Poker Dream Vietnam: In Ho Song, Kai Bong Lo, Nguyen Manh Hao, William Ysmael pick up first festival trophies


Games intensified at Day 2 of the inaugural Poker Dream Vietnam with the first four trophies fiercely hunted at the Grand Hall of Hoiana Hotel & Suites. In just under seven hours, the first one was claimed by Korea’s In Ho Song at the Warm Up. The second one took a whopping twelve hours to capture with Hong Kong’s Andrew Kai Bong Lo earning his maiden title at the High Roller Freezeout. At 2am, the third trophy went to Vietnam’s Nguyen Manh Hao at the Short Deck Ante Only, and near the break of dawn, the Deepstack wrapped up with Filipino William Ysmael winning the flip. We’ve got those stories for you down below. 

Korea’s IN HO SONG wins the Warm Up for ₫361,176,000 (~$14,900)

Korea’s In Ho Song lays claim to being the first ever Poker Dream Vietnam champion after he took down the Warm Up event. Song was running strong from the start, bagging up the chip lead at Flight A to carry in the second largest stack into Day 2. At the final table, a late game surge catapulted him to the chip lead then went on to defeat Malaysia’s Chee Kuo Chen at heads up. Song was awarded the brand’s signature logo trophy and the ₫361,176,000 first prize. This was his first title outside of home soil. You can read up on the race via the Live Updates. 

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In Ho Song

The Warm Up event opened the series, attracting 264 entries across three starters (Flight A – 101, Flight B – 134, Flight C – 29). Buy in for the event was ₫8M which generated a crushing prize pool of ₫1,843,776,000 (~US$ 76,400). 41 players advanced to Day 2, each one guaranteed a share of the pot. In just under seven hours, the title and trophy was claimed by In Ho Song.

Buy in: ₫8,000,000 (~US$ 330)
Guarantee: ₫1,000,000,000 (~US$ 41,430)
Entries: 264
Prize pool: ₫1,843,776,000 (~US$ 76,400)
ITM: 41 players

Final table payouts

1st In Ho Song Korea ₫361,176,000
2nd Chee Kuo Chen Malaysia ₫239,800,000
3rd Lee Haerok Korea ₫174,800,000
4th Ta Khanh Linh aka Jack Risk Vietnam ₫143,200,000
5th Ming San Chung Hong Kong ₫112,000,000
6th Feng Zhao Singapore ₫84,700,000
7th Lee Yong Korea ₫61,800,000
8th Ngo Hoang Hien Vietnam ₫45,000,000
9th Nguyen Tuan Anh Vietnam ₫38,600,000

*Full payouts can be found in the Live Updates.

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Event recap

Song’s rise to victory can be credited to his winning streak against Singapore’s Feng Zhao. At the final table, Zhao’s untimely shoves from the small blind awarded big blind Song two double ups. The first one, Zhao shoved Ks4s and Song snapped it off with AdJc. Down to six players, Zhao shoved again, this time with 7h6h that ran into Song’s AdAh. On the third showdown, the crippled Zhao went on to lose the rest of his chips to Song in 6th place.

One bust later, Song cracked Ta Khanh Linh’s AcAd with a shocking Qh9c gutshot turned straight on the river. The next takedown was another stunner. From the small blind, he shoved with 2h4h, Lee Haerok tank-called showing As9d, the board paired both of Song’s hole cards to bring about heads up. It took only six hands to close it out and claim the first trophy of the festival. 

Hong Kong’s ANDREW KAI BONG LO outlasts the elite at the High Roller Freezeout

The first High Roller event of the series was a thrilling two-day Freezeout that saw Hong Kong‘s Andrew Kai Bong Lo go the distance for his first ever live poker win. Lo entered Day 2 as chip leader, stayed in the upper ranks throughout the day, and amid a crowd of fans, he overcame a deficit at heads up against Filipino pro John Tech to lift the brand’s custom designed dragon trophy and the ₫ 1,413,000,000 (~US$ 58,500) first place purse.

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On opening day, the HR Freezeout saw 72 of the region’s elite fork out the hefty ₫70M buy in, joined by another 7 before the start of Day 2 for a total of 79 players. A substantial prize pool of ₫5,148,430,000 (~US$ 213,320) was built with the top 11 places gaining a profit. Among the new arrivals were  Vincent Li, Florencio Campomanes, and Triton SHR series creator Richard Yong.

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Four and a half hours in, the bubble burst on India’s Kunal Patni with pocket Tens outdrawn by Wayne Kok Weng Beh’s Ace-Eight, with ace on the flop. Two busts after, Beh proceeded to carry the mightiest stack to the final table. The race to the title was livestreamed in the Poker Dream facebook page. Relive the action via the recorded feed or read on below for some of the highlights.

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Final table recap

Within the first half hour, Andy King Hsiang Wong fell to Joey Chung Yin Wong with pocket Jacks standing firm against Ace-King. The next two fell simultaneously to Shardul Parthasarathi with KcKh dominating Ryan Mingho Yum’s 10d10s and Kok Wai Sim‘s JcJs. Andrew Kai Bong Lo earned his first final table bust with QdQh besting Joey Wong’s AhKd. Joining the cleanup crew was John Tech who made his presence felt by also delivering a double knockout. Tech’s AhAd crushed Shardul’s KcKs and Beh’s AcKh. Several orbits later, Tech wiped out one of the toughest and most decorated players in the lineup, WSOP bracelet winner Elton Tsang.

