The Asian Poker Tour (APT) canceled the rest of the series in Hanoi in the middle of its biggest event — the Main Event — on Day 4 deep into the money.
On Saturday morning in Hanoi, the APT’s X account announced the decision, giving no explanation as to why the event abruptly ended. But many have speculated the operators were under pressure from the government. The social media account disabled comments on the post, however.
What Happens to the Money?
There were two scheduled days remaining in the APT Hanoi Billions Series, including the conclusion of the VND 36,000,000 (approximately $1,500 USD) Main Event. But there won’t be another card dealt.
“The decision to cancel the remaining days of the festival has not been made lightly. It is rooted in extenuating circumstances that have arisen, ones that, despite our utmost efforts, we are unable to overcome. The safety and well-being of our players and staff are of paramount importance to us, and we must prioritize these concerns above all else. We are truly sorry, and we appreciate your understanding during this challenging situation,” the APT statement read.
As for the money left in the pot from the Main Event cancellation, the APT isn’t going to just pocket the funds and bolt out of town. According to the statement, “all remaining active players will receive their payouts.” Refunds will be made starting Dec. 10, and the payouts will be based on stack size at the time of tournament cancellation.
Nguyen Van Sang held the chip lead at 10,015,000 chips when play ended and will receive the largest payout –VND 4,376,859,231. In second place was Kongjai Nopparat with 4,535,000 chips, good for VND 2,087,007,590. There were 47 players left in the field.
When a situation such as this arises, there will always be poker fans critical of the decision, even if it wasn’t preventable. It also isn’t the first time a similar incident arose during a poker tournament. At Hustler Casino in Los Angeles last year, the card room pulled the plug on a $250,000 guaranteed tournament on Day 1b after coming to the conclusion the guarantee wouldn’t be met.