Bill Chen

Tue, 11 Nov 2008 07:47

Bill Chen

A poker biography of Bill Chen.

Quick Information

Name - Bill Chen

Born - Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, United States

Poker Rooms - Poker Stars


Bill Chen, or more formally, Dr. Chen, has a Ph.D. in mathematics and is a software designer, quantitative analyst, and game theorist. Dr. Chen has long theorized that poker is a numbers game. And, if the number of winnings he’s had is any basis, then he is most probably right.

Dr. Chen got his doctorate in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. It was during his academic years in the university that he got good at poker – he needed to play at the Oaks Card Club to support himself through school. With this experience, he began to theorize how mathematics plays a big role in poker game plays.

He said in one interview, "… I think that it shows that following the mathematical concepts that we have, balancing our play, calling with the right frequencies, and so forth, trying to figure out what your opponent's range of hands is, actually does work, somewhat." Even so, Dr. Chen has credited luck in many of his winnings.

Dr. Chen has a long list of tournament participations and cash game winnings. He began his streak by placing 11th in the 2000 WSOP $1,500 Ace-to-Five Lowball event. He followed this with a string of $50 and $100 live tournaments. However, the crowning glory of his career in poker so far is the two bracelets he won at the 2006 WSOP, one for Limit Hold’em and the other for No-Limit Hold’em Short-Handed. He brought home more that $700,000 in game winnings from this one event. Since the 2006 WSOP performance, he’s been regarded as one of the top poker players to watch.

Dr. Chen has since then gone and won in other tournaments. The most notable so far is his recent 19th placing in the 2008 WSOP No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event where he took home $15,594 in winnings. This isn’t bad for someone who isn’t even a professional poker player.

After graduating from the university, he went on to work for the Susquehanna International Group (SIG), a financial trading company that had a poker-friendly environment. The company encouraged its staff to play poker, on the belief that this improves the performance of the employees. This was also where Dr. Chen first tested his theories of the game. He continues to work for the company to this day. Despite his full-time employment, he can afford to take time out for poker tournaments. SIG has allowed him six weeks per year to play in the World Series of Poker.

In between work and poker tournament vacations, Dr. Chen has published a book on his poker/ mathematics theories. He calls the book The Mathematics of Poker, and the book has enjoyed steady sales.

Dr. Chen is considered to be a formidable poker player. He is an all-around player who has played successfully in most poker forms, such as Hold’em, Stud, Razz, and Omaha. He is also a Net denizen and frequents poker and recreational gambling newsgroups. He has recently participated in the Big August Rec. Gambling Excursion, where they went to Las Vegas. Dr. Chen resides in Lafayette Hill, PA. In his free time, he does yoga to relax and relieve himself of stress.