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Malaysian Natalie Teh becomes a Top Female Poker Pro in 7 Months after Quitting Job

Tags: Christopher Michael Soyza, Malaysia, Natalie Teh, Natural8.
Posted on 12 February 2019 by "T".

Natalie Teh, a 28-year-old ex-foosball player from Malaysia, started playing poker seven months ago. Now, she's already the 25th-ranked female poker player in the world after leaving her full-time job at iflix, the counterpart of Netflix in Asia.

A year ago, Natalie Teh Siew-po was a part of the team that launched Asia's counterpart to Netflix. She was one of the best foosball players in Asia as well. Now, she's a force to reckon with at the poker table.

Born, raised and currently living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Natalie Teh actually only started playing poker in the professional level seven months ago, and when asked what prompted her to do so, her answer was, ‘I was making more from poker than my own job'. She rose quickly from the ranks and now she is the 25th-ranked female in the world after winning about US$190,000.

So far she is the best female player from Malaysia and is 6th overall after growing up playing with her friends at college. Teh said, "Generally I'm not a very emotional person, my friends call me a robot all the time and I guess that helps when it comes to poker. It was in college when I first started and we were playing for five or 10 cents US in Malaysia and it's just progressed ever since."

Prior to her poker success, Teh was busy being a senior product owner for iflix, an online Internet streaming service for TV and movies headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. She said, "I was working for the chief executive of AirAsia, the long haul arm, and he moved on to be the chief executive of iflix in Malaysia and he asked me to go and help him. I wasn't there from the very beginning but I was there when it launched."

When asked about iflix, she said, "The difference to Netflix is they focus more on emerging markets, we're more focused on local content for Malaysia, Indonesia and so forth. The potential is huge. I think the last valuation I heard was about a billion ringgit, so that's like US$250 million. I still have shares in the company so I do wish them all the best."

Only a few people would choose to quit a job at one of Asia's quickly emerging start-ups to take a gamble on their future, but for Natalie Teh, it was easy. She said, "Maybe you can call it a quarter-life crisis. I just paused and thought about what exactly I wanted to do in life for the long-term. Iflix was fun but I know I never want to work for a company for the rest of my life. It's just about taking a sabbatical to clear my mind and also travel while playing poker before I decide what I want to do. I've made more than I did at my job, so that's a good start. I was happy breaking even and getting to travel for six to eight months, but it's been a lot better than that so it's a bonus."

"It has been really interesting, I've got really into poker so I've decided I'll keep on going indefinitely until I change my mind."

One of the main things that also helped Teh with the decision to transition to poker was that her boyfriend - Christopher Michael Soyza - is also a poker player. He's a Natural8 ambassador and is ranked 15th in the world. This means they can travel to places like Prague, the Bahamas, and Las Vegas together.

Natalie Teh is also accomplished at something she began playing just for fun, and once owned the crown of Asia's premier female foosball player. She said, "From 17 to 21 I was playing foosball a lot. I started out for fun but I got really good at it so I started travelling around and playing competitions overseas. I was the number one female player in Asia for about three years before I started working, and after that it started slowing down and now it's poker over foosball."

Still, once she's satisfied with her achievements in poker, she wishes that one day she can combine her passions, "It would be a start to be somewhere high up on the female global poker index in 2019, if I could get top 10 or top five that would be a goal. I have always wanted to do something on my own but I don't really have that big idea yet. It would be a dream to mix poker and tech together."



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8 comments on "Malaysian Natalie Teh becomes a Top Female Poker Pro in 7 Months after Quitting Job"

 doubletop77712/02/2019 08:52:09 GMT
I think that bit was a very brave decision to give up her job to try and make a living at poker but it looks like it was the right one. I take my hat off to her for having the courage to do it and i hope she keeps getting success in the future
 Mober12/02/2019 16:20:16 GMT
She had a job and quit it to play poker. I bet she was not starving when she finally
left her job Smile so why not trying poker.
Reaching that high so fast, means that lady luck is on her side.
Still young, so plenty of room to progress even further.
 bowie198412/02/2019 20:08:28 GMT
Congrats to her accomplishments, though I truly NOT believe that she only started playing poker half a year ago. Who knew the asians had their own Netflix knockoff, I certainly did not. Wish they would be good at coming up something original on their own.
 CALICUL12/02/2019 23:13:48 GMT
If this woman wins more money from poker, it is obvious she had to leave the old place of his work and to focus on her career in this game.
190k is not winning very easily at Netflix or female football.
More than that she can win more money from now on. Smile
 dule-vu13/02/2019 10:57:56 GMT
to play for only seven months and to come to this amount is great!dont know does other play fall on hers look or what,but if she continue like this,she will be in top 3 women players!quit job and do what she love and to earn lot form poker is dream story for everybody!
 bowie198414/02/2019 17:47:37 GMT
The article states that her boyfriend also a professional poker player so there's that. Otherwise not many players rise to the occasion this fast - even in Asia where there's no shortage of people who could do math and crunch their odds at any time during the game...
 Gerimantas15/02/2019 11:48:31 GMT
What is foosball? To me it is always good thing when more female players play poker it is more fun at tables in live games and when beautiful women play it is fantastic i think, beauty is always good! I personally want to sit at table with many beautiful girls and play poker than some famous poker pkayer guy..
 dule-vu15/02/2019 12:55:41 GMT
Posted by bowie1984:
The article states that her boyfriend also a professional poker player so there's that. Otherwise not many players rise to the occasion this fast - even in Asia where there's no shortage of people who could do math and crunch their odds at any time during the game...

that party I didnt see,that bofriend also play poker!now we know what is main reson for hers love to poker!its not easy to leave everything and to play only poker!you cant know what can be in life!maybe boyfriend have money and she dont have to worry,but still its big step for young women!

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