Five of the Best Vietnamese Poker Players
The World Poker Tour Asia Swing is headed to the Pro Poker Club in Ho Chi Minh from September 28-October 2. The nine-day festival marks the first time the WPT has ventured into Vietnam, where according to noted tournament director Danny McDonagh, poker is “thriving.”
As such, we thought it’d be a good opportunity to examine some of the best players from Vietnam. Of course, this isn’t an all-inclusive list – everyone knowns Vietnamese-born players like Qui Nguyen, Scotty Nguyen, and Men “The Master” Nguyen belong on such lists – but rather five players who’ve shown they’ve got what it takes to compete on a worldwide stage.
According to HendonMob, there’s only one poker millionaire from Vietnam, and that’s Linh Tran. Since 2009, he’s amassed more than $1.05 million playing tournament poker in such locales as Macau, the Philippines, Cambodia, Australia, South Korea, and Canada. Interestingly, he’s never cashed in the United States.
Tran’s best year came back in 2016. That is when he won the APPT10 Manila Man Event for a career-high $130,191. The next month, he finished fourth in the APPT10 Macau Single Day High Roller for $47,539, and two months later he took second in the 2016 Asia Championship of Poker (ACOP) Macau for $52,676. Those are his three biggest scores.
More recently, he won the 2018 Asia Poker Tour Manila High Roller back in March for $37,477. Tran has sat atop the Vietnam poker money list since 2015 and doesn’t show signs up letting up anytime soon.
Linh Tran Poker Stats (September, 2018)
|Vietnam’s All Time Money List||1st|
|All Time Money List||1,678th|
|Global Poker Index||450th|
|Best Live Cash||$130,191|
|Total Live Earnings||$1,063,631|
If anyone is going to catch Tran it’ll likely be Thai Ha, who sits second on the Vietnam money list with over $900K. A good chunk of that came back in August when he finished second in the Parx Casino Big Stax XXVI $1,500 NLH for $78,380.
The only bigger score Ha has notched came in January 2016 when he won the 2016 Lucky Hearts Poker Open Event #1: $350 NLH for $230,422. Other highlights on his poker résumé include sixth in this summer’s 2018 Planet Hollywood Goliath Phamous Poker Series Main Event for $75,440, second in the 2015 Parx Big Stax XIV $500 NLH for $60,000, and runner-up in the same tournament in the Parx Big Stax XI for $58,000.
Ha, who was born in Vietnam but now resides in the United States, has also won two side events at the Borgata for over $41K each, and finished 226th in the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event for $40,181.
Oh, and Ha won a flipout at the 2018 PCA for a $30K Platinum Pass, so we'll see him in the Bahamas for the PSPC.
Thai Ha Poker Stats (September, 2018)
|Vietnam’s All Time Money List||2nd|
|All Time Money List||2,038th|
|Global Poker Index||244th|
|Best Live Cash||$230,422|
|Total Live Earnings||$904,852|
Huu Dung Nguyen
One Vietnamese player who has come on strong in the last couple of years is Huu Dung Nguyen, who has amassed $266,411 since December 2016. That includes winning the April 2017 Asian Poker Tour Manila Opening Event for $19,050, and a week later taking down the APT $2,200 Championship Event for $91,670. That was his breakout performance, but he didn’t stop there.
Four months later, he finished runner-up in the Macau Poker Cup 27 Event #26 NLH for a career-high $130,855, and then he closed out 2017 by taking second in the Da Nang National Poker Championship II Main Event for $14,025.
In 2018, Nguyen strung together a trio of cashes at the APT Vietnam Ho Chi Minh, making him one of the hottest players who consistently competes on the Vietnamese circuit.
Huu Dung Nguyen Poker Stats (September, 2018)
|Vietnam’s All Time Money List||5th|
|All Time Money List||7,296th|
|Global Poker Index||4,044th|
|Best Live Cash||$130,855|
|Total Live Earnings||$266,411|
Thi Xoa Nguyen
Thi Xoa Nguyen is arguably the best Vietnamese player without a win to her credit. Since 2014, Nguyen has amassed $279,446 in live tournament earnings.
This summer, Nguyen traveled to Las Vegas where she made a splash in a $1,100 event at the Wynn Summer Classic, ultimately finishing third for $37,876. That was her third-largest score behind the $58,889 she received for finishing second in the 2017 PokerStars Championship Prague €2,200 NLH Deepstack and the $54,703 she got for taking 14th in the EPT12 Monte Carlo Main Event.
Nguyen has earned tournament cashes in France, Malta, Spain, Czech Republic, and in Vietnam. In fact, back in January, she finished seventh in the 2018 Asian Poker Tour (APT) Welcome Event for $1,018.
Thi Xoa Nguyen Poker Stats (September, 2018)
|Vietnam’s All Time Money List||4th|
|All Time Money List||6,966th|
|Global Poker Index||1,265th|
|Best Live Cash||$58,889|
|Total Live Earnings||$279,446|
Khanh Le Ngoc
Few players have put in as much volume in recent years as Khanh Le Ngoc, who has been grinding hard in Vietnam, Manila, Macau, and Cambodia. Just last month, he finished third in the National Poker Championship 5 Da Nang High Roller Event for $5,474, which came three weeks after he won the APPT Manila Event #10: Turbo NLH for $2,324.
In March, he finished runner-up in the National Poker Championship III Da Nang High Roller for $7,592. In 2017, he won an ACOP tournament for $12,842 as well as a PokerStars Festival Manila PokerStars Cup for $13,219.
However, his biggest score to date remains his first ever – 5th in the 2015 APT Manila Main Event for $17,548.
Khanh Le Ngoc Poker Stats (September, 2018)
|Vietnam’s All Time Money List||11th|
|All Time Money List||14,570th|
|Global Poker Index||2,445th|
|Best Live Cash||$17,548|
|Total Live Earnings||$132,171|
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.