His consistency on the APPT circuit almost won him the Asia Player of the Year title, and he has certainly shown that he is a player to watch in the coming years.
1. When and why did you start playing poker? When did you decide to make a living from it?
KC: I knew poker in year 2004. For many years, I wanted to understand this game in a fuller context and prove my ability to compete in tough poker tournaments. However, I did not have a chance to pursue this dream until I received the greenlight from my family to quit my full-time accountant job in year 2013. At the beginning, I did not have much expectation to earn a living from poker but instead I take this as my own precious moments to pursue my dream. Hence, I have been keeping some part-time conventional jobs such as lecturing accounting courses and setting examination papers. Up till now, I still spent around 30% of my time on these part-time jobs.
2. You are focusing your energy on live tournaments. Why did you choose this format?
KC: I was involved in various kind of sports including rowing, bridge, distance running, soccer, etc. Live tournament poker gives me a similar feeling as sports and the satisfaction from winning a poker trophy is not less than winning a gold meal in a coxed-8 race in rowing or a Champion trophy in Swiss team bridge competition. The mental exhaustion of playing highly concentrated poker for 4 days in ACOP Main and Aussie Millions Main is not less than the physical exhaustion of running 42.195km full marathon. The above similarities to sports are the major reasons I choose live tournament poker.
KC Wong (Photo kenneth Lim courtesy of PokerStars)
3. What is your greatest memory as a poker player?
KC: A player approached me for formal coaching in late 2014. I felt great of being recognized and trusted.
4. You finished few days ago 8th of the Aussie Millions Main Event. How do you feel about it?
KC: Together with the 11th place finish in the 2015 ACOP Main, this is my second consecutive deep runs in major events. I feel having stepped up to another level and the need to study harder for further improvements.
5. You finished twice runner –up in the Asia Player of The year Race. Is this trophy still an important goal for you?
KC: First of all, the trophy is indeed important and this was the reason I traveled a lot (in the past 2 years) to play as many APOY tournaments as possible. It was a very close race in 2015 and I raised an appeal to the organizer on the APOY points calculation in late 2015. During this period, I discussed with more than 10 Asian poker players on the controversies about the APOY points calculation and vast majority of them considered I should have won the race if the points were calculated as described in the rules. A twitter survey also supported my interpretation on the rules. However, the appeal result was disappointing and indeed a pity to me. In China’s Tang Dynasty, a senior official once advised the Emperor Taizong, “Without pity, life is not as interesting as it should be”. Taking this traditional Chinese wisdom, perhaps living with this pity is not a bad idea.
6. According to you, who is the most talented / impressive player on the Live Asian Poker Circuit?
KC: Sam Razavi is one of the most impressive players given his incredible results in APT POY in the recent few years. Many players in the Live Asian Poker Circuit are very talented and it is difficult to say who is the most talented. There are many geniuses who are currently unknown/not famous due to various reasons. However, as a relatively objective benchmark, I consider those within GPI 1000 are in general more talented players.
7. Money talk: What is your biggest win at a tournament? Your biggest pot in Cash Games (win / loss)?
KC: The 8th place finish in 2016 Aussie Millions is my biggest win at a tournament. I did not play serious cash games (less than 1 hour per month in the past 3 years) hence the win/loss are just peanuts.