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20-Year-Old Kiwi Poker Pro David Yan Ready for WSOP Vegas Debut
New Zealand’s David Yan isn’t old enough to buy a drink in Las Vegas but he’s competed in some of the biggest high-stakes poker tournaments across the globe from Italy to Canada.
The online poker pro, who goes by MissOracle on PokerStars, admits there are challenges when you’re essentially living out of a suitcase.
“It can be pretty tiring and of course I miss my friends and family but at the same time I think I get a lot of life experience and poker experience while meeting new people, which is always fun,” said Yan while on break from WSOP APAC.
Yan has already earned $749,454 playing live tournaments but his claim to fame is finishing sixth in the 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event for $232,254.
Tough to Learn Poker in New Zealand
Taking up professional poker in New Zealand is a unique experience considering its isolation from the rest of the major poker hubs.
“It’s quite hard to get better because it’s a pretty small community,” he said.
“You don’t always meet friends that play poker. That being said I’ve been quite fortunate and I happen to know quite a few local players who are very good and I’ve learned a lot from them."
On the bright side Yan says the New Zealand community is tight-knit.
“You’ll find that a lot of the players, recreational and professional tend to travel together,” he said.
“I know quite a few of the people from the poker community, which is cool.”
Despite being too young to play in the WSOP in Las Vegas, Yan has already played the WSOP in Europe and Australia and felt they add an important international element to the schedule.
“I wouldn’t specifically say that I like the fact numbers have been down but it’s a really fun series,” he said.
“The Australian locals, whether they amateurs or professionals tend to be really friendly. It’s a nice place to play. The poker room is run very well. It’s a nice city. Good energy, good food and everything.”
Planning for Vegas in 2015
Although Yan is just 20-years-old he has been to numerous continents thanks primarily to poker. He had a hard time picking his favorite place that he’s traveled to.
“There were a lot of places I enjoyed seeing,” he said.
“It does depend a lot on the people I see while I’m at a certain stop. I really enjoyed Vienna but I found something nice or at least unique in every place that I went to.
Yan also enjoyed his time in North America, although it wasn’t just for poker.
“Recently I just went to Canada,” he said.
“I wasn’t really playing live poker there but just happened to travel around a bit and meet some friends who I met online. It’s a really nice country and it was nice to met some of the people I know online."
2015 will be an important year for Yan and his poker career as it’s the first year he’ll be eligible to play the WSOP in Las Vegas, which is home to the biggest tournament of them all: the $10,000 buy-in Main Event.
“I’m not entirely sure how long I’ll go for because I need to get in a certain volume online,” he said.”I definitely plan to go at least for the Main. Potentially more.”