Paul Phua is a respected part of the global poker community, and he has received a number of awards and honors over the course of his career. In 2019, Phua won the Industry Person of the Year Award at the annual Global Poker Awards. Considering everything Paul had achieved since embarking on his poker journey and founding the Triton Series, the award was well-deserved.
Paul received this award on the heels of an especially successful year, having just wrapped up the historic Triton Million event.
This London-based poker tournament attracted attention from around the world when its buy-in of over 1 million pounds was revealed. Paul Phua also caused quite a stir when he announced that a massive portion of the event’s proceeds would be donated to charity.
This type of industry leadership is one of the key reasons why Paul received the Industry Person of the Year Award in 2019. Everyone in the poker community could plainly see his commitment to philanthropy, and his ability to blend entrepreneurship with charitable activism was almost unparalleled among his peers.
John Sofen of Cards Chat News stated that the Triton Million was a “historic event” and claimed that it would have a “lasting impact” on the game of poker. Sofen also opined that “We need more events such as the Triton Million to help grow the game.”
Most industry leaders within the poker community want to grow their tournaments and organizations to new heights, and Paul Phua is no different. While the spirit of competition drives innovation forward, everyone within the poker industry benefits when events like the Triton Series become popular.
Upon receiving the Industry Person of the Year Award, Paul was quick to state his appreciation for this honor. He also made sure to thank his team members at Triton Poker, who contributed to his victory behind the scenes. The Triton Million was also considered for the Event of the Year Award at the 2019 Global Poker Awards, although it narrowly lost when all was said and done. As the Triton Series continues to innovate under the guidance of Paul Phua with its exciting high-stakes format, more awards will surely follow.
Outside of major poker awards, Phua is a celebrated international figure thanks to his philanthropism through the Triton Series. In 2019, he was personally thanked by members of the Montenegro government after donating 30,000 Euros to a local hospital. With this additional funding, the hospital was able to purchase a much-needed ultrasound machine and provide higher quality care to its patients.
The Mayor of the town, Petar Smolovic, publicly thanked Paul Phua for his contribution, stating: “This donation is very important for us. This donation will raise the level of medical services in my town. I would like to say thank you to Triton Poker, and especially Mr. Phua.” A lead doctor at the hospital echoed these sentiments, saying: “We have been waiting for this donation for 10 years. This amount of waiting tells you what it means to us. It will help a lot, especially patients with heart diseases. We are very happy.”
Before the Triton Million, Paul Phua announced Triton’s partnership with Raising for Effective Giving (REG). This charity organization helps donors find the most cost-effective charities so they can make the maximum potential impact with their money. Liv Boeree, the founder of REG, praised Paul Phua and Richard Yong for creating this partnership. She stated:
“It’s a testament to it that Paul and Richard get it. They completely agree [with our philosophy]…It’s such an honor. To me, the biggest win is getting someone to understand the concepts of what we’re trying to do.”
Many other charities have recognized Paul Phua’s support through the Triton Series, including Healthy Hong Kong, Credit One World Charity Foundation, the One Drop Foundation, Caritas Macau, the Children’s Cancer Society, Malaysian Red Crescent, Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, the Bahamas Relief Effort, and more.