If you’ve been listening to EPTLive over the last season or so you’ll likely recognise David Yan’s voice. It’s a calm and rolling Kiwi accent which has, if you can imagine an 1990’s stereo, the bass setting of the graphic equaliser slid to around 6.5. Or thereabouts.
The 20-year-old from Auckland is a well-travelled grinder who has already planted a few live tournaments flags. His most recent was on home turf (well, it’s the right continent anyway) when he chopped the APPT Melbourne Main Event for A$133,000 ($119,912), but his biggest win came in the Aussie Millions at the beginning of the year ($232,254). All in all, he’s notched up more than $400,000 in live winnings in 2013 so far and, given his stack here in the EPT London Main Event, he could easily be adding more to that. Eighty-seven players get paid, around 200 remain and, at last count, Yan was up above the 90,500 average with a healthy 140,000 stack.
Yan’s strategy chat has gone down well on the EPTLive webcast with viewers and the commentary team alike, but he didn’t just wander in off the street.
“The first time I ever did it was after they posted on 2+2 asking for nominations or volunteers. I thought it would be fun to give it a go and I really enjoyed it. Whenever I get the chance I go back. If I’m playing a tournament I’m not going to sit out but whenever I bust I let them know that I can come up,” said Yan.
Yan wasn’t born with a perfect knowledge of poker, like everyone else he had to work for it. He played $5 and $10 sit-and-gos (NZ dollars) before moving onto micro limit cash games against friends before discovering online poker. It did not initially go well. He started with $10 and lost it. Then $20 and that went, too. Another $50 followed in the same way before Yan decided that he’d deposit $100 with his own bankroll management rules, despite never actually having heard of the concept before. He started on the $1 nine-man sit-and-gos and in May of this year he won the Sunday $500 for $88,543.80. Hard work can go a long way.
So while we’re obviously grateful for Yan’s webcast contributions perhaps it’s not all that selfless. He told us that he thinks it helps his own game.
“It’s just like coaching. Even when you’re teaching someone and you think that you’re better than they are, which isn’t always the case, by the way, just from thinking about the game and articulating your thoughts. If you just look at a hand and think about it briefly you forget about it, but if you’re forced to explain your thought process it really helps, regardless of whether your thought process was correct or not,” said Yan.
“Sometimes there are other people there to discuss it with. Sometimes they’ll be a really good Team Pro or sometimes someone not so much involved in playing from the media team. That helps in terms of understanding how different players think. It’s important to think about poker, not just in terms of how other regular players think but also how recreational players think, how semi-professional players think, or live pros and online pros.”
So, what we’re think you’re trying to say, David, is that should you win the EPT Main Event it will partly be thanks to us? We’ll see you at the bar…
One last question
So where did his PokerStars avatar come from? The one of a cute girl?
“I think I Googled ‘cute girl’ and that was one of the ones I liked. I think it’s just a random girl. Maybe I should source the photographer or modelling agency,” said Yan.
This could be the beginning of a Tom Hanks movie.
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Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.