Annie RKH
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Macau Big Game Millionaire Paul Phua Arrested in Vegas

For many years @Paul Phua has been a familiar name to poker fans as one of the few non-anonymous businessmen among the regulars in the mythical Macau Big Game. In fact, he is often referred to as the key figure behind those mind-boggling cash games where a few, select pros are invited to play with a group of Asian millionaires and poker aficionados.

As for live tournaments, Paul Phua entered the first edition of the biggest buy-in tournament in history - the 2012 Big One for One Drop and has played (and occasionally cashed) in other super high-roller poker events in the past years. Most recently he managed a deep run in the widely publicized, star-studded Eur 100,000 buy-in EPT Super High Roller where he and fellow Asian millionaire @Richard Yong made the final table and finished 4th and 6th, respectively.

Paul Phua's name surprisingly never appeared on the registration list for the 2014 Big One for One Drop or any other WSOP event and now we all know why - he was busy in a different high-stakes game :) Phua (and his 22-year-old son) were among eight people taken into custody in connection with a multimillion-dollar illegal World Cup betting operation. Both the father and the son were released from custody on condition of putting up $2 million and $500,000 bail, respectively, as well as their private jet as collateral.

As reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal:

Phua and more than 20 other people were arrested June 18 in Macau for running a large gambling operation that took in hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal bets on the World Cup tournament, the Las Vegas FBI complaint alleged.

Last month, the South China Post in Hong Kong reported that police broke up an illegal betting ring at a Macau hotel involving roughly $645 million in wagers on the World Cup, including a single wager of $51.5 million. The hotel was not named in news reports.

Following his arrest in Macau, Phua was released on bail and flew to Las Vegas on his private jet, where he and his associates are alleged to have resumed their illegal gambling at Caesars Palace, the complaint alleged.

In a criminal complaint unsealed Monday, Las Vegas FBI Agent Minh Pham said the elder Phua, who was charged under the name Wei Seng Phua, was “known by law enforcement to be a high-ranking member of the 14K Triad,” one of the largest criminal syndicates in the world. Hong Kong-based 14K Triad specializes in drug trafficking and traditional forms of criminal activity, including illegal gambling, prostitution and loan sharking.

Curiously enough, Paul Phua's lawyer is the famous Vegas criminal defense attorney David Chesnoff, who notably represented @Phil Ivey in his protracted divorce case and has been called 'the Phil Ivey of attorneys'. Chesnoff has told the media that @Andrew Robl was prepared to advance $1.5 million towards the bail and that other members of the poker community have offered to help. One wonders if Ivey (himself a Macau regular) is one of those who will chip in or if he will avoid any involvement due to his own legal problems of late (see Did Phil Ivey Cheat or Outsmart the Casinos?).


More on RankingHero:

The Monte-Carlo EPT Super High Roller - a Clash of Cultures, Generations, and Poker Styles

The Macau Big Game

Sick .. what news !!! 

thank's for this post 

We should start a #PokerCrimeFiles thread on RankingHero :) The Phil Ivey legal battle with casinos over cheating is still not over, btw 

Did Phil Ivey Cheat or Outsmart the Casinos?

The sportsbook that was allegedly involved in illegal wagering have released a statement a few days ago:

An update from SBOBET themselves:

Global online sportsbook SBOBET wishes to make it clear that recent press reports linking its name to a Wei Seng Phua (or Phua Wei Seng) who was arrested in the US for illegal online sports betting on the 2014 FIFA World Cup conducted out of a Las Vegas casino base are entirely without foundation.

Neither the accused nor those arrested with him have any involvement or association with the ownership or management of SBOBET, or with its operators, Celton Manx Limited and Richwell Ventures Limited.

Additionally SBOBET wishes to clarify that the US is one of more than 30 jurisdictions worldwide from which it does not accept bets from and that any alledged wagers placed via SBOBET.com by the accused could only have been made illegally, as press reports confirm.

Got it from the source below:
Las Vegas Illegal Wagering: A Statement From SBOBET

Remote Gambling Operation Behind Paul Phua Caesars Palace Arrest

"This Malaysian report states that he was deported from Macau, which makes his participation in the future nose-bleed poker games there (including at Wynn Macau) in which he was a primary participant an unlikely future occurrence."