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WPC Loyal Hanoi: Do Anh Tai Wins Kick Off Event (VN₫ 565 Million) Following a Heads-Up Deal With Peter Kiem; India’s Aditya Agarwal Finishes 4th (VN₫ 225 Million)

WPC Loyal Hanoi: Do Anh Tai Wins Kick Off Event
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  • Namita Ghosh January 7, 2023
  • 7 Minutes Read

The New Year is off to a busy start, with the 2023 World Poker Championship (WPC) Loyal Hanoi driving up the live tournament action at Grand Loyal Poker Club in Hanoi, Vietnam. The 13-day, 24-event festival runs from January 3 to 15 and features a massive $1 Million prize pool guarantee, making it the biggest live poker festival ever hosted in Vietnam!

Sounding off the action was the VN₫ 2 Billion GTD VN₫ 8.8 Million buy-in Event #1: Kick Off that brought in 416 entries across three starting flights, crushing its listed guarantee to collect a whopping VN₫ 3.2 Billion in prize money. Day 2 on Friday, January 6, began with 52 qualifiers and played down to a champion. In the end, Vietnam’s Do Anh Tai struck an even heads-up deal with American pro Peter Kiem. With both players locking an equal VN₫ 565 Million each, the duo played one blind all-in-hand for the trophy, with Tai grabbing the top honors!

Indian poker players had a firecracker run on the Asian tournament circuit in 2022, and Vietnam was undoubtedly the most profitable hunting ground for the team. Unsurprisingly, the Indian contingent is already off to a solid start in 2023.

The country’s most renowned poker stalwart, Aditya Agarwal, seems to have made his new year resolutions around a busy live tournament schedule and has found early success in the series, finishing fourth in the WPC Kick Off for a hefty VN₫ 225 Million.

Aditya Agarwal
Aditya Agarwal


Agarwal was among the two Indians who advanced to Day 2 of the Kick Off and the only one to make it to the final table. Agarwal is one of India’s most seasoned poker pros with vast experience in playing live poker across international stops like the WSOP. He also has a long list of poker achievements in Asia, and his last live score in Asia was on December 14, 2022, when he finished 10th in the APT Da Nang Vietnam VSOP Event #21: High Roller.

Advancing through Day 1C in the Kick Off, Agarwal had a swingy ride but kept a solid hand to sail into the final table. Team India’s hopes to grab the title were strong as Agarwal scored a few early double-up to spin up his stack. Chasing his first live title in over three years, Agarwal eventually fell in fourth place after losing a battle of the blinds against eventual runner-up Peter Kiem who held pocket jacks to his ace queen. While he lost the title, Agarwal banked a hefty VN₫ 225 Million for his deep finish.

Amit Kaushik was the second Indian player to make Day 2 in the Kick Off, advancing as the Day 1B chip leader. He eventually finished 18th for VN₫ 36 Million. The Kurukshetra-based player, who resides in Noida and regularly live streams his action, last hit the headlines in August 2022 for placing third in the 2022 Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Main Event for a personal-best VN₫ 1,691,700,000 (~₹57.34 Lakhs).

Amit Kaushik
Amit Kaushik


Kaushik has got his live scorecard ticking for 2023 with a bang as he also final-tabled Event #5: Bounty Hunter, where he placed fifth for VN₫ 22.50 Million.

Yash Khandelwal (2nd for VN₫ 21.80 Million) and Abhishek Jalan (3rd for VN₫ 14.50 Million) were the other Indians who posted FT finishes in Event #3: Hyper Turbo.

Yash Khandelwal
Yash Khandelwal


Yash Khandelwal also made it to the Event #5 Turbo Event final table, where he came third for VN₫ 21.60 Million.

Korea’s Kim Gab Yong (Won Super Star Challenge for VN₫ 861 Million), Vietnam’s Nguyen Manh Tu (Won Event #2: High Roller Single Day Event for VN₫ 186 Million), Korea’s Ahn Sungmin (Won Event #6: Bounty Bunter for VN₫ 80.70 Million), Vietnam’s Vu Thai Bao (Won Event #4: Deepstack Freezeout for VN₫ 67 Million), Vietnam’s Tran Duc Chinh (Won Event #5: Turbo Event for VN₫ 59.20 Million), and Japan’s Yuta Izumi (Won Event #3: Hyper Turbo for VN₫ 36.45 Million) won the other side events.

Day 1A of the VN₫3 Billion GTD ($127,000) HSOP Main Event is currently underway.


Vietnam’s Do Anh Tai Wins Event #1: Kick Off (Heads-Up Deal), India’s Aditya Agarwal & Amit Kaushik Make ITM Finishes

The VN₫ 8.8 Million buy-in Event #1: Kick Off recorded 416 entries from three starting flights, making for a guarantee-crushing VN₫ 3.2 Billion prize pool. Two Indians were part of the 52 qualifiers advancing to Day 2.

