Archive for March, 2008

The Liz Lieu Exclusive on Chilipoker…Come Join Me!

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Well, I made it back to Malta, barely in one piece after the EPT Warsaw event. You can read my recap on PokerListings, but I can tell you that I need some good luck with pocket aces sometime soon! Losing three out of five times in Day 1 will do that to you. I made it through the first day and made a horrible play short-handed on Day 2 that could have put me back in the thick of things.

The flight back to Malta was a nightmare. It took me over twelve hours including a layover in Frankfurt. Needless to say, I’m not a very big fan of Air Malta now

For the first few days back in Malta, I played a good bit online at Chilipoker after I went to the office for three-four hours. It was really great being with Alex and the team, and it made me feel even more a part of the Chilipoker family. When there are so many people working so hard, it gets you motivated, especially since they’ve involved me in many things going on there. A highlight for me was meeting Eric, Chilipoker’s main web designer. I’ve been working with him via email for several months, so it’s always great to connect in person.

Chilipoker is working on some great things to continue to grow the site. One of the most exciting things just popped up, a “cheaproll” tournament that I’ll be hosting. Anyone who knocks me out gets a free Wii, and they’ll be adding $500 to the prizepool plus giving an Xbox to one player who makes the Final Table. It should be a really fun time, and it will be 26 March at 20:00GMT. It’s a $1.10 buy-in, so it should be loads of fun.

Alex and Eric took me to see The Other Boleyn Girl, which was really a great movie. I was startled though when they stopped the movie in the middle for a fifteen-minute intermission. They used to do that in the US back in the ’60’s, but it was really odd to see everyone hustling out to get snacks or take a smoke break.

On Saturday, Alex had rented a convertible Mini Cooper and took both Eric and myself on a sight seeing tour around Malta. Some places he took us to had amazing views and scenery. We spent most of the morning to mid afternoon just driving around and stopping at nice places as we go. Fabrice joined us later Saturday, and we had a great time out that night. Easter Sunday we went sightseeing on another island near Malta called Gozo. I was exhausted, but it was great to take some time and see a place I’d been working.

Hope to see everyone at my cheaproll at ChiliPoker! I’ll be shooting to win it so I can keep the Wii myself!

Back on the Road Again……

Monday, March 10th, 2008

After 6 weeks playing cash games at the Commerce and my early exit from the LAPC main event, i’m back on the road again.

First stop on this round of my travels was a quick stop in London where I did an interview with Gambling Online Magazine for a front cover feature to come out next month and also to catch up on the progress of the new site I am involved in

The very next day I took a flight to Malta where I will be situated for a few weeks working closely with my sponsor Chilipoker as we prepare for the next stage of my tournaments in Europe and start to discuss future plans.

While I was in Malta, which is my second visit to this hotbed of online gaming companies I had chance to spend some quality time with Alex and the Chilipoker team who have just moved into a beautiful large new office which is very impressive. It just shows the quick growth in this amazing company and proves to me that the vision of Alex is coming to reality.

Also Alex was kind enough to take me on a quick tour of the island and it was right on the day of the elections and so there were tons of Maltese people voting for either the red or the blue party. While I’m not fully up to date on Maltese politics, the blues winning was a popular signal for the online gaming industry on the island. The driver that took me to the airport the next day said “more power to Chilipoker”.

So it was an interesting introduction to island life but before I could even unpack my suitcases I was on a plane to Warsaw in Poland for the next stop on the European Poker Tour. However I had to fly via Munich because there are no direct flights from Malta so it was a 7 hour journey just to get here but luckily the hotel laid on a limo pick up for me to bring me to the Mariott Hotel where I am now staying right on the top floor – the views of this beautiful city are just amazing so I couldn’t resist going for a bit of sightseeing and of course checking out the local boutiques! 🙂

So let me just say first off that I have a new strategy for this tournament. As you know I normally prefer to play on day 1a if there are two first days. This gives me chance to get straight into my game and if it doesn’t work out to travel home. However since my 2 Final tables in Macau APPT, my tournament life has not been as good as I would have liked dropping out early in Melbourne and the LAPC in Los Angeles. Of course the hectic travelling also does not relax me sufficiently well enough. So this time I decided to travel a day early and book my seat in day 1b. This has allowed me to relax in my hotel, catch up on some much needed sleep, get my business affairs in order so that I am fully prepared for the day that I start to play in this event.

