Le Hai Anh tops the 138-field Main Event Day 1A; Mitsuru Sano wins the Warm Up

It was nonstop poker action at the APT Kickoff Vietnam 2018 with the Pro Poker Club packed from wall-to-wall all day long. The doors opened with a massive influx of players eager for a seat to Day 1A of the Main Event VND 3,000,000,000 Guaranteed. By the end of the scheduled 8 rounds of play, the screen flashed 138 entries in total with 70 of them making the cut to Day 2. Full list of chip counts here.

Main Event Day 1A Chip Leader, Le Hai Anh

Among the list of survivors were four past APT Main Event champions, Iori Yogo, Huy Pham, Ha Duong, and Huu Dung Nguyen. All of them however took a backseat to the chip leader, Vietnam’s Le Hai Anh who closed the day with 286,000 in chips. Finishing in second position was fellow Vietnamese player Nang Quang Nguyen with 265,100 in chips while Denmark’s Michael Kim Falcon had third best with his stack of 243,900.

There will be a one day gap before the next starting day – Day 1B – which takes place on Tuesday, January 23. For those that survived today’s onslaught, Day 2 is on Thursday, January 25.

Sano Mitsuru defeats Tetsuya Tsuchikawa to claim the Main Event Warm Up title

Also taking up space on the tournament floor today was the Main Event Warm Up with yesterday’s 38 remaining players out of the 167 total entries back on the felt. After nine grueling hours, Japan’s Sano Mitsuru closed it out to capture the title and the VND 239,930,000 first prize.

Warm Up Event Champion, Mitsuru Sano

The Warm Up event resumed with players dropping like flies until there were 29 left. This signaled the start of the hand-for-hand bubble round. The axe finally fell with one of the day’s entering chip leaders, Dang Van Hien, booting out a fellow countryman with 6-6 holding strong against A-K. From there, eliminations piled on and quickly it was down to the final two tables.

It was at this point in the game where Sano earned the high seat by eliminating Australia’s Richard Balkau. On a flop of 10 8 7, Balkau shoved and was called by two players that included Sano. On the 10 turn, Sano shoved for a side pot, and with no caller, it was a showdown with Sano 9 8 and Balkau 9 7. The river was 3.

At the unofficial final table of 10, Vietnam’s Do Long stole the leader’s status after he knocked out two players simultaneously – Ngo Thuy Linh (lone female runner in 10th) and Oleh Hanilin (9th). Long’s 10 10 held against A-8 and A-J

The Final 8 began with Long impressing full domination. He eliminated half the field starting with Wilson Lim Chong (8th) with 8-8 over A-Q on a board of 8-Q-7-A-9. After APT POY 2017 champion Tetsuya Tsuchikawa busted David Luong (7th), the next three were Long’s with Dang falling in 6th, Maxim Kuznetsov out 5th, and Mustafa Erzincanli downed in 4th.

All these knockouts gave Long a sizable lead over Tsuchikawa and Sano however it didn’t last. Sano claimed a lucky double up to take control of the leader’s status. The hand saw Long check-shove on a flop 7 5 8 and Sano snap-called. Long was ahead with 9 8 to Sano’s A 7 but with the turn 7 and river J, Sano improved to trips for the win.

Long continued to tumble, losing two big pots to Tsuchikawa to settle for 3rd place. This brought on the heads up round between the two Japanese final tableists with Tsuchikawa ahead in the count.

Mitsuru Sano heads up against Tetsuya Tsuchikawa

It was a mighty battle for title with the lead switching sides a few times. Sano eventually gained momentum winning three good pots, cracking Tsuchikawa’s aces on one of those hands. The final hand eventually arrived with both players all in on a flop 9 10 4. Tsuchikawa held K J while Sano with J 8. The turn 8 improved Sano to a pair that sailed on to victory with the river 10.

Final 8 payoutsPrize pool: VND 1,233,930,000
Buy-in: VND 7,700,000

1st Sano Mitsuru – Japan – VND 239,930,000
2nd Tetsuya Tsuchikawa – Japan – VND 159,870,000
3rd Do Long – Vietnam – VND 110,890,000
4th Mustafa Erzincanli – Ireland – VND 80,060,000
5th Maxim Kuznetsov – Russia – VND 60,210,000
6th Dang Van Hien – Vietnam – VND 47,960,000
7th David Luong – Australia – VND 38,210,000
8th Wilson Lim Chong – Singapore – VND 32,320,000

Head Hunter: From 130 down to the Final 10

The Head Hunter / Bounty event was also underway with 130 entrants heating up the mid-section of the poker room. Ten hours later, the last elliptic was reached with the final 10 players remaining. This event will resume tomorrow at Level 19 with 25 minutes remaining. Blinds are at 3000-6000 ante 1000. Game time is at 1pm. They will race to the title and the lion share of VND 85,401,000 out of the VND 374,400,000 prize pool.

Seat 1: Nguyen Pham Duong – Switzerland – 279K
Seat 2: Minh Trung Tran Dac – USA – 168K
Seat 3: Le Hoai Nam – Vietnam – 135K
Seat 4: Tony Khoang – Netherlands -87K
Seat 5: John Phan – USA – 39,000
Seat 6: Thi Xoa Nguyen – Vietnam – 63K
Seat 7: Nick Gorman: USA – 184K
Seat 8: Jimmy Diep – USA – 111K
Seat 9: Pham Hong Quan – Vietnam – 155K
Seat 10: Tran Anh Dung – Vietnam – 60K

Side Events on Monday, January 22, 2018

With the main taking a day break, there will be one side event to look forward to, the NLH Two Day event. Cards will be flying promptly at 1pm. Buy-in is VND 11,000,000. There will also be another Main Event Mega Satellite running at 5pm.

*Important note: Due to government regulations, the Open Face Chinese Pineapple event was cancelled.