paul phua looking to his right


frequently asked questions

q&a text

1 How did it feel to win the GPA Industry Person of the Year Award?

Paul Phua: Just to be considered for this award was a massive honor. Winning was a genuine privilege, and I can’t even put into words how much it means to me. The truth is that I can’t take all of the credit – I have an amazing team at Triton Poker and they deserve plenty of recognition as well for everything we’ve achieved. 

2 Why is giving back and donating to charity such a major goal for Triton Poker?

Paul Phua: Wealth inequality is a major issue today, and it’s important to take positive action in any way we can. With Triton’s high-stakes poker tournaments, we have an opportunity to help communities around the globe. It doesn’t make sense to play poker for millions of dollars, only to walk away without giving anything back. 

3 What does the future of Triton Poker look like?

Paul Phua: The future of Triton Poker has never looked better. We continue to sign TV deals so a wider audience can enjoy our exciting events from around the globe. We’re also committed to helping local communities with each city we visit through increased charitable donations. 

4 What is the best state of mind for a professional poker player?

Paul Phua: The best poker players are able to remain calm in all situations. A calm state of mind allows you to make good decisions throughout tournaments. There’s no sense in going big on an average hand or bluffing three or four barrels after losing a hand.

5 What’s the biggest thing that separates an amateur poker player from a professional?

Paul Phua: Professional poker players are always working to improve their game – even if they’re already among the best in the world. Many amateur players don’t seem to care about getting better at poker. It’s all about how much time you devote to practicing and improving. 

6 What’s the secret to maintaining a good poker face?

Paul Phua: In my experience, maintaining a good poker face is all about time management. For example, you need to take the same amount of time to make a decision – whether or not you have a good hand. Being too quick to bet or check will let everyone know you have a good hand. By keeping these periods of decision-making time consistent, you can maintain your “poker face.” 

7 Why do you enjoy short deck games?

Paul Phua: I enjoy short deck tournaments and games because of their dynamic nature. During these games, everyone has a chance to win. That being said, there’s still plenty of skill involved. At the end of the day, short deck is just plain fun. 

8 Do you have a favorite city or nation to visit for a poker tournament?

Paul Phua: One of the most enjoyable things about the Triton Series is the fact that we hold events at some of the most spectacular nations across the globe. We make sure to choose venues that people will love, so I feel very lucky to visit places like Sochi, Jeju, Montenegro, London… the list goes on. I love them all!

9 What is Triton Poker’s strategy to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Paul Phua: We recognize the risk that coronavirus poses, especially in regards to older generations. Fortunately, the Triton Series typically involves a small pool of players, which lowers the risk of spreading the virus. We’re also investing heavily in testing kits so that each player can be properly screened before entering the playing area or the hotel. 

10 When playing with such high stakes, how can you smile and “laugh it off” after losing huge hands?

Paul Phua: It’s all about strategy. When you let your emotions influence your game, you’ll start playing worse. When I smile and laugh after losing hands, this doesn’t mean that I don’t care. I’m just remaining calm and relaxed so that I can make more logical decisions in the future. 

11 Isn’t being calm all the time boring?

Paul Phua: This is a big misconception in poker. Being calm and relaxed doesn’t mean you need to be a robot that is always thinking about strategy and logic. You can still have fun while you play poker – make jokes, laugh, and talk with other players. The key point is to never let your emotions impact your strategy.