Tzai Wei Phua Wins the APPT MEGASTACK and Gets the PSPC Pass

Tzai Wei Phua
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  • Tzai Wei Phua is going to the Bahamas to play the PSPC!

23-year old Singaporean Tzai Wei Phua started the final table of the APPT MEGASTACK as the chipleader, and even though the lead moved around the table among his opponents during the day, in the end, Phua managed to clinch the win against Yisha Chen. Phua added an extra ₱2,440,000 to his poker bankroll and one of the five PSPC Platinum Passes which will take him to the Bahamas from January 5th-11th, 2019.

Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (PISO)Prize (USD)
1Tzai Wei PhuaSingapore₱2,440,000$45,918 + PSPC pass
2Yisha ChenChina₱1,512,000$28,454
3Ming Hong TeohMalaysia₱936,000$17,614
4Konstantin PogodinRussia₱709,000$13,343
5Bertrand OrtizPhilippines₱482,000$9,071
6Darian Kok TanMalaysia₱369,000$6,944
7Masakazu MyamotoJapan₱306,000$5,759
8Wang MengChina₱255,500$4,808
9Piet PapeGermany₱216,000$4,065

* The PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship pass is valued at $30,000

When Phua was asked how he felt about going to the Bahamas to play the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players NL Hold'em Championship, he replied: "It's so surreal. The entire journey was so tough, from Day 1 until today. At one point today, I had the second shortest stack for a period of time, and I started with the chip lead. I think I showed stamina and endurance. Learned to not give up, picking my spots well, and of course, at the end of the day, I felt I got really lucky. So luck played a big factor as well. After I won, I didn't know how to react. It's so surreal. I can't believe this has happened. I am at a loss for words."

"I think I showed stamina and endurance."

Phua indicated that he's a cash game player and used to play online a lot before it got banned in Singapore.

Today is August 9 which is the National Day of Singapore. Phua hopes that this will give Singaporeans some inspiration as there is a certain amount of stigma surrounding poker in Singapore. He hopes his win will show that people can make a living from playing poker. Phua started playing more tournaments and even bubbled the Aussie Millions Main Event last year.

"The usual big names will be at the PSPC, but I don't have anyone in particular that I really want to play against," Phua said when asked about who he was looking forward to playing in January. "I think the exposure will be immense. I'll be able to meet the best poker players in the world. On a personal level, regardless whether I cash or not, from a networking perspective, I will be able to improve my poker talking theory and establishing contacts and connections that can last a lifetime."

"After I won, I didn't know how to react. It's so surreal. I can't believe this has happened. I am at a loss for words."

Phua has been playing for four or five years, his recorded lifetime results aren't worth much according to himself, and he still can't really comprehend how he managed to do this. Poker has been extremely draining but also rewarding, he says. He feels the trick to poker is finding the right balance in many aspects, which can be used in poker but also outside of the poker world.

All in all, Phua's first PokerStars event has brought him an amazing result, and he wanted to thank his friends for his good run here in Manila. His friends said it was meant to be for him to win on the National Day of Singapore.

As he is predominantly a cash game player, he believes he does well in the early and middle stages but is a bit uncertain about the later stages.

During the breaks, he would approach his friends to run through strategy and ranges, etc.

"Succes is the sum of everyday efforts. Even though I got lucky, I believe to some extent, I made my own luck."

"Succes is the sum of everyday efforts. Even though I got lucky, I believe to some extent, I made my own luck. Because I worked so hard. I slept really late last night, I checked the seat draw, made plans on which big blinds to attack."

Phua had one more message for other aspiring players: "Luck is inevitable in poker tournaments. Variance is there; we should control what we can control. Putting in more effort to gain an edge in the tournament, it is something we should always do. And if it means spending more hours of the table doing homework, than that's definitely something aspiring players should do."

Tzei Wei Phua (right) beat Yisha Chen (left) heads up
Tzei Wei Phua (right) beat Yisha Chen (left) heads up

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