Posts Tagged ‘europe’

On the European Road Again

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Well, almost! I’m still handling last minute preparations before spending about three months overseas, and there is quite a bit to take care of. Besides finding a loving soul to look after Jace while I’m gone, as he’s not well enough to travel yet, there are all of the home details to attend to before I head out. And I’m trying to map out my entire trip and all of the tournaments I’m going to play. I’m exhausted before even getting on the first flight – LOL!

One of the most important things I’m handling before I leave home is the arrangement of my father’s three-year praying ceremony. It’s coming up later this week, and since I can’t be in Vietnam for it, I wired the money to cover all expenses and have been on the phone with my cousin almost constantly to make sure the organization and preparation is being done perfectly. The ceremony falls on the week of the Vu Lan Ghost Festival, which is a significant event for the people of Vietnam and throughout Asia, as Buddhist temples all over the region celebrate the deceased wandering spirits. And since the anniversary of my father’s passing happens to fall on that week, it’s an even bigger memorial, which features charity for those in need and a tribute to spirits. It’s the best way I can celebrate the memory of my father, and it’s very important that I make everything perfect.

(photo courtesy of Ian Morton)

“Vu Lan Festival” is believed to be the spirit month in Vietnamese culture as a way of honoring the dead. On this day, souls are believed to return to their former homes.

From this assembly, many Buddhist countries developed the custom of offering food, clothing and other items to hungry spirits in the month when the realms of Heaven, Hell and the living are open.

The object of this ceremony is to feed the hungry ghosts and to pray for their salvation. This ceremony is a way for people to meet their compassionate filial duty. During the ceremony, offerings are made to rescue up to seven generations of ancestors from whatever misery they might be suffering. During the month, every family can choose a day to present a feast and burn joss paper and incense in front of the house to invite the spirits to eat.

The most distinguished feature of the ceremony is the “offering snatching.” After the incense burns down, the neighborhood children are allowed to grab the food. No one will stop them as it is believed the spirits may be angered if they do so. The ceremony is also a great chance for people to express their gratitude to their parents.

One more tradition of this day is for people – Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike – who wish to express their gratefulness and appreciation towards their mothers, to go to a pagoda, often wearing a rose. Thousands of people flock to pagodas wearing red roses if their parents are alive or white roses if their parents have passed away. The rose has been a symbol of love and sharing among parents and their children regardless of social background.

Once that is ready, I can jump on a plane this week. The first stop on my whirlwind trip will obviously be London, as I need to check on my home there and see my beautiful cats that I miss so much, as well as some friends and colleagues. But the first tournament I’ll be playing will be the Partouche Poker Tour in Cannes that starts on Sept 2nd. After taking some much-needed time off to rest, do some charity work, and connect with friends, it will be nice to get back to the tables and play some poker.

Here is my schedule of tournaments for the next few months:

September 2 – 7: Partouche Poker Tour in Cannes
September 9 – 12: Chilipoker DeepStack Open in Paris
September 23 – 28: WSOP Europe Main Event in London
September 29 – October 4: WPT London
October 14 – 17: Chilipoker DeepStack Open in Vienna
November 2 – 6: WPT Amneville in Amneville, France
November 20 – 30: Marrakech Poker Festival in Morocco
December 13 – 19: WPT Five Diamond at Bellagio in Las Vegas

It would only make sense that I should final table at least half of those and win at least one of them, right? 😉

It seems like a lot of travel, which it is, but I will have some time to relax in London for a few days in that time period, though I will be handling quite a bit of business when I’m not playing tournaments, as usual. And when I write it all out like that, I realize just how busy I am! I’d also like to include a trip to Vietnam to do some charity work before the end of 2010, but we’ll have to see how everything plays out over the next few months.

So, I hope to keep everyone up to date as I play in some of these European events, and I’m sure I will even see some of you at those tournaments! I encourage everyone to play the Chilipoker DeepStack Open events, like the ones listed above in Vilamoura, Vienna, and Marrakech, as the buy-ins are always €550 and start players with massive 50K chip stacks. And for those without the money to buy-in directly, Chilipoker has numerous satellites running to give away seats. Check out the website for details!

I’ll see you on the road!


Breezing Through Monte Carlo

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

After San Remo, a change of scenery was necessary for several reasons before playing the EPT Monte Carlo. Not only did I need to get back to London to check on my lovely cats, who I missed greatly, but I had some business to attend to. Luckily, the volcanic ash problem subsided, and when flights resumed, I was able to book a flight from Nice to London. And though I was only home for a few days, it was wonderful to get my bearings, exercise a bit, and get in the right mindset for the next tournament.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to let things go in poker and recharge. Bustouts can be disappointing and discouraging, but one has to chalk it up to experience the swings of the game, get that loss out of the brain, and power up for the next one. Luckily, I had the chance to do that before flying back over to Monte Carlo, where I checked into my hotel, relaxed a little more, and prepared to play the EPT Grand Finale.

