Posts Tagged ‘chilipoker’

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates….

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Hey everyone! I’m sorry it’s been awhile since my last blog. So much has been happening, I’m not even sure where to begin. I think I will have to fill everyone in over a few different blogs so I would like to just focus on one thing right now…. my future life path.

Since the World Series of Poker this year, I feel like my life has been heading in a new direction. I’m not entirely sure what direction that is just yet, but I can feel that I’m on my way. My trip to Vietnam this year was an eye opening experience in so many ways, and it really got me thinking. Change is inevitable in life, and often quite desired. Even when it’s desired, it can be a very scary thing. I’ve been feeling a lots of changes coming on and just wanted to share a big one with you.

Moving forward, I will no longer be representing Chilipoker. We had a long amazing run, and I wish them all the luck in the world! With the landscape of poker having changed so much over the last few months, I can just feel that the winds are changing for me too. I have no idea if that means I’ll still be playing poker in my future or not. I might go overseas and play or maybe start moving in a whole new direction.

I’m not really sure what the future holds in store for me. What I am sure of is that I’m onto a new chapter in my life. I’m open to all possibilities and I’ve never been happier! I believe 100% that whatever is meant to happen will happen, and it will happen when the timing is right. So for now, I’m just enjoying the ride.

When I have something more exciting on this topic to report, you can be sure that you will hear it from me first. In the meantime, I wish everyone lots of love, happiness and success… and remember… life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get!! 🙂

You only get one unique today. Ultimately, it’s not so much about where you end up, but how you get there. Enjoy the journey.…..

Joy and Light of Love ~ Liz

Chiliconnect, Charity & Lady Gaga!

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

There’s been a lot happening in the last few weeks! Be prepared. I’m going to cover a lot in this space today. 😉

First, I have to talk about the major excitement at Chilipoker. Well, it’s big news in all of poker, really! Chilipoker just released its new innovation called Chiliconnect. Bill Rini talked about it on his blog before it was launched or connect to Chilipoker. He talked about seeing the sample of the program that let the players connect to Facebook and Twitter from their online poker accounts so they could post updates as they played, but that wasn’t the best part. The best thing was that players can make side bets as they play. They can do last-longers, sell their action and buy action from others, and make all kinds of side bets. Bets are accepted or rejected and settled by the program, meaning the accounts are paid automatically.

Wow, right?! In the words of Charlie Sheen, that is so winning!

I can’t tell you how exciting this is. I play on Chilipoker all the time, but it’s always too hard to make side bets with people who are on the other side of the world. This solves that problem and makes every game you play so much more interesting. Even placing a $1 or $2 last-longer bet with someone at your table or in a tournament makes that game more fun. The software is so easy to use, and everything is explained so well. There is so much more to this than just Facebook and Twitter updates, and I hope players will love the betting action as much as I do! I really think that part of the software will be the biggest hit of all.

The best part of this is that Chilipoker listened to its players. They tuned in to what players wanted and made it happen. They worked on this for a long time, got the input of many players, and did something that no other online poker site has been able to do. Chiliconnect is the best thing to happen to online poker in so long, and I’m so proud to represent the site that did something so great!

Second, I recently attended the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational at ARIA. I’ve been a special guest at MJ’s charity events before, and I knew I couldn’t miss this one. Well, actually, I didn’t take part in the golf part, but I did go to ARIA and was there till the tournament ended. It was fun! There were two groups of players, Group A for the amateur players, and Group B for the celebrities. I watched everything play down at the final table, and Michael actually played well! He ended up coming in third place.

Next up was something I did at the beginning of the month that was just amazing. I went to the Lady Gaga concert at the MGM Grand here in Vegas! I’ve always liked her music, and was really excited about the show, but I had no idea how awesome it would really be!

