VSOP Championship III + APL: Phạm Tiên Dũng rocks the series with Main Event and APL Dragon Cup titles; festival highlights inside

Viet Nam Series of Poker Championship III in collaboration with Asia Poker League wrapped up a weeklong festival that saw all of its guarantees crushed and a grand prize pool of nearly VN₫ 10.5 billion (~US$ 460,000). The series ran from March 14 to 20 at the VSOP Poker Club in Hanoi. Emerging as the biggest winner was Phạm Tiên Dũng who shipped both the Main Event and the APL Hanoi Dragon Cup. Impressively, Phạm was the only play to capture two series events. Other players pulling outstanding results were Đình Gia Long and Hoàng Trung Thành. Here’s a look at all the festival highlights. 

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Photo credit: VSOP

Phạm Tiên Dũng wins the Main Event and APL Hanoi Dragon Cup – VN₫ 1,180,800,000

The most celebrated player of the series was Phạm Tiên Dũng who took down two of the most coveted events, the Main Event and the APL Hanoi Dragon Cup. This earned Phạm a combined score of VN₫ 1,180,800,000 (~US$ 51,600) making him the series’ biggest earner. Phạm’s first win was at the APL sponsored event where he cleared VN₫ 280,000,000, then followed it up days later with a Main Event victory to collect a career high VN₫ 900,800,000. 

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Phạm Tiên Dũng – Main Event champion – Photo credit: VSOP

The Main Event offered a sizable VN₫ 2M guarantee which was crushed to bits by the 478 turnout. In its place was a much richer VN₫ 4,588,800,000 (~US$ 200,630) prize pool of which 60 players earned a cut. The final day opened with 81 players left on the hunt led by Daniel Nguyến (Day 1B chip leader) and eventual champion Phạm Tiên Dũng (Day 1C chip leader). Other entering big stacks were Minh Nguyến who finished 27th and Trấn Huy Hoàng who departed 25th. The final table was reached at the fall of Kickoff champion Hoàng Trung Thành in 10th place. Among the finalists was well known pro Phạm Quang Huy (3rd).

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Main Event – Final 9 players – Photo credit: VSOP

To claim the crowning title, Phạm Tiên Dũng grinded down Hoàng Trung Hiếu in a forty minute heads up battle. The final hand saw short stacked Hoàng shove with a desperate 10-6, Phạm Tiên Dũng tank-called with A-9. Hoàng paired his ten on the turn but was trumped by the ace on the river. Despite being denied the title, Hoàng was still the second highest earner of the series. In addition to the VN₫ 600,000,000 runner up payout, he also pocketed VN₫ 77,000,000 for his 5th place finish at the Kickoff event. 

At the APL Hanoi Dragon Cup, 196 entered at VN₫ 6,600,000 (~US$ 290) buy in each for another smashing prize pool. The pot doubled from a guaranteed VN₫ 500M to VN₫ 1,128,900,000 (~US$ 49,360) with the top 25 players paid. At heads up, Phạm Tiên Dũng defeated Đinh Gia Long to secure the title and VN₫ 280,000,000 (~US$ 12,240). 

Based on Phạm’s steadily increasing stats on The Hendon Mob, he is one player to keep a watch on. His young live career only started during the height of the pandemic but since then has accumulated 12 cashes. In late-September 2020, Phạm got on the board with a 2nd place finish at the Nha Trang Poker Championships Super High Roller event for VN₫ 377 Million (~US$ 16,250). Two months later, he ran deep again taking 3rd at the VSOP 2 Super High Roller event for a larger VN₫ 465 Million (~US$ 20,100). In April 2021, he landed his first career title at the APL Super Stars Challenge for VN₫ 601,200,000 (~US$ 26,000), beating his previous high score. After the recently concluded festival, Phạm’s two new wins sent him over US$ 133K in live earnings. 

Main Event
Buy in: VN₫ 11,000,000 (~US$ 482)
Guarantee: VN₫ 2,000,000,000 (~US$ 87,600)
Entries: 478
Prize pool: VN₫ 4,588,800,000 (~US$ 200,630)
ITM: 60 places

Final table payouts

1st Phạm Tiên Dũng – VN₫ 900,800,000
2nd Hoàng Trung Hiếu – VN₫ 600,000,000
3rd Phạm Quang Huy – VN₫ 400,000,000
4th Phạm Ngọc Tú – VN₫ 265,000,000
5th Đặng Thanh Lương – VN₫ 200,000,000
6th Lê Duy Anh – VN₫ 152,000,000
7th Trấn Mạnh Hùng – VN₫ 125,000,000
8th Trấn Anh Tuấn – VN₫ 105,000,000
9th Phan Tuấn Vinh – VN₫ 90,000,000 

