Archive for April, 2008

Call Off the Search Party!

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Don’t send the search party! Liz Lieu is in Vegas and doing fine. If you haven’t heard, I’ve been sidetracked by some bad fish! I’ve had a number of people checking up on me after looking at the live tournament updates wondering where I was. I was sick in bed, in of all places Monaco!! I had such high hopes for the EPT Grand Finale in Monaco last week and for the Five Star World Poker Classic in Vegas this week. These are my two favorite tournaments of the entire year. The only other tournaments that compare are the Five Diamond in December and the WSOP Main Event. I was really looking forward to competing and was really disappointed to get so sick

Ironically, I did everything in my control to be prepared for the EPT Grand Finale. I flew into Monte Carlo a day early to get adjusted and properly rested from the travel. I even passed on a great party thrown for the poker players, the evening before Day 1A to make sure I had enough sleep. Then I decided to order a salmon dish before going to bed and woke up the next day feeling very ill. The Hotel is 5 Star in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. I never even considered getting bad room service!!

When I woke up the next day, I was feeling dizzy, feint and just awful. Luckily, Alex was able to move my Day 1A start to Day 1B and I went back to bed hoping I could sleep it off. Unfortunately I just felt worse the next day. I had sharp stomach pains and asked my Sponsor Alex to try and get me a refund on my buy-in. Thankfully, they agreed on giving us a full refund and I didn’t have to suck it up and play it out. As bad as I felt, there was no way I could’ve played close to my “A” game.

The entire Day 1B was spent in bed and trying to convince room service to deliver me some soup. The only soup the Hotel had was Minestrone and they only gave me this after much struggle. Apparently the poker players were only allowed to order from the poker menu. Soup wasn’t on the menu but it was the only food I could keep down and after Alex made a phone call to room service they agreed to send a tiny bowl up.

The adventure didn’t stop in Monte Carlo. I spent a few more days in my hotel room recovering and then back to Vegas on my scheduled flight to the States. I still felt ill but hoped I could sleep through most of the flight. On the first leg of the flight, I was able to get some sleep but I awoke in a feverish sweat. I felt a little light headed and dizzy as well. The flight attendant noticed I wasn’t feeling quite right and made sure I was taken care of on my connecting flight. I was even provided a wheel chair to transport me around on my connection and arrival. I was whisked thru these long security lines and somebody even grabbed my luggage for me. It was actually quite nice! I didn’t realize how quickly you could navigate thru an airport when you are in a wheel chair.

That was my Monte Carlo experience!! I’m back in Vegas and still not well enough to play in the Five Diamond Event at the Bellagio but it did give me a chance to catch up on some blogging. I immediately went to the doctor after getting back home and I have all kinds of stuff wrong with me!! Low blood pressure, fever, food poisoning. The doctor tells me I’m too stressed out and along with the food poisoning and travelling I just need to chill out for awhile. I know many of you have been emailing me when you noticed I didn’t play either of the last two major events and rest assured; besides being quite ill right now from some bad salmon everything is okay.

And as soon as I get my strength back, I will probably play some cash games exclusively until the WSOP.


Circling Europe

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Hello from beautiful Monte Carlo, although I hardly feel beautiful today. It’s been a crazy few weeks, including my time in Malta with the Chilipoker team, a cash at the EPT San Remo, and a lot of expectations heading into the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. I was so looking forward to getting off to a great start, but I unfortunately I never got out of bed.

I spent a lot of time working with the Chilipoker team in Malta. Alex has put together some terrific people, and we’re working on many great things for the rest of this year. I’m so glad I chose Chilipoker and Alex as partners, because that’s what they are: true partners in every sense of the word.

From there, I headed to Italy and EPT San Remo. San Remo is near France and not too easy to reach, as I flew into Milano then rode in a car for almost three hours. It is a beautiful, ancient place, but I had no time to see the sights. It was a great tournament for me, and not due to the fact that I cashed (although that is always welcome). No, it was great because I played great, made good decisions, and made no real mistakes. I was near the chip lead on Day 2 and would have been strong for a deep run had it not been for this tough hand.

The blinds were 800/1600 with a 200 ante, and I picked up pocket 4’s. I raised to 5k and both blinds called. The rainbow flop came 9-8-6, and I checked behind both blinds. When I saw 4(d) come from the dealer on the turn, I caught my nice bottom set. I bet 9500 after both blinds checked, then one of the guys moved all-in for 49,200. I quickly called and saw him turn over J-10o. If I could avoid a queen or 7, I’d have a great stack. It was one of the queens that spiked on the river, and it crippled me.

I went out in 53rd place with 8,000 euro (a little over $12,600). I felt I’d played poorly in Poland, and here I played really well. I even had a little luck, with my dreaded pocket aces holding up five times in a row!

After heading back to Malta for a bit, I flew to Monte Carlo for the final event of the EPT season, the EPT Grand Final. I arrived early so I could be really relaxed and prepared for this big event. I even skipped the PokerStars party the evening before Day 1A. I ordered salmon for room service and headed to bed early. When I woke up, I felt horrible. Major headache and drowsiness. I called Alex at Chilipoker to see if he could reschedule me for Day 1B (he could), and I went back to bed after taking some medication from the concierge.

The next morning, it was worse. I reached back out to Alex to see if he could get a refund, and I felt relieved when he told me he could. I was able to have a doctor see me, and I didn’t really feel better for a couple days. I missed playing in the tournament, but I’d rather not play then not play my best. I owe it to Alex and Chilipoker to only put my best foot forward, and Alex has been great throughout the EPT season.

And now, I’ll be heading back to the US and Las Vegas. I can’t wait to get out of the hotels and back home again. I play in the $25k WPT Championship at the Bellagio this weekend, and I’m hoping I’ll feel 100% by then. I’ll be staying in Vegas throughout the summer at the World Series, and I have high hopes to have a great few months.

Join me at Chilipoker when you have a chance. And if you’re somewhere in Asia, you can find me on the cover of Asian Poker Times as well (one of my nicer photos, too!). Keep up all the encouraging comments and thoughts. They really, really help me a lot!