Controversy has surrounded Chino Rheem for the better part of his poker career but he doesn’t have a problem admitting he’s made mistakes.
The embattled Rheem has been accused not paying back debts and worse on TwoPlusTwo poker forum.
“I’ve done some things I’m not proud of,” he said in an interview with PokerListings. “I man up to it. I admit it. I try to live each day and make the best of it.”
According to Rheem the online rumblings aren’t just hearsay.
“The things people say online are not necessarily all true but there is some truth in what they say,” he said.
Despite his troubles Rheem actually had a big score earlier this year when he won WPT World Championship for $1.1 million. Even that wasn’t enough to get Rheem out of debt however.
“I started the WSOP this summer with a 10-mile head start after winning the WPT and I probably ended dead last,” he said. “That was nobody’s fault but my own and I realize that.”
Rheem: "You Can’t Knock Anyone for Past Mistakes”
Rheem is in Enghien-les-Bains for WSOPE and had a decent start to the series when he finished 22nd for $6,216.
“I have this mentality that it’s going to be OK,” he said. “I try to make the best of any situation. There’s no point in being a pessimist. It doesn’t help to think negative.”
Rheem looks up to fellow pro Erick Lindgren, who he beat heads-up at the WPT Championship. Lindgren also had some financial difficulties that he’s still trying to overcome.
“E-dog is one of the people that I respect the most in poker,” he said. “He’s a great guy. He came clean and said that he had some issues. He’s just trying to make the best of it. You can’t knock anyone for their past mistakes.”
For the time being Rheem said he’s concentrating on getting out of debt but he doesn’t want to play poker for his entire life.
“I play because it’s what I’m good at,” he said. “For me personally I just want to finally get out [of debt] and then figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.”
Rheem said that he’s disappointed with how he’s reacted after making the various big scores of his career.
“I keep saying that I’m going to try and change but let’s be honest I haven’t really done that fully. It just takes a lot of trial and error for someone to grow as a man. For me personally it took a lot of trial and error.”
For even more with Rheem check out the exclusive interview he did with PokerListings below: