Born in Shanghai, Celina Lin spent her early years in China before moving to Australia with her parents, aged 7. From there she went on to attend university and her parents hoped to see her pursue a career as a doctor or lawyer. After developing a love for poker, Celina began travelling to tournaments around the world with immediate success. Her family took some time to understand her decision, but with Celina securing sponsorship by Pokerstars, they eventually came to see how different poker was to other games played within a casino. After starting out experimenting with limit cash games, Celina quickly moved onto freeze out formats, first with sit n gos, and then multi table tournaments. In her country of birth, poker hasn't seen a popularity boom on the same level as the rest of the world and so it is unusual to see a Chinese player reach a point where they are very successful and have sponsorship. Having someone like Celina Lin to lead the way is a good step forward, and there is evidence in events such as the 'Beijing Millions' to suggest that China is warming to poker. Growing numbers at APPT events such as this have fuelled public interest towards Celina and she is increasingly being asked for photos and autographs in China which is positive news for the game of poker.
An accomplished tournament player
Since 2007, Celina has been seen regularly on tours across Asia and has had deep runs in events in Macau, China, Australia in recent years. She is 47th on the all time women's earnings list has won two 'Red Dragon' events at the Macau Poker Cup series which include wins of almost HK$400,000 and HK$854,000. She has made numerous final tables in this series and also on tours such as the APPT. There hasn't been a break through result at the Aussie Millions as of yet, but there is every chance of that happening in the coming years. If tournaments become a regular feature in China with growing field sizes, there could also be future potential for big results there which would no doubt increase the profile of Celina Lin even further.
Along with being a successful poker player, Celina Lin has also married and set up home recently but says this won't hold back her poker career at all as she has a very supportive husband. The fact that she lives in Macau should also help her career to grow, considering there are good poker tournaments based there each year in which she has had many great results. With her parents still being residents of Melbourne, it is likely that we will continue to see Celina travelling to Australia for the Aussie Millions each year, as she continues to promote poker for women, for China, and for Pokerstars. She is widely regarded as being very approachable and good natured which ensures the fan base for her as a person and poker player continues to grow.
She is not the only talented young female player in Asia though, as the Aussie Millions Main Event in 2013 demonstrated: Kitty Kuo finished 17th, and Jay Tan finished 7th. Results such as these show that the health of Asian poker, along with women's poker is growing stronger with each passing year. With a big name such as Pokerstars helping to direct profesionally organised tournaments on Asian shores, there is every chance that talented Asian players like Celina Lin will grow in number and the whole continent will begin to embrace poker more in the coming years.
Celina Lin with Pokernews: 10 minutes interview