Asia Poker League Online series heats up Natural8-GGNet; sttephenl, ssscg, Mr_Vaz, surov1, zhongshanbei early winners; over US$ 12M guaranteed throughout

Here we go with another Asia Poker League Online Series on Natural8 – GG Network! Now on its fifth run, the event once again offers low to mid-ranged buy in tournaments and rich returns with a thumping CN¥ 80,000,000 (~US$ 12,040,000) in guaranteed prize pools. If the past is an indication of what lies ahead, then expect much more flowing with the previous series paying out over US$ 19.7 Million. 

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The excitement is already underway. Satellites and entry heats kicked off on May 28 with the first trophies awarded these past few days. Walking away victorious were Poland’s “sttephenl”, Brazil’s “Mr_Vaz”, Montenegro’s “surov1”, and two for China “ssscg” and “zhongshanbei”.

Plenty of cash and trophies yet to be won with 15 events to go. Headlining the festival is the Main Event featuring a CN¥ 10,000,000 (~US$ 1,502,878) guarantee. Last edition, the event paid out well over US$ 2M with Austria’s nettleylocking up nearly CN¥ 1.6M, roughly US$ 251,565. The final crowning takes place on June 19. In addition to trophy events are numerous side events covering every type of bankroll. Be on the lookout for Natural8 ambassador Pete Chen as he goes after the APL Jade Trophies. Also to watch for are the world’s elite as they take on the biggest games this festival has to offer.

Now here’s a brief review of the completed events.

Festival update (up to June 5)

Event 1 – 5 prize pool: CN¥ 2,443,031 (~US$ 366,310)
Entries: 20,571
Richest event pot: Zodiac Bounty MILLIONS – CN¥ 2,409,600 (~US$ 362,673)
Biggest event winner: “surov1” – VN₫ 603,331,286 (~US$ 26,022)
Side Event prize pool: CN¥ 18,030,751 (~US$ 2,703,545)
Richest side event pot: Sunday SHR – CN¥ 1,259,700 (~US$  188,880)
Biggest side event winner: Dalton “morgota” Hobold – CN¥ 314,867 (~US$ 47,211)

Event 1: Zodiac Bounty MILLIONS – STTEPHENL – CN¥155,984 (~US$ 23,477)

The Zodiac Bounty MILLIONS drew a massive 12,048 entries across 38 entry flights. Although it was significantly less than previous by a fourth it still broke past the guarantee for a richer CN¥ 2,409,600 (~US$ 362,673) prize pool. Out of the 1,497 final day qualifiers, 1,300 departed with a slice of the pot. After a six hour battle, Poland’s “sttephenl” survived the masses, defeating Vietnam’s “DH_Pegasus” at heads up. This was the Pole’s first ever APL title and it came with a CN¥ 92,142 first prize. Combined with the CN¥ 63,842 collected in bounties, “sttephenl” pocketed a network career high CN¥ 155,984 (~US$ 23,477) payout. This bumped up the champion’s tournament earnings to US$ 45,494. 

Date: May 28 to June 5
Buy in: CN¥ 210 (~US$ 31.60)

Guarantee: CN¥ 2,022,000 (~US$ 304,335)
Cumulative entries: 12,048
Final day: 1,497 players
Prize pool: CN¥ 2,409,600 (~US$ 362,673)
ITM: 1,300 places

Final table payouts 

1st sttephenl Poland US$ 23,477 CN¥ 155,984
2nd DH_Pegasus Vietnam 18,014 119,685
3rd yoshhi Japan 12,416 82,492
4th TurboQueen Hungary 8,437 56,053
5th Nezer21 Israel 6,847 45,492
6th POTAGE HABAS Morocco 4,751 31,568
7th Zzz_clock China 3,820 25,380
8th zhanhuo China 3,463 23,009
9th Victor Bahia Andorra 3,497 23,236

Event 2: Dragon Boat Festival Tip-Off – SSSCG – CN¥ 159,266 (~US$ 23,936)

With a final table lineup dominated by China, it was almost no surprise to see the Dragon Boat Festival Tip-Off title claimed by one of the flag-bearers. Anonymous player  “ssscg” outlasted the 2,601 entry field that included multi network champion “rui911” (7th), and Italian player Alessandro Giannelli at heads up. Ssscg scooped up a network career high CN¥ 159,266 (~US$ 23,936). Since signing up to the GG-Net over a year ago, ssscg has been treading in and out of the black until this big win. 

Date: June 3, 2022
Buy in: CN¥ 555 (~US$ 83.40)

Guarantee: CN¥ 1,000,000 (~US$ 150,288)
Entries: 2,601
Prize pool: CN¥ 1,328,070 (~US$ 199,593)
ITM: 431 places

Final table payouts 

1st ssscg China US$ 23,985 CN¥ 159,265
2nd Alessandro Giannelli Italy 17,986 119,431
3rd BuBBuBBBBu China 13,487 89,560
4th lion311 China 10,114 67,161
5th wy316 China 7,585 50,363
6th hellofeng China 5,688 37,767
7th rui911 China 4,265 28,321
8th NoYuna China 3,198 21,238
9th Troy iLOVEfantaxo”” Mclean Australia 2,398 15,926

Event 3: Da Nang River’s Bounty – MR_VAZ – VN₫ 269,183,122 (~US$ 11,610)

High demand for the Da Nang River’s Bounty as it drew the biggest crowd out of all the opening weekend’s single day entry events. The 2,918 field built a a prize pool of VN₫ 2,918,000,000 (~US$ 125,830) with 368 earning a piece. Among the players at the final table were network regular “LargePoodle” in 8th place and Georgia’s “yx0o” who nearly added another network victory to its consistently rising stats finishing in 3rd place. Grabbing the win was Brazil’s “Mr_Vaz” after denying the hard-hunting Chinese player “AH-GaoJin” at victory’s step. Mr_Vaz collected a cool VN₫ 118,070,809 for the win and an added VN₫ 151,112,313 in bounties for a combined VN₫ 269,183,122 (~US$ 11,610) payday. That was quite a jump from the single VN₫ 1,050,000 (~US$ 45.30) buy in spent. This increased Mr_Vaz‘s collective network earnings to over US$ 41.4K. 

