Posts Tagged ‘italy’

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 ItaliaPokerClub.com)

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.

Cheers!

Smooth Travel is Not an Option!

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

I don’t know what the problem is. Maybe I was a very bad train conductor in a past life? Maybe I angered the travel gods by bringing too much luggage? I may never find the answer. 😉 ha!

It was supposed to be simple. I was going to the train station in Aix-en-Provence to catch a train to Nice. Though there was a strike among train workers, some trains were running, and I was told I could buy a ticket when I went to the train station on April 13. And that’s where the problems began.

My travel friend, Liv Boeree, and I arrived at the Aix TGV station, where we were told that no trains were running from there, so we should go to Marseille to catch a train. So we went back to the city by bus, and then we caught another bus to the Marseille train station. From where the bus dropped us off, we had to walk up a massive hill to get to the station, and I had serious luggage with me. Mine, I think, weighed about 65 pounds, and I wheeled my luggage for a short distance before Liv kindly offered to switch luggages as hers was a lot smaller and lighter, so she took over mine and wheeled it uphill the rest of the way. At that TGV station, we were also told that no trains were running. Seriously? Zero communication between the stations. So we were told to catch a bus to Nice, though we had to wait three hours for that bus. Once we finally got on it, we’re looking out the windows and thinking that everything looks rather familiar. Oh, that was because we were going back through Aix! We went all the way back to the Casino in Aix-en-Provence because the bus needed to pick up more passengers. From there, it took two hours by bus to reach the Nice airport.

Funny bus story. Sitting in the back of the bus for the entire trip made me car sick. That’s not really funny, but I thought I’d share. It was such a fun day that just kept getting better!

When we arrived at the Nice airport, we caught a cab, and the ride that took more than an hour finally got us to San Remo. A trip that was supposed to take about 2-3 hours ended up taking more than ten. Liv was dropped at her hotel first, then I was taken to mine. By the time I checked in and put down my luggage, I was exhausted! I did try to get on the internet to check a few things, but the internet wasn’t working at the time, and I didn’t have one ounce of patience left. It didn’t take long for me to pass out and sleep for quite awhile.

One of the most frustrating things about the horrible travel day was the inability to really enjoy the countryside or the sights as we traveled. France is so beautiful, especially the regions we traveled through, but it was so mentally and physically draining that I wasn’t able to soak it in as I would have liked.

But, I’m in San Remo. And despite having to get some work done and deal with a couple business matters, I’ve taken a few moments to take in the view from my wrap-around balcony here. It is absolutely gorgeous to be in this little Mediterranean city in Italy and to see the sea from my room.

Also, on the bright side, the EPT San Remo doesn’t start until the 16th, which gives me time to rest up, get back to a good mindset, and even see some of the sights in this town before the tournament begins.

Hopefully, I’ll be bringing you some great updates from the tournament when it begins later this week.

Cheers!

The Next Chapter: Peace and Joy

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Right now, I have no idea what is going to happen next. What will be accomplished in the next year or two? I have high hopes but it is a great mystery. The way life is supposed to be. Filled with pleasant surprises and occasional let downs. But most importantly, I hope it will be filled with laughter and joy. I am so much more appreciative of life’s little treasures at this stage in my life, and so much better at brushing off the occasional let downs. I credit much of this to my Father and I couldn’t be happier about the way the last chapter of my life closed out.

(photo courtesy of Ian Morton ~ VinaPix)

I left you with the 2 year promise and I am happy to tell you that I have successfully kept my commitment all the way through to the final day. We had a ceremony with the Shaman to send my father’s spirit away in peace on Sept 6th. And to help my father on his way, I purchased 888 birds to release on his behalf. This is a very common activity done in the Buddhist culture, in the hope that such good deeds will earn them credits for a better incarnation in their next life, as well as helping their relatives in hell to win earlier release from their suffering. I originally wanted to purchase more than 3000 birds but my Shaman assured me 500-600 were more than enough. LoL. I might have gotten a little carried away! I decided I would do 888 instead because it is a very lucky number.

(photo courtesy of Ian Morton ~ VinaPix)

Quite a few interesting things happened during the ceremony that were truly surreal. I will save you the details because it’s impossible to believe unless you were there. I told a few close friends about the supernatural events I witnessed only because they truly know how skeptical I am as a person. It’s in my nature to analyze everything from all angles and look for alternative answers whenever something doesn’t seem right or logical. I am always processing info in my head to see if everything “adds up”. And I had no answers for what I saw except it was truly spiritual. I’ve seen a few magicians such as Chris Angel perform in Las Vegas and this was more amazing and unexplainable than anything I’ve ever seen before. Afterwards, I was assured they were very good signs and the ceremony couldn’t have went better; my Dad is in peace.

Once that Chapter closed for good, I flew back to Las Vegas for 5 days before flying back to Europe. My first destination: Venice, Italy. So beautiful!!! It is one of my favorite places to visit so far. I flew there for the Gioco Digitale ME tournament but I had some free time to check out the sites as well. Everything in Venice is accessible by walking or canals. Water runs thru the entire city and there were hardly any cars. It’s an amazing sight. I also had a film crew following me around to film the “Poker Diva Lifestyle” through the lens of Alexandre Henry. I am excited about working on this project as well.

