World Poker Tour Season XX debuts WPT Prime in Vietnam this May; here’s what to expect


For the past two years, live poker has been booming in Hanoi, Vietnam with numerous homegrown events running continuously. Coming May 19 to 30, players will have something unique to feast on as the
World Poker Tour Season XX heads to the capital city with a sizzling new series called WPT Prime. Announced back in February, this will be the world’s first look at the new format and it promises to be very lucrative featuring VN₫ 15 Billion (~US$ 649.645) in guarantees. The event takes place at the Crown Poker Club, right in the heart of the city. Here’s a preview of what to expect and why it should be highlighted in your calendars.

Full WPT Prime Vietnam schedule

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Since 2018, WPT festivals have been one of the most sought after events in Vietnam with players from all over Asia Pacific making the trek. In 2019, the WPT paid out a massive US$ 1.92 Million, its largest to date. Last year, the brand visited Hanoi for the first time, and despite the ongoing global health crisis, it produced a substantial turnout and a grand prize pool of nearly US$ 775K. With Vietnam borders now open to fully vaccinated international travelers, the launch of WPT Prime is expected to challenge those figures, and in turn, set the tone for future Asia stops in Cambodia and Taiwan.

*Good news for incoming foreign travelers, as of May 15, 2022, Vietnam has lifted all requirements. All you need now is proof of vaccination to enter the country. 

WPT Prime Vietnam Main Event

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Stripping down the new lineup, the twelve-day festival consists of 24 trophy-bearing events, five of which extend a guarantee. The center of attraction is the Main Event which features a robust VN₫ 8 Billion (~US$ 346,477) prize pool. The event runs from May 26 to 30 with three starting days to choose from. For the first time, action clocks will be introduced in Day 2, live updates will run throughout, and the final table will be broadcasted live by premier techno production ShareHand. Buy in is VN₫ 25,000,000 (~US$ 1,083). To enter for less, players can try their luck at the various satellites on offer. New Zealand’s Hamish Crawshaw remains Vietnam’s richest WPT Main Event winner, pocketing over VN₫ 3.7 Billion (~US$ 163K) in 2019. 

WPT Prime Vietnam Main Event details

This season, the Main Event winner will have plenty to brag about as she or he will be crowned the first ever WPT Prime Main Event champion. Additionally, players that cash will earn points towards the WPT Player of the Year Season XX leaderboard. 

Other Guaranteed Events

WPT Opener 

To blast off this exciting new series, players will be welcomed in by an enticing WPT Opener which features a VN₫ 2,500,000,000 (~US$ 108,274) guarantee. The event runs from May 19 to 22 with three starting days of registration offered. Buy in is VN₫ 8,800,000 (~US$ 381). To enter for less, players can try for a seat at any of the five satellites scheduled. 

Mystery Bounty 

Mystery Bounty events have grown in popularity in the United States and this year, they were introduced to the Asian scene. Players can enjoy this thrilling new format under the WPT Prime banner and earn a piece of the VN₫ 1,000,000,000 (~US$ 43,310) guarantee. The event runs from May 23 to 24 with two starting flights offered. Buy in is VN₫ 11,000,000 (~US$ 476). 

High Roller 2 Day Event

The lineup also includes four events with hefty entry fees. These tend to separate the masses from those with heavier bankrolls. Featuring a guarantee is the two-day High Roller event which book-ends the series running from May 29 to 30. For a buy in of VN₫ 66,000,000 (~US$ 2,858), players have a chance at the VN₫ 2,500,000,000 (~US$ 108,274) guarantee. The final table will also be streamed live by ShareHand. 

WPT Megastack Closer

On closing day, players have one final chance to earn the big bucks with the WPT Megastack Closer sporting a VN₫ 1,000,000,000 (~US$ 43,310) guarantee. The event takes place on May 30 with a buy in of VN₫ 7,700,000 (~US$ 333). 

High Roller Events

In addition to the High Roller 2 Day event are three tournaments sure to attract the big guns. On Saturday, May 21 is the Super Stars Challenge Invitational, the most expensive tournament with a jaw dropping buy in of VN₫ 210,000,000 (~US$ 9,100). 

Following that event, on Sunday, May 22 is the Single Day High Roller with buy in of VN₫ 55,000,000 (~US$ 2,380), and on Thursday, May 26 is the Super High Roller two-day event with buy in of VN₫ 107,000,000 (~US$ 4,635).

In addition to these events, players can indulge in a variety of tournaments offered daily that include crowd favorites such as Deepstacks, Superstacks, Main Event Warm Up, and Freezeouts. One Tag Team event is offered. For other variants, there is a Short Deck event on May 24, and a two-day Pot Limit Omaha tournament on May 25 to 26. 

WPT Player of the Festival

At the conclusion of the series, the player with the highest number of points accrued will be crowned WPT Player of the Festival. For the achievement, the winner will receive a WPT Passport worth up to US$ 5,000 for a Main Tour entry of their choice.

Click here for all the details and terms.

Tourist info

For players visiting Hanoi for the first time, it is one of the most charming cities in Southeast Asia. Aside from poker, players can immerse in the richness of the culture and influences of French colonialism as showcased by the city’s architecture. Touring temples and night markets are also fun for first timers. For the more adventurous, an overnight tour in a junket on Halong Bay is recommended. 

For accommodations, the WPT has secured special player rates at the Pullman Hanoi Hotel which is a short walk to the poker venue. These rates are limited so make sure to contact wpt@crownpokerclub.com for reservations. 

Country currency is the Vietnamese Dong. International players can exchange currency at the airport. There are also numerous exchange counters around the city including a bank in the same building as Crown Poker Club. 

triccia

Triccia David

Triccia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits. She spent a year working part time with Poker Portal Asia and later became the editor and 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 blogger for several other major events in the Philippines. Currently, she is in charge of events reporting for Somuchpoker.

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