Date: June 4, 2022
Buy in: VN₫ 1,050,000 (~US$ 45.30)
Guarantee: VN₫ 2,000,000,000 (~US$ 86,244)
Entries: 2,918
Prize pool: VN₫ 2,918,000,000 (~US$ 125,830)
ITM: 368 places

Final table payouts 

1st Mr_Vaz Brazil US$ 11,610 VN₫ 269,183,122
2nd AH-Gaojin China 5,755 133,439,490
3rd yx0o Georgia 5,087 117,950,554
4th wohlkeAK Brazil 4,315 100,032,482
5th BulletBoyBil South Africa 2,285 52,977,287
6th Sambise Gamgee Slovenia 2,017 46,772,796
7th stockddt Taiwan 1,359 31,511,047
8th LargePoodle Australia 912 21,136,840
9th H JinCheng China 642 14,890,239

Event 4: Ho Chi Minh Championship – SUROV1 – VN₫ 603,331,286 (~US$ 26,022)

The biggest buy in event of the weekend was the Ho Chi Minh Championship with entry of VN₫ 3,300,000 (~US$ 142). This found 1,705 runners for a prize pool of VN₫ 5,176,380,000 (~US$ 223,264). The final table was graced by a few favorites, high roller / WSOPC ring winner Sihao “Mr_3rdBullet” Zhang who finished 7th, South Africa’s Jarred “Solosalt” Solomon who dropped out 4th, and Singapore’s Shan Hui “OolonggZai” Chua who finished 2nd after a heads up ICM deal with Montenegro’s “surov1″.

This was another strong performance by surov1 who persevered throughout the nearly nine hour event to increase in network earnings to US$ 161.7K. Among surov1’s other wins was a victory at the Bounty Hunters Sunday Special in December 2021 for US$ 22,053, and at the Zodiac Festival Sunday Main Event last month for US$ 12,883. 

Date: June 5, 2022
Buy in: VN₫ 3,300,000 (~US$ 142)
Guarantee: VN₫ 3,000,000,000 (~US$ 129,394)
Entries: 1,705
Prize pool: VN₫ 5,176,380,000 (~US$ 223,264)
ITM: 287 places

Final table payouts

1st surov1 Montenegro US$ 26,022 VN₫ 603,331,286
2nd Shan Hui OolonggZai”” Chua China 24022 556,949,861
3rd xing9527 China 16,082 372,864,644
4th Jarred Solosalt” Solomon South Africa 12,060 279,609,210
5th NoNutsNoGlory Netherlands 9,044 209,677,292
6th Zeroo1807 Vietnam 6,782 157,235,951
7th Sihao Mr_3rdBullet” Zhang Luxembourg 5,086 117,910,353
8th hackinho Austria 3,814 88,420,146
9th pthai Vietnam 2,860 66,305,967

Event 5: Hanoi Enter the Dragon [6-Max] – ZHONGSHANBEI – VN₫ 380,549,820 (~US$ 16,410)

After opening weekend, Monday night was calmer with the first short handed event under the spotlight. The Hanoi Enter the Dragon [6-Max] saw a 1,299 turnout for another guarantee crushing prize pool of VN₫ 2,629,176,000 (~US$ 113,375). The top 188 players locked up a portion with China’s “Zhongshanbei” banking a personal network high VN₫ 380,549,820 (~US$ 16,410) payout. Zhongshanbei defeated hot running Ukranian player “Kostya_Jock” who recently banked over US$ 225K for winning two network bounty events and running deep at another.

Also at the final table was Russian player BaNkRoLISuX” who was the only player seeking a second APL Online Series title. Back in September, BaNkRoLISuX shipped the Jeju Jade Dragon. Another notable player needing mention was WSOP bracelet winner Wei Guo Liang from China who ran aground in 8th place, just missing the final table. Liang’s pocket Tens were outdrawn by BaNkRoLISuX Ace-Jack that rivered a jack. 

Buy in: VN₫ 2,200,000 (~US$ 95)
Guarantee: VN₫ 2,000,000,000 (~US$ 86,244)
Entries: 1,299
Prize pool: VN₫ 2,629,176,000 (~US$ 113,375)
ITM: 188 places

Final table payouts

1st zhongshanbei China US$ 16,410 VN₫ 380,549,820
2nd Kostya_Jock Ukraine 11,865 275,145,153
3rd KBlunder Turkey 8,578 198,935,487
4th BaNkRoLlSuX Russia 6,202 143,834,306
5th Hiroki “ENE3” Nakagawa Japan 4,485 103,995,045
6th HIFUMID Japan 3,243 75,190,460
7th ideatheater India 2,345 54,364,245

Stay tuned for more APL Online Series reviews here at Somuchpoker.

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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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