Archive for October, 2009

Travel Sky High with Chilipok’air

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Quick blog update. Big news out of Chilipoker headquarter’s!!! Breaking new grounds, Chilipoker.com is now the official partner of XL Airways and Go Voyages and its brand new direct flight from Paris, France to Las Vegas.

I am excited there will be a direct flights from to one of the cultural hubs of Europe to Las Vegas and also about being a part of a company that is continuing to push the envelope and get involved in strategic new business partnerships. As you know, Chilipoker.com sponsored the first WPT event to ever take place on the continent of Africa. I recently played in that event held in Marrakech, Morocco. I cannot reveal what other business dealings are in the works but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Expect Chilipoker to continue to grow and become a household name among poker enthusiasts. Read the press release for full details of the Go Voyages partnership.

“Chilipoker.com becomes the official partner of GO Voyages for its new direct line from Paris to Las-Vegas”

Press release

Malta, 28 October 2009

The Malta-based company, which is celebrating its 3rd birthday, has signed a partnership agreement with GO Voyages to become the official partner for its new direct line from Paris to Las Vegas, operated by XL Airways, which will take off on 23 May 2010.

There will be twice weekly flights departing from Paris Charles de Gaulle, on Thursdays and Sundays, leaving room for short trips of 3 or 4 days as well as stays of a week, 10 days or longer. The departure and arrival timetables mean that travellers from all over Europe can be transported, and Paris will be established as a direct gateway to Las Vegas.

As well as innovating with this exclusive partnership, Chilipoker.com is installing a free VIP counter in Las Vegas for all its European customers. This will offer a dedicated multilingual team in charge of helping tourists and poker players prepare their stays in Las Vegas, especially with reservations for restaurants, shows or limousines, or visits to the surroundings of Vegas, etc.

“Las Vegas is one of those destinations people dream of, but which appear inaccessible. As an online poker site we felt it appropriate to offer an answer to these dreams by offering all non-English speaking Europeans, and in particular the French, a chance to enjoy a unique experience,” states Alexandre Dreyfus, the French founder of Chilipoker.com.

We hope that with the future regulation of the online gaming market in France, which is set to become effective before 23 May 2010, Chilipoker can occupy a significant place in this new market. From now on, Las Vegas will form an integral part of our marketing strategy in Europe for 2010.”

To celebrate this agreement, Chilipoker will refund 75 Euros to all Chilipoker.com account holders for each ticket* reserved between 15 November and 31 December 2009.

In this way Chilipoker.com intends to assert itself as a partner for the “poker destination” of Las Vegas and in particular for the French community, as we have already been for 2 years in Marrakesh. It will mean an investment of several hundred thousand dollars for us,” explains the director.

* the full terms of this refund and information about this partnership are already available in on the website:

About Chilipoker

Launched in 2006 by French Internet entrepreneur Alexandre Dreyfus, today Chilipoker numbers 40 staff of 13 different nationalities distributed across its various offices in Malta, London, Costa Rica and Hungary. Since 2007 Chilipoker.com has also sponsored one of the best women poker players, the American Liz Lieu (The PokerDiva), who is based in Las Vegas. In 2009 the company signed an agreement with the World Poker Tour to organize the WPT Marrakesh for 3 years, the first edition of which was held on 16 October.

Cheers!

WPT Marrakech a complete success .. Bravo!

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

View photo albums of the WPT Marrakech on my Facebook

I must bid adieu to Marrakech after three amazing weeks in Morocco. I want to start off by saying the WPT Marrakech, sponsored by Chilipoker was a great success. We exceeded the number of expected entrants for every single event. Every event had the maximum number of possible entries and my Chilipoker team was absolutely amazing in the process and did a fabulous job hosting the Event. And a big applause to top international tournament director Matt Savage for his excellent work, running a perfectly smooth and well organized event.

