APT Phu Quoc, Vietnam 2023



#4: Mystery Bounty Hunter - Sponsored by Natural8 Final Day





VND 262M
Level 30: Blinds 60000-120000, 120000 ante

Japan's Kaito Hirai Wins The Mystery Bounty Hunter - Sponsored by Natural8 for ₫261,960,000 ($11,265)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker

Event # 4 Mystery Bounty Hunter 2.jpg

Japan's Kaito Hirai outlasted 214 entrants to claim victory in the Mystery Bounty Hunter - Sponsored by Natural8 for a tasty payday of ₫261,960,000 ($11,265). This is Hirai's first APT title after finishing 5th in a No Limit Hold Em event at APT Korea in Incheon.

Hirai was one of thirteen players who progressed from Flight B after eighteen players had earlier made day two from Flight A. The total number of entries across both flights was 214 —124 of which came entered in Flight A and 90 in Flight B.

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (₫)Prize ($)
1Kaito HiraiJapan₫261,960,000$11,265
2Lester EdocPhilippines₫176,150,000$7,575
3Aleksi VaninRussia₫123,200,000$5,300
4Farukh TachNetherlands₫100,690,000$4,330
5Konstantin GeneralovRussia₫77,160,000$3,340
6Viktor ZhuchkovRussia₫58,480,000$2,515
7Kyle William Joseph JonesCanada₫43,150,000$1,855
8Tyler James WarkenCanada₫31,190,000$1,345

The 31 survivors of the two opening flights returned for the second and final day all looking to take some scalps and claim as large a slice of the prize pool as they were able. It took seven 30-minute levels to whittle this down to the official eight-handed final table.

During the early stages of the final table, Hirai had a hand against Tyler James Warken in which he flopped quads and earned a full double-up from the Canadian. Moments later Warken would be eliminated by Farukh Tach when Warken's pocket fours could not hold against the ace-king of Tach.

Just a few hands later Kyle William Joseph Jones would join his fellow Canadian on the rail when he got his chips in with a pair against Lester Edoc who, unfortunately for Jones, had a higher pair.

Next to fall would be Viktor Zhuchkov when he went off to the races with ace-king suited against Edoc's pocket tens. Zhuchkov could find no help from the dealer and the Russian would finish in 6th place.

Konstantin Generalov was the next player to be eliminated and he fell at the hands of Aleksi Vanin. Generalov flopped a flush draw against the top pair of Vanin but could not improve.

Whilst play was 4-handed Hirai would double-up when his pocket eights were too good for the ace-five of Edoc. Though this was only a minor setback for Edoc as he continued to rake pots and at the time of the next elimination he had over half of the chips in play.

Farukh Tach fell to the eventual champion, Hirai, when Tach's ace-six was no competition for the flopped set of Hirai. The turn did bring Tach an open-ended straight draw but the river wouldn't be friendly to Tach and he was out in 4th.

Play was not 3-handed for long because Edoc would knock out another opponent and this time it was the last remaining Russian, Aleksi Vanin. In an all-too-common blind-on-blind battle, Vanin was all in with jack-ten against the king-nine of Edoc. Vanin could not find any help with the pretty-looking hole cards and he was our third place finisher.

When heads-up play began, Edoc had a 3-1 chip advantage and seemed the crowd favorite to lock up his 17th APT title. Hirai had other thoughts, though, and slowly ground down the experienced Edoc and at one point he was level on the chip counts.

After around an hour of heads-up play, a crucial hand played out that went the way of Hirai. The Japanese player had limped pre-flop with pocket queens only for Edoc to raise eight times the big blind. Following that huge, out-of-character, raise Hirai shoved all-in and Edoc called with king-nine. Hirai held and the momentum had well and truly shifted his way. Lester Edoc was up against the ropes.

In the final hand with Edoc having only ten big blinds, he shoved all-in and was called by Hirai. Hirai needed to hit as his queen-ten was behind the king-deuce of Edoc. The flop bought no favors for Hirai but the queen on the turn all but sealed the title. Edoc could not find one of the last remaining kings on the river and Kaito Hirai punched the air in celebration.

That concludes the live coverage from the Mystery Bounty Hunter tournament. Join us tomorrow for the **APT Main Event - VND 10,000,000,000 GTD Flight A ** that begins at 12,00 pm local time (GMT + 7). The buy-in will be ₫30,000,000 + 3,000,000 and Monday's Flight will be the first of four. Join us tomorrow to see who has what it takes to become the next APT Main Event Champion.

Level 30: Blinds 60000-120000, 120000 ante

Kaito Hirai Wins the Mystery Bounty Hunter For ₫261,960,000 ($11,265)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker

Event # 4 Mystery Bounty Hunter.jpg

Kaito Hirai wins the Mystery Bounty Hunter for ₫261,960,000 ($11,265).

In the final hand of the night, Hirai limped in and was faced with a shove from Lester Edoc for 1,305,000. While Hirai was contemplating the call, Edoc tried to give him some encouragement to do so.