Day 2 played out on Friday, January 6, and concluded after Vietnam’s Do Anh Tai shook hands on an equal heads-up split with US’s Peter Kiem. Both were guaranteed VN₫ 565,000,000 each and played one all-in hand that Tai won to lay claim to the title and the trophy!

Two Indians were part of the Day 2 field, and only one of them, Aditya Agarwal, made it to the final table, finishing fourth for VN₫ 225 Million.

Amit Kaushik placed 18th for VN₫ 36 Million.

The event paid the top 52 finishers at least VN₫ 14.50 Million (~$624). Among the notables who crossed the money bubble was Korea’s Lee Seok Young (12th for VN₫ 52 Million), Ha Van Thien (15th for VN₫ 43 Million), Pham Huu Duc (17th for VN₫ 36 Million), Robert Kiss (22nd for VN₫ 25 Million), and David Erquiaga (41st for VN₫ 16 Million).

The eight-handed final table took off following the elimination of Vietnam’s Tran Ha Hung (9th for VN₫ 64.66 Million).

The final table action was live-streamed on the Grand Loyal Poker Club Facebook page with a slight delay. You can watch the replay below.


Final Table Chip Counts

  1. Hoang Hai Nam – 2,255,000
  2. Peter Kiem – 1,210,000
  3. Ha Manh Tuong – 1,800,000
  4. Do Anh Tai – 1,410,000
  5. Nguyen Tuan Anh – 1,360,000
  6. Nguyen Viet Anh – 1,220,000
  7. Aditya Agarwal – 615,000
  8. Do Quang Thang – 535,000


Final Table Recap

Nguyen Tuan Anh, aka Riokhiemton, ended up as the first final table casualty. He raised from the hijack with pocket aces, and the reigning chip leader Hoang Hai Nam re-raised from the small blind with ace-four. The latter hit a flush on the turn, eliminating Anh in eighth place.

Less than 30 minutes later, Do Quang Thang, locally known as Doqata, hit the rail in seventh place. Thang met a brutal end after his pocket tens that flopped a set was run down by Peter Kiem’s ace-eight that made the winning flush on the river.

On the next hand, Peter Kiem sent Nguyen Viet Anh, aka Donut, packing in sixth place. Anh jammed for his last 140K with , Agarwal called from the small blind, and Kiem announced a raise with . Agarwal folded, and Kiem stayed ahead on the board, eliminating Anh.

Hoang Hai Nam, aka Luckyman9999, took the fifth-place payout after his preflop all-in shove found a caller in Hoang Hai Nam who showed pocket tens to take down the pot.

India’s Aditya Agarwal had a few lucky breaks mid-way on the FT but met his end at the hands of Peter Kiem in a battle of the blinds. The action folded to Agarwal, who completed the big blind. Kiem raised to 300K from the small blind, and Agarwal shoved, evoking a snap call from Kiem.

Peter Kiem

Aditya Agarwal

The board was no help to Agarwal, ending the Indian poker star`s tournament run in fourth place.

Play slowed down, and over two hours later, Ha Manh Tuong, aka Hamatu, busted in third place at the hands of Tai.

Even before the heads-up match began, Do Anh Tai and Peter Kiem discussed and agreed to a 50/50 split of the remaining prize money that locked their payouts to an equal VN₫ 565 Million each. They played one hand in which both moved all-in blindly to decide the winner, and Tai came out on top to clinch the trophy.

Do Anh Tai
Do Anh Tai


Final Table Results (VND)

  1. Do Anh Tai – VN₫ 565,000,000
  2. Peter Kiem – VN₫ 565,000,000
  3. Ha Manh Tuong- VN₫ 300,000,000
  4. Aditya Agarwal – VN₫ 225,000,000
  5. Hoang Hai Nam – VN₫ 170,000,000
  6. Nguyen Viet Anh – VN₫ 130,000,000
  7. Do Quang Thang- VN₫ 100,000,000
  8. Nguyen Tuan Anh – VN₫ 80,000,000


Korea’s Kim Gab Yong Wins Super Star Challenge For VN₫ 861 Million

The VN₫ 107 Million buy-in Super Star Challenge played out on January 5, with 26 entries joining the action. A prize pool of VN₫ 2.522 Billion was generated, guaranteeing payouts to the top four finishers.

Korea’s Kim Gab Yong drove up the momentum, eventually striking a heads-up deal to claim the title and the VN₫ 861 Million up top. Yong’s compatriot Ki Junh Young finished runner-up for VN₫ 804 Million.

