Exploring the World of Poker: Famous Malaysian Poker Players

Malaysia is a multi-cultural hive and a magnet for tourism and travel. Before the Covid year, we saw Asian countries accommodate over 134,000 tourists on average. Although the numbers took a nose dive in 2020, they are starting to pick up again at an even better pace. Data shows that the country accommodated over 26 million visitors in 2023. The top reasons why people visit Malaysia are the culture, architecture, festivals, and the freedom to participate in gambling activities.

Casino playing has a special place in the hearts of gamblers in this destination. Casinos like 7 Slots.Casino and card games such websites offer are the favorites for many here, including visitors and locals. Hence, it accounts for some of the most recognizable players in the gambling scene. Here is a detailed look at the top six famous figures who originated from Malaysia or built their reputation there. Now, don’t hesitate! Get down to reading about the top players who mastered their card game skills!

Richard Yong

Richard Yong lived his best days betting on poker. Yong was born in 1957; he is a businessman and bookmaker. Yong played this card game competitively, lived the competition, explored, and rose to the top of the gaming industry's professional ranks. From what we know, he made a living playing and inspired many others to be like him or even better. The Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge, which brought him $477,560, was his first memorable victory. Yong played against other top gamers like Erik Seidel, Scott Seiverand, and Ole Schemio. Yong won over 4 million in poker-related events during his active years. The stories we heard of Yong are exceptional and are still being told today. He comes first in line when referencing the biggest ballers in the field.

Paul Phua

Paul Phua had a rather late debut into Texas hold'em, but that didn't deter him from being tagged the world's biggest bookmaker. He ventured into poker at 40 and won several high-profile tournaments and games. Paul was born in 1964 in Miri, Malaysia. Most of his high-stakes games were in Macau, alongside other professionals like Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Chau Giang, Patrik Antonius, and John Juanda. Paul Phua also played against the first person on our list here, Richard Yong, in the Aspers 100k High Roller in London. Through these high-stakes games and tournaments, he was able to build an overall net worth of over $10 billion. With his long-standing years of experience playing these games, he started his poker-oriented strategy website, Paul Phua Poker.

Seng Yee Leow

If we were to make a list of Malaysia's youngest and high-achieving players, Yee Leow would be at the top. He was born in November 1982 and accumulated a total live earning of $13,147,661, making him the 3rd biggest earner, following Paul Phua and Richard Yong. Some of the tournaments he has participated in are:

  • 2022 Triton Poker Cyprus, events 3 and 5;

  • 2021 Super High Roller Bowl Europe;

  • 2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo;

  • 2018 World Series of Poker Europe.

Sadly, Yee Leow passed away from a suspicious heart attack on the 17th of September, 2022.

Mervin Chan

Mervin Chan is another world-renowned player who was based and born in Malaysia. He is most famous for winning The Ten Commandments (2007) and the 2013 Aussie Millions Poker Championship. Winning this same Australian championship in 2023 was one of his major highlights and the events that put him in the spotlight next to other world-class professionals. He won a grand prize of AU$1.6 million and has a total earning of over $1.6 million as a casino player. Mervin Chen currently sits in 7th position in Malaysia's all-time money list.

Chan Wai Leong

Our list would be incomplete without mentioning Chai Wai Leong, another world-class player and competitor from Malaysia. The stories about his successes encompass $5 million in earnings and loads of championships. Chai Wai Leong ranks 949th in the Global Poker Index Ranking and 165th in the All-Time Money List. One of his biggest tournaments is the $2,000,000 HKD No-Limit Hold 'em, a part of the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju. The man held second place, winning about $3,251,141. This event was one of his most enormous card game earnings.

More Card Game Stars to Discover!

Several other notable figures are doing relatively well in the poker gambling scene, but these individuals we’ve listed have been exceptional enough to make the spotlight. They have also been a source of inspiration for many beginners looking to join the big leagues and make a name for themselves in poker.

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Last Updated: Feb 21, 2024