Paul Phua With Rui Cao And Wai Kin Yong: The Three Secrets of Poker Success

2 years ago
Paul Phua With Rui Cao And Wai Kin Yong: The Three Secrets of Poker Success
09:28
13 Jul

It’s one of the most formidable duos out of Macau who feature in this week’s Paul Phua interviews, and if the names Rui Cao and Wai Kin Yong aren’t on your radar yet, then they should be – both of them making huge leaps in the high-stakes games.

Rui Cao is a French-Chinese high-stakes pro who has been a regular in the biggest PLO games online for several years now under his pseudonym ‘PepperoniF’ – and in part 1 of his chat with Paul Phua he claimed that professional poker is “kind of stressful, but it’s exciting at the same time.”

Wai Kin Yong is one of the new breed of Asian players, banking more than $3million in the Triton series of high-rollers in the Philippine capital Manila, and looking forward to the upcoming event in Montenegro, a place which holds fond memories for him.



Part 2 of their chat with Phua, the Macau-based billionaire businessman whose love for poker has seen him mix it with the biggest of the games’ big names such as Ivey, Dwan, Coleman and Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates and also start his own online Paul Phua Poker School, sees Yong recall ‘the most fun hand’ he and Cao played together.

“In Montenegro, yes!” says Yong. “I called him down with nines on Jack, Ace… He check-raised me on the flop, he bet the turn and he jammed the river. I was like, ‘Hmm, it’s Rui Cao. I call with nines. Good!’ And he got so mad about it.”

The discussion centers around learning and developing as a player, and it sees two very different approaches to the subject, Cao explaining:

“I used to watch a lot of videos, talk with a lot of friends, so it’s not a single person, but just a group of people who made me a better player.”

Yong, however, made his improvements via the coaching route, stating that “First my teacher, my mentor Mikael Thuritz”, was the person he learned most about the game from.

"l mean, he improved my game, like, 500% maybe, l don’t know!”

Phua and Cao agree, the former explaining that:

“When he first started out, he used to be very loose, super aggressive. But recently l’ve seen a dramatic change in his game. More patience, playing more value hands, better hands…”


As with all of Paul Phua’s ‘In Conversation with…’ interviews, the 3- and-a-half-minute or so episodes cram a lot of useful tips and learning approaches into them.

Rui Cao, for example, takes the view that: “To be good at poker, l think the most important thing is to love the game. If you play the game to win money, you can be a top player, but you won’t be world class", while Yong takes a rather more practical tack.

“I think the most important thing for beginners is their willingness to learn, and admit that you’re not good, you know. Whereas l have known people who play poker every day, and they are losing every day, but they just think it’s…”

Running bad…” Phua fills in the gap with Yong agreeing: “Yeah, just bad luck.”

As the elder statesman of the Macau-based players, Phua’s isn’t sure if the youngsters heed his words so much nowadays, joking:

“They are such good players now, maybe they don’t take my advice anymore! But yeah, it’s just patience: when you play, to be able to be calm, make the right decisions, the right play whether you’re losing or winning”.

There’s a lot to learn in poker, and Paul Phua is trying his best to make as much of it as possible available on his site, and it’s free to subscribe to, giving you access to all of his video chats with the stars of poker – and their expertise could just make the difference between you winning or losing!


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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