Archive for October, 2010

Whirlwind October Brings Me Back to Vegas

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

The month of October was a crazy one! I didn’t have much time to blog about it, but now that I’m home in Vegas, I can relay some of the things that brought me from the food poisoning in London in September to where I am now.

After missing the World Series of Poker Europe because of my sickness, I was excited to get back to the tables and play the EPT London event. I started that on September 30 – Day 1B – and even though I didn’t feel totally healthy at that point, I was ready to play poker. But it was an uneventful tournament for me with a quiet table. I didn’t get involved in any hands until after the third break, when I looked down at Q-8 of hearts next to the button. I raised to 750, the button reraised to 2000, and I called. The flop came 2h-6h-8s, I bet, the button raised, I reraised, and the button called. I bet another 6,200 on the 9s turn and the button moved all-in. I called, and the button had pocket jacks. The river was the 4s, and I was out.

I spent the next two weeks in London, enjoying my days with the cats and spending some evenings with my girlfriend Kele Le Roc who had just gotten back from L.A. We spent a few nights at the local clubs, and the dancing and good times were just what I needed!

Kele just finished recording a music video with Tha Vill in Los Angeles for a song called “More Than Friends,” which was directed by another very close friend of mine, Shannon Elizabeth. I still can’t stop watching the video! Congrats and a big shout-out to my friends for the amazing video!

After those good times, things took a turn for the worse when I traveled to Vienna on October 14 for the Chilipoker Deepstack Open. I was excited to get there, and even though my flight out of London wasn’t until 9:50am, I left home at 6:45am to head to the airport. We hit bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way, and I did not hit the airport until 30 minutes before my flight was scheduled to leave. I rushed to the desk to check in, and the customer service woman rudely told me that the flight was closed. I was too late! I headed over to a different customer service desk and was told that I was considered a no-show and my ticket to Vienna was no longer valid…even though I was still there before my flight! On top of that, the guy told me I could buy a new ticket – for £659 one way! – but I couldn’t use my airline points because that had to be done 24 hours in advance. I didn’t believe him, so I walked away with my heavy luggage to used my iPad. Guess what? I was able to book the ticket with my points online and only paid $87!

That flight was more than five hours away, though, and they wouldn’t let me check in for that one, so I had to wait in the arrivals area. For some reason, everyone else there could access the wi-fi and use their computers, but I wasn’t able to purchase the internet access. Frustrating! I also discovered that my Blackberry wasn’t working because the trackball was broken, which meant that I couldn’t access any of my emails or do any work from the airport. I felt like the day was wasted.

My new flight finally boarded, though it was an hour and a half late, and I ended up getting to Vienna at about 8:30pm. As soon as I get to my hotel and walk through the doors to check in, the computer system at the hotel went down. Really? LOL. While I was waiting for them to figure out how to get my room key, I asked the guy if there was a place to fix my phone. He actually worked at a place but told me it would take 14 days to fix. Ummm, no thanks! Anyway, I got to my room, and I started to turn on the TV to get the internet access code to get to my emails, but the TV crashed. The guy who came to help me couldn’t help but laugh at my horrid streak of road blocks, and I had to laugh, too! It seemed that everything I touched that day went wrong, and I just wanted it to be over.

(Tourn Report and Interview with Georg Steiner from Pokernews DE)

The next day was better. I headed to the Montesino Casino to play the Main Event – €550 for 50K starting chips! – and I discovered that the tournament was very well done! Everything there felt comfortable, the staff was amazing and welcoming, and the players even had a great attitude. We chatted at the table, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. I had a bounty on my head in the tournament, though, and anyone who knocked me out won a freeroll into the next DSO event, so people were definitely gunning for me. One of the big hands in the beginning was a good example. I had 7-8 from the big blind and got involved with two other players. When the flop came 7-8-3, I checked, the UTG player bet, and the other guy raised to 3500. I pushed it up to 12,500, UTG mucked, and the other player called. The 3 came on the turn, we both checked, and we checked again on the 5d river. He turned over Q-2 of diamonds for the flush.

(photo courtesy of Montesino Pokertainment Center)

The players kept coming after me, though I busted two of them and built up a nice stack through Level 5. However, I lost a lot of chips (50k+) on this hand. It started with 7-9 in the big blind and there were four of us in the hand who all called the original minimum raise from seat one (UTG position) I flopped a straight on the 8-10-J flop! I checked, seat one bet 2,500, another called, and I raised. The action got a little crazy, a few re-raises until i called seat one’s all-in on the flop, it turned out that my opponent had pocket eights, and the turn paired the ten to give him a full house. I doubled him up.

(Interview with Georg Steiner from Pokernews De)

I still had 27K or so in chips, but I didn’t see any playable hands for awhile and got blinded down. I eventually moved tables and decided to push all-in with A-K. Another player called with J-9 for ¾ of his chips, and of course the board came 3-7-7-9-3. I was out!

The next day, I played the €300 side event. That one started rough. The fifth hand I decided to play was pocket nines and hit on a 9-3-3 flop. Got my chips all-in on the flop, but my opponent had pocket aces, and an ace came right on the turn. I was crippled but made a quick turn around the very next level, doubling up twice then continued building my stack and finally ended the night with a healthy stack of 78,600 in chips. Day two started off slow, I couldn’t get much going. After about four levels of play, I finally picked up pocket J’s and went all-in, one player calls my all-in push then turns over pocket K’s. I ended up busting out in 27th place.

(photo courtesy of Montesino Pokertainment Center)

I even lost in cash games! Leon Groenewoud the head of events manager for the Montesino Casino and a few others wanted to play a friendly game of $1/$2 no-limit hold’em. At first I said I didn’t want to play because I just knew that I would lose playing such low limits, but changed my mind and played for the fun of it. And just as I thought, I lost €400!

(photo courtesy of Roy Decker)

The rest of the trip to Vienna was fun, though. One night, a group of my Chilipoker teammates and some of the tournament staff went out to a nightclub called The Box, and it was quite an impressive club! It wasn’t like Vegas, but it was nice and we had a blast. I also spent met and chatted with the CEO of Montesino, who was such a lovely and polite gentleman. He was so friendly and down-to-earth that it made me even more glad that I got to spend some time at the casino and get to know some of the people there. I will certainly be back!

Leaving Vienna was not so easy, though, because when I got to the airport, I found out that my ticket was cancelled. Since they considered me a no-show on my last flight, they cancelled my whole ticket! Unreal. I had to buy a new ticket, which I did online again, and about five hours later, I was finally on my way back to London.

I chilled in London for a few days with Kele then finally headed back to Las Vegas. The lovely Jace was waiting for me, and I can’t tell you how great it was to see my sweet cat again!

The last week, I’ve been thinking hard about what to be for Halloween, and my costumes are ready to be picked up! I have three to choose from, but it’s going to have to be a surprise. 😀 All I can say is that there will be some skin and at least one naughty outfit! 😉 I’ve already got tables reserved at my favorite clubs in Las Vegas for Halloween weekend, and the entire weekend will be a huge party. I can’t wait!

My next trip isn’t until November 17 when I head to Morocco for Chilipoker Marrakech Poker Festival, but I have another week to enjoy being home before I get on the road again. For now, I’m enjoying home and friends.

Cheers!