Xuan Liu Talks Poker

Posted September 21, 2014

Xuan Liu poker proXuan Liu is one of the most talented rising poker stars, both as a Canadian poker player, and as a female poker player. This talented young poker player almost made poker history in 2011. She came close to winning the European Poker Tour San Remo tournament, which would have resulted in this prominent event being won by female players two years in a row. The previous year, winner Liv Boeree rocketed into poker stardom after her surprise win.

Xuan Liu, 25-years-old at the time, finished in 3rd place at the EPT San Remo event, pocketing €360,000. The poker tournament was won by British player Rupert Elder, while second place went to Max Heinzelmann from Germany.

Xuan’s previous biggest paycheck at a poker tournament was one that also took place in San Remo. In December, 2010, she took first place in the €1,000 No Limit Hold’em event of the Italian Poker Tour and won €48,000. Her biggest poker cash ever was at the January 2012 PS Caribbean Adventure $10,000 Main Event, where she finished 4th for a $600,000 prize.

At the EPT San Remo final table in 2011, it looked like Xuan would follow Boeree into the history books as she had a commanding lead of chips. But Xuan’s lead was not to last and she folded to Elder’s five-bet preflop, and then lost an even bigger pot just moments later to another shove by Elder. Short-stacked, she was then severely crippled when she called a massive river bet by Heinzelmann only to discover that his pair of queens had improved to a full house on the river.

Xuan Li looked set to double up when the last of her chips went all in with AJ of Hearts against Elder’s A7. But a seven on the flop resulted in her elimination and helped set up Elder’s eventual tournament victory.

Xuan Liu, image from her Twitter feed

Xuan has also scored small cashes at the EPT Barcelona, the Macau Poker Cup, and the 2007 British Columbia Poker Championships. Her first World Series of Poker cash was in 2010 when she finished in 69th place in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em Ladies Championship event for a prize of $2,656. Since then, she has scored ten additional WSOP cashes.

Xuan spoke to us about her poker career in 2011 and we are glad to present this interview.

1) How did you get your start in poker?

I had been fascinated by the game at a very young age after watching poker scenes in movies, but didn’t play for real money until I attended the University of Waterloo and played weekly sit-n-gos with friends. I took every opportunity to read the poker literature that was out there and started grinding cash games at my local casino and going on road trips to where the action was. I did not consider playing poker to be a serious long term career until some friends encouraged me to dive into the tournament world.

2) Where do you play the most these days, in cash games or tournaments?

I play predominantly tournaments these days because it gives me an excuse to travel all over the world. I started off playing cash and still play mixed games but my schedule is rather tight with so many profitable tournament series out there right now.

3) Your first big tournament success was in San Remo. Is it easier to win big in Europe?

The players in parts of Europe can be more emotional and easier to exploit. Having said this, weak opponents can be found in North American tournaments as well, and European players are improving drastically with so many major tournament stops all over the continent.

Xuan Liu, image from her Twitter feed

4) How did you do this year at the WSOP?

It was a great WSOP for women and I’m very proud to be part of the success with a 6th place finish in the $1500 stud 8 event.

5) What was the most memorable tournament in your career?

My PCA final table definitely stands out. It was such a tough field and playing so many consecutive days of solid poker really legitimized my abilities as a player for myself.

6) Is it difficult for women to succeed on the professional poker circuit?

It’s easier for women to network and gain a certain level of superfluous recognition, but it’s harder for them to acquire the same level of respect beyond simply being a female player. There are also more apparent interpersonal obstacles that can be detrimental to the growth of a female player’s abilities, because she must constantly be self-aware and weary of whom she associates with and takes advice from.

7) How often do you play poker online? How different is your strategy when playing online?

One of the best perks about playing poker is being able to set your own hours. If I am coming off a long trip overseas I will prefer to spend a lot of time away from poker and may play only Sundays. If I am feeling studious and have the urge or if there are big guarantee tournaments online I will put in sessions almost every day.

8) What’s your next poker destination?

I am trying to make an effort to take some time off to unwind at home in Toronto. I just spent another month on the road with a final table in Montreal at the Stardust Canadian Poker Classic and a deep run at EPT Barcelona. My next stops are most likely WSOPC in Vancouver and WPT Montreal before PCA 2013.

We hope you enjoyed this Xuan Liu poker player bio and invite you to join Xuan at the tables!

Xuan Liu

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