Archive for November, 2009

A day of Thankfulness

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

I’m thankful for so many things on this American Holiday!! I wanted to share a few things that I am thankful for. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my family and I am thankful of good friends. I am thankful for these things everyday but on this special day of thanks, I wanted to share some of those things with you.

I am thankful for the Cold Play song “Fix You.” Right now this is in heavy rotation on my IPod and I’ve been listening to it every day. It’s a beautiful song about love and what I envision in the person that I am looking for.

I am thankful for the Yiruma song “Kiss the Rain”. I also play this song several times a day. It’s by Korean pianist and for some reason it reminds me of past memories in a very beautiful way. This is another song that puts me at peace and makes me smile.

I am thankful for the book, “The Alchemist”. I feel like this book really puts me in touch with reality and inspires me to follow my dreams and listen to my heart. What I like about the book is that it teaches you to live your life well. Live every moment in the moment. Let go of anything that is an encumbrance. Follow your dreams. Have fun and enjoy everything life has to offer, but don’t forget the things that really matter. Let go of things that are not within your control. There is so much wisdom contained within the pages of this book, the most important one, is to enjoy every minute of your life. We all have goals in life, we have dreams to fulfill and successes to achieve. We need to remember to stop once in a while, and smell each rose and count each star in the sky. It is not the destination, but the journey, that counts. There is something to be learnt in everything. It’s definitely worth reading!!

I am thankful for my Mercedes SL550. I absolutely love my ride especially on that deserted drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. My car drives so smoothly and accelerates so fast but most importantly, it’s a convertible which means on my road trips to Los Angeles and back, I can get some sun :).

I am thankful for forgiveness and growth. I’ve learned to become much more patient and accepting of people. I don’t hold any hatred, envy or jealousy of anyone. I’m much better at being patient when things aren’t going in my favor and have a much greater capacity to brush negativity off and move on.

I am thankful for my ability to surround myself with good people and remove myself from conflicts and drama. I am much wiser about how to avoid drama and make decisions that will promote positivity and keep me out of gossip and negativity.

I am thankful for my MAC. I absolutely love it. It is so much better than all of my previous PC’s. I can hold so much more information, especially all of my photos and its very user friendly. I also think my MAC is faster, less prone to viruses and holds more space. I really debated on whether I wanted to get a MAC or not last year and it’s been one of my best decisions of the year.

I am thankful for my Blackberry Bold. It makes my life so much easier. I can do so much work from the road. I can even respond to all my networking sites and catch up on emails when I am not in front of my computer. Otherwise, I would spend a ridiculous amount of hours on my computer each day whereas, I can run errands or go shopping and still get work done from my Blackberry.

And I am extremely thankful of my supporters and fans. I really appreciate all of the comments, emails, messages and tweets. I try to stay connected with everyone as much as my schedule allows and everyone has been so wonderful to me over the past few years. You will never know how much I really appreciate all of the kind words and messages. I really do.

And finally, I am thankful for charity. I am going to fly back to Vietnam next month and do some more charity work. While I love my car, MAC and blackberry, life is really about “people” and nothing is more important to me than connecting with people and helping those out there that are less fortunate than me. And what I receive in return is a sense of happiness, peace and balance in my life. Something truly priceless that money can never buy. I love nice things but as much as I can, I try to give back as well.

I hope everyone has a HAPPY THANKSGIVING and think about what you are thankful for today and ways that you can give back to those around you. Loved ones or complete strangers. It’s our ability to love and give that make us so special. XoXo.

Cheers!

Another close one!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

This is the official BC Poker Championship wrap-up. I want to start off by saying; I had a wonderful time at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, British Columbia. I played some really good poker overall. This is my 2nd year coming out to the BC Poker Championships. Lacey Jones talked me into it last year and its beginning to become an annual stop for me on the tournament circuit. A special thanks goes out to Tournament Director, Daryl McCullough. He did a terrific job running this tournament. And the hospitality was just absolutely superb.

Other repeat poker pro’s that showed up to the BC Poker Championships, included Brad Booth, Gavin Smith, Lacey Jones, Maria Ho, and Tiffany Michelle. I was glad to see all the girls again. Unfortunately, Tiffany and Maria didn’t make it pass Day 2 and took an early flights back to Los Angeles. Lacey was also eliminated on Day 1 but she stuck around through the weekend to host and commentate for the final table.

This year, I played a lot better and made it to Day 4. I was eliminated on Day 1 last year. 668 players entered the Main Event and I ended up finishing 24th. I definitely played some really strong poker to get to this point. On Day 1, I finished with $47,775 which was well above the average chip stack at $26,100. I was cruising along and felt really good about my chances of going deep.

