6 Mins Read
The 2018 World Poker Tour (WPT) Vietnam is off to a roaring to start at the Pro Poker Club in Ho Chi Minh City and Team India is at the forefront of all the thrilling action.
Right off the heels of Sumit Sapra’s deep run in the Welcome Event where he finished runner-up for â‚¹5.06 Lakhs, MadOverPoker pro Zarvan Tumboli (cover image) did even better by taking down the Ho Chi Minh Cup to win his career-first WPT title for an impressive payday of VND 246,950,000 (â‚¹7.70 Lakhs).
Tumboli started the day considerably short-stacked with 83,000 in chips but improved his position to eventually make it to the final table alongside fellow countryman Rubin Labroo. While Labroo finished seventh for VND 34,130,000 (â‚¹1.06 Lakhs), Tumboli went head-to-head against Vietnam’s Luat Tran (runner-up for VND 171,400,000) and defeated him to win the title.
Dhaval Mudgal, Young Gun Abhinav Iyer and Akshay Nasa were the other Indian challengers who made it to the final day but busted before the final table.
The most popular and much-awaited event of the series, the Main Event, kicked off on September 28 with its first starting flight – Day 1A. The first flight pulled in a total of 105 entries and Team India was a formidable force at the event with the likes of Kunal Patni, Vivek Rughani, Nishant Sharma, GPL India Bengaluru Hackers manager Vidwath Shetty, Vinod Megalmani and Chiraag Patel entering via the first starting flight. By the end of day’s play, Shetty (99,000), Megalmani (86,000), Sharma (85,500) and Patel (41,500), managed to bag chips for Day 2.
Tran Hanh (437,000) topped the 26 remaining runners, with Kazuma Ihotsume (203,000) and Tran Huu Khoi (162,000) rounding out the top three stacks.
Meanwhile, the Bounty Event was the other event running alongside the Ho Chi Minh Cup and Main Event. 132 participants joined the field that quickly narrowed down to the nine-handed final table by the end of day with Yik Yin “Ray” Chiu (492,000) leading the charge.
The Ho Chi Minh Cup registered a total of 207 entries including 114 from the opening flight and another 93 from the second flight. Played in the freezeout format, which allowed players who were eliminated on Flight 1 to re-enter via Flight 2, only 28 players made the cut for Day 2.
Team India had a strong showing in the event with Rubin Labroo (173,000), Dhaval Mudgal (130,000), Abhinav Iyer (115,000), Zarvan Tumboli (83,000) and Akshay Nasa (29,000), all making it to Day 2.
Nick Gorman (284,000), Thai Sang Bao Huy (225,000) and Ayman Elsaid (212,000) led the 28 survivors into Day 2.
Following the elimination of Nguyen Van Xuan and two other players, the money bubble burst and after several more payouts, play came down to the nine-handed final table.
Final Table Recap
Malaysian pro Shyh Chyn Lim was the first to depart from the final table in ninth place and was followed by local player Nguyen Hoang Ton in eighth place.
Finishing in seventh place was Indian challenger Rubin Labroo who played exceptionally well but narrowly missed out on the top prize.
Thereafter, Lee Wei Chan (6th place), Tran Duc Nghia (5th place), Nguyen Vu Thanh (4th place) and Ayman El-Said (3rd place) were eliminated in quick succession before heads-up play commenced between Vietnam’s Luat Tran and India’s Zarvan Tumboli.
Tumboli began the heads-up match with 75% of the chips in play. Tran tried his best to bridge this gap and even managed to double up within the first two hands, but his time at the felts lasted just two more hands.
On the final hand of the event, Tran jammed with and Tumboli called . The board blanked out and Tumboli’s king-high kicker was good enough to fetch him his maiden WPT title, along with the first-place prize money of VND 246,950,000 (â‚¹7,70,527).
