APL Hanoi pays out over US$ 550K; Huỳnh Ngọc Cường wins Main Event & Kickoff; Nguyễn Duy Vũ & Andre Lettau top high roller events

The Asia Poker League concluded the first festival of its “APL Trilogy: Enter The Dragon” series with nine days of games hosted at the Grand Loyal Poker Club in Hanoi, Vietnam. Initially intended to take place in May 2020, the global health crisis pushed it back nearly one year until it finally ran on April 3 to April 11. Despite travel restrictions still in place, the festival certainly did not disappoint. It drew 1,384 entries across 14 tournaments and paid out a commendable VNđ 12,774,003,590 (US$ 554,0000). Earning highest honors and the most cash was Huỳnh Ngọc Cường aka Tommy Huỳnh who clinched both the Main Event and Kickoff Event. At the high roller games, Nguyễn Duy Vũ and Andre Lettau came out on top while Phạm Tién Dũng shipped the Superstars Challenge. We’ve got those results for you and more down below.

Huỳnh Ngọc Cường wins the Main Event and Kickoff Event

apl main event champ
Huỳnh Ngọc Cường. Credit: Grand Loyal Poker Club Facebook

With only four very small live event cashes since 2017, Huỳnh Ngọc Cường turned it 180 degrees by winning two of the festival’s most sought after tournaments – the Main Event and Kickoff Event. At the Kickoff, Huỳnh outlasted 311 runners, defeating pro Cao Ngọc Anh at heads-up. This earned him his first ever win and a career high VNđ 412,020,000 (~US$ 17,872). Days later, the winning momentum carried into the Main Event. Huỳnh entered the final table as chip leader then took it to the limit to pick up an even larger payout of VNđ 1,003,500,000 (~US$ 43,528). Huỳnh’s incredible run earned him a combined VNđ 1,415,520,000 (~US$ 61,400).

For a brief rundown of the Main Event, it drew the largest field of 415 entries, and with buy-in at VNđ 11,000,000 (~US$ 477), it well exceeded the advertised VNđ 3 billion guarantee. The top 42 places won a piece of the VNđ 4,025,500,000 (~US$ 174,600) prize pool. Among the finalists were Anh Nguyen and Van Sang Nguyen.

Buy in: VNđ 11,000,000 (~US$ 477)
Guarantee: VNđ 3,000,000,000 (~US$ 130,100)
Entries: 415
Prize pool: VNđ 4,025,500,000 (~US$ 174,600)
ITM: 42 places

Final table payouts

1st Huỳnh Ngọc Cường – VNđ 1,003,500,000
2nd Nguyễn Hoàng Anh – VNđ 640,000,000
3rd Nguyễn Văn Sáng – VNđ 380,000,000
4th Nguyễn Khẳc Thái – VNđ 275,000,000
5th Nguyễn Tuẫn Anh – VNđ 205,000,000
6th Nguyễn Anh Minh – VNđ 155,000,000
7th Nguyễn Phương Việt – VNđ 125,000,000
8th Mr. Sumo – VNđ 100,000,000
9th Pham Minh Đức – VNđ 80,000,000

Kickoff Event

Buy in: VNđ 6,600,000 (~US$ 290)
Guarantee: VNđ 1,500,000,000 (~US$ 65,000)
Entries: 311
Prize pool: VNđ 1,810,020,000 (~US$ 78,510)
ITM: 47 places

Final table payouts

1st Huỳnh Ngọc Cường – VNđ 412,020,000
2nd Cao Ngọc Anh – VNđ 260,000,000
3rd Phan Tuẫn Vinh – VNđ 170,000,000
4th Nguyễn Văn Kỳ – VNđ 120,000,000
5th Eric Billgren – VNđ 90,000,000
6th Nguyễn Tién Sơn – VNđ 70,000,000
7th Trẫn Huy Phong – VNđ 55,000,000
8th Nguyễn Đăng Lam Hỗng – VNđ 45,000,000
9th Trẫn Hùng Mạnh – VNđ 36,600,000

High Roller 33M – NGUYỄN DUY VŨ – VNđ 719,600,000 (~US$ 31,213)

For players with heavier wallets, three high roller events were offered. The High Roller 33M extended the lowest buy in of VNđ 33,000,000 (~US$ 1,430). This attracted a healthy 113 entries to more than double up the one billion Vietnamese dong guarantee to VNđ 2,502,600,000 (~US$ 108,550). Claiming his first ever win and the largest payout of VNđ 719,600,000 (~US$ 31,213) was Nguyễn Duy Vũ. This was nearly seven times more than his previous high score of US$ 4,669 which he earned at the APL Hanoi 2019 Kickoff event. Nguyễn also cashed at the festival opener in 37th place for VNđ 9,000,000 (~US$ 390).

