Another action packed APT Kickoff Vietnam 2018 with crowds of players piling in the Pro Poker Club in Ho Chi Minh to take part in today’s festivities. Up on the plate was the Main Event Warm Up. While that had long lines out the door, running on the side was the Final 8 of the NLH Welcome Event. See the recaps below.
Aivaras Bardaukas wins the Welcome Event
After a thunderous opening day with 183 entrants for the NLH Welcome Event, only 8 players returned today to battle it out for the title and the VND 145,560,000 first prize. Although the final felt was dominated by Asians, it was the lone European, Aivaras Bardaukas from Lithuania who ran away with the victory.
Entering the Final 8, Bardaukas was right smack in the middle of the pack while leading in chips was Nguyen Huy Huong. After two hours of play, they were quickly down to half with Huong eliminating Tung Pham Thanh in 5th place on a cooler with aces over kings. This drove his stack to over 1M which was more than half of the chips in play.
However, the four-handed bout was a troubling one for Huong. He lost a sizable pot to Singapore’s Erwin Ng with his ace top pair out-kicked by ace-queen, then he doubled up Bardaukas with K-Q losing to A♦ 10♦ on a board of 3♥ J♥ J♠ Q♠ A♠.
From there, Bardaukas took control. He picked up several good pots then booted Singapore’s Benedict Koh in 4th place. Out next was Huong in 3rd, unable to regain his earlier momentum. Huong was downed on a very sick hand against Bardaukas. Both players were all in preflop with Bardaukas holding 4♦ 4♠ and Huong with A♣ Q♣. The board ran a doozy Q♠ Q♦ 9♠ 4♣ 7♦ for a winning full house over trips.
Heads Up: Bardaukas vs Ng
The heads up round began with Bardaukas ahead in chips – 60/40. On Hand #4, Bardaukas claimed a huge pot without having to show his cards. On a raised pot preflop and progressive betting to the river, the board showed 6♦ A♥ 9♠ Q♦ 2♣. Ng folded on the river bet.
Eight hands later, the final hand arrived with both players all in preflop. Ng with A♣ 4♣ and Bardaukas with K♥ K♦. The board ran dry and it was all over. The kings prevailed and Bardaukas triumphant.
Final 8 Payouts
1st Aivaras Bardaukas – Lithuania – VND 145,560,000
2nd Erwin Ng – Singapore – VND 97,040,000
3rd Nguyen Huy Huong – Vietnam – VND 67,320,000
4th Benedict Koh – Singapore – VND 48,600,000
5th Thanh Tung Pham – Vietnam – 36,510,000
6th The Cong Luu – Vietnam – VND 28,530,000
7th Thi Xoa Nguyen – Vietnam – VND 23,210,000
8th Huynh Duc Tai – Vietnam – VND 19,640,000
Main Event Warm Up recap
Heating up the room today was the Main Event Warm Up with 167 entrants. With each buy-in at VND 7,700,000, the prize pool totaled VND 1,133,930. Once again, another healthy pot was generated, especially for the eventual winner due to pocket VND 239,940,000.
Since this was a scheduled two-day event, the players only covered a total of 16 rounds at 30 minutes each. At the end of regulation, the field was down to 38 players, and with 28 of them guaranteed a return, this meant they were just ten spots away from the money.
Closing out the day with the largest stack was the last woman standing, Ngo Thuy Linh (Vietnam) with 485,000 in chips. Right on her tail was fellow countryman Dang Van Hien with 469,000. Notable players also in the mix were Samad Razavi, Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, Ha Duong, Katsuhiro Muto, Mitsuru Sano, Michael Kim Falcon, and Mohammad Samara.
The race to the title begins at 130pm tomorrow, Sunday, January 21.
Ante Up for Charity: Check awarding ceremony
Last night, the Ante Up for Charity event generated VND 49,760,000 for the Saigon Children’s Charity. We’d like to thank everyone that participated in this event. Your contribution will go a long way in assisting the organization towards the education of disadvantaged children in Vietnam. Receiving the check today was Vuong Ngoc Vy Van, the Fundraising & Communications Manager of the organization.
Events on Sunday, January 21
It is going to be another hustling and bustling time at the kickoff with several events taking place on Sunday, January 21.
- Main Event Day 1A at 1pm – Buyin VND 16,500,000
- Head Hunter VND 1M Bounty at 2pm – Buyin VND 4,400,000
- Main Event Mega Satellite at 5pm – VND 1,800,000 (last night saw 6 players win seats via the satellite)