Final Table Results (VND)
1. Zarvan Tumboli – VND 246,950,000
2. Luat Tran – VND 171,400,000
3. Ayman El-Said – VND 102,900,000
4. Nguyen Vu Thanh – VND 62,600,000
5. Tran Duc Nghia – VND 48,340,000
6. Lee Wei Chan – VND 40,060,000
7. Rubin Labroo – VND 34,130,000
8. Nguyen Hoang Ton – VND 29,420,000
9. Shyh Chyn Lim – VND 24,700,000
The star attraction of the series is undoubtedly the Main Event. With a buy-in of VND 22,000,000, the event promises a hefty VND 8 Billion guarantee and will be played over two starting flights. Each starting flight will see 14 levels of play, each level lasting for 40 minutes, with only one re-entry allowed per starting day.
Several Indian contenders were seen in action on the opening flight including Kunal Patni, Vivek Rughani, Nishant Sharma, Vidwath Shetty, Vinod Megalmani and Chiraag Patel.
Vivek Rughani was one of the first Indians to double up early in the day, when his pocket rockets held against his opponent’s pocket eights. Unfortunately, he failed to make the cut for Day 2. On his final hand of the day, Rughani shoved with , but ran into Ta Duy Quoc Chinh’s . The board bricked out sending Rughani to the rail.
Kunal Patni was one of the first players to join the action on Day 1A. In an interesting hand during level 7, Patni was up against fellow countryman Nishant Sharma. With the board open , and around 16,000 in the pot, Patni moved all-in with his last 9,900. Sharma tanked for a while and eventually opted to fold, giving Patni the pot. Nonetheless, Patni hit the rails before the end of play.
Sharma, on the other hand, played aggressively, and was even among the top three stacks during level 12. In a hand against Japanese pro Iori Yogo, Sharma raised to 2,600 from the button and Yogo and Paul Hocking called from the blinds. The flop fell , Sharma raised to 2,400 and Yogo called, while Hockin folded. On the turn of , Sharma fired another bet of 8,200, prompting Yogo to fold. Sharma ended the day with a commendable stack of 85,500.
Vinod Megalmani was another Indian challenger seen in action and even orchestrated the elimination of an unknown player. With the board running , the opponent pitted his against Megalmani’s . Megalmani rivered a full house with , which railed his opponent and swelled his stack to 140,000. When the bags were brought out at the end of the day, he bagged 86,000 in chips.
GPL India Bengaluru Hackers manager Vidwath Shetty headlines the Team with 99,000 in chips at the end of Day 1A. Shetty won a big pot against Tran Van Quan and Eric Tsai. Quan raised to 1,200 from the cutoff, preflop. Shetty 3-bet to 3,500 from the button and Tsai 4-bet to 8,300 from big blind. Quan folded but Shetty continued with a 5-bet to 23,000. Tsai folded and Shetty raked in the pot, increasing his count to 150,000.
Registration closed at the end of level 9 and the official tally of entries was 105 (81 unique entries and 24 re-entries). Only 26 runners made it to Day 2 with Austria’s Tran Hanh dominating the leaderboard with a massive stack of 437,000.
Top 10 Chip Counts At The End of Day 1A
1. Tran Hanh – 437,000
2. Kazuma Ihotsume – 203,000
3. Tran Huu Khoi – 162,000
4. Nguyen Chi Thinh – 147,500
5. Nguyen Manh Truong -140,000
6. Nguyen Thanh Phong -139,000
7. Tran Huy Hoang -137,000
8. Cuong Trinh – 137,000
9. Nguyen Duc Hop – 117,500
10. Ta Duy Quoc Chinh – 104,500
132 runners entered the Bounty Event and with VND 2,000,000 per head scalped, the remaining prize pool amounted to VND 504,240,000.
Top 17 places were assured payouts with winner getting the lion’s share of VND 142,450,000. The opening day`s play has whittled down the field size to just nine finalists led by Hong Kong’s Yik Yin “Ray” Chiu with 492,000 in chips.
Final Table Chip Counts
1. Yik Yin “Ray” Chiu – 492,000
2. Pham Bao – 489,000
3. Van Don Dang – 214,000
4. Steve Tegnelia – 198,000
5. Mason Rosenburg – 164,000
6. Duc Phang Tran – 160,000
7. God Giong – 144,000
8. Hai Trieu – 116,000
9. Tien Thanh “Terry” Nguyen – 110,000
Image courtesy: somuchpoker.com
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