Hong Kong's Jay Tan Killing It at First Aussie Millions

Jay Tan
Jay Tan

Sydney native Jay Tan, who currently resides in Hong Kong, is enjoying one hell of a ride in her first Aussie Millions.

Tan, who made the decision to play poker full time roughly a year ago, has been a dominant force on Day 3 of the tournament with over half a million chips for much of the day.

The field isn't exactly soft, either, with Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius featuring prominently in the chip counts.

“I’m really excited,” said Tan. “This is an amazing tournament. I can’t believe how well run it is.

"I’ve heard good things about Melbourne being the poker capital of Australia and how great the Crown is. You can really feel it once you’re here.”

Tan’s biggest previous score was a fifth-place finish in a Macau Poker Cup event for $40k.

The Bodog-sponsored player has already locked up at least AUD$15,000 as the money bubble burst earlier today. Tan has her sights on the final 36, though, where action will switch to 6-handed. It’s her favorite game.

Tan Goes From Banking in Hong Kong to Poker

Tan came to the poker world with outstanding pedigree from the business world.

Jay Tan
Jay Tan at the 2013 Aussie Millions

She has her Masters Degree in business and pursued a banking career with Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong.

One night she stumbled upon poker on late night TV and fell in love with the game.

Despite having a successful and potentially lucrative career, Tan was thinking about poker during business hours and eventually had to make a change.

“I just figured I needed to give what I truly loved a shot and just see how far I can take it,” she said.

Fortunately Tan said that some of the skills she learned from getting her Masters Degree were transferable to poker. She also speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English.

“I’ve studied for so many years of life I would like to think it helps my poker game.”

Tan: 'People Are Passionate About Poker in Hong Kong'

Jay Tan
Jay Tan

Being a full-time poker player in Hong Kong is not without it’s quirks and Tan generally has to take the ferry to Macau when she wants to play live.

“There was once a poker house in Hong Kong,” she said. “It was unfortunately shut down. It wasn’t exactly illegal but they just decided to shut it down anyways.

"There aren’t really any games in Hong Kong, probably some private ones but I don’t play those."

Generally regarded as one of the biggest untapped online poker markets in the world, Tan says the poker-playing community has expanded over the last few years.

“It’s still growing but people are starting to get really passionate about poker in Hong Kong,” she said. “It’s booming in Macau.”

While still several days out from the final table, Tan admitted a win in a tournament like the Aussie Millions would change her life.

“I feel I’ve been working very hard at my poker career,” she said. “Winning a tournament like this would definitely give me more confidence to continue on in this profession.”

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