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The first APT stop of 2023 was a resounding success, with the 2023 Asian Poker Tour Hanoi Vietnam VSOP, in partnership with the Vietnam Series of Poker (VSOP) and sponsored by Natural8, registered healthy turnouts and the numerous new formats generating a lot of interest among players.
Vietnam has been the favored stomping ground for Indian players. Since 2022, the Indian contingent has dominated the softer fields, consistently improving their FT and title tally in numerous tournament festivals held in the country. The 2023 APT Hanoi Vietnam VSOP proved that the Indian battalion would not be slowing down this year, as the team posted 24 cashes – making seven FT finishes and bringing back five APT trophies!
The cherry on top of the cake was Kunal Patni‘s double whammy on the last two days of the series! The Goa resident ended his eight-year-long APT title hunt by taking down Event #36: Hyper Turbo – 8 Max on Saturday. The next day, he made it two-for-two by shipping the last tournament of the series, Event #41 Hyper Turbo – 8 Max, for VN₫156.11 Million.
PokerGuru caught up with the man of the moment. Patni said about finally winning an APT title, “I have waited eight years to get an APT trophy. Came so close to it so many times, but it always eluded me. I am ecstatic that I finally managed to get two back-to-back.”
Sharing his excitement on winning back-to-back APT trophies, Patni stated, “Both these events were small hyper turbo 8max events. I jumped into them only for trophy hunting and just ran good. The whole MTT got over in less than five hours. So it was a lot of fun!”
The 10-day-long series, held at the VSOP Poker Club, featured 34 events and attracted 667 unique players from 37 countries. The series featured a mix of popular fixtures and first-time tournaments, with both pulling in the crowds, resulting in a mouthwatering VN₫62,078,725,000 being awarded in prize money.
Patni scored in four tournaments (including two wins), raking in VN₫442.97 Million in winnings. He said about his experience at the series, “It’s always super fun to come for APT. I have been doing that for over eight years now. But now, with Victor Chong, Michael Soyza and Fred Leung, etc., involved with APT, it has become even better. Their love for the game is so evident, and it’s clear that they want to become one of the biggest names in the MTT circuit. The way they are going, I have no doubt about that happening. They have announced APT Taiwan, which is the biggest ever APT in the history of APT with a 1 Million GTD main event. No one has ever given such a big GTD in Asia. So that just speaks volumes about APT’s plan.”
With such a phenomenal start to the year, we were eager to know of Patni’s poker travel plans for the rest of the year. Indulging our curiosity, Patni revealed, “There are just way too many of them, and I need to still plan them. There’s WPT India, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Then there’s APT Phu Quoc and Taiwan. I obviously can’t do all of them, but I will be trying to do a couple of the above for sure. And after that is the big one – WSOP.”
Event #41: Hyper Turbo – 8 Max wasn’t the only tournament Patni scored in on the final day of the series. He made another deep run in Event #32: APT – High Roller – 8 Max, placing 17th for VN₫133.57 Million. Compatriots Jasven Saigal (7th for VN₫370.04 Million) and Ashish Munot (22nd for VN₫108.83 Million) also posted scores, with Latvia’s Aigars Plivcs taking down the APT High Roller for VN₫2.191 Billion.
India’s Riyana Rasheed picked up an FT score (her maiden cash of the series) in the penultimate tournament on the schedule – finishing sixth in Event #40: Hyper Turbo for VN₫14.65 Million. Vietnam’s Manh Tuong Ha cliched his maiden APT title in the event and the VN₫68.67 Million up top.
Hong Kong’s Kelvin Tan (Won Event #35: APT Mini Main Event for VN₫387.63 Million) and China’s Jinlong Hu (Won Event #38: High Speed Main Event for VN₫222.39 Million) won the other tournaments on the last day of the APT Hanoi Vietnam VSOP series.
India’s Kunal Patni Clinches Back-To-Back Titles; Champions Event #41: Hyper Turbo – 8 Max For VN₫156.11 Million
Buy-in – VN₫16.50 Million
Entries – 24
Re-entries – 5
Prize Pool – VN₫421.09 Million
Places Paid – 5
Indian pro Kunal Patni ended his run in the APT Hanoi VSOP series in style, winning back-to-back APT titles. A day after winning his maiden APT title in Event #36: Hyper Turbo – 8 Max, the banker-turned-poker pro proved his mettle once again in Event #41: Hyper Turbo – 8 Max, shipping it for VN₫156.11 Million – his best score in the series.
Patni faced tough competition from a field of 29 players (24 unique) but emerged as the champion after defeating South Korean player Chanhee Yea (2nd for VN₫107.60 Million) heads-up.
This victory pushed Patni’s series’ winnings to VN₫442.97 Million through four deep runs, which include:
> 1st in Event #41: Hyper Turbo – 8 Max for VN₫156.11 Million
> 17th in Event #32: APT – High Roller – 8 Max for VN₫133.57 Million
> 1st in Event #36: Hyper Turbo – 8 Max for VN₫106.94 Million
> 13th in Event #1: APT Kickoff for VN₫46.35 Million
Spartan Poker Team Pros Nikita Luther and Zarvan Tumboli had also participated in the event but failed to cross the money line.
Final Table Results (VN₫)
Latvian Poker Pro Aigars Plivcs Bags Career-Second APT High Roller Title in Event #32: APT High Roller 8 Max For VN₫2.192 Billion
Buy-in – VN₫55 Million
Entries – 108
Re-entries – 96
Prize Pool – VN₫9.894 Billion
Places Paid – 27
Latvian poker pro Aigars Plivcs emerged triumphant in the VN₫55 Million buy-in Event #32: APT High Roller 8 Max, defeating South Korea’s Seungmook Jung heads-up, securing his second-ever APT High Roller title.
