Sisters of the Dog

The end of the year is approaching quickly, and among the many things I'm looking forward to is getting a chance to spend time with my younger sister. She told me recently how she's saved up money to come see me during the holidays, and I can't express how happy I am that she is.

My sister is quite a bit younger than I am, actually. We're 12 years apart, which means according to the Chinese zodiac we were both born in the Year of the Dog. I was born in China, then much later after my parents moved to Australia and had more steady jobs they had my sister.

Growing up, we weren't that close early on because of the big difference in our ages. But over the last four or five years -- she's 20 now -- we've become the best of friends. Whenever I visit my family in Melbourne, we're inseparable, spending every waking moment together shopping or going out or just talking and sharing with each other everything we've been doing with our lives.

We have pretty distinct personalities. I'm pretty outgoing while she's on the shy side, although as she's gotten older that's changed. Our career paths have been pretty different as well, as she's in her second year of university on scholarship studying physiotherapy while I went the unorthodox route to become a poker pro. We joke how I'm the "black sheep" of the family since I didn't go the traditional path, while she's the "good girl" pursuing a more conventional career.


Do I really look like a black sheep of the family? Wait. Don't answer that.

As I say, she'll be coming to Macau at year's end to spend six weeks with me, including over Christmas. I'll be taking her around to Taiwan and other places, and we'll be having a turkey dinner in Macau to celebrate the holiday.

The last time we were together for Christmas in Melbourne, we planned to have a turkey, but after we'd bought it and prepared to cook it we realized our biggest pan wasn't big enough. We ended up having to put the turkey in a wok and then put the wok inside the oven! It was also comical when it came to making the stuffing. We weren't even sure if you needed bread for that, which is obviously pretty important, and that led to a long journey trying to find a store open where we could get some. It was all pretty hilarious.

I'm so looking forward to her visit and getting the chance to spend a lot of time with her. As you get older, you realize more and more how important your family can be. And if you live some distance away -- as is true for a lot of us once we get out on our own -- being able to spend time with family members becomes that much more important.

It's interesting sometimes to hear my sister recall certain things from our past that I don't remember but she does. The difference in our ages has something to do with that, I think. She'll remember things I've said to her -- including various advice I've given her -- that I don't recall as vividly. I took care of her a lot when she was very young and our parents were working, and so I did kind of play a bit of a parental role at times. Now when she reminds me of things I told her, I realize more and more how much older siblings can have an influence on younger ones.

She'll arrive in early December. Then in January we'll go back to Australia and I'll play the Aussie Millions. Last year I went very deep in the Aussie Millions Main Event -- I ended up finishing 24th -- and my sister came on Day 3 and Day 4 to rail me all the way through. That was such a happy time for me, to have her supporting me like that.

I can't wait, then, for her to arrive. Her visit is going to be such a great Christmas present. Of course, when I think back I realize that my parents gave me the greatest present ever when they gave me a little sister.

Meanwhile, I have a few things to do before she arrives. For one thing, I might need to make sure I have a big enough pan!

Celina Lin is a member of Team PokerStars Pro
Celina Lin
@PokerStars in Celina Lin