Archive for March, 2010

Friends, Relaxation, and Poker!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I was running quite well there for awhile, posting blog entries every few days… And then I got to Europe! Yes, we do have internet access over here – LOL – but I’ve been so busy soaking up the atmosphere that I haven’t posted for two weeks. Now that I’ve confessed, let’s move on, shall we. 😉 hehe

So, when I left Vegas two weeks ago, I headed straight for London, but that stay was short-lived, as all I had time to do was drop off my luggage and get back to the airport. I took a short flight to Malta for one day. Why such a short time? To surprise a friend!

Feliciana is the finance director for Chilipoker and a good friend. She has been nothing but loyal, honest, kind, and sincere since I first met her, and she is the type of person who will do anything for her friends. Since I’ve been with Chilipoker, she has been a person that I not only respect but look forward to talking to every time I call or visit. She invited me to her birthday party numerous times but I kept telling her that I didn’t think I could make it, though I knew the whole time that I would be surprising her. And I did! It was a blast!

There were about 40 people at the party, mostly Chilipoker staff, which was great because it was an opportunity for the Chilipoker family to bond. The reason I signed with Chilipoker back in 2007 was because I enjoy working with a close-knit group of people, and it had been awhile since we all bonded like we did on the night of Feliciana’s birthday. The entire team was there, catching up on our lives and enjoying the night, which felt wonderful and made me very happy. It was definitely one of the best parties I’ve been to in a very long time, and it was awesome to chill with my Chili teammates in Malta!

As for Feliciana, she had a fabulous time, which was the biggest goal of the night. She wrote some notes on her facebook the next day, thanking several people for their efforts and their friendship. Part of what she wrote, which means so much to me: “A VERY special thanks to LIZ, for having come all the way down to Malta just for me. Thank you LIZ for your presence, thank you for the Moet I used to toast with for my birthday, thank you for just being YOU, the party girl who was chatting and dancing with everybody…” And because I’ll do anything for my friends, I also put my Blackberry in my purse and kept it there for the entire evening when Feliciana asked me to. She wrote that it was the “best present ever.” I love that! Anything I did was the least I could do for such an amazing person and friend.

The next morning, I flew back to London. The weather has been horrible here – cold and rainy every day! – but I’ve been taking care of business, doing a lot of shopping and relaxing, and seeing parts of the city I’ve never seen before. Some of my days just involve chilling at home with my cats, too, which has been a refreshing change from the first few busy months of 2010. And I take some time every other day to play online poker on Chilipoker, and I’m using this as a good warm-up for live events on the horizon. What I’ve been doing feels a little like a normal, calm life. Wow! It’s strange but I love it. 😉

I also started my nutrition and workout program, including a healthy eating plan and workout sessions with my personal trainer. The warm-up consisted of three days a week, but we’ll soon be doing five days each week. That is some tough training! But I can already see and feel the difference, so I have to admit that my trainer is frickin’ awesome!

Speaking of poker, I’m looking forward to getting back on the felt to compete in some live events soon. And the big Chilipoker Deepstack Open (DSO) is coming up very quickly! (Is it really almost April already? OMG.) The DSO starts on the 9th of April in Aix-en-Provence at the Partouche Pasino there, and I can’t wait! Not only is it going to be a great mix of amateurs, online qualifiers, and pros, but it will be a sold-out event. How great is that? The event was capped at 500 players and sold out weeks before the tournament is even set to begin. Fantastic!

After the DSO in France, I’ll be heading to San Remo in Northern Italy for the European Poker Tour stop there, and I’ll play in the San Remo Main Event. And then I’ll be traveling just a few miles west of there to Monaco for the EPT Grand Finale in Monte Carlo at the end of April. I’m super excited to play some live poker and start to see all of the positive things in my life come into focus. With the hopes I have for my poker year in 2010 and the work I’m putting into my physical health these days, I feel prepared and ready for the circuit. Let’s go!

Cheers!

The Joys (or Not) of Travel

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Airline travel is not a fun thing, plain and simple. There are the security lines, limits on baggage weight, limits on the number of checked bags, and rules about what can be in your carry-on bags. Everything is so complicated!

Packing alone is a chore, especially when trying to pack for a few months. It’s hard to know what clothes and accessories to bring. How do I know how often I’ll be going out to nightclubs or nice dinners? I have to consider clothes for those occasions, for my new exercise routine, for casual days around the apartment, sleeping, casual lunches with friends… And speaking of exercise, I really wanted to bring my bike, , so I had to check with the airline about how much it would cost to check it on the plane and how to pack it, then I had to go to the cycling store to have them disassemble it, box it up, and help me get it back to my place before going to the airport.

