Liv Boeree

published on 02/10/06 at 9:21 am

Known as “The Professor” on the television show Showdown (channel 5 in the UK), Olivia “Liv” Boeree is still immersed in the game that she only learned a few months ago. The current astrophysics major, fashion model, and rock/metal guitarist might be new to poker, but she is attempting to make a name for herself in this ever-growing international game.

Did anyone in your family play cards when you were growing up?
Does snap count? No, we never really played any serious card games when I was young, as my mum hates them! She was originally quite disapproving of her daughter getting involved in the “seedy” world of poker, but I think she just hoped it was a brief phase! Oh dear…

Does astrophysics, rock music or modeling have any tangible links to poker?
Astrophysics – I suppose to an extent being able to think in a quantitative manner helps with the odds, but does the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle [The uncertainty principle is one of the cornerstones of quantum mechanics and was discovered by Werner Heisenberg in 1927.] apply to your pocket Aces getting cracked by A-3 offsuit? Well, in hindsight it probably does. Damned aces.

Rock music – It applies to everything! Gives you that extra edge in life… Metal baybeee.

Modeling – If only it did. Although I’m working on sultry poses for “I’m not bluffing, I just don’t want you to call ’cause I like you” and “Oh crap, there’s 4 diamonds on the board and I didn’t even notice.”

What is the best piece of advice given to you by any of the pros? What was your impression of them?
Annie Duke was wonderful, and although I never had a formal lesson from her on the show, I managed to collar her for 10 minutes to go through my game. She gave me so much information and excellent advice in that time that I went on to win the next game having been knocked out first in the previous one a few hours earlier! She gave me simple but oh-so-important tips for a beginner like “Raising is one of the most powerful tools you have to gain information” and also that patience is your best friend in a tournament. Devilfish was also great fun, and his most important lesson was all about aggression, and since seeing him play I can see why. I also got to meet Phil Hellmuth – the man is a legend! He was really friendly, helpful and kept everyone entertained to say the least!

Do you believe women have an advantage in live poker? Is women’s intuition a tangible entity?
I don’t believe that women are necessarily more intuitive than men, but they are certainly more able to get away with disgusting bluffs as men often label them as being predictable, tight players who will play nothing but Aces and Kings. A very handy label to have when nicking blinds in the late stages of a tournament!

What is your current level of activity with poker? Do you play both live and online? If so, which do you prefer? What percentage of your time is spent in each?
At the moment I am playing nearly every week at my local club (the Gutshot in London). You can’t drag me away from there! I’ve played a few times online, but I’m fed up of having my top pair/trips constantly outdrawn by some muppet (or more often than not, multiple muppets) who call my massive overbet on the flop completely against the odds, and inevitably hit their stupid inside straight draw. So percentage wise, it is currently 95% live to 5% online.

How would you describe your style as a poker player? Do you play tight or seat of the pants style?
I can vary quite a lot. I’m usually relatively tight but I do love the odd bluff now and then to keep the palms sweaty.

Do you currently play any forms other than NL holdem? What stakes do you normally play in any game?
NL holdem is the only game I know so far, but I’m quite interested in that funny looking animal that is Omaha. I usually play relatively low stake tournaments with lots of runners so that when you win, you get a lot of return and don’t have to put much at risk! Until I get a sponsor that is…

What online sites are you playing predominantly? Why?
I’ve had a few flutters on although at the moment though my favourite is as I seem to have the best results on there.

Do you believe your youth is an advantage or disadvantage in a live game situation?
I actually believe youth can be quite a disadvantage as you have less experience at reading people’s faces and their body language. Also, a 21 year old’s self control is nowhere near that of a 50 year old’s who has seen the ups and downs that both life and poker can bring. I’d say the TV show and the game itself has caused me to grow in a number of ways, and not just in the standard of my play.

Do you aspire to make a mark like many of the world’s great women players such as Jennifer Harman and Annie Duke? Is poker likely to be more of a past time for you longer term?
I have so much admiration for these world-class female poker players, and one day I would love to achieve the heights of success that they have. In the six months since learning the game I have been playing more and more tournaments and getting good results at an increasing frequency, so who knows!