It’s been awhile since I last blogged, but I have been super busy!! I arrived in Marrakech in early October and had a few days to relax at the Es Essadi Gardens & Resort. For starters they put me up in an amazing room. It was a huge suite with a four poster bed, black marble bathroom, walk-in dressing room/ wardrobe room, private terrace, TV area with a flat screen, Berber rugs, antiques and interesting modern paintings by local artists. If you can’t enjoy the comfort of home, well this was the next best thing!!

The first couple of days, I just waited on my Chilipoker team to arrive. I spent a couple of days at the pool, reading books and just relaxing. I went out to dinner with Alex, AH, and Ophelie. And it was really relaxing and peaceful. I wanted to do more sight-seeing but I postponed it in lieu of some peace and relaxation instead. I played a ton of poker in London and it was good to just take a few days off between the WSOPE, the EPT and now the WPT Marrakech.

Because Chilipoker was a big part of this event, I felt really excited to play all the events including some of the smaller events I don’t typically play in. There were a lot of players that qualified for different events thru Chilipoker and it was my opportunity to meet many of them and play with them in a live setting. I’ve probably played some of these guys and girls online before but it’s always good to socialize and meet people in person as well.

Lots of poker professionals came out to play as well. The French were well represented, some of the big French names included Ludovic Lacay, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Nicolas Levi, Arnaud Mattern, Bruno Fitoussi, Fabrice Soulier, Antony Lellouche and one of the November Nine (WSOP ME), Antoine Saout. Other well known player such as Tony G, Antonio Esfandiari, Huck Seed, Annette Obrestad, Ross & Barney Boatman, Sorel Mizzi and one of last year’s November Nine, Scott Montgomery.

I competed in a couple of the smaller events which ironically, I was knocked out of by a Chilipoker qualifiers. I don’t think I played particularly bad. I just ran into some good hands when I also had a strong hand. In the first tournament of the WPT for example, I ran into a situation where I lost a huge pot to Christopher (alias ctofquestla) that ended my tournament when I had pocket Aces. Christopher made a raise under the gun. I smooth called pocket Aces from the cut off. The flop was Queen high and Christopher led out with a pot sized bet. I raised it up to $1600, 2x the original bet and after going in the tank for awhile, Christopher decides to call. The turn came the King and it was checked to me. I was pretty much pot committed so I shoved the rest of my chips in to the pot. Yep, Christopher was holding pocket Kings and caught up to me on the turn. River came a blank and out I go.

The following afternoon I played the Pro/Am Invitational tournament, reserved for 30 player with a mixture of both pros and amateurs. All the pros like Tony G, Fabrice Soulier, Alex Dreyfus, Roger Hairabedian, Severin Rasset (Chilipoker’s poker room manager), and myself had a bounty of $150 which goes to any player that manages to bust out a Pro. During the 4th level of play, both Roger and I got eliminated in a pot against Emanuel Valla from Lyon.

I pretty much played in every event including the High Rollers Event and the Main Event. Sadly, I didn’t make any final tables this time around but I am becoming a pretty good short stack player lately. There were quite a few times, I was really low on chips and I just seemed to make them last for hours and hours. Not that I really want to be a great short stack player but if I can take any positives out of London and Marrakech is that I was really able to manage my game pretty well considering the circumstances.

In poker, you’re going to run into bad beats sometimes or get cold decked and learning how to play short stack poker sometimes can make the difference between losing a lot of tournaments or finding ways to make the money. Nam Le is a great example of a fantastic short stack player. Sometimes, I see him with the smallest stack and 8 hours later he still has the same stack and managed to make the money or even get to the final table simply by learning how to survive.

I felt overwhelmed as I entered the tournament room where I saw life-sized Liz Lieu posters everywhere!! I was both surprised and overwhelmed but I understood it was as an honor to be a part of Chilipoker and representing the poker website’s name so while it was a little weird looking around the room at myself, I was glad to be an ambassador for Chilipoker and extremely grateful to Alex (Boss), and the rest of the Chilipoker Team!!

