Thursday, April 12, 2012

EuroTrip...

Hello Internet blogosphere. After months of silence I am back. This seems to be the status quo for me as of late. I continue to tell myself to update the blog with more than just poker ramblings or what’s been going on with me. I have much more interesting thoughts that cross my mind on a daily basis, but I rarely use the blog as an outlet for that.

The last few months have been a mixture of work and play. I last left off in Australia where I played a few poker tournaments. I visited my friend in Japan after that. Japan was an incredible country because it was very different, culturally, from what I am used to. It interests me to visit a place I know nothing about and take in what’s around me. I was in Japan for five days and went from Osaka to Fukouka to Tokyo.

During the middle of February I traveled to Seneca Niagara Casino on the US side of Niagara Falls. The DeepStacks Poker Tour was having our first televised tournament event there. We had a pretty good turnout for the Main Event attracting 217 entries. We started the tournament on a Friday, whereas a Saturday Day 1 or Friday/Saturday combo would have probably brought a bigger crowd. Maybe next time we will structure the tournament differently. Overall it was a big success. We filmed parts of the event leading up to the final table as well as the whole, 6 handed final table. It was our first time putting on a production like that and I was quite impressed. I’m excited to see how the next event we televise will go.

A few weeks ago I traveled to Denver to do my commentary and analysis of the final table with Joe Stapleton. He helped me get comfortable with doing voiceover work and also gave me a lot of knowledge on the whole process of putting poker on TV. The production teams, Blue Fusion and Sky Theory were also awesome. We have a great group of guys working on the show and I look forward to doing more with them. I’m learning a lot and getting to do something I never thought I would do. I will continue to educate myself and I’m sure everyone involved in the show is doing the same. It’s a stimulating experience and I’m glad I can be a part of it.

I’ve written a few articles for the Chicago Tribune company. One of the articles involves a hand from the DeepStacks Poker Tour final table. You can read about it here. I also recently wrote about a hand I played in the PCA $10k Main Event in the Bahamas earlier this year.

Two weekends ago I went to New Orleans with my father. Apparently my mother has a bucket list for my dad. Last year they went to the Masters Golf tournament and this year she sent my father and me to the NCAA Basketball Final Four. My dad’s team is Syracuse. They had a great chance to do well in the tournament until one of their starters was declared ineligible by the University. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see them play.

The atmosphere in New Orleans was incredible. Not only was the Superdome packed, harboring 73,000 plus people, but the whole downtown area of New Orleans was chaotic. Our first night there I met up with some friends who were also in town and we stayed out until 4am on Bourbon Street (my dad was involved in the partying as well haha.) We stayed in the middle of downtown so we walked everywhere. It started pouring the night of the Championship game. We were forced to get ponchos and we walked to the stadium along with tens of thousands of other people. I’ve never seen a city shut down over the weekend like New Orleans was. It was a great sporting experience and something I'm glad I was able to share with my dad.

The first leg of my trip to Europe started in Dublin, Ireland. I played the Irish Poker Open and busted late on Day 1. I also played the 1k side event and busted on the last hand of the night in 20th place, with 11 making the money. I had a great time in Dublin. I met some great people, got to see different parts of the city, and overall had a fun time. There was only one bad experience while I was there.

On my last night there me, Adam Levy, Steve O'Dwyer, and Jordan Lewis (all internet poker players as well) went into a restaurant called 777. I called ahead and spoke to the lady working, told her there were four of us and we'd be there in 15 minutes. She said no problem. We show up, she greets us, and tells us our table will be ready in a minute. A few seconds later a guy walks up and tells us that they are full and we can't eat there. We explain the situation that we called ahead, and the waitress already told us she was getting a table. He tells us there are no tables available (there were 2 empty) and that we never called. I felt like I was dealing with an ex-girlfriend and showed him my phone to verify that I did call haha. He ignored that and said the kitchen is closing in 40 MINUTES and we can't eat here. Steve and I continue to argue with the guy, but we tried to keep it civil. This guy ended up being the manager and basically refused to let us eat there for whatever reason. The waitress comes back after he whispers something in her ear and tells us we can't bring our own alcohol inside. Steve had an almost empty bottle of water with him. She tells us she can't do anything, he is the manager, and she's sorry. I don't know why the manager acted like that. It was definitely a frustrating situation. If that's the worst thing that happened to me in Ireland than I must say it was a damn good trip haha.

I arrived in Vienna, Austria two days ago. I played Day 1B of WPT Vienna and finished the day 8th in chips with 179 players left. The top 45 players make the money. We are only playing 5 levels today, which is a good thing, but I have Elky, Fabrice Soulier and the huge chip leader (4 to my left) at my table. Hopefully I can continue to play well and have things go my way. Dublin was a good warmup and I'm ready to make some runs while I'm in Europe.

Once I am finished in Vienna I am heading to Berlin to play the EPT events there. After that tournament series I will head back to America. I am teaching a course at Parx Casino on April 28th with Matt Glantz and a couple other DS guys for DeepStacks. You can find some information about the camp here.

That's all for now, I'm glad I got a little update in. The internet hasn't been great while traveling around Europe. Maybe I can have a little success on this trip and have exciting news and updates for the blog in the days/week to come. Thanks for reading.

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