Indian pro Zarvan Tumboli has been crowned the World Poker Tour’s newest Season XX champion! Tumboli outlasted the record breaking 777 event turnout, defeating fellow pro Ashish Munot at heads up. He clinched the first ever WPT Prime Main Event title and a career high VN₫ 3,050,000,000 (~US$ 131,394) payout.
SMP: How does it feel winning your first major tournament?
ZT: I am super happy. I really wanted to win one Main Event live tournament and this is one of the biggest ones I’ve played so I’m super happy. I was focused since Day 1, I was just trying to play my best, taking every level at a time, laddering up. It feels great, there were so many people railing , not only here but in India. There are so many people happy with this win. It’s a different feeling I can’t put it in words. I am going to relish this from this time forward.
SMP: What does this victory mean to you?
It means a lot. I’ve been looking to win a main event and to finally get that achievement is a big feather in my cap.
There were four international tournaments I’ve won but no Main Event. I won a high rollers recently, two months back in Goa, but a Main Event tournament is the only one I haven’t won live and today that box is now ticked.
I also sold a bit of action, I have this investors group and they were railing me. There were many people watching this feed back in India. So many positive vibes, so many wishes all throughout the day because I was in the top three. The wishes, the motivation, I think this is a compilation of all the factors coming together like pieces that just connected.
SMP: This is your biggest achievement, how do you plan to celebrate?
ZT: I plan to celebrate until tomorrow morning. I’m sure my Indian friends won’t let me sleep tonight for sure.
SMP: You entered the final table running top dog, a momentum that started at Day 1C, did you have a strategy coming in?
ZT: When I came into Vietnam I was pretty much in form, I wanted to play more live tournaments because I haven’t played in two years. I was missing it. The fields are pretty soft here. There were so many people doing random stuff so I was just planning to play solid and know that when I have the goods I’m gonna get paid for it. So I just try to play solid and try to take maximum value when I have it. I took a few spots here and there when I felt confident, where I felt I should take it. I was just trying to maintain my chip lead and to keep it between 80 to 100 bigs and just motor through. I was successful in doing that.
Just before the final table I won a big pot queens versus kings where I flopped a set and I busted the guy, so that was a big hand. The momentum was with me most of the time, thankfully, and that helped me go ahead and ladder up throughout.
SMP: At the final table you lost several pots and the lead. What was going through your mind during that big hand when you hit the nut flush?
I lost two or three hands where I was opening and was getting three-bet and I was folding. I was just bleeding. But after that I was just talking to myself and I was telling myself I don’t need to get frustrated. I’ve played so much poker that all these things don’t matter to me. I kept my cool and I had the confidence in me that I’m gonna get it back. I started taking pots again after that hand and I started laddering. It was just a matter of a couple of hands until I’m back in the driver’s seat.
When the ace-four hand happened, I actually closed my eyes and I was thinking this is the make or break hand, give me a heart please, and then I saw the nine of hearts. I was dancing inside and then he said “all in”. By the time that I hit the nut flush I was like “ya I have it. I call!” That was a great moment.
SMP: How did the introduction of the 30-second clock affect your game?
ZT: I don’t take a lot of time in my decisions so I just love this format of the time bank. The game is so much faster and there’s more action happening. With this format it makes my thought process faster. You have to act quicker and I was trying to process everything as soon as possible to factor in everything. If necessary I would use my time banks but I was keeping my time banks for the final three when every decision matters more. I was trying to save it for later.
SMP: Entering heads up you were 4:1 against Ashish, you’ve probably played against each other numerous times, what was your plan to grind him down?
ZT: We’ve been friends for quite a while and fellow poker pro and he’s a really good player. So I kinda know what he is doing and what he is up to. If it had been any other person I might have been a bit more guarded, I would have analyzed it a bit more and taken it deep but I know his thought process, his mind and vice versa. It was a fun heads up, thank god it didn’t last long.
SMP: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us and congratulations once again Zarvan!
Main Event recap
The WPT Prime Vietnam Main Event ran from May 26 to 30 at the Crown Poker Club in Hanoi. Three starting days heated up the felt with each succeeding day increasing in numbers. By the third day, the event amassed a record breaking 777 entries to become the largest Main Event field ever seen in the country and the biggest for WPT in Asia. Also turning heads was the VN₫ 17,131,373,700 (~US$ 739,219) prize pool with 97 players earning a cut.
Buy in: VN₫ 25,000,000 (~US$ 1,080)
Guarantee: VN₫ 8,000,000,000
Prize pool: VN₫ 17,131,373,700 (~US$ 739,219)
ITM: 97 places
Final table payouts (in Vietnamese Dong)
|3rd||Trung Van Nguyen||Vietnam||1,500,000,000|
|4th||Minh Quang Nguyen||Vietnam||1,115,000,000|
|6th||Tuan Anh Tran||Vietnam||640,000,000|
|7th||Do Kwan Nam||Korea||490,000,000|
|8th||Trung Nam Tran||Vietnam||380,873,000|
|9th||Tien Van Pham||Vietnam||300,000,000|
The final table got underway with Zarvan Tumboli in the driver’s seat sitting on a stack that dwarfed all others. Also in the round was 2019 WPT India Main Event champion Ashish Munot who avoided early elimination by spiking a lucky two-outer set against Korea’s Do Kwan Nam‘s .
First to go was short stacked Tien Van Pham with his 11 BB stack claimed by second chip leader Minh Quang Nguyen. Following Pham out was Trung Nam Tran who pushed with queen-jack only to bang into Tumboli‘s pocket kings. After Nam’s earlier bad beat against Munot, he still couldn’t catch a break. He went all in with and fell in 7th place to Nguyen’s that found a seven on the board. Nguyen continued to railroad the short stacks, earning his third bust by cleaning out Tuan Anh Tran in 6th place. Nguyen had a dominating pocket Tens over pocket Sixes.
Down to five players, the big stacks tangled resulting in Tumboli paying a big chunk to see Nguyen‘s with just on a board . Tumboli proceeded to lose a couple of more hands for Nguyen to slide into the lead. His time up top however was short with Tumboli shipping a monster double up. On a turn board , Nguyen shoved and Tumboli snap called with nut flush. This sent Nguyen plunging to just 5 BB and Tumboli skyrocketing to the top with a massive advantage.
Short stacked Denis Pham was eliminated in 5th place, Nguyen joined in 4th place, and short stacked Trung Van Ng couldn’t catch up to the pros to leave in 3rd place. Heads up opened with Tumboli ahead 4:1. On the first showdown Munot doubled up but still couldn’t keep it from draining out. The last hand arrived fairly quick with Tumboli‘s spiking the king to outdraw Munot’s .
You can read up on the action via WPT.com live updates and watch the recorded live stream on WPT media channels.
Stick with Somuchpoker as we bring you the final festival recap of the inaugural WPT Prime series in Vietnam.
WPT Prime debuts in Hanoi
Launch day of WPT Prime Vietnam
WPT Prime Vietnam – Day 1 results
WPT Prime Vietnam – Day 2 results
WPT Prime Vietnam – Locals heat up Day 1C
WPT Prime Vietnam – Day 3 results
WPT Prime Vietnam – Filipinos dominate
WPT Prime Vietnam – Phuong Xu wins the Opener
WPT Prime Vietnam – Bien Mai, Duy Thuc Nguyen, Pham Quang Huy win trophies
WPT Prime Vietnam – Duy Ho wins Mystery Bounty
WPT Prime Vietnam – Indian contingent and side event results
WPT Prime Vietnam – Main Event smashes records with 777 entries
WPT Prime Vietnam – Main Event Final 9