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The stars for Team India are on the rise with our pros doing exceedingly well at nearly every international stop they visit, and a significant contributor to this is the success stories of Indian players in Vietnam. For the second time this year, an Indian pro has lifted the prestigious Asian Poker Tour (APT) Vietnam trophy! Following on Abhinav Iyer’s footsteps who won this very event in January, Akshay Nasa has now become the second Indian to win the APT Vietnam Main Event title – his third live title in Vietnam. Nasa came out on the top of a 436-strong entry field at the APT and ran through a star-studded final table on Tuesday night to win the top prize of VND 1,486,560,000 (~₹46 Lakhs) following an ICM deal!
Final Table Results (VND)
*denotes an ICM-based heads-up deal
Nasa’s ride to the top was nothing less than phenomenal. Starting off as one of the shortest stacks in the field, he rose exponentially to take the second-biggest stack to Day 3 among 52 survivors. Though Nasa ended Day 3 placed fifth among the final eight players, he returned on the final table with renewed aggression. Despite the swings, Nasa was able to cruise into the heads-up against Vincent Chauve. Victory seemed a tall order for Nasa, who was clearly the underdog at the start of the heads-up play with a stack of 1.7 Million versus Chauve’s monster stack of 9.2 Million. With an ICM-based deal in place that left the title and VND 90,960,000 in play, Nasa went on to display terrific form and defeated Chauve to win his first APT title.
Chauve took home a bigger payday of VND 1,544,200,000 (~₹47 Lakhs). Interestingly, through most of the preflop all-in showdowns on the final table, Nasa stuck to his superstitious belief of turning his back on the table when the board was being opened. Even Chauve got up and turned his back to the table a couple of times he went all-in against Nasa during the heads-up including the final hand of the tournament!
Even though Nasa`s Vietnam scorecard boasted of two side event victories – both at the WPT, this win brought him his career-best score and his first APT trophy. With this win, he also bettered his previous top score of ₹38.36 Lakhs that he’d won for a second-place finish at the APPT Manila National last year.
There was another strong Indian contender in the running for the Main Event trophy – PokerGuru Ambassador Ankit Wadhawan. The Chandigarh-based pro had recently posted a fourth-place finish at the IPC ₹100K High Roller followed by a runner-up finish in the BPT ₹100K High Roller. Wadhawan ended up landing another impressive fourth-place finish at the APT Vietnam Main Event and earned a hefty ₹18.83 Lakhs for his efforts.
Also posting an impressive finish was Indian-origin player Jaesh Balachandran who had come into the final table as the shortest stack and hit the rail in eighth place to pocket VND 227,310,000 (~₹7.02 Lakhs).
Apart from Nasa and Wadhawan, four more Indians posted deep runs in the event.
Team India Finishes at APT Vietnam Main Event
|Akshay Nasa||1st||VND 1,486,560,000 - ₹46 Lakhs|
|Ankit Wadhawan||4th||VND 608,730,000 - ₹18.83 Lakhs|
|Madhav Gupta||11th||VND 131,550,000 – ₹4.06 Lakhs|
|Dhaval Mudgal||14th||VND 109,620,000 – ₹3.38 Lakhs|
|Ashish Munot||30th||VND 52,870,000 - ₹1.63 Lakhs|
|Vinay Agarwal||36th||VND 52,870,000 - ₹1.63 Lakhs|
Final Table Chip Counts
You can watch the final table replay below.
Final Table Recap
Even though he entered the final table fifth in chips, Akshay Nasa soon spun his stack up. Early in action, he dug into fellow countryman Ankit Wadhawan’s stack with his pocket eights getting the better of the PokerGuru Ambassador`s pocket treys.
Several hands later, Nasa scored a massive double-up via Sofia Lovgren with his flopped set of queens cracking the latter’s ace-king. Nasa`s stack was soaring, having reached 2.2 Million after this hand.
On the 46th hand on the final table, Indian-origin player Jaesh Balachandran, who was actually making his first recorded in-the-money run, moved all-in with his last two big blinds from the big blind with and was called by the other short stack Cuong Nguyen from the small blind with . The board ran ending Balachandran’s run in eighth place.
Around 11 hands later, Chauve raised 90,000 from UTG with and Cuong Nguyen jammed for 460,000 from the hijack with . Big blind Nasa who had called for 420,000. Chauve called for less to see the flop open . Both Nasa and Chauve checked through to see the turn card . Nasa led out for 350,000, and Chauve called. The river was the , and both Nasa and Chauve tapped the felts. Nasa’s flopped pair of kings saw him collect the pot eliminating Nguyen in seventh place.
Play slowed down then, and over the next few hands, Nasa went on to amass close to 46% of the chip in play – some of that at Sofia Lovgren`s expense who dropped to 11 big blinds.
Lovgren went to work by doubling up through Wilson Choi. Despite the setback, Choi sprung back up, collecting no less than eight big pots. One of these double-ups was through Nasa after his king-queen improved to a pair of kings to dominate Nasa’s pocket tens.
Bien Duc Nguyen was the next one out in sixth place. It was the 113th hand of final table play, and the action began with Sofia Lovgren raising for 145,000 from the button with . Small blind Wilson Choi who had 3-bet it to 500,000. Bien Duc Nguyen, who had shoved all-in for 880,000. Lovgren got out of the way but Choi called and flopped a set of fives on the rundown to send Nguyen packing.
On the 160th hand of the night, 888poker ambassador Sofia Lovgren was booted out by Chauve in fifth place when his spiked a deuce on the river through the board to dominate Lovgren’s .
Chauve kept climbing and claimed his next victim 12 hands later in Ankit Wadhawan. Like Nasa, Wadhawan, too, had a swingy ride on the final table. Left with a short stack, he finally moved all-in with , and Chauve looked him up with . The board paired Chauve’s ace ending Wadhawan’s run in fourth place.
Three-handed play went on for a while before Chauve announced all-in for 7.7 Million on which big blind Wilson Choi called and put in his entire stack of 1.2 Million.
The battle of the blinds saw the board run , and Chauve’s jacks held up, eliminating Choi in third place.
The heads-up play between Nasa and Vincent Chauve began with the latter holding almost 84% of the chip in play, a stack of 9.2 Million versus Nasa’s 1.7 Million.
Nasa soon added to his stack, only to drop down again. The turning point came when Nasa moved all-in for 1.7 Million with , and Chauve made the call with . In his characteristic style, Nasa got up from his seat and stood with his back to the final table, and Chauve followed suit. The board ran , and Nasa’s higher two-pair got him the much-needed double-up.
After some back and forth, the two players shook hands on an ICM deal that assured Chauve VND 1,544,200,000 and Nasa VND 1,395,600,000 (~₹43 Lakhs) with the trophy and the additional VND 90,960,000 (~₹2.80 Lakhs) left in play.
Hereon, Nasa charted a monumental rise and rode his dominance all the way to victory. The final hand saw Nasa limping in with , and big blind Chauve announced all-in for 2.7 Million with . Nasa called. With the board running , Nasa’s two-pair of jacks and nines won him the pot and also his first-ever APT trophy!
Final Table Results (VND)
*denotes an ICM-based heads-up deal
*This article has been updated at 3:30 pm on November 13.
Content & Images Courtesy: Asian Poker Tour
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