Featured Authors Articles Liz Lieu

Singled out by Nolan Dalla at the 2006 WSOP as the next woman most likely to win a WSOP bracelet, Liz Lieu has been dominating the biggest tournaments since her debut first-place finish in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at 2005’s WSOP.

Lieu was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States with her parents and older sister when she was just an infant. The family settled in Colorado. By 13, Lieu was playing Chinese poker. Later she moved on to Texas Hold’em after railing games at local casinos. At 18, she and a friend held home games, offering Hold’em and pai gow.

When her father suffered a heart attack, Lieu decided to pick things up a notch, and with an already sizable bankroll, hit the $80-$160 games in Vegas so that she could begin supporting her parents financially. She quickly moved up the limits, but experienced setbacks in her personal life that almost brought her back down to zero.

Her best friend John Phan played a key role in helping Lieu refocus and amass a big bankroll anew. In fact, it was Phan who encouraged her to enter the NL Hold’em event at WSOP ’05 in which she placed fifth, earning over $168,000.

From there on, the final-table successes snowballed. A fourth-place finish in $2,500 NL Hold’em at the Bellagio’s 2005 Festa al Lago, and 16th in two other events there, were followed by showings in the top 10 at the World Poker Finals, Five Diamond Poker Classic and the Gold Strike World Poker Open.

In 2006 she accepted a heads-up challenge from Erik Sagstrom and the two played Limit Hold’em over the course of three days in Vegas for a $600,000 total prize. When the chips had been bagged, the score was Lieu 2, Sagstrom 1.

At 2007’s L.A. Poker Classic, Lieu conquered over 450 competitors in the $1,000 NL Hold’em tournament, taking down a first-prize win of over $148,000.

Lieu currently ranks as the 19th top all-time female money winner in the poker world.

Known as “The Poker Diva” by her fellow players, thanks to her flair for fashion, Lieu cuts an impeccably stylish figure at the felt that belies her aggressive style, competitive spirit and top-notch chops – until the cards are in the air.

Liz has appeared on magazine covers galore lately, including Deal, American Poker Player, Maxim’s Total Poker and Woman Poker Player, to name just a few. Her profile as a representative of the game is rising, and she anticipates signing worldwide endorsement deals for both gaming and non-gaming brands. She doesn't see herself ever giving up poker playing, though. "I’m very determined to win a bracelet, and I see a bright future for me in poker. I learn something new every time I play and will only continue to improve my game." But the pro has a philanthropic side too; Lieu donates 20% of her winnings to charity.

Poker is what Lieu says she’s best at, and even though she’d like to slow down someday and have a family, she’d still find a way to fit poker in occasionally. For now, shopping, dancing and spending time with family and friends fill what little spare time she has. So if you want a peek into the brilliant strategy behind Liz Lieu’s game, or just want to find out what the hottest style trends are, click on her PokerListings.com blog on a regular basis.