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A little more than two weeks into 2019 and India already has her first live international title! Young Gun Abhinav Iyer (cover image) did the country proud by taking down the VND 8 Billion GTD Main Event at the 2019 Asian Poker Tour (APT) Vietnam for a whopping VND 2,269,092,000 (₹69.51 Lakhs) which also happens to be Iyer’s career-best score till date!
The Mumbai lad had been in peak form last year, not only making his World Series of Poker (WSOP) debut, but also posting several scores on the live and online felts. He seems to have carried his spectacular form into the new year as he completely dominated his way on the final stretch of the Main Event to eventually win the title very convincingly. Following Dhaval Mudgal’s WPT Vietnam Main Event win in October 2018, Iyer’s APT title win has now firmly established Vietnam as Team India`s new favorite hunting ground!
Iyer entered the final day with a chip lead of 4,825,000 and within the early levels of play, Iyer’s stack had crossed the 10 Million-mark with his next closest opponent, Te Mai a distant second with 2.6 Million in chips. The final table lasted for close to three hours and in that time Iyer eliminated five out of the eight finalists including Sim Kok Wai, Ming Yang Liu, Mark Gruendemann, Huu Tuan Nguyen and Daiki Hirokawa. Throughout the course of play, Iyer never relinquished his chip lead and eventually started the heads-up play against Hirokawa with an overwhelming 5:1 chip advantage. The Japanese pro was unable to overcome the chip gap, leading to Iyer’s victory.
In fact, Iyer had even sold his action for several events of the series on social media. His Main Event win is not only momentous for him but was also profitable for his backers!
Speaking to PokerGuru shortly after winning the Main Event title, Abhinav Iyer said, “Feels great to bag my first title and the first for India at the start of the year. It’s been a wait to get a title but was worth it. Very excited and looking forward to rest of the series and Aussie Millions!”
A large contingent of Indians were seen in action at the Main Event, with 19 challengers making the cut for Day 2 and Manish Lakhotia (108,100) bagging the biggest stack from the Indian camp. By the end of Day 2, only six contenders remained.
Iyer started Day 3 with a stack of 272,500 and was the only Indian to make it to the final table. However, three other Indians also managed to post scores in the event, namely Eka Vedantham (45th for ₹1.68 Lakhs), Dhaval Mudgal (49th for ₹1.40 Lakhs), and Meherzad Munsaf (58th for ₹1.16 Lakhs).
You can catch the final table action here.
1. Abhinav Iyer – 4,825,000
2. Te Mai – 2,105,000
3. Daiki Hirokawa – 1,740,000
4. Ming Yang Liu – 1,625,000
5. Huu Tuan Nguyen – 1,235,000
6. Mark Gruendemann – 1,060,000
7. Sim Kok Wai – 895,000
8. Hak Do Kim – 895,000
The first elimination on the eight-handed final table was Sim Kok Wai. With blinds at 40,000/80,000, the action folded to Abhinav Iyer who raised to 185,000 from the hijack with and Wai moved all-in for 665,000 from the cutoff holding . Iyer called for 480,000 and the dealer flipped over . Iyer flopped a pair of tens to knock out Wai in eighth place. Iyer`s stack swelled to 6 Million after the hand.
On the 5th hand, Iyer took out another player. He opened with 80,000 from the cutoff with , Huu Tuan Nguyen called from the button with , along with Hak Do Kim who was in the small blind holding . Ming Yang Liu moved all-in for 805,000 from big blind with . Kim re-shoved all-in, while Iyer and Nguyen checked to see the community cards . Iyer picked up two pairs of sevens and fives to eliminate Liu in seventh place. Iyer`s stack got another boost to reach 9.5 Million.
In the very next hand, Mai Te raised to 200,000 from under-the-gun with and Hak Do Kim jammed from the button for 250,000 with and Te promptly called with 50,000. The runout brought Te a pair of aces ending Kim’s run in sixth place.
On the 8th hand just before the first break of the day, it was Irishman Mark Gruendemann‘s turn to depart. Gruendemann, who was already short-stacked, moved all-in with and came up against the massive chip leader Iyer, who held . The community cards read and Iyer picked up a top pair on the turn, ousting Gruendemann in fifth place.
Down to four-handed play, Iyer had a dominating 59% of the chips in circulation. With the blinds at 50,000/100,000, Iyer raised to 250,000 from the button with and Huu Tuan Nguyen shoved all-in from the small blind with . Te Mai folded and Iyer snap-called. The rundown once again favoured the Indian Young Gun, who made two pairs of aces and fives, leading to Nguyen’s fourth place exit.
With three players left, Te Mai was down to only 19 big blinds. He eventually moved all-in with against Iyer who held . The board ran out and was of no help to Mai who busted out in third place.
The final showdown between Abhinav Iyer (12 Million) and Daiki Horikawa began with Iyer starting off as the massive chip leader over the latter. Horikawa tried hard to overcome the huge chip gap but in the end, it proved to be too steep a climb for the Japanese pro.
On the final hand on the event, Iyer raised to 500,000 with and Horikawa moved all-in with . The board brought . Though Horikawa flopped a pair of queens, Iyer improved his hand to three-of-a-kind deuces to win his career-first live title, along with an impressive payday of VND 2,269,092,000 (₹69,51,174)!
1. Abhinav Iyer – VND 2,269,092,000
2. Daiki Horikawa – VND 1,512,731,000
3. Te Mai – VND 1,051,629,000
4. Huu Tuan Nguyen – VND 759,571,000
5. Mark Gruendemann – VND 568,039,000
6. Hak Do Kim – VND 438,408,000
7. Ming Yang Liu – VND 348,137,000
8. Sim Kok Wai – VND 283,642,000
Images & Content courtesy: Asian Poker Tour
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