After much waiting, we finally got hold of Aiko Wang, member of Team Pro Chang You. We caught her during the Asian Poker League Team Event. Unfortunately, their team wasn’t able to make it to Round 2 but we took this opportunity to snatch some time out from her busy schedule for a quick interview.
SMP: Hi, Aiko. So when did you start playing poker?
Aiko: I only started playing poker about 3 years ago. My sister introduced me to the game. She had already been playing poker for 9 years. Then one day, I went with her to attend a party and in that party, she started playing with her friends. So I decided to watch what they were doing. At first I didn’t know what it was, but after I asked they told me they were playing poker. What I saw, I liked and eventually I started to love playing poker.
SMP: Do you play poker full time? Or are you busy with other activities?
Aiko: I am sharing my time between playing poker and being a journalist for the TV Channel YigiPoker. I am from Shanghai and I only come to Beijing for tournaments like this one.
SMP: What are you looking forward to as a poker player? What do you want to achieve in the next 5 years?
Aiko: I haven’t been playing for a long time. I’ve only been playing for 3 years but I want to be the best female poker player in Asia.
SMP: Do you have a mentor, a coach?
Aiko: My eldest sister’s my mentor. She teaches me everything about poker.
SMP: So far, what’s your best poker memory?
Aiko: I do recall an incident but not really a good one. It was when I got a real bad beat – I had Quads on the flop and my opponent got a runner-runner Straight Flush. It was a real cooler .
SMP: What’s your view on the poker scene in China. As we speak, there’s a lot of talk with the English-speaking media, about Poker being back in China after the Nanjing fiasco.
Aiko: I think it’s going to get better. I am confident that the policy in China on poker will definitely improve. I think the game will become more popular. I hope that one day, we will be able to play poker anywhere in China.
SMP: How do you explain the current success of Chinese players in the international circuits? More of them are garnering good results in the APPT or in Vegas.
Yes it’s true China is producing more and more talents. We had this summer over 40 Chinese players who went to the WSOP. It was also my first WSOP.
SMP: How did you find it? How would you compare it to the poker scene here in Asia?
Aiko: I think Las Vegas is similar to Macau but I like Vegas more because they have a variety of offerings that you can choose from. It’s the greatest poker event in the world. It’s like a big party and people from all over the world go to Vegas to play.
SMP: Who do you think is the best Chinese Poker player at the moment?
Aiko: The best Chinese poker player, in my opinion, is my teammate Zhou Quan. We both play for Chang You, an online poker site like PokerStars but here in China