When I first got my tickets, I wasn’t very happy about the seats, so I spoke with one of my host and ended up getting second row in front of the stage. It was a perfect view! I brought my friends Joy and Ruth with me, we later saw Mike Matusow and his girlfriend Annie LePage there also, we all were seated in the same section. And we all just loved the show! I have to say that this was truly one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, and I’d see her again in a minute. She was a great performer and never took a break to rest once, only took a few minutes between some songs to change outfits. She danced and sang the whole time, and she also gave a lot of speeches to her audience. Those were motivational with great messages, and she seemed to speak from experience, so sincere and genuine. She said things like “You are beautiful!” and “You are perfect!” She was very specific about telling people to be proud of themselves and of who they are, and that’s a message that a lot of people need to hear these days. And on top of everything, she looked fabulous! 🙂

I urge anyone who likes Lady Gaga to try to go to her concert. She’s incredible! I tried to get some pictures, but they just don’t capture the whole event. You have to be there to see it all! I also tried to take some videos to post to Twitter, but I was having problems doing that. I should’ve just taken some longer videos to post later, but my whole point was to try to give my friends an idea of how great it all was. Go to her concert if you can!

Another big thing on my plate lately has been Vietnam. You all know that I’ve spent a lot of time and money trying to take care of the people in my home country. There are so many there with so little, very poor people who don’t even have enough rice to eat. And there are temples that need repairs. One of those temples came to my attention from a friend, Linh, who has helped me organize many of my charity visits and projects there. Several years ago, she told me that money was needed for a project, and I gave it to her. Later, she sent me some pictures of a temple, pictures of her and a monk – who turned out to be the master monk – holding things like paintings, plates and kitchen utensils, books, etc. It didn’t make sense to me at the time, but later, Linh told me that my donation saved that temple from closing its doors due to damage caused by a hurricane and lack of finances and allowed them to buy everything that’s being used or seen at the temple. What an amazing feeling! Even better, I met the master monk at Chua Long Hoa on my last trip to Vietnam, and he emotionally told me that I saved this temple, a place that is his lifelong dream of a temple where people can come to learn Buddhism and pray. I felt extremely touched and honoured to have been given this opportunity to help.

It was then that I learned that the roof was leaking, and the whole top of the building was in horrible shape. In the room where the main Buddha is displayed, the roof leaks, flooding the room and raining directly on to the Buddha. I immediately told Linh that I wanted to contribute the money to replace the roofs. As the project went on, it was obvious that it was going to take more than a few repairs, so I told them to do everything necessary, including replacing some columns and main boards. It took a long time, but the whole project will now be done in a few weeks. I can’t wait to go see it. I just know that the master monk and the people who pray there are so happy, and that means everything to me!

I’m going to plan my next trip back to Vietnam for after the WSOP. It will be a good time to go. I not only want to see that temple, but I want to organize another praying ceremony for my dad and do some charity work while I’m there.

Speaking of poker, I was recently honored with a Maven Award from Women Poker Player Magazine. I had won the humanitarian award for my charity work, and I just received the crystal award yesterday. It was so fragile that they didn’t want to mail it, so Jane Goldberg drove to my lace in Las Vegas and hand delivered the award as she was afraid it might break if sent by postal! How very kind of her. It’s lovely.

Also in poker, I’m getting ready to head off to San Remo, Italy for the EPT stop there this month. After that, I’ll be back in Las Vegas for the 25K WPT World Championship at the Bellagio, and then it’s WSOP time! I’m going to hit the Series super hard this year. I’m very determined, and my focus will be better than in a long time. It’s definitely poker season, and I’m ready for it!

Cheers!

PR – April 5th, Chilipoker’s Big Announcement … Sure to Impress!

Friday, April 1st, 2011

A personal letter from Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Chilipoker.com

Dear Friends,

I am very excited and proud to announce that Chilipoker.com will soon reveal its new major breakthrough and development in the online poker industry. Next Tuesday afternoon (5th April) this innovative feature will finally be presented to the entire poker community with the hope that everyone will adopt this new standard of playing. These features will be exclusive to Chilipoker.com, a leading member of the iPoker network.

Demos and beta tests have already been carried out by players and influential poker bloggers:

“For all of the billions of dollars online poker companies have made in the last decade this has to be one of the biggest innovations in online poker that I’ve seen other than Rush Poker. ” B.

“A great execution of a good idea that proves that even in the restricted environment of a shared software network, there’s plenty of room for immersive innovation. I’ve seen the idea in play before, but not to this extent. And not this well balanced.” K.

