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After three days of battle over a field of 499 players, Vietnam’s Dang Xuan Canh (cover image) topped them all to win the APT Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Main Event VND 6 Billion GTD Championship and the grand first place prize of VND 1,636,720,000 (~₹48.96 Lakhs). For Canh who beat Minh Le in a grueling heads-up match, the victory comes as his career first international title and his largest score till-date. Along with the top prize, he also claimed the APT Championship trophy and the APT ring for his win.
Young Gun Devesh Thapar was one of the top contenders at the marquee event that was hosted in Pro Poker Club, also the tour’s event partner. Thapar made a deep run to finish in 13th place, pocketing VND 115,410,000 (~₹3.40 Lakhs).
The Main Event Championship attracted a number of players from Asia, Europe and Australia, building a massive prize pool of VND 9.68 Billion (~₹2.87 Crores) that was the biggest in the history of poker tournaments hosted in Vietnam.
A total of 203 players advanced to Day 2 from three starting flights that also featured Indian players Sumit Sapra and Ravi Priya, who made it through the Day 1B flight. While their run ended early on Day 2, Thapar was among the top 10 stacks after Day 1C and later on Day 2 where he worked his way up to take the third biggest stack to Day 3 holding 547,000 in chips. On Day 3, he dominated the play in the first few hours and took his stack to over a million in chips but started chipping down before his dream run abruptly ended when he went all in with queen-jack against the pocket rockets of his opponent, who then clipped a set on the ace-high board.
Eventual champion Dang was aggressively dominant from the get-go. He entered Day 2 at the top of the survivors from Day 1A flight and then reached the final table with the second biggest stack.
Final Day Recap
In the second hand of the day, short-stacked Le Duc Anh was eliminated by eventual runner up Le in eighth place with the former’s ace-queen running against the latter’s ace-king.
Next, Tran Duc Phuong locked horns with Hai Chuot with his pocket eights that couldn’t beat the latter’s pocket jacks and he returned to the rail in seventh place.
Holding the chip led for a while, Hai Chuot went head-to-head against Canh and pushed with on the turn, while Chuot tank-called with . The board ran and Chuot’s stack stumbled down and he eventually fell to Chieh Lo and bounced out in sixth place while Canh acquired nearly 40% of the chips in play.
Lien Kang Feng was then overtaken by Tzu Chieh Lo in a hand where Lo’s ace-queen improved to a full house while Lien held ace-king on the board queen-ace-queen-eight-king. Feng was eliminated in fifth place.
Falling in fourth place was Tzu Chieh Lo who despite having stacked up after busting Feng, confronted Canh in a hand where Canh held on the board with bets at every stage. There was no all in but Canh dug 2M out of Lo’s stack and a couple of hands later, Canh relegated Lo to the rail in fourth place.
In three-handed play, Vu Duct Trung was eliminated after he lost a pot to Minh Le and was unable to recover, subsequently losing all his chips to Canh.
Heads-up, Canh had a huge chip lead over Minh Le but the latter gave him a tough fight and the heads up lasted longer than expected. Le grabbed the chip lead after winnings a series of pots, including a crucial hand where he held on a board that read forcing Canh to muck his hand. However, Canh staged a comeback with pocket aces and won the big pot on a board of eight-three-queen-two-seven against Le’s queen pair.
On the final hand, Canh open-called Le’s 3-bet. On the flop , Canh bet and Le check-raised and Canh called to see the turn . All the chips went in the middle and Canh tabled for a three-of-a-kind while Le showed . The river gave Canh the pot, who claimed nearly all the chips in play. Le was soon eliminated in runner-up place and Canh was crowned the new APT Main Event champion!
Final Day Results (VND)
1. Dang Xuan Canh – VND 1,636,720,000
2. Minh Le – VND 1,091,150,000
3. Vu Duc Trung – VND 761,810,000
4. Tzu Chieh Lo – VND 554,530,000
5. Lien Kang Feng – VND 419,090,000
6. Hai Chuot – VND 327,560,000
7. Tran Duc Phuong – VND 263,820,000
8. Le Duc Anh – VND 218,230,000