The EPT Poland is one of the latest additions to the European Poker Tour which seems to be ever expanding and I really enjoy these European events. I hope with my new start time and a couple of other strategic decisions I have made (which i’m keeping quiet about !) that I will go deep into this tournament and hopefully the final table.

So if you don’t get chance to follow my progress online then I will certainly let you know how I progress.

After Poland it’s back to Malta for a short while where I will be staying until the next EPT event which is in Saint Remo on the 1st April.

So I will write again when I am back in Malta before I’m back on the road again ! Cheers!

Back Playing High Limit Cash Games…And Still Loving It!

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

For the last few weeks, I’ve stayed off of planes and spent more time playing cash games than I have in probably a year. Playing high-stakes limit hold-em brought me back to my roots in poker, back to a time where I was constantly working on my game amid marathon sessions at the Commerce. The players were familiar, including Kenny, Cathleen, Max, Lee, Sam, Hansu, Tommy, Shawn, Joe, Jun, Ted Forest, Tony Van, JC Tran, and Jimmy. I booked some nice wins over the first three weeks at the Commerce before we moved to the Bike a few days before the LAPC Main Event started. We were playing $400/800 or $500/1000 LHE most of the time, with players crossbooking each other up to 100%.

Unfortunately, I also got sick a few days before the Main Event. Nothing too severe, but it knocked me into bed for several days. I felt better but still a bit fatigued when the Main Event started. I don’t think it affected my play at all, but the deck must have caught the same flu bug that I had. After my aces got cracked to send me to the rail vs. K-9, I couldn’t do anything much but to laugh about it. These things seem to run in cycles for me, running good in tournaments then running bad. I avoided almost all of the tournaments at the LAPC and did much, much better sticking to cash games.

I didn’t ignore the Main Event, and it ended with one of the best Final Tables the World Poker Tour has had in quite awhile. One of my good friends in poker, Quinn Do, made the Final Table in 5th chip position with 1.45mil in chips. He was sitting with some very tough players, including Nam Le (1.18mil), Phil Hellmuth (2.38mil), and Phil Ivey (4.10mil). Ivey has been pretty quiet in tournaments over the last year, with a runner-up finish in the $5k WSOP 7-card stud event his only significant cash in the last eighteen months outside of Poker After Dark on NBC. I was in the crowd cheering on Quinn, who I’d played and worked with a couple years ago. He may not be a household name, but he didn’t win his WSOP Bracelet by accident.

By the time the dust settled, he sat across from Ivey heads-up to battle for an extra $687k, the difference between the top prize of $1.596mil and the runner-up money of $909k. Quinn was outchipped 10.8mil to 2.5mil, and the first hand quickly got rough. Ivey bet 700k on a spade flop of A-8-6, leaving him with only 1mil behind. The other black ace, A(c), hit the turn, and Ivey moved all-in. Quinn held 9(h)-8(h), and he took about five minutes to decide what to do, and he ultimately put Ivey on a spade draw and made the call. Had he been right, he would have doubled up and been within striking distance of Ivey. It was a bold play with second pair, and it was sick to see Ivey flip over A(h)-8(d) for the full house and the title. We all waited for Quinn to cash out after the tournament was over, and it took him over an hour. Figuring out how to cash out $909k is a good problem to have, believe me! A dozen of us joined him to celebrate at a Chinese restaurant. We were all starving! None of us fought for the check as we stuck Quinn with it. 🙂

So after a month in LA, I’m headed to Malta next week. I’ll be working with the ChiliPoker team for about a month as we work on everything from the site to a new DVD series, as well as marketing ideas. I will also be playing three EPT events while I’m in Europe – Polish Open, San Remo, and Grand Final Monte Carlo. I’ve recently also launched a new project with a business partner of mine, iPokerCal. This new site is a one-stop shop for any and every poker event going. Whether it’s an online tourney, big tournaments in poker rooms all over the world, even televised poker, you can have one place to quickly find what’s going on in poker any day of the year.

It’s all a bit strange in some ways. I was happy to head back to LA, glad to stay away from planes for awhile, thankful to be with friends, and really excited to be spending a lot of time at the poker table.

And now, I’m ready to leave LA and get to Malta. It will be my second time in Malta, and the team at Chilipoker is just terrific. I’m sure I’ll be playing on Chilipoker while I’m on the road, so jump onto the site and sign up to play. Lots of different sign-up bonuses depending on how much you play, up to $600 and even an iPod on top of that. Remember, the only thing better than dead money is free money! Have a great weekend, and I’ll talk to you next from Malta.