USOP Hanoi 2023: Vietnam’s Hoang Wins Superstar Challenge; India’s Iyer & Agarwal Post FT Finishes

Taking place at the stunning Crown Poker Club, the U Series of Poker (USOP) Hanoi in Vietnam is turning out to be a blockbuster one. The festival’s high roller events are all the rage and this was evident in the much-anticipated Superstar Challenge. The beloved homegrown tournament had an eventful run, garnering an impressive 94 entries (52 unique) to comfortably break the previous Vietnam record of 62 entries for a guarantee-busting VND 10.2 Billion (USD 424,000) prize pool.

  • Buy in: VND 120,000,000 (USD 5,074)
  • Guarantee: VND 2,500,000,000
  • Entries: 94 (52 unique)
  • Prize pool: VND 10,212,100,000  
  • Places Paid: 14 players

In the end, Hoang Hai Nam of Vietnam won the title. He made a remarkable comeback to win the two-day event from a 7 bb stack. Hoan finished second in this event at the previous two festivals, missing the top spot each time. However, in this most recent contest, he triumphed, defeating Malaysia’s Ian Lee in heads up and winning the title for a career high VND 3,000,000 (USD 124,560).

However, Hoang’s road to the victory was a not a cakewalk. It was a swingy final table with him slipping down to just 7 bb during three-handed play. Truly, the game changed for Hoang when Lee doubled through him with his 7h 7d full house vs Hoang’s Ah 6s straight on a 9d 5h 9c 8d 7s board.

Not deterred by the loss, Hoang  showed some well-timed aggression and reclaimed the top spot. To enter heads-up in style, he hero-called on a King-high board to bust GACKT who had pushed with Jc 10s against the pocket kings of Hoang. The heads-up was a short-live affair lasting just one hand. Hoang shoved with As 7d and Lee called for his tournament with Ad 3s on a 2c 8h 7h 2s 8c board.


This was also a significant event for India, as WSOP bracelet winner Abhinav Iyer, who had won the series’ Mini High Roller a few days back, was once again in the hunt for another title. However, he couldn’t go all the way, finishing in 5th place and banking an impressive VND 576,000,000. Another Indian to shine in this event was Sahil Agarwal who finished 8th and took home VND 336,000,000.

Complete Payouts (VND)

  1. Hoang Hai Nam – 3,000,000,000
  2. Lee Tse Ian -1,900,000,000
  3. Oshiro Gakuto – 1,170,000,000
  4. Nguyen Van Sang – 781,100,000
  5. Abhinav Iyer – 576,000,000
  6. Allen Michael Josheph – 456,000,000
  7. Pham Alan Anh-Minh – 385,000,000
  8. Agarwal Sahil – 336,000,000
  9. Do Quang Trinh – 298,000,000
  10. Teoh Minh Hong – 270,000,000
  11. Pham Duy Anh – 270,000,000
  12. Kitazato Yohei – 270,000,000
  13. Husson Pierre – 250,000,000
  14. Benloch Florent Remi – 250,000,000

Across other events, India’s Mohak Kapoor notched up a commendable fourth-place finish in Event #16: VND 6.60 Million Mystery Rush Bounty, bagging VND 32.10 Million for his efforts. The more experienced Rajeev Kanjani padded up his bankroll wth VN10.30 Million for his 12th-place finish. The Mystery Rush Bounty title was taken down by Taiwan’s Huang Chang Wei, pocketing VND 108 Million.

Among the other Indians, Rishab Malik (10th for VND 23 Million), Amit Kaushik (11th for VND 23 Million), and Jatin Sablani (17th for VND 16 Million) cashed Event #8: VND 6.60 Million Superstack Madness.  Ip Ho Yuen of Hong Kong  emerged as the winner of the event, winning  VND 272 Million.

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Also read: USOP 2023 Hanoi: Anatolii Gorbushin Wins Mystery Bounty; Arjanveer Chadha Headlines Team India Cashes