2023 WPT First Vietnam VND 25,000,000 ($1,065 U.S. dollar) attracted a field of 1,151 entries, making it the largest WPT main event ever held in Asia and the second largest WPT First main event in general. The strong attendance translated into a prize pool equivalent to nearly $1.1 million U.S. dollar. The tournament took place from May 25 to 29 at the Crown Poker Club in Hanoi. In the end, Vietnam resident Duy Thuc Nguyen walked out on top with the title and the $177,764 grand prize.
This was Nguyen’s second title of the year, having also won an event at the APT Phu Quoc series in March. He now has nearly $220,000 in recorded tournament earnings to his name.
Nguyen also secured 960 Card player Player of the Year indicates as the champion of this event. With two titles and three final tables to his credit so far this year, Nguyen has climbed just outside the top 150 in 2023 POY extension race classification presented by Global Poker.
Nguyen entered the final table nine in third place, with Xizhen Huang at the top of the table and Chak Lam Tsang sitting just one big blind ahead of Nguyen when the cards were revealed.
Tsang landed the first knockout of the day to create some space between himself and Nguyen, but that gap was soon closed when Nguyen’s A-4 suited broke Satoshi Kuriga’s pocket aces to narrow the field to sevens.
Nguyen also won a big preflop game with AK suited against sixth ranked Jaeho Lee’s pocket nines to get close to 100 big blinds early in five-handed play.
Nguyen then eliminated Phillip Nguyen (5th) and Yuhan Liu (4th) to take a significant lead. Huang was next to fall, with his K-7 suited unable to get past Tsang’s A-8. Huang hit a flush draw on the turn, but missed the river and was eliminated in third place ($87,753).
Heads-up play began with Nguyen leading, with 21,225,0000 to Tsang’s 13,200,000. He soon extended his lead to about 5:1 in time for the last hand of even money. The chips went in with a Qj89 table, with Tsang holding J8 for two pair while Nguyen held A10 for a queen-high straight. The 4 completed the board, officially making Tsang the runner-up ($118,637).
Here’s a look at payments and POY extension points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings||POY extension Points|
|1||Duy Thuc Nguyen||$177,764||960|
|2||Chak Lam Tsang||$118,637||800|
Winner photo provided by World Poker Tour.