Kim Gab Yong
Kim Gab Yong


Final Table Results (VND)

  1. Kim Gab Yong – VN₫ 861,000,000*
  2. Ki JunhYoung – VN₫ 804,000,000*
  3. Kim Woo Seok – VN₫ 606,000,000
  4. Teddy Pham – VN₫ 250,000,000

*denotes a heads-up deal


Vietnam’s Nguyen Manh Tu Wins Event #2: High Roller – Single Day For VN₫ 186 Million

Vietnam’s Nguyen Manh Tu was among the 16 participants who registered for the VN₫ 33 Million buy-in Event #2: High Roller – Single Day. Only the final four players dug into the VN₫ 465.60 Million prize pool.

Tu beat Vietnam’s Teddy Pham heads-up to win the title for VN₫ 143.50 Million.

Nguyen Manh Tu
Nguyen Manh Tu


Final Table Results (VND)

  1. Nguyen Manh Tu – VN₫ 186,000,000
  2. Teddy Pham – VN₫ 143,500,000
  3. Nguyen Van Trung – VN₫ 87,000,000
  4. Huynh Ngoc Cuong – VN₫ 49,000,000


Korea’s Ahn Sungmin Wins Event #6: Bounty Hunter For VN₫ 80.70 Million

Korea’s Anh Sungmin overcame a 101-player field in Event #6: Bounty Builder to claim the top prize of VN₫ 80.70 Million. He struck a three-way deal with Vietnam’s Nguyen Duc Hieu (2nd for VN₫ 78.40 Million) and Korea’s Yoo Sunho (3rd for VN₫ 75.10 Million).

India’s Amit Kaushik stormed his way into the final table, placing fifth for VN₫ 22.50 Million.

Ahn Sungmin
Ahn Sungmin


Final Table Results (VND)

  1. Ahn Sungmin – VN₫ 80,700,000*
  2. Nguyen Duc Hieu – VN₫ 78,400,000*
  3. Yoo Sunho – VN₫ 75,100,000*
  4. Tran Hieu – VN₫ 29,000,000
  5. Amit Kaushik – VN₫ 22,500,000

*denotes a three-way deal


Vietnam’s Vu Thai Bao Wins Event #4: Deepstack Freezeout For VN₫ 67 Million

A total of 41 players signed up for the VN₫ 4.4 Million buy-in Event #4: Deepstack Freezeout, generating a VN₫ 159,080,000 prize pool. The final five players got paid, with Vietnam’s Vu Thai Bao emerging as the champion, netting VN₫ 67 Million. Bao defeated fellow countryman Nguyen Phuong Ngoc (2nd for VN₫ 40 Million) heads-up.

Vu Thai Bao
Vu Thai Bao


Final Table Results (VND)

  1. Vu Thai Bao – VN₫ 67,000,000
  2. Nguyen Phuong Ngoc – VN₫ 40,000,000
  3. Ham DongMyung – VN₫ 24,000,000
  4. Lee Seok Young – VN₫ 16,000,000
  5. Pham Ngoc Tu – VN₫ 12,080,000


Vietnam’s Tran Duc Chinh Wins Event #5: Turbo Event For VN₫ 59.20 Million

The VN₫ 3.3 Million buy-in Event #5: Turbo Event drew 55 entries, creating a VN₫ 160,050,000 prize pool. Only seven places got paid and walking away as the champion was Vietnam’s Tran Duc Chinh, who grabbed the top prize of VN₫ 59 Million after defeating Korea’s Kim Jaeheon (2nd for VN₫ 35.20 Million) in the heads-up showdown.

Yash Khandelwal was the only Indian player on the final table and finished third for VN₫ 21.60 Million.

Tran Duc Chinh
Tran Duc Chinh


Final Table Results (VND)

  1. Tran Duc Chinh – VN₫ 59,200,000
  2. Kim Jaeheon – VN₫ 35,200,000
  3. Yash Khandelwa – VN₫ 21,600,000
  4. Sharon Yoon – VN₫ 15,200,000
  5. Pham Quang Huy- VN₫ 12,000,000
  6. Nguyen Tien Dung – VN₫ 9,600,000
  7. Yoo Sunho – VN₫ 7,250,000


Japan’s Yuta Izumi Wins Event #3: Hyper Turbo For VN₫ 36.45 Million

The VN₫ 3.3 Million buy-in Event #3: Hyper Turbo had 25 hopefuls vying for a share of the VN₫ 72.75 Million prize pool. Japan’s Yuta Izumi proved the last player to claim the trophy and the VN₫ 36.45 Million up top.

Two Indians cashed the event, and Yash Khandelwal finished one spot behind Yuta, claiming the runner-up payout of VN₫ 21.80 Million.

The former poker stable operator and well-known player Abhishek Jalan finished third for VN₫ 14.50 Million.

Yuta Izumi
Yuta Izumi


Final Table Results (VND)

  1. Yuta Izumi – VN₫ 36,450,000
  2. Yash Khandelwal – VN₫ 21,800,000
  3. Abhishek Jalan – VN₫ 14,500,000


Content & Images Courtesy: Life of Poker

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