Late evening on December 8, 2023, the Asian Poker Tour (APT) released a shocking announcement on all of its social media channels stating that the remainder of the APT Hanoi Billions 2023 was being canceled. The festival had already been running since December 1 with only December 9 and 10 yet to be completed. The abrupt cancellation affected numerous events including the record breaking Main Event. Somuchpoker (SMP) immediately reached out to APT on the issue, and received this response,
“Currently the finance team is working around the clock to make sure players are paid out from all events and get back all pre paid buy ins.”
This is was further reaffirmed by APT’s recent statement,
“As previously announced, all player funds are secure from APT Hanoi Billions 2023. The Asian Poker Tour and VSOP have returned a majority of the funds as of December 10, 2023. For all unclaimed funds, players should email: email@example.com. Again, we are truly sorry, and we appreciate your understanding during this challenging situation.”
However, the APT has not yet released information on the cause of the abrupt cancellation. SMP also reached out to APT partner, Vietnam Series of Poker (VSOP) who stated,
“The cancellation was necessary to protect players and staff. We are in the process of making sure all players refunds are completed. Poker has been booming in Hanoi for the past two years. What happened will likely see poker become more controlled in the country.”
Only time will tell if this will change the landscape of the Vietnam international poker scene or if it is an isolated incident. At this time, it seems to be the latter with the Asian Poker Festival (APF) continuing to run smoothly in Hanoi. The event has been ongoing since December 7 and will conclude on December 13 at the Royal Poker Club.
Record- Breaking APT numbers
The APT Hanoi Billions 2023 was the brand’s biggest and richest festival in history. By the end of Day 8, the intended ten-day series had already amassed VN₫ 181.4 Billion in trophy event prizes, which was roughly US$ 7.47 Million. Despite numerous event cancellations and the sudden decision to end the festival two days early, this jaw dropping figure marks APT’s relentless pursuit to elevate the brand and bring players the best poker in Asia.
SMP is closely following the developments and will continue to share updates.