[Side Events update] WPT Prime Vietnam: Josh McCully locks up another 100M SHR title; Alok Birewar, Shih Lei Hsu, Team Vietnam win trophies; POF update

The past two days at World Poker Tour (WPT) Prime Vietnam hosted by Crown Poker Club in Hanoi saw a sea of players for the festival’s flagship tournament. In the midst of the action, three side events were hunting down its champion, and Team Vietnam overcame the Taiwanese to win the Tag Team Freezeout. Here are the results and an update on the WPT Player of the Festival race.

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The 100M Super High Roller concluded with Australia’s Joshua McCully defeating fellow compatriot Luke Martinelli. The pair agreed on an ICM deal then played for the trophy. McCully came from behind to claim his second Super High Roller title this month. Two weeks prior, he won the APPT Cambodia SHR event.

“It was actually quite tough, everyone was serious, trying to ladder up. On the bubble I was very short, I was a bit frustrated, so I just survived. Most of the final table I was short stack until 4-5 handed I started building my chips back up and tied with the chip leader at three-handed. So ya it absolutely feels good to win my second Super High Roller title this month and I got to beat my man heads up so that’s always the best feeling in the world. It was good fun and a good tournament.”

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The WPT Super High Roller attracted 41 players and 20 re-entries for 61 entries total and a prize pool of VN₫ 5,917,000,000 (~US$ 252,050). Eleven players bagged up on Day 1 with the money two spots away. On Day 2, short stacked Eric Tsai was first to go then the bubble burst on Sang Yoon Kim when his QdQc was outdrawn by Anh Duy Pham’s AcJc on a board 9c4cAhKc9h

Relive the final table action via the livestream on Crown Poker Club YouTube channel

Date: May 25-26, 2023
Buy in: VN₫ 107,000,000 (~US$ 4,560)
Guarantee: VN₫ 2,500,000,000 (~US$ 106,500)
Entries: 61 (41 entries, 20 re-entry)
Prize pool: VN₫ 5,917,000,000 (~US$ 252,050)
ITM: 9 places

*Heads up ICM deal, played for the trophy

Place Player Flag Payout in VN₫
1 Joshua McCully Australia 1,515,000,000
2 Luke Martinelli Australia 1,600,000,000
3 Yu Hang Chen China 831,000,000
4 Anh Duy Pham Vietnam 578,000,000
5 Yeh Hung Wei Taiwan 419,000,000
6 Jun Hao Wu Singapore 318,000,000
7 Dong Kyu Kim Korea 253,000,000
8 Abhishek Jalan India 213,000,000
9 Huu Dung Nguyen Vietnam 190,000,000

Over at the PLO, India’s Alok Birewar came out victorious, denying Hung Thanh Tran a third side event title. In turn, he earned the second WPT trophy of his career. Last March, Birewar clinched the WPT Prime Cambodia Deepstack Freezeout for his first ever WPT win. He became the fourth player from India to capture a trophy at the ongoing series.

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Alok Birewar – Photo by CPC

Date: May 25-26, 2023
Buy in: VN₫ 16,500,000 (~US$ 700)
Entries: 58 (37 unique, 21 re-entry)
Prize pool: VN₫ 843,900,000 (~US$ 35,950)
ITM: 8 places

Place Player Flag Payout in VN₫
1 Alok Birewar India 304,000,000
2 Jack Tey Sheuseng Singapore 178,500,000
3 Hung Thanh Tran Vietnam 112,000,000
4 Masafumi Shimizu Japan 76,000,000
5 Le Tu Thanh Australia 59,000,000
6 Kevin Lee New Zealand 46,500,000
7 Vincent Chauve France 37,900,000
8 Li Fang China 30,000,000

Picking up from an overnight break, the NLH Freezeout resumed with the final 9 players battling for the coveted trophy. It was a heavily dominated Taiwanese final table with seven on the round.

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After Norway’s Nicolai Zubi (4th) and USA’s Michael Wilklow (3rd) were eliminated, a  first Taiwan win was guaranteed. Shih Lei Hsu defeated Yu Tsun Lai to claim the victory.

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Shih Lei Hsu

Date: May 26-27, 2023
Buy in: VN₫ 7,700,000 (~US$ 330)
Entries: 108 
Prize pool: VN₫ 733,320,000 (~US$ 31,240)
ITM: 14 places

*Three way even chop, played for trophy

Place Player Flag
Payouts in VN₫
1 Shih Lei Hsu Taiwan 145,600,000
2 Yu Tsun Lai Taiwan 145,600,000
3 Michael Wilklow USA 145,600,000
4 Nicolai Zubi Norway 53,000,000
5 Chung Yi Ho Taiwan 41,000,000
6 Ka Chu Tsui Taiwan 34,000,000
7 Pei Chen Lee Taiwan 28,820,000
8 Yu Wei Wang Taiwan 25,000,000
9 Chuan Hsieh Taiwan 22,000,000

Tuan Phong Do and Duy Thuc Nguyen win the Tag Teams Freezeout

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23 teams signed up for the Tag Teams Freezeout with only four duos guaranteed to money. Team USA made up of the multi final tableist Michael Wilklow bowed out 4th leaving two teams from Taiwan and one from the host country to battle for the title. In the end, it was Vietnam duo – Tuan Phong Do and Duy Thuc Nguyen – putting the stop, denying both Taiwan teams. The final hand QsJd outkicked Jc6c on a board 2c3cJs7hAd.

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Date: May 27, 2023
Buy in: VN₫ 6,600,000 (~US$ 280)
Entries: 23
Prize pool: VN₫ 133,860,000 (~US$ 5,700)
ITM: 4 teams

Place Player Flag
Payouts in VN₫
1 Tuan Phong Do Vietnam 60,000,000
1 Duy Thuc Nguyen Vietnam
2 Jhong Chang Tian Taiwan 33,500,000
2 Pin You Chen Taiwan
3 Hung Wei Yeh Taiwan 24,000,000
3 Wan Yu Lo Taiwan
4 Michael Wilklow USA 16,360,000
4 Erik Mason USA

After 29 completed events, the WPT Player of the Festival race leader is still Vietnam’s Huynh Ngoc Cuong with a 260 point gap between him and second ranked Tran Thanh Hung. Both players qualified for Day 2 of the Main Event. Plenty of points yet to be awarded. This hot title awards the champion a WPT Passport worth US$ 5,000 to any Main Tour of 2023.

Rank Name Points
1st Huynh Ngoc Cuong 1200
2nd Tran Thanh Hung 940
3rd Armon Van Wijk 850
4th Michael Wilklow 850
5th Dinh Tien Thanh 840
6th Chu The Dan 835
7th Vu Ta Nhat 750
8th Quan  Trung Nguyen 700
9th Tuan Anh Tran 675
10th Joshua Mccully 650


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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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