The Asian Poker Tour has just announced their APT Kick-Off 2018 event and unlike all its predecessors, this annual opening event of the year will be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
APT Executive Director, Lloyd Fontillas expressed to Somuchpoker,
“It’s great to be going back to Vietnam! What is going to make this event stand out from the last one a couple of years back is the fact that locals can now play and with local friendly buy-ins. Players attending the APT Kick Off can expect to see increased player numbers as compared to the last time we were there.”
Although the APT has traditionally held their yearly openers in the Philippines, this move is very much in line with the brand’s constant pursuit of new destinations both within and outside of Asia. Last year alone, the APT returned to Macau after a three-year absence; they also held an event in Daegu, Korea, sailed on the Rex Fortune Cruise ship off Hong Kong waters, and tread the shores of New Caledonia where they will be returning to later this month. With the Vietnam poker landscape now seeing some sunshine for the locals, it was just a matter of time before the APT seized the opportunity for a second return.
The APT Kick-off Vietnam 2018 will take place at the host-venue and partner, Pro Poker Club, in HCMC. The poker festival will run from January 19 -28, 2018 featuring a VND 16,500,000 buy-in Main Event, which is roughly around US$730. There will also be 17 side events with buy-ins ranging from VND 3M – VND 32M (US$132 – US$1,400 approx).
While the Vietnam government has loosened its view on tournament poker, players still face a high rake as compared to neighboring countries. For the APT Kick-Off Vietnam 2018, the APT will still keep with the usual “Buy-in + 10% fee” however they will apply the 10% government tax on winnings on events of buy-ins VND 10M and above.
A return for the APT to Vietnamese Soil
Back in May 2015, the APT held its first Vietnam event at the Ho Tram Resort Casino. At the time, only foreigners were allowed to play and no legal poker clubs existed in the country. The festival attracted 119 entries to the Main Event, generating a prize pool of $115,400. Several well-known pros with Vietnamese descent were in attendance such as Nam Le, Tommy Le, Peter Nguyen, Phong Nguyen aka Turbo, and KC Tran.
A second edition was then scheduled for later that year but was cancelled due to a conflict between the World Gaming Magazine (WGM) and the casino management.
With the recent announcement of the APT Kick-Off Vietnam 2018, the APT will now get their chance for a second run in the country. Add in factors such as the event will be held at the populous city of Ho Chi Minh, and that the locals will now be able to participate, this event is expected to draw in many locals who no longer have to travel outside of their country to enjoy an international caliber poker event.
Article by Triccia David