Getting to the airport with all of my bags is another task, and once I get there, I had to deal with checking all of my bags, paying the fees for them, and only then could I go to the security line. Those lines are never fun, especially when you have to remove shoes, belt, jacket, and jewelry that might make the security alarm buzz. I take the computer from the carry-on bag, remove baggies full of liquids, throw away my bottle of water before going through the line, and remember to hold my boarding pass. After passing through security, it’s time to put everything back in their packed places, put my clothes and other accessories back on, and then trudge to the gate.

Oh, and once I arrived at the gate, they informed me that my flight was two hours late. Times like this is when first class tickets really comes in handy. 😉

I guess I shouldn’t complain. I am going to be spending a few months in Europe in the springtime. It just used to be much easier to fly. And most people thought that by 2010, we’d be flying around in little space-mobiles like the Jetsons, right? LOL.

Anyway, I’m safe in Europe with my luggages, bike, and everything else that took me days to pack. Twelve hours later, I was back on the road headed to the airport again, hopping on the another flight to my second destination.

Cheers!

Getting Healthy

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Everyone seems to be doing it these days, getting healthy I mean. People go on diets, start exercise plans, and try to remove some of the stress in their lives. And I may be joining them!

Not saying that I’m unhealthy. I’ve had personal trainers, exercised here and there, and tried to eat fairly balanced meals when my schedule allows. But being so busy with poker, business, and life, I let things get away from me. And the level of stress in my life sometimes gets so bad that I feel physically ill. That can’t be good! So, at the advice of a close friend, I’m going to make a more serious effort to get super healthy.

First, while in Europe over the coming months, I’ll be exercising more with the help of a top personal fitness trainer. If I make it more of a regular thing with a specific plan, it can be something that I continue when I’m back in the states and getting through the WSOP summer.

Second, I’ve been given a diet plan. This is the part I’m going to struggle with…I can tell! It’s a nutritional plan, where common sense prevails, so no starvation-type liquid-only type diets, just healthy well balanced meals containing the right amounts of carbohydrates, protein and good fat. For instance, the first day he has me eating porridge with berries and crushed almonds, fruit salad with sunflower seeds for a morning snack, tuna and veggies for lunch, boiled egg and avocado for an afternoon snack, and a thin slice of beef with veggies for dinner. It actually doesn’t sound so bad when I write it out, but I’m used to eating some pretty hearty meals! I might try this when I arrive in Europe and settle in, and it is only three days… We’ll see how that goes! :S

In the next few months I want to improve my total well-being; that means incorporating a lifestyle that is super healthy, enabling me to de-stress, and become stronger both physically and mentally. My persona is that of a workaholic perfectionist (if there is such a thing…or am I the first?!?) hehe , and through experience I have come to realize that I need to adopt a more balanced lifestyle to take care of ‘ME’! 🙂

Cheers!

Mystery Travel

Friday, March 5th, 2010

It’s that time again, time for me to get on the road. Technically, in the air, but you know what I mean. 😉

I have made my travel plans for the next few months, and all I can really say is that I’ll be in Europe. Why no specifics right now? Well, I’m not giving exact dates or exact locations because there are people who care a little too much about what I’m doing. Sorry stalkers! You’ll have to do some guessing on this one! LOL.

The only thing I can be specific about is the Chilipoker DeepStack Open, which I already mentioned in my blog. I wouldn’t miss it! It is scheduled for April 9-11 in France at the Pasino Aix-en-Provence, and the €550 Main Event looks to be a massive one. And there are two side events running as well, both freezeouts, one on April 10 with a €300 buy-in and the other on April 11 with a €150 buy-in. I probably won’t play the side events because I’ll be doing so well in the Main Event, of course! 😉 But there’s plenty of poker to be played at the Aix-en-Provence that weekend, so come join me!

Don’t forget that qualifiers are running now at Chilipoker for seats into the Main Event, and players are winning seats for as little as €1.1 through March 31. In order to help spice up the tournament, Chilipoker has launched two new concepts for all the Chilipoker qualified players and for those registering to the Main Event via their Chilipoker account:

·    Extra-Ball: You’ve kicked everybody out of the tournament and you are our final lucky winner? Chilipoker rewards you even more by adding 50% of your winnings to the prizepool: the first half is yours and the rest will be shared between all the Chilipoker qualified players of the Main Event! This is what we call the Chilipoker Spirit!

·    Knock-Out Insurance: You’ve busted out of the tournament, finished with no money but kicked at least 5 players out? Don’t be disappointed, Chilipoker wants to reward you for your action on the tables! We invite you to another Chilipoker DeepStack Open stage and will pay for your buy-in to the Main Event!


Chilipoker Deepstack Open (DSO) – Statut DSO VIP

There are other events going on over the next few months, and I plan to do some appearances for Chilipoker as well as take care of some business meetings. But I’m also really looking forward to the change of scenery! I’m so excited to get back and enjoy my next few months with coworkers and friends, and immerse myself in the culture before coming back to the States for the 2010 WSOP.

Cheers!