2014 ACOP Main Event Day 1: New beginnings for Terrence Chan

When we approached Terrence Chan on Day 1 of the ACOP Main Event he was engrossed in watching a hand that had played a few minutes into the break.

The rest of his tablemates had made their way out of the tournament area, but not Chan.

He wanted to watch the hand play out and gain any little piece of extra information about his opponents that he could get.

Chan might not play poker full time any more, but his focus seems just as sharp as ever.


Terrence Chan at the tables for Day 1 of the ACOP Main Event

It was actually somewhat surprising to see Chan at the tables.

Not only has Chan been busy doing other things like co-hosting the popular 'Two Plus Two Pokercast' podcast, but he has also "retired" from the game.

"Even though I've officially retired, I still have to come out for a really good event like this," Chan tells us. "It's a nice prize pool and it's always well run events here."

"It was a good excuse to see friends too."

One of those friends Chan will no doubt be catching up with here in Macau is Adam Schwartz. He's the host of the Pokercast and no doubt he and Chan will be getting together this week to record a podcast or two.

That's not the only podcast Chan is part of though. He also has his own show called 'Life After Poker'. It's only a couple of episodes in, but has been well received. The concept of the show, like the name suggests, basically has Chan talking to fellow ex poker professionals.

So, taking that into account, we asked him the obvious question:

How is life after poker going for Mr. Terrence Chan?

"Life after poker is good. I've been researching a lot of different things I want to do. It's fun. I'm really interested in the business world. I'm just really enjoying that poker is a part time thing, a 'for fun' thing."

It's well documented that something Chan loves doing outside of poker is Mixed Martial Arts and now he's out of poker he can focus more attention on that.

"I train and love MMA. I want to get back into that in a serious way."


Life after poker looks dangerous

An interesting little anecdote involving Chan and MMA is that the man sitting next me on the media desk here at the ACOP is PokerStars LIVE Macau's official photographer Kenneth Lim and not only has Lim taken Chan's photo at the poker table numerous times, he also captured that photo of Chan you can see above.

It's clear that Chan has plenty of interests keeping him busy outside of poker and while he tells us that stepping away from the tables has made him enjoying playing more, he does think it may have affected his game a little.

"I do think it's tougher to get back into a groove. I always feel like I'm a little bit rusty at the beginning. I will play some hands where I didn't really analyze it deeply and not know if I made the right decision, so I will do a little bit of second guessing. I still feel like my ability to think about the game is good, but I sometimes still feel like in the moment I don't do the right thing."

"When you are playing poker full time you kind of have this identity of making the right decisions all the time and it feels a very different to be a wreck like that."

Despite this, Chan does note that taking a break from poker could possibly be helping is game as well.

"I certainly won't ever punt anymore and I think that's nice. When you play a full schedule full time there is always the risk of punting. Because there is always the next day, so I guess that's an advantage to not playing so much."

When asked if he thinks poker will ever return to being a full time thing one day in the future he is quite quick to answer.

"I don't think so. I just don't enjoy the lifestyle as much."

"I also think there are a lot of people younger than me who are willing to study, study, study and play, play, play and I never like doing something and not being the best I can be. And it's also tough to compete against the people who really are true full time. I was one of those kids and I know I used to eat up the people who didn't take it seriously."

Chan might not be "true full time" himself, but that hasn't stopped him from still eating up chips early in the ACOP Main Event. He was one of the chip leaders a short while into the day and is still travelling steadily as we head into the last level of the day.

Keep up to date with Chan's progress and find out how the rest of Day 1 plays out in the live reports section at the top of the 2014 ACOP page.

Joshua Bell
@PokerStars in Asia Pacific Poker Tour