Tony Ma is a Vietnamese American professional poker player.
Born in Vietnam, Hieu "Tony" Ma was a member of the Vietnamese Navy during the 1970s. He escaped communist Vietnam and sought asylum in the U.S. in the mid-1980s. Once settled, he found work as a welder and truck driver. His spent his off time playing the games of the day, mostly Pai Gow poker and dominoes.
Ma was unhappy working a regular job, so he decided to be a professional poker player. His goal was to make a steady income and a living for his family. With a decent bankroll, he started playing in the California card rooms and was successful immediately.
Ma played his first tournament at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles in 1994 and did very well. His skills got a lot better after writing down his mistakes in order to learn from them. Shortly thereafter he made a name for himself and got his start on the poker circuit.
In 1996, he won a WSOP bracelet and $360,000 in the $5,000 Limit Hold'em event, making the final table of the first event he ever played. At the final table were John Bonetti, Johnny Chan, and T.J. Cloutier. Ma refused to make a deal when all the other players wanted to.
Ma was recognized as one of poker's top tournament players and was named Player of the Year by CardPlayer in 1999.
Ma won another bracelet at the 2000 WSOP Limit Hold'em for $367,040.
In 2005 at the Five-Star World Poker Classic $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em, Ma came in first place and won $435,980.
In 2005 Ma finished 3rd in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold'em event for $118,240.
In 2005 Ma won the California State Poker Championship No-Limit Hold'em Championship for $384,025.
Ma has 8 WPT cashes and made the final table of the first season Pro-Celebrity Invitational Tournament, finishing in 5th place.
As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $4,100,000.
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