The Asian Poker Tour has abruptly cancelled the final two days of its ongoing APT Hanoi Billions 2023 series, including the biggest-paying part of what was to be a record-setting main event, the “largest and richest poker tournament in the [APT’s] 17-year history.”
Tour officials did not offer specifics on why the festival was stopped two days short of its intended conclusion. “The decision to cancel the remaining days of the festival has not been made lightly,” the official ATP Twitter/X feed declared. “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.”
Remaining prize money to be distributed according to set structure
The above post, when expanded, also includes instructions for how players can contact tournament officials to receive their payouts for the final two, in-progess events. Besides the Hanoi main event, which built a VND 73,855,800,000 (about US $3,033,430) prize pool, the other series-concluding event, a Double Stack tourney, also will have its prize money allocated to surviving players.
The main event attracted a record 2,350 entries from 1,334 unique players, most of whom participated on one or more of four separate Day 1 flights. 351 players made the money, and the final 47 players were set to return to Saturday’s now-cancelled Day 4.
Vietnam’s Van Sang Nguyen will be declared the winner of the main event, and he will receive a VND 4,376,859,231 (about US $180,640) payout. Nguyen had more than twice the chips of his nearest competitor when play was ruled complete. The APT has published the complete payout list for the 47 players who still had chips in the main event entering the cancelled Day 4.
In the Double Stack event, 166 players remained in action after Friday’s play concluded. Philippines player John Niko Costiniano will be declared the winner of the event, receiving a VND 294,795,095 (about US $12,170) payout. The ATP has also posted the complete payout-distribution list for the Double Stack’s 166 survivors.
Piecemeal cancellations preceded overall series ending
While the full cancellation of the 2023 Hanoi Billions awaits a more formal explanation, some expanding situation likely necessitated the move. Before pulling the plug on the series’ final two days, the ATP had announced the cancellation of six smaller events and had changed the starting times of three others on Saturday.
The APT Hanoi Billions 2023 did run successfully for eight full days, December 1-8, before the unexpected ending. The main event alone nearly doubled its pre-event guarantee, and the series, when all payouts are calculated, may still turn out to be richest Hanoi Billions festival in ATP history.
Featured image source: Asian Poker Tour