2009 WSOP Best Bets: Liv Boeree

Liv Boeree
'I'm really going into this like an athlete training for the Olympics.'

By all accounts, Liv Boeree's first experience at the World Series of Poker in 2008 was an epic failure.

"I played four or five tournaments with no results, I was down a bunch of money and was thinking, 'I suck at poker and I hate it'," Boeree told PokerListings. "So I took some time off and went back to England for seven or eight days."

Back home, Boeree got her head straight before heading straight back to Las Vegas and turning it into a success.

In fact, she cashed in the next two WSOP tournaments she played, before a deep run in the 2008 Main Event.

An astrophysics grad from the University of Manchester who got her start on a poker reality game show where she was schooled by the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke and David Ulliott, Boeree then spent the next year on the high-stakes tournament circuit.

"I remember thinking, 'is this really the World Series of Poker,' it was just so bizarre," she said. "Now I think my game is better and I have much more confidence. At [the 2008 WSOP] I was still very new to the scene. It was really my first time playing in the States.

"A year later I've been travelling non-stop and except for a few weeks at home here and there, I've spent all my time playing big events all over the place."

Boeree, who won the 2008 European Ladies Championships and is the UK Ambassador for Absolute Poker, ended 2008 with a small cash at the Ultimate Bet Aruba Poker Classic, then started 2009 with a final table finish at an Aussie Millions prelim.

Liv Boeree
'I think my game is better and I have much more confidence.'

Another small cash at an L.A. Poker Classic preliminary event was followed up by two final tables at the WPT Championship prelims in Las Vegas where she also managed to win a $2,500 satellite into the $25k Main Event, booking her biggest cash to date with a 37th place finish grossing $40,855.

With a solid year on tour under her belt, Boeree has good reason to head into the 2009 WSOP feeling confident.

"I can't wait," she said. "I'm going to be playing a lot more events this year and I'm pretty excited."

Her focus will be on the many $1,500 and $2,000 No Limit Hold 'em events with an eye on satelliting in to some of the larger $10k tournaments.

But most of all, Boeree said she's looking forward to the $1k stimulus event at the beginning of the series.

"It's probably going to have the most ridiculously huge field ever," she said. "And I'm really looking forward to getting out of the starting gate. It's going to be so much fun and I'm assuming the standard of play will be very low, so if you get chips early on, you stand good chance of going deep."

Although she plans on spending the entire seven weeks of the WSOP in Vegas, Boeree has yet to make arrangements for where she will stay.

However, she does have a solid plan for how to stay both physically and mentally prepared for the grind.

Liv Boeree
Hot tubbin'.

"I'm really going into this like an athlete training for the Olympics," she said. "I'm not going to be drinking and partying every night. The World Series is something that happens only once a year, so it's kind of important.

"During the WPT Championship I was playing racquet ball and running literally everyday and I felt so much better for it. So this summer, I'm hoping to go swimming, get some exercise and a little sun and fresh air every day. It just helps gets rid of all that nervous tension and you play better as a result."

For her mental preparedness, Boeree also plans a similar strategy to the one that was successful for her at the WPT Championship.

"It really helps my game significantly to hang around players with a lot of knowledge and a different perspective on different situations," she said. "During the WPT Championship about ten of us were all staying at the Panorama Towers and we would have these big discussions in the hot tub at the end of the day.

"We would discuss different plays in a relaxed, separated environment and it was just great to get a perspective from friends who are that highly involved in the industry.

"I guess I'm hoping now I can organize a WSOP hot tub for the summer."

Hot tub or not, Boeree is setting some big goals for the World Series.

"I suppose a reasonable number of bracelets is three or four, I don't want to be too greedy," she joked.

"I guess I just want to do my best, win as much money as possible, win as many bracelets as possible and play as well as I can."

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