I chose to play Day 1B, the second starting day of the event. It was a spectacular turnout for the season-ending EPT tournament, and the whole field was 848 players, all putting up the €10K to enter and making for an event that would award €1.7 million to the winner. That is a tough number to get out of your head! And I didn’t want to, as it’s added motivation.

I took my seat at Table 2 and went on to have a very up-and-down day. It was tough to keep my Twitter friends updated as there were internet issues, but take my word that it was a hard to gain any momentum throughout the day. I started with 30K in chips and had only 17K left when Level 8 started. And things got worse from there when I doubled up an opponent with A-K versus A-Q after getting it all-in after an all-small flop. The queen came, and I was down to 4K. But the very next hand, I was able to get it all-in with pocket queens, got called by the big blind, and I doubled up to around 9K. Soon after, I woke up with kings and doubled through Katja Thater with pocket queens, which put me at 16,500. I climbed from there and ended the day with 33,900 chips. Not a bad comeback!

(photo courtesy of

Day 2 started with a few hundred players. I waited for the right moment and doubled up in Level 11 by pushing all-in with pocket kings on a Q(h)7(h)6(d) flop. My opponent had pocket jacks, and I hit a king on the turn to make the set and secure the double-up. But from there on out, I couldn’t get much going. Finally, with a 49k chip stack, I moved all-in with pocket nines preflop, and I was called by A-K. The flop was blank. The turn was blank. But an ace fell on the river!

That was that, and I was out of the tournament with only 253 players remaining and 128 paid. Frustrating!

(photo courtesy of ClubPoker)
(photo courtesy of Partouche)
(photo courtesy of Pokerlistings)

With a couple days left in Monte Carlo, I’ll take the time to get some work done and maybe enjoy the beachfront hotel and Riviera sights. But I’ll be ready to get back to London soon to attend a couple business meetings, get some rest, get back on my diet and exercise plan, and put things together for my trip back to Las Vegas for the start of the World Series in May.


Rough Ride in San Remo

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

As I mentioned in my last blog post, the travel involved in getting to San Remo was tough with some of the trains not running, last-minute bus rides, and many hours on the road. Once I arrived, it was hard to settle in and accomplish much because the internet was constantly going down. I was even willing to go buy an air card for my computer but couldn’t get online long enough to do an internet search for a location of where to buy the air card!

Between that and handling some unpleasant business, and trying to do some work, it was tough to get into a positive mindset for the EPT San Remo Main Event. I skipped the welcome party because I was still exhausted from the travel and had too much to do. And I even had trouble registering for the tournament because I walked all the way over the casino to register and found that the registration cage was closed until later in the day, though they couldn’t tell me when it would be open. I tried to channel all of the meditation methods I could to calm myself.

Finally, I registered and showed up to play on Day 1B. The field was huge, and it set a record for the EPT Europe events as the biggest one ever with 1,240 entries. Pressure switch on, I ready to play!

(photo courtesy of

It was a slow start to the day, but I stayed focused and worked my way from my 30K starting stack to 48K by the end of Level 2. At one point, I looked down at pocket queens and played them against a very loose player. The pot was raised and reraised preflop, and after the board came 2-Q-2-8-6, I took it down with my full house and added 12,400 chips to my stack. Wheee!

But the 65,000 count during Level 3 was the high point of the day. It took only about 20 minutes before playing my pocket kings against an opponent’s 7(c)8(c), and that player got two clubs on the flop and another on the river to hit the flush. I lost 26K on that pot. A half hour later, I went into battle with 10(h)6(h) against the J-10 of the same player. My check-call on the 4-10-3 flop led to both of us checking the 10 on the turn. When the ace hit on the river, I bet 2,200, my opponent made it 6,100, and I called. Not nice!

(photo courtesy of Pokernews)

Toward the end of the night, I doubled up when I hit my flush, which beat my opponent’s trip deuces. And I ended the day with 58,400, slightly above the average of 55,042. I survived a very up-and-down day and went back to my hotel to rest.

I started Day 2 with a positive attitude but no cards. I took my seat and got the BB the very first hand. Level 10, Blinds at 600-1200, Ante 100. I picked up pocket 3’s and immediately got into action in a HU pot against Markus Lehmann (on button position) who raised 3,500 preflop, I called. With around 7,500 in the pot, flop came 10(h)-6(c)-2(s)-9(d)-J(c), I checked flop, Markus bet 4,000, I check raised to 10,000. Markus thought for awhile before making a flat call. We both checked on the turn with the 9(d). I checked again on the river. Markus bets out 14,000, I took some to think before making the call putting him on either AQ or AK. My read was spot on correct! Markus turned over AQ (no pair). My pocket 3’s took down the first pot. Wheee …..

