APT Kick-off Vietnam: Rayhaan Adam ships first APT Main Event of 2020; Yohwan Lim, Vincent Li, & Lu Zheng Hao win trophies

The Asian Poker Tour is in Vietnam hosting their first event of the calendar season. APT Kick-Off Vietnam 2020 got underway on January 10, scheduled to wrap up in January 21. Half of the awards table has been wiped out. Among the early winners were Yohwan Lim, Vincent Kwun Ngai Li, and Lu Zheng Hao. Shipping the prestigious Main Event title was South Africa’s Rayhaan Adam for back to back live tournament victories.

Main Event: Rayhaan Adam – VND 1,731,440,000 (~US$ 74,700)

Not many South Africans make their way to the Asian poker circuit but that may soon change with country national Rayhaan Adam lifting the APT Main Event title in Vietnam. This was Adam’s first title ini Asa. He overcame a field of 365 entries for a VND 1,731,440,000 (~US$ 74,700) payday, his largest live tournament win.

Rayhaan Adam
Rayhaan Adam – Photo APT

A confessed online player, Adam only had two previous live tournament scores and both were earned in his homeland. The largest of the two was a victory at the WPTDeepstacks Main Event which took place in Johannesburg in late November 2019. Like at the APT, he topped a sizable field of 436 entries.

At the encouragement of a fellow countryman, Adam took his chances at the APT Main Event while in Vietnam for business. He cruised through Day 2 then bagged the chip lead at the end of Day 3 to enter the final 8 table backed by an intimidating stack. However the tides shifted. In an interview with APT media after his win, Adam stated,

“I needed to change things. I played tight because everyone there was very loose. They were playing a lot of hands and if I played like them, I was going to get into trouble. Everyone on the table was playing more hands than I think any poker player in a final table should play. When the short stacks doubled up, I realized I had to be tight… And it was much tougher than I thought, much tougher than at WPT because there I knew all those players very well.”

The final table was a lineup of players all seeking their first-ever APT major title. Hong Kong’s Hwang Sang Yeon was the only player with prior APT Main Event final table experience having finished 4th at the tour’s 2019 festival finale. For this round, Hwang was only able to reach 7th place, falling after fellow countryman Ho Yin Shek took 8th.

Holding up the flag for India was APL Ambassador Sumit Sapra who finished 5th at the inaugural APL Da Nang Main Event in December. Sapra continued his strong performance, finishing 5th. Vietnam’s only hope was a player named Tuan, earning the mid road with 4th place. Three players remaining, all of them from outside of the Asian continent. Frenchman Francis Garson railed the most at the final table, denying three players the title. However, he too was turned down, falling at the hands of Malta’s Brandon Mifsud. This left Mifsud and Adam to fight for the crown.

Mifsud had the edge at the start. Adam immediately caught up. Leadership exchanged several times. One big hand was full house over full house with Mifsud behind holding Jc7c to Adam’s Jh9d on a board JsJd7d9sQd. Despite the loss, Mifsud recovered and rose to an 8:1 lead, however, Adam proved too tough to conquer. Adam regained lead in two double ups, then seized the title with QhJd full house to Mifsud’s KhQs trips on a board QcJc5h4cQd.

The Main Event ran from January 12 to 17. It attracted 365 entries with buy-in at VND 22,000,000 (~US$ 950). This wasn’t enough to reach the guarantee for a rare overlay. The prize pool was VND 7,760,000,000 (~US$ 334,200) with 37 places paid.

Final 8 Payouts

1st Rayhaan Adam – South Africa – VND 1,731,440,000 (~US$ 74,700)
2nd Brandon Mifsud – Malta – VND 1,154,300,000 (~US$ 49,800)
3rd Francis Garson – France – VND 802,450,000 (~US$ 34,600)
4th Tuan – Vietnam – VND 579,590,000 (~US$ 25,000)
5th Yuwen Pan – China – VND 433,440,000 (~US$ 18,700)
6th Sumit Sapra – India – VND 334,530,000 (~US$ 14,400)
7th Hwang Sang Yeon – Korea – VND 265,650,000 (~US$ 11,400)
8th Ho Yin Shek – Hong Kong SAR – VND 216,430,000 (~US$ 9,300)

