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Poker Dream 8 Malaysia’s biggest winners

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Poker Dream kicked off its new season with guns blazing as guarantees were crushed and existing records obliterated. The most significant was the Main Event that saw its prize pool soar to RM 5,733,896 (~USD 1,215,450). 

The twelve-day Poker Dream 8 Malaysia ran from January 25 to February 5, 2024 at Genting Highlands in Malaysia, marking its eighth installment since inception. It amassed a grand total prize pool over RM 20 Million (~USD 4.2 Million) across 28 trophy events. This set a new festival record, surpassing the previous high  of ~USD 3.8 Million at Poker Dream Vietnam.

Zarvan Tumboli dominates the record breaking Main Event

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Zarvan Tumboli

“No quotes, out of words. Still sinking in!”

That was Zarvan Tumboli’s initial reaction to winning the Poker Dream 8 Malaysia Main Event. Not only did Tumboli outlast the 2,219 entry-field, he dominated the final table to win it with ease.

“Yeah my main aim was to keep the pressure on them and maximize the advantage of my big stack. I didnt fear to take my spots and played super aggressively throughout. Things fell in place perfectly I would say, and it was a cruise for me throughout the final table. I got folds when I didn’t have it and value when I had the goods. Also, there was never a huge pot that I was involved in or a crucial flip/tournament life risk situation.”

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The Main Event was the brand’s richest in history with the prize pool ballooning to RM 5,733,896 (~USD 1,215,450). This was the first time Poker Dream amassed a seven figure USD prize pool for its flagship tournament. Tumboli shipped the RM 888,000 (USD 186,515) top prize for a new personal record.

“It feels great. To get a score at the start of the year gives a boost to my bankroll and surely is motivating. I’m only getting hungry for more and to work harder.”

In 2022, Tumboli shipped his first major at WPT Prime Vietnam. Since then, he has been hunting that next big one with deep runs all over Asia. For the first time, he took his chances at Poker Dream in Malaysia and emerged with more than he expected.

“This one is special because it is my first time here and my first time playing Poker Dream. I played ten tournaments in Cambodia WPT before coming here and didn’t cash any. I played five tournaments here, cashed all of them, and won two so yeah this series is special and will be remembered.”

Tumboli’s other win was at Event 22: RM 1,500 NLH, besting a field of 110 entries for a payout of RM 37,200.

Punnat Punsri, Edward Yam, You Jun Hong

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Punnat Punsri

Another record event was the Super High Roller with 161 on register for a prize pool of RM 3,591,910 (~USD 761,400). Punnat Punsri shipped it for RM 836,000 (~$177,200) defeating Poker Dream creator Winfred Yu at heads up.

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Edward Yam

Rarely seen player, Hong Kong’s Edward Yam Chun Ho, known for his 2019 Most Cashes, walked away with a victory at Event 28: Mini High Roller for RM 95,144.

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You Jun Hong

Malaysia’s You Jun Hong, 2023 Dream Player of the Year, also walked away minted. Hong closed out the Mystery Bounty High Roller for a payout of RM 180,200 (~USD 38,200) plus the biggest bounty of RM 120,000 (~USD 25,400).

Early winners

Action-packed Poker Dream season opener setting new records in Malaysia

*All photos 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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