Asia Poker League HCMC: Kjell Ove Dyb wins the Kickoff; four winners crowned

The Asia Poker League is still relatively new in the live poker world, having only begun in 2016.

In that time, it has grown persistently and moved out of its early home in China to tour Asia. The long-anticipated Vietnamese stop in Ho Chi Minh City at Pro Poker Club has now arrived, with the opening four events having now reached completion.

Here is the latest from APL Ho Chi Minh City

VND6,600,000 buy in Kickoff Event – Winner: Kjell Ove Dyb

Winner Kickoff
Kjell Ove Dyb

The opening event of this APL festival saw a healthy turnout of 275 runners, each paying the VND6,600,000 (US$285) entry fee and contributing to the eventual prize pool of VND1,600,500,000 (US$69,094). Only 41 players would go on to cash the event with over VND400,000,000 set aside for the winner.

The final stages were a tense affair, with Vietnamese duo Duy Lam Nguyen and Khoi Nguyen seeking to get the festival off to a flying start for the players on home soil. With China’s Yew Fatt Kan falling in 4th place, there seemed to be every chance of a Vietnamese winner, but Norway’s Kjell Ove Dyb was proving a hard obstacle to pass as he continued to gather chips. Ultimately, it came down to Khoi Nguyen and Kjell Ove Dyb, and the Norwegian refused to be denied the title, claiming victory heads up and taking the top prize.

The final payouts are as follows:
Kjell Ove Dyb   (Norway) – VND407,600,000 (US$17,596)
Khoi Nguyen (Vietnam) – VND240,100,000
Duy Lam Nguyen (Vietnam) – VND140,800,000
Yew Fatt Kan (China) – VND108,800,000
Quang Huy Nguyen (Vietnam) – VND91,200,000
Sanh Bao Huy Thai (Vietnam) – VND75,200,000
Tuan Vinh Ohan (Vietnam) – VND57,600,000
Hwang Jaeyeol (Korea) – VND38,400,000
Ong Xun Keith (Singapore) – VND27,200,000

VND5,500,000 NLH Turbo 1 – Winner: Huy Hoang Tran

Winner of the NLH Turbo 1 Huy Hoang Tran – Photo credit: APL

The first event in the series to conclude was the VND5,500,000 (US$237) NLH Turbo 1. The total field size hit just 34 which was still enough to generate a prize pool of VND144,900,000 (US$6,255), with 5 going on to reach the money.

Anthony Chech’s elimination in 4th place left three Vietnamese contenders to fight it out for the title. Quang Nguyen was the first of them to fall, leaving Hoai Lam Vu and Huy Hoang Tran to contest the title. Hoai Lam Vu put up a spirited resistance, but in the end the day belonged to Tran who picked up the trophy and pocketed the top prize.

The final payouts are as follows:
1st – Huy Hoang Tran (Vietnam) – VND67,700,000 (US$2,923)
2nd – Hoai Lam Vu (Vietnam) – VND41,200,000
3rd – Quang Nguyen (Vietnam) – 24,700,000
4th – Anthony Check (England) – 18,100,000
5th – Yohan Ko (Korea) – 13,200,000

VND6,600,000 KO Bounty Turbo – Winner: Huy Thai Nguyen

Knockout Bounty Turbo winner Huy Thai Tran – Phot credit: APL

The KO Bounty Turbo event saw 47 hopefuls pay the VND6,600,000 (US$285) buy in to take their shot at the title. This helped the prize pool hit VND164,900,000 (US$7,119) with almost VND80,000,000 set aside for the winner.

The latter stages were of special interest as APL founder Judic Kim made a deep run, eventually busting in 4th place. He was followed to the rail shortly after by Anh Tuan La, leaving Therotakoorat Thananat and Huy Thai Nguyen heads up for the title. In the end, Nguyen was able to triumph over his opponent, picking up a coveted APL title and a career-best score.

The final payouts are as follows:
1st – Huy Thai Nguyen (Vietnam) – VND79,240,000 (US$3,421)
2nd – Therotakoorat Thananat (Thailand) – VND46,700,000
3rd – Anh Tuan La (Vietnam) – VND28,400,000
4th – Judic Kim (Korea) – VND20,300,000
5th – Mong Hoang Trung (Vietnam) – VND16,200,000
6th – Vu Dai Nguyen (Vietnam) – VND12,200,000

VND7,700,000 Deepstack Turbo – Winner: Chao Xi

Winner of the Deepstack Turbo Chao Xi – Photo credit: APL

This turbo event carried a slightly higher buy in of VND7,700,000 (US$332), and with 52 participants the total prize pool reached VND353,080,000 (US$15,246). 7 players went on to make the money with over VND130,000,000 up top.

Despite around half of the final table being made up of Vietnamese competitors, the final stages of this tournament were all about China’s Bin Zhang and Chao Xi. The pair were unstoppable at the final table, accumulating chips and busting players with apparent ease as they cruised towards the heads-up stage. The elimination of Thanh Vinh Tran in 3rd place set the stage for the final fight, with Chao Xi eventually finding a way past his compatriot.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Chao Xi (China) – VND130,580,000 (US$5,637)
2nd – ZHANG BIN (China) – VND77,700,000
3rd – Thanh Vinh Tran (Vietnam) – VND47,700,000
4th – Duc Ngoc Tran (Vietnam) – VND33,500,000
5th – Thai Cuong Nguyen (Vietnam) – VND26,500,000
6th – Quoc Vin Nguyen (Vietnam) – VND21,200,000
7th – Hwang Jaeyeol (Korea) – VND15,900,000

Still to come

The opening events have certainly brought plenty of action with them, but the best is most certainly still to come. Among the key events yet to finish are the VND15,000,000 (US$648) Main Event which got underway on October 6th. There are four starting day flights, with days 1b, 1c and 1d taking place on the 7th, 8th and 9th.

In addition, Friday the 11th of October sees the VND30,000,000 (US$1,295) High Roller begin, with three day 1 starting flights scheduled between the 11th and 13th. The final table will play out on October 14th.

APL Ho Chi Minh City Schedule

Article by Craig Bradshaw