Thursday, September 29, 2005

I Like TiVo

Derek has TiVo and it's a nifty new gadget. He's been recording all of the World Series of Poker episodes and I finally caught up on watching all of them. I missed a bunch when I was on the road for work. You can see me in the background of a few episodes and I was all over the most recent Johnny Chan one.

I also finally caught up on The O.C. from the past two weeks. I watched them back to back so talk about a two hour distraction. It was worth it. Summer is getting smaller and smaller. That girl needs to eat. I think she's on the Mischa Barton meal plan.

I also got to see the first few episodes of the current season of Entourage. When theis season began I was in Las Vegas. I got HBO at the Redneck Rivieria but I never knew what time Entourage was on. I caught the Pauly Shore/Ralph Macchio/Playboy Mansion episode, but never saw the rest. I finally watched the first few yesterday and damn, talk about a funny fuckin' show. Turtle is the complete id. He's all about getting high, eating, and getting laid while trying to do the least amount of work as possible. Without a doubt Johnny Drama is my favorite character. L.A. is filled with thousands of Johnny Dramas.

Speaking of which...

I've been working a few hours a day on a new project. For now it's in the conceptual stage, but I'm hoping it moves into the next phase. That's all I have to say about that.

This week I rushed the latest issue of Truckin' and I've been trying to find a few hours every day to work on my Las Vegas book. Finding huge chunks of time is hard these days.

Been working on several freelance articles this week. I cranked out three and will start working on a fourth on Friday.

No complaints come from me when I'm writing. The only thing I have to bitch about has been Blogger... which has been fucked up all week.
Truckin' - September 2005, Vol. 4, Issue 9

I recently published a new issue of my literary-blogzine. We were a little late this month but that's par for the course for Truckin'! This issue might have one of the funniest stories to date from Daddy. Anon Hammurabi returns with Part 2 of his trip to the Sudan. The Human Head makes his debut and Joe Speaker returns with a story about... being young and vulnerable. And there's another installment of Subway Stories for you. Take a peek!
1. September Subway Story by Tenzin McGrupp
The homeless man wore a NY Mets t-shirt and black dress shoes three sizes too big. He wasn't wearing any socks. He stood in the middle of the subway and pleaded with everyone... More

2. With the Lights Out by Joe Speaker
The last thing you want is to be thought "different," so you check your childhood impulses and guard your secrets... More

3. Crushing Omaha by Daddy
I knew my wife would be sporting her new Victoria's Secret lingerie, and I had a secret of my own. A little blue secret. She didn't know it yet, but she had a date with the Vanilla Gorilla... More

4. A Million Miles in 20 Steps by The Human Head
The very thing that affords him a decent lifestyle is a sea of nothingness in which he must swim, and as he looks towards the entrance he is filled with a sense of hopelessness that is difficult to describe... More

5. Khartoum-Nyala (Sudan, Part 2): Domestic flights in Sudan by Anon Hammurabi
The Sudanese desert also has a very distinct colour of red, which looks really great from an airplane. But a killer shark also looks beautiful from safe distance... More

6. Red Light City by Tenzin McGrupp
The better looking ones are on the side streets and you have to navigate the narrow alleys while following the aroma of cheap sex in the air to find the doorways with the girls... More
Do you want to write for Truckin'? Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you are interested. Make sure you read the guidelines for submissions.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wednesday Link Dumps: Trey, Tons of Pot, Cyclist Penis, Vinny, and UFOs

I still have a bunch of stuff left over that I never blogged yesterday. By the way, this week is a huge sports week. The Yankees and the Red Sox have to play a weekend series and that will determine who goes to the playoffs. Should be epic. Let's hope the Yanks don't blow it. Glad that I'll be home to watch the games!

The NY Jets are hurting after they lost Chad "Paper Thin" Pennington and Jay "Oceanside, LI" Fielder on Sunday to serious season-ending injuries. Talk about bad fuckin' luck. It's all up to the aging Vinny Testaverde to lead gang Green to the playoffs. By the way, did you know that Testaverde in Latin means "color blind"?

Rolling Stone has a nice blurb about Trey Anastasio and his upcoming tour to promote his album Shine. I heard most of the cuts already and I'm not totally into his new stuff just yet. He's supposed to open for the Rolling Stones on two dates. I scored tickets for two shows on his fall tour in NYC and in Connecticut. I don't like Roseland Ballroom, but heck it's Trey so I'll go. I'm trying to score a ticket to the LA show at the Wiltern.

