An Interview with Liv Boeree

Liv Boeree first appeared on the poker scene in 2005, when the British TV show Ultimatepoker.com Showdown selected her as one of its five contestants. Liv was a natural, and ever since, she’s competed in the World Series of Poker, the World Series of Poker Europe, and the European Poker Tour. Her total winnings currently exceed $2.5 million. She’s also hosted a number of televised TV shows and poker tournaments. Liv’s latest hosting gig is a Discovery Channel show coming out this year called Mind Control Freaks.

Club 808: Ultimatepoker.com Showdown seems like it was your big break into the world of poker. Were you playing before that? What got you interested in poker in the first place?

Liv: No, I’d never played a hand of poker, nor knew anything about it before that moment. However, as soon as they taught me the rules of the game and some basic strategy, I fell in love with the game.

Club 808: Was there a specific moment of no turning back? When you knew for certain you’d always be a poker player?

Liv: After the show I started playing in small tournaments at my local card club, and had some initial success that cemented my love for the game. However, it was when I learned of the international tours and met more of the game’s superstars that I really decided it was a goal I wanted to achieve.

Club 808: While on Ultimatepoker.com Showdown, some of your mentors were Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke and Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott. Do you still keep up with them, or see them around tournaments? Were they your favorite influences?

Liv: Yes, I occasionally see all three of them – they’ve all been very supportive of me since then and I’m hugely grateful for that.

Club 808: What’s your proudest moment at the poker table?

Liv: Winning the European Poker tour in San Remo, 2010. It was an incredible feeling and I’m very proud and grateful to have won the title.

Club 808: You have a lot of hosting experience. How did you get into that? What makes a great host?

It then gave me the bug to do more hosting and it’s recently lead me onto my latest show, Mind Control Freaks, which will air soon on Discovery Channel.

Liv: I got into hosting after being asked to do some reporting for my local card club, which then led me to follow the European Poker Tour for some hosting. It then gave me the bug to do more hosting and it’s recently lead me onto my latest show, Mind Control Freaks, which will air soon on Discovery Channel. What makes a great host? Knowing your subject matter, first and foremost! It gives you the opportunity to be spontaneous and adaptable.

Club 808: Do you play cards outside the poker table with family and friends? What games?

Liv: Almost never! I like to play games, but poker is almost always just work for me these days. I’d rather sit and talk or do another activity with my family and friends.

Club 808: You travel quite a bit for tournaments. Where’s your favorite place to play?

Liv: I love the stops on the European Poker Tour such as Barcelona and Monaco—they’re so glamorous. I also enjoy stops where I get to visit somewhere a bit different that has beautiful nature nearby. I went travelling across Australia at the start of this year after the Aussie Millions, which was a breathtaking experience.

Club 808: What factors go into deciding which tournaments you enter?

Liv: I generally look for the softness of the tournament field. A dream tournament for me is one with a large number of amateur players with a relatively high buy-in. Those are the ones with the highest expected ROI.

Club 808: What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen happen at the poker table?

Liv: I’ve had a guy’s intoxicated girlfriend, who was sat on the rail, start shouting and hitting him for chatting to me briefly during a hand. That certainly added an extra dynamic!

Club 808: What’s some advice for someone interested in getting into professional poker playing?

Study, study, study! The game at high stakes is competitive these days and if you want to maintain an edge then be prepared to do some pre and post-game analysis.

Liv: Study, study, study! The game at high stakes is competitive these days and if you want to maintain an edge then be prepared to do some pre and post-game analysis. However, there’s still plenty of opportunity for new players to come into the game, make money and most importantly, have fun and learn a lot about the game in general without making it a full time career.

Club 808: Where’s the best place to find you on the web?

Liv: My Twitter or Facebook pages. Oh, and check out my Vine—I do a lot of weird things on there!

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