Posts Tagged ‘poker diva’

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!

Looking forward to the “Big Pay-Off”

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

So much going on!! Sorry everyone for the long delay between blog updates. I’ve been busy running bad and trying to figure out how to run better! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m not really having a very successful WSOP this year!! Ugghhhh. Since my last update, I’m down another $25,500 in buy-ins. This is getting yucky!!

Even more amazing is that I’m not even really that upset. Can you believe that? I actually feel pretty good about life. The way I see it, part of life is continuing to do the right things and no matter how many setbacks you have or how long you run bad, eventually the cards always break out even. Or at least get better!! At this very moment, I’m just doing the best I can and patiently waiting for my ship to come in.

So what exactly is going on? To be honest, I’ve been playing very well the past couple of weeks. I couldn’t really say that for the first two events of this year’s WSOP. I looked back and just cringed at how poorly I played in terms of all of the little things. Luckily I went home and realized some minor leaks and focused on strengthening a couple areas where I felt I played weak during the first two events I played. I will post some key hands and my experiences at the tables on my poker blog over at PokerListings soon, so keep an eye out for it.

(photo courtesy of PokerListings and Pokernews)
I feel comfortable with where my game is at after a very rough start this month in LV. I think the single biggest thing killing me lately, is just bad timing and a little bad luck. I’ve been the favorite in so many hands and not really getting the positive results to show how well I’ve been playing. I cannot even count how many times somebody caught a 2-3 outer against me. I could probably count them but that would be depressing!! Ha.

Hopefully, all of this bad luck is building up and creating a situation where everything needs to even out and I have a crazy run of good luck at the Main Event this year. Wouldn’t that be nice?! But again, I just need to weather the storm and be confident there is a big pay off down the road. Sometimes the most successful people aren’t the most skilled or the most intelligent. They were just the most persistent. The ability to move forward when everyone else gives up, sometimes it’s the single most successful decision you can make in life.

Anyhow, moving away from Poker, it hasn’t been all poker for me in Vegas! I’ve had friends come in and out of town all month. I’ve been catching some shows and going out to the clubs with different girlfriends of mine. I’ve played some cash games on the side and trying to mix it up and keep every week fresh and new. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut in Las Vegas if you let yourself.

Interesting fact. I did go through a stretch where I battled some insomnia in the middle of the month. That was fun. =) Thank goodness I’m over that! OMG, I actually had to skip some events because I wasn’t able to fall asleep until the sun was coming up. I am not even kidding. I had plans to play at noon and it was 10am and I was still awake from the night before!! Not really a good recipe for success if you want to play against the best poker players in the world.

Anyhow, looking forward to the 4th of July and partying with some good friends that are coming into town this Friday. I have a few days off before playing in Day 1 of the Main event on the 5th. And will go out to TAO and XS with my friends. We’ll definitely be doing lots of bottle popping and just enjoy life and celebrate Independence Day.

I look forward to having some of my support system in town this week and I think this positive vibe will carry forward. And maybe give me some good luck, perhaps? I know poker players usually say “luck” doesn’t apply to poker and they are correct, in the long run, there is little luck involved and it’s a very skilled game. But in the short term, luck can play a huge factor in a single tournament.

All I can do is get my head straight. Stay physically and emotionally healthy and do my best next week. Play at my highest skill level. Not worry about the luck factor but at the same time if “lady luck” wanted to visit me next week and stick around for a little while, I won’t complain!! The Main Event has a very good structure. Deep chip stacks with lots of plays because the blinds only go up every 2 hours. So, I am pretty confident that if I play my “A” game and dodge some bullets, I can do really well.

I really hope everyone has a wonderful Independence Day!! I look forward to relaxing and enjoying this 100+ degree Las Vegas weather. Is that possible?! Honestly, I just look forward to having my friends and Alex arrive in town. I’ll go out to some dinners with them. I plan to hit the clubs but not get too wild or crazy. I hope everyone else surrounds themselves with family and close friends on this 4th of July Holiday as well!!

Cheers!

What’s happening…

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Bonjour everyone! So much going on this month, I am not sure where to start. I’ve been playing a fair amount of poker in the last couple of weeks. I spent some time at the Commerce Casino playing in the limit games and I also played some poker online. I plan to play some more this week to warm up for the Dream Team Poker Tournament March 27-29.

