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It took five days of poker action for the 213-player field at the APT Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Championships Event to play down to a champion. Local talent Cao Ngoc Anh (cover image) won the tournament, bagging the first-place payday of VND 1,304,030,000 (~₹39.22 Lakhs) and the APT Championship Ring.
The tournament was the second featured event at the APT Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Championship series that has now wrapped up for the year. The series ran from July 11- 22 and featured two Main Events alongside 12 side events that were all hosted at the Pro Poker Club.
Players entered the event across two starting flights building up a prize pool of VND 6,198,300,000 (~₹1.86 Crores). 94 runners made Day 2, and of them 29 survivors reached Day 3. The field saw some of the finest pros from the Asian circuit in battle and Nguyen Tuan Anh entered Day 3 with the biggest stack of over 1.3 Million in chips.
India`s Devesh Thapar, who had entered the event on Day 1B advanced to Day 2 with a huge stack of 156,700. However, Thapar had a rough day on the felts and was eliminated empty-handed before Day 2 concluded.
Among the notables to earn a payout in the event were, Main Event runner-up Minh Le (10th for VND 125,870,000), former APT Vietnam Main Event finalists John Paredes (11th for VND 107,580,000) and Le Ngoc Khanh (26th for VND 57,410,000) as well as German pro Johannes Felix Hoeld (36th for VND 49,070,000).
APT Main Event winner, Choong Kian Weng (29th for VND 49,070,000) was the first to fall in Day 3 play and as the day concluded, Vietnamese player Nguyen Van Canh (9th for VND 147,270,000) fell just short of the final table.
With Canh’s elimination, the final eight players bagged their chips to return for the finale. Leading the way was Quang Phung, who commanded a massive stack of 1,980,000.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Quang Phung – 1,980,000
2. Kit Kwan Kwok – 1,665,000
3. Son Putin – 1,465,000
4. Cao Ngoc Anh – 1,335,000
5. Paul Hong – 1,305,000
6. Wei Cheng Yin – 1,295,000
7. Nguyen Tuan Anh – 840,000
8. Thong Trinh – 765,000
Final Table Recap
Action was thrilling and intense all day as the final eight converged for the race to the Championship title. The first elimination of the day was a shocking one as Wei Cheng Yin who, with his nut flush was relegated to the rail in eighth place by Paul Hong’s straight flush on the rundown .
The short-stacked Thong Trinh was the next to fall in seventh place after his ace-six ran into Kit Kwan Kwok’s pocket queens.
Anh now started moving up the leaderboard. He first risked it all with his ace-jack after getting pushed by Hong who had pocket sevens. With the flop bringing a jack, Anh won the big pot to chip up.
For Quang Phung, who had entered the final day as chip leader, his run ended in sixth place. After a hand where his ace-queen lost to Hong’s pocket jacks, Phung lost the remainder of his chips to Anh. With the flop open , Quang who held shoved and was tank-called by Cao who tabled . The turn was a blank for Anh, but the river improved Anh’s hand to a winning flush and he sent Phung packing to the rail while picking up around 40% of the chips in play.
Kit Kwan Kwok was the next player to be eliminated in a hand against Nguyen Tien Son, and he busted out in fifth place. Subsequently, Son went up against Nguyen Tuan Anh, who left in fourth place.
With only three players left in contention, the play intensified and Paul Hong was the next casualty. Hong 4-bet shoved from the small blind with but he couldn’t push out Anh who tabled . With the board bringing nothing to improve his hand, Hong exited in third place.
The heads-up play between Anh and Nguyen Tien Son began with the former holding three times as many chips as Son. Anh first dug into Son’s stack with his set of queens but Son managed to double up. However, it wasn’t long before the final hand was dealt, where with the board open , Son shoved with for two pair and Anh called with . On the river , Anh’s hand held up with a higher kicker, winning him the tournament while Son had to settle for a runner-up finish.
Final Table Results (VND)
1. Cao Ngoc Anh – VND 1,304,030,000
2. Nguyen Tien Son – VND 869,330,000
3. Paul Hong – VND 606,940,000
4. Nguyen Tuan Anh – VND 441,800,000
5. Kit Kwan Kwok – VND 333,890,000
6. Quang Phung – VND 260,970,000
7. Thong Trinh – VND 210,190,000
8. Wei Cheng Yin – VND 173,870,000
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