Team Singapore is Eager to Impress in Macedonia

The Singapore national team has been an active participant in Match Poker events since the first Asian Nations Cup in 2013 where they finished in 3rd place and have been looking to better that result ever since.

Another impressive performance at the 2019 Asian Championships saw the team make the finals but miss out on a podium finish to Australia. After a forgettable performance in the 2020 World Championships, Team SG has really shown their true character, skill and fighting spirit. Determined to represent their nation with pride, the revamped national team has a new captain in the highly skilled and experienced Match Poker athlete, Lisa Tan Meiling, who has set her sights on bringing home some silverware from Macedonia!

The squad for Team Singapore’s participation at the 2021 Nations Cup Finals:


Lisa Tan Meiling (Team Captain)

The revamped Singapore team is led by a female captain who has led the team through the qualifiers. She is consistently the top performer in the last few editions of the nations cup. Renowned for being the first woman to win the Manila Megastack Main Event, Lisa aims to encourage more females to try Match Poker!


Zefirelli Noordin (Vice Captain & Assistant Team Manager)

A semi-retired investor, Zef played a pivotal role in helping Team Singapore to qualify for the Nations Cup. He also acts as the Team liaison for Singapore Poker Federation in organising and supporting the team’s needs.

 

 

 

 


Phua Tzai Wei (Team Coach)

Full-time professional player and the former captain of team Singapore. He made history earning a coveted Pokerstars Platinum Pass when he won the Manila Megastack event in 2018 and placed 19th in the WSOP online main event in 2020. He is instrumental in devising the team strategy as the team coach.

 

 

 


Darren Wee Hee Joon (Team Coach)

Possessing great insights and understanding of the game, the “Run it once” coach is widely credited for Team Singapore’s in-game tactical adjustments.

 

 

 

 


Lin Ruizi (Team Member)

Lawyer by profession, and a strategy game enthusiast. Predominantly a cash game player, he has played a key role during the Asia qualifiers.

 

 

 

 


Keith Joel Seah Jia Qiang (Team Member)

The entrepreneur is a respected name in the local poker community ever since his breakthrough placing 2nd at APT Championships Philippines 2017 Main Event. He is also part of the qualifying squad and is returning to get the job done!

 

 

 

 


Phyllis Chua (Team Member)

A recreational poker player that fell in love with the game in 2015. She has been playing cash games for years and is recently transiting into tournaments. Her passion for the game is evident through the amount of time she invests daily in studying and playing the game.

 

 

 

 


Norbert Koh (Team Member)

A regular face at the final tables of Asian Tournaments (before the Pandemic). Only last year, he captured the imagination of the local poker community with his fantastic run in the WSOP main event, eventually finishing 27th elevating him in the top 10 on Singapore’s all-time money list.


Feng Zhao (Team Member)

Another top 10 on the Singapore’s all-time money list, Feng Zhao is one of the most decorated players in Singapore. He is an undisputed online phenomenon, and amassed even more in online MTTs.

Feng Zhao and Norbert are currently ranked Number 1 and 2 respectively in the Global Poker Index (Singapore) and will certainly be the players to watch in their first Nations Cup.


Ivan Tan (Team Manager)

Currently retired, Ivan is widely regarded as a pioneer and one of the best poker players in Singapore since bursting onto the scene in 2007 finishing runner-up in an APPT Macau Main Events.

 

 


Lim Min Soon (Team Consultant)

A veteran of the Match Poker competition, his poker highlight is the elusive triple crown of the highly popular Singapore Poker Championship series.

 

 

 

 


 

Macedonia to Host the Nations Cup Finals in May

 

IFMP’s first live event since the Asian Nations Cup held in Taipei, Taiwan in November 2019 and we could not be more excited to bring our qualified nations together and competing for the Match Poker World Championship!

We hosted a series of virtual qualifiers throughout 2021, where Asian and European national teams participated from a central venue to secure their qualification for the 2021 Nations Cup Finals.

Over 25 national teams participated in 11 individual qualifying events over 4 months, leading to the following list of qualified teams:

  • India
  • Mongolia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Singapore
  • Israel
  • Iceland
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • Macedonia
  • Italy

These nations will be joined by the current Nations Cup Champions, for 2019 and 2020, Team Ukraine who will be looking to defend their title for the second time after successfully doing so for the first time in the 2020 Virtual Nations Cup.

 

 

The beautiful town of Gevgelija will be our host city in Macedonia with the Apollonia Hotel being our venue.

The 2021 Nations Cup will kick off on 23rd May and run till the 27th, incorporating an exciting elimination structure playing down to a final 6 teams for the final session of play.

3 full days of play will ensure both physical and mental stamina are tested along with Match Poker skill and strategy, producing a truly deserving World Champion.

The IFMP team will be visiting Gevgelija on 18 & 19 April for a pre-event press conference with the Mayor of the town and a site visit with the local organising committee.

It has been very encouraging to see the growth of Match Poker in Macedonia, with the first season of the national league being run very successfully and producing a national champion, the Vardar Sharks, to go on to represent the league in the Global Champions League later this year.

Match Poker’s formal sporting recognition by GAISF has been extremely important in helping its national acceptance as a mind sport and game of skill within our member nations.

