Any fan of poker, without hesitation, will name a couple of dozen famous players, awarded all sorts of titles and awards. Their faces are constantly flashing on the screen, and their names do not leave the headlines of specialized publications. They take part in major tournaments, often come to popular TV shows and generally lead the lifestyle of real stars.
But not all gurus aspire to fame and recognition. Many prefer to stay in the shadows, playing for huge bets behind closed doors at VIP halls. They avoid journalists, don't give interviews, and consider playing poker their job.
About such a professional player will be discussed in the article.
Sushi chef making millions with poker
Ian Chen lives in Orange County, California, in a luxury house worth several million dollars. It's an incredible achievement for a man of his background. Ian was born in a small Chinese town in a very poor family. His father had to work as a janitor. The boy did not even wear clothes for his brothers, like most of his peers, but for his sisters.
Chen successfully graduated from high school, studied sushi chef, went to live in the United States and received a degree in political science. For a time, he even attended the prestigious Columbia Law School.
Ian is currently not working in his specialty. He preferred another occupation, which gives him real pleasure and brings a solid income. Chen plays poker professionally.
Yan Chen: To become a good professional player, you have to use everything you were taught in school: mathematics, psychology, human behavior, self-control, even compassion, as strange as it sounds. Because you have to understand how your opponent thinks.
He spends two-thirds of his time online, sitting in front of a computer in his home office. Often he plays at two or three tables at the same time, not specifically choosing opponents.
Jong does not play in tournaments, does not attend major poker events and is not involved in specialized activities.
Yan Chen: I'm not playing for recognition. I don't play for respect. I'm not playing to be a poker star. In fact, playing for money is better suited to my lifestyle. I don't need to travel. So I play for money. Only on money. Period. I play for money to support my children.
Yen priority is a real money game offline. He regularly plays poker at Commerce Casino in southern California. Chen is a regular at the local VIP lounge, where the standard buy-in is fifteen thousand dollars, but many visitors immediately buy chips for much larger amounts.
Still, we note that Ian periodically participates in tournaments, and very successfully. He has won several major tournaments, and his name is well known in the world of professional poker.
Pros and cons of professional poker
Life of a player – is by no means eternal celebration. In addition, luck is not always favorable to them, and competitors do not sleep. Even the best poker masters are not always in the black.
Yan Chen: I lost a quarter of a million dollars last week. Actually, last week I was losing pretty big every day. But I have to put up with it. I play high stakes poker. The potential rewards and potential losses are enormous. Yesterday was a typical day. First I lost $65,000 and then I won $133,000.
Carol, Chen's wife, was used to it:
There's no getting away from it. Sometimes he says he lost. You have to deal with big losses like last night. Sometimes I feel ... not to say that it is depression, but I want him to return the money. He's constantly under pressure, so I have to be patient. I think I love him very much. I told him that if one day he became very poor, I would stay with him.
What about gambling?
Chen can play poker day and night. His personal best is ninety hours at the table. Colleagues even nicknamed him Marathon Man. But Ian doesn't consider himself a gambler and denying even a hint of gambling addiction.
Yan Chen: I can quit at any time. Sure, I love poker, but I'm not addicted. I can leave poker whenever I want.
However, Chen admits that playing poker has an impact on a person's psyche and changes it forever.
You play the game, but the ultimate goal, in reality, is to win money. When you win, someone else loses. If you do it day after day, in fact, you stop empathizing with people. When I reached a certain level of financial stability, I began to look back at the past and realized that money is not everything. Of course I'm working on it.
It is impossible to play poker at the highest level without learning how to bluff and mislead opponents. Ian knows this art perfectly but claims that he hates lies and tries to be as honest as possible in everyday life.
In addition, Chen admits that he does not like gambling in general. He never plays unless the math is on his side. An extremely prudent approach to poker gives him the opportunity to succeed ia a long run.
Watch the video of the interview with Chen on YouTube.
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