Category Archives: Videos

Year of the Horse Kicks Off

Happy New Year!

Nala meows you a Happy Year of the Horse!

Nala meows you a Happy Year of the Horse!

We’re already in month two of the Gregorian calendar and in the first week of the Year of the Wooden Horse for the Lunar calendar. I’m no expert on Chinese astrology, but my parents believe that this Horse will bring a thrilling year filled with opportunities that must be grabbed by the reigns. As someone born in the year of the Ox, my buddy Horsey is predicted to look out for me by galloping to my doorstep with favours while and dissolving my problems and difficult situations this year. Not a bad deal to receive a clean slate every twelve year cycle.

In December I was invited to Puerto Rico for WPT Boot Camp’s annual signature event as a guest instructor. It was my official first time teaching in a live setting and I enjoyed it much more than I expected to, probably because I was much better at it than expected to be. It was super rewarding learning to teach beginners and notice their progress, noticing their breakthroughs as the week progressed. I even agreed to show my cards after every pot I won in the daily tournaments, which created a lot of interesting hands and dynamics. I even ended up busting the main event of the camp in hilarious fashion. I ran a bluff against a woman who I had taken a similar line against and shown, only to have her tank-call me when she realized! But there was so much more to the trip than just poker training. It was an enriching experience listening to Jan Fisher and Linda Johnson talk about their days as pioneering women in the game, and I even got a few tips on how to be a better public speaker from the first lady. Being a guest on Nicky “Numbers” Brancato’s new radio show was also a highlight, as he is certainly one of the most talented and hardest working personalities in the game. I was certainly amidst an all-star cast of instructors, and some of my personal highlights of the trip were playing an animated game of shuffleboard against Todd Brunson’s team, getting some beginner golf tips from poker mindset coach Jared Tendler, and beating my good friend Scott Seiver in a friendly HU freezeout!

I was also lucky to have a few extra days after the students left to explore Puerto Rico and visit the semi-private island off the Waldorf-Astoria property. It was a perfect mini-getaway after an intense trip to China. I gathered some clips and put together this video of my daily journey to the Island.

The only downside of my trip was that I did not have the best Internet. Oddly enough, during this trip I was actually getting a turbo boost of publicity with a ton of messages linking to Asian articles about me and my poker successes. The mainstream media might be a little slow to catch up to this “news.” It was also slightly disheartening seeing myself plastered in Chinese headlines years after my last career highlights, but obviously it was still very flattering and a nice ego boost hearing about these features on an island thousands of miles away. Even CBC interviewed me about poker on the local morning show, “Our Toronto,” with a short reel on the 6 o’clock news! Think also, upcoming major Chinese fashion magazine photoshoot and talkshow invite. I know poker players know it’s a skill game, but doing mainstream publicity educates the majority and allows the average person to decide for themselves whether or not I’m a degenerate gambler who feeds off castrating men at the tables. You’re welcome.

Due to copyright laws I can’t embed the clip here, but here’s a link to the feature on the CBC site: http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Canada/Toronto/Our+Toronto/ID/2432472283/

A nice shot my sister took of the CBC feature on her laptop

A nice shot my sister took of the CBC feature on her laptop

All this publicity is nice, but it’s also making me anxious to win something soon. Yes, my lifetime ROI is still pretty sweet and the actual main focus when doing these interviews for me is to draw awareness to the game, but I’d rather take a confidence boost in the form of a final table any day.

It can also be somewhat testing to explain to people that while yes, I have a nice big figure to my career winnings, I haven’t bought my parents a house yet because the amount I’ve actually kept is much more modest. What’s really worth focusing on is the incredible lifestyle and experiences being in the poker world has given me. My 2013 has been a turning point in my life as I’ve mentioned before, but this year I am determined to play more and crush. I’m taking the next few weeks to stay put and get all my paperwork in order so I can do just that. I also promise you I have no interest in just being a female poker celebrity; I thrive and am often my most authentic self at the poker tables.

Which brings us to the topic of self-improvement. I know it seems like it’s all the rage these days, and really, what’s wrong with that? The widespread access to information has had a truly democratic effect on the pursuit for a better life. Why would a healthy human adult not want to be the best possible version of themselves?

A few weeks ago we were invited to check out the Las Vegas Indoor Skydiving Center on the strip. Skydiving’s always been one of those activities I wanted to do when I was young, so I could be one of the first amongst the people I knew to say I’ve done it and prove how cool I am. Then I became a poker player and no longer needed validation in that department, so I never went out of my way to do it. I can’t attest to how “genuine” this experience was to the real thing, but it was a lot of fun and I did not fear for my life at any point.

