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Off the Felt with Joseph Cheong: Hobbies, Christmas Lists and Spit Bubbles

Joseph Cheong

Off the Felt is interviewing your favorite poker players to find out a little bit about their lives — you got it, off the felt. Recently, resident third-place finisher Joseph Cheong sat down with PokerNews and gave us insight into his relaxed and easygoing lifestyle, not knowing what he’ll be doing further than a week's time, what he wants from Santa, and his not-so-hidden talent.

What is your favorite tournament spot?

I would probably have to say the Rio [in Las Vegas] because that’s where I’ve won the most money.

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

I don’t vacation very much or all the time. I guess Las Vegas. I just came back from Montreal, but it was a little too cold for me — lots of snow is not for me.

What are some of your hobbies away from the table?

Recently, nothing. I have been playing poker 24/7. Back in the day before poker, I would play tennis. I probably can’t play a whole set right now because I’m sure I’m a little rusty and out of shape.

Can you tell me the most ridiculous prop bet you have ever initiated or been involved in?

I don’t really do prop bets. Little side things here and there, but nothing crazy.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can blow spit bubbles. One day, I had a bubble on my tongue, spit it out, and it floated. I can show you if you want to see.

Thanks, but I’ll take your word for it. What is something you want people to know about you?

I want everyone to know this... I hate Breaking Bad and Lord of the Rings.

If you could pick anyone to play you in a movie, who would it be?

Jackie Chan. Other than the resemblance, he could make me look a lot cooler with his martial arts moves.

What’s your greatest poker achievement?

It would definitely be third place at the [2010 World Series of Poker] Main Event.

What would you be doing if you weren’t playing poker?

You know, I’m trying to figure that out myself. I ask myself this a lot since I’m thinking of retiring. I always say that I’ll retire by the time I’m 30, but we’ll see if I actually ever follow through. I think I would be living out in Asia for a little while, trying to learn a new language. It would be either Japan or Korea since I am Korean. I feel I should know another language, but I don’t.

What is next on your poker calendar?

I’m thinking about the World Poker Tour in China, but if that falls through, then the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January.

Ski or snowboard?

I am better at skiing, but I’d like to snowboard to fit in — it seems cooler.

Are you planning any winter trips?

I’m hoping to be in China. I don’t really plan further than a week out, so I don’t really know yet. I just kind of go with the flow.

Have you been playing any high-stakes cash games?

Nope. Strictly tournament.

What’s on your Christmas list?

First place in a tournament would be nice. I have been getting third and fourth, but getting first would be great. To be really fun, I would like to one day buy an island, maybe a private jet.

Notre Dame or Alabama?

I’m not much into football, but I’ve heard of Notre Dame more, so I guess I'll go that way.

How will you spend New Years?

There are a number of things that can happen. I’m not much of a club-scene guy, so something fun with friends. Nothing has been decided yet. It usually involves drinking, I know that much.

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