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How Xuan Liu Turned Love of Strategy Games into Pro Poker Career
Xuan Liu always loved board games and learning strategy so it's no wonder she found a lucrative career as a professional poker player.
In the final episode of our short documentary series "Easy Game" we visited Liu at her home in Toronto.
“If I wasn't in poker, if I was in any other industry, I'd want to strive to be the best,” said Liu.
“Having said that, I'm also a pretty realistic person and I value comfort and a balanced lifestyle over doing whatever it takes to become the best in the world.”
With interviews from her fellow poker pros Mike “SirWatts” Watson and Nick Binger, and her sister Anny Chien, this documentary explores how a young woman was able to break into a highly competitive and largely male-dominated profession.
When this documentary was completed Liu had already earned over $1.4 million playing live poker tournaments and she would go on to win even more.
Liu also went on to land a spot as an ambassador for Team 888poker and as part of the cast for a new poker reality show called “Girls Got Game”.
Watch the video now and keep reading below for more info on Xuan Liu.
“Looking Back, It All Makes Sense”
Xuan Liu moved to Canada from China with her family when she was five years old and grew up in Toronto.
As a kid she moved around a lot. She went to a lot of different schools but she was always interested in learning strategy games.
According to her sister Anny she was always very competitive.
“Xuan was always really into like chess and checkers and go and all those really complicated strategy games,” said Anny.
“I would just learn the rules and get like half a game in and just give up but then Xuan and my dad would be sitting across the table thinking about their next moves and I could see the wheels turning in their heads.”
According to Xuan, her love of poker started when was very young. She says she used to set up poker games against her stuffed animals.
“I'd pretend like I had limited information for each party and make decisions based on hypothetical scenarios as to what each stuffed animal would do.”
Fast forward to University and Xuan was hosting private poker games in her apartment with her boyfriend, catering to other students at Waterloo.
After more experience and exposure to the game, Xuan started playing seriously and the rest, as they say, is history.