APT Kickoff 2019 Vietnam: Abhinav Iyer wins the Main Event; Van Ngoc Binh, Alex Lindop, Michael Falcon, & Ray Chiu win events

For the second year in a row, the Asian Poker Tour kicked off its calendar season in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Alike the previous opener, it was a smash with the room jam packed everyday. The festival has been running since January 9 and will conclude on January 20. The first of the two guaranteed events completed along with numerous side events. Below are the early winners.

Abhinav Iyer wins the Main Event

Abhinav Iyer
Abhinav Iyer – Photo APT

A commanding victory for India’s Abhinav Iyer at the first featured tournament of the festival. Iyer topped the 576 entry field to pocket his largest live tournament career score of VND 2,269,092,000 (~USD 97,000). This was also Iyer’s first-ever major international win.

The Main Event advertised an 8BN guarantee which was easily crushed and replaced with a prize pool of VND 11,174,400,000 (USD 481,000). Due to the new pay table, only 10% got paid with the top three spots earning billions (in Dong).

For a brief recap, according to the reports, Iyer entered the final 8 round with a dominating lead. He proceeded to railroad the table, knocking out six of the seven challengers. The final 8 wrapped up in just three hours.

Final 8 payouts
Buyin: VND 22,000,000 – Entries: 576 – ITM: 58 places

1st Abhinav Iyer – India – VND 2,269,092,000
2nd Daiki Horikawa – Japan – VND 1,512,731,000
3rd Mai Te – China – VND 1,051,629,000
4th Huu Tuan Nguyen – Vietnam – VND 759,571,000
5th Mark Gruendemann – Ireland – VND 568,039,000
6th Hak Do Kim – Korea – VND 438,408,000
7th Ming Yang Liu – China – VND 348,137,000
8th Sim Kok Wai – Malaysia – VND 283,642,000

Among those that cashed out side of the final 8 were: Huu Dung Nguyen (11th), Duy Ho (14th), Siyang Phua (17th), Alan King Lun Lau (22nd), Jae Wook Shin (23rd), Van Ngoc Binh (25th), Xiaosheng Zheng (32nd), Phan Dinh Nam (37th), Dhaval Mudgal (49th), Lim Yohwan (50th), and Soo Jo Kim (53rd).

Van Ngoc Binh wins the High Rollers 1

Van Ngoc Binh
Van Ngoc Binh – Photo APT

Vietnamese payer Van Ngoc Binh is the only local so far that has won an event. Binh rose above the 89 runners of the High Rollers event and overcame a loaded final table with the likes of Dhaval Mudgal, Iori Yogo, Dinh Xuan Dinh, and Le Ngoc Khanh around the orbit. Binh captured the VND 1,153,551,000 (~USD 50,000) first prize. Prior to this win, Binh also cashed at the Main Event for his 25th place finish.

Top 10 payouts
Prize pool: VND 4,316,500,000 (USD 186,360) – Buyin: VND 53,750,000 – Entries: 89 – ITM: 15 places

1st Van Ngoc Binh – Vietnam – VND 1,153,551.000
2nd Le Ngoc Khanh – Vietnam – VND 769,034,000
3rd Dhaval Mudgal – India – VND 534,261,000
4th Madhav Gupta – India – VND 386,147,000
5th Phong Lam – Vietnam – VND 288,776,000
6th Rotem Bacher – Israel – VND 222,875,000
7th Iori Yogo – Japan – VND 176,984,000
8th Hao He – China – VND 144,196,000
9th Dinh Xuan Dinh – Vietnam – VND 120,164,000
10th Joonhee Yea – Korea – VND 100,136,000

Alex Lindop wins the Super High Rollers

Alex Lindop
Alex Lindop – Photo APT

The Super High Rollers event had 28 entries and with each buy-in at VND 107,500,000, the prize pool grew to a very rich VND 2,716,000,000 (~USD 116,825). Only 5 players sliced off a share. UK’s Alex Lindop shipped the largest of VND 1,160,333,000 (~USD 50,100) after defeating China’s Feng Hua Huan at heads up. This was Lindop’s first-ever victory in Asia and his first since winning a WSOP bracelet in 2015.

1st Alex Lindop – UK – VND 1,160,333,000
2nd Feng Hua Huan – China – VND 672,569,000
3rd Linh Tran – Vietnam – VND 416,342,000
4th Nguyen Van Phinh – Vietnam – VND 274,565,000
5th Ji Xiaqing – China – VND 192,191,000

Michael Kim Falcon wins the opening Monster Stack event

Michael Falcon – Photo APT

The opening Monster Stack event set the pace for the festival with a turnout of 174 entries. To get in, players paid the VND 11,000,000 buy-in for a prize pool of VND 1,687,800,000 (~USD 72,660) generated. APT regular Michael Kim Falcon came out very strong, amassing one of the biggest stacks on opening day. At the final day, he continued to crush the field gobbling up chips from every direction to win the VND 383,346,000 (~USD 16,500) first prize.

Falcon is on fire at the series. He also cashed in the High Rollers Single Day event and the Short Deck Single Day event making him one of the leaders in the APT Player of Series race.

Top 10 payouts

1st Michael Kim Falcon – Denmark – VND 383,346,000
2nd Huu Tuan Nguyen – Vietnam – VND 255,565,000
3rd Tung Nguyen – Vietnam – VND 177,665,000
4th Antoine Follet – VND 128,324,000
5th Tin Nguyen – Vietnam – VND – 95,966,000
6th Steffen Endres – Germany – VND 74,066,000
7th Huy Coshet – Vietnam – VND 58,815,000
8th Lim Yohwan – Korea – VND 47,919,000
9th Soo Jo Kim – Korea – VND 39,933,000
10th Quan Nguyen – Vietnam – VND – 39,933,000

Ray Chiu ships the Dafabet Head Hunter tournament

Ray Chiu
Ray Chiu – Photo APT

Another event with a healthy turnout was the Dafabet sponsored Head Hunter tournament. There were 113 entries for a prize pool of VND 650,880,000 (~USD 28,000). Only 19 players earned a piece. Hong Kong’s Ray Yik Yin Chua took it to the limit, defeating Norbert Koh at heads up. Chua pocketed the VND 163,625,000 first prize plus another VND 12,000,000 in bounty rewards.

Top 8 payouts

1st Ray Chiu – Hong Kong – VND 163,625,000
2nd Norbert Koh – Singapore – VND 109,017,000
3rd Edward Yam – Hong Kong – VND 75,726,000
4th Co Chung Chuen – Hong Kong – VND 54,840,000
5th Cao Ngoc Anh – Vietnam – VND 41,012,000
6th Phan Tuan Vinh – Vietnam – VND 31,652,000
7th Chi Chung Ho – Hong Kong – VND 25,135,000
8th Duy Ho – Vietnam – VND 20,479,000

The APT Kickoff is ongoing at Pro Poker Club. The 6B GTD Championships Event is currently underway. Stick with us, we will have the festival’s final results for you as soon as it concludes.

Article by Tricia David

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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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