In just six hours of final table competition that saw a total of 92 hands, Chinese player Zhu Yong railed six players in his path to the Asia Poker League Vietnam Main Event title to seize the VND 1,700,440,000 (~US$72,000) first place purse. This was Yong’s first-ever victory and it was more than well-deserved.
Catching up with the champion for a few words, he told us his winning hand A-9 was also his lucky hand. He cracked pocket kings with it in Day 2. Yong is fairly new to the game. He got his start watching videos online. Alike many making the annual pilgrimage this summer, Yong said up next for him was the World Series of Poker.
Winner story and final day recap
The Main Event returned today for the final race to the title. Zhu Yong entered with the largest stack, and despite attempts by players to shave it down, they were unsuccessful. Yong held on to his advantage throughout, and sent an astounding 6 players packing to capture the coveted title and prize money.
The first player Yong railed was the runt of the bunch, Vietnam’s Chu Thai Thinh. Chu was the first of four locals in the lineup to tumble. He came in with 7 bbs, played one hand, and fell in 9th place. Yong’s improved to a flush to defeat Chu’s top pair and Feng Zhao’s set on a board .
Not long after, Vietnam lost another when Pham Quoc Anh was bumped out in 8th place by fellow countryman Vu Duc Trung on a full house over full house. Settling for 7th place was the most decorated player in the orbit, Zhao, who couldn’t recover after doubling up Melvin Tay Yao Loon and Hong Kong Nguyen. Zhao was Yong’s second victim.
Trung proceeded to fall in 6th place to Nguyen leaving one last Vietnam hope at the table however, it was not to be. Vu Trung Thang packed up right after Trung with Yong delivering the axe. His pocket queens fully dominated Thanh’s pocket threes.
At four remaining, Loon began his climb up the ranks. He crossed into the black after calling out Huynh Vinh Quang’s bluff. This in turn sent Huynh struggling until Yong put him out of his misery in 4th place. The three-handed match was dictated mainly by Yong and Nguyen. Loon’s stack only headed south and lost it all to Yong when failed to hold up against on a board that felted . In addition to the cash prize, Loon also won the last man standing contest between HKPPA and SPL to earn himself a seat to the next APL Main Event.
This brought about the heads up round between Yong and Nguyen.
Heads up began with Yong up 3:1. The match lasted all of 7 hands. Nguyen shoved with but Yong had better . When the board ran out , it was all over. Yong emerged as the APL’s newest Main Event champion.
Final 9 payouts
1st Zhu Yong – China – VND 1700,440,000
2nd Hong Kong Nguyen – Canada – VND 1,192,360,000
3rd Melvin Tay Yao Loon – Singapore – VND 767,320,000
4th Huynh Vinh Quang – USA – VND 552,670,000
5th Vu Trung Thanh – Vietnam – VND 424,130,000
6th Vu Duc Trung – Vietnam – VND 342,370,000
7th Feng Zhao – Singapore – VND 284,450,000
8th Pham Quoc Anh – Vietnam – VND 226,710,000
9th Chu Thai Thinh – Vietnam – VND 170,050,000
The Main Event ran a total of seven days from May 12 to 18 at Pro Poker Club. Over the course of four starting days, it amassed 623 entries for a prize pool of VND 9,064,650,000 (US$388,000). Only 78 players profited.
This was APL’s third visit to Vietnam. They continue to hold the record for the largest Main Event draw of 864 entries during their inaugural festival. Since then, the guarantee has increased from VND 5 Million to VND 8 Million which was easily crushed by the huge turnout.
Somuchpoker was onsite for the Main Event. You can review and relive all the action via our Live Updates.
Article by Tricia David