VSOP Kickoff: HOÀNG TRUNG THÀNH – VN₫ 316,000,000

Setting the pace of the VSOP Championship III was the four day Kickoff event featuring an enticing VN₫ 1 Billion guarantee. After three starting heats, 318 signed on at VN₫ 5,500,000 (~US$ 240) each to build a sweeter prize pool of VN₫ 1,526,400,000 (~US$ 66,740). Out of the 47 players in the money, Hoàng Trung Thành claimed the motherlode on his maiden victory. Hoàng shipped the title, trophy, and pocketed his largest tracked career score of VN₫ 316,000,000 (~US$ 13,800). Several days later, Hoàng ran deep at the Main Event, just missing the final table by one spot. For his 10th place finish, he added another VN₫ 77,0000,000 (~US$ 3,360) to his winnings. 

Final table payouts

1st Hoàng Trung Thành – VN₫ 316,000,000
2nd Chu Quang Dũng – VN₫ 215,000,000
3rd Lê Hải – VN₫ 138,000,000
4th Minh Nguyến – VN₫ 102,000,000
5th Hoàng Trung Hiều – VN₫ 77,0000,000
6th Vũ Minh Dức – VN₫ 61,000,000
7th Nguyến Thùy Dương – VN₫ 48,000,000
8th Nguyến Quóc Dũng – VN₫ 38,000,000
9th Đỗ Tuãn Phong – VN₫ 30,000,000

VSOP Super Stars Challenge: ĐINH GIA LONG – VN₫ 316,400,000 (~US$ 13,830)

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Photo credit: VSOP

The much awaited VSOP Super Stars Challenge interested 28 of the finest pros in the country. With buy in at the highest of VN₫ 33,000,000, the prize pool ballooned to VN₫ 806,400,000 (~US$ 35,260). Decorated player Nang Quang Nguyến reached the final table but missed the money round, Nguyến Hữu Dũng was first to cash in 5th place, while Lê Ngọc Khánh went head to head against Đình Gia Long for the title. Between the two, Đình was running red hot with final table finishes the previous two days. Đình placed 5th at the VSOP Super Bounty Hunter and 2nd at the APL Hanoi Dragon Cup. With momentum on his side, Đình closed it out to seize his first known live title and a career high payout of VN₫ 316,400,000. In total Đình walked away with a combined VN₫ 516,200,000 (~US$ 22,570) making him one of the highest earners of the series. 


1st Đình Gia Long – VN₫ 316,400,000
2nd Lê Ngọc Khánh – VN₫ 205,000,000
3rd Vũ Thái Bảo – VN₫ 135,000,000
4th Trần Huy Hoảng – VN₫ 90,000,000
5th Nguyến Hữu Dũng – VN₫ 60,000,000

VSOP Super Bounty Hunter: DIỆP QUỐC BẢO – VN₫ 62,000,000

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Photo credit: VSOP

Another guarantee smasher was the VSOP Super Bounty Hunter event where 119 came out for some slashing. This amassed a prize pool of VN₫ 346,400,000, of which VN₫ 119,000,000 went to the bounty pool. In the aftermath, Diêp Quốc Bảo was the last hunter standing to walk away with a total of VN₫ 62,000,000 (includes bounties). With no prior triumphs to his name, this may well have been Diêp’s first live victory and largest takedown. 

Buy in: VN₫ 3,400,000 (~US$ 150)
Guarantee: VN₫ 200,000,000 (~US$ 8,765)
Entries: 119
Main prize pool: VN₫ 227,400,000 (~US$ 9,940)
Bounty pool: VN₫ 119,000,000 (~US$ 5,200)
ITM: 18 places

Final table payouts

1st Diêp Quốc Bảo – VN₫ 62,000,000
2nd Lê Quốc Sơn – VN₫ 38,000,000
3rd Nguyến Cường – VN₫ 27,000,000
4th Bùi Đình Nam – VN₫ 20,700,000
5th Đình Gia Long – VN₫ 14,800,000
6th Nguyến Thanh Phong – VN₫ 10,900,000
7th Đỗ Tuần Cường – VN₫ 8,700,000
8th Phạm Minh Hiếu – VN₫ 7,000,000
9th Trần Minh Phường – VN₫ 5,700,000

VSOP Rising Stars: PHẠM ĐỨC HẠNH –  VN₫ 300,000,000

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Photo credit: VSOP

One of the last events of the series was the VSOP Rising Stars where 152 contributed the VN₫ 8,800,000 (~US$ 385) buy in. This more than doubled the VN₫ 500M guarantee for a larger VN₫ 1,166,800,000 (~US$ 51,000) prize pool. Among the top 19 players in the money, the glory and the VN₫ 300,000,000 top prize went to Phạm Dức Hạnh aka Minh Thanh for his victory. Although Phạm doesn’t have that many live cashes to his name, last February he shipped one of club’s Grinder Series events for his first ever win. In addition, Phạm also cashed at the Main Event (42nd – VN₫ 25,000,000) and 3rd at the APL Hanoi Dragon Cup for VN₫ 124,000,000. In total, Phạm walked away with a combined VN₫ 449,000,000 (~US$ 19,630). 