Buy in: VNđ 33,000,000 (~US$ 1,430)
Guarantee: VNđ 1,000,000,000 (~US$ 43,380)
Entries: 113
Prize pool: VNđ 2,502,600,000 (~US$ 108,550)
ITM: 12 places

Final table payouts

1st Nguyễn Duy Vũ – VNđ 719,600,000
2nd Đỗ Quang Thái – VNđ 440,000,000
3rd Nguyễn Tién Sơn – VNđ 319,000,000
4th Doãn Quang Thinh – VNđ 244,000,000
5th Nguyễn Năng Quang – VNđ 187,000,000
6th Trẫn Thanh Vinh – VNđ 143,000,000
7th Kim Sinwoo – VNđ 112,000,000
8th Nguyễn Đặng Lam Hỗng – VNđ 87,000,000
9th Phạm Tién Dũng – VNđ 75,000,000

High Roller Club – ANDRE LETTAU – VNđ 504,000,000 (~US$ 21,861)

andre lutte poker
Andre Lettau. Credit: Asia Poker League

At the High Roller Club, 49 ponied up the VNđ 55,000,000 (~US$ 2,385) buy-in to build a VNđ 1,067,000,000 (~US$ 46,280) pot. Only 7 players dipped in the money jar with Germany’s Andre Lettau taking the biggest share of VNđ 504,000,000 (~US$ 21,861) for his victory. Lettau defeated well known Vietnamese pro Julien Tran at heads-up. For the past few years, Lettau has been seen on the Asian live felt however his claim to fame was his performance at the 2014 EPT Barcelona where he pocketed a life changing US$ 1,045,913 at the € 5,300 No Limit Hold’em event.

Buy in: VNđ 55,000,000 (~US$ 2,385)
Entries: 49
Prize pool: VNđ 1,067,000,000 (~US$ 46,280)
ITM: 7 places


1st Andre Lettau – VNđ 504,000,000
2nd Julien Trẫn – VNđ 300,000,000
3rd Phạm Tién Dũng – VNđ 203,000,000
4th Nguyễn Quang Huy – VNđ 60,000,000

Superstars Challenge – PHẠM TIÉN DŨNG – VNđ 601,200,000 (~US$ 26,000)

The most expensive event of the series was the Superstars Challenge with buy in at VNđ 86,000,000 (~US$ 3,730). It pulled in an impressive 17 entries for a sizable pot worth VNđ 1,319,200,000 (~US$ 57,222). The final showdown came between Phạm Tién Dũng and notable player Tien Quyet Pham. Of the two, Tien Quyet Pham was the more seasoned player with live cashes and victories from all over the world amounting to US$ 224,000 as opposed to Phạm Tién Dũng with only four cashes to his name. Despite the experience, it was Phạm Tién Dũng who came out on top for a career high score of VNđ 601,200,000 (~US$ 26,000). This was also his maiden victory.

Buy in: VNđ 86,000,000 (~US$ 3,730)
Entries: 17
Prize pool: VNđ 1,319,200,000 (~US$ 57,222)
ITM: 4 places


1st Phạm Tién Dũng – VNđ 601,200,000
2nd Tien Quyet Pham – VNđ 365,000,000
3rd Đặng Duy Thành – VNđ 243,000,000
4th Trẫn Huy Hoàng – VNđ 110,000,000

Other Results

Monster Stack

Buy in: VNđ 6,600,000 (~US$ 290)
Guarantee: VNđ 600,000,000 (~US$ 26,000)
Entries: 113
Prize pool: VNđ 657,660,000 (~US$ 28530)
Winner: NGUYỄN DUY TÙNG – VNđ 184,660,000 (~US$ 8,000)

The Closer

Buy in: VNđ 6,600,000 (~US$ 290)
Guarantee: VNđ 500,000,000 (~US$ 21,700)
Entries: 111
Prize pool: VNđ 646,020,000 (~US$ 28,000)
ITM: 14 places
Winner: YOSHIHITO – VNđ 178,520,000 (~US$ 7,740)


Buy in: VNđ 22,000,000 (~US$ 954)
Entries: 15
Prize pool: VNđ 291,000,000 (~US$ 12,620)
ITM: 4 places
Winner: NGUYỄN QUANG HUY – VNđ 145,000,000 (~US$ 6,290)
2nd Nguyễn Năng Quang – VNđ 72,000,000

Up next for the APL

At this time, APL has not announced any confirmed events for 2021 however a return to Hanoi in November has been teased. We will have more info for you as soon as more details are released.

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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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