4 Questions with Celina Lin

4 Questions with Celina Lin

Lee Davy sits down with PokerStars Team Pro, Celina Lin, to ask her four random questions about life, and see if we can align them with poker. 

It’s a simple premise.

4 Questions with Celina LinNo intro necessary.

I’ll ask PokerStars Team Pro, Celina Lin, four random questions, and she’ll answer them, and we will try to link them to poker.

Let’s see how we do.

1# If you could choose the most necessary thing you have to do each day, what would it be? 

“I can’t live without water flossing my teeth. It’s the most amazing invention to come out in the past five years or whatever. As you get older, more food gets stuck in your teeth, and the feeling that you experience after water flossing is really good. I can’t explain it. It’s like taking a really good dump. When you get rid of the food, you feel like a brand new person.

“I would say that yoga is the other item for me, mentally. I think that with the craziness of this world, the constant social media, phone going off, you don’t get enough peace. When I am travelling, and I don’t buy data, I feel relieved that I don’t have to keep checking and I can have my own time in the world.

“That 30-minutes for yoga is a time when nobody can disturb me during that time. You bring in all the good vibes and get rid of all the negativity. I was sceptical when I was younger, but once you make it a routine, you feel great. When you’re too busy to fit it into your schedule, everything feels more chaotic. Yoga combines meditation and exercise at the same time.

“I follow a girl called Boho Beautiful. She travels around the world doing these amazing videos. There is calming music in the background, and she talks you through the routines. You can choose to do different things. Some days you may want something to improve your endurance, or you feel especially drained mentally, so you go for something good with anxiety.”

2# What has changed the most about growing up since you were a child? 

“I think that with my background, being Chinese, it was a real struggle convincing my mother of the things I wanted to do. My dad was much more of a risk taker type of guy. He enjoys card games. My mother is very much like these are the rules you have to follow. You go to school, you get your degree, you get a 9 to 5 job, make 50-60k a year, you have kids, and that’s how everything pans out. Everything I have done defies everything my mother has wanted for me.”

Was that a conscious choice? 

“I read this book coming over on the plane, and it tells you why certain people can’t be wealthy. Its a blueprint they have in their mind, where parents may have said that people who are rich are greedy, so subconsciously they try to not be that way by spending every single cent they have. Me, being very competitive and rebellious, I wanted to prove her wrong.

“I was like, ‘Mum there is no proper blueprint of life you have to follow. I think that when I explain my ideas to her, we are not aligned. She is always asking me why I help other people, and I have to tell her that it’s because giving makes me happy.

“She is much more like; you have to gather resources and hold on to them. She had to leave her parents side, leave school and plant rice in the fields when she was very young. She told me that the monthly payments turned out to be a dollar per month. People did everything for the good of China back then.

“She has been very poor, like my grandparents. My grandma had a family of ten. Her mother became a single mother very early on. She had to take on so many different forms of work to take care of ten kids. These experiences shape a person. We are very fortunate, but my mum can’t forget the need to have a steady income for a rainy day.”

What about when you have children? 

“Because I can see the difference between the two, I feel I would be more compassionate with my children. If they were fighting against me, I would be more open to listening to them. Every single conversation I have with my mother seems to be about babies. I keep telling her I love my career. I will be a good mum, but I want to invest this time focusing on what I love.”

How does it make you feel knowing you’re not aligned with your mother? 

“I brought her to Jeju this time so she can experience how we live. Being more aligned with my Dad is something my mum has recognised for a very long time. We have more intense conversations about life. I have very brief conversations with my Mum because we clash through our very different viewpoints.”

#3 What area of your life do you lack self-discipline? 

“Bubble tea. I love the texture of anything chewy. The boba. I am ok with no sugar in there, but I know the boba is not good for you. I think about boba everytime I am exercising. I think, ‘I am doing this because I want boba.’ I don’t believe in not being able to enjoy things that I like. I decided that instead of that, I will do the things that offset the bad things, like exercising.”

It sounds like there is an internal battle going on.  

“Instead of drinking the whole thing, I would share it with Randy {Lew} or my sister. I love anything sweet or anything to do with chocolate. If I see something like mudcake on the plane, I will eat around the really naughty part. Every day I would tell you that I would eat candy and chocolate. I wouldn’t deprive myself. A block of dark chocolate would last a month or two. I am super disciplined about that.”

“I don’t want to have any regrets. Randy {Lew} and I want to live a life with a degree of moderation. Can we play higher stakes, sure? But do we think it’s smart to do so? No. We have the angel and devil on our shoulders asking these questions, and that’s helped us remain in the industry for so long, enjoying it and not becoming lost in it.”

4# If you could be emotionally closer to one member of your family who would it be? 

“It goes back to the first question, even though me and my sister grew up 12-years apart, we are like best friends. We are very close. My Dad and I enjoyed Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Lee movies when I grew up. We bonded over the movies. With my Mum, there was always this gap. I didn’t agree with the set-out rules.

“I think she’s disappointed that I didn’t follow the rules. But I think she also looks at how successful I have been and says ‘we are able to enjoy this because of our elder daughter’. I think she believes the percentage of failure of following the path I did is so much higher than what she wanted for me. There is a part of her that’s extremely worried. When we have a kid, is it possible for the kid to not know poker? It doesn’t seem likely right?”

Does your mother frown upon your poker? 

“I would say all Chinese people technically frown upon it, especially the older people and women. But it’s in our blood that we love games. The problem with the Chinese players is they think they can beat the games. They believe it’s something they can solve. It’s a game they want to beat. A lot of people who don’t understand poker thinks it’s bad, the older generation more so.

“If you ask the older generation what they enjoy they will say games like Mahjong. If you got them to understand poker a bit, they would see that it’s more like Mahjong than Baccarat for example.”

Your talking about forging a more accomplished way to connect to people, right? 

“With my Mum, it’s a relationship I really want to work on. I feel bad where I can see she is trying to help but is being too helpful. You feel like they are in the way, but they just want to feel useful again because back in the day we relied on them so much. As we grow up, we need them less. Now they need us more. It could be something simple like ringing her to ask for a recipe. As our parents get older, they just want to be useful, and we won’t understand it until we get older ourselves.”

In Summary 

According to 40-years of research by Dr Reinhard Voll, the father of electroacupuncture, it’s estimated that 80% of all illness is related to decay in the mouth, so water flossing is essential if you want to be a healthy poker player. If you pit a healthy poker player against an unhealthy one with skill and luck evened out, I know where my money will go. I also love the idea of water flossing, because it’s fixing an essential leak in your health that not many people would be aware of, like fixing an essential leak in your game.

Yoga, along with meditation, will help you with your physical and emotional wellbeing at the table.

If you are at loggerheads with the people closest to you, it could negatively affect your game. Working on improving your interpersonal relationship skills is vital. It will also make you a better poker player when it comes to communicating with those you play with, or not allowing them to put you on tilt.

The Boba habit is another important one because, on a more macro level, poker players are exposed to so many so-called guilty pleasures, so managing these impulses is essential.