2021 Review – A Year of Challenges and Progress

2021 saw IFMP make considerable progress after a rather quiet pandemic hit 2020. With the constantly changing situation caused by Covid, we didn’t want to be dependent on live events for Match Poker activity this year. We therefore decided to run virtual qualifiers for the 2021 Nations Cup Finals for our member nations in Asia and Europe. Being the world’s only recognised digital sport, Match Poker has the unique advantage of digital gameplay as compared to other conventional sports which are more physical in nature. We used this to our advantage and re-created the live Match Poker environment linking a video conference platform in with Match Poker gameplay, thus enabling the athletes to see and talk with each other just like they would at a live event, while playing Match Poker for their nation.
We ran a total of 10 qualifiers, which produced 5 Asian and 6 European qualifiers who will attempt to stop Ukraine from wining their 3rd World Championship in a row! 200 unique hands of Match Poker were played in each qualifier, giving us 2000 hands played by 25 participating nations. Over 200 athletes competed for their nations, testing themselves in this skill-based format with the aim of securing a spot at the finals. The qualified nations are India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Singapore from Asia, with Austria, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Macedonia and Switzerland from Europe. The virtual qualifiers allowed many nations, who have previously not been able to participate in live events, to play, compete and experience Match Poker. It has been fantastic to see our sport grow and reach so many new countries this year.
One prime example of this effect is the birth of the Mongolian National Match Poker League! 12 teams participated in the first season of the league, which took place on 11th and 12th December in Ulaanbaatar and saw 500 hands played across the 2 match days. Every team had atleast one male and one female member in their squad, across various age groups once again reinforcing that Match Poker is a fully inclusive sport. Team Pokerfriends were crowned Champions with 749.5 points, Team Shrup came 2nd with 723 points and Team Megamind was 3rd with 710 points. Trophies, medals and prize money was awarded to the top 3 finishing teams and top 3 individual players. The Mongolian NF will use this event and the content captured to approach their National Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Sports Authority (NSA) for the formal recognition of Match Poker as a sport in Mongolia and for their national federation as a national governing body of sport, linked to IFMP as the global representative.
IFMP’s observer membership of GAISF was extended for another 2 years as we continue our fight for full recognition. One of the main aims of encouraging local Match Poker activity by way of national leagues was to be able to evidence to the NOC and NSA of your nation that we are a sport, recognised globally, played digitally, and are not anything like conventional gaming or gambling. Once the authorities see it in action, being played in teams, without the presence of physical cards or chips, they will better understand what we have been trying to explain to them for so long. We are hopeful that this all will work to our advantage and we can provide the GAISF membership council with plenty of new national recognition certificates in the coming year.
We are working hard towards a packed events calendar for 2022, with a Champions League style finale event for our many national league champions, a Global University Challenge involving student Match Poker teams from universities and colleges across the globe, and of course our Continental Championships (Asia, Europe, America’s) all culminating in a Nations Cup Final at the end of the year. There have been a few nations that have expressed their desire to host an event and we are evaluating our options, and would encourage other nations who are interested to let us know at the earliest.
Finally can we take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful holiday period. Stay safe, take care of yourself and your loved ones and let’s make 2022 the year where Match Poker really takes off! Happy Holidays and wish you a fantastic New Year!

Team Singapore are Going for Gold

Team Singapore will be lead by a female, becoming the 2nd nation to have a woman captain after Belarus. A strong squad with a mix of experience and youth, the Singaporeans will be eager to show their skills once again and make a run at the World Championship! Here is their squad:

 

Team Captain – Lisa Tan Meiling

Profession – In Tech Industry

Bio – Fell in love with the game since my university days, and been firmly in love with the game since. It’s been a thrilling and empowering ride being a female player in this game, and I encourage more females to try Match Poker!

 

Team Coach – Phua Tzai Wei

Profession – Cryptocurrency investor

Bio – I started playing poker in 2013 back in my college toilet/library. There are many transferrable skills to life itself, skills I have equipped myself with over the years have helped me in many ways in real life and games which rewards hard work and effort, where performance/results mostly correlated with effort and hard work one puts in.

 

 

Team Manager – Ivan Tan

Retired 

Bio – I started playing in 2000. I enjoy the social aspect of the game, and that it is a skill game which requires a lot of self-discipline in order to excel. 

 

Team Player – Lee Jia En Bernice

Student 

Bio – I started playing poker in 2017. I love meeting new people and love the thrill of poker

Team Player – Kevin Quek

Retired Hedge Fund manager

Bio – Picked up poker in 2004 when I was working in Wall Street, New York City. Got to play more when I was working in HK as Macau was just a 1 hour hop away. I would typically play for 20-25 hours straight on the weekends. Love the game as it has many similar characteristics to trading, where a mix of probabilities, psychology, bankroll management and patience comes into play!

 

Team Player – Foo Jie Long 

Profession – Banking

Bio – Started playing poker since university days where I started off playing cash games and slowly transitioned to tournament. Love how poker is multifaceted and like life there’s always a chance to win no matter the cards you are dealt!

Team Vice Captain – Zefirelli Noordin

Profession – Dogecoin Investor

Bio – Loved the game since school days. Played on and off, loves the competition and social aspect of the game.

 

Team Player – Lin Ruizi

Profession – Lawyer

Bio – I first learnt how to play poker shortly after A levels and before the start of my national service, and was very drawn to the strategic aspect of it as I was then a competitive Magic: The Gathering player, amongst various strategy games. Further, although the money wasn’t the main aspect of it for me, it was nice to have a hobby that potentially paid, as opposed to just continually outlaying money! 

 

Team Player – Keith Joel Seah Jia Qiang

Profession – Entrepreneur

Bio – I started playing at the age of 21 and I love the money aspect of it.

 

Team Player – Desmond Oh

Profession – Public Servant

Bio – I love card games since I was young, and enjoy grinding online (Former PokerStars Supernova). As a mind sports lover, I like the competitive nature of the game.