Please keep tuned and if you wish to be involved in next Tuesday’s big announcement, please feel free to contact me.

In the meantime, I am also very happy to say that this weekend Chilipoker will run its DeepStack Open in Costa Brava where almost 500 players will compete.

http://www.facebook.com/chilipoker
http://www.twitter.com/chilipoker

Thanksgiving in Marrakech, Home for December!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

It’s been a while since we’ve chatted. Sorry for the break! Everything from Halloween forward seems like a fog now. So much happened, I had quite a bit of business and personal life to attend to, and flying to Marrakech for some poker tournaments was the first chance I’ve had to get back in touch with my blog readers. Thanks for being patient with me. 😉

(photo courtesy of Francois-Philipe Fpc Croue)

After being able to spend some time at home in Las Vegas and with friends in Los Angeles and Seattle over the past month, it wasn’t so bad to get out and travel again. Flights to Marrakech are not easy, though! But I made it in one piece, I wasn’t groped by any TSA officials at the airport, and I’ve been set up in a very luxurious hotel here.

When I arrived in Marrakech, I immediately got into the poker spirit with a charity event on my first night. It started at 10:30pm, and the Tournoi des Sultanes was a fun set-up, The nine Sultans were Estelle Denis, Karima Charni, Tatiana Golovin, Laurie Cholewa, Pascale Clark, Caroline Diament, Valerie Benaim, Charlotte Pay, and myself. The winner of the tournament was going to receive 10,000€ Euros to donate to the charity organization of her choice, and when it all came down to it after four hours of play, I got heads-up with Pascale Clark, and the tournament ended with Pascale claiming the victory. But things were light at the end, and we all agreed that the top three players would split the prize money, with first place getting the most of course, to donate to our charities. We were all so passionate about raising money for causes that meant something to us that none of us wanted to give it up! It was funny and fun, all in good spirit, and the money raised for charities was a great outcome.


Tournoi des Sultanes – Chilipoker Marrakech Festival 2010

I should mention something about my lack of Twitter and Facebook updates from Marrakech. I started having internet problems as soon as I arrived, and it’s been sketchy for majority of the time during my stay. It was strange not to be connected at all times! I also recently switched to an iPhone from a Blackberry, and I’m still getting used to it. It’s very different from my BB, and I’m not entirely happy with my decision so far, but I’m trying to love the iPhone!

Anyway, after the Tournoi des Sultanes, I was ready for the Chilipoker Deep Stack Open event, and so was everyone else because it was a complete sellout! It was incredible to see so many players turn out for it, and the casino was pretty happy to have a full house.

(photo courtesy of River Tells/Chilipoker.fr)

I arrived about two hours late, which was normal for me, and I was off to a rocky start at the tables, but I won my first hand with AK and felt okay for a bit. But I couldn’t get much momentum going. It was into the fifth level that I tangled in a huge pot . I had about 45K in chips and looked down at pocket nines. Blinds were 150/300 with a 25 ante. I raised to 750 from middle position, and the guy to my left reraised the minimum, and two other players called and I did too. The flop came 9-T-3, and I checked. The guy to the left of me checked, too, and the last player to act on the button bet 5,500. I raised to 16K, and he moved all-in. I called his all-in with my set of nines, and he showed Q-J offsuit! I had to look at that hand twice! Anyway, the 8 came on the turn to fill his straight, the river blanked, and I was out of the tournament.

The next couple days were filled with interviews, the most interesting was done by That’s Poker, a French magazine. I’d arranged to meet up with Hugues Fournaise and Emmanuel Vanglabeke at 3:30pm down by the pool at my hotel to do the interview which lasted 3 ½ hours! I decided to open up and shared a lot more personal details than I normally do for this one, answering a lot of questions about my personal life, charities, my career, visions about the poker industry, and my family. I’ll be on the cover of That’s Poker magazine for the issue that comes out in December, I’m looking forward to seeing it!

