With the Macau Poker Cup 23 in full swing at PokerStars LIVE Macau, the world's largest online poker site has announced the addition of two new players to its Team Pro roster.
Taiwan's Chen-An Lin from and China's Yaxi Zhu have been brought on to help grow the game in one of the world’s biggest emerging poker markets. Lin and Zhu join the likes of Bryan Huang, Celina Lin, Vivian Im, Aditya Agarwal, Kosei Ichinose and Naoya Kihara as Team PokerStars Pros from the Asian market.
"These players are highly respected in their local and national communities and will help to raise the profile of the game in their regions," said PokerStars’ Associate Director of Pro & Celebrity Marketing Kirsty Thompson.
According to PokerStars, Lin discovered poker in 2009 and immediately found success by taking down a Macau Poker Cup side event for nearly HK$15,000 in October of that year. Since then, Lin has amassed a total of $216,571 in lifetime earnings with largest cash to date coming in last year's Macau Poker Cup when he won the HK$20,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for HK$380,700 (approx. USD $50,000).
More recently, Lin won two events in Las Vegas over the summer, which were his first cashes outside Asia. The first was a win in the WPT500 Aria Poker Classic $235 No-Limit Hold'em Event for $10,528, and the other a win in a $125 Aria Daily for $3,184.
According to Lin, who currently sits 12th on Taiwan's all-time money list, he would like to use the sponsorship opportunity to promote the game in his home country of Taiwan.
As for Zhu, a former finance and business manager, she currently ranks 34th on China's all-time money list with $252,280 in career earnings. Her biggest cash of $147,980 came after winning the EPT11 Event #32: €2,200 No-Limit Hold'em, while other highlights on her poker résumé include 12th in the 2014 APPT Asia Championship of Poker Main Event for $52.352, runner-up in the EPT10 Grand Final Women's Event for $9,892, and 115th in the recently-completed EPT Barcelona Main Event for $15,338.
Both Lin and Zhu are currently playing at the MPC 23, which runs until September 13, with 16 Official Asia Player of the Year tournaments, including the HK$5,000,000 guaranteed Red Dragon event (September 5-11).