Q&A with poker pro Liv Boeree

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Liv Boeree is a Team PokerStars pro from Kent, England. In April 2010, Boeree won the European Poker Tour in San Remo, banking $1,793,143. She was introduced to poker on a whim when she was selected for a reality TV show that aired in 2005. She ranks eighth on the women’s all-time money list with $2,254,544 in career winnings. Ante Up’s Mike Owens caught up with Boeree to discuss her rise in poker and how she keeps her game sharp.

How did you get into poker and how long have you been playing professionally? I was on a game show that taught beginners how to play poker. I had no idea we were going to be playing poker as they kept it a secret. On the show, we were given tips by the Devilfish, Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth. After that, I fell in love with the game and I’ve been playing on the circuit for three years now.

How did the sponsorship with PokerStars come about? After I won EPT San Remo, they invited me to join Team PokerStars Pro. It’s one of my proudest moments and a goal I had been working toward for a while.

Now that you’re famous in the poker world, what’s the craziest rumor you’ve heard about yourself? Nothing that weird. Although there’s always a lot of random speculation about who I’m dating, which is pretty absurd and amusing.
How do you work on your game and stay sharp? I try to read strategy articles online when I can, but I find my best asset is my wonderful group of friends, who also happen to be amazing players. Even if I’m not discussing my own hands, hearing them talk to each about the way they approach hands often gives me new ideas of how to think about the game.

What’s your proudest poker accomplishment and why? Winning EPT San Remo. I’d always dreamed of winning a major, I just never thought it’d be such a big one as that.

How much has playing with the best in the world helped in the development of your game? A huge amount. I’m lucky to be friends with some of the best in the world and talking poker with them always raises the level at which you think about the game.

Is there anything about being on the road all the time and traveling you hate? I love it. Can’t say I really hate anything. I guess it can get a little tiring sometimes, particularly with the boring stuff like canceled flights, etc. But I love it so much, I can’t imagine swapping it for anything.

Who gave you the nickname the “Iron Maiden?” My friend Nick Binger came up with it as I approached the final table of San Remo and had just made a really tricky river call.

What is your advice to women who are looking to play professionally? My biggest advice to anyone, male or female, looking to play poker is to always keep other interests and options available to you as much as possible. Throwing everything to the wind to play poker is very risky, as you should always diversify the ways with which you can make a living throughout your life. It will also take some of the pressure off you if you’re going through a bad run, or while you need to take time off to work on your game.