Despite the fact that Chau Giang is not one of the most recognizable poker pros, he is regarded by many as one of the top high-stakes cash game players in the world.
Giang has spent much of his poker career focusing almost exclusively on cash-game play, with the exception of the World Series of Poker. Recently, though, he has begun playing more major events and has already garnered three WSOP bracelets and numerous other substantial cashes, the biggest of which was his second place finish in the 2005 $10,000 World Poker Open.
Born in Vietnam, Giang made his way to the States in the late 1970s. Arriving in Florida, he struggled with minimum wage jobs before learning to play poker while working as a cook in Colorado. After enjoying moderate success as a card player he decided to move to Las Vegas to pursue his career as a professional.
Giang is an all-around player with well-developed skills in all forms of poker, although many believe him to be most skilled in Omaha Eight-or-Better. Once in Vegas and playing regularly, he quickly fought his way up the food chain and became well-known in the poker community for earning more than $100,000 in his first year.
Chau Giang, feared among the High Rollers
Now one of the most respected and feared high-stakes cash game players, Giang has enjoyed winning streaks that have bordered on the supernatural. At one time he was winning so consistently, rumors of his use of voodoo magic - gossip Giang himself did nothing to either spread or dispel - began circulating through the card rooms.
Giang was a regular in the Big Game at the Bellagio and it was there that he became involved in the series of outrageously high-limit heads-up battles with Texas billionaire Andy Beal. Giang, along with a group of the world's best poker pros, banded together and pooled their bankrolls to take on Beal at stakes of up to $100,000/$200,000. Although not a complete blow-out, the consortium of pros (who called themselves "The Corporation") is up overall.
According to Barry Greenstein, if Chau were better spoken he would almost certainly be regarded as one of the top five players in the world. Currently focusing heavily on tournament play, we are sure to see Chau at many more final tables in the years to come.
Chau has been a consistent winner in the biggest games for many years. If he was more articulate, he would be recognized as one of the top five players in the world. He is a great front-runner and even though he is criticized for his lack of control when he is losing, he often gets even because his opponents let him run over the game as they protect their wins. He has won three WSOP bracelets although he has only played in about 50 events.
When I first started playing with Chau, I talked to him about the hands in Vietnamese. I know all of the cards, numbers, and poker terms in Vietnamese but, overall, the number of words in my vocabulary is about the same as a five-year-old’s. Also, I have trouble understanding the language when it is spoken at the pace of a native speaker.
For the next couple of sessions I nodded as Chau talked to me in Vietnamese. He got frustrated one time when he was telling me that in Vegas, the low hand acts first in Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo with no qualifier. They had added the game to the mix of games, and as an out-of-towner, this was the first time I played it with them. Apparently, I had bet out of turn.
My girlfriend walked up and said to Chau, "He doesn’t understand you."
Chau replied, "I’ve been talking to him in Vietnamese for three days."
She said, "He’s a good listener."