Every now and then a player comes along who shows some balls. One of those players is Kitty Kuo.
Kuo almost has it all. She is supremely confident in herself, while being completely dismissive of anyone else. It all happens in a largely endearing way, as a look at her Twitter account usually shows:
Move to new table in the last two leaves ,I have 200k chips n now down to 150k. I didn't win any hand in new table yet ,it's not the good !
— kuo hui chen (@kittykuopoker) October 8, 2013
So while she has Michael Tureniec and Davidi Kitai at her table — two accomplished EPT winners — you suspect Kuo believes she has the edge. It’s marvellous.
The only thing she doesn’t have is a deck that complies with her every wish. Had she that, she would sparkle even more than she does now.
That gleam comes from the range of accoutrement’s she has, mainly glistening nail varnish that can only be described as “lumpy”, and a ring on her left hand that twinkles under the lights. To top it off she has a Hello Kitty phone cover, which she holds six inches from her face every few minutes.
Unless she’s in a hand that is, in which case she is a bundle of fierce, staccato fidgeting, which has the effect of leaving her opponent guessing.
When she loses a pot she quietly seethes, but when she wins it’s as though she cannot contain herself. Like a power up in a Nintendo video game that turns a character hyperactive for a few seconds, with stars and sunbeams all over the place.
With a board of 10♠6♦A♦6♣8♥ she shoved all-in, using that same jitteriness to toss some chips into the pot. For his part Yan couldn’t help himself. First he grinned, then he pouted with his lower lip sticking out. Then, presumably to stop himself grinning, he bit his lower lip while looking over at Kuo. She chewed her gum a little more furiously and ignored him.
Kitty Kuo with David Yan
The question Yan was asking himself was whether or not this was a frustrated Kuo, or a strong one. Kuo likes to boss a table, as Dara O’Kearney discovered when he sat to her left yesterday. Yan had to answer this himself. First though he had to stop laughing,
Eventually he folded. Kuo said something that nobody could quite hear. Or maybe only Yan heard, receiving a lesson on how to treat his – and her – chips. Yan took his lesson like a man. Who knew if he’s been outplayed? Kuo knew it, and in the mind of this rising star, that’s all that matters.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.