As the first Filipino to reach a Triton event’s final table, Flo Campomanes’ journey offers a glimpse into the budding poker scene in the Philippines and its promising future.
FLORENCIO Campomanes IV, a.k.a. Flo, symbolizes the Philippines’ growing influence in poker. With over 16 years of experience under his belt, Flo has made a name for himself in this high-stakes sport as he tirelessly demonstrates his resilience, skill, and ability to inspire budding poker players in the country.
Flo’s noteworthy achievement at the Triton Super High Roller Series, that was recently held in Cyprus last May, underscores this point. Facing a competitive field of 125 poker athletes – all of whom are among the best in the world – Flo secured an eighth-place finish, taking home honor for the country coupled a cash prize of $167,500.00.
Despite being the very first Pinoy to ever reach the final table at a Triton event, Flo hasn’t let that go to his head. “I wasn’t actually a big winner,” he says when asked to comment on his achievement. But his humility doesn’t detract from the significance of what he did. By reaching the final table at that event, Flo has proven the competitive mettle of Filipino poker athletes on the global stage.
The secret to Flo’s success is his unwavering dedication to poker. Aside from being an accomplished player, he’s also a dedicated mentor. He’s currently coaching several budding players, imparting his knowledge and strategies to them.
He says those who aspire to do what he did should train very hard. “Work on your game,” he advises. “Study, play, and repeat. Poker is an ever-evolving sport, so if you really want to survive, you must do all you can to stay ahead of the curve.” Flo’s statements echo the professional rigor he consistently exhibited throughout his career, a testament to his success.
When asked about the nature of poker, Flo compares it to chess. He describes the game he devoted much of his life to as a “thinking sport.” He goes on to explain that the difference between chess and poker lies in the element of variance the latter introduces. According to him, that element adds a layer of unpredictability that makes the game “more exciting in a sense.”
Flo’s vision for the poker industry in the Philippines is ambitious yet grounded. “I really hope poker becomes more mainstream so it will grow even more,” he says. His dream for the sport captures the essence of a movement rapidly gaining momentum in the Philippines, primarily due to the effort and persistence of organizations like Masters Poker Club, which is currently operating branches in Malate, Manila and Biñan, Laguna.
Masters Poker Club has been passionately promoting poker in the Philippines for the past year and Flo’s connection to Masters Poker Club is that of an ambassador. He represents the Philippines in global competitions and champions the cause of poker as a sport in the country. The club has been integral in helping build a vibrant poker scene and supporting talented athletes like Flo.
“Masters has been promoting the game, and through that, they’re helping the community in general,” Flo acknowledges.
Gio Palacios, the marketing and promotions head of the Masters Poker Club, expresses great admiration for Flo’s achievement. “He may not have won the championship, but we consider what he did a win for the Philippines as he still became the first Filipino to make the final eight of any Triton event. I think that shows that Filipinos could excel in poker as long as they work as hard as Flo did.”
While Flo continues to negotiate his affiliation with poker groups, one thing is clear: his passion for the game and commitment to fostering talent is unwavering. As the local poker landscape continues to evolve, Flo stands tall as a trailblazing high-roller. His journey is a testament to the growth and potential of poker in the Philippines and a glimpse of the thrilling prospects that lie ahead.
For more information on Flo Campomanes and other Filipino poker athletes, follow @masterspokerclub on Instagram and like Masters Poker Club on Facebook.