Celina Lin: The woman behind the titles

Thumbnail image for PS Women logo.jpgCelina Lin headlined the Macau Poker Cup final table and took her opportunity all the way to the Red Dragon trophy for an historic second time. After sharing with us recently that she was going to skip the WSOP this year to concentrate on tournaments in Asia instead, Lin has just provided plenty of good reasons (US$110,000 worth) why that has proven to be the best call. "I want to concentrate on the market I am so passionate about ever since I started playing poker," Lin shared.

Lin first made waves when she became the first female to win the Red Dragon title in 2009. Now she has become the first person to ever capture the unique trophy and coveted titled twice. "I think it's the most prestigious trophy in China," Lin said. "Everybody knows about the Red Dragon." The second-time victory tasted especially sweet for Lin who remarked afterwards, "I always wanted to be the first female champion, but I thought it was impossible to win it twice."

Impossible seems to be a word that Lin has no problem challenging. After beginning the final table in the middle of the pack, Lin found herself heads-up for the title after the remaining players were eliminated in a lightening quick two hours. She began the heads-up battle with a 4-1 chip disadvantage to her opponent Ming Fan. The grueling six-hour session flipped the lead multiple times, yet Lin held strong whenever it swung in Fan's direction. She credited her large and vocal rail as a motivating factor.

"The support from my friends really pushed me that much more to refocus each of those times the cards fell the wrong way. It was tough having the advantage for the win so many times and starting from scratch over and over again. They were really huge for me."

Lin was prepared for an epic duel as she began to wear the overnight chip leader down, keeping most pots small and selectively picking her spots. Flopped quads certainly helped early in the battle to gain some momentum for Lin, but it was her composure and patience that defined victory in the end.


Now that Lin has added another title to her armor, no doubt her commitment to her home-town region is stronger than ever. And with fellow PokerStars Pro Vivian Im also showing consistency, finishing 13th, the poker queens are inspiring more women onto the felt.

"Everyone wants to win a WSOP bracelet one day, but I am very passionate about the poker growth in Asia and the amount of female entrants we are seeing," Lin reflected prior to the Macau Poker Cup. Lin's next focus will look to capitalize on the Asia Player of the Year (APOY) race where she currently sits in fourth position. "Nothing beats having your name etched on one of those golden steps," Lin reflected on her APOY goal. It seems only a matter of time before those golden steps further confirm her position as one of the best and most respected players in the region.

Kirsty Mullins
@PokerStars in PS Women