(photo courtesy of PokerItaliaWeb)

Literally, I went completely card dead right after the first hand I played until I busted out eight hours later. I had nothing to work with, lost chips slowly, and finally busted with only 207 players left in the tournament out of the 1,240 who started it. Sure, I survived longer than the vast majority of the field and came fairly close to the money. But it’s tough to run so deep and be eliminated after putting up a strong fight.

(photo courtesy of Pokernews)

For now, I plan to get out and enjoy a little of the sights and sounds of San Remo. In a few days, I’ll head over to Monaco for the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final, which I’m very excited to play. I’ll update more in the days to come.


My Great Start, Bad Ending at the Chilipoker Deepstack Open

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

A couple days ago, I headed off to France for the Chilipoker Deep Stack Open. I was very excited not only to get to the tables but to spend some time with my Chili friends. It was sad to leave London because I knew I would miss my cats – Moyo and Byni – terribly, but I knew they would be well taken care of in my absence. And I had been looking forward to this France/Italy/Monaco tournament excursion for some time. I headed to the airport with so much energy, feeling amazingly positive mentally and physically. I haven’t felt this great in years!

(Moyo & Byni)

The airplane ride was followed by a car ride to the Pasino d’Aix-en-Provence, and my team and I were very excited to walk in to the warm welcome by casino staff and players. Everyone was excited about the event, and I simply couldn’t wait to get on the felt.

I had a very solid start to the tournament. My positive energy was flowing, and I grabbed 20K in chips on the first hand I played! I thought it was a sign of things to come, but in fact it was a very up-and-down day. I lost 5,500 chips on the second hand I played, and then I lost a big one. It started with my pocket aces. I raised to 300 preflop and got four callers to see the 4(h)2(h)10(c) flop. I bet out 2,000, and Seat 3 was the only caller. The turn produced the Q(c) and I bet 5,000. Seat 3 check-raised to 13,700, and I called. The river brought the K(c) and Seat 3 pushed out 19,000 with only approximately 6,000 behind. With the clubs on the board, I decided to muck but the player turned over a little pocket pair of threes. Doh!

(photos courtesy of Jules Pochy)

But I didn’t let it get me down. I was ready to play, ready to gamble, and I kept my positive attitude going. By the end of Level 2, I rebuilt my stack to 38K. And by the end of Level 4, I was up to 57K, simply by executing a couple of key check-raises and winning some pots. Then I woke up to pocket kings. There was a lot of action going to the 5(c)6(s)8(c) flop, at which point Seat 1 bet 8,500 and I moved all-in. Seat 1 called, and I had him covered. He showed pocket queens, and the rest of the board blanked. I busted the player for 32K, and I was up over 85K.

(photos courtesy of Jules Pochy)

Not long after that, I got into a bit pot with another player. I had 10(s)7(s) and put in 5,000 preflop. We both checked the A-10-2 flop, and when the 7 hit on the turn, I bet 8,000. The player called, and the 3 came on the river. I bet 20,000 with my two pair, and the player called with pocket kings. My two pair were good, and I was up to about 110,000. My exact word on Twitter was BoYakKaSha!

(photo courtesy of Jules Pochy)

A little later, I lost a 55K pot when my A-J flopped a jack, and I got involved with another player all the way through the river on a J-7-9-5-7 board to find out he had pocket queens. Oh well, I accumulated a few more chips and still had 83K when the average was around 60K. But then, the big pot went down. I started with 9-8 and hit two pair on the 3(h)8(h)9(c) flop. I got all my chips in against A(h)3(h) and the flush draw. That flush didn’t make it, but the K(c) and A(c) cards gave him the higher two pair. That 220K pot hurt. Bad.

My last 45K went all-in four hands later when I looked down at pocket fives. The Seat 3 player called with K(h)10(h) and flopped a ten. My fives never improved, and I was out of the tournament after thirteen hours of play on Day1.

Overall, I was happy with my performance in the tournament with the exception of the last key hand. Could I have made a better read on the pocket fives? Sure. But I have to remember that it is poker, and one bad play can destroy an entire day of good plays. For most of the day, my reads were right on, and I felt that I was in the groove.

What to do now? Heading back to the casino today to play a couple side events. Explore the beautiful region of Provence and do some shopping! I’m going to enjoy the rest of my stay here until I leave on Tuesday for San Remo, Italy. I can’t wait to play in the European Poker Tour event there, and I’m really looking to make a solid run there before heading to Monte Carlo for the EPT Grand Final.

I wish the best of luck to everyone still playing the Chilipoker Deepstack Open! It would be fun to see an internet qualifier take it down for only a few Euros invested. It should be an exciting finish to the tournament. And I’ll see some of you in San Remo next week!


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!


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.


