Final 8 formed! Who will be the first CHAMPIONSHIPS EVENT victor of 2019?

After four days of competition on the poker green, the Final 8 players of the APT Kickoff 2019 Vietnam – CHAMPIONSHIPS EVENT has been reached. One of these players below will be the first 2019 Championships Event winner! Read up on how they each earned their spot via our Live Updates

Eunho Kwon – Korea – 2,510,000

Chip leader Euhho Kwon was the bane of numerous players in Day 3 including the bubble boy Andres Korn whose pocket tens fell to pocket sixes turned set. Kwon is looking to surpass his 2011 APT Main Event 4th place finish and of course claim his first major APT title. 

Slaven Popov – Bulgaria – 2,495,000

Less than one big blind from the leader is Slaven Popov, he railed Ajipal Singh (10th) and Erik Billgren (9th) to establish the Final 8. Popov is a well-traveled player  with cashes all over the world since 2010 but a major title has continued to elude him. With his big stack, he is in fine shape to possibly cross that hurdle on the final day. 

Dragon Chinh – Vietnam – 2,215,000

Dragon Chinh is one of two local players in the lineup. Running third-in-chips, Chinh delivered a crushing defeat to Linh Tran, finishing the champ off in 11th place. He also claimed a very big pot against Le Ngoc Khanh to bag up a stack well over average. 

Stephen Schumacher – USA – 1,430,000

Once again, it’s Stephen Schumacher. The lone American in the final roster has been running very strong since the start. He entered Day 2 with the overall lead from the Day 1s. He entered Day 3 running third-in-chips. And now, the Final 8, he is at average stack and fourth in command. Schumacher has already cashed in two events at the series and is looking to ship his first title in Asia. 

Huidong Gu – Macau – 1,270,000

Undoubtedly one of the biggest hands of the day was Huidong Gu doubling up through Ajitpal Singh. Huidong’s pocket nines held against Singh’s open-ended draw to bag close to 1.3M. Despite having many deep runs throughout his career, Huidong is still on the hunt for that first-ever title. No matter where he places, it will be his first cash at the APT. 

Ryusuke Kasawaki – Japan – 1,060,000

Two days ago, Ryusuke Kasawaki scored himself an APT trophy at one of the side events. His winning momentum continued at the Championships Event. Like everyone above, he is also looking to score his first major APT title. No matter where he places, he is already due to earn his largest career payday. 

Lim Yo Hwan – Korea – 715,000

Well known in both the poker world and e-gaming world, Lim Yo Hwan aka Boxer is the only player in the lineup decorated with numerous APT cashes and an APT Championships Event title. Boxer won it last year and is in hot pursuit of his second. He entered Day 3 in second rank and knocked out a couple of players early, Huu Dung Nguyen and Tuan Monaco, to maintain his big stack.  He is sitting with around 28 bbs coming into the final round. 

Le Ngoc Khanh – Vietnam – 690,000

Vietnam pro Le Ngoc Khanh completes the Final 8 players. Le Ngoc stormed to the top of Day 3 before the bubble was even reached. Though he had his challenges later in the day, even losing a big pot to Dragon Chinh, he still has a decent 27 bbs to bring into the final day. Khanh’s deepest run at an APT major was in 2016 in Cambodia finishing in 4th place. Despite many APT cashes throughout his career, he is also hunting for the first major APT title. 

Final 8 day

The Final 8 race resumes on Sunday, January 20 at 130pm. Blinds continue at Level 22 – 10K-25K ante 25K with the clock counting down from 50:20.

Average stack: 1,548,125
Chips in play: 12,385,000

We will not be posting any Live Updates of the Final 8. Instead, you can watch the stream live on APT Twitch and APT YouTube. 

The CHAMPIONSHIPS EVENT drew 248 entries at Pro Poker Club. With each entry at VND 38,500,000, the prize pool surpassed the guarantee to a much fatter VND 8,419,600,000 (~USD 362,800). The eventual winner will pocket a cool VND 2,040,542,000 (~USD 88,000). Here’s a look at prize pool: 

Final 8 payouts
1st VND 2,040,542,0000
2nd VND 1,360361,000
3rd VND 945,7,03,000
4th VND 683,063,000
5th VND 510,823,000
6th VND 394,249,000
7th VND 313,071,000
8th VND 255,072,000

At Day 3, 34 players returned with only the top 25 guaranteed pay. The bubble burst on Andres Korn with his pocket tens bad beat by pocket sixes turned set. Notable players that fell before the money were Tetsuya Tsuchikawa, Huu Dung Nguyen, SJ Kim, Quang Nguyen, and Norbert Koh. You can read up on how Day 3 unfolded via our Live Updates