Singapore’s The Naing crowned USOP Danang Main Event champion

thenaing 8
The Naing aka Mao

Singapore’s The Naing aka Mao clinched the biggest USOP Main Event and locked up an ICM deal payout of VN₫ 4,979,000,000 (~$205,100). Mao’s dominance started on Day 2, where he powered through the competition, amassing an overwhelming stack that propelled him to the final day. Maintaining his lead throughout the final table, Mao defeated Vietnam’s Nguyen Trung Ha at heads up in a stunning lucky river catch.

“I still can’t believe it happened. The realization of winning it actually hasn’t come to me yet. A bit numb for now. It’s great to win big. Hopefully it’s just the stepping stone to future tournaments that I plan to play. I’ve always believed I’d win one day, I didn’t expect it to come so soon. I only started playing Texas Hold’em tournaments a couple of months ago, I’ve played Pot Limit Omaha for seven years. It’s unbelievable, I am so lucky. I know so many people that have been playing for years and are still waiting. This win is really special for me. I’ve never won a live tournament before.”


On Day 2, Mao went on a heater at the feature table, knocking out three players to amass 20 percent of the chips in play. Igniting his momentum was 9s9h full house on the turn to burn Nguyen Van Phuong’s Ks10c straight on the flop 9dQsJcJs8h.

With an immense stack before him, Mao cracked Natalia Rozova‘s AdAh with KsJh straight on a running board Ac10hKcQc3c. More chips were sent his way after eliminating the last USOP Main Event champion remaining, Nguyen Ngoc Dai with Jack-Ten pairing the ten to overtake Ace-Queen. Commenting on his good fortune, Mao said,

“Everyday I was playing I felt good. For the most part, I adjusted well to the tables. Got lucky. You need luck to win.”

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Entering the final day, Mao led the 20 player pack with a monstrous 123 bb stack. To emphasize the enormity, his closest challenger was Korea’s Seonguk Huh with 53 bb. Despite the lead, there were also challenges. Mao shared,

“One toughest spot was when I was facing a jam at the final table. That was a crucial hand. I thought he could have aces or kings but could be making a move there as well. I knew that if i won that one I would have such a big lead. I decided to go ahead and gamble with it.”

[Hand report]

Utg+1 The Naing min-raises 400,000, utg+2 Konstantin Held (second in chips) three-bets 1,200,000, Naing four-bets 3,500,000, Held jams (47 bb stack), Naing tanks seeing it is 75% of his stack then finds the guts to call and shows AsKc, Held has Ad6d. The board runs Qh9c6s9sAc, kicker plays.

thenaing 7

Describing his overall experience, “the Main Event was enjoyable, alot of different kinds of opponents. There’s a really wide range for a Main Event, everyone is playing, from casual player to super high rollers, and all the billionaire club players. It’s quite fun.”

Read up on the Main Event action via the USOP Danang Live Updates, link below.

USOP Da Nang 2023: Live Updates

The USOP Danang Main Event drew the largest field ever seen in Vietnam of 1,595 entries for a record prize pool of VN₫ 34,801,800,000 (~$1,434,000). This was five billion dong more than its previous record.


Date: November 23 to 27, 2023
Venue: Furama Resort Danang
Buy in: VN₫ 25,000,000 (~$1,057)
Guarantee: VN₫ 15,000,000,000 (~$617,920)
Entries: 1,595 (1,126 daily unique combined)
Prize pool: VN₫ 34,801,800,000 (~$1,434,000)
ITM: 201 players

Final 9 payouts

1 The Naing Singapore
2 Nguyen Trung Ha Vietnam
3 Ng Tsun Yin Hong Kong
4 Nguyen Quang Huy Vietnam
5 Tian Hao Zheng China
6 Lee Sangmin South Korea
7 Lu Ning China
8 Hoang Hai Nam Vietnam
9 Konstantin Held Germany

*Heads up ICM deal, play for VN₫ 100,000,000 and trophy

For the complete payouts, head to the USOP Danang – Festival Results
For festival photos, head to Somuchpoker – Flickr

For the livestreams, head to the USOP YouTube channel

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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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