Posts Tagged ‘no-limit holdem’

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!

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!

Making A Comeback!

Monday, February 9th, 2009

I’m back in the States everyone!! I just flew back earlier in the week from the Philippines. What a long and exhausting trip but in a very good way. I played in the APT event in Manila and was able to make my first final table in my first attempt of 2009! Hooray for me. Not a bad start to what I feel like is going to be a very good year.

(photos courtesy of Pokernews.com)

I am currently resting up in Vegas from the long trip in Vietnam and I look forward to driving to L.A. soon to play in some cash games at the Commerce and play in some Los Angeles Poker Classic (LAPC) events. Including the Main Event. I just need a little rest first.

I know many of us like to look at a new year as a fresh beginning and a break from the past even though it really doesn’t make as much sense as we think it does because life is just one long continuous series of days, weeks, months and years but like many of you I still believe in starting fresh and 2009 is no different. I have high expectations for a great year, both professionally and personally!!

I will start off by reporting some very good news. As you know in December I made a “Dear Santa” list about some possible gifts I would love to receive for Christmas. I want to let you know that many of those actually came true! Here is a quick update:

Visitation with my Dad in my dreams. I was able to have a spiritual visit with my Dad while I was in Vietnam. It’s a little difficult to explain but I definitely had a chance to spend some time with my Dad in a positive way.

Receive a little Puppy. Hopefully this will come true soon. A very special person in my life has purchased a puppy for me!! Yippeee. I haven’t received him yet but I have been told to expect my puppy very soon.

Secret Santa for my charity work in Vietnam. I have had one person step up and offered to contribute some money for the work I do in Vietnam. I would like to mention the name but I suspect they prefer to stay anonymous because they do the charity work for the good deeds and not for the recognition.

Good luck in Poker. I made the final table in my first poker tournament in 2009. Most importantly I was able to avoid bad luck and I did get quite lucky when we got down to 12 players to avoid elimination when I was short stacked and pushed all-in on the blinds with J-10. I already feel my luck changing for the better. Watch out!!

(photos courtesy of asianpt.com and pokernews.com)

I’d like to give a shout out to Chris Parker, Tom Hall, Martin Elliott, and all the floor staff at the APT Manila Event for the wonderful hospitality during my stay in the Philippines. As always, a fabulous event!

(photos courtesy of asianpt.com)

More time with family. Okay, I didn’t get to exactly spend more time with my immediate family but I did spend a lot of time with my family in Vietnam in January. I was able to get re-united with my half sister and of course I was able to have that visit with my Dad. I really value my family more than ever.

Happiness and health for my Mom. So far so good.

I also received a very high quality camera from my close friend Doc. Now that I am putting pen to paper, I am realizing that I pretty much received everything on my “Dear Santa” wish list. I guess that means I was a really good girl!!!

I also have something funny to share. If you remember I had a request in my “If I were a Boy” blog for a good guy to submit a resume. Well, I did receive a resume. I will keep his name anonymous but it was a good response to the blog and I found it quite a surprise!

Now that I am back home in Las Vegas, I look forward to prioritizing for the year. One of my first priorities is to get back to the cash games in Los Angeles and Las Vegas a little more often. I will be less distracted by stuff going on in my personal life which is really the most important goal.

I vow in 2009, the attention and time I spend thinking about people who have negative intentions will be minimal. I really do want to make a clean break from everything that went wrong in 2008 and really embrace everything that went right!! I have a great foundation of friends and supporters and I want to build on that.

I do want to have the proper perspective on everything that has happened in 2008. Tonight’s Grammy awards was a great example of that. I am not sure if you are familiar with Jennifer Hudson’s story but she had her brother, mother and nephew murdered in October of 2008. This is her rendition of the song “You pulled me through” at the Grammy’s earlier tonight. At the end of the song she was extremely emotional and I cannot imagine the strength and perseverance she’s needed to pull her through.

I think that is an important lesson for all of us to hold on to dearly. Keep life in perspective!! Sometimes our problems really aren’t that big in comparison to other people’s problems. Occasionally my blog will come across as a little melodramatic and it’s really not the intention. It’s just a cause and effect of sharing one’s inner personal thoughts. So, I would really like to share this following video because it’s very inspirational to me and it’s a reminder to keep life in perspective.

Read more about my poker experiences on the felt and The APT Manila ME at Pokerlistings.

Cheers everyone! I will keep you posted about L.A. and the LAPC soon!!