European Poker Masters (EPM) Players, Willie Tann

Willie Tann is one of the elder statesmen of the game, and he brings respectability and intelligence to every table he plays. He is one of the few professional poker players who have taken the time to mentor young, prospective stars of the game, and he is more than willing to pass on the wisdom and experience he has gleaned in his 45 year career.

Born in Singapore, Tann moved to the UK to study law, but soon took to the tables instead. In the sixties poker did not have the credible reputation it enjoys today. "We used to play in seedy, smoky places – it wasn’t respectable to go to a spieler (casino). But nowadays you can play with top people in more salubrious places, much more dignified and well presented. The places we used to play were just dives," he said of the early days.

Tann has earned the nickname ‘Mr Miyagi’ because of his propensity to mentor less experienced players and his personal poker mantra is "patience, perseverance, psychology, practice and position". As his sponsor’s site says, ‘Miyagi is the wise old master who speaks in a truncated oriental voice full of deep philosophical mutterings while also maintaining a low and humble profile,’ and Tann fits the bill superbly.

According to many of his opponents he is one of the most difficult players to read and has the uncanny knack of detecting any kind of weakness in his opposite number. He is an extraordinary combination of aggression and patience, is simply merciless in the kill and has no fear of losing, which makes him a very dangerous player indeed.

Tann’s Noteworthy Results

  • 2000 – Great Britain Poker Championships £100 Pot Limit Holdem – 1st – £18 500
  • 2000 – 31st WSOP $1500 Pot Limit Omaha – 4th – $26 910
  • 2001 – Christmas Cracker Tournament £500 No Limit Holdem – 1st – £27 350
  • 2002 – Grand Prix Final No Limit holdem – 2nd – £35 000
  • 2003 – Aussie Millions A$1000 Pot Limit Holdem – 5th – A$12 250
  • 2004 – Irish Open €150 No Limit holdem – 1st – €12 050
  • 2004 – Grosvenor UK Open £1000 Main Event – 1st – £53 200
  • 2004 – Paris Open €500 no Limit holdem – 1st – €9200
  • 2005 – 36th WSOP $1000 No Limit Holdem – 1st – $188 335
  • 2006 – Aussie Millions A$3000 Pot limit Omaha – 2nd – A$73 425
  • 2006 – EPM London All Star Challenge £2000 No Limit Holdem – £9380
  • 2006 – EPT Irish Masters €5000 No Limit Holdem – 9th – €31 410
  • 2006 – Caribbean Poker Classic, St Kitts $500 No Limit Holdem – 2nd – $7400