There have been many Asian players dominating the world of poker over the years, both in cash games and in high profile tournaments. Many of them have been influential in shaping the world of poker and changing the way the game is played. The following is a list of five of the most influential Asian players in the poker world.
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For more information see official poker rankings - http://www.officialpokerrankings.com/
Or visit the Asia Poker Tour
John Juanda is the obvious choice for number one. He was born in Indonesia before he moved to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma State University. He is ranked 10th on The Hendon Mob All Time Money List, having earned close to $24 million in live tournament play over his 20-year career. He's been fortunate enough to win five separate World Series of Poker tournaments, the biggest being in 2008 when he defeated 368 of the best poker players in the world in the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event. It was a victory that came with a cash prize of $1,580,096. This wasn't even his only seven-figure victory. In 2012, he won a total of $1,645,756 in the Macau High Stakes Challenge, and $1,164,034 in the 2015 EPT Barcelona Main Event, and $2,870,092 in The Triton Macau Main Event in 2017.
Vancouver born player Elton Tsang learned to play poker while living in China, exploring business opportunities. He is currently ranked first on the China All Time Money List and 42nd on the All Time Money list. His first big win came in 2016 when he won the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza, winning a total of $12,248,912. This was the largest prize ever won by an Asian player. The victory skyrocketed him to the top of The Hendon Mob China All Time Money List, putting him ahead of Devan Tang's $5 million. He was involved in a controversial incident in 2017 when he claimed that he won more than 3 million in euros from King's Casino Owner Leon Tsoukernik. He alleged that he was only paid 1.2 million and denied the rest, an allegation that Tsoukernik has denied.
Macau's Paul Phua didn't start playing poker until 2010 after spending several years working at the Wynn Macau Casino. It only took him two years to reach his first seven-figure payout, which took place in the Aspers 100K High Roller Tournament, where he took home a total of $1,621,297. In 2104, he was arrested at Caesars Palace, accused of operating an illegal betting operation with his son and several others. Many of the other well known high-stakes poker players came to his aid. A year later, all the charges were dismissed.
Next on the list is Malaysian-born Richard Yong, who has accumulated more than $100 million in tournament play. He is first on the Malaysia All Time Money List and 58th on the All Time Money List. His first major success came in 2012 in the World Series of Poker in the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop, where an eighth-place finish earned him $1,237,333. Only a few months later he won $924,140 in a second place finish at the Aspers 100k High Roller event. He is also the founder of the Triton Super High Roller Series, where he has been featured in several live-streamed cash games. In the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro HK$250,000 No Limit Hold'em Six Man, he earned himself $388,024. His biggest success was in July 2018 when he took third place in the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Jeju HK$2,000,000 Main Event, earning himself a payout of $2,130,848.
Kitty Kuo was born in Taiwan but has lived in Macau as well as Las Vegas. She's ranked 4th on the Taiwan All Time Money List having earned a total of $1,927,357 over her career. Her first major win came in the PokerStars Macau Poker Cup HK$10,000 Main Event, where she netted a total of $71,899. Her first six-figure earnings came five years later at the Hollywood Poker Open $2,500 Main Event where a third-place win earned her a total of $142,158. Her next six-figure cash was a sixth-place finish in the Aussie Millions Poker Championship A$10,600 Main Event where she took home $270,000. But her two biggest wins came in 2018. Her fourth-place finish in the Aussie Millions Poker Championship A$25,000 Challenge saw her take home a total of $198,731, followed by a second place win in the World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions Festival $10,000 WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic which earned her $248,380, her biggest cash prize to date.