EPT Barcelona 2006 Day 3

Once again I awake to pouring rain, but yesterday the precipitation tapered off by mid-afternoon, so I don’t stress about it and just go downstairs to see what our free breakfast buffet looks like. My understanding was that the continental breakfast you get at an American hotel (coffee, juice, pre-packaged pastry) was so named because of breakfasts provided at hotels on the European continent, so I don’t have my hopes up, but whoooooooooowheeeee are my expectations ever exceeded. The Hilton spreads a top-of-the-line meal with delicious fresh-squeezed juice, all kinds of meat and smoked fish, fresh fruits, several kinds of … Read more…

EPT Barcelona 2006 Day 2

The Rain in Spain When I wake up, it is morning, and we are about to land in Barcelona. I meet up with 10K-in-Clay, whose real name is Dan, and his girlfriend, Danielle (Dan and Danielle… cute, but maybe a little too cute). Dan is a 19-year old Canadian about to play his first live event. This is only my second one, but I try to share a few things I learned from my first one. Danielle is his age, friendly but quiet. They knew each other from high school but now go to different colleges. I’m quite sure that … Read more…

EPT Barcelona 2006 Day 1

I take a short flight from Boston to Philadelphia, then a long one from Philadelphia to Barcelona. 2p2’er 10K-in-Clay is on this flight and has told me I should be able to recognize him because he’ll be with his purple-haired girlfriend. I introduce myself briefly, agree to split a cab with them in Barcelona, then board the plane. While waiting to take off, I flip through some Barcelona books I bought or took out of the library, and learn some interesting facts. Cultural Lesson One: Barcelona is a city of thieves. All Barcelonans should be presumed to be pickpockets and … Read more…

EPT Barcelona 2006 Prologue

I qualified for EPT Barcelona largely by chance. After having a great time and cashing at the WSOP, I had the desire to play more big live tournaments and the bankroll to take some shots at them. Unfortunately Poker Stars runs most of their satellites on weekends, and I rarely have the opportunity to play weekend tournaments, as these are the only times my girlfriend is not working and I generally try to keep them free. But for whatever reason, there was one Saturday that I did have free, and so I decided to play all three of the EPT … Read more…

WSOP 2006 Day 4

I get back to my room about 2AM Friday night, exhausted from another long day of poker, but there are no more days off, and I need to be in my seat at the Rio and ready to play at noon on Saturday. I wake at 9AM, head down to catch the Poker Stars shuttle around 10:30, and see several people in Poker Stars shirts standing in the taxi line. Seems Stars is no longer running the shuttle, so I split a cab with them to the Rio and we all head down to the hospitality suite for coffee and … Read more…

WSOP 2006 Day 3

About 1150 players begin play today, and 873 will win a prize. Obviously no one wants to finish 874th, and so an interesting dynamic will develop: some players, especially those with the fewest chips, will tighten up considerably, passing up even rather favorable opportunities for fear of going home empty-handed. Others, perhaps more knowledgeable or just less in need of the “small” $14,500 prizes to be paid to the first players eliminated inside of the money ‘bubble’, will prey on the fear of these short stacks. Still others will look for opportunities to ‘re-steal’ from aggressive players whom they perceive … Read more…

WSOP 2006 Day 2

Thursday night I’ve got a meet-up with a contingent of online poker players with whom I regularly discuss poker strategy. This is my first time meeting most of them in person, and it was a blast. Unfortunately, I had pre-paid $55 for the event, which was to include entree (salad, in my case, since the other options are all meat), dessert (which I don’t end up getting), and unlimited beer (which I don’t want to take advantage of since I am playing the next day). So basically I had a $55 salad. However, the value of getting to talk poker … Read more…

WSOP 2006 Day 1

Thursday night, after having dinner with my father and brother, who have come out to support me for a few days, at their hotel, the Stratosphere Towers, I took a cab back to the Monte Carlo. It is only 8PM, but I need to get an early start in the morning and am still jet-lagged, so I plan on doing a little work and turning in early. My cab driver is a young Asian man who is pretty quiet until we are nearing the hotel, at which point the following dialogue ensues: Driver: So what are you up to tonight? … Read more…