Plivcs got dealt pocket aces at the right moment during the three-way play, which paved the way for him to collect the VN₫2.192 Billion top prize. This win marks Plivcs’ largest live tournament score to date, almost double his previous High Roller win at the 2022 APT Vietnam Ho Chi Minh in August.
The runner-up, Seungmook Jung, had to settle for a consolation prize of VN₫1.479 Billion. Popular Twitch streamer Jargo Alavali, who started the final table as the chip leader, placed third for VN₫1.018 Billion.
The VN₫3 Billion GTD Event #32: APT High Roller 8 Max attracted 204 entries over two starting flights (Day 1A – 64 & Day 1B – 140), collecting a guarantee-crushing VN₫9.894 Billion in the prize pool.
Day 2 began with 59 survivors (Day 1A – 15 & Day 1B – 44), and over half of them had to leave empty-handed, as only 27 places got paid.
Seven Indians made it to Day 2, namely – Event #1: APT Kickoff runner-up finisher Spartan Poker pro Zarvan Tumboli, Event #36: Hyper Turbo winner Kunal Patni, Alok Birewar, Jasven Saigal, Ashish Munot, Event #27: Single Day High Roller champion Shardul Parthasarathi, and Prashant Bhutoria.
Three Indians crossed the money line, with poker veteran Jasven Saigal (7th for VN₫370.04 Million) running the deepest – picking up his second cash in the series.
Event #36: Hyper Turbo winner Kunal Patni (17th for VN₫133.57 Million) – his fourth score in the series and Ashish Munot (7th for VN₫108.83 Million) – his first score in the series, were the other Indian player digging into the APT High Roller prize pool.
Tu Thanh Le (4th for VN₫830.11 Million), Dennis Ng (5th for VN₫661.91 Million), Truong Toan Chan (6th for VN₫508.55 Million), and Quang Huy Dinh (8th for VN₫268.13 Million) also FT-ed the APT High Roller.
UK’s Tom Alner (9th for VN₫221.63 Million) bubbled the eight-handed final table.
Other notables who made the money line but busted short of the final table include Peter Kiem (15th for VN₫148.41 Million), Grant Gardner (16th for VN₫133.57 Million), and Martin Finger (23rd for VN₫108.83 Million).
Final Table Results (VN₫)
Vietnam’s Manh Tuong Ha Captures Maiden APT Title in Event #40: Hyper Turbo For VN₫68.67 Million; India’s Riyana Rasheed Finishes 6th For VN₫14.65 Million
Buy-in – VN₫4.4 Million
Entries – 40
Re-entries – 19
Prize Pool – VN₫228.92 Million
Places Paid – 8
Vietnam’s Manh Tuong Ha championed Event #40: Hyper Turbo, claiming his first-ever APT title. Ha dominated the 59-player field, taking home the lion’s share of the VN₫228.92 Million prize pool worth VN₫68.67 Million.
In a thrilling heads-up showdown, Ha bested South Korea’s Woosuk Hong, who had to settle for a second-place payout of VN₫49.68 Million. Singapore’s Calvin Tan rounded out the top three, earning VN₫32.05 Million.
India’s Riyana Rasheed, making her first ITM finish in the event, paced sixth for VN₫14.65 Million.
Final Table Results (VN₫)
Hong Kong’s Kelvin Tan Wins Maiden APT Title in Event #35: Mini Main Event For VN₫387.63 Million
Buy-in – VN₫8,800,000
Entries – 158
Re-entries – 92
Prize Pool – VN₫1,940,000,000
Places Paid – 36
Hong Kong’s Kelvin Tan made headlines by winning the VN₫8.80 Million buy-in Event #35 Mini Main Event. He triumphed over a massive 250-player field (158 unique) and defeated USA’s Tayyab Inam heads-up.
This was Tan’s third cash and second final table appearance of the series, and he collected the lion’s share of the VN₫1.94 Billion prize pool, claiming the top prize of VN₫387.63 Million. Inam took home the runner-up prize of VN₫257.73 Million. Vietnam’s Thai Bao Vu rounded out the podium in third place, banking VN₫188.51 Million.
Final Table Results (VN₫)
China’s Jinlong Hu Wins First-Ever Event #38: High-Speed Main Event For VN₫222.39 Million – His Second APT Title
Buy-in – VN₫11,000,000
Entries – 71
Re-entries – 24
Prize Pool – VN₫921,500,000
Places Paid – 13
The APT Hanoi Vietnam hosted the newest addition to the schedule, the first-ever VN₫11 Million buy-in Event #38: High-Speed Main Event on Sunday. China’s Jinlong Hu navigated through a 95-player field (71 unique) to take down his second APT title in the series (his third APT title overall) for VN₫222.39 Million.
Hu and heads-up opponent Lok Ching Li chopped the title heads-up (via ICM), opting to leave VN₫7 Million and the trophy aside for the winner, which Hu claimed.
Li locked up a profitable ₫189.07 Million for his runner-up finish. China’s Xixiang Luo banked ₫111.96 Million for rounding out the podium – his third final table appearance and fifth cash of the series.
November’s APPT Cambodia Mini Main Event champion, Zarvan Tumboli, was the only Indian in the field but made a relatively quick exit.
The top 13 finishers boarded the money bus and earned a share of the VN₫921.50 Million prize pool.
Complete Results (VN₫)
*denotes a heads-up deal
Content & Images Courtesy: Asian Poker Tour
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