(photo courtesy of Hugues ‘Def’ Fournaise)

I spent some time watching the rest of the Chilipoker DSO tournament play out. And I took a trip to the local souk, which is a monstrous market in a walled part of the city, filled with vendors,food, and interesting people. I had a great time hanging out with my Chilipoker team member Ophelie Laffuge, Hugues ‘Def’ Fournaise, Kevin Noblat, Steven Bensimon, Julien Bochereau, Julien Gaignard,and Stephane Lecocq who were all in town for the Chilipoker DSO event the WPT Marrakech tournament. I was looking to buy several rugs to bring home as gifts – they call it a carpet here – incense holders, moroccan oil, and candles, but I didn’t find what I was looking for. I did find a nice chess set. The price was jacked up, but I was able to bargain with the guy. He wanted 500, but I told him all I had was 300. He kept trying to get me to make a deal, but I stuck to 300 and he finally took it. So, now I have a chess set. Who wants a chess set?! Hehe 😉

(photo courtesy of Hugues ‘Def’ Fournaise)

I waited until Day 1B of the World Poker Tour event to play; I always like to play the second starting day. Numbers were down for the tournament in general, maybe partly because it was on Thanksgiving weekend and many Americans didn’t make the trip. Even so, it was a good tournament, especially with Matt Savage running it.

My table was full of action players , including two local cash game players, and all of the guys were majorly gambling it up. They were playing some crazy poker, and it was tough to even put them on hands. For example, in one hand, I had two pair on the A-J-9 flop holding A-9. I check-raised my opponent, and he called. The turn was a king, and he makes a slight over bet of 6,800 that time, and I called. The river was a 5, he bet 10K, and I check-called again. He showed pocket kings. It was that kind of tournament. I did slowly build my stack throughout the day but had to keep doing it because I lost every big pot I played. Another example, I had two black kings. The flop was 7-6-2 with two diamonds, I bet out 3,500 and got two callers. The 10 of diamonds came on the turn, player behind me bet 6,500, and I called. The river was the 8 of diamonds, he bet out 12K. After I decided to muck my kings, he turns over J-5 of spades! Gotta love it!

(photo courtesy of carrondesign)
(photo courtesy of Hugues ‘Def’ Fournaise)

That was how my tournament went. I lasted until about 1:30am on Day 1B. With only 37K left and 8-6 of clubs in the big blind, I called the min-raise from the UTG player. The flop came K-Q-9 with two clubs, he bet 2,500, and I check-called. The turn was the 7, which gave me the open-ended straight draw to go with my flush draw, so when he bet 6,500, I check-raised all-in for about 29K. He insta-called with Q-10 offsuit! The river didn’t give me what I needed, and his queens were good. I was out of the WPT event.

I’m done with poker in Marrakech and just wrapping up some business before heading back to Las Vegas. I’ll be there through Christmas, which means I’ll probably play the WPT Bellagio in the next few days if I make it back in time. I’m considering another trip to Vietnam before the end of the year but that might wait until January. For now, I’m just looking forward to getting home for a little while, relaxing, and trying to refocus back on poker.

I hope my American friends had a great Thanksgiving! We all have so many things to be thankful for!

Cheers!

Friends, Relaxation, and Poker!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I was running quite well there for awhile, posting blog entries every few days… And then I got to Europe! Yes, we do have internet access over here – LOL – but I’ve been so busy soaking up the atmosphere that I haven’t posted for two weeks. Now that I’ve confessed, let’s move on, shall we. 😉 hehe

So, when I left Vegas two weeks ago, I headed straight for London, but that stay was short-lived, as all I had time to do was drop off my luggage and get back to the airport. I took a short flight to Malta for one day. Why such a short time? To surprise a friend!

Feliciana is the finance director for Chilipoker and a good friend. She has been nothing but loyal, honest, kind, and sincere since I first met her, and she is the type of person who will do anything for her friends. Since I’ve been with Chilipoker, she has been a person that I not only respect but look forward to talking to every time I call or visit. She invited me to her birthday party numerous times but I kept telling her that I didn’t think I could make it, though I knew the whole time that I would be surprising her. And I did! It was a blast!

