WPT Vietnam: Le Ngoc Khanh banks a billion at the Kickoff; Yoon Chang Hwan wins the opening Turbo

The first billion payout of WPT Vietnam was awarded today with Event #1 Kickoff VN₫ 4 Billion guaranteed coming to a conclusion. The envy of all was Vietnam’s own Le Ngoc Khanh who rose above the 412 entries to capture the VN₫ 1,231,890,000 (~US$ 53,000) first prize. This is now Khanh’s largest live tournament career win.

We’ve got a recap of that event for you along with the festival’s early results.

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Le Ngoc Khanh

WPT Vietnam opened its games two days ago at Pro Poker Club with Event #1 Kickoff VN₫ 4 Billion guaranteed getting plenty of attention. Many of the region’s biggest names were in attendance. The hottest flight was Day 1B with 250 entrants tearing up the felt. In total, the three starting days drew 412 entries (318 uniques + 94 re-entries) and with each entry costing VN₫ 16,500,000 (~US$ 700), the guarantee was well exceeded for a much healthier VN₫ 5,994,600,000 (~US$ 258,000) prize pool.

Breaking that down:

Day 1A: 90 entries
Day 1B: 250 entries
Day 1C: 72 entries

Returning to action on the final day were 51 players, each one already guaranteed a dip in the pot. India was well represented. Not only did they have strength in numbers but also in performance. Their own Akshay Nasa led in the pack and kept his momentum high to secure one of the final 9 seats. Eventual champion Khanh brought in the largest stack to the final table.

Final table recap

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Final Table Kick Off

The final table comprised of four Vietnamese players, four Indian players, and one from Singapore. The first to meet his doom was Tran Duc Toan (9th) with 7d7h running into Nasa’s QdQh. Despite the boost in chips, Nasa tumbled out next (8th) when his pocket threes were unable to improve against Nguyen Pham The Quan’s pocket kings. This gave Nguyen the chip lead which he held for a brief moment.

Seven-handed witnessed plenty of movement starting with Laksh Pal Singh doubling up through Nguyen. It was followed by two big pots won by Huynh Duc Tai to steal the lead while simultaneously bringing Khanh down to par. After successive losses, Nguyen took 7th with Rubin Labroo delivering the boot. Not long after, Singh (6th) joined the railbirds. The lone Singaporean Suren Balachandran couldn’t bring his stack to fighting form and had to settle for 5th place.

At four-handed, Huynh amassed over half of the chips in play however as the round progressed, he suffered several big hits, twice from Khanh.. Khanh landed a third double up with Ad2d getting very lucky against Labroo’s AcKd on a board of 10dAs2s4sAh. Short stacked Labroo made up for the lost chips with a double up of his own through Huynh with 2d2s turning into quads on a board of 4d2c2hKc6s.

Before the next elimination, another beauty hand was tabled with Jaideep Sajwan getting full pay for his boat. It was a battle of the blinds with Huynh initiating the action. When the board completed 8cKc6d8h3h, all the chips were in. Huynh’s 3d8d full house was way behind Sajwan’s KhKs higher boat. But as seen with some of the previous fallen, Sajwan’s rise didn’t last. His Qh9h flopped top pair was outdrawn by Labroo’s 8d7d that completed a straight on a board 9c4d6d10sAd to send him out in 4th place. Heads up was reached at the fall of Huynh in 3rd place to Khanh.

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Heads Up

Just before the final duel, Labroo and Khanh attempted on a deal but failed to agree. The game then resumed with Khanh on the advantage. The first four hands were won by Labroo to grab the chip lead however the next five all went to Khanh leading to his opponent’s demise. The final hand had Khanh all in with As6s and Labroo AdKd. The board ran 10c8c7h9dQd for a straight and the victory to the Vietnamese pro.

With this win, Khanh leads the WPT Asia Swing leaderboard and the Season XVIII WPT APAC Player of the Year race.

