In his continuing pursuit for poker stardom, Pete Yen Han Chen reached another milestone in his career. At the WPT Tournament of Champions, ongoing at ARIA Resort & Casino, Chen was awarded the WPT Asia-Pacific Player of the Year title for his numerous achievements throughout the season, one of which was a huge victory at the WPT Beijing.
Among his rewards, Chen received the customized WPT POY trophy, US$15,000 worth of credits to be used at any Asia-Pacific WPT Main tours, WPTDeepStacks, and WPT500 events, plus complimentary accommodation and ground transportation to any of the stops he attends.
In our interview with Chen last year in Sanya, China, he expressed his drive to become the best player in the world. Having somewhat conquered Asia, winning a couple of POY titles such as the APOY and the 2017 GPI Asia POY, his appearance here at the WPT Tournament of Champions exemplified his determination to take on the world stage.
“Ya, that’s my goal. Top 10 GPI ranking. It’s not easy but I will try.” Chen is currently 79th in the GPI world ranking, his best placing was 41st last year.
With a whole new field of players to navigate through, Chen observed that the main difference between players in Asia and in the US was the approach to the game. He said,
“It is completely different… here a lot of players they want to have fun, play a lot of hands because they are not here to wait for big hands like aces. It’s more fun I guess. People here try to enjoy the game, not always try to win money. Winning money is important but they are more relaxed and have more fun.”
But up against the pros, especially at the WPT TOC, there could be no room for error. To shine amongst the best, Chen was fully aware that undivided attention would be necessary.
“I have to focus on the table because the players are really good, they don’t make mistakes. If I am playing on my phone and I am not focused, I think I’ll make some mistakes.”
After the WPT TOC, Chen intends to spend another two months in Las Vegas for his third straight year at the WSOP. He will attempt a bracelet once again having come very close last year with a runner-up finish at the US$5K No Limit Hold’em event. In addition, he has also expanded his repertoire for this occasion.
“I’ll play some 10K events Heads Up. I played Six Max 10K last year so probably the same. I’ll play all of it. And I’ll play some mixed games. I’ve been studying some mixed games. I plan to play different games and see how it goes.”
Apart from these challenges, there is one more competition Chen will be adding to his list. Two nights ago, Kitty Kuo finished 2nd in the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic bumping Chen down one notch to 4th place in the Taiwan All Time Money List. With both players hungry for glory at the upcoming series, this will will definitely be one race to keep an eye on. Chen expressed,
“I’m playing a lot, she’s not playing a lot. Definitely a challenge, it will make it even more fun.”
Article by Tricia David