There were about 40 people at the party, mostly Chilipoker staff, which was great because it was an opportunity for the Chilipoker family to bond. The reason I signed with Chilipoker back in 2007 was because I enjoy working with a close-knit group of people, and it had been awhile since we all bonded like we did on the night of Feliciana’s birthday. The entire team was there, catching up on our lives and enjoying the night, which felt wonderful and made me very happy. It was definitely one of the best parties I’ve been to in a very long time, and it was awesome to chill with my Chili teammates in Malta!

As for Feliciana, she had a fabulous time, which was the biggest goal of the night. She wrote some notes on her facebook the next day, thanking several people for their efforts and their friendship. Part of what she wrote, which means so much to me: “A VERY special thanks to LIZ, for having come all the way down to Malta just for me. Thank you LIZ for your presence, thank you for the Moet I used to toast with for my birthday, thank you for just being YOU, the party girl who was chatting and dancing with everybody…” And because I’ll do anything for my friends, I also put my Blackberry in my purse and kept it there for the entire evening when Feliciana asked me to. She wrote that it was the “best present ever.” I love that! Anything I did was the least I could do for such an amazing person and friend.

The next morning, I flew back to London. The weather has been horrible here – cold and rainy every day! – but I’ve been taking care of business, doing a lot of shopping and relaxing, and seeing parts of the city I’ve never seen before. Some of my days just involve chilling at home with my cats, too, which has been a refreshing change from the first few busy months of 2010. And I take some time every other day to play online poker on Chilipoker, and I’m using this as a good warm-up for live events on the horizon. What I’ve been doing feels a little like a normal, calm life. Wow! It’s strange but I love it. 😉

I also started my nutrition and workout program, including a healthy eating plan and workout sessions with my personal trainer. The warm-up consisted of three days a week, but we’ll soon be doing five days each week. That is some tough training! But I can already see and feel the difference, so I have to admit that my trainer is frickin’ awesome!

Speaking of poker, I’m looking forward to getting back on the felt to compete in some live events soon. And the big Chilipoker Deepstack Open (DSO) is coming up very quickly! (Is it really almost April already? OMG.) The DSO starts on the 9th of April in Aix-en-Provence at the Partouche Pasino there, and I can’t wait! Not only is it going to be a great mix of amateurs, online qualifiers, and pros, but it will be a sold-out event. How great is that? The event was capped at 500 players and sold out weeks before the tournament is even set to begin. Fantastic!

After the DSO in France, I’ll be heading to San Remo in Northern Italy for the European Poker Tour stop there, and I’ll play in the San Remo Main Event. And then I’ll be traveling just a few miles west of there to Monaco for the EPT Grand Finale in Monte Carlo at the end of April. I’m super excited to play some live poker and start to see all of the positive things in my life come into focus. With the hopes I have for my poker year in 2010 and the work I’m putting into my physical health these days, I feel prepared and ready for the circuit. Let’s go!

Cheers!

Preparing for the LAPC

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Since my last blog post, I’ve been crazy busy with travels and meetings. Someone asked me yesterday where I was at the moment, and I actually had to think about it for a minute! I can never seem to stay in one place too long, but the L.A. Poker Classic will change that soon enough.

The plan is to be in Los Angeles by Wednesday to start playing the tournaments at Commerce. Besides my work schedule, I’ve been waiting for the higher limit buy-in events to begin. I hope to start playing later this week in some preliminary events, then of course play in the WPT Celebrity Invitational and the LAPC Main Event. I usually stay in L.A. longer and play the cash games, but I’m very focused on tournaments right now, and the opportunities at LAPC are too great to pass up. So look for me at either the final tables 😉 or the high stakes cash games this year!

The past month was so busy that I unfortunately had to miss the Chilipoker Deepstack Open Dublin 2010 ME, but I will be heading back across the ocean during the second week of March for a fantastic 2 days televised cash game event in France, sponsored by Chilipoker. Any pros interested in playing a 25/50 NL game with 10k min buy-in then give me a shout. 🙂

Congratulations to Frederic Brunet on his excellent performance, becoming this years champion in the Chilipoker Deepstack Open Dublin 2010 ME.

Among one thing that came through in the last month for me was the cover story for the February issue of Baller Magazine. I’m pleased with the cover photo, and in the article I was able to discuss my life in poker and my dedication to charity.

