Attendance is the clearest measure of success for any new stop on a major poker tour, with the Main Event being key to this. Breaking new ground in terms of the venue, and also the country itself is always difficult. Organisers have no certain figures for how many players will show up, but in order to expand poker into new parts of the world, risk is necessary. The Asian Poker Tour has never been affraid of challenges and it's not a surprise to see them organizing the first international poker event in the vietnamese history.
Day 1A of the APT Vietnam attracted 47 runners, and day 1B got 72. With 119 entries in total generating a prizepool of $115,400, it is fair to say that the event has been relatively successful. The recent APT Manila drew 211 runners, but if the Grand Ho Tram Strip location becomes a regular fixture on the tour, these numbers will grow. For now, it's a positive start that World Gaming Group and APT should be proud of. The winner will take home $29,500 from Vietnam’s inaugural international poker event.
Another positive aspect of APT Vietnam is the appearance of a few familiar names at the festival.Team PokerStars Pro, Bryan Huang is participating, as are Kasey Castle who is holding a unique record in poker (the most cashes in distinctive countries ), and Iori Yogo from Japan.
The day also marked the first appearance of American Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) poker star Nam Le. Nam Le said to APT team: I’ve only been back to Vietnam twice prior to this trip and I’ve never touched cards here… me and my friend were just talking about it now how we are actually in Vietnam playing poker, it’s pretty cool. A few years ago you would have thought this was impossible…. we came back here specifically for this event…. we are hoping to get more guys out here next year. It’s a great trip.” It has to be noted that JC Tran, who was announced to appear, hasn't been seen up to this point.
At the end of Main Event day 1 Iori Yogo is still in the event, hanging in there with 18,450. Kasey Castle is in a far better position going into day 2, with 70,700 to play with. Somuchpoker coach Bastian Blumenroether is also in a great position, sitting with 69,425.
119 entries for the Main Event
The Japanese team runs good in the side events
Another interesting trend we have seen so far at the APT Vietnam is to see Japanese players confirming their strength on the APT Circuit. Iori Yogo won the head Hunter event after defeating Kai Paulsen in the final Heads-Up. He won $4,130 for his efforts. The event saw a total of 44 entries generating a prize pool of $12,670 + $4,400 in bounties. Iori Yogo occupies 4th place on the Japanese All Time Money list, and is widely regarded as one of the best poker talents to emerge from Japan. According to the Global Poker Index, he is currently one of the 5 best asian tournament player.
Azusa Maeda confirmed this "Japanese power" few hours later with his first place in the No limit Holdem Rebuy event. The event met an impressive success, with 49 players re-buying 68 times with a further 36 add-ons creating a prize pool of US$14,840.
The Japanese team won 2 side events
Chip counts and more infos in our APT Vietnam official Thread: