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Chen-An Lin: "My Passion Never Fades and I Play Poker Every Day"
Chen-An Lin is only the second poker player from Taiwan – after Raymond Wu – to be named to the PokerStars pro team.
How did he pull off such an impressive rise to the top of his country's poker echelon?
Appearing - and meeting his wife - on a daily Reality TV show certainly didn't hurt. Watching his friend, yiyi01, flip for $10k on a regular basis also gave him some inspiration.
PokerListings caught up with him at EPT Prague to find out how it all started and just how far he hopes to take it:
Chen-An Lin: I began playing in a home game with friends in 2009. There was one guy in the game who kept taking my money every time we played.
One day that very guy told me he had won $100,000 in a tournament on Full Tilt and bought a house in Taiwan. It was that day that I decided to become a poker pro.
The guy coached me for three months and then I went to Macau to play in a tournament. I finished third and won $7,000 USD. At the time that was big money for me.
Three months later I went back and won that tournament. It was the first title of my poker life.
But other than that it didn’t really take off. I went broke twice in my first two years. Then I only played low-stakes poker until I found two Taiwanese guys who would coach me. That was in 2011.
PokerListings: And when did PokerStars invite you to be on the team?
CL: This year. I think the main reason is because I’m a regular on a Taiwanese TV show. Actually, many people in Taiwan know me as the poker player who’s also on TV a lot.
It’s a daily reality show and I’m on it 2-4 times every week. I even met my wife on that show and I also proposed to her on the show.
PL: So PokerStars picked you because you were already a celebrity in Taiwan.
CL: I guess so, yes.
PL: Do you have a hero in poker?
CL: Yes, but I don’t think anybody here knows him because he doesn’t play live tournaments.
His name is Chen Yi and I met him four years ago in Macau. He plays in the highest cash games there, up to 40,000/80,000 Hong Kong dollars [equivalent to €4,700/€9,400].
I was watching him and was fascinated. He used to play online as yiyi01 and you can still find videos on YouTube where he’s flipping for 10k just for fun.
He’s my friend now and one day I want to play like him.
PL: You want to move in for fun? Should be easy.
CL: (laughs) No, no, I mean play in the high cash games.
PL: Does it put extra pressure on you to be the only player representing Taiwan?
CL: I feel no pressure at all. Maybe I’m not the best player in Taiwan but my passion never fades and I play poker every day.
It’s a dream come true for me to be on the team.
PL: What are your three main goals in your poker career?
CL: My first goal is to beat NL200 on PokerStars. That might sound very high but it’s an extremely tough level.
I think if you can beat this game online you can beat most of the live cash games in the world.
My second goal is to be stable at $10/$20 and $20/$40 live cash games, so I might be able to go up.
My third goal is to one day do a charity run around Taiwan and collect money. I used to be a long distance runner in the past.
Combining running, poker and charity would be my dream life.