As my schedule settles down a bit and I focus on the LAPC, I plan to blog more often and let everyone know what’s going on in my life. 2010 still looks to be a great year, and I’d love for you all to be able to share it with me.

Cheers!

Starting Off on the Right Foot

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

My first blog of 2010!! And I just returned to the United States from the PCA in the Bahamas; the first big tournament of 2010. Let me start off by saying I have a very good feeling for 2010, professionally and personally. I have a premonition this is going to be a very big year for Liz Lieu. 🙂

(photo courtesy of Pokerlistings)
(photo courtesy of Pokernews)

I have mixed feelings about the 53rd place finish in the Bahamas. In many ways it was a good start to the year. I absolutely played my very best. I couldn’t have played any better in the PCA. I am a little disappointed in the result, but oh well .. that’s the way it goes. You win some, you lose some! Made it to Day 4. Had an opportunity for a big double up on Day 4. I was on the BB with pocket Queens Richard Toth opens for 45k UTG, action gets around to me, I raised another 75k, Toth thinks for a minute then moves all-in, I call. Toth flips over A-K(off). The flop comes 4h 6h 5d. Turn snaps an “ACE”. and river’s 4d. And out I go! Knocked out in 53rd place for $45,000.

(photo courtesy of Pokerlistings)
(photo courtesy of Pokerstars)

On the positive side, I played extremely well. If I won that coin flip, I would of had plenty of chips to push around and make moves with for the rest of the tournament and who knows? The other positive, is that my tournament results have been very consistent, playing three consecutive main events and making it to Day 4 in all three tournaments. I keep going deep in these big tournaments so I know it’s just a matter of time!

(photo courtesy of Pokerstars)

Well the PCA is in the past. 2010 is all about keeping everything in front of me and focusing on the present and future. So, I have a couple of things to report that are coming down the pipeline. In February, yours truly will be gracing the cover of Baller Magazine. So keep an eye out for their February issue coming out soon.

And in the past week, my Sponsor Chilipoker has signed another big exclusive partnership deal with premium Irish Broadcaster, Setanta Sports. The joint venture between Chilipoker and Setanta Sports will operate Setanta.com and Chilipoker.com in Ireland. It will open up a market place of 600,000+ homes in a poker mature market place. Chilipoker in partnership with Setanta has plans to set up poker events and poker shows.

In other good news, I have a glamour shoot coming up on the 15th. I hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas theme photo shoot in early December. I really enjoyed that one and this photo shoot will be a little more elegant and glamorous. Stay tuned for some behind the scene shots of my upcoming shoot :).

And lastly, I recently heard a very sad news. One of my good friends, Amir Vahedi, passed away of complications from his diabetes on Jan 8th. I want to say Amir is one of the true gentlemen in the game of poker. He was probably the first genuinely good person I met in the poker world. I’ve never heard anyone say a bad thing about Amir. He was always in good spirits and was always there to be supportive. It’s with great sadness that I say farewell to Amir. He was a very good friend to me and will be dearly missed. Rest In Peace Amir!

(photo courtesy of Pokerlistings)

Cheers!

Recollection of a decade .. welcoming 2010!

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

The holidays have always been a time of reflection for me, a time to look back on what has been and look forward to what may be. This is a special time as we end this first decade of the 21st Century. I’d like to end this present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright new year with this video from my most recent charity journey.

There are many similarities between this year and this decade for me. I started the decade playing my cash games, first in Las Vegas and then eventually in LA. I learned my game playing LHE, long before No-Limit became the game of choice in poker rooms. I moved into tournament play halfway through the decade in 2005, making my first WSOP final table with Allen Cunningham, CK Hua, Devilfish Ulliott, Scott Fischman, and An Tran. I’ve done well since then, making other final tables around the world and taking down a tournament here and there.

As many of you know, the decade also brought personal loss and struggles for me. I lost my father two years ago after his battle with health problems. I’ve worked hard to honor him and persevere, but it has not been easy for me. I’m afraid as hardened as I’ve become over the years, I’m still very much Daddy’s little girl.

