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11 Questions with Ivan Tan

Posted by : ikelos on Sunday, August 02, 2009 permalink

Ivan Tan is widely regarded as one of the most successful poker players in Singapore. Having burst onto the scene in 2007 when, on holiday with his wife Alison, he entered his name for the APPT Macau Main Event, besting some of the world’s best players enroute to a USD$130,000 cash. He’s enjoyed numerous other cashes on the professional circuit since then, as well as the attention of the international media, earning him the soubriquet ‘The Poster Boy of Singapore Poker’. Today he has a few words with

How long have you been playing poker for, and what’s the journey as a poker pro in Asia been like so far?

Been playing poker for 6 years, as far as tournaments are concerned I have been consistent and have amassed approx 200kusd in winnings over the last 2 years. In cash games have been consistent all throughout and make a decent living from it.

What were the key factors that led to your decision to turn professional?

Able to achieve financial freedom and allows me to travel the world at my own time and pace.

Do you prefer tournaments or cash games? Why?

Tournaments are generally more taxing on the bankroll and of course rewards are significant better than the cash games, but the element of luck is higher. As for cash games, it’s usually only a matter of time before your opponents make mistakes. So for me I would say the income that can be made in cash games is more consistent.

Do you prefer playing live or online? Why?

Live. The games online are too tough these days. It really takes effort to grind out a small profit. The countless amount of training material available on the internet improving the game makes it much tougher than live.

Is it possible to make a living playing in your native country?

Really depends on what is your financial expectation, of course going around home games will pay more than a regular job. But I personally do not recommend doing so, its just not enough to go around if u got a family.

Tell us about the most interesting hand you ever played.

For me all interesting hands are hands that I have showdown and won, too many mate!

Why did you play the hand this way? I’m sure our readers would love to follow the precise thought processes on this.

Well for every cause there will be a reaction. Taking the trouble to think one step ahead of your opponent will usually result in positive expectation.

What is your favourite place to play in Asia?

Macau for sure! I do well in the tournaments there, and the cash games are so juicy.

Do you think poker is more a game of skill than chance? Why?

Of course skill, its gives better players the opportunity to win without the best hand through bluffing

What do you think regulators in your country need to know about poker?

Poker should be recognized as a sport as like in the US, almost all teenagers in Singapore know the game and have played it. Even ladies have started learning it as well. I feel that the older Chinese games like mahjong are slowly decreasing in popularity

What advice do you have for players who want to turn professional?

Bankroll management is the most important. You should never have more than 3-5% of your bankroll on the table at any one time. Knowing whether you are able to beat the game at the stake level is also important. If you feel outclassed you need the discipline to go down in stakes to an easier game.

Ivan Tan has a chat corner of his own on this forum.
You can check out his latest movement and also feel free to discuss poker with him there.

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