Kick-Off Event: Van Tiep Nguyen – VND 264,590,000 (~US$ 11,400)

Van Tiep Nguyen
Van Tiep Nguyen

The season opened with the Kick-Off Event which ran for three days from January 10 to 12. Lighting up the felt were 107 entrants. Familiar faces and regulars graced the felt but it was newcomer Van Tiep Nguyen from Czech Republic who overcame the competition. Nguyen earned VND 264,590,000 (~US$ 11,400) for his first-ever live title. By no means though was it his largest live win. In his homeland, Nguyen scored US$ 75,575 for 2nd place at the German Poker Championships 2017 High Roller 8-max. In March 2018, he earned another five-figures of US$ 61,478 at the WSOP International Circuit High Roller in Rozvadov.

Buy-in: VND 11,000,000 (~US$ 475)
Entries: 107
Prize pool: VND 1,037,900,000 (~US$ 44,700)
ITM: 18 places

Final 8 payouts

1st Van Tiep Nguyen – Czech Republic – VND 264,590,000
2nd Wanchana Valaikanok – Thailand – VND 176,390,000
3rd Michal Polchlopek – Poland – VND 122,620,000
4th Ho Yin Shek – Hong Kong SAR – VND 88,570,000
5th Phu Danh Nguyen – Vietnam – VND 66,230,000
6th Yik Yin Ray Chiu – Hong Kong SAR – VND 51,120,000
7th Jonathan Looi – Malaysia – VND 40,590,000
8th Chatchai Kuprujiwong – Thailand – VND 33,070,000

Lu Zheng Hao wins two events for VND 243,220,000 (~US$ 10,400)

Lu Zheng Hao
Lu Zheng Hao

Winning two events is not an easy task and at the ongoing series, Singapore’s Lu Zheng Hao did just that. He won the No Limit Hold’em 1 event, defeating a field of 45 entries. A few days after, he was awarded the Deep Stack Turbo win on a four-way deal that had him ahead in chips. Hao earned a combined VND 243,220,000 (~US$ 10,400).

No Limit Hold’em 1

Buy-in: VND 9,900,000 (~US$ 430)
Entries: 45
Prize pool: VND 392,850,000 (~US$ 17,000)
ITM: 8 places


1st Lu Zheng Hao – Singapore – VND 123,280,000
2nd Bin Zhang – China – VND 82,180,000
3rd Soo Jo Kim – Korea – VND 57,130,000
4th Ang Kai Loon – Singapore – VND 41,260,000
5th Song Daewoong – Korea – VND 30,860,000
6th Ray Yi Yin Chiu – Hong Kong SAR – VND 23,820,000
7th Seo Myeong Jin – Korea – VND 18,910,000
8th Iori Yogo – Japan – VND 15,410,000

Deep Stack Turbo

Buy-in: VND 6,600,000 (~US$ 285)
Entries: 114
Prize pool: VND 663,480,000 (~US$ 28,600)
ITM: 19 places

Final 8 payouts

1st Lu Zheng Hao – Singapore – VND 119,940,000 (~US$ 5,200) deal made
2nd Takuya Ohara – Japan – VND 106,610,000 (deal made)
3rd David Erquiaga – Philippines – VND 99,100,000 (deal made)
4th Cheuk Fan Ng – Hong Kong SAR – VND 85,950,000 (deal made)
5th Chock Ming Kiat – Malaysia – VND 42,810,000
6th Choi Eng Loong – Malaysia – VND 32,270,000
7th Koki Kudo – Japan – VND 25,620,000
8th Jeonggyu Cho – Korea – VND 20,870,000

Super High Rollers: “BoxeR” Yohwan Lim – VND 746,900,000 (~US$ 32,200)

Yohwan Lim
Yohwan Lim

Glorious moment for ex-gamer Yohwan Lim aka “BoxerR” who shipped the Super High Rollers event. This was Lim’s first-ever SHR title but certainly not his first career victory. Lim is a regular at the APT circuit and is one of the handful of players with two major APT Championship titles. His largest live score was exactly one year ago at the APT Kick-off Vietnam 2019, taking down the Championships Event for US$ 88,000. At the time of writing, he is currently playing the same event.