I’ve returned to my homeland of Vietnam throughout the decade. Each time brings me great comfort and fulfillment, but each time there also seems to dig a little hole into my heart. I’m not sure what it is. I wish sometimes I could just grind away there like I do at the poker table, but it takes more out of me than that.

This decade has also been a time where finding balance has been hard. Poker, my marketing partners, tournaments, the hardships of glamorous travel, trying to find some way to stay connected to friends. It hasn’t been easy, and it seems to get more difficult with every blurry week.

And now 2009 comes to an end, a year as difficult for most of us as any has ever been. I’ve been fortunate in many ways, but many of my friends and fans continue to face grave hardship. For those of you who don’t get to Las Vegas, you would be amazed at the many houses for sale. People who were out of work used to be looked down upon; now, it is commonplace to find friends who have been unemployed for a year or more.

Even though I’ve weathered this year fairly well, it has caused me to become more serious and more focused. I’ve always been known for my aggression at the tables, and I think it is time for all of us to become more aggressive in how we make it through 2010. That doesn’t mean being rude or obnoxious, but it does mean taking control of our situation whatever that situation may be. I also think it is a time to protect our self interest without becoming self-centered.

My plan for 2010: to spend more time at the tables in cash games, to achieve my goals for the year in poker, to do fewer things away from the table but be sure they are more meaningful, to slow down a little bit, to take care of myself, and to reach out to a few old friends. Don’t let the year get started without setting goals for yourself.

I want to also thank all of my readers and fans here on my blog, on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Chilipoker, and anywhere else you may bump into me. All of the kind words and encouragement are greatly appreciated.

New Year is the time to unfold new horizons & realize new dreams, to rediscover the strength & faith within you, to rejoice in simple pleasures & gear up for new challenges. Wishing everyone a truly fulfilling 2010!

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!

Closing one of life’s Chapter: The “Two Year Promise”

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Everyone’s life is made up of different chapters. We move on to the next chapter for a variety of reasons. Usually we move from one chapter in our life to the next when we reach closure on something in our previous life. It could be a relationship, school, becoming an adult, being able to legally drive or starting a new career. But each chapter is usually marked by the closure of one thing and moving on to the next.

I am now about to enter a new chapter in my life. I am in Vietnam right now and September 6th marks the 2-year anniversary of my father’s passing and my 2-year promise to him. Two years ago, I entered a new chapter in my life; a life without my father in it. I heard of the news when I was on the felt playing the Main Event in Barcelona. I immediately left for Vietnam.

From that day forward, I made a 2-year promise to my Dad. I would commit my energy and time to honor him. Most of you may not know this but I am very much a “Daddy’s girl”. I loved my Dad very much and he was such an important person in my life. I very much looked up to him and felt tremendously loved by him. None of my personal success would have been gratifying if I wasn’t able to share that with him.

In Buddhist culture, we believe in life after death and we believe good deeds can help bring peace and comfort to those who have passed before us. So, I made a 2-year commitment to my father to fulfill his final wishes and do as many good deeds as possible in that time. I wanted to ensure he had serenity, peace and love in his next life. I don’t want him to suffer at all.

Highest Gift to the Departed –

According to Buddhism, good deeds or ‘acts of merit’ bring happiness to the doer both in this world and in the hereafter. Acts of merit are also believed to lead towards the final goal of everlasting happiness. The acts of merit can be performed through body, speech or mind. The persons who receive the merit can be either living or departed ones.

Transferring merits to the departed is based on the popular belief that on a person’s death, his ‘merits’ and ‘demerits’ are weighed against one another and his destiny determined, his actions determined whether he is to be reborn in a sphere of happiness or a realm of woe. The belief is that the departed one might have gone to the world of the departed spirits. The beings in these lower forms of existence cannot generate fresh merits, and have to live on with the merits which are earned from this world.

Those who did not harm others and who performed many good deeds during their life time, will certainly have the chance to be reborn in a happy place. Such persons do not required the help of living relatives. However, those who have no chance to be reborn in a happy abode are always waiting to receive merits from their living relatives to offset their deficiency and to enable them to be born in a happy abode.

Those who are reborn in an unfortunate spirit form could be released from their suffering condition through the transferring of merits to them by friends and relatives who do some meritorious deeds.

