Lee Davy sits down with businessman, and full-time poker hobbyist, Paul Newey, to talk about his game, his love of slot machines and much more.
If you have the money, playing on the international poker circuit can be quite a life. Paul Newey has money. He also has quite a life. At the age of 21, Newey founded Ocean Finance. His hard work, intelligence, and a few spots of luck helped him create a company that he would later sell for a reported £200 million.
On the website of his latest enterprise, New Wave Ventures, it talks about the importance of investing in people who have ideas, expertise; people who make things happen, people who can overcome obstacles, and people who can perform miracles.
It sounds like a poker player to me. It’s little wonder that Newey has found a new lease of life as a professional full-time poker-playing hobbyist.
I caught up with him during the World Poker Tour in Amsterdam and this is what he had to say.
How is life?
“Life is pretty good…lots of late nights. I’m pretty tired to be honest. I was playing cash games all night with the Dutch lads. Poker is a late night game unfortunately.”
You are playing more tournaments lately. How would you describe your role within poker?
“I would call it my full-time hobby. I still have a business in the UK, but my friend runs it for me when I am away.”
You have been very successful in your lifetime. Give the readers three keys to success?
“Ambition is the first one, determination, and I have always found honesty and having a good reputation gets you where you want to be in the long run.”
Have you brought those three things into poker?
“I think I have. I have a good reputation in the poker industry, and I am relatively well liked. I have a lot of fun. I really enjoy it. I like the community. I like the people it attracts. Poker players are a unique breed, and not your run of the mill people.”
What’s this fascination you have with slot machines?
“I have been fascinated with them since I was a young boy. Unfortunately, I had my online accounts hacked a few months ago, so I have had to stop tweeting my results. I pretty much know how to play them now. I play them all over the world, and online. I guess you could say it’s another full-time hobby of mine.”
Isn’t slot machines pure luck?
“No…it’s not pure luck. Roulette is pure luck, but not slot machines, although they would like you to think they are. They are all set at a certain percentage, and you have to be playing them at a positive mode and not a negative one.”
How important has the element of gamble been in your life?
“The gambling instinct in me has been crucial for my success in life. I set up my own business at 21, it was perfect timing. I had no family, no real commitments, and no house even. I took risks and it paid off for me in the long run.”
You look like you are enjoying yourself.
“I am loving it. It’s good fun. However, it’s not been a good year on the poker scene. I have had 11 all-ins and lost them all, 10 of them I have been ahead. I have had no real success at the Bahamas, Monte Carlo or Malta. Yesterday I got it in AA v 99 and was expecting the nine to come. Fortunately, the aces held this time.”
I noticed you also played in a €120 Deuces Wild game in Monte Carlo.
“My friend has been asking me to play in it for years. I was invited to play in a €400/800 cash game that night and I missed it because he said the tournament wouldn’t last long. The next thing you know it’s 5am in the morning and we are both sitting at the final table. He finished second and I finished sixth. It was fun, although I’m not sure I would play it again for €120 minus the nine hours out of my life.”
Is Winning Important to You?
“I want to win. I am a very competitive person. I am going to keep going. I did well last year. It was my second big year on the circuit. I cashed more than any other UK player, albeit the One Drop cash was a big part of that. I wanted to beat that this year but I have been very unlucky. You need to win those flips and I haven’t been doing that.”
Are we going to be seeing you in Vegas?
“I will be there for the last three weeks.”
Are you playing the $500,000 Super High Roller Bowl at the Aria?
“I am a Jersey resident so I have tax issues brought on by the fact that the US don’t have a tax treaty with Jersey, so I might not play it because I can’t justify the 30% dead money. It’s doubtful I will play.”
Paul Newey went on to bubble the WPT Amsterdam High Roller, and his good friend Senh Ung went on to the do the same in the Main Event.