The first APT MAIN EVENT champion of the calendar season was crowned today at Pro Poker Club with Rayhaan Adam seizing his first Asian title. Adam was the first South African national to win a major APT event. Congratulations to the champ! He was awarded the APT Championship Poker Guardian Trophy, APT Championship Ring, and a handsome VND 1,731,440,000 (~US$ 74,700).
In a brief interview with the champ, he said,
” I brought a bag for the money because I knew I was going to win it! I play online every night so winning doesn’t feel any different but it’s just good to win it with players I’ve never played before. That’s the exciting part. And it was much tougher than I thought, much tougher than at WPT because there I knew all those players very well.”
In November 2019, Adam got on the live tournament board after winning the WPT Deepstacks Main Event on home soil. Bringing the same fire to APT, Adam crushed the competition in Day 2 and Day 3 but experienced a more challenging fight today. He immediately lost five consecutive pots then four more by the end of the opening round to lose the chip lead.
“I played aggressive and I lost those hands. I realized this was not gonna work, I needed to change things. I played tight because everyone there was very loose. They were playing a lot of hands and if I played like them, I was going to get into trouble. Everyone on the table was playing more hands than I think any poker player in a final table should play. When the short stacks doubled up, I realized I had to be tight.”
The change in strategy proved successful. At five-handed, Adam was lowest in chips then banked a double up through chip leader Yuwen Pan to bring his stack to fighting form. At three-handed, he regained the lead on a double up through Brandon Mifsud. At the fall of Francis Garson (3rd place) to Mifsud, Adam started heads up behind in the count. After numerous exchanges, Adam was able to close it out. Brief recap at the bottom of the page.
Final 8 Payouts
1st Rayhaan Adam – South Africa – VND 1,731,440,000 (~US$ 74,700)
2nd Brandon Mifsud – Malta – VND 1,154,300,000 (~US$ 49,800)
3rd Francis Garson – France – VND 802,450,000 (~US$ 34,600)
4th Tuan – Vietnam – VND 579,590,000 (~US$ 25,000)
5th Yuwen Pan – China – VND 433,440,000 (~US$ 18,700)
6th Sumit Sapra – India – VND 334,530,000 (~US$ 14,400)
7th Hwang Sang Yeon – Korea – VND 265,650,000 (~US$ 11,400)
8th Ho Yin Shek – Hong Kong SAR – VND 216,430,000 (~US$ 9,300)
APT Kick-off Vietnam – MAIN EVENT – ran from January 12 to 17. The highlight event attracted 365 entries. VND 7,760,000 (~US$ 334,600) was paid out to the top 37 places. You can view the full resutls via the link below.
It took 225 hands for the champion to emerge today, 72 of them were heads up. First to fall was Ho Yin Shek from Hong Kong. Before doing so, he doubled up Francis Garson when his A♠ Q♣ was dominated throughout by A♣ K♦. Immediately following that loss, Shek shoved with 10♠ 8♠ and lost it all to Brandon Mifsud‘s A♥ A♣.
Thirty-five hands later, short stacked Hwang Sang Yeon shoved with 6♦ 6♥ but Garson had better holding Q♠ Q♥ to send him out in 7th place.
Sumit Sapra had a rollercoaster of a day. In the early round, he was put in the heater by Tuan that resulted in the Indian pro using six (60-second time banks) in one hand. Later, Sapra managed to double up a couple of times but still stayed below par. On the 84th hand, he met his end with Yuwen Pan delivering the boot. On a flop 6♦ 9♠ 6♥, Pan shoved 8♣ 8♠ and short stacked Sapra called with A♠ Q♣. No help on the 4♥ turn and 3♠ river to take 6th place.
The five-handed match was one of the longest to crack, it took 40 hands before a player fell. Yuwen Pan was commanding the action until Mifsud caught a lucky flush. It was all in preflop with Pan A♥ K♠, Mifsud Q♦ 9♦, the board 10♦ 2♦ 8♦ 9♥ 8♣. Mifsud became chip leader for the first time while Pan was crippled to 8.5 bbs. Pan was eliminated by Garson with A♠ 4♣ falling to Garson’s 8♠ 8♦.
Mifsud continued his ascent winning a big pot against Tuan. On a board J♠ 9♠ 9♦ Q♦ 4♦ with big bets at the turn and river, Tuan had Q♣ J♥ top two pair, Mifsud with 10♥ 9♥ trips. Four orbits later, Tuan fell to Garson who earned his third victim. Tuan pushed with 9♥ 8♣ and lost to Garson’s A♣ Q♠.
Three-handed was the quickest round. Despite railing three players, the most by any player at the table, Garson couldn’t go past 3rd place. Nine hands after ending Tuan, Garson three-bet shoved with K♥ 9♣ and was snap-called by initial raiser Mifsud with A♣ 10♦. The board ran dry.
Entering heads up, Mifsud had the advantage however by the second heads-up hand, Adam stole the lead with Q♣ 6♣ flush to A♠ 8♥ top pair on a board A♦ 5♣ Q♥ 10♣ 3♣.
At heads up hand #32, Mifsud retaliated winning a flip A♠ K♦, ace on the turn, to Adam’s 5♠ 5♦ to amass a 3:1 advantage. When leadership switched again, it was a crazy full house over full house. On a board J♠ J♦ 7♦ 9♠ Q♦ with bets at every stage, Adam raised all in with J♥ 9♦ and Mifsud called with J♣ 7♣.
The heated race continued with another switch up at hand #50. Mifsud went up 8:1 on a double up with K♠ K♥ to Adam’s A♥ 2♣.
However Adam would not be defeated. He won two double ups to regain pole position and by hand #72, it was all over. On a flop Q♣ J♣ 5♥, Adam check-raised, Mifsud three-bet jammed with K♥ Q♠ top pair, snap-called by Adam with Q♥ J♦ two pair. The turn was 4♣ and river Q♦, full house to Adam for the victory.