I suppose fitness appeals to me the same way that World of Warcraft used to. It’s something that has a guaranteed return on investment. If I grind x hours in a dungeon or at the gym, I am guaranteed to earn y XP/muscle mass+fat burn. That’s very appealing when there can be so much uncertainty in the industry I’m in. Even if I’m having a bad day, feeling small or directionless, working out is one sure way I can to improve my life for the better, so I’ve actually begun to look forward to this one habit I can control. I am in the best shape of my life, and instead of feeling confused and embarrassed at the gym on my own, I’ve been drawing confidence and self-esteem from my physical discipline. I’m still a beginner in comparison to most gym rats, but I’m no longer afraid to ask questions and sweat like a monkey.

I mentioned in 2013 that I made a conscious decision to travel less than I did the previous years. I don’t know if I actually did {*counts on fingers* Bahamas (PCA), Korea (APPT), Monaco (EPT), Vegasx6, Costa Rica (Family vacation), New York (wedding), China (WPT), Montreal (WPT), Puerto Rico (WPT Boot Camp), Raleigh (holidays)}, but for the first time I’ve reached Star Alliance 35k Elite status. I was actually very close to 50k, but I realized too late that being on top of your air miles is important! There’s like, secret societies on the Internet (forums) with a ton of tips and tricks to make the most out of your reward plan. I recommend everyone, not just frequent fliers, to do a little homework on how to get max benefits out of the often confusing but valuable offers that are out there. I know I’ll be getting international upgrades this year and have enough for a round-trip fare to Asia just from collecting in 2013 alone!

I am currently house-sitting in the burbs of Toronto. I am with my twelve-year old cat whom I have neglected for most of those years, so it sure was sweet when she started sleeping in my bed. I also think I might also be addicted to snowboarding, which is great hobby to have since I’m actually in the North during a year of record snowfall. I had actually never been to a ski resort until two years ago, and am just starting to really enjoy myself instead of only having room to worry about not dying when I’m on a hill. Whistler was the first place I had ever left the bunny slope on, so I felt I was going to die a lot my few times out. There’s some great weekday deals in the area, so I’ve been pretty content bundled up and alone on he slope like the Michelin man with that -30 degree Celsius windchill in my face.

Let it snow!

Let it snow!

WPT Fallsview is coming to town in a few weeks. It’s a $5k now, but back in 2007 it was the first $10,000 tournament I’d ever played back when it was the North American Poker Championship. I was a local $5/5 grinder on probation from college who won a seat and chopped another by grinding SNGs. I used a seat, obv took 100% of myself (minus some small swaps), and realized whenever I was in a hand with anyone other than the local grinders I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I got to play with Vanessa Selbst, Kathy Leibert, met Barry Greenstein, John Juana, and was busted by Action Jeff Garza whose bald head would pop up to haunt and crush my dreams of glory for a long time afterwards. I’m a little better now, but have yet to cash in a tournament on home turf, so hopefully this will be the year!

Good luck and have fun out there.

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Xuan Liu Easy Game Poker mini-doc

8min “Easy Game” mini-doc from PokerListings.com

Matt Showell and Alex Konyves from Pokerlistings followed me around Toronto for a few days to film this 8 min mini-documentary.

I had a great time through the entire process and think they captured my personality really well. Hope you’ll enjoy it too!

Ourgame WPT China

I’m representing Ourgame at WPT China!

Super excited to be representing China’s leading social gaming company, Ourgame at WPT China this year. It would be an absolute dream to make a deep run in beautiful Sanya, Hainan. The video is in Mandarin Chinese but you can use the “closed caption” feature for subtitles.

Ourgame WPT China

“Living the Life”

Check out the trailer for “Living the Life”, an up-and-coming poker reality TV series starring the beautiful Trishelle Cannatella from “The Real World” & Amanda Kimmel from “Survivor”. It is produced by a Canadian company, Running Hooks Pictures, whose CEO is a fellow poker player, Josh Kimmel. I’m not in the trailer but I do make a cameo in the pilot 🙂

WBCOOP & St. Jude Fundraiser Results

Xuan thanks those who contributed to her team’s St. Jude fundraising campaign and qualifies for WBCOOP 2013 by sharing her best moment on PokerStars!


It is a rather long video, so I would understand if you jump to
1:39 for my WBCOOP story, “My best moment on PokerStars” or
6:46 to see me pick the winners for my St. Jude fundraising contest

I finally made it back to Toronto on attempt #3 after doing one of these on #2:

Attempt #2

Attempt #2

I won’t be around to play the WBCOOP main (I will be en route to APPT Seoul!), but I still wanted to share my experience as a poker player and blogger.

I submit my entry for WBCOOP 2013 by telling the tale of my years between 2007-2009. Highlighted by WoW degeneracy, grinding SNGs, live cash games, WPT satellites, almost giving up on the dream, studying for the CFA, and finally winning a Battle of the Planets triple shootout to renew my passion for poker.

Once again, a big thank you for those who helped with my St. Jude campaign, and congrats to Zhihao Zhang, Ian Modder, Christian Harder, and Jen Shahade for winning an hour of my time! I will cook, clean, teach…you name it!

