Public Debates Part One: South Boston

Some quick background for those who don’t know this already: I was a nationally competitive debater in high school and college. In a lot of ways, I credit debate for making me the person I am now: confident, smart, socially conscious, well-read, and ethical. Debate helped me in school and helped me get into a good college. While in college, I started volunteering with, and then working for, Chicago’s Urban Debate League, a non-profit organization that starts debate programs in public high schools in Chicago. After graduating from college, I turned down an offer of a full-time job with benefits … Read more…

EPT Barcelona 2006 Day 5

No Vendar Flores I didn’t get to bed until 4AM last night, but I suck at sleeping in and wake around 9. For once there is no rain, and I am really not bummed about busting on day 1 of the tournament, since I now have two more days to tour Barcelona. I haven’t yet been to La Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family), a 19th-century cathedral designed by Barcelona’s homegrown architect Gaudi and probably the city’s number one tourist destination, so that’s where I’m heading today. I eat breakfast and make for the train station, about four blocks from the … Read more…

EPT Barcelona 2006 Day 4

I show up early at the casino to make sure I have time to register, and who should be next to me in line but Yurian? We’ve got time to kill, so we get lunch along the waterfront. I let him choose the place, and he selects what is essentially an overpriced fast food pasta place. So much for Europeans having good taste in food. At least he speaks some Spanish and is willing to be pushy about getting the check. Level 1: Blinds 25/50 The 1 seat is late to arrive, and loses a big pot almost immediately after … Read more…

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…