(‘Team Singapore for the Asian Nations Cup 2013: Daniel Chua, Freddy Kwek, Ivan Tan, Jacky Wang, Mark Wen, Lin Min Soon, Vince Lau.)
Team Singapore took the bronze medals in the inaugural International Federation of Poker (IFP) Asian Nations Cup held in Sanya, China on 19th and 20th October 2013.
8 national teams battled it out at Match poker in eight sessions of play, which contained a total of 240 hands played intensively over a course of 2 days.
For the uninitiated, Match poker is not a typical poker game played at home. The same order of cards is used at all the tables, which is dealt electronically to the players and the tables’ community devices. The “seat draw” dictates that teammates play on different tables with one specific player from each team sitting in each of the different seat positions. Over the course of a hand, each team receives each set of hole cards in the same positions. A team’s collective skill in playing these hands and consistently outperforming the other teams determines their finishing position. In no way does the quality of the cards a player or team receives influence their chance of winning the tournament.
Team Singapore, led by Ivan Tan is an experience team with varying success at tournament poker but was stunned to occupy the last position after the first 10 hands were completed on Day One of the competition. They eventually rallied back to restore some order in their campaign to finish 5th after the day is wrapped up. With so much at stake, Team Singapore was clearly re-energised and in the ascendancy in Day 2. The comeback trail was nearly completed as they charged up the table going into the final session comfortably at 2nd position and had an outside chance to overtake China for the title.
They eventually finished 3rd after a frantic final session which was played under suspense media blackout conditions as the players would not have access to the running scoreboard until its completion. The Chinese exhibition team from China Poker Games managed to squeeze into 2nd place and Team China put in a dominant performance to ensure a clean sweep for the host nation.
Congratulations to Team Singapore for their late comeback, a clear indication that the talent is definitely there and the next step for them is the IFP Nations Cup Finals at the end of November 2013. The World Championship would be held in Brazil and Team Singapore qualified along with China, Israel (4th), and Australia (5th). They will join the top 6 teams qualified through the IFP European Nations Cup, namely Ireland, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, Estonia and Cyprus.
Watch Team Singapore in the interview below at 1:12 mark.