Aussie Millions Day 3: Unheralded hero of Asian poker
Some of the players with the highest profiles still alive on Day 3 of the Aussie Millions are the Team PokerStars Pros. I'm talking about superstars like Jonathan Duhamel and Jason Mercier, British beauties like Liv Boeree, Mexican heroes like Angel Guillen and online legends like Randy "nanonoko" Lew.
There is another player though, who may not have the same profile as your Mercier's and your Duhamel's in the Americas or Europe, but one who has proven himself worthy of the Red Spade time and time again.
Ask anyone in the booming Macau poker landscape who one of the most notable players is and they will certainly answer: Raymond Wu.
The Taiwanese poker pro burst onto the scene in 2009. The very first result on his resume was suitably recorded in Macau. He finished 3rd in the HK$50,000 High Roller event at one of the very-first Macau Poker Cups. There were only 10 players in the tournament, but everyone must start somewhere and it ended up being a springboard for bigger things.
Just a few months after that first tournament result which he posted in a city he would end up dominating, Wu would make the final table of the 2009 EPT London Main Event. He finished in 7th place, pocketing £87,000.
From there, Wu never looked back as it would be that result which would put him on PokerStars' radar. As a Team Pro he would go on to win a Macau Poker Cup Red Dragon Main Event for just under six-figures, along with numerous other results in the PokerStars LIVE Macau poker room.
Wu's impact on the felt can't be ignored, but it's what Wu has done off the felt for poker in Asia that is really impressive. It's easy for poker fans from the Americas and Europe to forget just how big and important a burgeoning market like Asia is for poker.
Along with the team at PokerStars LIVE Macau and his fellow Team PokerStars Pros from Asia, Wu has been at the forefront of the growth of poker in Asia.
"Obviously when we started PokerStars Live in Macau there were a lot of players from Hong Kong and China," APPT President Danny McDonagh tells us. "But Taiwan was our first market that really took off with big numbers and Raymond Wu has really been the face of poker in Chinese-Taipei."
When McDonagh says "face" of poker, he's not just talking about results, in some senses he's being far more literal. You see what many people may not know is that Wu was a big part of a Chinese-language poker reality television program. That's mainstream success right there that not many players have achieved. Wu has even written a Chinese-language poker strategy book.
Right now we are around ten players off reaching the money and Wu has 450,000 in chips. That means Wu has a top-ten stack. If he could win the Aussie Millions, who knows what that would mean for poker in Chinese-Taipei . An Asian poker boom? Perhaps. What we do know is that Danny McDonagh isn't at all shocked to see Wu doing so well here in Australia.
"Ray really seems to rise for the big occasions and always has," McDonagh says. "I'm just not at all surprised to see him here doing so well deep in the Aussie Millions Main Event."