On March 10, 2021, a new member appeared in the fledgling GG OmahaSqaud – a poker player with Taiwanese roots Sasha “Poker Sasha” Liu (Sasha Hsiao Liu). This girl represents one of the unique examples of success in the industry, based on a great passion for the game and hard work. Let’s take a closer look at it.
Sasha’s youth: life in Russia and moving to Germany
Little is known about Liu’s life outside of poker. She was born in Taiwan and received her basic education there, but for the master’s degree she went to the main university in Russia – Moscow State University, and unplanned.
My education is in the area of journalism, which is called “public relations”. I was very lazy in learning (albeit successfully), but active in poker – I played and practiced semi-professionally for 14 hours a day, often forgetting to study. Shortly before graduating from college, I fell in love with a guy from Russia – so much that I was ready to do anything to be with him. I remember how I flew to Moscow in December – and my studies began in September – came to Moscow State University with the documents and asked me to be admitted. At first I was told that I was late, but I asked them to let me take the entrance exams to show that I can study. They tried to explain to me that foreign students must go through a preparatory year before taking exams. I insisted anyway – and failed the first exam. But she didn’t give up – and asked to give me a chance again, and this time everything went well.
Russia is a completely crazy and scary country. Life there changed my personality. When you live in Taiwan, you cannot even think that somewhere in the world there is such a country as Russia. God: on the first day of our stay there, my boyfriend and I went to a gun store so that I could buy a self-defense tool, because this is really needed in such a country. I chose a pepper spray and carried it with me for the rest of my stay. At the same time, I can say that in St. Petersburg and other cities it has never come in handy for me – unlike Moscow, in which it is dangerous. But I was so much in love at that time that nothing in the world could stop me from being close to someone important to me.
It’s funny that in college Sasha studied a little Russian, but by the time she found herself in Russia, she practically did not speak the language. Nevertheless, with the assistance of her now former lover and persistent efforts, she quickly mastered the spoken language at a decent level and even managed to work as a translator for a diplomat from Taiwan.
After that, the girl moved to Las Vegas, where she lived for more than five years, playing poker regularly. However, a couple of years ago she left the United States and moved to Germany due to the restrictions of the American states on playing online:
Living in Germany allows me to play a lot legally online, while regularly participating in live tournaments too. I got the opportunity to travel and play more, so as much as I love Vegas, I think moving to Germany is the right move. Moreover, at the moment, in my opinion, Germany is the best country in the world.
According to Sasha, she has been familiar with poker for over 10 years – although her first ITM in live tournaments date back to 2013, she started playing much earlier, and mainly in cash.
Liu gained most of her experience at the tables and in No-Limit Hold’em tournaments – for example, Sasha won 44 out of 60 prize places offline in NLH events – however, the poker player has her greatest love for mixed games, especially PLO:
At the very beginning of my poker career, I realized that I wanted to focus on grinding Pot-Limit Omaha – playing as much as possible, constantly learning, getting better. I think if you love something so much, then it is more than natural to want to do as much as possible in this direction, always strive for new heights.
At the same time, I do not want to say that Omaha is better than Hold’em – it just inspires me more. I love both HORSE and Stud – I think I just enjoy competing in different formats.
It is noteworthy that Sasha tried herself in variations of Omaha – PLO 5-card, PLO 6-card and others – but she continues to be faithful to classic PLO, calling this discipline the love of her life. When the Omaholic series appeared on GG, Sasha even joked that this word was perfect for her as a nickname, because she is a real Omahoholic.
In 2021, the whole poker world learned about Sasha after she was hired by the GG Omaha Squad: as of mid-May of this year, she remains the only woman in the team, and unlike her partners – Fernando “JNandezPoker” Habbeger and Mikhail Yakovlev’s “Minthon19” doesn’t stream his game yet.
What Sasha does in the GGPoker team
Sasha plays PLO tournaments almost every day and posts his results on Twitter, as well as travels to various countries for Omaha tournaments.
According to her, she joined GG Omaha Squad because the team was created to build, develop and strengthen the community of fans of mixed games and PLO in particular:
Team members essentially represent the discipline in the industry. In this way, we help it to become more widespread, to move from the category of games for a narrow circle to the public space – to become popular. Although we call PLO a cool and great game, sometimes it makes me sad to think that there are not so many PLO players. This is especially striking when you come to the series: MTTs in NLH have guarantees of two or even ten million, they are literally bursting with players, and PLO, at best, gains twenty thousand and only a few tables. We gathered at the GG to change this.
At the same time, the game in offline and online, as is the case with other rooms, is not divided for GG ambassadors: each player equally represents his discipline and room both live and in digital games. Perhaps in the future, the members of GG OmahaSquad will be divided into offline and online branches, but so far there are not many people in the team and they have a rather limited field of work, so they do everything possible to present the game to the maximum where possible.
Sasha mainly does this offline – for example, in April 2021 she went to MPS in Taiwan, where she wore GGPoker merchandise, played in tournaments and actively communicated with players and the press. There, she attracted a lot of attention, becoming the only girl on the final table of the Main Event.
What are Sasha’s results as of May 16, 2021?
As mentioned above, Sasha has 60 prizes in offline tournaments. Most of them are issued in the USA, in addition, she has victories and finals in series in different parts of the world, in particular:
- 1st place in PLO Hi at APT Taiwan 2021;
- 4th place in NLH / PLO at Taiwan Millions Tournament Season 10 2021;
- 1 место в Ladies Event на WPT Germany 2020;
- 3rd place in PLO Hi / Lo at PCA 2019.
At the moment, Lew’s offline prize pool is $ 306K. The profit from playing cash, where she spends most of her time live, is unknown.
As for online, it is impossible to find data on Sasha on SharkScope and PokerProLabs. However, we know from her Twitter account that in the last three months alone, she has won four Omaholic tournaments:
- $210 Super Sonic Bounty, приз — $2,154;
- $84 Bounty Turbo, приз — $1,173;
- $315 Sunday Bounty King, приз — $8,417;
- $315 Bounty King, приз — $3,075.
She is also doing well in the WSOPC: on May 2, Sasha became a $ 525 Bounty Hunters PLO runner-up, receiving $ 7,813, and by May 16, she managed to get another $ 19,170 in prize money for the series.
We will be closely monitoring Sasha’s career – now she is the face of PLO only in the GGPoker room, but in the future she may well lead the world poker community in terms of mixed games.