In marijuana news... California man is busted from growing a ton of pot. But it's for medicinal usage, dude?

This one if for Bobby Bracelet! Have you ever suffered from cyclist penis?

For all you geeks out there, here's a list of 20 things tech companies don't want you to know.

So much for gonzo porn. A Hawaii man was busted for video taping his roommate's sex sessions. Man, I didn't know that video voyeurism was a felony!

File this one under... Only in Canada, eh? Former prime minister beleives in UFOs. Here's a bit:
The 82-year-old Hellyer says he believes not only that UFOs are extraterrestrial visitors, but that some governments - the United States at least - know all about it and are covering up. He says he believes American scientists have re-engineered alien wreckage from a supposed UFO crash at Roswell, N.M. in 1947 to produce modern technical marvels.
Purple Humpback Whales, Johnny Fuckin' Chan, and Other Useless Crap to Distract the Masses

I'm swamped with catch up work. Or call it bitch work for you non-PC folks. That's OK. It keeps my mind off of other things and definitely keeps me humble. I'm happy to be home again. Being back in NYC is a good thing since I'll be on the road a lot over the next several months so I'm enjoying the little things about this city that make it great. I've been eating bagels almost every morning. In Europe, Briana got me addicted to croissants. There are not as filling as a bagel and I usually have to eat two to get the same morning bread fix. In Las Vegas, they had no equivalent to bagels and croissants. The closest thing within walking distance to the Redneck Riviera was a McD's and a Wendy's. Since I was crashing at 6 or 7am every night that by the time I woke up, it was the lunch rush hour. Yikes. I just realized that I spent most of my time in Las Vegas eating fast food for breakfast. No wonder I put on 15 pounds. It was my poor eating habits and all the beer I was drinking at the Hooker Bar with Otis during dinner breaks.

Speaking of Las Vegas, I watched the most recent two episodes of the WSOP on ESPN last night with my brother. And fuck, I saw my ugly mug plastered all over the Johnny Fuckin' Chan episode. Originally ESPN was scheduled to tape the $2,500 NL event. That night there were two final tables, the $2500 NL and the $2500 PLH event. There were a lot of unknown online players and newbies at the $2500 NL TV table and the PLH table featured Johnny Chan, Humberto Brenes, and Phil Laak. It seemed they had more railbirds and media sweating them on the outer tables than the other event on the main stage. Even ESPN's second unit was all over Chan's table. I recall that Dan from Pokerati got yelled at for standing on a chair by one of the ESPN producers.

Last night I got a few comments from readers about seeing me in the background. I got several emails and a few voicemails. My friend Julie even sent me a text message, "I just saw you on ESPN!"

Man, I was just a few feet from the table when Johnny Chan cracked pocket Aces with the Hilton Sisters (see photo below). The suits at ESPN took note of the significance of Johnny Chan's run. As the players were being eliminated at the PLH table and Chan got closer and closer to winning his 10th bracelet, they gave the PLH table more coverage. When it got down to two, an executive decision was made to postpone the heads up match between Chan and Laak and shoot it on the final TV table after the $2500 NL event was complete. They waited for almost two hours before Chan and Laak played heads up. During the break, I wandered out into the casino to find some ginger ale to drink. I spotted Phil Laak sprinting at top speed. He was running right at me in the long corridors that connect the Convention Area to the rest of the casino.

"Slow down Phil, you got plenty of time!" I yelled.

He kept running.

There were plenty of media folks who got face time during that epic episode. As soon as someone wins a bracelet, you can see Flipchip in the background snapping a photo. I also saw Sharla from Poker Pages, Jay Greenspan, and Heather from Poker Wire. BJ was in the background in media row and I know Otis was back there too. During the Chan-Laak heads up match, I was seated in the front row with Earl from Poker News, Rick The Voice, and Doyle Brunson.

How the fuck did that happen?

I'm still in shock almost three months later. Watching Johnny Chan win his 10th bracelet was my favorite moment during the six hellacious weeks I covered the 2005 WSOP. It might have been one of the coolest things I got to see in my life.

Chan & Laak on the outer tables: a view from my seat

Johnny Chan -- the first 10 time WSOP bracelet winner

That's it for now. If you haven't seen that epsiode, set your TiVos and VCRs and check your local listings for when ESPN will rerun that episode.

