirmed their participation, Team PokerGuru ambassador, Ashish Munot as well as Ayush Garg, VB Vinstill, Ayush Garg, Akshay Nasa, Meherzad Munsaf, Raman Gujral, Nikunj Jhunjhunwala, Goonjan Mall, Rubin Labroo, Manoj Pentakota, Abhineet Jain and Eka Vedantham are all likely to join the action in the next few days.

Talking about the events he plans to play, 2019 APT Vietnam Main Event champion Abhinav Iyer said, “I will be trying to play as many events I can. The Kickoff, Main, HR, SHR (if it gets decent numbers) is what I’ve planned and the other side events if there’s not much overlap of events.” His strategy on the felts? “I will try to play all hands optimally and be focused and hydrated through the series,” Iyer explained.


WPT Asia Pacific Player of the Year Race

Incidentally, India`s Dhaval Mudgal and Nikunj Jhunjhunwala are currently the top 2 contenders in the WPT Season XVII Asia Pacific Player of the Year race with 1,000 points each. While Mudgal is already at the venue, Jhunjhunwala, when contacted, said that he would in all probability be joining the series sometime soon. Both players can add significantly to their tally in the ongoing series, with just one more series to go, i.e., WPT New Zealand in May before the winners are declared.

Dhaval Mudgal
Dhaval Mudgal

The player winning the WPT Asia Pacific POY will take home a $10,000 WPT passport and a custom winner trophy, complimentary accommodation in Season XVIII WPT Asia Pacific events and ground transportation.


Kickoff- Day 1A Recap

The Kickoff VND 3 Billion GTD (₹89.54 Lakhs) features a buy-in of VND 10,000,000 and three starting flights, allowing up to two re-entries per flights. Each flight is structured to play down to the In-the-money players.

Day 1A attracted 74 entries to the field. The action remained intense and end of the day, only nine players could make it further.

From the Indian contingent two players Alok Birewar and Praveen Dwarkanath made it to Day 2, and with that, they both made it in the money as well.

Praveen Dwarkanath
Praveen Dwarkanath

Birewar, in fact, is placed second in chips with a stack of 222,000, close behind Israel’s Ifay Kav (250,000). Also in contention is Praveen Dwarkanath (84,000) who is shortest among the remaining players.


 Day 1A ITM Players

  1. Ifay Kav – 250,000
  2. Alok Birewar – 222,000
  3. Yuriy Boyko – 211,000
  4. Andre Lettau – 172,000
  5. Dung Pro – 167,000
  6. Thien Tan Nguyen – 139,000
  7. Thanh Quyen – 137,000
  8. Ray Chiu -98,000
  9. Praveen Dwarkanath – 84,000


On the tap today is Day 2 of the Deepstack, along with Day 1B of Kickoff event and the third event on the series’ roster, i.e., VND 5,500,000 buy-in Deepstack Turbo.

Satellites to the much-awaited WPT Vietnam VND 8 Billion GTD (₹2,38,79,508) Main Event that features a buy-in of 25M VND (₹74,623) will begin as early as March 15, the first of its three starting flights kicks off on March 19. The event will play down to a winner on March 23.


2019 WPT Vietnam Schedule

DateTime (ICT)EventBuy-In
March 141 PMWPT Vietnam Kickoff Day 1AVND 10,000,000
5.30 PMDeepstack 2-DayVND 6,600,000
March 1512.30 PMDeepstack Day 2
1 PMKickoff Day 1B
6 PMDeepstack TurboVND 5,500,000
March 1612.30 PMWPT Vietnam Kickoff Day 1C
6 PMWPT Vietnam Kickoff Day 1D Turbo
March 1712.30 PMWPT Vietnam Kickoff Day 2
1 PMBounty 2-Day (2M Per Bounty, 2 Re-entry)VND 6,600,000
1.30 PMWPT Vietnam Super High Roller Day 1VND 100,000,000
March 181 PMBounty Event Day 2
1.15 PMWPT Vietnam Super High Roller Day 2
1.30 PMShort Deck Hold 'em 2-DayVND 7,700,000
6 PMDeepstack TurboVND 5,500,000
March 1912.30 PMShort Deck Hold 'em Day 2
1 PMWPT Vietnam Main Event Day 1AVND 25,000,000
1.30 PMPLO 2-DayVND 8,800,000
March 201 PMWPT Vietnam Main Event Day 1B
1.15 PMPLO Day 2
5 PMMix Max Freezeout 2-DayVN D 6,600,000
March 2112.30 PMMix Max Freezeout (Day 2 6-Max)
1 PMWPT Vietnam Main Event Day 1CVND 25,000,000
5.30 PMTeams Event FreezeoutVND 8,800,000
March 2212 PMWPT Vietnam Main Event Day 2
12.30 PMWPT Vietnam High Roller Day 1AVND 50,000,000
1 PMShootout Flight 1 2-Day EventVND 6,600,000
5.30 PMShootout Flight 2
March 2312.30 PMWPT Vietnam High Roller Day 1BVND 50,000,000
12.45 PMShootout Final Day 2
1 PMWPT Vietnam Main Event Final Day
6 PMWPT Pro Poker Club Superstack ClassicVND 50,000,000
12.45 PMShootout Final Day 2
1 PMWPT Vietnam Main Event Final Day
6 PMWPT Pro Poker Club Superstack ClassicVND 11,000,000
March 2412.30 PMWPT Vietnam High Roller Day 2
1 PMWPT Pro Poker Club Superstack Classic Day 2
4 PMSuperstack TurboVND 5,500,000


Content & Images Courtesy: Danny McDonagh & World Poker Tour

Keep following PokerGuru for more exciting updates from the 2019 WPT Vietnam!

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Up Your Game

  • Learn from the best Connect with India's top players
  • Boost your bankroll Exclusive real money bonuses
  • Claim your profile Your personal poker dashboard

Top Online Poker Rooms