Xuan Liu is the new poker queen. Only 25 years old, the talented Canadian is already making a name for herself on the international poker circuit with more than $1,309,465 in career winnings.
In only her second full year on the tournament scene, Liu is already ranked #13 in the most successful women poker players in terms of overall earnings. Her most recent cash was her 4th place finish in the No Limit Hold’em Main Event at the Stardust Canadian Poker Classic for a prize of $25,000. This summer she finished 6th in the 2012 WSOP Event #4 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo for a prize of $29,985.
Previously, Liu achieved huge success at the No Limit Hold’em PCA Main Event in January where she finished 4th for a $600,000 prize and at the EPT San Remo in April 2011, where she finished 3rd for a prize of €360,000.
Xuan Liu plays online at Titan Poker, known by her username “xxl23″. In an exclusive interview, Xuan spoke to Titan Poker about her poker career.
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 every poker literature that was out there and started grinding cash games at my local casino and going on road trips. I did not consider playing poker to be a serious long-term career until some friends encouraged me to dive into the tournament world.
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.
Your first huge 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.
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.
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.
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.
How often do you play poker 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.
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.
Expect some big finishes in the coming months from Toronto native Xuan Liu.
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