What a way to end the Asian Poker Tour‘s first festival of the calendar year! After a grueling 10.5 hours of CHAMPIONSHIPS EVENT Final 8 battle, Korean pro Lim Yo Hwan aka Boxer went from one of the shortest stacks to to the summit to seize the title and the VND 2,040,542,000 (~USD 88,000) first prize. This is now title #2 for Boxer who won the same event back in September 2018 in the Philippines.
The APT Kickoff 2019 Vietnam drew out 248 entries to the Championships Event. It ran a course of five days, from January 16 to 20 at Pro Poker Club. With each entry contributing the VND 38,500,000 to the pot, it generated a juicy prize pool of VND 8,419,600,000 (~USD 363,000). 25 players got a piece with the Final 8 cuts decided today. If you missed the action, no worries, you can watch it anytime in APT Twitch and APT YouTube . We also have a rundown of the bust outs for you below.
The first hour of the Final 8 saw eventual winner Boxer avoid the rail against Eunho Kwon. Boxer was all in with Q♦ Q♥ and Eunho called with K♦ 10♥. The flop landed K♥ 8♦ 3♦ for a higher pair to Eunho, but with the turn Q♣ it was a set for Boxer to double up.
The first casualty was Stephen Schumacher (8th). After a couple of hits to his stack he was all in with K♣ 7♥, and was called by the day’s entering chip leader Eunho with 9♥ 8♣. The board ran 5♠ 3♥ 8♠ A♦ 5♣. Schumacher earned VND 255,072,000.
The next two eliminations were delivered by the day’s entering second chip leader, Bulgaria’s Slaven Popov. Popov knocked out Huidong Gu (7th) on a full house over full house showdown. While Popov got there on the turn, Huidong filled up on the river only to discover he was drawing dead. Huidong 7♠ 7♦, Popov 10♠ 10♦, the board J♠ 6♥ 6♦ 10♥ 7♥ with the shoves taking place on the river. Huidong earned VND 313,071,000.
Out next was Japan’s Ryusuke Kasawaki (6th). Ryusuke couldn’t get much going with the big stacks dominating the action. He took a stand with A-3 but ran into Popov’s A-K. Ryusuke earned VND 394,249,000.
After those two bust outs, Popov was out front with a big lead followed by Eunho. Eunho strong-armed Lim Yohwan aka Boxer out of a big pot, pushing all in on a board 2♦ A♠ 10♣ 9♦. Boxer folded and showed his top pair A♣ Q♥. This is one hand you should definitely watch on the stream.
Despite picking up those chips from Boxer, Eunho couldn’t keep them from flowing out. Le Ngoc Khanh shoved with A♥ J♣ on a flop 7♣ 10♥ 8♥ and Eunho called with K♠ K♣. The turn was a dry 3♣ but with the A♦ on the river, Eunho paid the double up and dropped to the shortest stack. Eunho was eliminated in 5th place by Dragon Chinh with kings over Q-10. Eunho earned VND 510,823,000.
With half the field dusted, short stacked Boxer began his ascent. He shoved with A♦ 9♣ and got very lucky on the board 7♣ Q♣ 6♣ 3♠ K♣ to double up through Dragon who had K♦ K♥. Several hands later, Boxer had enough to knockout Dragon (4th) who pushed with 5♣ 5♠ that didn’t improve against J♥ J♦. Dragon earned VND 683,063,000.
Down to the final three players, Vietnamese pro Le Ngoc Khanh (3rd) was all in 4♦ 4♥ and faced chip leader Popov who had A♦ K♣. It couldn’t get any nuttier with the board running 2♠ Q♠ 5♠ 4♣ for a set to Khanh then 3♥ river giving Popov a straight. Khanh earned VND 945,7,03,000.
The heads up round began with Popov up 2:1 against Boxer.
The players attempted an ICM deal but since both wanted the title and the new APT Championships Event Golden Lion trophy, they chose to play it out. Boxer seemed to be getting the better of Popov and was soon able to bring it to even.
From there, Boxer continued to rise to nearly 2.5:1 until it switched command with Popov on the move. Popov reclaimed the lead, created a huge distance of 3.5:1 when Boxer landed a double up with 10♣ 10♠ over 9♥ 9♣. After that double up, Boxer never relinquished it. By hand 195 of the final day, Popov was moved all in with A♦ 3♥ and fell runner-up to Boxer’s A♥ 6♥ nut flush on a board J♥ 5♦ Q♥ 2♥ 5♥. Popov earned VND 1,360361,000.
Congratulations to Lim Yohwan for his victory! He becomes the first player to win the APT 2019 Championships Event! Due to this victory, he also placed 2nd in the APT Player of the Series race. Boxer had a total of 5 ITMs and 1,032.56 points.
Final 8 payouts
1st Lim Yohwan “Boxer” – Korea – VND 2,040,542,0000
2nd Slaven Popov – Bulgaria – VND 1,360361,000
3rd Le Ngoc Khanh – Vietnam – VND 945,7,03,000
4th Dragon Chinh – Vietnam – VND 683,063,000
5th Eunho Kwon – Korea – VND 510,823,000
6th Ryusuke Kasawaki – Japan – VND 394,249,000
7th Huidong Gu – Macau – VND 313,071,000
8th Stephen Schumacher – USA – VND 255,072,000