The Dream Team Poker Tournament takes place at Caesar’s Palace and is a team format. Every team is made up of three players and a ton of big names have committed to the event. Including Mike Matusow, Phil Helmuth, Jerry Buss, T.J. Cloutier, Tom McEvoy, Dennis Phillips, Todd Brunson, Jerry Yang, Jamie Gold, Kenny Tran, Shawn Sheikhan, Actor Mehki Phifer, Hoyt Corkins, Tiffany Michelle, Quinn Do, NBA Player Chris Mills, Jeff Madsen, Joe Sebok, Maria Ho, Lacey Jones and a ton of other well known players.

More than 100 teams are expected to enter. You can view the format or get more details on dreamteampoker.com. It should be a fun event and I haven’t participated in many “team” formats so this should be pretty interesting. My team is made up of Quinn Do, Matt Stout, and myself.

So, what else is going on with me?? Well I want to report that I am officially a trendsetter!! LoL. Actually my friend Chesty Kemper called me this, because I’ve been trying to get him on Twitter for the past year. He told me this week he saw Twitter being featured on the TV news 2 times and once on MSN.com as the newest craze!! I told him he would be addicted to Twitter because he’s pretty good about keeping up on his facebook account. I tried to get my girlfriend Lisa on Twitter as well. Both of them have refused to participate on Twitter out of stubbornness and Chesty admitted to me last week that it’s becoming tougher because so many people are joining Twitter every day.

Liz Lieu Twitter

I also want everyone to know there has been a Liz Lieu Fan page created on Facebook if you haven’t had a chance to check it out. I approve of the page and I encourage those of you who are not linked to my facebook account to go there. I have had a ton of requests to my Facebook account lately and I am only adding friends. I feel like I need something personal for me. People can get a hold of me on my website and myspace among other places and I want to continue to keep my facebook page for my friends and family. I hope nobody is offended if I turn them away. 

Liz Lieu Fan Page

So what’s going on in this crazy topsy turvy world? Hopefully we’ve hit rock bottom on falling stock prices. It was good to see the stock market go up for a couple of days last week. It was getting pretty depressing. On top of that, AIG is paying out more than $160 million in bonuses to company executives after they received almost 200 billion in bail out money from tax payers!! That was crazy. Congress just passed a bill to tax them at 90% to penalize their greed. It was about time somebody in govt. did the right thing to stop some of this nonsense.

This economy is affecting everything! I’ve noticed the bigger games are starting to slow down and Vegas suffering a little bit in their tourism. I’ve been playing at lower limits than I have in the past just to get a good game. I also spend more time online because the games don’t last as long or run as frequently as they used to 3-4 years ago. I might need to look for another job!! HaHa … JK!

I don’t think I would make a very good employee. I’ve been playing professional poker since I was 18 and have always been self-employed. I don’t know how long I would last taking orders from somebody else. I was going to play in Bay 101 but the week before that tournament, I was running so badly online and live cash games, so I decided to take a break and play in the Caesar’s event instead and prepare for my trip to Monte Carlo for the EPT Grand Finale. Before that I will also be participating in the Five Star World Poker Classic at the Bellagio right after the Caesar’s event.

Keep an eye out for me on the poker updates. I’ll update everyone soon and hopefully I’ll have some good news to report. And don’t forget to add Twitter!! If you haven’t heard of it yet, you heard it here first. And yes, that includes you, Chesty and Lisa!! You know you want to do it!!

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!!

How does this feel?!?

Monday, December 1st, 2008

This is how I feel sometimes!! I wanted to say a special thanks to everyone who left me positive comments about my last blog. A lot of people messaged me or sent comments to me on Twitter and mentioned how much they liked it.

Sometimes it’s difficult to expose yourself to the world in a personal way. There is an extra layer of vulnerability. I know I have had friends in the poker community go through some very tough times in a very public way.

It’s strange to be exposed to people who don’t really know you intimately and then having to hear about the negativity in the news or on a public forum where thousands and thousands of people view the gossip.

I am thinking about ways to improve this blog and share more of myself with you. Bear with me as I continue to work through some of my apprehension and expose more of my personal life with you. The hardest challenge is to find that balance between my public persona and the real me. I am always honest in every blog or interview I have ever done. I am sometimes guarded however with my responses.

