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Five High Roller Poker Players That Call Malaysia Home
Malaysia is not the first country that springs to mind when you think of stellar poker players. However, the earnings of the top five live poker tournament players from Malaysia weigh in at a combined $70,825,143!
Winnings of at least $1.1 million are required to be part of the top ten in Malaysia. This increases to $10.9 million for a top-five berth. Malaysian players have a penchant for the highest stakes tournaments and cash games.
Paul Phua is the Biggest Live Poker Tournament Winner in Malaysia
Paul Phua is the biggest winner of all players who call Malaysia home. Phua did not play Texas Hold’em until his 40s and is making up for lost time. He has $21,393,758 in live MTT winnings, and possibly more from his cash game grinding.
All but five of Phua’s 34 live cashes weigh in at six figures or more. The largest tips the scales at £2,558,305 ($3,113,429) which he scooped for a second-place finish in a £100,000 buy-in event in London in August 2019. He chopped that events with another player on this list!
Phua surrounds himself with some of the world’s best high-stakes grinders. The likes of Tom Dwan, Daniel Cates, Sam Trickett, and Phil Ivey consider Phua a friend.
Richard Yong is a Malaysia Businessman With a Lot of Gamble
Richard Yong is a 64-year-old businessman from Malaysia best known for his love of Macau’s nosebleed stakes cash games. Yong has accumulated $14,233,857 from live events despite his preference for cash games.
The $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop at the 2012 WSOP was the first time Yong cashed in a live event. Imagine playing a $1 million buy-in tournament when you had never previously cashed! He finished eighth that day for $1,237,333 with Antonio Esfandiari scooping the title and $18,346,673.
$2,130,848 is Yong’s biggest haul, his reward for a third-place finish in the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Jeju in July 2018. Mikita Badziakouski won that day for $5,257,027.
Wai Leong Chan Crushed Events in 2018 and 2019
Wai Leong Chan is third on the Malaysia all-time money list with earnings of $$12,488,677. More than $11.2 million of that sum came in events held in 2018 and 2019.
Chan crushed the super high roller scene for two years, racking up cashes worldwide. A pair of runner-up finishes earned Chan his two biggest prizes. He came second in a $250,000 event in the Bahamas for $2,677,500 less than a year after collecting $3,252,348 in South Korea.
Chan disappeared from the live tournament scene throughout 2020 and 2021, like many Asian people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Will we see more of him in 2022?
Seng Yee Leow Fell Short of Super High Roller Bowl Glory
Seng Yee Leow already had a trio of seven-figure hauls before he jetted off to Cyprus from his native Malaysia in August 2021. Leow flew there and competed in the $250,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl Europe event. Forty-one-players bought in and Leow made it all the way to heads-up. However, this is as far as he progressed because Wiktor Malinowski defeated him one-on-one. Leow banked $2,460,000 with Malinowski securing a $3,690,000 payday.
Leow does not play anything under $25,000 so we will not see him until the super high roller evens kick back off this year. Then he will definitely add to his $11,871,117 winnings.
Wai Kin Yong the Super High Roller Specialist
Wai Kin Yong is the son of Richard Yong who is second on the Malaysia money list. Yong Jr. has $10,837,736 in winnings, ranking him fifth in his home country. He only has 17 recorded cashes but that is because he only plays the very highest stakes.
He won a £100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Event in London in August 2019 for £2,591,695 ($3,154,064). Yong added £1,835,000 ($2,232,740) to his bankroll two days later in a £100,000 Short Deck event.
His last foray into the live poker world saw Yong scoop $800,000 in a $51,000 Short Deck high roller. The man is skilled with a stripped deck of cards!