PCA 2012: Xuan Liu, last woman standing
"How much did you have at the start of the hand?" This was Xuan Liu staring intently at Nicholas Grippo on the button, who had three-bet her early position raise. The answer was around 200,000, about two-thirds of her own towers of yellow 1,000 and blue 5,000 chips. She passed.
You may remember Liu from our coverage of EPT San Remo last April, when she finished third for $524,705. Many present say she should have won, but got unlucky at a crucial time. First she lost two sizeable pots to eventual winner Rupert Elder, then she was crippled when Max Heinzelmann rivered a full house.
Her play had impressed, and it was clear this was a player we should expect to see more of.
Right now, Liu is the last woman standing in the PCA Main Event. With around 69 players still in, she's already guaranteed at least another $30,000 to add to her total career winnings of $665,000.
Her background is interesting in that she was a graduate at Waterloo University, Canada, a well-known hotbed of poker. There she ran home games that attracted the likes of EPT winner Glen Chorny, Michael Watts, Mike 'Timex' McDonald and Steve Paul.
Liu has always had a passion for games of skill and chance, but her interest in poker goes way back to when she was five years old and caught sight of a film called God of Gamblers. She loved the game of poker in the flick and was hooked, playing hands against herself. Playing for real would wait until those university days.
Sit and goes with friends and then cash games was her original preferred format, but she made a conscious decision to switch to live tournaments, one which results suggest was a good one. Here, she's now on 340,000 and looking a lock for a strong run in tomorrow's Day 4.
We've now been informed by tournament staff that play will stop for the night once we reach 64 players, who have played through level six, whichever comes first. Expect it to be the former.