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’! 🙂


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.


WSOPE Inspiration

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

After the Super Bowl on Sunday night, I switched over the ESPN2 to check out the coverage of the 2009 WSOP Europe. It was the first night of episodes from the beginning of the WSOPE Main Event.

It was an emotional time for me, back in September/October of 2009, as I had just completed the chapter of my life that involved fulfilling the two-year promise to my dad. I felt more peace than I knew was possible, with my father’s passing and my readiness to move on with my own life, and I was ready shift my focus to poker again. It also helped that I was so inspired by the two years worth of charity work and meditation that I was looking forward to putting my efforts into poker, where I can make money in order to do more charity in the future. It’s a wonderful circle!

The WSOPE was my chance to jump back into action, and it was amazing what a peaceful mind allowed me to do. I entered the Main Event determined to make a comeback, to start with a fresh attitude and all of my skills and mindset in order, which is what I did. I played my absolute best until Day 4 of the tournament, where I found myself card-dead and unable to continue the momentum. Day 4 and a 22nd place finish was the end of my journey. It wasn’t a final table, but I was really happy with my play and my deep run in a tournament that features some of the greatest players in the world. To finish 22nd out of a field of 334, where Daniel Negreanu and Barry Shulman were the last two players standing, was a great accomplishment!

More than anything, the WSOPE finish let me know that I was excited about poker again. I was not only confident in my abilities at the tables, but I was ready to get back to focusing on business, poker, and life. Though my father remains in my thoughts always, keeping my promise to him and completing that heartfelt journey allowed me to move on to the next phase of my life. The London event was just the first step, and it was fun to watch the coverage on ESPN2 as I prepare to head to L.A. for the LAPC.

Lesson learned? I’m BACK! 🙂


Travel Sky High with Chilipok’air

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Quick blog update. Big news out of Chilipoker headquarter’s!!! Breaking new grounds, is now the official partner of XL Airways and Go Voyages and its brand new direct flight from Paris, France to Las Vegas.

I am excited there will be a direct flights from to one of the cultural hubs of Europe to Las Vegas and also about being a part of a company that is continuing to push the envelope and get involved in strategic new business partnerships. As you know, sponsored the first WPT event to ever take place on the continent of Africa. I recently played in that event held in Marrakech, Morocco. I cannot reveal what other business dealings are in the works but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Expect Chilipoker to continue to grow and become a household name among poker enthusiasts. Read the press release for full details of the Go Voyages partnership.

“ becomes the official partner of GO Voyages for its new direct line from Paris to Las-Vegas”

Press release

Malta, 28 October 2009

The Malta-based company, which is celebrating its 3rd birthday, has signed a partnership agreement with GO Voyages to become the official partner for its new direct line from Paris to Las Vegas, operated by XL Airways, which will take off on 23 May 2010.

There will be twice weekly flights departing from Paris Charles de Gaulle, on Thursdays and Sundays, leaving room for short trips of 3 or 4 days as well as stays of a week, 10 days or longer. The departure and arrival timetables mean that travellers from all over Europe can be transported, and Paris will be established as a direct gateway to Las Vegas.

As well as innovating with this exclusive partnership, is installing a free VIP counter in Las Vegas for all its European customers. This will offer a dedicated multilingual team in charge of helping tourists and poker players prepare their stays in Las Vegas, especially with reservations for restaurants, shows or limousines, or visits to the surroundings of Vegas, etc.

“Las Vegas is one of those destinations people dream of, but which appear inaccessible. As an online poker site we felt it appropriate to offer an answer to these dreams by offering all non-English speaking Europeans, and in particular the French, a chance to enjoy a unique experience,” states Alexandre Dreyfus, the French founder of

We hope that with the future regulation of the online gaming market in France, which is set to become effective before 23 May 2010, Chilipoker can occupy a significant place in this new market. From now on, Las Vegas will form an integral part of our marketing strategy in Europe for 2010.”

To celebrate this agreement, Chilipoker will refund 75 Euros to all account holders for each ticket* reserved between 15 November and 31 December 2009.

In this way intends to assert itself as a partner for the “poker destination” of Las Vegas and in particular for the French community, as we have already been for 2 years in Marrakesh. It will mean an investment of several hundred thousand dollars for us,” explains the director.

* the full terms of this refund and information about this partnership are already available in on the website:

About Chilipoker

Launched in 2006 by French Internet entrepreneur Alexandre Dreyfus, today Chilipoker numbers 40 staff of 13 different nationalities distributed across its various offices in Malta, London, Costa Rica and Hungary. Since 2007 has also sponsored one of the best women poker players, the American Liz Lieu (The PokerDiva), who is based in Las Vegas. In 2009 the company signed an agreement with the World Poker Tour to organize the WPT Marrakesh for 3 years, the first edition of which was held on 16 October.