Poker Dream Malaysia concludes with Devan Tang crowned Main Event champion; festival pays out RM 3.65M (~$845K)


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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 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.

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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
Entries: 643
Prize pool: RM 2,806,695 (~$649,250)
ITM: 98 places

Final table payouts in RM

1 Devan Tang Hong Kong 526,100
2 Vincent Huang New Zealand 324,200
3 Yong Song Te  Singapore 232,000
4 Meerwais Hussaini Australia 177,295
5 Kuan Ho Yee  Malaysia 141,000
6 Sanaphanith Mangkone Laos 109,800
7 Shang Bing Young  Malaysia 79,800
8 Joshua Tan Soo Tjan Malaysia 54,500
9 Norbert Koh Singapore 44,100

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.

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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. 

Most cashes 

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:

Norman Leaw

  • 47th – Event 1: Warm Up
  • 7th – Event 7: Bubble Rush
  • 73rd – Main Event
  • 29th – Event 10: KO Bounty Turbo
  • 12th – Event 14: Monster Stack

Kaitponglap Worawat

  • 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. 

Festival winners

Event Winner Flag Prize pool in RM Payout in RM
Main Event Devan Tang Hong Kong 2,806,695 526,100
1 Xi Zuan Tan Malaysia 774,210 123,300
2 Danny Tang UK / HKG 1,017,336 305,000
3 Beh Beng Hooi Australia 464,653 90,653
4 Phachara Wongwichit Thailand 441,738 150,000
5 Beng Wei Lim Malaysia 173,225 40,000
6 Milos Skrbic Serbia 2,234,400 704,000
7 Dicky Tsang Hong Kong 115,825 29,100
9 Zhi Yi Ning Malaysia 718,770 266,000
10 Yang Siang Ang Macau 143,750 30,100
11 Zoe Win LIm Malaysia 72,775 21,100
12 Michelle Gan Jia Chi Malaysia 113,775 29,175
13 Wai Kiat Lee Hong Kong 1,217,308 306,000
14 Yong Wee Cham Singapore 349,280 81,000
15     Chik Fatt Chan Singapore 73,444 15,000
16 Max Tan Xin Yu Malaysia 181,584 40,784
17 Foo Lai Heng Malaysia 282,852 89,000
18 Rajeev Kanjani India 70,725 20,600

*All images from Poker Dream facebook page.

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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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