Tom Dwan: Face Of Paul Phua Poker

3 years ago
Paul Phua chats to Tom Dwan
09 Jan


It’s been a long-time coming, but now Paul Phua’s slick new poker website is up-and-running – and who better for him to have as a guest in his first two videos than Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan, a regular sidekick in the high-stakes game the Chinese businessman loves to play!

The Paul Phua Poker Site offers tips and strategies from one of the best poker players in the world’, reads the blurb, Phua keen to pass his own hard-earned poker knowledge on to other keen enthusiasts of the game. ‘Learn how to play poker and improve your game on poker night!’ he states, and Dwan ‘the missing man’ is a good place to start.

‘In conversation with’ brings us a brief discussion between the somewhat unlikely bed-fellows – Phua is the billionaire businessman while Dwan was the darling boy of the USA’s poker boom before heading east to seek fame and fortune in the Macau high-stakes world, populated by the likes of Phil Ivey and countless Chinese businessmen.


Part 1 of the chat with Dwan focuses on ‘trapping’ but it’s Dwan who is firing the questions, asking Phua about the favorite trapping hands of amateur players, Phua explaining that even pre-flop Chinese amateurs “don’t like to 3-bet with aces or kings".

The discussion is fairly basic stuff – as is most of Phua’s content – but it’s well-enough produced and Dwan seems relaxed enough chatting away at the table, the talk touching on players they obviously both know bluffing way too much.

Part 2 of ‘In conversation with…’ – also filmed at the Triton Series event in the Philippines this past November – finds the pair talking about ‘nationalities’ and ‘careers’ and how knowing where someone is from or what they do for a living might give an indication as to their playing style.


"A lot of people seem to fit into a sort of stereotype", says Dwan, “like finance guys…tend to play a certain way when starting out.”

Phua, once described as ‘the world’s biggest bookmaker’ - a title he opened up about last year in an interview - explains that players have to be able to change their style ‘in an instant’ to avoid such predictability.

On the ‘nationality factor’ Phua says “Generally, Scandinavian players are more aggressive…” which is a stereotype which has been around and well-earned for many years, but he also explains that Chinese amateur players “like to see a lot of flops”.

The learning curve for the Chinese players is longer says Phua, partly because of their love for taking risks at the table, with Dwan chiming in that “the fish in the US seem to care a bit more about getting better.”


It’s a short but reasonably interesting chat, and Phua’s site itself isn’t the worst place a newcomer or beginner at the game could start out, with rules, strategy articles and information about the man himself, where you can ‘Read about his incredible journey from a small town in Malaysia, to the biggest poker games in the world.’

Whether his website will take off the way Phua hopes might depend on how many other famous players he can persuade to chat to him, but with access to the biggest names in the game that might not be a problem!

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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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