Asia Poker League teamed up with European poker brand DeepStack Open to bring the world-famous event to Southeast Asia for the first time. The DSO kicked off the APL Ho Chi Minh City festivities at Pro Poker Club and after two days, the event concluded with Hong Kong’s Hwang Sang Yeon rising above the 154 entries.
Alike many players that found their way to the final table, Hwang had his share of stack swings all day however his strong performance at heads up was where he outshined. He defeated crowd favorite, Tran Kim Dong. For his victory, Hwang captured the VND 361,340,000 (US$15,500) first prize and the bragging rights inaugural DSO Vietnam title. In a way this was a double win for Hwang who also earned his first-ever international live tournament career win.
The world-renowned DSO structure started players off with a generous stack of 300x the opening big blind. The blinds increased ever so gradually to ensure players more time at the felt and more hands seen. In line with the DSO motto “A buy-in for every player”, the entry fee was a very affordable VND 9.9M (US$425) and with 154 ponying it up, the prize pool amounted to VND 1,344,420,000 (US$57,700).
At the end of opening day, the first flight was cut dramatically from 136 entries to just 26 players. Nguyen Van Trung and Norbert Koh held commanding stacks. As for the eventual champion Hwang, he bagged up the lead in the evening turbo flight that only saw five players advance out of the 18 entries. A total of 31 players advanced to the next day.
The final day was a brutal one for one-third of the qualifiers with only 20 places guaranteed pay. Among those who fell before the money were Pasi Heinanen, Chung Fai, and Sean Cha who fell on the bubble.
As with every international festival that has visited Vietnam this year, the locals were well represented. Many made it to the money including notables Pham Bao (16th), Vi Khoa (13th), Nguyen Quoc Vu (3rd) and of course Dong (2nd).
One of the more impressive players in the field today was Jaeheung An. An entered the final day with just 12x the big blind (slotted 3rd from the bottom) and was able to bring it up to fighting form and into the final table where he finished in 4th place.
For Koh, once again he ruled the felt. He took his second big stack further up to claim the chip lead where he parked himself for a majority of the day. He finished in 5th place.
This was unlike the case of the day’s entering chip leader Trung. Trung’s previous day’s prowess was nowhere to be found on the final day and he nearly bubbled if not for a lucky straight on the river to save him against Pham Bao’s set. He finished right on the border in 20th place. Locals still managed to be represented among the top runners with Tran Kim Dong taking 2nd and Nguyen Quoc Vu 3rd. But they couldn’t deny to Hwang Sang Yeon the trophy.
For a more detailed read on the DSO action, just head to our Live Updates post for all the exciting action.
Final 9 payouts
1st Hwang Sang Yeon – Hong Kong – VND 361,340,000 (US$15,500)
2nd Tran Kim Dong – Vietnam – VND 234,400,000
3rd Nguyen Quoc Vu – Vietnam – VND 138,140,000
4th Jaeheung An – Korea – VND 84,030,000
5th Norbert Koh – Singapore – VND 64,870,000
6th Nguyen Quoc Hung – VND 53,780,000
7th Phan Trong Linh – Vietnam – VND 46,720,000
8th Nguyen The Anh – Vietnam – VND 41,950,000
9th Ng Piu Cheung – Hong Kong – VND 36,140,000
The APL Ho Chi Minh City is just warming up. The biggest part of the festival is still to come with the Main Event – VND 8 billion guaranteed – kicking off on Sunday, November 19.
Article by Tricia David