****** ******

More Boathouse Bash stories are trickling in. Be sure to read: Derek, AlCantHang, StB, Bobby Bracelet, Spaceman, F Train, Joaquin, Helix, Carter, and Bad Blood. And yeah, and Eva too!

Update: Ah... I forgot that Steph had a blog! Check out her take on the events over at Clareified. She might have one of the best recaps that I've read. She also had this hilarious post on her site about playing with bloggers for the first time:

5. Everyone else at the table is re-raising pre-flop with 27o.

4. Half the people at the table get paid to write about poker.

3. One player starts live-blogging the action out loud during the game.

2. Small Blind, thinking everyone has folded to his raise, turns his cards face up. You protest that you're still in the hand, he apologizes and agrees to play the hand with his cards face up. He proceeds to beat you anyway.

1. The guy sitting next to you has Phil Gordon's cell phone number.
Yeah, I got Gordo's digits. I'm gonna sell April his phone number... one number at a time. By the way, don't forget to check out Clareified.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Serious Link Dump

I have a ton of random blogworthy news stories that people have sent me or have been sitting in my bloglines folder. Here they are...

Thieves Snort Dogs Ashes Thinking it's Coke... oh brother. Jacked up, broke, and retarded. Here's a bit:
The burglars thought they had hit the jackpot when the saw the pale-coloured powder marked "Charlie" — slang for cocaine — in a pot on pet-lover Dee’s mantelpiece. But they were unaware the pot was an urn and the "drugs" really the remains of her beloved Newfoundland Charlie, who died in 1997.
When Jenna isn't cruising Craig's List looking for sexual partners, she sends me funny ass blurbs like this one... My Crazy Pothead Neighbor.

Trey is going on tour! Here are his fall tourdates. I'm down for the NYC show and possibly the LA one.

Speaking of Trey, there was a kick ass benefit concert in Berkeley that featured Trey and Bobby and other members of the Grateful Dead in a tribute to the music of Jerry Garcia. I wish I could have gone and checked that out.

There was a member of the Bush Junta busted for drunken driving. This time it was Jeb's youngest son's turn. He's the bad seed in the Bush clan, which means he'll be president in 2024.

And this bit about High Altitude Hijinks made me laugh. But where the fuck is the beverage cart deffication?

This gives me hope.... A Journalist and Blogger Tries Teaching. Someday I'll get to teach a class on bongmaking and blogging.

Showering Together is written by the greatest American living writer, Neal Pollack. And it has nothing to do sex rather on how to survive baby showers!

This sounds interesting... Dutch Talk-Show Host to Take Heroin On the Air. Just what we need. More smack-shooting monolouges. I wonder if Conan will smoke crack and Letterman will toke up this week?

Speaking of bongs... how about the new vodka that comes in a bong?

The O.C. is coming out with a video game and it makes me wonder if it will feature a shrinking Summer and a poorly dressed Marissa?

I dug this piece froma guy who wrote a guide to getting laid on campus.
Catch Up

I'm still feeling the effects of the Bash at the Boathouse, a long week of covering the WPT at the Borgata, and a week long bender in Europe. My goal is to try to get some rest this week which is tough to do with a hectic schedule. Monday morning was catch up day for me. I figured out that it takes me two whole days per week that I'm out on the road to catch up with all the work that lags behind. I was away for two weeks, so that means I should be caught up by Friday. That won't happen of course because something always comes up. Plus I just picked up a new project to undertake and that's going to need some of my attention over the next upcoming weeks. It has the potential to be pretty cool. Stay tuned for that annoucement.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon writing two freelance articles. If you would like to read some recaps of recent tournamentsthat I covered, check out:
EPT Barcelona Open - Final Table Recap (Poker Player Newspaper)
WPT Borgata Open - Final Table Recap (Poker Player Newspaper)
I also spent some of yesterday feeling like a New Yorker again. I rode the subway and ate three slices of pizza. I finally sat down and watched a bunch of stuff that Derek had TiVo'd for me. I saw the last two episodes of The O.C. and I'm convinced that Summer loses 4 pounds every episode, or one pound for every fifteen minutes of programming. I also saw all the epidoes of the WSOP that I missed including TJ Cloutier winning a bracelet. Talk about a special moment.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Bash at the Boathouse 2005
"Put that coffee down! Coffee is for closers." - Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross
Call it an omen. Or foreshadowing. Or a gut feeling. After a handful of us polished off three bottles of the Nectar of the Gods on Friday night, I sensed it was going to be a long weekend bender of wickedness and depravity. Perhaps it was hearing Derek violently puke in the parking lot outside the diner at 1am late Friday night that reminded me of the seriousness of partying with professional alcoholics. Kids don't try this at home. AlCantHang and BigMike are machines that run efficiently on heavy quantities of Southern Comfort. To try to keep up with them is liquid suicide. However, once a year people come from all over the world to make a valiant effort to hang with AlCantHang. Shit, no one even comes close to hanging with EvaCanHang. Everyone always fails miserably and in the wee hours after the Bash at the Boathouse is over, you could see the carnage spilled out all over the vicinity of the Boathouse. Bodies are randomly passed out in cars, in ditches, and on bathroom floors.

