Xuan Liu has won over $3 million in poker tournaments, working with some of the game’s most recognizable brands. She fell in love with the game at the University of Waterloo, making her way to the leaderboard at Pokerstars Sit N Go and Full Tilt Poker’s Rush Poker. Xuan leads instruction and sits on the Advisory Board at Poker Power.
Learn how Xuan uses her poker skills on and off the felt.
Finance can be intimidating, especially when you’re just getting started. How has poker helped strengthen your financial literacy?
Understanding when to take risks and when to sit back can make all the difference in good decision-making. Just like in real life, in poker, you have to understand what your goals are in any given hand or game and adapt to the ever-changing environment around you. Thinking about everyday situations organically in terms of probability and risk/reward instills confidence in how I assess my decision-making in any domain. You can parse the data and use it accurately, but sometimes the results still don’t go in your favor. And that’s OK. Such is life.
Becoming a poker player and having to manage a bankroll has taught me so much about risk and reward.
In poker, you have to be incredibly mindful of how much you’re willing to wager in order to win big. How does this apply to your real-life risk taking, saving, and spending?
I started off in my twenties often taking big risks in poker and sometimes failing. It doesn’t feel great when that happens, but ultimately I knew that was the best time for me to make risky financial decisions because I had the luxury of time to rebuild. Other times, taking shots worked and catapulted me into a lifestyle of being able to travel the world while playing a game I loved for a living for many years.
Now that I am in my mid-thirties, I am a lot more conservative with my financial decisions since I would never want to have to start over again. I would say that the overall upward trajectory in my poker career has definitely prepared me in learning about reaching my financial goals.
Zogo has made learning about finances really simple and fun. Why is learning about financial literacy an important investment for someone?
Having the skills to build wealth means having more freedom to do things we enjoy. While there are certainly more important things in the world than money, I see it as a kind of voting power – you put it towards causes and things you care about to benefit others. The more money you have, the more flexibility you have with how you want to live your life.
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