Van Thang Nguyen Wins Opening WCOAP Event

The 2014 APAT World Championship Of Amateur Poker got under way at Aspers Stratford Westfield on Tuesday afternoon with the £55 No Limit Hold’em event and it if the rest of the week-long festival continues in the same vein it should be a fantastic seven days of poker.

Although initially capped at 120 entrants, Event #1 of the WCOAP saw a bumper crowd of 165 players buy in with the hope of securing a coveted APAT medal and a championship bracelet. These 165 entrants created a prize pool stuffed with £8,250 with that princely sum distributed to the top 18 finishers.

The player finishing in the worst possible position, 19th and on the bubble, was the unfortunate Guillem Rojas who got his chips into the middle with {A-}{Q-}, against the lowly {K-}{2-} of Keith Hoang.  A {K-} on the flop put paid to Rojas’ chances and while the disappointed player received the consolation of a round of applause, the remaining 18 players smiled to themselves knowing they had made the cash, at least doubling their initial buy in.

One-by-one, the players fell by the wayside until at just after midnight the carriage turned into a pumpkin and the slipper no longer fit. Oh no, that’s a different story. Sorry. Until just after midnight when the nine-handed final table was reached.

2014 WCOAP Event #1 Final Table
1 Edward Smith
2 Diep Van Tram
3 Robert Smith
4 Andrew Beck
5 Michelle Bashir
6 Philip Marsh
7 Denise Frost
8 Van Thang Nguyen
9 Keith Hoang

The first exit from the final table was that of Michelle Bashir whose {Q-Hearts}{J-Hearts} couldn’t come from behind to beat the {K-Diamonds}{J-Diamonds} of Philip Marsh despite flopping a heart flush draw.

Bashir was followed to the rail almost immediately after that hand by Robert Smith who three-bet all-in over the top of an Edward Smith button raise with what turned out to be {K-}{10-} and Robert Smith called with {A-}{7-}. That ace-seven proceeded to flop two pair and with that the final table lost another player.

Andrew Beck was the next player to fall after he committed his stack with {K-}{6-} in an attempt to pick up the blinds and antes, but he picked up more than that as he caught a caller in the shape of Marsh and his {A-}{10-}. Beck didn’t improve by the river and he busted in seventh place.

Six became five and then four in the space of two hands. Van Thang Nguyen opened to 35,000 and then quickly called when Marsh three-bet all-in for 140,000. Nguyen showed {J-}{J-}, which was much stronger than Marsh’s {7-}{7-} and it stayed that way until all five community cards were on display; Marsh mauled.

The very next hand claimed the tournament life of Hoang and it was Nguyen who helped himself to more chips. When Nguyen set him all-in, Hoang called with {A-}{3-} and was shown {9-}{9-} from his aggressive opponent. The board brought no help to Hoang and he was eliminated in fifth place, while Nguyen was running away with the show.

Two coinflips in quick succession saw the heads-up stages reached. First, Edward Smith shoved with {A-}{10-} and Diep Van Tram called with pocket jacks, which held. Soon after, Denise Frost moved all-in with the same {A-}{10-} and again Tram called with a pocket pair, this time {4-}{4-}. Those fours held and heads-up was set.

Nguyen held a 892,000 to 784,000 chip lead over Van Tram but that lead swapped hands a couple of times before Nguyen’s pocket fives held in a big pot aginst Van Tram’s dominated fours. The next hand saw the rest of the chips go in on a {A-}{K-}{4-} flop, Van tram showing {4-}{2-} and essentially drawing dead as Nguyen had flopped a set of kings. A full house completing ace on the turn locked up the hand for Nguyen and he became the first champion of the 2014 WCOAP.

2014 WCOAP Event #1 Final Table Results
1 Van Thang Nguyen £2,175
2 Diep Van Tram £1,485
3 Denise Frost £955
4 Edward Smith £705
5 Keith Hoang £530
6 Philip Marsh £420
7 Andrew Beck £350
8 Robert Smith £280
9 Michelle Bashir £210

Fred Bekker Binks the Seven Card Stud WCOAP Event

While the 2014 WCOAP Event #1 was in full swing, the £55 Seven Card Stud event was preparing to kick off. The game may not be as popular as it once was, but APAT love to cater for everyone and at least 30 players were glad that they ran the event; a great turn out under the circumstances.

The event ran until the unholy hour of 4am with Ashley Brett falling in third place, then Peter Stoneman losing out to Fred Bekker heads-up for the title, gold medal and commemorative championship bracelet, oh and a not-to-be-sniffed-at £625 first place prize!

Wednesday sees the £220 High Roller event take place and a £55 Mixed Game Championship later in the day. Both events look likely to sell out so act quickly if you want to bank yourself a seat.