One of the side affects of attending the Bash is amnesia. After the 13th shot and your brain pickled in SoCo, you begin to lose time. Huge blotches of your memory are a blank and that's when you slip into the depths of utter helplessness and stupidity. Just ask Otis.


Before we headed to the Boathouse, Derek, StB, Bobby Bracelet, and myself played a quick SNG in my suite. We used Good & Plenty as chips. I busted out first followed by Bobby Bracelet. Derek went heads up with StB, and StB ended up winning the Good & Plenty Championships. Congrats!

The afternoon at the Boathouse began with poker. There were two tables going on the deck. One table was spreading 2-4 Horse (Featuring Otis, Bad Blood, Joaquin, Mike, Helix, and Bobby Bracelet) while I started up a NL table. I ended up dropping $80 or two buy ins.
My table:
Seat 1: Spaceman
Seat 2: F Train
Seat 3: Pauly
Seat 4: Carter
Seat 5: Stephanie
Seat 6: StB (and later... Mike)
Seat 7: Landow
Seat 8: Derek
Seat 9: Mrs. Spaceman
3:50pm... Derek defend his blind to my preflop raise and flopped wo pair with 3-6. Ughhh.

3:54pm... Derek and Mrs. Spaceman were involved in a ahuge hand. Derek raise, Mrs. Spaceman re-raised. Derek moved all in and she called. He had A-K and she flipped over the Hilton Sisters! The flop was Q-J-8. She flopped a set but Derek flopped a gutshot Broadway straight draw. The turn was a 10, and Derek hit his gutshot. The river paired the board, to give Mrs. Spaceman a full house. Wow! What a hand.

4:00pm... Bar officially opens and I start to lose most of my stack right around the same time. Coincidence?

4:05pm... Deek rebuys.

4:20pm... Spaceman rebuys.

4:27pm.. StB drops the Hammer.

4:34pm... StB rebuys when his 10-10 loses to Landow's set of 3s.

4:37pm.. Landow drops the Hammer.

4:445pm... I rebuy.

5:07pm... I went on a drink run upstairs. You gotta love Pennsyl-tucky. What would have cost me over $100, only ran around 1/3 the price. For the rest of th enight, I'd be drinking on AlCantHang's tab. I would love to see that bill.

5:26pm... I won the only hand of the night when my Q-Q held up against Landow's 505.

6:20pm... I busted out against F Train when my Hammer is no good against his 4-7o. I flopped a open ended staright draw and he flopped the straight!

6:21pm... I stopped recording poker and started drinking heavily. Stephanie end up the big winner along with Carter and Mrs. Spaceman. I think F Train and Landow both finished up.


Derek went to school in central Pennsylvania and calls pretty much everything outside of Philly and Pittsburgh... Pennsyl-tucky. There are a lot of rednecks scattered all over the state and the crowd at the Boathouse was a nice mixture of people from all walks of life. I'm not complaining about the skanky girls in attendance. I think skanky chicks always add flavor and zest to any social gathering. After five weeks of traveling through Las Vegas, Colorado, South Carolina, New York City, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Atlantic City, I found myself in the middle of Pennsyl-tucky swapping cheap Mardi Gras beads for a glimpse of a random woman's breasts. I hadn't seen that much skin since Grubby and I went strip club hopping in Las Vegas. I heard that Derek even got to see someone's beaver.

