Defending MPCC champ: Raiden Kan
Raiden Kan is a permanent fixture on the poker scene in Macau in both cash games and tournaments. Last year, the 28-year old captured his first major poker title when he won the Macau Poker Cup Championship 2011. The 2012 edition of the MPCC is only 2 weeks away so I caught up with the defending champ to see how he was doing.
(Translated from Cantonese)
KL: Will you be defending your MPCC main event title this year?
RK: Yes, of course I will. That will be my main goal for the upcoming tournament series.
KL: How has winning the title changed your life?
RK: I'm surprised that I've actually become more recognizable after winning MPCC. When I attended other tournaments outside of Macau there are lots of foreigners that recognize me. They can even spell out my name. That is something that really shocks to me.
KL: Do you think it's easier or harder to win a second major tournament after winning your first one?
RK: After winning the first major tournament, I think it's easier to win a second title. I have more experience on the final table now and understand how to deal with players from different regions.
KL: How do you use your experience to your advantage?
RK: By having more live experience it helps me understand the characteristics and different playing styles of my opponents.
KL: You're known for both cash games and tournaments. What do you think are the key factors to be successful in both?
RK: Both are by experience. I began playing cash games 4-5 years ago because Macau still did not have regular tournaments at that time and that was the when I started building my cash game experience. I used the same approach to tournament poker where I play over a thousand online tournaments on PokerStars each year.
KL: How do you deal with being eliminated from tournaments?
RK: I'm kind of used to it by now and don't feel that bad when I bust. No one can win every game. You can bad beat someone today and next day they might bad beat you too. So I just take it easy.
KL: You are now the top ranked player from Malaysia for 3 straight years. How important is this to you?
RK: I'm happy to be the top ranked player from Malaysia but I'd be happier to be the top ranked player in Asia.
KL: What are your next poker goals?
RK: I want to win another PokerStars Macau major title. Also, I was very disappointed to lose the APOY (Asia Player of the Year) race last year when I was so close to winning it. That makes me work even harder to win the APOY title now. The bonus of getting a 1 year PokerStars Macau sponsorship that includes the ACOP (Asia Championship of Poker) Main Event is very attractive.
KL: There's a lot of buzz about the upcoming ACOP and the HK $100,000 buy-in Main Event. Where does this rank amongst your poker goals?
RK: It is certainly on the top of my poker goals and raises the bar higher. With the bigger buyin the prize pool becomes much bigger. If I am lucky enough to win this one it would be life changing money and give me opportunities to participate in other high buyin tournaments like the EPT and PCA.
The Macau Poker Cup Championship 2012 runs from September 7-16 at the PokerStars Macau poker room at the Grand Waldo Entertainment Complex.