2014 ACOP Main Event Day 4: The stress of the rail
Sometimes being on the rail is more stressful than playing.
That's certainly the case for Aaron Lim as he sweats his girlfriend Yaxi "Yvonne" Zhu deep on Day 4 of the 2014 ACOP Main Event.
"I would say being on the rail sweating my girlfriend is three times tougher than playing," Lim tells us. "I don't think I've ever felt this nervous at a poker tournament in my life."
That's certainly saying something considering Lim has made the final table of several massive poker tournament, including winning a WSOP bracelet, winning an APPT title, finishing runner-up in an EPT Berlin High Roller and finishing third in the Partouche Poker Tour.
Lim can't pinpoint exactly why it's harder to be on the rail. It could be because Lim is itching to play the hands himself, but it's out of his control. Obviously he cares a lot about his girlfriend too and clearly he is very nervous for her.
It's more likely that it's a combination of lots of feelings that make Lim so nervous. Regardless, Lim is trying to stay positive and is trying to not get too involved in Zhu's game.
"If I've seen a hand or have any bit of information I want to give her I usually to try to wait until the break to talk to her. I don't want to give her too much strategy advice either too, mostly just encouragement."
It's unlikely that someone so experienced as Lim hasn't given Zhu a lot of pointers on her game, but Lim does tell us that Zhu is a great player in her own right.
"I really didn't give her too much advice coming into today. She has an extremely good table presences. She takes her time with her decisions which is great. Her bet sizing is really strong too. I just like to encourage her."
Zhu's poker resume doesn't have too many results on it, but she does have some experience in big tournaments having played the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final this year. Perhaps if Zhu final tables or wins the ACOP we will see her at more events.
"She really enjoys poker. We haven't talked about her becoming a professional, but if she continues enjoying it and doing well you will definitely see her at more tournaments."
If Zhu continues runs like here at the ACOP, Lim might find himself as a full-time rail bird.
"I hope I will be on the rail more! A few more nervous moments like this will be nice."
The ACOP Main Event is now down to 14 players and so the nerves will only be growing by the minute. Especially considering Zhu also recently became the "last woman standing" with the elimination of Team PokerStars Celina Lin.
The end of Lin tournament's life came when she was short stacked and all in preflop with pocket fours against Dimitar Danchev's pocket tens and Ami Barer's A♣K♣. No help for Lin and she finished in 22nd place, adding another Macau tournament result to her very large resume.
Be sure to keep your eye on the live reports section at the top of the 2014 ACOP page to follow Zhu, and everyone else's, progress. In the meantime, you can catch a video interview with Zhu that was down late on Day 3 below!