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Last night was replete with close finishes. In the ICC Cricket World Cup finals, England just about managed to inch ahead of New Zealand in what turned out to be the match of the century. The scorecard was equally tight in the Wimbledon Men’s finals that played down to a historic five-set match with the Wimbledon introducing an unprecedented tie-breaker in the fifth set that declared Djokovic the winner.
The poker community too had two final tables to sweat. The one closer home had PokerGuru Ambassador Ashish Munot entering the eight-handed final table in the Asian Poker Tour (APT) Vietnam Championships Event. Munot ultimately placed sixth and collected a career-best VND 319,830,000 (~₹9.48 Lakhs) in prize money. Fellow PokerGuru Ambassador Laksh Pal Singh was the only other Indian who cashed the Championships Event placing 16th for VND 83,160,000 (~₹2.46 Lakhs) on Day 3.
New Zealand’s Oliver Helm was the last player standing in the event. Helm defeated David Eruiaga heads-up to win his first major live title. While a top prize of VND 1,655,320,00 (~₹49 Lakhs) was reserved for the winner, the final three players made a deal because of which Helm got VND 1,218,670,000 (~₹36 Lakhs) in prize money.
“It’s pretty unreal. I went to APT in Manila and bricked every single tournament I entered. Didn’t cash a single event. I spent like 14 buy-ins so this is quite the turnaround. I’m quite happy,” said Helm, who lives in Bangkok and primarily plays online.The tournament ran a five-day course and registered 161 entries across two starting flights. Another 31 late entries on Day 2 helped the event avoid an overlay with the final prize pool collection touching VND 6,518,400,000 (~₹1.93 Crores).
At least six Indian players were seen in action at the event, namely, Manoj Pentakota, Vaibhav Sharma, Manish Lakhotia, Sumit Sapta & PokerGuru Ambassador`s Laksh Pal Singh – Ashish Munot. Among this group, only Sapra, Singh and Munot made it to Day 3 with Sapra falling out before the money bubble.
The top 20 places were paid with a min-cash worth VND 69,300,000 (~₹2.05 Lakhs).
Some notables who took home a share of the prize money were Tran Huy Hoang (9th for VND 172,440,000), Bobby Zhu (10th for VND 143,700,000) and Cao Ngoc Anh (18th for VN D 83,160,000).
By the time the play got down to the final table, Filipino Joseph Talamayan (3,715,000 – 155 big blinds) had taken over a dominating chip lead holding almost a third of the chips in play. His closest competitor Oliver Helm (1,476,000 – 62 big blinds) had less than half that, while India`s Ashish Munot (1,041,000 – 43 big blinds) was a distant third in chips.
Final Table Chip Counts
Watch the final table live stream in action here.
Final Table Recap
Early into the final table, start-of-day chip leader Joseph Talamayan lost his chip advantage after losing two massive pots. The second of these pots saw Talamayan losing a significant sized pot to Oliver Helm’s pocket kings and with the latter took over the chip lead.
On the 16th hand of the day, Singapore’s Lim Chor Heng was coolered by Duong who held pocket aces over his pocket kings.
Shortly after that, Japan’s Tanaka Masatoshi fell in seventh place when his pocket fives failed to improve against David Erquiaga’s pocket aces.
Helm in the meantime was the table captain and took down another pot to extend his lead.
The lone Indian on the final table, Ashish Munot, then saw his tournament run ending in sixth place. On his last hand in the tournament, Munot moved all-in with on the flop and Joseph Talamayan called off with . Talamayan who was already leading then completed his flush on the turn ending the PokerGuru Ambassador’s stellar tournament run.
The next level saw Erquiaga getting the better of Helm as he exposed two bluff attempts by the latter, but the subsequent elimination took a long time coming.
Finally, Filipino Vamerdino Magsakay lost out in fifth place, when Duong’s pocket kings dominated his pocket sixes.
Not long after that, Joseph Talamayan found his outdrawn by Duong’s that hit trips on the rundown.
Once play got down to three-handed, Erquiaga kept winning major pots, and before long he was holding over 60% of the chips in play. Equiaga’s winning streak finally ended when he ran his into Helm’s that got the latter a massive double up. At this point, the three players starting exploring a deal and before long they had agreed to a flatter payout structure.
Almost immediately after the deal, Nguyen Nam Duong was eliminated in third place by Helm.
Helm entered the heads-up play with David Erquiaga holding an intimidating three-to-one chip lead, and it didn’t take him long to win the title. The final hand began with Erquiaga limping in, and Helm moved all-in. Erquiaga snap-called and the cards were tabled.
The board ran and Helm’s ace-kicker won him the title!
Final Table Results (VND)
*denotes three-way deal
Content & Images Courtesy: Asian Poker Tour
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