2023 Poker Dream Manila

Main Event
Day: 1a
Event Info

2023 Poker Dream Manila

Final Results
Winning Hand
5,510,000 PHP
Event Info
66,000 PHP
Prize Pool
28,751,382 PHP
Level Info
100,000 / 200,000
Players Info - Day 1a
Players Left

Wai Keong Yong Tops 22 Survivors on Day 1a; Hal Rotholz Among Big Stacks

Level 17 : Blinds 4,000/8,000, 8,000 ante
Day 1a chip leader Wai Keong Yong
Day 1a chip leader Wai Keong Yong

The first starting day of the 2023 Poker Dream Manila PHP66,000 Main Event has concluded in the Grand Wing Casino at Newport City, Metro Manila. It took more than 13 hours to reduce the 141 entry-strong field to the last 22 survivors, all of which have locked up a portion of the PHP20,000,000 guarantee already. With another two starting flights to follow, the amount to be played for may however still increase.

After more than 16 levels of 40 minutes each, Wai Keong Yong topped the Day 1a leaderboard with a stack of 421,000. Several other contenders already had more chips at their disposal but faltered late on, which allowed the Malaysian to blaze through the final stages and emerge as the chip leader. Alessandro Taranto finished in second place ahead of Hal Rotholz and Lijun Zhang, the latter of which was was the only woman to advance.

RankPlayerCountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Wai Keong YongMalaysia421,00053
2Alessandro TarantoItaly368,00046
3Hal RotholzUnited States282,00035
4Lijun ZhangChina281,00035
5Wai Loon NgMalaysia271,00034
6Junho KimSouth Korea266,00033
7Wooseok KimSouth Korea251,00031
8Suya LeeSouth Korea238,00030
9Edwin Dela CruzPhilippines223,00028
10Hui Shen MokBrunei207,00026
Hal Rotholz
Hal Rotholz

Other notables among the 22 survivors include Wooseok Kim (251,000), Alan Tsang (136,000), Jose Drilon (100,000), and Kanishka Samant (84,000). The last player to leave empty-handed was Yuan Xiang Cheong, who got it in ahead with ace-king against the ace-jack of Suya Lee only for the dreadful jack to appear right away on the flop.

Big names that entered and bowed out without anything to show for included the likes of Florencio Campomanes, Valeriy Pak, Andrew Nguyen, Marc Rivera, Ngoc Anh Cao, the Super High Roller finalists Eng Siang Ewe and Eng Soon Ewe, Marcuss Liow, Ryan Hong, and Thijs Hilberts to name all but a few.

With just three stops of the up and coming live poker series completed thus far, as many Main Event champions have been crowned thus far and one of them entered the fray on Day 1a. China's Devan Tang saw his fate sealed when pocket kings were cracked by the pocket fives of eventual chip leader Yong. Likewise, Poker Dream founder and Short Deck Super High Roller winner Winfred Yu was among the slate of casualties when he couldn't get there with a dominated pocket pair.

Winfred Yu
Winfred Yu

Two starting days remain for poker enthusiasts from near and far to join the action. Day 1b is scheduled to get underway at 1pm local time on Friday, May 5, 2023. The turbo Day 1c will follow as of 8pm local time with a reduced level duration of 20 minutes each. Both heats will play down to their respective top 15% and the survivors of all three starting days then return on May 6 to determine the final table line-up for the grand finale.

If players bag up chips across multiple starting days, the larger stack will be carried towards Day 2 while the lesser stack gets taken out of play and a min-cash is awarded.

The PokerNews live reporting team will be back to cover all the action of Day 1b and provide chip counts of all Day 1c survivors. Furthermore, there will also be a dedicated cards-up coverage on the Poker Dream Facebook page on a 30-minute security delay as well.

Tags: Alessandro TarantoDevan TangEng Soon EweFlorencio CampomanesHal RotholzLijun ZhangMarc RiveraNgoc Anh CaoWai Keong YongWinfred YuYuan Xiang Cheong