It wasn’t all poker while we were in Morocco. A large group of us, about 25 people, including other poker pro’s and the Chilipoker team, went to the dunes and rode Quads one day. I’ve had people comment on my Facebook fan page on some of the pictures of me riding a Quad and they found it surprising but believe it or not I’m actually pretty adventurous. The entire time, I tried to get off course and go faster and I had to be called back in by the folks running the facility to slow down and stay on course!! This isn’t my first time on a Quad and this definitely was a memorable experience lol. It was a really hot day however and a few of us were dying of thirst!!!! One of the interesting traditions they have in Morocco is they serve you “hot” green tea even in very warm weather. So, when our Quad riding almost concluded, they served us hot green tea!!! I just wanted some cold water but I guess hot tea is supposed to cool down your body temperature quicker?!?

At 8pm a press conference was held right before the Gala Dinner party with our CEO Alexandre Dreyfus giving a great speech and warm welcome to everyone that had arrived to support the WPT Marrakech event. All journalists, poker pros, and Chilipoker qualified players enjoyed various courses of traditional Moroccan food while belly dancers were moving to the sway of Moroccan music. The best part of the show was watching Tony G. doing his belly dancing hip shaking version along with the belly dancers. 🙂 Great sport .. Tony G’s awesome!

There were a lot of different activities going on in Morocco while the tournament was going on. One thing I didn’t get a chance to do however was enough sight-seeing. I spent the first few days in Morocco relaxing instead of sight-seeing thinking I would get a chance later but I played in almost every event and spent a lot of time with my Chilipoker team and spending time around the tournament that before you know it, time was up. But I had an absolutely wonderful time in Marrakech and the next time I come back here, I will definitely be doing a lot more sight-seeing. But for now, I have to bid adieu to Marrakech, Morocco and move on to my next destination.

A Big Congrats to Christophe Savary from France, 1st place winner of the WPT Marrakech, who took back home over €350,000, the official Tiffany WPT bracelet and his $25,500 seat to the WPT Wolrd Championship 2010.

P.S. Due to this blog being as long as it is already, I will mention a few interesting hands which I was involved in my next blog so stay tune everyone! 🙂

Au Revoir!!

The Comeback!!

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

I’m please to say that I’m playing some really good poker lately and it’s only a matter of time before I win another tournament. Liz Lieu is back!! I didn’t have a name for this next chapter in my life but the comeback seems as appropriate as any. I was extremely pleased with the way I played in London. I managed to have a really strong showing at the WSOPE Main Event last week. I finished 22nd out of a Field of 334 players. I will go over some key hands in that event later and I played some really solid poker at the EPT Main Event as well.

Before I recap my time in London, I want to thank everyone for their support. If you didn’t catch the twitter updates, I will recap it shortly but the overall support was amazing. It feels good to play poker again on a regular basis and I want to personally thank the Chilipoker Team, especially Alexandre Dreyfus for sticking with me over the past two years. Shortly after signing with Chilipoker, my father passed away and I tried to play as much poker as I possibly could but my heart and soul really weren’t in it. Alex has been extremely patient and I feel like I’m on the verge of doing some of those great things that I’m sure Alex hoped for when we first formed a partnership. Thank You Chilipoker!!!

Speaking of Chilipoker, I am very pleased to announce, I am currently in Marrakesh, Morocco for our first ever sponsored WPT event. We expect a great turn out of top notch pro’s for the Chilipoker WPT Marrakesh Events. I am writing this blog from the Palace Hotel. This place is frikkin awesome!! Morocco is an extremely beautiful place and I cannot wait for the upcoming events. Partially because Chilipoker is sponsoring the event and partially because I am playing very good poker at the moment.

It all came together in London. Is it a coincidence my poker play increased exponentially now that my Two-year promise is over? I think now that I can focus on poker more and put some of the personal stuff behind me and move on, my poker play is going to improve month to month. I didn’t think it could all come together as quickly as it did but London was very encouraging. I finished 22nd in the WSOPE Main Event, outlasting one of the toughest field ever with ton of great players.

