APT Summer Series Hanoi, Vietnam 2023



#21: Superstar Challenge






Australia's Alan Pham Wins Superstar Challenge for VND 1,985,390,000 (~USD $84,640)

PostedJust nowby Noel Zarate


Australian Alan Pham takes down the Asian Poker Tour (APT) Summer Series Hanoi, Vietnam VND 150,000,000 Superstar Challenge and the top purse of VND 1,985,390,000 (US$84,640), besting a field of 43 entries (35 unique) at the Grand Loyal Poker Club.

1Alan Anh-Minh PhamAustralia1,985,390,000 (~USD 84,640)
2Quan QiuChina1,372,260,000 (~USD 58,500)
3Yingrui GeChina875,910,000 (~USD 37,340)
4Dinh Tien ThanhVietnam671,530,000 (~USD 28,600)
5Tzai Wei PhuaSingapore525,550,000 (~USD 22,380)
6Jhon HendriIndonesia408,760,000 (~USD 17,430) 

It took only five hands of heads-up action for the 24-year-old Melbourne native to defeat China' Qiu Quan and pick up his first APT title on just his second stint on the tour.

Quan received VND 1,372,260,000 (US$58,500) for his runner-up finish, while Yingrui Ge, also from China, finished third for VND 875,910,000 (US$37,340).

Pham, the son of a Vietnamese couple who migrated to Australia, began playing at age of 18, building a solid resume in his home country before embarking on an international career.


The Aussie was aided in his rise to Superstar champion status by that all important bit of good fortune, finding himself in the dream spot of holding pocket aces against two players holding pocket kings, with that monster pot shooting him to the top of the chip counts.

Along his journey to the title, Pham eliminated five of the final nine players, including WSOP Bracelet winner Abhinav Iyer, who departedempty-handed in ninth place.

Pham says he will be seeing action in tomorrow's Main Event and will continue carving out his niche in the High Roller scene.

The tournament drew a number of veterans and decorated players from across the globe, all forking out the VND 150,000,000 (~USD 6,450) entry. This included another WSOP bracelet winner in the UK's Alex Lindrop, number #2 ranked South Korean tournament player Gab Yong Kim, and Vietnam's Minh Phu "Mr. Ex" Dao who recently took down the 8-max event at the Triton Super High Roller Series in Hoi An.

MJN06533.jpg Minh Phu Dao

Pham held the chip leader position heading into the Final Table and used it to deal the first casualty in Iyer when his :A: J♦ found a pair on the flop against the Indian's live cards of 5♣ 2♣, which was shoved under-the-gun.

MJN06570.jpg Abhinav Iyer

Another Indian was next to go when 2022 APT Vietnam Hanoi Loyal Main Event champion Shardul Parthasarathi was outdrawn by China's Yingrui Ge.

The bubble was breached when local Ngo Dai Nguyen shoved A♥ 5♥ only to find himself dominated by Quan Qiu's A♦ J♥.

The lightning-fast final table was wrapped up within an hour, with players hitting the cashout cage in quick succession, with multi-titled Jhon Hendri of Indonesia, WSOP Online veteran Tzai Wei Phua of Singapore. Vietnamese High Roller specialist Dinh Tien Thanh, Ge and finally Quan were all executed by Phan on his way to the title.


Level 21: Blinds 50000-100000, 100000 ante

Quan Qiu Has Been Eliminated in 2nd Place for VND 1,372,260,000 (~$58,500)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

MJN06760.jpg Quan Qiu

Quan Qiu has been eliminated in 2nd place for VND 1,372,260,000 (~$58,500).

It didn't take long to get the stacks in after heads-up play had started with Alan Pham having a chance to win the title.

Qiu 4♣ 2♣ Pham 5♣ 5♥

Pham was in a dominant position to take down the Superstar Challenge as his pocket fives were crushing the four-deuce of Qiu.

The flop would all but seal the deal as a 5♠ T♦ 2♠ board gave Pham a set, leaving Qiu needed a miracle runner-runner to to survive.

Qiu would be dead by the turn as the board ran out 7♣ Q♦ and would finish as runner-up.

Pham is our Superstar Challenge champion, taking just 25 minutes to win after the bubble had popped!

A full tournament write-up will follow shortly.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Yingrui Ge Has Been Eliminated in 3rd Place For VND 875,910,000 (~$37,340)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

NZO04082.jpg Yingrui Ge

Yingrui Ge has been eliminated in 3rd place for VND 875,910,000 (~$37,340).

A huge hand just played out between the two chip leaders that resulted in Yingrui Ge hitting the rail in third.

Alan Pham and Ge both got their stacks in pre-flop for all of the marbles.

Pham A♣ T♠ Ge A♠ 8♥

Pham was in the driving seat and would have a huge chip lead going into heads-up play if he could hold on here.

The dealer put out a flop of J♣ Q♥ J♦ which kept Pham in the lead, also giving him a gutshot to Broadway. Ge did pick up some chop outs but was looking for an eight to win the pot.

A turn 7♦ was close, but not close enough for Ge as he now only had one chance at staying in the Superstar Challenge.

