Liv Boeree on being reimagined as a dominatrix and more
Editor's note: This Q&A with Liv Boeree took place at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on January 13.
Walking into the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure poker room, an intimidating figure of Liv Boeree, wearing six-inch heels and wielding a whip, greeted thousands of poker players. Between waterslides and poker at the PCA, I talked to the San Remo EPT and Sunday Warm-up champion on being re-imagined as a poker dominatrix, fish massages, and her tips for women in live super-satellites.
Poker Stars Women (PSW): Tell us about the video campaign, "We are Poker". It looks incredible--you must be getting a lot of questions about it!
Liv Boeree (LB): It was such an epic shoot. They had to sew me into the dress; it was completely made to measure. I had to wear things in strategic places to cover up. The make-up and hair took hours. The actual whip was huge, like 20 feet long. And they asked me to get it going and the actual swinging around the headshot was easy. It was absolutely fantastic.
PSW: How quick were you to catch on to the whip?
LB: Surprisingly quick, or perhaps unsurprisingly, depending on what your opinion of me may be.
PSW: Ha! So, did you get a chance to punish your opponents at the PCA?
LB: I had a deep run in the Main Event and ended up cashing. Overall, this is the best PCA I've ever been to. The weather is insanely good, it's so warm. We've been hanging out on the waterslides all day. We also went to the beach today and some people were dropping bread . . . there was a whole shoal of fish around you, kind of like of fish massage. I've been playing fewer tourneys as a results but I feel balanced and relaxed when I do play.
PSW: It seems that PokerStars is adding a lot of interesting but less typical formats to their live tour spots, like the "Ante Up" tournament, the "Win the Button" and the $1000 + $1000 bounty. What do you think about these types of ideas?
LB: I think it's great that they're being creative about the different types of poker. It keeps people's interest in the game. For instance, Rivers is a very interesting concept. I played that at the EPT in London and ended up coming in third. It's kind of a cross between Omaha, Hold'Em and Stud. Everyone gets his or her own river card facedown. A surprising number of people misread their hands. I'm really impressed with all the innovation.
PSW: One format that often interests our readers at PokerStars Women is satellites, since those are gateways to events like the PCA. Now that you are a pro playing high-rollers, do you still play satellites?
LB: I actually still try to. I haven't played any here but it's important. I was thinking of playing a satellite into the high roller.
PSW: When you won San Remo, didn't you satellite in?
LB: That's right--I did, I didn't have the bankroll to buy-in otherwise. I was in the South of France for something else and I couldn't get home due to the volcano, so I was like all right, "I'll just jump on the train to San Remo" to try satellites. I won the first one I played and then won the tournament.
PSW: Wow, that worked out well! Do you have any tips for live satellites?
LB: Well it mostly comes down to short stack play so you need to know your shoving ranges well. The average stack will usually be only about 18-20 blinds at the end, maybe even less. As for women, particularly in live satellite, if you make friends with people at your table, sometimes people can be extremely chivalrous. The number of walks I've gotten during the bubble of a satellite, just by talking to people and making friends with people at the table . . . it can be amazingly beneficial. I actually like that about satellites. You can make a lot of good friends at them.
PSW: I agree. Personality is key in live satellites. What are you planning to play in next?
LB: EPT Deauville. There will probably be a big turnout and I'm very excited about it. Then I'll play the UKIPT Galway. That's the start of season three of UKIPT, which will be really fun. And then more EPTs.
PSW: How do you find time between all your tournaments and engagements to work on your game?
LB: Mostly by discussing hand examples with people. Just going over scenarios again and again. Try to get as many in your head as possible, talking to friends about correct lines of play.
PSW: Do you have any interesting hands from this Main Event?
LB: Yeah, I had one on day two against David Bach, a very well-known mixed game cash player. He plays very high-stakes and has also won a WSOP bracelet. He is an incredibly accomplished player, but I don't know if No Limit Hold'Em is his best game.
I opened the button with queens with about 33 big blinds (effective stack). He defends. The flop comes T93 rainbow. He check raises me. Obviously ten-nine can be in his range here a lot, but also straight draws. I don't think he's likely to have tens or nines so the only set I'm really worried about is threes. One important thing about this hand is that I had overheard him talking about a hand previously, saying "I should have raised that turn." He had Ace-ten and the turn was a ten, but there were a lot of straights and so on out there and I thought it was weird he wanted to raise for value.
So after he check raises me in our hand I think that there are a lot of Ace-tens, King-tens and maybe Queen-tens in his range. His raise was pretty small so I called. The turn is a seven . . . not too bad, the only straight that got there is Jack-eight, and I don't think he's defending that. He bets again quite big and I call. The river is a three. And he bets 5K and I've got 11K total. So I go for quite a thin value-shove . . . and he calls me off with queen-ten.
PSW: Nice, you doubled up. So did you think about calling instead of shoving the river?
LB: Well, when the board paired on the river, I beat ten-nine... if not, I probably would have just called.
PSW: You don't think he played it well? You didn't like his check/raise?
LB: No, I don't like his check-raise, barrel/barrel, call line at all.
PSW: Do you have any tips for members of PokerStars Women for improving online?
LB: Practice, practice, practice. Get in the maximum number of hands. I would recommend using tracking software if you're interested in playing a lot of volume. If you can train your mind to think of things like VPIP (Voluntarily Put Money in Pot), steal percentage, 3-bet percentage, etc., then similarly when you're playing live, you're going to be thinking along the same lines. So instead of thinking vaguely, I think this person is active, you're more likely to think, "Wow- they've actually played 30 of the last 70 hands."
PSW: Yet some very strong online players don't use this software for tournaments . . .
LB: Yeah, a few of my friends don't use it . . . Then they're just amazing. But I believe anything that can help your edge, why not?
PSW: Well, you've certainly had a lot of recent success online, like your 2011 Sunday Warm-Up win. How did that feel?
LB: It set me up for an amazing year online and was a real confidence booster. I just wish my live year had been as good as my online year. The plan for 2012 is to combine it and crush online and live. Cashing the Main Event of the PCA was a great start.