Andrew Chen: A Reluctant Voice

TAGs: Andrew Chen, European Poker Tour

Andrew Chen: A Reluctant Voice Audio


Lee Davy catches up with Andrew Chen, during the World Poker Tour Amsterdam Main Event, to talk about his recent Facebook post made in anger after the European Poker Tour’s decision not to allow their staff to attend the end of season party in Monte Carlo.

Andrew Chen: A Reluctant Voice Andrew Chen is one of the most talented poker players in the world. He has amassed over $4.4m playing live tournaments. A large majority of which has been won playing on the European Poker Tour (EPT). He has made the final table of three EPT Main Events.

Burt whilst acknowledging that the EPT is the ‘best at what they do’ this didn’t stop Chen from venting his frustration, on his personal Facebook page, after hearing rumors that EPT staff were not allowed to attend the end of season party at Monte Carlo.

Suddenly, whether he likes it or not, Chen has become a reluctant voice for a group of people who are easy to keep quiet. Whilst he doesn’t have the platform or bravado of a Daniel Negreanu, he does have the respect. When Chen loses it, lions stop eating dead antelopes and start listing to what this guy is saying.

I caught up with him during the break at Day 1A of WPT Amsterdam and this is what he had to say.

Do you have any particular strategy for the first day of a major event?

“Fold a lot. Seriously, you have to play pretty solid. We are 10-handed so I’m not splashing around too much.”

The Holland Casino is almost like home to you, right?

“I have done pretty well here, and made a couple of final tables in the MCOP. I hope to continue that success.”

Tell the readers what you get up to when you aren’t playing poker.

“There isn’t that much going on apart from poker. I have a lovely girlfriend, but other than that I spend most of my time playing poker; some video games, and watching TV shows and movies. It’s all very mundane stuff. Exactly what you would expect.”

Do you work hard on your game?

“If you would have asked me six months ago, I would have said no. But recently, I have started studying away from the table again. A good friend of mine is a cash game player. He has improved a lot, very quickly, and we have both spoken a lot about the game recently. This has motivated me to be more than a…luck box.”

How much of a factor did financial stability play a part in easing your foot off the pedal?

“I’ve been very fortunate. I’m pretty comfortable, and that probably played a part in me getting a little lazy. But I’m proud of the work I have put in lately.”

You recently wrote a Facebook post pouring out emotion over the way that the EPT had treated their dealers, particularly related to their decision to stop them from coming to the end of season party in Monte Carlo. Can you expand on that?

“I have to start with a bunch of disclaimers. I’m not trying to start a beef with PokerStars. There is nothing hidden in my message. If anything I didn’t do that much research. It was more of an emotional rant that came up after I had heard some rumors. I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus. I don’t want to start anything. It was just a rant.”

Do you have a lot of friends who are dealers, or do you look out for the underdog in general?

“I have friends who are dealers working on the EPT, and I met them on the EPT. A lot of them are friends with other players, they met before the EPT even started. It’s strange that dealers are told not to be friendly with people they have known for years. I understand the integrity of the game aspect, but I think they are taking it a little far.

“I know PokerStars are the best at doing what they do. And I realize that I haven’t put a lot of due diligence, and deep thought, into this, other than the initial emotion. The whole issue about the party really annoyed me though.

“I heard this second hand, and then first hand, and I’m not going to name any names. They were told {the dealers} the morning of the last day of the entire EPT Season that they weren’t allowed to attend the Stars party. Bryn Kenney tried to find out why? Bryn told me that he was told that it was a budgeting issue, which if that’s the case, seems a little absurd. Bryn then offered to pay whatever it would cost, and he was then told it was a space issue. That seems more realistic, but my point remains. Why would they organize a party that didn’t have enough space, and if so why not tell them before the trip? “

Have Stars reached out to you?

“No, they haven’t. I didn’t talk to them either to be fair.”

I know you seem a little reluctant to talk about this, and are trying to play it down, but I think your voice is an important one, and I think the dealers in particular will be pleased that you are standing by their side on this.

“I still understand I didn’t do my due diligence. I didn’t go to Jimmy’s and start measuring the place and asking when Stars booked it? At the very worse Stars only found out the morning of the event, but I don’t believe that. I think they quietly wanted to avoid the expense.”

This attitude shows strong values for caring for others. Do you display this outside of the poker community? Are there things going on in the world that really bother you?

“I read Reddit a bunch, and follow a lot of people on twitter. I feel like I’m not educated enough to give opinions sometimes. I was a little nervous about my post because a lot of the time I will read something that seems really shitty, then I read a response and I agree with that also. There are always many sides to an issue. I was fine leaving it on my Facebook page for my friends to see it. I didn’t tag anyone from PokerStars. I was just feeling rather annoyed.

That’s Andrew’s reluctant opinion on Stars decision to not allow their staff to attend the Grand Final party. What’s yours?


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