Final table payouts

1st Phạm Dức Hạnh – VN₫ 300,000,000
2nd Lường Văn Quảng – VN₫ 200,000,000
3rd Lê Xuân Long – VN₫ 135,000,000
4th Hà Mạnh Tường – VN₫ 100,000,000
5th Phạm Văn Bình – VN₫ 76,000,000
6th Phan Thanh Hùng – VN₫ 58,000,000
7th Trần Huy Hoàng – VN₫ 45,000,000
8th Huế Đặng – VN₫ 36,000,000
9th Vũ Tá Nhẩt – VN₫ 28,600,000

APL Bounty Special: NGUYỄN VĂN CHIẾN – VN₫ 105,000,000 (~US$ 4,600)

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Photo credit: VSOP

The APL Bounty Special  event was another huge crusher with the main pot alone surging to 1.5x the advertised VN₫ 300M guarantee. In the end, Nguyến Văn Chiển outlasted the 185 headhunters to lift his first ever APL trophy and a hefty VN₫ 105,000,000 payout (excluding bounties). Among the players that reached the final table were Vietnamese pros Lê Ngọc Khánh in 4th place and Phạm Ngọc Quốc Bảo in 8th place. 

Buy in: VN₫ 4,500,000 (~US$ 200)
Guarantee: VN₫ 300,000,000 (~US$ 13,145)
Entries: 185
Main prize pool: VN₫ 444,000,000 (~US$ 19,400)
Bounty pool: VN₫ 277,500,000 (~US$ 12,130)
ITM: 27 places 

Final table payouts 

1st Nguyến Văn Chiển – VN₫ 105,000,000
2nd Trương Toàn Thắng – VN₫ 80,000,000
3rd Mai Biển – VN₫ 48,000,000
4th Lê Ngọc Khánh – VN₫ 34,500,000
5th Lê Quóc Sơn – VN₫ 26,500,000
6th Đặng Quang Thi – VN₫ 21,000,000
7th Vũ Trung Thành – VN₫ 16,400,000
8th Phạm Ngọc Quóc Băo – VN₫ 12,600,000
9th Nguyến Đức Anh – VN₫ 9,800,000

Super High Roller (added event) – TRẦN VĂN NĂNG – VN₫ 400,000,000 (~US$ 17,490)

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Photo credit: VSOP

Due to high demand, a Super High Roller event was added on the third day with buy in at VN₫ 22,000,000 (~US$ 962). This attracted 71 to the felt for a prize pool of VN₫ 1,363,000,000 (~US$ 59,600). Recording his first known win was Trần Văn Năng aka Em Anh Tuan who defeated Phan Trọng Linh at heads up. Trần shipped a career high payout of VN₫ 400,000,000. Despite falling 2nd, runner up Phan also pocketed a personal high VN₫ 256,000,000 which he added to his recent Hanoi Spring Championship High Roller victory of VN₫ 174,400,000. 

Buy in: VN₫ 22,000,000 (~US$ 962)
Entrie: 71
Prize pool: VN₫ 1,363,000 (~US$ 59,600)
ITM: 11 places 


1st Trần Văn Năng – VN₫ 400,000,000
2nd Phan Trọng Linh – VN₫ 256,000,000
3rd Đăng Duy Thành – VN₫ 180,000,000
4th Nguyến Năng Quang – VN₫ 140,000,000
5th Trần Huy Hoàng – VN₫ 106,000,000
6th Lê Ngọc Khánh – VN₫ 80,000,000
7th Chu Thái Thịnh – VN₫ 60,000,000
8th Nguyến Quang Huy – VN₫ 45,000,000
9th Nguyến Anh Minh – VN₫ 36,000,000
10th Đào Minh Phú – VN₫ 30,000,000
11th Vũ Thái Bảo – VN₫ 30,000,000

Other results

No Limit Hold’em 1 – Nguyến  Quynh Trang – VN₫ 22,000,000
No Limit Hold’em 2 – Lê Hai – VN₫ 30,000,000

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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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