The tournament itself was uneventful. I ran into a bit of a cooler on my final hand which knocked me out right after the dinner break. I flopped a set of 3’s on a J, 7, 3 board. Two spades on the flop. I bet 800 on the flop. And I was check called. The turn peeled off a 7(s) which was potentially a good card for me if my opponent hit a flush. We both checked the turn. I wanted to faint weakness in case he did hit his flush. The river brought a non-spade Ace. My opponent checked. I bet out $3,000 and my opponent check raised to 7k, I then pushed all-in and got an immediate call. I had a full-house and couldn’t imagine my opponent had a bigger full house. Sure, enough my opponent hit perfect perfect on the turn and river and flipped over A-7 for a bigger full house. On that note, I was out of the tournament.

After I spent a few days in Italy and wrapped up the Main Event, I flew to London and currently taking a few days to rest up before the WSOPE Main Event which starts on the 26th of September. The film crew for the “Poker Diva Lifestyle” will also meet me in London in a day or two and we will resume filming. Hopefully, I can give you a taste of the European lifestyle and culture. I really do appreciate the different cultures you can experience in such a short geographical distance. I have a week before the WSOPE Main Event starts in London. Now what?!? I am already getting restless. Perhaps I will catch up on emails and stay a little more socially connected.

I did want to send a special blessing to my friend Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein. May he rest in peace. I know it’s a little late but it was important to me to share a couple of moments from Adam’s life. To share with you what a special human being he was. I first met Adam approx 5 years ago at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. What many people don’t know is that Adam is an avid poker player. He loves poker!! He used to come the Bellagio about 2x a week to play in some relatively high limit games after spinning at the Pure Nightclub, a nightclub I often partied at and chilled to Adam’s awesome music spin. Over the years he played less and less because his Deejay responsibilities would keep him on the road more and longer. Usually, late at night after a Deejay gig. Sometimes he came alone and sometimes he would come with a friend or two.

(photos courtesy of Pure Nightclub)
(DJ AM and Liz Lieu in the house at Pure Nightclub)

At first, I learned thru Jonathan Shecter that DJ AM didn’t like me very much. At the time, I was playing in a 3 handed 80-160 limit hold-em game when Adam sat down and took a pretty good beating from me. At the time, I don’t think he really knew I was a professional poker player. On one occasion, I remember completely stripping him of his entire bankroll for the night. I don’t think Adam was making as much money back then because this used to really upset him and we developed a minature rivalry. Well, more of a rivalry on his part. I liked his action.

Eventually, about 1 years later we became friends and Adam told me about his feelings toward me. He told me, he thought I was cocky and it really irritated him. I never disrespected him or laughed at him but it was more my style of play that frustrated him. I am a very aggressive poker player and most guys aren’t accustomed to running into that type of aggression from a female. Anyhow, we shared a laugh about it and once we got to know each other on a more personal level, we grew to respect each other. And Adam did get the best of me a few times on the poker table. After a couple losing session to him at the Commerce, I playfully commented “Alright, we’re even now.. OK?” And he laughed it off. At this point, he was making a lot more money and I could tell the poker swings didn’t affect him as much.

One of the things I respected and admired the most about Adam was how much he loved his mother. His mother Andrea was the entire world to him. And I also admired how much Adam cared about people in general. One day, I was actually talking about charities with Adam because he struck me as the type of person that would care about that stuff, and I asked him some advice on some potential charities to donate too. He suggested I donate to MS research. Okay, so I asked him why? He told me his Mom had MS and they were very close to coming up with a cure and any additional help would be so beneficial. I was more than happy to do it. I started to donate to the cause immediately with a % of my winnings.

I also learned that Adam was donating a significant amount of his own personal earnings to MS research. Adam even told his Mom that I was donating money to her cause. One day, his mom even emailed me personally to thank me for my support for curing MS. I guess she was very pleased that one of Adam’s friends would also champion his cause and she was so thankful that she wanted to bake me a huge batch of homemade cookies!!

I continued to see Adam a couple of times a week playing poker and then he got more involved with bigger gigs and he was going to Las Vegas more often but we continued to stay in touch. When LAX first opened and I was just signing with the Martin’s Poker team he made sure I had a table and was taken care of. There was a huge mix up actually over my reserved table and when Adam got back to CA, he personally came to the Commerce and brought the Main manager down to personally apologize over the mix up and took care of the situation. And that was the type of guy Adam Goldstein was.

Over the past year and a half, I haven’t had a chance to keep in contact with Adam at all. We both had different priorities and poker wasn’t one of them. I don’t really know what happened in NY and what was going on with him, unfortunately. To me he will always be the caring and compassionate person who loved his Mom more than anything in the world. A generous person who would go out of his way to take care of a friend. It’s a sad loss. I hope Adam has peace and happiness.

Cheers!