On Day 1 of the WSOPE ME, I managed to end the day with 65,600 in chips. I spent the entire day at the ME featured table. I had Hoyt Corkins, Allen Cunningham and Huck Seed to the left of me for most of the day at the featured table. How is that for a group of poker sharks?! But I managed to pick up pots and stay out of trouble most of the day. Above average chip stack by the end of Day 1.

On Day 2 of the WSOPE ME, I started to make some moves and got involved in some big hands. I dipped down to 50k at one point and doubled up to 100k. And then I doubled up again with pocket A’s. On a 9 high flop, went all-in and doubled through Brandon Cantu who had pocket Q’s. I was at 230k and among the top 5 chip leaders at this point. I did lose a few pots towards the end of the night and finished the day with 181,400 in chips. I was in very good shape still.

(photo courtesy of MadeInPoker.com)

On Day 3 of the WSOPE ME, for most of the day. I didn’t really make much movement. I just fluctuated around 180k until I did get involved in a hand against the SB when I had the button that admittedly, I got very lucky. I ran into a situation where I thought my opponent was overplaying his hand to take down the pot so I shoved all in with pocket 2’s. I ran into pocket A’s but hit a miracle flop with the first card being a deuce. After this pot, I had 240k. I eventually chipped up to approximately 300k by level 13 with about 60 players left. I guess the poker cards had to even things out because in level 14, I ended up losing 100k when I called an all-in with pocket 8’s. My opponent had pocket 4’s. He spiked a 4 on the flop and I was down to approx 180k. I finished the day with 193,500 with approximately 36 players left. I went into Day 4 with one of the smaller chip stacks.

(photos courtesy of Jules Pochy)

On Day 4 of the WSOPE ME, I had a pretty strong table. My table draw consisted of Keith Hawkins (4 WSOP cashes), Devil Fish, Teddy Sheringham (retired soccer player who has played in numerous WSOP and European events), Matt Hawrilenko (top young pro with 13 WSOP cashes and a bracelet in last year’s WSOP), Chris Bjorin (50 WSOP cashes and 2 bracelets, experienced pro), Stephen Zolotow (36 WSOP cashes, 1 bracelet and underrated veteran grinder), Thomas Bichon (won WPT Cyrus for $579k 3-weeks before) and Christian Harder (won Bellagio Cup Tourney in 2004 for $204k, 4th in the WPT Championships in April for $572k and several other 6-figure finishes). As you can see, I had my work cut out for me.

(photos courtesy of Jules Pochy)

I ended up getting cold decked and with this table I just couldn’t make any moves. Every time I raised somebody came over the top of me and I just didn’t have any hands to play back with. I had to grind my way to 22nd place and all things considered I was pleased with the result. More importantly, I was pleased with how I played for 4 days straight. I didn’t make any mistakes and made some really strong leads. I felt like I could have made it to the final table if I didn’t hit a cold deck on Day 4.

(photos courtesy of Pokerlistings.com)
(photo courtesy of Pokernews.com)

The results at the EPT London weren’t quite as good as the WSOPE ME but again, I played my hands very well. On day 1, I was chipping up nicely and ran into a cooler. After a raise and re-raise battle with Ivan Demidov, The flop came A-K-J. I had A-K. Ivan bet out 6,250, and I announced all-in. He almost folded but reluctantly called and ended up having J-J for a set. I was pretty much crippled after that hand dipping to about 6,800 in chips. My chips dwindled down to about 5000 and I tripled up with K(d) J(d). I actually played really solid poker and even chipped up to about 33,000 in chips. I didn’t last very long on Day 2. I saw a good opportunity to double up and took it. I pushed all in for my last 32k with pocket 7’s and was called down by A-K. The flop missed my opponent but spiked a king on the turn and my tournament was over. I wasn’t happy to lose but overall I was pleased with my overall plays. And I plan to play well in Morocco! I will be tweeting a ton so if you want up to the minute updates, follow me on my Twitter.

Cheers!