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The 2018 Asian Poker Tour (APT) Vietnam has seen big action and equally energetic performances this past week at the Pro Poker Club. Riding on the high wave are the Indian challengers who have had an eventful run in the series so far. With the tour about to conclude, it’s the Main Event that has kept the railbirds singing with excitement.
Most of the 85 players who had returned to the field on Day 3 have been eliminated, leaving only the final seven who will resume play today to decide the champion. Quang Nguyen (5,520,000) leads the seven finalists.
A team of six Indian`s, namely Kanishka Samant, Vivek Rughani, Sajal Gupta, Shashank Jain and Zarvan Tumboli, led by World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Nikita Luther had made it to Day 3 in the event, but all of them were eliminated short of the final table.
Headlining the Indian campaign was undoubtedly Luther, who pulled ahead right from the Day 1B flight that saw her bagging the chip lead. Luther took over the mantle as the overall chip leader among the 194 runners who returned on Day 2, with a stack of 954,000. As the Indian rail cheered on, Luther ended her run in 11th place (VND 135,160,000~ â‚¹4.32 Lakhs). For the ardent poker pro who joined the echelons of WSOP bracelet winners this summer (paired with German pro Guiseppe Pantaleo) to win the 2018 WSOP Tag Team Event, it’s been quite an eventful year. Luther has also captained the Global Teams Event at the 2018 World Poker Tour (WPT) Korea and her deep run at the Main Event now just adds another glittering score to her ever-growing resume.
Prior to her, Vivek Rughani was eliminated in 19th place (VND 98,730,000 ~â‚¹3.16 Lakhs). 2018 has been a breakout year for the young maverick, who made his first live score at the â‚¹15,000 NLHE – Bounty at the Deltin Poker Tournament in 2016. This year, he won an all-expenses paid trip to WSOP 2018 on 9stacks and went on to cash in three WSOP events, including an impressive 87th place finish in the WSOP Main Event that earned him â‚¹53.12 Lakhs in prize money.
The other Indian pro to score in the Main Event, Kanishka Samant (32nd for VND 61,650,000~â‚¹1.97 Lakhs) is an active Indian face in the Asian and domestic circuit and most famously won the â‚¹30,000 NLHE Kickoff Event at 2017 WPT India for a payday of â‚¹9.12 Lakhs. Online and live poker maestro Sajal Gupta (45th for VND 52,690,000~â‚¹1.68 Lakhs), Shashank Jain (79thfor VND 32,900,000 ~â‚¹1.05 Lakhs) who won the HK$1,500 NLHE Flipout Event in 2017 Macau Poker Cup and Zarvan Tumboli (71st for VND 32,900,000 ~â‚¹1.05 Lakhs), who is fresh off winning the Ho Chi Min Cup at the 2018 WPT Vietnam, also made commendable runs in the event.
Early into Day 3, with two eliminations away from the money, the short stacks made their bid to improve. Tetsuya Tsuchikawa doubled up with ace-jack over Zarvan Tumboli’s pocket kings after hitting trips on the board. Thereafter, Jerry Phan was knocked out in 85th place by Quang Nguyen who flopped a pair of aces against Phan’s pocket kings.
It was Aso Seitaro who bubbled the event after he moved all in with only to be confronted by Dang Toan Nguyen’s . The board was favorable to Nguyen running for a flush. Seitaro was eliminated in 84th place, but since he had bubble protection, he got his buy-in back in the form of APT tournament credits.
Among the notables who dropped out on Day 3 include, Son Putin (16th for VND 98,730,000), Dang Toan Nguyen (23rd for VND), former APT Championship winner Mak Wai Cheong (23rd for VND 72,130,000), Huu Dung Nguyen (25th for VND Daniel Tang (27th for VND 61,650,000), Natalie Teh (28th for VND 61,650,000), Benedict Koh (36th for VND 61,650,000), Prachaya Hegnsakul (59th for VND 38,900,000), Ruth Graham (63rd for VND 38,490,000), Nick Gorman (69th for VND 32,900,000), Phuong Nguyen (76th for VND 32,900,000), Pham Van Thang (78th for VND 32,900,000), Michael Stecker (80th for VND 32,900,000).
Main Event – Day 3
85 players returned to the felts on Day 3 of the Main Event from the 498 entries that had joined the event over the three starting flights. With the top 83 finishers assured a payday, two players were to go home empty-handed, though the event had bubble protection for players who had availed the facility.
Leading the charge was India`s Nikita Luther with a massive 954,000 in chips. Luther had consolidated to a stack of 1.1 Million by the time 56 players were remaining in the field and as the field whittled down to the final 39 runners, Luther was third in stacks, with 1.36 Million.
