APL Vietnam Main Event down to the final 23 players; Te Mai leads; Norbert Koh among the contenders

It was make or break at Asia Poker League Vietnam with 149 players returning to Pro Poker Club for Day 2 of the Main Event. For nearly half the field, it was to be a day of misfortune with only 78 places due to get paid. At the end of the scheduled 10 rounds, the money bubble was well breached and 23 players remained. Securing the chip leader status was China’s Te Mai with 1,870,000.

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Te Mai

Entering Day 2, Te Mai was clearly in radar with a big stack accumulated at Day 1D. By the first hour, he brought his stack into the top three and continued to pile it in. One of his biggest pots came late in the day winning with a straight over Hien Hoa’s set of tens.

Te Mai wasn’t the only player to finish the day in the seven-digit range, in fact, seven other players found their way as well. Amassing 1,560,000 was Singapore’s Melvin Tay Yao Loon. Loon was shadowed all day by many of the heavy-hitting pros in the field however his elimination of Huu Tuan Nguyen during the last level of play earned him a huge pot and second-rank in the Day 3 rung.

Other millionaire stacks were Yi Won Lee (1,385,000), Chu Thai Thinh (1,260,000), Huy Pham (1,250,000), Feng Zhao (1,140,000), Thang Tran (1,095,000), and Hong Kong Nguyen (1,055,000). All of these players plus Tung Nguyen (945,000) will enter the next round with above average stacks. You can read up on the action via our Live Updates post.

Day 2 – Live Updates

Chip counts by rank

Te Mai China 1,870,000
Melvin Tay Yao Loon Singapore 1,560,000
Yi Won Lee Korea 1,385,000
Chu Thai Thinh Vietnam 1,260,000
Huy Pham Vietnam 1,250,000
Feng Zhao Singapore 1,140,000
Thang Tran Vietnam 1,095,000
Hong Kong Nguyen Canada 1,055,000
Tung Nguyen Vietnam 945,000
Li Min Jie China 785,000
Zhu Yong China 750,000
Seo Dong Kyoon Korea 695,000
Huynh Vinh Quang Vietnam 675,000
Norbert Koh Singapore 645,000
Loo Jun Zhong Malaysia 585,000
Vu Duc Trung Vietnam 520,000
Qinyi Tong China 470,000
King Maker Vietnam 385,000
Leo Pham Vietnam 370,000
Tran Xuan Truc Vietnam 330,000
Vu Trung Thanh Vietnam 300,000
Quan Nguyen Vietnam 290,000
Tran Thanh Van Vietnam 250,000

Here’s a look at what’s in store for Day 3:

Opening blinds: 15K-30K ante 30K
Total chips in play: 18,610,000
Average stack: 809,130

Main Event rundown and Day 2 recap

The Main Event kicked off on May 12 boasting of an VND 8 Billion guarantee for a buy-in of just VND 16,500,000 (US$720). At the end of the four starting days, a thunderous 623 registered for a much richer prize pool of VND 9,064,650,000 (~US$ 388,000). The eventual winner will pocket a lion’s share VND 1,700,440,000 (~US$72,800) however that result won’t be known until two days time.

Main Event Day 2 saw 149 players back in action, each one looking to earn a piece of the pot with only 78 due to profit. The bubble burst on Tao Tien Manh with QdQh falling to Thang Tran’s Ah4h. Tien Manh shoved on the flop and Thang tank-called. An ace was on the flop and held.

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Thang Tran

Manh wasn’t the only player to walk away empty-handed. Prior to his fall, several notable players bit the dust including decorated APL Vietnam Main Event champion Lew Yin How. Once the money flowed, it flowed very fast leaving only 23 players at bagging time.

Among the players that cashed were Huu Tuan Nguyen (25th), Andy Ying Kit Chan (36th), Julien Tran (40th), Jack En Ching Wu (41st), Tony Chung Fai Ngeow (48th), Steve Yea (49th), Matthew Mortensen (51st), Dhanesh Chainani (59th), Cao Ngoc Anh (71st), and Alex Lee Xiang Wei (75th).

Day 3 gets underway at 1pm on Friday, May 17. Somuchpoker will continue to bring you live updates on all the action.

Last Man Standing contest: HKPPA vs SPL

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Players may have noticed HKPPA and SPL patch stickers on some of the players throughout the event. That’s because there is a Last Man Standing contest taking place between two clubs, HKPPA (Hong Kong Poker Players Association) and SPL (Singapore Poker League). The last man remaining at the Main Event from either club will win a seat to the next APL Main Event.

Looks like SPL has already won that with Co Chung Chuen as the last of HKPPA bowing out in 30th place. It is just a matter of who among the three SPL members remaining will outlast. Will it be Norbert Koh? Feng Zhao? Or Melvin Tay Yao Loon?

APL Vietnam 2019 – Full coverage

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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