On Day 2, I actually chipped up over 280k and was one of the chip leaders. I hit a major setback late in the day, when I played a heads-up pot with the player to my right which I felt I had an excellent read on. He was raising a lot and playing a wide range of hands. Blinds were 1k-2k with 500 ante when I got involved in a hand where he raised on his SB to $5500, and I saw A-4 in the BB. I called. Flop comes 6(s) 8s) A(d). SB bets out $13k, I called. Turn’s 10(c) He immediately moves all-in for 88k, way over betting the pot. I went into the tank for a bit to analyze the different possibilities. I ended up calling and he turned over A-K. I lost 100k on that hand and sunk way below the chip average. I was barely alive. I bagged up $75,200 and ended Day 2, below average chip stack at 96k.

(chip stack before the 100k+ hand)

On Day 3, I really started to make some moves. I even got involved in another big hand with the same player that almost crippled me on Day 2. He continued to play overly aggressive and loose and I was able to get back more than 80k of my chips from him on 1 big hand. I also watched him play out a hand the same exact way he played his AK against me on Day 2 against another player, moving all in with a fairly large amount of chips holding 3(s) 4(s) and was called with pocket 10’s, which only proved my instincts were right to call him the day before. I just happened to run into a situation where he actually picked up a hand the day before. I ended up the day at 372k which was above the average chip stack for Day 3. I believe the average chip stack was 290 or 300k.

(chip stack end of day 3 at 372k)

I went into Day 4 with a lot of confidence!! I felt like I was playing extremely well, making a lot of great reads and had a feeling I was going to make the final table. I really did. Lately, I’ve been getting really far in recent tournaments, but I just can’t seem to get it going on the final day. I felt like this was my opportunity to break the jinx I call it :). Unfortunately, I came up short of a Final table. I didn’t exactly get the easiest table draw. I ended up with 3 of the largest stacks remaining in the field. That sort of minimized the advantage of having an above average chip stack going into the day. To make it worse, I was sandwiched in between the two biggest stacks. But I was determined to play thru it and pick my spots.

Unfortunately, I didn’t last much longer than 4 rounds. The blinds and antes were pretty high at 6k-12k with 1500 ante. Every round, I was losing more than 30k. By the time I got involved in my hand I was down almost 100k from my starting stack. Then I got tangled in a pot that sent me out the door. I was in the SB and a late position player raised it up to 32k. I called out of the SB and so did the BB. I had K(h) Q(h). The flop came; Q(c) 9(s) 6(h). I flop top pair. I checked. So, did the BB and the late position player bets out 60k. I really felt like the late position player could raise with a lot of different hands in his position and the continuation bet on the flop was pretty standard. I felt like my K-Q was probably the best hand here so I raised it up to 140k. BB mucks and the action comes back to the original raiser. He tanks for a moment than pushes all in. At this point, I thought it’s possible I got a little unlucky here and ran into a bigger hand but I was already pot committed and reluctantly called thinking there’s a possibility I could still be ahead considering all of the strange poker I had seen the previous 3 days.

At this point, I had less than 100k behind me. The original raiser had me covered by about 60k. I decided to call his all-in raise. He turned over A-Q. I was pretty much dominated. But I turned a flush teaser, 9(h) and blanked on the river with a 10(c). I finished in 24th place. Even if I just check called the flop, I would have ended up pushing all-in on the turn. I guess in retrospect, I could have played this hand either way but would have lost all my chips in either scenario unless I make an almost impossible fold on the flop.

I cashed over 9k. Not exactly what I hoped for but I’m definitely not complaining :). And I did get to spend some time with good friends. I did go out Friday night to Caprice nightclub in Vancouver. My good friend Saad owns the club and had reserved the best table in the house for me with bottle service and all. I also had my PA and some friends come along and the Hotel/ Casino provided a limo to get to and from the club.

(partying at Caprice Nightclub)

(Happy Liz-Mas on Chilipoker.com)

Overall, it was a really good weekend. I am feeling very good about my poker. I know it’s just a matter of time before I make a Final table and possibly win a major tournament. I am currently back in Las Vegas. I encourage you guys to visit Chilipoker.com. We are featuring a Happy Liz-Mas promotion on the website and I also want to let you know that I will have another blog that will be posted on Thanksgiving Day. I am working on it now and it’s a blog dedicated to all of the things I am currently thankful for in life. So, check back into the website on Thanksgiving. I want to send special thanks for everyone who has taken the time to leave me a comment on my blogs here. I really appreciate the support everyone!!

Cheers!

Twitter-Mania …

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

This blog is going to be a little different than some of my previous entries. I wanted to talk about the Twitter phenomenon and how that has impacted my life but also get some feedback from you as well. So, I hope you guys participate in this and give me some feedback.

If you aren’t already familiar with Twitter, it’s a free social networking and micro blogging web site. Tweets as they are commonly called, are text based posts up to 140 characters long. You can follow somebody else by clicking on their profile and clicking “follow”.

