Liz Lieu on Day 2 of the Five Diamond Poker Classic

Liz Lieu
Liz Lieu on Day 1a of the Five Diamond Poker Classic, Season 6 WPT

Liz Lieu has had a lot going on in her life lately, some of it good and some of it bad. Life, like poker, has its ups and downs. Coming off back-to-back final tables at the APPT in Macau, Liz has survived Day 2 here at the 2007 WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Going into Day 3 with a slightly below-average stack, she sat down with this evening to share her thoughts.

You've made it to Day 3 in this event so tell us a bit about how it's going so far. You were seated a few seats to the left of the chip leader, Phil Ivey, so give us an idea of what the dynamic is like at that table.

This is actually the first tournament where I've ever played with Phil in the three years that I've been playing them. I couldn't really bluff him or anything because he just had way too many chips. He played very well. He played the way poker is supposed to be played. He raised almost every hand and I could usually only get about one bet out of him. He really plays the player, not the cards, and he catches on really quickly.

How were the other players at the table able to deal with him?

It seemed like some of the players were really focusing on his chips rather than him. It was like they wanted to go for his chips but they forgot who they were going up against. I spent the whole time avoiding Phil because you don't want to run into that big stack, especially when he's the one sitting behind it.

When Phil's at the table you have to change your strategy a bit. I tightened up. When Phil raises I have to have a strong hand to play back, and he knows that. Like I said, he plays the player and he knows I'm not going to bluff him too much. So there were several occasions when I check-raised and he mucked every single time.

Liz Lieu
Lieu on Day 1.

If we may I'd like to speak a bit about your life recently. We were all very sad to hear about your father's passing not long ago. How do things like that affect a player's game and how were you able to deal with it?

Well, when he first passed away I lost quite a bit of money playing, online mostly. I was traveling a lot at the time; I was traveling everywhere. But I spoke with a friend and he gave me some advice. He told me I had to get my priorities straight. Even though I had to work I wasn't in the right frame of mind. I spoke with Barry [Greenstein] the day after he passed and he told me I had to be very cautious playing poker even though I might have thought I was ready.

Did it take someone telling you that to really make it sink in?

I think I realized it. I agreed with what Barry said. What really got to me though was the talk I had with my friend. He told me that making money is always going to be important but right now where you should be is back in Vietnam with your father. My father played a really important part in my life. He and my mother are the biggest reasons I'm where I am in my life now. Losing him really felt like losing a big part of myself. And when I thought about what my friend had said I realized he was right.

Liz Lieu
At the final table in Macau.

Having gone back to Vietnam and spent the time there, do you feel like that helped you both in poker and in general?

I think that's the reason I was able to make the two final tables. I've gone back to do charity before but this time I probably did 10 times more than I ever have and it was meaningful to me because it was all for my dad. In our culture the people you rely on when you pass are your children. The more good deeds a child does, the better the afterlife of a parent.

It's great that you were able to do that. To change the subject, I hope not too abruptly, we've received word that you're going to be writing a weekly blog on What can we expect there?

Liz Lieu, Daniel Negreanu
I don't know what to tell you Daniel.

You'll get everything [...] strategy, analysis, lifestyle, gossip (laughs). It'll be a mix of everything.

As a female player who's had a lot of success do you think you're in a unique position to give other aspiring females advice?

I hope so. The one thing though is that I don't want them to take it the wrong way. I don't want to come off as sounding cocky or that I think I'm all that or anything. I'd just like them to know that I'll try to help them out a bit.

Well you certainly have the experience to do that. We look forward to it. Thanks Liz. has been following Liz Lieu's progress in major events for more than two years and we can't wait for the chance to hear her thoughts on a weekly basis. Keep an eye out for her blog which will be appearing on the site in the near future.

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