I feel like there is this thin line between what is really personal and what I should share with the public. For instance just yesterday I received some very bad news about one of my half sisters in Vietnam. I have been looking for this sister for almost two years now.

This sister was basically missing or lost and I’ve been very worried about her. I go back to Vietnam frequently and nobody knew where she was. I just received some news that she is in a very tough life situation. And it’s something I cannot fix. I also have word of other relatives that are also having much hardship. The news is quite heart breaking.

I know others are going through the same type of life problems so I don’t want anyone to have extra sympathy for me. I just wanted everyone to know sometimes, I go through the exact same range of emotions as you.

I have had some recent events happen to me that are quite negative. Some business relationships and unfortunate news with friends and family. The worst part is that I have had people in my life who are aware of this and they still continue to try and take from me. The most unfortunate part about having any type of success is sometimes you have people who surround you that are strictly users.

I understand this is a part of success and now that I have been able to sustain a certain level of success and gain some wisdom, I am better at selecting the type of people I get into business with. The type of people I surround myself with. The biggest revelation to me this year was how much I distracted myself with poker and work. Instead of facing many of life’s problems, I just played more poker. Or I spent more time working on my other websites.

I understand now that I cannot run away from my problems. I came across a video which almost parallels my life perfectly. For those of you who want to know me on a more personal level, my life, pretty much looks like this:

My Love “The Story of A Diva”

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the videos. It’s pretty powerful. I have gone through many moments and times in my life where I felt the exact same way.

The holidays are a really reflective time for me. Partially because I am going through my first Thanksgiving without my father and I really want to reflect upon life and think back to everything I should be thankful for. All my Dad ever wanted for me was happiness.

I cannot help but think about that as I continue the rest of my life’s journey without him. So, in honoring his unselfish and complete love for me, I am doing my best to be positive and to be happy!

I also want to address all of the past negativity in my life. I am washing my hands of unsuccessful business relationships. I am washing my hands of being around people who are constantly taking and never giving.

At this stage of my life, I just really want to be surrounded by positive people! I want to enjoy life with people I love. And I also want to be a little less vulnerable. I want my public persona to be a little more reflective of my private life. So, this is another step in that direction. 🙂

So, lets all be thankful we have each other to share in our lives and to be positive and live out our life the best way we possibly can. And always be aware of how you affect others!!

Be a positive influence not a negative one!

Cheers!

Halloweekend!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Happy Halloween everybody!

Friday Night!! Just so you know, this is going to be short. It is Halloween weekend in Vegas and one of the most interesting and busiest weekends of the year for the Clubs. Big plans with the girls! Me, Lisa, Lacey and Galina are meeting up and heading over to TAO. I’ve received several text messages from friends throughout the day asking me to swing by TAO to party tonight.

Just to give you a quick update, the rest of the week has been pretty mellow. I stayed at home most of this week. Since my last journal entry, I’ve been busy doing interviews, working on my different blogs and working on a poker article. I did get out one day and went to watch a movie then played some Bingo afterwards at the Hard Rock with some girlfriends. That was a blast!! I love Bingo. Not many people know this about me but I can play that game all day long.

My computer is so hot at the moment, it might explode!! The computer has been on all day and I think it’s about to overheat! I do want to send a special announcement to my Niece and Nephew who both turned 14 yesterday. They are twins. I am extremely lucky to have them in my life. Every year I call them to wish them a Happy Birthday and ask them what they want. This year, they hardly asked for anything at all. My niece in particular specifically requested that the gift be under $40. I told her she could get anything she wanted and I could afford to spend more but she told me she already had, “The greatest aunt in the world for my present.” I was so touched by her sincerity and couldn’t hold back my tears after hearing that. She has no greed or selfishness in her.

Well I’m off to go party with my girlfriends tonight in LV and tomorrow I fly to Los Angeles to attend Shannon Elizabeth’s Scavenger Hunt party she is hosting. That should be a lot of fun. I am looking forward to hanging out with my good friend Shannon and than I am back to Las Vegas in a couple days. I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween weekend. I will update my blog and hope to have lots of interesting stories to tell you guys from my weekend adventures.