The river card was a 5♠ which gave Pham the huge pot and sent Ge to the rail in third.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Dinh Tien Thanh Has Been Eliminated in 4th Place For VND 671,530,000 (~$28,600)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

NZO04084.jpg Dinh Tien Thanh

Dinh Tien Thanh has been eliminated in 4th Place for VND 671,530,000 (~$28,600).

Dien Tien Thanh and Alan Pham played a pot which ended with them both all in pre-flop.

Thanh A♦ K♥ Pham A♠ J♣

Thanh was the player at risk but was ahead with his big slick.

A flop of 4♣ 6♥ Q♠ kept him in the lead but a devastating J♥ fell on the turn, leaving Pham on the brink of bringing us to the final three.

The river fell an 8♥ which meant Thanh was eliminated, falling just short of a podium place.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Tzai Wei Phua Has Been Eliminated in 5th Place for VND 525,550,000 (~$22,380)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

NZO04080.jpg Tzai Wei Phua

Tzai Wei Phua has been eliminated in 5th place for VND 525,550,000 (~$22,380).

Tzai Wei Phua felt like he had to shove his short stack from early position as he would be in the big blind next hand. Alan Pham made the call to put Thanh at risk,

Phua 3♥ 7♣ Pham A♦ T♠

No help would come for Phua as the board ran 9♠ K♠ Q♥ Q♠ 8♦ and he was out in fifth.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Phua Bets 500,000 and Folds to Ge's Shove

PostedJust nowby Noel Zarate

In one of the weirdest hands of the tournament thus far, Singapore's Tzai Wei Phua raised from the button and got a call from Yingrui Ge of China. Phua called.

The flop was A♠ T♣ 9♥ as Ge checked. Phua tanked then picked up a stack of 25,000 chips worth 500,000 and slammed them on the felt.

In response, Ge pushed in most of his chips thinking that Phua had gone all in. When the dealer said that Phua only bet and made no verbal declaration that he was all in, Ge himself went all in.

This made Phua stop and think and eventually folded 2♣ 2♠ face up, while Ge returned the favor by showing J♠ J♦ .

Phua is now down to less than 400,000 in chips on that strange hand.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Jhon Hendri Eliminated in 6th Place For VND 408,760,000 (~$17,430)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

NZO04067.jpg Jhon Hendri

Jhon Hendri has been eliminated in 6th place for VND 408,760,000 (~$17,430).

Hendri shoved over the open of Alan Pham, with Pham making the call to put Hendri at risk.

Hendri A♥ 7♦ Pham A♦ 9♣

The dealer wasted no time in dealing the flop of T♥ J♣ Q♣, which gave Pham an open-ended straight draw but increased the possibility of a chop.

A turn A♣ meant both players had the exact same hand, with Hendri looking for a seven to win the pot, and Pham needing an eight or nine to eliminate the Indonesian player.

The dealer put out the 8♦ which gave Pham a straight, eliminating Hendri in sixth place.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Ngoc Dai Nguyen Bubbles

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

MJN06776.jpg Ngoc Dai Nguyen

Quan Qui opened the action to 160,000 with Ngoc Dai Nguyen shoving all in for not too much more. Qui made the call to put Nguyen at risk of being the bubble boy.

Qui A♦ J♥ Nguyen A♥ 5♥

Nguyen was in bad shape with Qui the big favorite to win the hand and bring us down to six-handed play.

The dealer fanned a flop of T♠ K♣ 6♥.

Not much for Nguyen there, who was looking for a five to stay alive.

A Q♦ on the turn would give Qui the nuts, leaving Nguyen drawing to a chop only. The 6♣ wasn't the card he was looking for which means Nguyen is our bubble boy and goes home empty-handed.

The remaining six players are all in the money.

Level 20: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Parthasarathi Outdrawn by Ge, Out in 8th Place

PostedJust nowby Noel Zarate

Shardul Parthasarathi in the Superstar Challenge.jpg Shardul Parthasarathi

Shardul Parthasarathi of India came in with the best of it but got shown the door as his under-the-gun shove of A♠ Q♥ for all his 345,000 in chips was called by China's Yingrui Ge on the button.

But there was still some drama, as Jhon Hendri of Indonesia pushed all his time bank cards in front of the dealer before making the fold (later claiming he had ace-king).

The table was surprised to see Ge flip over A♦ 3♦.

The flop went 7♠ 5♠ 2♥, but the 3♥ turn gave Ge the lead, where he remained with and stayed there for good when the 6♣ appeared on the river, while Parthasarathi headed to the rail.

We are now one elimination away from ITM.

Level 19: Blinds 30000-60000, 60000 ante

Ge Builds a House on the River

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker - Kai

NZO04082.jpg Yingrui Ge

Quan Qui opened to 125,000 pre-flop with Yingrui Ge defending the big blind.

On a flop of A♠ 9♦ 2♥ Ge check-called a 100,000 chip bet from Qui.

The turn brought a 9♣ and both players checked their option.

When the J♣ completed the board, Ge immediately grabbed a stack of green chips and slid them forward. The bet was 325,000 with the decision on Qui, who considered for around ten seconds before making the call.

Ge flipped over J♠ J♥ for a rivered full house, with Qui mucking his hand.

Ge is now an overwhelming chip leader on this final table.

NameChip Count
Yingrui Ge3,000,000
Quan Qui1,100,000