Born on April 29th of 1964, Wei Sang “Paul” Phua was raised in the coastal city of Miri in Malaysia. While growing up on the island of Borneo, Paul became an avid soccer fan and watched English Premier League matches every weekend. Although the Phua family only had access to a black and white television, Paul tuned in for as many Premier League matches as possible. He also looked forward to the FA Cup Final every single year. His family were Chinese immigrants living in Malaysia, and Paul was exposed to a range of different cultures while growing up in this interconnected community.
While in his teens, Paul moved to Singapore to study and worked as a part-time construction worker to help pay his tuition. Driven to achieve greater heights with his professional career, Phua dived into the sports betting industry. Paul’s passion for soccer fueled his rapid growth in this exciting field.
In 2004, Phua created the online sportsbook IBCBet and carved out a strong presence in the sports betting world. The company was later rebranded as Maxbet. During this period, Paul Phua also became involved in politics for the first time. He was named ambassador to Montenegro for the micronation of San Marino. Montenegro is of course home to the famous “Casino Royale” featured in the 2006 James Bond film of the same name.
After partnering with Richard Yong, Paul Phua started a new business venture as a VIP junket tour operator in Macau. Casinos throughout Macau compensated Paul in exchange for bringing wealthy gamblers through their doors, and Phua developed strong connections in the city over the next few years. It is estimated that when Paul Phua finally stopped his junket tours, the entire casino industry of Macau dipped noticeably.
Macau’s reputation for hosting high stakes poker games attracted some of the biggest poker stars on the planet, such as Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and many others. Paul Phua eventually became a respected friend of many of these poker legends, especially Tom Dwan. When Paul first encountered these figures in Macau, he was determined to learn everything he could from them about poker.
Despite being in his forties when he first started to take poker seriously, Paul Phua has become incredibly successful, winning millions at poker tournaments around the globe. His newfound passion for poker also inspired him to create the Triton Series, an internationally-renowned poker organization that hosts some of the most exciting high-stakes games in the history of the game.
Paul Phua is also a dedicated philanthropist, and he has raised millions of dollars for various charities throughout the years. The record-breaking Triton Million event in London managed to raise an exceptional amount for organizations such as the One Drop Foundation. In recognition of these achievements, Paul Phua was given the Global Poker Awards Industry Person of the Year Award in 2019. Paul remains committed to charitable fundraising long into the future, and he sees poker events as the perfect vehicle to provide help for those in need.