Earlier this week, Wei Seng “Paul” Phua, 50, a high-stakes Macau businessman and his 22-year-old son Wai Kit "Darren" Phua were released from Las Vegas’ Henderson Detention Center after Phil Ivey and Andrew Robl posted a combined $2.5 million in bail.
Now, Ivey and another poker player, Daniel “jungleman” Cates, have come to the aid of two more defendants charged in the same illegal betting operation at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, U.S Magistrate Judge Bill Hoffman ordered the release of Seng Chen "Richard" Yong, 56, and his son Wai Kin Yong, 22. The former was being held on a $1.5 million bond and the latter $500,000. Ivey paid the entirety of Wai Kin’s bond and $500,000 toward the elder Yong’s, while Cates posted the remaining $1 million.
“I have the utmost respect and trust for them,” Ivey said of the Yongs, who he considers personal friends.
Both Yongs, who are Malaysian citizens, are regulars in the renowned Macau “Big Game”, as well as in high-stakes tournaments around the world. In fact, Richard Yong ranks first on the Malaysian all-time money list due in no small part to finishing eighth in the 2012 World Series of Poker $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop for over $1.2 million.
In addition, a third defendant, Hui Tang, 44, was ordered to be released on a $1.5 million bond. As part of their release, all three defendants were ordered to be electronically monitored, prohibited from gambling, and denied access to the Internet.
According to court documents filed by San Diego-based Michael Pancer, the Yongs have received support from others in the poker community including John Juanda, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, and Gabe Patgorski.
A letter filed on behalf of Juanda called the Yongs men of “honor and integrity,” while both Dwan and Patgorski have offered to host the defendants in their Las Vegas homes as part of their release.
For more on this story visit the Las Vegas Review-Journal.