Maintaining her lead, she crossed 2 Million in chips after winning a massive pot from Son Putin where Luther raised early position for 35K and was called by Putin from cutoff. On the flop , both players checked while on the turn, Luther checked and Putin bet 46K, prompting Luther to call. On the river, Luther bet another 120K and Putin raised to 355K. Luther moved all in, forcing Putin to fold.
Unfortunately, it was a downward journey for Luther hereon. Though she held a commanding 2.14 Million in chips with 24 players remaining, Luther lost two consecutive pots to Minh Le and dropped down to 1.2 Million. Luther did try to revive her stack and did win some hands; she was holding around 1.6 Million in chips after losing a hand to Gonza Benjamin. One hand later, Luther was eliminated in hand where she held against Benjamin’s . The board ran and Benjamin’s hand held, sending Luther to the rail in 11th place.
Vivek Rughani who had entered Day 3 third in chips with 737,000 kept up the momentum for the better part of the day. He chipped up to 860,000 by Level 18 when only 56 players remained. However, later, Rughani lost most of his stack to Kajornnut where in an all-in preflop situation, Kajornnut held pocket nines against Rughani’s ace-ten and the former improved to a three-of-a-kind on a nine-seven-three-jack-queen board.
In Level 18, Rughani sent Prachaya Hegnsakul to the rail in a hand where he raised 20K from the cutoff and Hensakul defended his big blind. On the flop , Hensakul moved all in and was snap-called by Rughani. Hensakul showed for a two pair while Rughani tabled for top pair. The turn was a blank for Rughani but the on the river won him the pot, eliminating Hensakul in the process.
Rughani later doubled up through Daniel Tang with his ace-king leading Tang’s ace-queen.
Clearly, Rughani had a swingy day, and after losing several big pots, he made a comeback in Level 22 following a double up through Chi Chung Ho with his pocket queens improving to a set on the board, to win over Ho’s pocket tens that also improved to a set. The pot brought Rughani back in the game as he now held over a Million in chips.
Rughani’s tournament run however ended in 19th place when he moved all-in for 1.3 Million with and was matched by Tetsuya Tsuchikawa who held . The board ran ending Rughani`s deep run in the Main Event.
Day 3 saw many big pots and exciting hands. In Level 19, Phan Dinh Nam collected a big pot off Shyh Chyn Lim (48th for VND 45,030,000) who failed in his attempt to bluff. Lim, who was now short-stacked, was eliminated in the next hand where he clashed with Benedict Koh who held against his . The board ran bringing a pair of jacks for Koh.
Another crucial hand saw Mak Wai Cheong tripling up in a massive three-way pot with Anthony Bui and Luong Anh Tuan (43rd for VND 52,690,000). Bui held against Cheong’s and Tuan’s . The board ran and Cheong’s pocket queens won him the pot, while Tuan was eliminated and Bui`s stack was left crippled.
As the field narrowed down to the final 24, there were several quick eliminations on the same table. Minh Le eliminated Nguyen Dinh Anh Cuong (20th for VND 84,390,000) with his jack-ten pitched against Cuong’s queen-ten with a jack spiking on the board. With Cuong’s elimination, Tsuchikawa was declared the winner of the CoinPoker Last Man Standing promo. He won a free seat to the APT Finale Philippines Championships Main Event in November.
The elimination of Nam Nguyen (10th for VND 158,130,000) left only nine players in the field and Day 3 concluded with a bang, with Tsuchikawa scalping both Minh Le (8th for VND 218,430,000) and Nguyen PhuDanh (9thfor VND 185,020,000) in one hand.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Quang Nguyen – 5,520,000
2. Tetsuya Tsuchikawa – 4,930,000
3. Benjamin Gonzva – 4,220,000
4. Le Long Stephane – 3,710,000
5. Teoh Ming Nguyen – 3,120,000
6. Vu ManhPhong- 1,755,000
7. Mei San Ang – 1,600,000
A total of 38 players will return out of the total 104 entries in the CoinPoker High Rollers event where the top 18 places will punch a ticket to the money, with the winner taking home a prize of VND 1,264,650,000.
Richard Marquez (284,000) leads the 38 finalists and is followed by Konstantin Pogodin (271,500).
Top 5 Chip Counts At End of Day 1
1. Richard Marquez – 284,000
2. Konstantin Pogodin – 271,500
3. Vi Khoa – 266,000
4. Ken Okada – 236,500
5. Quan Nguyen – 222,000
In other side events, the NHLE 2 Event opened to 83 entries on Wednesday, collecting a prize pool of VND 644,080,000. After a day’s play, the field was whittled down to the final eight players who will return to the felts for a shot at the title and the VND 172,350,000 top prize.
The 2018 APT Vietnam closes today with 2 events on the tap including the Short Deck Poker tournament with a buy-in of VND 7,700,000 and the CoinPoker High Rollers Single Day- Shot Clock event that features a buy-in of VND 43,000,000.
Keep following all the latest updates from APT Vietnam 2018 right here on PokerGuru!