While industry experts have claimed that online poker has reached it’s peak, the optimists still see Asia as being home to the world’s next poker boom. If this is to take place, then Malaysia will play a smaller but important role. The game is becoming more and more popular here and the last few years has seen huge success for some of our home grown talent.
The two outstanding names on this list are Richard Yong and Mervin Chan. Yong is an extremely successful Malaysian business who has shot to fame in the poker world through his participation in the world’s biggest tournaments and cash games. He is a regular in the big game in Macau where millions of dollars are at stake at any one time and he is also a fixture in the high roller tournaments that take place around the world. Aside from his numerous appearances in televised cash games alongside the likes of Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and other poker legends, he also made a name for himself when he came 8th in the one drop for charity tournament – the highest buyin poker tournament ever held, boasting a whopping one million dollar entry fee.
Mervin Chan shot to prominence when he won the 2013 Aussie Millions Championship in Australia, earning himself a tasty $1.3 million payday. By outlasting a field of the world’s top professionals, he showed that poker is a game where with a little bit of luck, that even the amateurs have a shot of beating the pros at their own game.
Malaysian amateur Mervin Chan beats a field of the worlds top pros to claim one of poker’s richest prizes
Success stories like these are sure to increase the popularity of the game here as more and more Malaysians get involved with the expanding poker scene. The games stature has increased so much in recent times that we now have international poker sites that offer accounts in ringgit (MYR). These sites also have Malaysian bank accounts which makes it easy for us to deposit and withdraw money, working in the exact same way as any other online banking transaction.
The easiest poker sites to use from Malaysia are listed below.
DafaPoker on the iPoker network. They are both legal and fully licensed companies – Dafa in the Philippines. These are international sites that support many currencies including ringgit. When you sit at the table your MYR balance will be converted to that table’s currency (USD or EUR). However as soon as you leave the table it is converted back at the same exchange rate and therefore there are no currency exchange fees.
Looking at the large number of successful Malaysian poker players one might assume poker has long been popular here. This is however not the case. The only legal option for playing poker in Malaysia is at Casino de Genting. Here ethnic Malays are not allowed to gamble. The poker scene is mostly made up of our Chinese population, ethnic-minorities and tourists. The games held here are also quite limited. Outside a few major tournaments per year, you will only find small weekly events.
The popularity of the game in Malaysia is mostly due to the influence of foreigners who brought the game to the country, as well as our residents who discovered it when visiting Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines and other countries where Texas Hold’em and Omaha are popular. Internet Poker then further fueled what might now be considered the start of a Malaysian poker boom.
One of the reasons it took a while to catch on is our laws. Outside Casino de Genting poker is not legal in Malaysia. But, as I just covered on this page playing online is easy. Our police are far too busy to worry about people playing poker at home on the internet or in private home games. And, given the fact the poker websites suggested on this page have no physical presence in Malaysia, our police have no jurisdiction over them (they also have far more important things to do with their time).
Personally I consider the risk of legal trouble using DafaPoker to be next to nil. However, for players concerned about the paper trail that local bank transfers leave, stick to using EntroPay. This is a third party e-wallet that is used for many purposes, not just gambling. If you are looking for a site where you can use EntroPay that also has soft games, for this I suggest www.888poker.com.