Proving that no one is ever too old to take up a new interest, Kuei Chi Chang, an 80-year-old woman from Las Vegas, cashed in two Limit Hold'em events at this years World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Chang finished 52nd out of 1,068 players in the first Limit Hold'em competition at the WSOP and then a few days later finished 42nd out of 415. Most remarkable about Chang's feat is the fact that prior to coming to this year's WSOP, she'd just recently started playing poker.
She saw poker played on television, which encouraged the lively senior to learn more about the game by it playing online. When Chang found out that the WSOP was scheduled to start in the summer, she made plans to attend and enter.
Given the grind of grueling 12-hour days and the intense pressure of playing for millions in prize money, the elder poker rookie might certainly be excused for an early exit. Instead, Chang made it through the entire first day of play both times, in both tournaments.
"It makes me feel young again," Chang said in her native Chinese language translated through her daughter - poker player J.J. Liu. When I play poker, I feel alive. Of course, I could just retire and sit around all day. But poker let's me play with all kinds of people and be part of life."
Chang was born in China and left her homeland in 1949 after the communists came to power. She settled down in Taiwan where she raised five children. Her husband died a few years ago, and Chang immigrated to the United States recently, where she discovered a new, fun game called "poker."
"My secret to winning is very simple," Chang said. "I only play [big pairs]. I also see a flop with middle pairs, and sometimes with a low pair. Then, if I miss [the flop], I throw my hand away. I play ace-king, too. But if I miss on the flop, I throw away the hand. I don't want to lose my chips."
Indeed, Chang is already talking very much like a poker player. Chang credited her two poker coaches - daughter J.J. Liu and veteran poker pro Dan Alspach for her initial success. She is one of a very select few players who has ever cashed the first two times entering a WSOP tournament, and at age 80, she may be the oldest person ever to cash twice out of two times.