If you follow me at all, you know that I Tweet regularly. (or at least I try to) 🙂  I also post poker updates when I am playing in a tournament through Twitter. I can update my tweets directly from my blackberry phone, so it’s easy for me to post updates on big hands or chip counts. And occasionally, I snap a photo and post that as well. It’s a way for me to send and receive message.

I was just curious how many of you reading this blog use Twitter and what are your overall thoughts about it. I personally think it’s the single best social networking tool. I chat more with fans and friends via Twitter than I ever have through email, Facebookor MySpace. I don’t know why it’s more conducive to back and forth chatter but it really is. Other people tell me they feel the same way.

I actually came across a YouTube clip of Ashton Kutcher on Larry King Live and he was talking about the benefits of Twitter. If you don’t know the back story. Here it is. Ashton Kutcher was on his Twitter account one day and he realized that CNN only had 25,000 more subscribers or “followers” than he did. He thought that was pretty amazing because never before in the history of mankind did a single person have the type of following as a major news network.

Ashton thought it would be amusing to issue a challenge to CNN and see who could get to a million subscribers first. Subscriptions are “free”. You don’t even need to do a friend request like you do on Facebook or MySpace. You simply find the person you want to keep tabs on and click follow. However, the person on the other side does have the freedom to “block” you. Most people don’t actually block anyone. And celebrities and news organizations almost never do.

Back to the Ashton Kutcher challenge. Well Ashton did beat CNN to 1,000,000 subscribers and Larry King invited him on his show to congratulate him on his victory. The part I found intriguing about the challenge was the significance of Ashton Kutcher having more followers than CNN. In the past, celebrities never really had a way to defend themselves against gossip, rumors, etc. Except for the occasional press release or interview.

Twitter comes along and gives everyone an opportunity to have a bigger voice. Not just celebrities, but really anybody. In the interview with Larry King, Ashton mentioned how much more in touch he was with his fans. He would find himself messaging back and forth with some guy in Iowa that he had never met before in his life. It was a completely different level of connection. And Twitter gave him the ability to say exactly what he wanted to say throughout the day, completely unfiltered. If a media outlet quoted him wrong. He could tell his 1,000,000+ followers instantly that the news story was wrong.

On a lesser scope, I’ve kind of experienced some of the same stuff. I find that I’m much more connected to everyone. I can keep people posted daily on stuff that is happening in my life. I try to avoid the really silly updates like what I am eating or what I am watching on TV. Sometimes I don’t really have anything to post but I still try and keep from boring you guys to death!! I don’t know. Maybe you guys want to know that stuff? LoL. Let me know!! But as much as I can, I try to post interesting or noteworthy stuff on my Twitter. Some of it is just silly or uninteresting and really depends on my mood. But most importantly, it’s my voice. It’s what I want to say and tell everyone that particular moment of that day.

There is a downside to all of this social networking, however. I know people who have become kind of addicted to Twitter. They spend more time on Twitter posting tweets than they do living their life. I was talking to a friend of mine who has a Miley Cyrus crush. Don’t ask!!! Lol. And he mentioned to me that Miley Cyrus had 2,000,000 followers at one point on Twitter and quit recently, because she was getting very addicted to it, posting as many as 40 tweets per day and she was accumulating stalkers and news organizations that were quoting her Twitter account as gossip news stories. Basically using what she posted on Twitter against her. Eventually it became too much for her and she posted a 1 minute Rap on her YouTube account, explaining why she quit Twitter.

Even during the Kanye West and Taylor Swift debacle at the MTV Music awards. Later that night, news organizations were pulling tweets off of Kanye’s twitter account posting his response to what he did earlier that night. I’m not nearly as famous as Kanye or Miley but I kind of understand why Twitter can be a distraction or how it can possibly be used against you. So, I kind of have this love/ hate relationship with Twitter right now. I like keeping in touch with my fans. I like keeping people updated on stuff. But I also have had a couple of negative experiences with some people who might pursue me a little “aggressively” and because of the public nature of Twitter, it’s hard to screen them out.

I also have to be careful about posting too much personal information on my Twitter. I am still a very private person at my core but because of Poker persona and my relationship with my Sponsors, it’s also important that I stay connected with people and stay visible. And I do enjoy it, mostly. So how many of you are using Twitter? How many of you like it? How many of you dislike it? I would love to have this conversation with people if you want to do that. Post your comments below. I want to know what your thoughts are.

I also want to let you guys know I will be in Vancouver, B.C. next week for the BC Poker Championships. I went last year and stayed in a Penthouse Suite with Lacey Jones, Tiffany Michelle and Maria Ho. We had a ton of fun and even went out a couple of nights to Vancouver to party with close friends. Daniel Negreanu won that event and we celebrated with him afterwards at a private party. Lots of big names came out to play in the event at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C. in 2008, so I’m hoping a similar field will come out in 2009. And if you follow me on Twitter, I will keep you posted on chip counts and tournament updates. So, stay tuned!!

Cheers!