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The New Macau? Monaco’s BIG GAME, Samrostan & MalACEsia Real Names Revealed

If you watched the EPT10 Grand Final €100,000 Super High Roller and the €500/€1,000 cash game afterwards and thought the stakes couldn’t get any higher than this in Monte Carlo, well you actually thought wrong!

According to the latest gossip surrounding the last EPT stop of the season, the nosebleeds regulars didn’t just settle for €250,000 stacks and organized a private cash game away from the cameras and all the media glamour to play even bigger.

After warming-up for around three hours in front of the cameras, Isaac Haxton, Alec Torelli, and Richard Yong joined Tom Dwan, Dan Smith, and Philipp Grussiem and set the stage for a €2,000/€4,000 private game in Monaco.

According to a video posted by Torelli, the participants decided to play with an €8,000 straddle and buy-in for a minimum of €500,000. He talked about a hand played against an “extremely loose, extremely aggressive” opponent in which he called a big bet on the river for the bluff catch.

Poker journalist Frank Op de Woerd confirmed the high-stakes action, tweeting:

Further leaks were posted immediately on the 2+2 forums with a quote from a French site. Apparently, Cyril “DonLimit” André couldn’t get in the game as all the players were waiting for a big whale to come and join them. Eventually the whale sat down at the table. “He is a guy that plays more 10k/20k, a very important businessman, very aggressive, not afraid to make big bets on the river,” André explained, according to

The table also had some Macau-based players who participate regularly in the big games back in their part of the world, including Chun Lei Zhou and Paul Phua, who recently shared their online secrets with the community in a PokerNews interview. “Yes, ‘patpatpanda’ is me, ‘samrostan’ is me. I played for a long time and lost some money. Then I changed my account to ‘samrostan,’ Zhou said.

“Some money” actually means over -$2.6 million lost on Full Tilt Poker, as reported by HighStakesDB. The name switch didn’t change that much as Zhou lost over $6.2 million under his current FT nickname ‘samrostan.’ And if we add the results on PokerStars (-$2 million), then his all-round online poker career is marked with a BIG red eight-figure number: -$10,869,288.

What does Zhou think about this number? “It’s OK. Before I only played No-Limit Hold’Em games. Sometimes no one played me, so I learned other ring games and I lost a lot of money. I love to play poker,” he explained.

Zhou’s good friend Paul Phua also plays the nosebleeds stakes online under the nickname “MalACEsia.”

Phua has lost “only” $4 million so far on FT. He started his online adventure by losing big between May and August 2013. This year, however, his game showed signs of improvement, leaking only $220k.

In the live games, things are totally different for Phua. He has almost $2.9 million in tournament earnings, according to Hendon Mob Poker DB, including £1 million won in the 2012 Aspers 100k High Roller.

The two high rollers also had their fair share of fortune in Macau. “Live game is easy – lot of bad players,” Zhou bragged. How much money do you think the two have won during those easy games?

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Florian Gheorghe