Buy-in: VND 107,500,000 (~US$ 4,600)
Entries: 11
Prize pool: VND 1,067,000,000 (~US$ 46,000)
ITM: 2 places


1st Yohwan Lim – Korea – VND 746,900,000 (~US$ 32,200)
2nd Minh Le – Vietnam – VND 320,100,000 (~US$ 13,800)

High Rollers Single Day 2: Vincent Kwun Ngai Li – VND 175,600,000 (~US$ 7,600)

Vincent Kwun Ngai Li
Vincent Kwun Ngai Li

In November 2019, Hong Kong’s Vincent Kwun Ngai Li took down a couple of High Rollers events at APT Vietnam. He returned to the scene of his success and triumphed once again. Like previous, it was a High Rollers event, one of the Single Days offered.The event had 9 players in action, and at three-handed an ICM deal was struck to award 3rd place. Li went on to defeat Soo Jo Kim for the title.

Buy-in: VND 43,000,000 (~US$ 1,800)
Entries: 9
Prize pool: VND 349,200,000 (~US$ 15,000)


1st Vincent Kwun Ngai Li – Hong Kong SAR – VND 175,600,000 (~US$ 7,600) deal made
2nd Soo Jo Kim – Korea – VND 93,000,000 (~US$ 4,000) deal made
3rd Nguyen Phinh Van – Vietnam – VND 80,600,000 (~US$ 3,400) deal made

High Rollers Single Day 1: Duc Bien Nguyen – VND 205,230,000 (~US$ 8,800)

Duc Bien Nguyen
Duc Bien Nguyen

Duc Bien Nguyen grabbed his first maiden victory at the High Rollers Single Day event for VND 205,230,000 (~US$ 8,800). Nguyen bested a field of 12 entries that included APT Finale Main Event champion Zhou Yueyang who Nguyen knocked out on the bubble.

Buy-in: VND 43,000,000 (~US$ 1,900)
Entries: 12
Prize pool: VND 465,600,000 (~US$ 20,100)
ITM: 2 places


1st Duc Bien Nguyen – Australia / Vietnam – VND 205,230,000 (deal made)
2nd Xiaosheng Zheng – China – VND 260,320,000 (deal made)

Event 2: Pot Limit Omaha Hi

Buy-in: VND 7,700,000 (~US$ 330)
Entries: 19
Prize pool: VND 129,010,000 (~US$ 5,500)
ITM: 4 places
Winner: Vijaykumar Ramasamy – Malaysia – VND 51,900,000 (~US$ 2,200)

Event 3: Deep Stack Turbo

Buy-in: VND 6,600,000 (~US$ 285)
Entries: 45
Prize pool: VND 261,900,000 (~US$ 11,300)
ITM: 8 places
Winner: Kovantsev Viacheslov – Russia – VND 82,180,000 (~US$ 3,500)

Event 5: Deep Stack Turbo

Buy-in: VND 6,600,000 (~US$ 285)
Entries: 46
Prize pool: VND 267,720,000 (~US$ 11,500)
ITM: 8 places
Winner: Aleksei Varashev – Russia – VND 84,010,000

Event 6: No Limit Hold’em Single Day

Buy-in: VND 8,800,000 (~US$ 380)
Entries: 39
Prize pool: VND 302,640,000 (~US$ 13,000)
ITM: 7 places
Winner: Junho Hyeon – Korea – VND 88,030,000 (~US$ 3,800)

Event 9: Head Hunter

Buy-in: VND 8,800,000 (~US$ 380)
Entries: 73
Prize pool: VND 420,480,000 (~US$ 18,100)
ITM: 13 places
Winner: Nguyen Quang Minh aka Mr Ngo – Vietnam – VND 116,500,000 (~US$ 5,000)

APT Kick-off Vietnam 2020 is currently on Day 2 of the featured Championships Event. We will have a final recap and results of the series at the close of the festival.

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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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