The Lewey Award

This year I have to present a special award... the Lewey Award for Public Intoxication. It was a close race, but F Train edged Otis out.

If you don' know, F Train is 90 pounds soaking wet. And he was pounding drinks all afternoon. By the time the night rolled around, he was hammered. He even walked up to Derek and punched him in the ribs. It was more comical than anything else, but Derek didn't think it was funny and calmly walked away. Congrats to F Train on winning such a prestigious award. If you don't know, Lewey had a huge spill after he sprinted down a steep hill and suffered some serious road rash when he slipped and tumbled onto the concrete.


Here are some random things I overheard over the night:
"Don't you guys stop drinking for five fuckin' minutes?" - The bartender

"What's the spank bank?" - Mrs. Spaceman.

"Whiskey dick? I'm all about the whiskey dick!" - F Train

Random Girl (shunning Joaquin's advances): "My boyfriend is on the band."
Joaquin: "The band sucks. He'd never make it in New York City."

Bobby Bracelet aka the Ladies Man

Bobby gave his best to get his micro penis some action. We admire him for that. I was highly entertained watching Bobby Bracelet work his magic and spread his mojo around the Boathouse. He had been working a particular chick for two days and he finally got her to go home with him less than one hour before last call. And you call yourself a Varsity letterman, Bobby? I seriously expected better results from the 860th best poker player in America. He couldn't close the deal. As Joaquin phrased it best, "He's just like Chad Pennington. Three and out." There were a few props bets going on whether or not Bobby Bracelet could close the deal. At least Bobby got to have his junk felt up on Friday night and he got to suck face in the corner of the Boathouse with a local girl.

Otis Falls Down?

Mrs. Spaceman looked like she was having good time. And Otis stumbled around the Boathouse late night. A few of us were on Otis Watch, just to make sure he didn't fall down. He came close several times, but always managed to keep his balance. I nearly lost my shit when an incoherent Otis sat down at a table filled with people he didn't know and started talking, which was more like a form of babbling. He eventually trailed off into making hand gestures before he stood up and staggered away. At one point, Otis went from behind moderately drunk to propelling himself up to the chiplead for "drunkest guest." That's when the question on everyone's mind was not if Otis would fall down, but rather, will Otis puke?

I wish I had more time to write up a longer post. I might add more later inlcuding some pics and possibly some video clips. For now, thanks to Al, Evanne, and Big Mike for throwing another successful event. Carter didn't pass out this year. The food was great. The booze was free. BigMike raised good money for a great cause. I got to hang out and chat with Mike, who's a big fan of my blogs. And the bands were pretty good... both Petey and the Bandcampers and the AlCantHang Experience. I think one of the other bands was the same from last year, the one with the semi-chunky female lead singer with huge jugs that BG and I tried to hit on at the bar and she blew us off.

The only bad thing about the Boathouse this year was... no running of the Lewey. Maybe next year.

****** ******

Carter posted some pics of the Boathouse Bash... here.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


I'm about a few hours before game time. Al Cant Hang is hosting is annual Bash at the Boathouse. You can read all about last year's bash... here. Be sure to scroll down and read all the other posts about that crazy weekend last year which included a trip to the Borgata.

Anyway, here's a run down of the events in the last 24 hours:
1. Derek, Mrs. Spaceman, and I watched Jason Spaceman bust out in the $300 + $40 US Poker Championships at the Taj in Atlantic City. I had a piece of Spaceman!
2. Derek & I got caught in Philly traffic. Not pretty.
3. We arrived at the Boathouse at 4:20pm for pre-party.
4. Watched StB drink 17 different kinds of beer.
5. I drank 2 Lagers, 1 Red Stripe, and several SoCos. I told myself I was "taking it easy."
6. EvaCanHang flashed us. Yes, I saw boobies.
7. Bobby Bracelet gets erections. It was "thrice confirmed" by a lovely young lady who willingly rubbed up against the junk of the 860th greatest poker player in the world.
8. BigMike tipped $130 on a $270 tab.
9. Bobby Bracelet made fun of the generic ketchup aka Red Gold at the diner.
10. Derek pulled off another successful "puke and rally" in the parking lot at the diner.
11. I almost hit a deer.
12. Bobby Bracelet and StB sang Footloose on the way home from the diner.
13. Two words: chipped beef.
14. I lost a prop bet with Al andBigMike. They bet me $100 I couldn't eat 6 crackers within 60 seconds. I could barely get three down.
15. AlCantHang danced by himself in a protest for the crappy music the DJ at the Bathouse was playing.
Later today we'll find out an answer to the eternal question... Will Otis fall down? Scholars, scientists, religious leaders, and oddsmakers have been baffled for decades trying to come up with proper scenarios.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Borgata Pauly

I'm currently at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey covering the World Poker Tour. Last night I worked for 18 straight hours on the casino floor. I didn't get to sleep until 7am. I'm back again for the taping of the final table.

