Poker Dream opened the new year at Resorts World Genting Highlands with a weeklong series running from January 9 to 15, 2023. This was the young brand’s second visit to Malaysia and as expected, it dragged out the biggest names in Asian poker with several seizing titles. Among the big winners were Danny Tang, Milos Skrbic, Wai Kiat Lee, and Hong Kong’s Devan Tang who shipped the Main Event. Other attendees were Steve O’Dwyer, Michael Soyza, Mike Takayama, Chan Lok Ming, to mention a few. With a solid local force in full support, it was no surprise to see Malaysia pick up the most trophies. Here are the highlights.
Festival prize pool: RM 3,653,680 (~$ 845,170)
Trophy events: 18
Main Event prize pool: RM 2,806,695 (~$649,250)
Main Event champion: Devan Tang – RM 526,100 (~$121,700)
Biggest tournament earner: Milos Skrbic – RM 704,000 (~$162,850)
Most cashes: Norman Leaw (5), Kiatponglap Worawat (5)
Dream Player of the Year front runner: Devan Tang – 1,508.56 points
Trophy count by flag: Malaysia (7), Hong Kong (4), Singapore (2), Australia (1), Thailand (1), Serbia (1), Macau (1), India (1)
DEVAN TANG ships the Main Event for RM 526,100 (~$121,700)
Rarely seen in the Asian live circuit, Hong Kong pro Devan Tang added a Poker Dream Main Event title to his belt after defeating New Zealand’s Vincent Huang at heads up. Tang was awarded the RM 526,100 (~$121,700) first prize and the Golden Dream Dragon trophy to commemorate his achievement.
As one of the most decorated players in the Asian region, with millions won through the years, Tang has laid low from the live tournament scene. He surfaced at Poker Dream Vietnam 2022 where he nearly captured a couple of titles, falling short by one spot.
Looking to break that runner up streak, Tang entered the final table of the PD Malaysia Main Event in top form. Also in the lineup was Norbert Koh who fell in 9th place and defending champion Joshua Tjan who followed in 8th place. Tang knocked out a total of seven players in the round which included Huang at heads up.
Tang is closing in on US$ 6.7 Million in live tournament earnings. This was his sixth career win.
Buy in: RM 5,000 (~$1,155)
Guarantee: RM 2,000,000
Prize pool: RM 2,806,695 (~$649,250)
ITM: 98 places
Final table payouts in RM
Yong Song Te
Kuan Ho Yee
Shang Bing Young
Joshua Tan Soo Tjan
Two time winners
At the inaugural Poker Dream event in Malaysia last year, Canada’s Eric Wasylenko and Malaysia’s Sean Zhi Jian Ooi became the first two players to win two Poker Dream titles. Two new players have now joined that exclusive list – Thailand’s Phachara Wongwichit and Hong Kong’s Wai Kiat Lee.
Wai Kiat Lee
Last year, Wongwichit won the 15K NLH event then shipped the 15K NLH Single Day at this series. As for Lee, he too won his first PD title last year in Malaysia at the 15K NLH Single Day High Roller then picked up his second at this series’ Event 13: High Roller.
Malaysia’s Norman Leaw and Thailand’s Kiatponglap Worawat missed their chance at glory but still fared well with five cashes each. Here’s a list of their achievements:
47th – Event 1: Warm Up
7th – Event 7: Bubble Rush
73rd – Main Event
29th – Event 10: KO Bounty Turbo
12th – Event 14: Monster Stack
15th – Event 3: Mystery Bounty
95th – Main Event
2nd – Event 10: KO Bounty Turbo
12th – Event 12: NLH Turbo
6th – Event 16: Mini Main Event
Dream Player of the Year standings
With intentions of producing more than two events this year, Poker Dream announced the Dream Player of the Year competition which was in effect at this year’s opener. By the end of the year, the player with the most points has a choice of two prizes:
A) US$ 15,000 credits to be used at Poker Dream live events in 2024
B) US$ 12,000 WSOP Main Event buy in + travel allowance sponsorship to be used in 2024
The player with the most number of ITMs at the end of the year will also be acknowledged with a US$ 2,000 credit to be used at Poker Dream live events next year.
Devan Tang currently leads the race with 1,508.56 points. He is trailed by Kiatponglap Worawat with 1,487.91 points. Rounding out the top three is Sanaphanith Mangkone with 1,240.07 points. As for ITM, Norman Leaw and Kiatponglap Worawat are tied at five cashes each.
Prize pool in RM
Payout in RM
Xi Zuan Tan
UK / HKG
Beh Beng Hooi
Beng Wei Lim
Zhi Yi Ning
Yang Siang Ang
Zoe Win LIm
Michelle Gan Jia Chi
Wai Kiat Lee
Yong Wee Cham
Chik Fatt Chan
Max Tan Xin Yu
Foo Lai Heng
*All images from Poker Dream facebook page.
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