Top 3 Best Businessmen In Poker

4 years ago
Top 3 Best Businessmen In Poker
17 Apr


You might think that being a successful businessman would make the ideal background for a poker player, what with having to judge people’s needs and motives and understanding the value of money - and coming out ahead at the end of the day – but it doesn’t always work that way. This article, however, is going to focus on three men who HAVE successfully translated their excellent business acumen into highly lucrative poker success.

Let’s start with one of Asia’s best-known – some might even say infamous – businessmen/poker professionals

Paul Phua

Phua has graced the pages of PokerTube in numerous guises over the years, many of them due to his links to Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan, others because of his alleged role as the ‘world’s biggest bookmaker’, others still because of his love for poker.

The multi-billionaire, Malaysian-born businessman started out as a young junket operator in Macau, and said of this time:

"…as my business career progressed, I learned a lot of skills. The casino junket business taught me a lot. And it made me a much better card and poker player.”

Rumours of $billion dollar betting scams and investigations into his business practices don’t seem to have stopped the 52-year old from indulging his passion for poker, and he has a very healthy $4.5million in tournament winnings under his belt – although his average buy-in is in the region of $100,000!

His new poker website, PaulPhuaPoker is a slick affair and reveals a very real passion for the game, although it is his connection to the ‘missing-in-action’ pokerstar Tom Dwan which he is perhaps best-known for by the average poker fan – and when his new site launched who should appear in his first interviews but Dwan himself!

Anyway, whatever his real business or dealings, Phua has certainly made his mark in both spheres.

Let’s skip continents now and look at one of the most successful English businessmen and poker players…

Paul Newey

How does someone build a company that within 10 years has a $14billion turnover and makes its founder a $320million fortune? Ask Paul Newey, the Englishman who started up Ocean Finance in 1991 and sold it for $300million in 2009, named 17th richest person in the UK in 2015 and achieving success with the New Wave Ventures capital firm he then moved on to.

Poker-wise Newey is one of the very best non-pros out there, commanding full respect at the table (despite of his terrible fashion sense!) and amassing over $4.5million in tournament winnings, sparked by a high-roller runner-up spot in EPT Prague and followed by another six 6-figure paydays in high-roller events around the world.

Making money in business and making money playing poker/gambling are two different things, but Newey has been luckier than most, and works hard on the skill aspect as well, and it has certainly paid off!

Let’s head back to Asia for our third businessman on the green felt – an unknown in many ways, but one to watch out for in the future for sure.

Lo Shing Fung

Also known as Rono Lo, the Hong Kong-born Macau-based businessman rarely plays tournaments, but when he does they are usually the highest buy-in events available – always a sign of a mega-rich poker wannabe.

It’s always hard to get accurate information out of the Far East when it comes to business enterprise and net worth, but there’s one thing for sure which tells you $1million is nothing to someone – playing a pot of that size without breaking sweat (or indeed putting your chopsticks down while the hand plays out!)

To see which of our billionaire businessmen pocketed the loose change, check out the video below…

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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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