The first ever professional poker tournament staged in Vietnam reached a thrilling conclusion on Tuesday with Hong Kong’s Kwan Kit Kwok taking out the final of the Main Event.

Hosted at the Ho Tram Grand Resort Casino, the Asian Poker Tour Vietnam event saw almost 150 players from around the world take part in the eight day festival of poker.

Going into the Main Event final, Singaporean player Norbert Koh was leading the group with 382,000 chips, with Kwan only 6,000 behind.

The rest of the truly international field was rounded out by Samad Razavi (Engliand), Bryan Huang Diwei (Singapore), Sunny Zhang (China), Jereld Sam (Singapore), Erik Billgren (Sweden), Hideki Takafuji (Japan) and David Steicke (Hong Kong).

Koh and Kwan went head to head early in the final when they both went all in, but Kwan’s flush saw his opponent eliminated in seventh place.

In the end it came down to Kwan and another Singaporean, Bryan Huang. Huang went all in but was bested by a pair of queens and was relegated to second place, earning US $20,000 as runner up in the Main Event. Kwan took home US $26,800 as the winner, while China’s Sunny Zhang claimed US $11,900 for finishing in third place.

Upon receiving his trophy, Kit took the chance to thank the organising committee and talked about how enjoyable the tournament was.

“My friend heard about this event in Vietnam, said it sounds like fun, so I thought ‘why not?’  Bought my ticket, tagged along, and here I am,” said the 27-year-old first time APT tournament winner.

The Asian Poker Tour event kicked off on Wednesday 6 May with qualifying for the Main Event and a series of satellite events including a charity game to raise money for Operation Smile.

Players from across Asia took part in the tournament, in addition to entrants from a far afield as Europe, USA, Australia and South Africa.

“We would like to congratulate Kit for his win here today, and indeed everyone who has come out to join us over the past week,” said President of the Ho Tram Resort Casino Shaun McCamley.

“It has been a week that has exceeded all expectations. We have broken virtually every new-venue record in APT tournament history, and provided a fine showcase for all that we stand for here in Vietnam,” he said.

APT Chief Executive Officer Mr. Jeff Mann said the feedback from everyone involved in the event had been overwhelmingly positive. “We are looking forward to adding the Ho Tram Resort Casino to the regular roster of venues for Asian Poker Tour tournaments.”