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12 Responses to “Liv Boeree”

  1. The Jester

    Feb 10th, 2006


    Good interview, why didn’t you mention all your wins at the gutshot. You’ve beat some experienced players and some who think they are. Rock ‘n’ Roll baby.

    The Jester ;)

  2. ALI-G

    Feb 12th, 2006

    Hi Liv,

    First things first great pic.

    Secondly what were your thoughts on the Jester?

    And finally where do you see yourself in a few years time as far as poker is concerned? Do you think its just another phase you will outgrow, a regular pastime you will continue for enjoyment, or do you see it as something you would like to take on full-time and make a living from?

  3. Liv

    Feb 13th, 2006

    Hi Ali-G,

    Ah, the Jester. The man is evil, pure evil. Otherwise, the guy is a dude and I love him to bits!

    Where do I see myself in a few years? Probably heading a gamblers anonymous meeting! Seriously though, I would love to play the game full time and am building up the ol’ bankroll from successes at smaller tourneys so I can start playing in the bigger ones. Then I’ll hopefully catch the eye of a wealthy online gaming company!

  4. Brades

    Feb 15th, 2006

    Great interview there, nice to see the thoughts of some good poker players. I myself would love to play poker professionally and if I could concentrate long enough. Only once have I played not online and that was cheap and when I barely new the game! Now I’m building my online bank roll from 0 -> 100.

    Good luck and keep winning!

  5. Josh

    Feb 15th, 2006

    Great interview, the kind guys at Poker Plasm have allowed me to put it on our website at The Poker Channel. If you missed Liv first time round, you can catch the UltimatePoker Showdown twice a week on The Poker Channel!

  6. Crazy Snake

    Feb 17th, 2006

    Hi Liv,

    Nice job. Nice to see a fellow scientist taking to the game…
    Since live poker is as much about misdirection as cards, do you find you can use your looks to advantage in distracting the male component so you can put a disgusting bluff over on them or unbalance them in any way?


  7. Phat Boi Sk8

    Feb 27th, 2006

    You know its quite funny Liv, you basicly have the exact same interests as me. Nice to finaly know theres someone out there with some good taste lol. Im a rookie too that has been getting “good cards” my past 6 months. Hard to believe befor then I had never even knew what a flush was. Im hopeing to become a successful poker player also. So if I can keep catching cards, and you keep doing just as well, then we will more then likely see each other at the table one day. Maybe the WSOP? But untill then… Good luck!

  8. Marcelo

    Mar 8th, 2006

    Hey Liv,

    What metal bands do you like? Just curious to know. Death? Black? :D

  9. Liv

    Mar 10th, 2006

    I love the early 90s metal of Pantera and Carcass (particularly the heartwork album) but one of my fave bands at the moment is Dimmu Borgir who are black metal (as I’m sure you know!) Absolutely adore Children of Bodom as well – saw them in London recently and they were absolutely stunning!

    What sort of stuff do you like Marcelo?

  10. Marcelo

    Mar 11th, 2006

    Wow! Awesome!

    All the bands you mentioned are amazing. I see you like a variety of subgenres — very cool =)

    Right now I’m into Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, and Vital Remains, but I can never resist the temptation for some classic In Flames or Pantera.

    And hey speaking of concerts – I may go see Morbid Angel (here in Los Angeles) in April!!

  11. therock39

    Feb 27th, 2008

    Hi Liv,
    Dwaine (the rock)Johnson here, I ve been watching your progress in the poker world. Well done to you, my security guy has got me into playing a break from filming and wrestling. I am not that good though we were playing with Matt Damon and some other guys the other night and my bodyguard beat us all and won $10,000 off us. He speaks very highly of you, his name is Mark Alexander, he wishes you well, we are going to be in London for a few days next month so if you would like to get together with s for a game then drop me a line to

  12. [...] two years ago, we interviewed Liv Boeree about her approach into the poker world, her expectations, and her overall thoughts. In that small [...]

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