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Sabina Hiatullah is on a year-long poker adventure thanks to winning the Italian poker reality show House of Bluff. Hiatullah won €50,000, part of which was paid in poker tournament buy-ins, and most recently she's using it to compete at the 2015 PokerListings Battle of Malta. Hiatullah was unlucky to bust the event late on Day 2 but took a few minutes to talk with BOM Host Maria Ho before getting ready for the BOM VIP Party happening later that evening. Hiatullah explained what it's like traveling to exotic locations to play poker, and what it takes to make a living playing such a difficult game. She also went into detail about the new poker reality TV show she's involved in with Sofia Lovgren called Girls Got Game. The show will feature eight female poker players who will travel together to major poker destinations around the world to play cash games with the most successful player winning a seat in the World Series of Poker Main Event.
PokerListings.com: How has this year's Battle of Malta been for you?
Sabina Hiatullah: Yeah unfortunately I just busted but still there's always lots of stuff to do. I think they've organized excursions so you could go see some of the other islands, parties every evening. Tonight's another party so I think I will go there and get drunk. (Laughs)
PL: Is the low buy-in making for a fun atmosphere in this tournament?
SH: I think the lower the buy-in the crazier people are because they're not so much money-scared. So in this tournament you find a lot of loose players that are just trying to get it in to get a big stack or not, but I think that's not the right attitude. It's normal that at some point you're shortstacked in a tournament but you have to keep your temper and be patient in a tournament.
PL: What's it like traveling all over to play live poker tournaments? Do you think you could play professionally?
SH: Nowadays being a professional poker player, if you're just playing MTTs, is very difficult and it's only the top 3 per cent who are able to do it. I'm definitely not one of those. I'm doing it now because I won the sponsor thing for one year.
PL: What other projects are you working on?
SH: Actually I'm doing another poker reality show in February which will be on TV but we don't know which country yet. It will be called Girl Got Game. We are eight girls. Among others there will be Sofia Lovgren and Oanh Bui, my friend, and we'll travel to Macau, Los Angeles and Las Vegas to play cash games. I'm really excited. At the end, the girl who made the most money from the cash games will be awarded a prize and play the WSOP Main Event.
PL: Do you see this show as a chance to make poker more accessible to women?
SH: Yeah, obviously being a woman in the poker world you get a lot of attention because there aren't many of us but I think the show could be a good thing because it could attract more female players which would be great.