Poker Dream Malaysia: Danny Tang, Phachara Wongwichit, Tan Zi Xuan among early winners; Main Event RM 2 Million gtd underway


Lots of great poker action taking place in Malaysia with Poker Dream back at Resorts World Genting Highlands in Kuala Lumpur. Like its inaugural run, the high roller events have once again dragged in the industry’s biggest players and locals have joined the hunt, coming out in full force.

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The series kicked off on January 9 and will run through January 15. Several events have already completed. Among the early winners were 2022 GPI National – Hong Kong winner Danny Tang, Thailand pro Phachara Wongwichit, and Malaysia’s Tan Zi Xuan. The two-day Super High Roller also wrapped up with Serbia’s Milos Skrbic capturing his first title on Asian soil.

The highly awaited MAIN EVENT lit up the felt on Thursday, January 12 with a sizable 144 entering Day 1A. A much larger turnout is expected for the upcoming final two flights – Day 1B and Day 1C Turbo. Both flights take place on Friday, January 13 at 1pm and 8pm. Buy in is RM 5,000 (~$1,145). Certain to drive the rush is the RM 2,000,000 (~$457,400) guarantee which was boosted a generous RM 1M from the brand’s first visit. Click the link for the festival details and scroll down for some of the early highlights. 

Poker Dream Malaysia – Player eGuide

Event 1: Warm Up – TAN ZI XUAN – RM 123,300 (~$ 28,200)

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It was a mad rush from the get-go with amateurs and pros pulling up seats to the Warm Up event. Three entry flights were offered on opening day. A combined 592 signed up to easily crush the guarantee for a larger RM 799,200 prize pool. Unsurprisingly, the locals dominated the field and the final table with 6 out of 9 players hailing from the host country. Tan Zi Xuan captured his maiden victory along with a career high payout of RM 123,300 (~$28,200). He earned the first PD side event title of the year. 

Buy in: RM 1,500 (~$345)
Guarantee: RM 300,000 (~$68,600)
Entries: 592
Prize pool: RM 799,200 (~$182,780)
ITM: 90 places

Final table payouts 

Rank Player Flag Payout in RM
1 Tan Zi Xuan Malaysia 123,300
2 Yang Hsiang Jen Taiwan 111,700
3 Alton Yong Kah Kin Malaysia 63,710
4 Tan Ong Kwan Malaysia 50,000
5 Teoh Beng Key Malaysia 40,300
6 Chang Kok Leong Malaysia 31,300
7 William Jia Australia 23,000
8 Pitakparadon Papach Thailand 16,000
9 Huidong Gu Macau 12,500

Event 2: 20,000 NLH – DANNY TANG – RM 305,000 (~$69,750)

Returning from a fantastic 2022 season that earned him the GPI National Hong Kong title, Danny Tang picked up his first victory of the new year after outlasting the 57 entry field of the 20,000 NLH event. Tang claimed the RM 305,000 (~$69,750) top prize and his career first Poker Dream win. 

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The RM 20,000 buy in No Limit Hold’em was the first of six high roller tournaments scheduled. Forking out the big bucks were numerous World Series of Poker bracelet winners that included Tang, Chin Wei Lim, Mike Takayama, and Chan Lok Ming. Also back for his second PD series was Irish-American pro Steve O’Dwyer. All of these players failed to reach the money round however among those that were successful were PD creator Winfred Yu in 2nd place, and past PD series champions Lee Wai Kiat (4th), Yeu Wei Hsiang (6th), Sim Kok Wai (7th). 

Buy in: RM 20,000 (~$4,575)
Entries: 57
Prize pool: RM 1,048,800 (~$239,860)
ITM: 8 places


Rank Player Flag Payout in RM
1 Daniel Tang Hong Kong 305,000
2 Winfred Yu Hong Kong 221,000
3 Lai Muk Pin Malaysia 142,500
4 Lee Wai Kiat Malaysia 107,836
5 Chan Ying Kit Hong Kong 83,500
6 Yeu Wei Hsiang Malaysia 65,000
7 Sim Kok Wai Malaysia 52,000
8 Ling Tien Loon Malaysia 40,500

Event 4: 15,000 NLH Single Day – PHACHARA WONGWICHIT – RM 150,000 (~$34,300)

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Back to back Poker Dream high roller 15K No Limit Hold’em titles for Thailand pro Phachara Wongwichit. At the brand’s debut last year, Wongwichit won this exact same event at this exact location then returned this year to impressively defend his title. Wongwichit bested a loaded final table that included Philippine pro Mike Takayama at heads up. 

Buy in: RM 15,000 (~$3,430)
Entries: 33
Prize pool: RM 455,400 (~$104,150)
ITM: 6 places

Rank Player Flag Payout in RM
1 Phachara Wongwichit Thailand 150,000.00
2 Mike Takayama Philippines 103,838.00
3 Yohei Kitazato Japan 66,300.00
4 Tang Ying Seng Hong Kong 50,800.00
5 Ling Tien Loon Malaysia 39,800.00
6 Ang Kailoon Malaysia 31,000.00

Event 6: Super High Roller – MILOS SKRBIC – RM 704,000 (~$161,000)

It was a mixed bag of elite players from around the world battling to seize the Super High Roller title and the RM 704,000 (~$161,000) top prize. In the end, the last one standing was esteemed Serbian Milos Skrbic for his first ever live win on Asian soil.

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Among the 48 runners Skrbic bested were the highly decorated Triton Jeju SHR champion Christopher Michael Soyza (2nd) and Irish/American pro Steve O’Dwyer (4th). In addition to his new triumph, a couple of Skrbic’s most memorable career accomplishments were finishing 9th at the 2019 WSOP Main Event and 2nd at the WPT $10.4k Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event. Both of these events gained Skrbic seven figures. 

Buy in: RM 50,000 (~$11,435)
Entries: 48
Prize pool: RM 2,234,400 (~$511,000)
ITM: 7 places

Rank Player Flag Payout in RM
1 Milos Skrbic Serbia 704,000
2 Christopher Michael Soyza Malaysia 508,000
3 Vlach Lubomir Czech Republic 324,400
4 Steve O’Dwyer Ireland 246,000
5 Zhang Chi United Kingdom 190,000
6 Ewe Eng Siang Malaysia 145,000
7 Liu Chun Keat Malaysia 117,000

Other winners

Event 3: Mystery Bounty

Buy in: RM 3,000
Guarantee: RM 400,000 (~$91,480)
Entries: 287
Prize pool: RM 774,900
ITM: 44 places
Winner: BEH BENG OOI – RM 90,653 (~$20,730)

Event 5: Deepstack

Buy in: RM 1,200 (~$275)
Entries: 169
Prize pool: RM 178,464 (~$40,815)
ITM: 23 places
Winner: LIM BENG WEI – Malaysia – RM 40,000 (~$9,150)


Poker Dream opens 2023 at Genting Highlands

*All images by Poker Dream

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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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