Poker Stories: Kitty Kuo

12.23.2019 - By Poker Stories

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Kitty Kuo has always had gambling in her blood, taking weekend trips to Las Vegas for long blackjack sessions while studying at the University of Southern California. Although she ultimately got her master's degree in electrical engineering, it was poker that she chose to pursue as a profession. Despite being cut off by her parents for the decision, Kuo made the bold move to Vegas to chase her dream.

In the years since, Kuo has earned more than $2.3 million in live tournaments, improving her game along the way with the help of poker superstars such as four-time WPT champion Darren Elias and high roller crusher Steffen Sontheimer. Kuo won the Macau Poker Cup, and has final tabled the Aussie Millions main event, the Hollywood Poker Open, WPT Malta, and the Legends of Poker main event. She also finished runner-up in the WPT Bobby Baldwin Classic and most recently took second in a $5,000 side event at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

Kuo has also made frequent appearances on live streamed games such as Live At The Bike!, and even had her own cash game on Poker After Dark. Last summer, she was named in an anonymous survey of high rollers as one of poker's best follows on social media. Kuo is also married to 2012 WSOP main event fourth-place finisher Russell Thomas.

Highlights from this interview include growing up in Taiwan, how her parents tried to choose her future, a love for ping pong, weekend trips to Vegas, her USC blackjack team, using the Martingale strategy to deal with losses, why she has gambling in her blood, being disowned by her family for six months, bribing a floorman so she could sit next to Daniel Negreanu, learning from Darren Elias and Steffen Sontheimer, and why she turned down help from Bryn Kenney, why its easy to get Phil Hellmuth to fold, calling her future husband a fish, why men in poker are thirsty, celebrating wins by spending six-figures on Chanel bags, being a social media cartoon, selling CDs on the street, winning a spin class last longer bet, getting mistaken for Maria Ho, and the dance skills of Russell Thomas.

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