VIP Club: Second female Supernova ready to shine in '09

As 2008 came to a close, we became aware that one of the year's Supernova Elite players was the second female to ever achieve the top status. You may know her online as PokerSnoopy or in person as Millie Shiu. When we found out she was now a Supernova Elite, it seemed like a good time to have her introduce herself to everybody. Millie will be joining us all at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, but in the meantime, here's all you need to know about PokerStars' second female Supernova Elite.

by Millie Shiu

I first played poker in 1998. At that time, I owned a hair salon in Los Gatos, CA (near San Jose). That year, my friends took me to Bay101 for my birthday and I tried my hand at the 2-4 holdem game. I won 70 bucks and had a blast playing it, so I would try to sneak away from my salon whenever I could to play. I also ordered a bunch of poker books online so I could learn as much as possible. Within a year, I was playing 80-160 at Lucky Chances in Colma, CA and decided to sell my salon because I found that I could make a living playing poker...and it was alot more fun than running my hair salon!

Ashley birthday 139.JPG

Over the next few years, I spent alot of time in Los Angeles at the Commerce playing mostly 100-200 limit holdem. I would also visit Las Vegas once in a while and play at the Bellagio. During one of my visits to Vegas in 2002, I met my now husband Ted Park. I knew him from the Bay Area and hadn't seen him in several years, so it was nice to catch up with each other. He also plays poker, so we would visit Las Vegas 3 to 4 times a year.

In 2004, we were in town for the WSOP and I decided to play some events, including the women's event in which I came 2nd. This was a televised event on ESPN so it was fun to have people say they saw me on tv...there were numerous times I would be out and people would buy me a drink because they liked watching me on TV.

It was at around this time that I began playing online poker. Ted had been playing online for several years and told me that it was a good idea for me to try it. It was very convenient and the games were very good. Even though I tried it, I still preferred to play
live games because I liked being able to read people at the table. But the more I played online, I realized that you could read players there too even though the other players were not physically in front of you.

In 2005, Ted and I decided to buy a house in Las Vegas. We had spent the past couple of years spending 4-5 months out of the year living in the Bellagio during tournament time. We would visit and realized that since poker was both of our professions, it would make more sense just to live in Vegas. We moved into our house in October and have been in Vegas ever since!

Ironically, it was at this time that I began playing online poker more often. Outside of tournament time, the 100-200 limit holdem game didn't go every day and the games were often hit or miss. So I began concentrating on improving my online game. At this time, I played mostly at Party Poker because Ted played at PokerStars and we couldn't play in the same game. By the end of the year, I was comfortable enough to play 8 or 9 games at a time...quite a change from playing one live game.

After Party Poker closed its business to U.S. customers in 2006, I began playing exclusively at PokerStars. Even though I would still play live at the Bellagio once in a while, I would now say I was an online player. By this time, Ted didn't play as much online, so I now could play mostly any game I wanted.

In 2007, I became pregnant with my first child. As my pregnancy progressed, I enjoyed spending more time at home, sleeping in since carrying a baby can be exhausting. So if I decided to play poker, it was now strictly online...it was too tiring to go out to play.

After giving birth to a beautiful baby girl at the end of 2007, I have definitely been spending more time at home raising her. So in 2008, I would often play at PokerStars while the baby was napping or if she was with her father. Since I was at home most of the time with the baby (especially during the first 6 months), I found myself putting in alot of hours playing online at PokerStars. By accumulating so many VPP points during this time, I found myself in the position to achieve Supernova Elite status. I reached Elite status by the end of December and get to reap the rewards right away by playing in the 2009 PCA!

I am very excited to visit Atlantis again. Ted and I attended this event in 2005 and 2006 and we had a great time. Also, since there are so many pools, we are excited to bring our daughter Ashley there to play--she loves the water! I am also excited to play in the tournament. Ted is good friends with Mr. PokerStars himself, Daniel Negreanu, so he has given me a lot of good tournament tips that l can't wait to use. Even though Ted says Daniel's an idiot and I shouldn't listen to his nonsense, I think I'll follow Daniel's tips (these two always fight like little kids--it's like having 2 more babies).

So that's my story of how I got to Supernova Elite. Hopefully we'll have a chance to meet each other at the PCA!

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars VIP Club