"It's not much more" suggested Edoc as he placed his Mystery Bounty Hunter plaque on top of his tournament chips.

"You can win this too" said Edoc.

That seemed to be enough encouragement and Kaito Hirai put a stack of chips in to signify he was calling.

Lester Edoc showed K♥ 2♦ while Hirai flipped over Q♣ T♦.

Edoc was in the lead but not by much. He needed his King high to hold in order to remain in contention.

The dealer held off dealing the flop until the tournament director gave the nod to do so. Here we go.

5♣ A♥ 6♥. So far, so good for Edoc who just needed to dodge a Queen or a Ten. It was time for the turn card.

Q♦. Despair for Edoc but a delight for Hirai. The Japanese now only need to fade a King to be the Mystery Bounty Hunter champion.

The river card.


Kaito Hirai has done it. His pair of Queens beats the King high of Lester Edoc and Kaito Hirai is our champion.

Congratulations to Hirai and all players on another succesful event.

Level 30: Blinds 60000-120000, 120000 ante

Lester Edoc is Eliminated in 2nd Place for ₫176,150,000 ($7,575)

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker

Lester Edoc.jpg

Lester Edoc is eliminated in 2nd place of the Mystery Bounty Hunter for ₫176,150,000 ($7,575).

Level 30: Blinds 60000-120000, 120000 ante

Final Table Chip Counts

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker

Latest chip counts. Kaito Hirai has really turned this around with strategic, patient poker.

NameCountryChip Count
Kaito HiraiJapan4,700,000
Lester EdocPhilippines1,600,000
Level 30: Blinds 60000-120000, 120000 ante

Kaito Hirai Wins at Showdown

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker

Kaito Hirai stuck to his usual min-raise pre-flop to 200,000 and Lester Edoc called.

The flop came 3♦ 8♠ K♣. Edoc checked and Hirai bet 160,000 to which Edoc responded with a raise to 325,000. Hirai called fairly quickly and we saw a turn.

Turn J♠.

Edoc led for 425,000 and Hirai took around 15 seconds before calling.

River 8♥.

Both players checked the river and we had a showdown.

Edoc showed 9♦ 7♥ for a missed turned gutshot and Hirai tabled A♠ J♥ for a pair of Jacks to win the pot.

Level 29: Blinds 50000-100000, 100000 ante

Lester Edoc Gets a Shove Through

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker

Kaito Hirai min-raised to 200,000 only to be shoved on by Lester Edoc.

That was enough to force a fold from Hirai.

Shove mode seems to be on for Edoc.

Level 29: Blinds 50000-100000, 100000 ante

Kaito Hirai Doubles Through Lester Edoc

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker

In a rather peculiar hand, Kaito Hirai limped pre-flop and Lester Edoc made it 800,000.

Hirai looked very confused about this raise as Edoc had never made it such an amount previously. Regardless, Hirai decided to shove and Edoc snapped him off!

Kaito Hirai Q♥ Q♦ Lester Edoc K♣ 9♦

The board ran A♠ 6♥ T♥ 7♦ Q♠ as Hirai rivered a set to take down the 4,250,000 chip pot.

A sign of tiredness from the Filipino? This heads-up battle has been grueling.

NameCountryChip Count
Kaito HiraiJapan4,250,000
Lester EdocPhilippines2,050,000
Level 29: Blinds 50000-100000, 100000 ante

Lester Edoc Raises the Flop

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker

Kaito Hirai raised to 200,000 pre-flop and Lester Edoc called.

We saw a flop of 2♠ K♠ T♥.

Edoc checked and Hirai bet 185,000. This wasn't enough for Edoc who made it 380,000. Hirai quickly folded and Edoc chipped up.

Level 29: Blinds 50000-100000, 100000 ante

Lester Edoc Wins One Back

PostedJust now

Lester Edoc limped pre-flop and Kaito Hirai checked his option.

The flop came J♦ 9♦ J♥ and both players checked.

The turn bought a T♥ and both players checked once again.

The river was a 2♥ and Hirai checked. Edoc fired a bet of 150,000 to which Hirai eventually called.

Lester Edoc showed 7♦ 7♠ and his sevens were good enough to win the pot.

Level 28: Blinds 40000-80000, 80000 ante

Kaito Applies Pressure on the Turn

PostedJust nowby Life of Poker

Lester Edoc limped pre-flop and Kaito Hirai checked his option.

The flop came T♣ K♣ Q♣. Hirai checked, Edoc bet 80,000 and Hirai called.

Turn Q♦.

Hirai checked once again and Edoc bet 110,000. Hirai turned up the aggression with a raise to 300,000 which forced a fold out of Edoc.

Hirai has been very impressive so far in this heads up duel and has doubled his stack since the beginning of heads up play without seeing a showdown.

NameCountryChip Count
Lester EdocPhilippines3,300,000
Kaito HiraiJapan3,000,000