Asian Poker Tour concludes record-breaking season opener in Vietnam

The Asian Poker Tour stormed through Ho Chi Minh City for their season opener – the APT Kickoff Vietnam 2018 – and after ten jam-packed days at the Pro Poker Club, guarantees were surpassed and records broken. This was indeed a highly successful kickoff for the brand that chose to hold this annual event in Vietnam instead of the Philippines, its main hub. For those that were there, they saw a promising market taking full flight. Here are the biggest winners of this inaugural event in Ho Chi Minh City.

Adrian Esslen tops the Main Event and wins APT Payer of the series

Adrian Esslen - Photo APT

The Main Event filled up every seat in the house that several side events had to be cancelled. One of the biggest attractions was the advertised VND 3 Billion guarantee. With the new changes implemented, extending late registration to Day 2 plus and added entry day, the field swelled to a record-breaking 664 entries. This more than tripled the guarantee to settle at an enormous VND 9,661,200,000 (~US$425,000).

More: The Asian Poker Tour overwhelmed by its success in Vietnam

Expectedly many notable pros and APT decorated players were in attendance with some able to navigate their way to the money round. Philippines’s Flo Campomanes was one of those players, representing his country well with a final table berth. He finished in 8th place. Korea’s Soo Jo Kim and Vietnam’s Harry Duong were the only past APT champions making it through to the final day with Kim taking 18th and Duong in 22nd. Greece’s Charalampos Lappas also ran deep finishing 21st, then down the line were Czardy Rivera (73rd}, Tzu Chieh Lo (78th), Samad Razavi (85th), Eugene Co (86th), and John Phan (109th).

Filling his pockets with the largest payout of the series was a new face to the APT circuit, Adrian Esslen aka Adinho888. Esslen outlasted the massive Main Event field powering through the final six round dominated by the Vietnamese. He earned VND 1,313,920,000 (~US$57,681) along with the numerous awards attached to his victory. Additionally, Esslen accrued the highest number of points to win the APT Player of the Series,

Final 8 payouts

1st Adrian Esslen – VND 1,313,920,000
2nd Le Hong Nghia – Vietnam – VND 875,300,000
3rd Nguyen Hoang Anh – Vietnam – VND 608,720,000
4th Lam Kim Long – Vietnam – VND 437,650,000
5th Macaron Tan – Vietnam – VND 328,480,000
6th Vu Minh Tri – Vietnam – VND 356,990,000
7th Dmitrii Ilin – Russia – VND 208,680,000
8th Flo Campomanes – Philippines – VND 176,800,000

High Roller breaks guarantee, Vin Huynh triumphs

Vin Huynh - Photo APT
Vin Huynh – Photo APT

While only a handful of locals won events, Vietnam’s Vin Huynh earned the second highest champion’s payout by topping the Pro Poker Club High Rollers. This event had an advertised VND 2 billion guarantee and with 114 entries, the prize pool grew to VND 3,327,400,000 (~US$146,072). Huynh earned VND 701,970,000 (~US$30,816) defeating Denis Pham at the heads up round. Taking third was APT regular Michael Kim Falcon. Outside of the final table, notable pro Iori Yogo finished 11th.

Notable pros claim trophies

Among the several side events that were able to grace the tournament floor, some of them were claimed by notable pros. The No Limit Hold’em 2 event that saw a healthy 168 entries was won by Kosei Ichinose who took home Vnd 344,820,000 (~US$15,137). Other pros running deep were Harry Duong, Ian Brion, and Katsuhiro Muto.

At the Warm Up event with 167 entries, Tetsuya Tsuchikawa reached the heads up round but fellow countryman Mitsuru Sano denied him the glory. Sano earned the title and the VND 239,930,000 (~US$10,532) first prize.

Towards the final days of the series, Singapore’s Norbert Koh rode above the 117 entries of the Monster Stack event and shipped in VND 170,018,000 (~US$7,463) while Philippines’s John Tech got on the board with a victory in the Super Deep Stack Turbo 2 event. Tech pocketed VND 93,150,000 (~US$4,089).

Article by Triccia David

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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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