Final 9 payouts + points earned
Prize pool: VN₫ 5,994,600,000 – Buyin: VN₫ 16,500,000 – Entries: 412 – ITM 51 players

1st Le Ngoc Khanh (VIetnam) – VN₫ 1,231,890,000 + 100 points
2nd Rubin Labroo (India) – VN₫ 862,923,000 + 90 points
3rd Huynh Duc Tai (Vietnam) – VN₫ 554,860,000 + 80 points
4th Jaideep Sajwan (India) – VN₫ 369,267,000 + 70 points
5th Suren Balachandran (Singapore) – VN₫ 284,144,000 + 60 points
6th Laksh Pal Singh (India) – VN₫ 235,288,000 + 50 points
7th Nguyen Pham The Quan (Vietnam) – VN₫ 197,522,000 + 40 points
8th Akshay Nasa (India) – VN₫ 160,356,000 + 30 points
9th Tran Duc Toan (Vietnam) – VN₫ 123,189,000 + 20 points

Notables in the money

Among the notable players in the money were: Lim Yohwan (21st), Iori Yogo (29th), Florencio Campomanes (32nd), Alex Wei Xiang Lee (34th), Jeonggyu Cho (39th), and Vu Duc Trung (44th).

Event #2 Deepstack Hyper Turbo – Yoon Chang Hwan

Yoon Chang Hwan

Opening day witnessed the first event winner crowned with Korea’s Yoon Chang Hwan coming out strong. He rose above the 57 entrants of Event #2 Deepstack Hyper Turbo to capture his first-ever live win. Hwan pocketed VND 159,235,000 (~US$ 6,800).

Prize pool: VN₫ 442,316,000 (~US$ 19,000) – Buyin: VN₫ 8,800,000 (~US$ 380)

1st Yoon Chang Hwan (Korea) – VN₫ 159,235,000
2nd Cao Thang Dang (Vietnam) – VN₫ 93,550,000
3rd Gaganjyot Juneja (India) – VN₫ 58,607,000
4th Quang Hai Vu (Vietnam) – VN₫ 39,808,000
5th Michael Geoffrey (Australia) – VN₫ 30,962,000
6th Kam Sang Suen (Hong Kong) – VN₫ 24,327,000
7th Kjell Ove Dyb (Norway) – VN₫ 19,904,000
8th Hoang Ton Nguyen (Vietnam) – VN₫ 15,923,000

Ongoing events: High Rollers 1 and Bounty Event

Also filling up portions of the poker room were the High Roller 1 and Bounty Event, both running Day 1. These events will complete tomorrow.

High Roller 1
Buy-in: VN₫ 107,000,000 (~US$ 4,600, largest buy-in of the festival)
Entries: 47 (37 uniques, 10 re-entries)
Prize pool: VN₫ 4,559,000,000 (~US$ 196,000)
ITM: 6 places
1st prize: VN₫ 1,778,010,000 (~US$ 76,500)
Remaining: 11 players
Total chips in play: 11,750,000
Average stack: 1,068,181
Opening blinds: 10K – 20K ante 20K (Level 14)

Andre Lettau – Austria – 3,095,000 (chip leader)
Mike Takayama – Philippines – 1,640,000
Thanh Binh Nguyen – Vietnam – 1,430,000
Quang Minh Nguyen – Vietnam – 1,280,000
Vincent Huang – Australia – 1,210,000
Hun Hong Je – Korea – 690,000
Sean Ragozzini – Australia – 645,000
Tran Tien Ly – Vietnam – 605,000
Alex Lindop – England – 450,000
Sang In Lee – Korea – 415,000
Quang Huy Nguyen – Vietnam – 300,000

Bounty Event
Buy-in: VN₫ 8,800,000 (~US$ 380)
Entries: 169 (137 uniques, 32 re-entries)
Prize pool: VN₫ 888,940,000 (~US$ 38,300)
ITM: 22 places
1st prize: VN₫ 233,646,000 (~US$ 10,000)
Remaining: 9 players

Up next: Main Event – VN₫ 15 Billion (~US$ 644,000) guaranteed

The event everyone is gearing up for hits the felt tomorrow, September 6th. Starting at 1pm local time is the much-awaited VN₫ 15 Billion guaranteed Main Event. Buy-in is VN₫ 55,000,000 (~US$ 2,400). Somuchpoker is on-site to bring you full coverage including live updates. Make sure to check back often for all the latest stories.

More: WPT Vietnam Season XVIII Coverage

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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