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Tuesday February 5, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 12:02:48 PM
by nicholas cheng
PETALING JAYA: Despite mountainous odds, Malaysian poker ace Mervin Chan toppled the world's best card players to sweep up RM5,172,624 (A$1.6mil) in cash.
Chan, 29, won the final round of the 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event against seven other high-stakes professional players after a gruelling eight-day competition.
In addition to his cash prize, Chan also took home a brand new Chrysler 300C car worth RM129,000.
“I'm speechless! I'm feeling really great to have all this cash. I'm just feeling really, really, really great,” said Chan in a video interview shortly after his big finale win against 2011 Melbourne Poker champion Joe Cabret.
Known as “The Cat”, Chan stuck out from his group of highly successful entrepreneur friends for his wildly unorthodox career choice of being a high-stakes poker player.
And what a victory it was.
A David among the Goliaths and with fewer chips than some of his contenders, Chan endured through the card-flying gauntlet as the bigger players crashed out one by one.
His opponents included former Aussie Millions $100,000 Challenge 2010 champion Dan Shak, two-time World Series Poker finalist Patrik Antonius, 2010 Victorian Poker A$500 No Limit Hold'em champion Joseph Cabret, Jarrod Glennon, Jay Tan and David Yan.
The final was down to Cabret and Chan with the chip count around even at the beginning of heads-up play their face-off lasted 10 minutes.
Cabret started off by leading for 1.2 million, Chan quickly responded by raising it up to 3 million and Cabret played back with an all in.
Chan snap-called and tabled an 8-6 of Spades combo which put him ahead of Cabret's A-3 of Diamonds flush draw.
“I was down to maybe a million and I got pretty lucky because I climbed two spots while the rest got eliminated. I doubled up a few times ... and I was in the game again,” said the poker ace as he triumphantly displayed his trophy and winnings.
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