Xing Biao Zhu has burst onto the Asian poker scene in some style this year, picking up a staggering 18 cashes in the first two months of 2018. He is quickly becoming an early contender for the PokerStars Asia Player of the Year title despite only being a part of the live circuit since 2016. His first year in the game was unremarkable, but 2017 gave the world a taste of what Zhu was capable of, as he racked up 43 cashes across the continent.
It is worth noting that Zhu is not simply min-cashing but has picked up multiple final tables and five-figure scores along the way. His latest cash was an 8th place finish at APPT Macau for HKD$16,300 (US$2,078). Zhu was kind enough to talk to Somuchpoker and answer a few questions about his rise.
SMP: When and why did you start playing poker? When did you decide to make a living from it?
Zhu: I was into e-sports at first and my friends who were also playing video games introduced me to no-limit Holdem.
I don’t think my poker level was already good enough to make a living from poker, I just simply fell in love with the game.
Poker is a very complex game from a strategic standpoint.
SMP: You are focusing your energy on live tournaments. Why did you choose this format?
Zhu: Because I love it. I have a great passion for it. I really enjoy the feeling of competing with other people’s minds.
SMP: You are currently leading the world rankings in terms of cashes (In the Money Finishes). How do you feel about that?
Zhu: Finishing in the money doesn’t mean a lot for me, as it only says I play a lot, or that I’m lucky! Lots of players play better than me, they just compete at a higher level. It’s harder to play as many tournaments at that level, so they simply don’t play as many as I did.
SMP: What are your short-term and long-term goals as a player?
Zhu: In the short-term, I think I’m going to play more small tournaments. Hopefully I can learn and gain more experience until I feel comfortable enough to move up in stakes.
SMP: Do you have any mentors or Idols?
Zhu: I have a lot of respects for the following Chinese pros:
- Hao Su (also a former e-sports player)
- Lin Wu (just won the APPT Macau Main Event)
- Yifan Zheng (winner of MPC28 Main Event)
SMP: What is your biggest tournament win? And your biggest pot in cash games?
Zhu: My biggest win in a tournament was around US$40,000 (WPT Beijing Main Event 2017).
My biggest win in cash games was around US$20,000