The newest Asian Poker Tour champion has been crowned! New Zealand’s Oliver Helm overcame the 192 entry field of the APT Vietnam Ho Chi Minh 2019 – CHAMPIONSHIPS EVENT – to capture his first-ever live career title and a sweet payday worth VND 1,218,670,000 (~USD 52,000). In a brief interview with the champ, he expressed,
“It’s pretty unreal. I went to APT in Manila and bricked every single tournament I entered. Didn’t cash a single event. I spent like 14 buy-ins so this is quite the turnaround. I’m quite happy.”
More of an online player and residing in Bangkok, now that Helm has tasted victory, he intends to defend his title. He plans to head to Korea for the next leg of the tour.
Final 8 payouts
1st Oliver Helm – New Zealand – VND 1,218,670,000 (deal)
2nd David Erquiaga – Philippines – VND 1,179,400,000 (deal)
3rd Nguyen Nam Duong – Vietnam – VND 1,128,600,000 (deal)
4th Joseph Talamayan – Philippines – VND 554,120,000
5th Vamerdino Magsakay – Philippines – VND 414,400,000
6th Ashish Munot – India – VND 319,830,000
7th Tanaka Masatoshi – Japan – VND 253,970,000
8th Lim Chor Heng – Singapore – VND 206,920,000
Championships Event recap
The Championships Event ran a course of five days, from July 10 to 14, at Pro Poker Club. 192 signed up at VND 38,500,000 each for a prize pool of VND 6,518,400,000 (~USD 279,000). Only 20 players earned a piece with the Final 8 players hunting down the title today.
The Final 8 race began with massive chip leader Joseph Talamayan suffering two big hits to lose his advantage. On Hand #6, he doubled up Nguyen Nam Duong with A♠ K♠ missing the board for Q♥ Q♦ to hold. Two hands after, another big pot against Oliver Helm. Helm three-barreled and Talamayan called on every street costing him over 1 million when Helm showed a winning K♥ K♣. This gave Helm the chip lead.
On Hand #14, Singapore’s Lim Chor Heng fell in 8th place on a cooler against Nguyen with pocket aces over pocket kings.
Japan’s Tanaka Masatoshi followed right after in 7th place with David Erquiaga‘s pocket aces dominating pocket fives.
Before the next player fell, Helm widened his lead by winning another big pot with K♠ K♥. This time it was Nguyen calling on every street giving up nearly 800k. Then on Hand #45, Indian player Ashish Munot fell in 6th place with Talamayan shipping it. On a board 9♦ 8♠ 5♦, Munot shoved with K♠ 4♦ and Talamayan called with K♦ 10♦. The turn 2♦ awarded the flush.
But as quick as it came, it went. Talamayan was outdrawn by Erquiaga and had to pay another double up. Talamayan had A♠ Q♣, Erquiaga with A♦ 2♥, the board ran 3♠ 3♥ 2♦ 10♣ 8♦.
It took some time for the next player to fall. Among the big pots were two bluffs exposed by Erquiaga, both of them against Helm.
The first bluff saw a board 7♦ 5♦ 3♦ K♣ 10♥, Helm laid out a big river bet, Erquiaga tank-called. Helm had J♣ 6♦, Erquiaga with K♥ J♥. The next exposed bluff Helm bet on every street with the board completing 5♥ 2♠ 10♦ A♠ J♠. Helm had K♠ 9♣, Erquiaga with 4♦ 3♣ straight. This gave Erquiaga the chip lead.
Falling in 5th place was Philppine player Vamerdino Magsakay with his pocket sixes dominated by Nguyen’s pocket kings.
Joining to the rail next was Talamayan in 4th place on a wild board that witnessed him outdrawn again. Talamayan A♠ J♦, Nguyen A♣ 5♥, the cards ran 5♦ 7♥ K♣ J♣ 5♣ for trips to Nguyen.
The three-handed match saw Erquiaga continue to distance himself, rising to over 60% of the chips in play until Helm brought him down to ground level on a double up with A♥ K♣ over A♣ Q♥. At this point a deal was discussed and reached.
When the game resumed, Helm quickly doubled up to regain the lead with 10♦ 10♥ winning the flip against Erquiaga’s A♥ Q♣. Helm surged further by railing Nguyen in 3rd place to enter heads up ahead 3;1.
It didn’t take long for the all ins to arrive. Erquiaga limped, Helm shoved, Erquiaga snap-called. Helm had A♦ 2♣, Erquiaga with K♥ 9♥. The board bricked 4♠ 7♣ 6♦ 5♦ J♠.
Congratulations to Oliver Helm for his victory! In addition to the cash prize, he was awarded the APT Championship Trophy and the APT Championship Ring. Helm did extremely well at the series, also finishing 3rd at the Main Event.