As many of you are aware, I have spent a lot of time in Vietnam over the past 2-years. I have spent approx 4 months of the year living in Vietnam and maybe this blog will offer some perspective on why I haven’t been as focused on poker recently because I know many people have wondered why I haven’t been playing as much. It’s simply a different chapter in my life.

I have had that chapter in my life where I used to play poker for 3 days straight without any sleep. In my early 20’s, I had amazing stamina and couldn’t walk away from a poker table. I would frequently put in 2-3 day sessions of straight poker and completely crash for a day or two and then do it all over again. If I could title that chapter in my life, it would have been called the “Grind”.

The most recent chapter of my life was dedicated to my loving and wonderful father. I spent many days and nights at my father’s temple, prayed for him, sent him dedications and lived out as many good deeds as possible. This includes the charity work I do in Vietnam. This is something I will continue to do in the future but really took on more meaning and significance when my father passed away.

On September 6th, 2009, the Chapter entitled: “Two Year Promise” closes in my life and I will move on to the next chapter. I have no idea what is in store but I have come to peace with my father’s passing and I now have closure. I feel confident that his spirit can rest in peace and I know deep in my heart my Dad would love to see me move on and start the next chapter of my life so that is exactly what I intend to do.

This will probably mean more time on the road traveling for Liz Lieu, more time on the felt and back to playing more poker and focusing more on my career again. So be warned poker players!! Liz Lieu is coming back and going to focus more time and attention back to making money and doing what I love. But I don’t regret the decision to take much of the past two years off at all. Luckily, I’ve made enough money over my lifetime and had money saved up to be able to do this. I’m very fortunate to be in that position.

So far I’ve been in Vietnam now for over a month. I left for Vietnam a couple of weeks after the WSOP Main Event in early July. I did take some time however to participate in the APT Macau event. I played in the APT Celebrity Challenge and the Main Event. Other players in the field included Poker Pack crew Quinn Do, JC Tran, Nam Le, Chino Rheem, Steve Sung and a host of other pro’s from the United States and Europe. One of the highlights of this trip to Macau was seeing a number of Chilipoker’s qualifiers sporting our Chilipoker logo.

(photo courtesy of asianpt.com)

I was also approached by famous Chinese language director Janet Chun to participate in the final shooting of a poker film. At first, I didn’t really know how serious they were or not about the offer when they first approached me but they insisted they wanted me to be a part of the movie and for me to be involved in the final table. I spent 3 days in Hong Kong participating in filming the final table scene of the “Poker King”. The movie is scheduled to be out later this year.

I would like to send out a special thanks to the entire movie crew for the wonderful hospitality throughout my stay in Hong Kong. It was an awesome experience!

“Poker King” tells the story of two bitter poker rivals competing for world championship glory. The cast will be all-star, A list Chinese actors and pop stars with a cinema release across the region set for later this year. Actors with the coveted starring roles include Louis Koo, Sean Lau Ching -Wan, Jacky Heung, Stephy Tang, Cherrie In and Josie Ho. There have been several famous gaming films in the region, most notably the 1989 Chinese language classic ‘God of Gambler’s’ starring Chow-Yun-Fat which spawned dozens of spin-offs – but ‘Poker King’ is set to be the first release that focuses on poker.

I think it is the perfect transition for me to move into my next chapter in life. I hope it has some significance because there are high hopes for the poker market to expand into Asia and China in particular. Perhaps the next chapter of my life involves being a part of that expansion; to be at the forefront of the poker movement into Asia. Who knows? I just know that I am in a good place. I have peace in my heart and I am ready to start my next adventure!!!

Love and kisses everyone. I will be flying back into the States sometime next week. I look forward to being back and visiting with friends and family before my next big adventure to Venezia for the Festival del Poker ME, then moving on to London for the WSOPE ME, and lastly the WPT Marrakech, Morocco which is sponsored by Chilipoker. The Marrakech Event will take place from the 12th to 18th of October. I am really excited to be a part of this Event especially because my Chilipoker family has a huge role/ part in this event. I hope to see many of you there!

Cheers!