Adam Pliska
Chris Ling
Christian Zetzsche
Christian Harder
Eric Salinas
Gabe Felkel
Ian Modder
Jason Mo
Mitchell Hecht
Nga Dinh
Rupert Elder
Steven Kerr
Vimy Ha
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Links:

WBCOOP
Battle of the Planets win
Jennifer Shahade

Hang out with Xuan and help St. Jude Children’s Hospital!

Xuan’s St. Jude Donation Page – You’re the best!

Hello everyone,

Thanks for stopping by! In this post I am utilizing the powers of social media for a good cause. As you may or may not have already seen or heard, the incredible Daniel Negreanu has reached out to his followers and fans for donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Research Center, which he will then be matching dollar for dollar up to $50,000. We are on the same fundraising team, but since I am not balla like that, I am proposing to donate my time for those who are kind enough to help out.

I will select 1 person for every 5 $100+ donations randomly to offer an hour of my time. This could be used towards a poker lesson, my treat on a simple lunch, chatting on Skype, Yoga class, learning golf, whatever. If you don’t want to the prize please let me know. You can also donate anonymously and still leave a note as to whether you’re interested in entering the draw.

Why St. Jude? Why Now?

As a poker player I justify the fact that I earn money doing something that contributes nothing directly back to society by creating space in my life to make a positive difference. Whether that means reaching out to people and incredible organizations or having a connected conversation at the table, I think it’s important to show my appreciation and live a life of gratitude.

I am involved with a great team of people in which we have spent weeks together working on multiple personal and social challenges. We are concluding our legacy by attempting to raise $100,000 in 7 days. My personal goal is $3000.

St. Jude is one of the best causes I am aware of. I am not always a fan of blindly giving to charities, but through my research and involvement with the local chapter of the hospital I have no doubt as to the integrity of their fundraising and the efficacy of the work they do. Here are some facts from their site:

“Thanks to donors, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. Care, housing, transportation, meals—the list of services we provide to our families is unequalled. But it is for one purpose: To ensure the very best outcome possible for every child.”

“Every child saved at St. Jude means children saved around the world—a direct result of cutting-edge research and treatment that set the standard in treating childhood cancers. And our discoveries are shared freely with doctors and scientists all over the world.

“During the past five years, 81 cents of every dollar received has supported the research and treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Click Here to go to Xuan’s St. Jude Donation Page. Good luck with the contest!

If you would like more information please visit their site:

http://www.stjude.org

Here is Daniel Negreanu’s blog on this project:

http://www.fullcontactpoker.com/daniel-negreanu/video-blog.php

We have until Feb 17.

Remember, anything helps. I will also be posting up the names of everyone who contributes in my next blog.

Thank you very much!

On a more poker-related note, I’m going to APPT Seoul March 14-17. Woohoo japchae and dukboki!

APPT

Loose Cannon!

Alright so this is my PokerStars Big Game submission. I only had to play in a bunch of freerolls to get his far, but after checking out the competition, I’m feeling pretty good about my vid, and yet anxious at the same time because it would suck if we worked this much harder than most of the rest of the pack and still didn’t get picked :/

Long story short, I thought we’d only have 3 days to do this vid, so first night I met up with Louis, we discussed what I wanted and he basically told me my script was garbage lol. Next morning we began getting props and shooting, I even had to buy a peachy dress right before I got there because I don’t really have girly colours in my wardrobe, but I knew it’d look nice against the wallpaper he bought. Right after we started, he totally regret agreeing to help me after he realized what a wreck I was in front of the camera lol! I was also super tired and had no idea what to expect, have always hated public speaking, and was torn between wanting to make a generally appealing cliche video and listing my credentials/talking technical babble. Anyhow, after about 10 hours of frantic improv in between technical difficulties, we called it a day. Louis called me later that night after he found the perfect song off one of the royalty-free music sites Pokerstars recommended, and after playing it for me over the phone against my voice, I began to have hope that my video would not suck. I quickly rushed to e-mail Stars pointing out that they had sent me the instructions very late, and asked for an extension, which they ok’d about half an hour later (are you paying attention, FTP support? :D)

So we were able to get together briefly another night to film and adjust a few other random scenes. There was actually a section that was totally perfectly shot from the original day that we couldn’t use because there was this incessant buzzing from the equipment, which was really disappointing because it was a scene where I actually didn’t feel like cringing when watching myself. After watching a rough edit of the final I became even more stoked! This guy is so awesome and I can’t thank him enough for all his talent and hard work while he was in between other gigs and a day job! If it weren’t for him I would’ve attempted to go buy (and later return) some cameras from Best Buy and shoot some monotone snore myself and goodness knows what would’ve happened.

So yeah, I left out a lot of “real” credential stuff I could’ve listed and decided not to talk about real strategy and what not, but overall I think it should fit nicely with what they’re looking for. Let me know what you guys think!