Interview: Poker King Club Team Pro Marc Rivera

Marc Rivera is a highly respected poker pro from the Philippines, who spent years developing his poker knowledge at the cash game tables. This remains his key area of expertise, although he has a few tournament results dotted around over the last 6 years, including a few five figure scores. Marc Rivera is now a member of PKC team pro. 

1. When and why did you start playing poker? When did you decide to make a living from it?

Marc Rivera:  I started playing poker nine years ago, and decided to turn pro after three years.

2. You are considered as one of the most successful Filipino poker players. Which qualities have been instrumental to your success?

MR: My best quality, which has been instrumental to my success, would have to be my diligence. I could safely say that among the professional Filipino poker players working today, I try to put the most effort and hard-work when it comes to playing live cash games. I play daily – from the bigger 10x stakes to the smallest stakes.

3. After a 9 year career specializing in cash games, you are now representing Poker King Club in the live tournament circuit. Why did you decide to take this opportunity?

MR:  I got acquainted with Poker King Club president, Winfred Yu, after a fellow poker player and friend of mine introduced me to him. That was when they took over the Solaire Poker Room. We have common views about the growth of poker in the Philippines, which is one of the primary reasons I joined the team, because I think PKC and Winfred Yu have a vision on how to make poker even better in Manila. As Team PKC Manila, we also wanted to represent PKC and our mother country in the international poker community.


Marc Rivera

4. How will this decision affect your playing habits?

MR: I would have to travel more than usual, and be committed to schedules. I used to have no definite playing schedule before PKC, I just played where the cash games were good. I also get to play a lot more tournaments now.

5. What are your current goals / dreams as poker player?

MR: My current goals as a poker player is to be an instrumental part of improving poker in the Philippines – and to win a WSOP bracelet, a dream every poker player has. 6. You are a mentor for a lot of Filipino players. What would be your advice for a talented player who would like to turn pro?

MR:  Put in the hard work and dedication to the craft. Also, do not throw away your poker money to gambling, a leakage most poker players have.

7. What is your personal view on the current Cash Games scene in Manila?

MR: I personally feel that the rake system could be restructured so that more winning players can improve upon their skills and move up to higher stakes, and not go broke early at smaller stakes, where most of us started. More than half of those who started playing poker at the entry level ended up stopping altogether because they couldn’t beat the rake.

8. What is your best memory as poker player?

MR:  My best memory was when I saw my brother, and my friends, win at poker. As a mentor and friend, it’s more fulfilling to me than a personal win.

9. Money talk: What is your biggest win at a tournament? Your biggest pot in Cash Games (win / loss)?

MR:  One of my biggest wins would be at an APT event a few years back.

One of my biggest pots in a cash game happened at the last day of the year in a HKD game in Solaire. Seven-figure pot, which I lost.


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