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Card Player Poker Tour Spotlight: Gordon Eng

Eng Recently Transitioned From Full Time Poker Pro to Recreational Player


Gordon EngGordon Eng has been an East Coast regular since the Poker Boom and has made his mark on some of the biggest rooms that side of the country including the Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Parx Poker Room in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, Delaware Park in Wilmington, Delaware and Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

A New Jersey native, Eng is ranked as the 32nd all-time winner in his home state and has upwards of $920,000 in live career earnings, with his first ever recorded cash for a first-place finish in the 2006 Bellagio Cup $1,000 no-limit hold’em for $36,965.

After nearly seven years as a poker professional, Eng is transitioning back into life as a global trials budget manager for a pharmaceutical company but remains a part of the poker scene during his free time, saying he will always be a part of the poker market.

Eng played Card Player Poker Tour Foxwoods Event 1: $600 No-Limit Hold’em $100,000 Guarantee and finished 36th for $1,625.

Name: Gordon Eng

Hometown: Cliffside Park, New Jersey

Resides: Cliffside Park, New Jersey

Occupation: Pharmaceutical Global Trials Budget Manager

Lifetime winnings: $923,201

Largest Live Cash: $121,688 – 3rd, 2009 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza III $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em

Favorite Game: No-Limit Hold’em

Favorite Hand: Pocket Aces

How long have you been coming to Foxwoods?

Nine years now.

How has the landscape here changed in the past nine years as far as the games go?

The tournaments are different because there are no more $10,000 buy-ins. When they had those, back in 2005 and 2006, they would get like 800-900 players. Now they’ve made the buy-ins a lot smaller but the structures are good here, especially for the East Coast.

When you say “for the East Coast,” what do you mean by that? Do you find people in the East prefer a different kind of structure compared to perhaps those out West?

I think the West Coast is faster, some of the structures are faster, but everyone is adapting to the deepstacks. But that is not always good because it really matters when it comes to the blinds and antes. It matters about the length of time and how short or long they are. People always look at it as ‘ok, it’s a deepstack with 30,000 in chips,’ but sometimes that is too many chips. Also, sometimes when you get late in the game, the structure gets too shallow.

You played the $600 buy-in $100,000 guarantee tournament. Why did you choose that event?

I chose it because it is a two-day tournament and is good for the recreational players, as I have turned into. When you play that you can play two days and not have to take off work.

So you have turned into a recreational player? How to do you make that transition from professional to recreational, usually it is the other way around?

The transition was pretty tough. Not working since 2007 I haven’t worked for about six years and going back to a 9-5 grind is pretty challenging. But I think I’m enjoying it a little bit more and there is a lot less pressure on winning.

Do you think that poker will always be a part of your life and you will always be a part of the market?

I will always be a part of the market as long as they have the two day tournaments, on Saturday and Sunday, that suite me well. The $600 buy-in here at Foxwoods had a really good structure for the amount that is was with 40-minute levels on day one and 50-minute levels on day two.

Do you feel like you definitely got your money’s worth in that tournament?

Yes. I think a lot of people got their money’s worth in this tournament. A lot of people had fun and you know that is what Foxwoods is trying to do – to have good structured tournaments to bring in the players.