Celina Lin on marriage and Macau

Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin has been making a name for herself on the Asian poker scene since 2004, after being introduced to the game for the first time at a local casino. Exuberant after her good showing there, Celina went on to online play where she built a bankroll of $10,000 in just three weeks. From there, she moved on to live events with a streak of second, third, and seventh place finishes on the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour circuit. She then branched out to Macau, where she won the Macau Poker Cup HKD $9,400 NL Hold'em event in 2009 for $50,932. Then last year, she made history by becoming the first woman to win the Macau Poker Cup in the Red Dragon Main Event, walking away with $110,077.

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But poker isn't the only thing on Celina's mind these days, since she's recently married and renovated a new home. So we caught up with her to ask about how she's juggling all of that, along with plans for the future and a demanding poker schedule. The interview below outlines how she approaches it all with characteristic calm and gracious determination.

PSW: I understand that you've recently married and renovated a home in Macau, so it sounds like there are a lot of changes going on in your life. Can you tell us a little about that and how you think it might affect your approach to poker?

Celina: I think that we all go through many stages of our lives where priorities change and you value things differently. Poker will always be a big part of my life, but the new home is just part of marriage, which is the big change for me. Being a great wife and one day, a good mother, is and will be just as important as poker has been to me. That's not to say I'd stop playing poker. I have a very supportive spouse, so I'll still be on the felt. I'd just be more selective with what I play and how often I do it.

PSW: You've been amazingly successful at Macau Red Dragon tournaments, which leads me to ask if there's something about the location or the tournaments themselves that you feel has led to your success (other than your formidable poker skills, of course).

Celina: I certainly feel "at home" since I live in Macau now, but it's hard to say exactly what it is about the Macau Poker Cup series. I'd like to say I know a lot of the players and that it helps, but for each new player I get to know, there are another five new players coming to their first MPC. Maybe it's the opportunity to play more. MPC used to be three to four days long, and now it's 10 days with a lot more tournaments.

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PSW: Can you tell us how things have changed for you since moving to Macau? For instance, how does the poker scene there compare to other locations you're familiar with? What other tournaments do you like to play there?

Celina: When I first played in Macau in 2007, there were virtually no other tournaments, and I've watched it grow immensely. Besides the MPC, there are much bigger tournaments as well. The ACOP is one of the few true $10K USD freeze outs (it's actually $13K) in the world and only entering its second year in 2013. But since poker is still relatively new in Asia, it has the best chance to keep growing, unlike a lot of others, which have somewhat peaked.

PSW: Thanks so much as always, Celina, for your time and candor. We look forward to writing more about your upcoming successes soon, and we wish you all the best in your new married life.

In the meantime, you can read more about Celina in her own words here, regarding chasing the Asia Player of the Year title and the changes she's seen in Macau over the years. Her Team PokerStars Pro bio also provides some highlights about her amazing career in poker.

And for all things related to women in poker and upcoming PokerStars Women Live events and news, see our home page.

Rebekah Mercer
@PokerStars in PS Women