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Jojo Tech

Heads up kicked off with Tech backed by a 4:1 chip advantage. Less than 20 minutes in, the counts switched when Lo’s flush easily beat Tech’s straight. From that moment, Lo stayed in command, winning a majority of the pots to always keep a step ahead. Tech managed to double up once but it still wasn’t enough to regain control. By the third hour of heads up, Tech was down to 12 BB and shoved with Ac7h, Lo called with QdJd, the final board was 5hQs8c5dQc for a victorious full house.

Buy in: ₫70,000,000 (~US$ 2,900)
Players: 79
Prize pool: ₫5,148,430,000 (~US$ 213,320)
ITM: 11 places


1st Andrew Kai Bong Lo Hong Kong ₫ 1,413,000,000
2nd John Tech Philippines ₫ 1,005,000,000
3rd Elton Ka Wai Tsang Canada ₫ 658,430,000
4th Wayne Kok Weng Beh Malaysia ₫ 506,000,000
5th Shardul Parthasarathi India ₫ 402,000,000
6th Joey Chung Yin Wong Hong Kong ₫ 315,000,000
7th Ryan Mingho Yum Hong Kong ₫ 248,000,000
8th Kok Wai Sim Malaysia ₫ 194,000,000
9th Andy King Hsiang Wong Malaysia ₫ 147,000,000
10th Hsien Ren Koh Malaysia ₫ 129,000,000
11th Kenneth Wee Kiang Kee Singapore ₫ 129,000,000

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Vietnam’s NGUYEN MANH HAO wins the Short Deck Ante Only

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Nguyen Manh Hao

The Short Deck Ante Only was another high buy in event with players needing to put up ₫70,000,000 (~US$ 2,900) to enter. 32 ponied up for a prize pool of ₫2,085,440,000 (~US$ 86,400). After eleven hours of crazy swings and thrills, the title came down between Nguyen Manh Hao and Chow Hing Yuang. Chow had just eliminated Co Chung Chuen to enter with the chip advantage, but Nguyen quickly doubled up to jump far out front. Nguyen’s 9h9d improved to a full house on a board JsJc9cQdKc to beat Chow’s AhJh trips. Nguyen went on to ship it with KdQc two pair over AdKs pair for his first ever live tournament victory.

Buy in: ₫70,000,000 (~US$ 2,900)
Entries: 32
Prize pool: ₫2,085,440,000 (~US$ 86,400)
ITM: 6 places

1st Nguyen Manh Hao Vietnam ₫864,000,000
2nd Chow Hing Yaung Malaysia ₫597,230,000
3rd Co Chung Chuen Hong Kong ₫381,300,000
4th Zhang Chi UK ₫292,300,000
5th Yap Ghai Pang Malaysia ₫228,800,000
6th Lee Hok Yiu Hong Kong ₫178,000,000

Philippines’ William Ysmael flips for the Deepstack trophy

One of the cheapest tournaments to try to win a trophy was at the evening’s Deepstack which hit the felt at 8pm. 93 night owls came out, and just before morning light, Philippine player William Ysmael and Malaysia’s Zi Xuan Tan split the money down the middle for ₫109,350,000 (~$4,350) each, then flipped for the trophy. Ysmael landed the better spread to become the festival’s fourth champion.

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William Ysmael

This was an impressive series start for Ysmael who hadn’t been seen outside of home turf since 2018. Six hours in, Ysmael served up the bubble with KcQd straight over 10c10d set on a board 6sJs10h9h3s. When the field downsized to the final three, Tan was sitting on a massive stack but could not close it out. Instead, he doubled up both of his opponents, including Ysmael who turned up AcAh that dominated Tan’s KsQs. This was the last big hand of the day before the flip.

The victory came just two months after he shipped the Asia Poker Championship for the largest takedown of his career of around $96K. Notable performances as well by Filipino Jason Magbanua, who is on a high this year and looking to win his first outside of his home country, and Vietnam’s Ta Khanh Linh aka Jack Risk who placed fourth at the Warm Up. Linh became the first player to reach two final tables.

Buy in: ₫6,000,000 (~US$ 250)
Entries: 93
Prize pool: ₫487,134,000 (~US$ 20,180)
ITM: 13 places


1st William Ysmael Philippines ₫109,350,000*
2nd Zi Xuan Tan Malaysia ₫109,350,000*
3rd Jason Kyle Magbanua Philippines ₫59,400,000
4th Atis Patananaka Thailand ₫46,600,000
5th Trung Manh Nguyen Vietnam ₫37,600,000
6th Pham Quang Dung Australia ₫29,300,000
7th Hoang Nam Tran Vietnam ₫23,200,000
8th Pongkhun Busmongkhon Thailand ₫18,100,000
9th Ta Khanh Linh Vietnam ₫13,700,000
10th Ng Wai Loon Malaysia ₫10,500,000
11th Vu Thai Bao Vietnam ₫10,500,000
12th Ho Chung Yi Taiwan ₫9,800,000
13th Dhaval Mudgal India ₫9,800,000

*Heads up chop

Stick with us here at Somuchpoker as we bring you full coverage of the festival from start to finish. 

Poker Dream Player Guide
Daily event pics – Somuchpoker fb page

Article links:

Poker Dream releases Hoi An full schedule
Poker Dream makes landfall in Hoi An, Vietnam
Poker Dream: Day 1 recap

Chat with us about poker online, we are friendly.
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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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