Here are some pictures that I took over the last few days:

New WPT Hostess Courtney Friel (click to enlarge)

Erick Lingren (for Heather & the April Sisters)

The remaining players on Day 2

Evelyn Ng

John D'Agastino

The Poker Room at the Borgata

Barry Greenstein and Mike Matusow

Clonie Gowen stares down the opposition

Steve Dannemann aka WSOP runner up

Erick Lindgren in deep thought

Three Queens: Kathy Liebert, Evy Ng, and Clonie Gowen
(click on photo to enlarge)

Evy Ng = 11th place

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

More Barcelona Pics: Final Table

Announcing the final table in Barcelona

Me & Thomas

On the Road Again

I got into NYC late last night, slept for a few hours, and now I have to go pick up a rental car and drive to Atlantic City to cover a World Poker Tour Event for the next few days! I'm super tired and would love to sleep for several more hours. Oh well. At least I'll get to see a lot of fellow media folks that I met in Las Vegas. They are curently in AC as we speak and started covering Day 1 of the Borgata Open which started on Monday. I'm showing up a day late.

I miss Europe already! And can't wait to go back.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Some Random Pics from Spain

Church near the beach in Sitges, Spain

Sign for a big wine festival

Cannon points out to sea

More church action

Vee-Dub on Mad's patio

My Street in Sitges written in Spanish and Catilan

Behind the scenes at the TV table in the Casino de Barcelona

Gus Hansen napping during a TV break

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Barcelona Open

Well, I'm done with covering the Barcelona Open at the Casino de Barcelona. Frenchman Jan Boubli won the event (and $416,000 Euros) and I got to announce the final table for the audience again. I messed up several times because I was more nervous. On Saturday there were not too many people in the crowd and the early stages of a poker tournament are not as important as the final table. But there I was under the hot lights for two hours. All my fellow media reps were more than helpful in making sure I was comforatble. Plus the nice gals who were the production assistants did their best to make things flow smoothly. That British production team was prfessional and a lot cooler than ESPN, who covered the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

If you want to read about what happened in more details, visit my poker blog to read the recap.

Oh, yesterday, I ate lunch at the mall next to the Princess Hotel. Man, it was jam packed with hot women on a Saturday afternoon. Talk about leaps and bounds from the skinny toothless crack whores who roamed the hallways at the Redneck Riviera.

So my short-lived European TV career has come to an end. David Hasselhoff can breathe a sigh of relief. Although, I hear I'm huge in Belgium. I love that "line" from the 1990s flick Singles when Matt Dillon played the stoner lead singer of Citizen Dick, which also included actual members from Pearl Jam, and he told a music reporter that his band was big in Europe.

I spoke to John Duthie, creator of the EPT and he said some positive things about my annoucing stint yesterday. "It's good to hear an American voice do poker. It's proper." His feelings were echoed by one of the guys in the "truck." He explained, "When you hear a documentary, you expect to hear a British voice. With poker, it's natural to hear an American voice. It sounds right." Maybe I can parlay this into a gig! Ah, probably not. They were all being nice. I'm glad I didn't fuck up as a pinch hitter.

Here are some random pics:

The final 5 tables

Media Row

Moving all in

The Prize Money!

Seat 1: Gus Hansen (Denmark) 3 time WPT Champion

Seat 2: Patrick Mortensson (Sweden)

Seat 3: Jan Boulbi (France)

Seat 4: Romain Feriolo (Spain)

Seat 5: Christer Johansson (Sweden)

Seat 6: Patrik Antonius (Finland)

Seat 7: Anton "Doogie Howser" Bergstroem (Sweden)

Seat 8: Dario Alioto (Italy)

Jan celebrates his victory

Jan Boubli the 2005 Barcelona Open Champion

Jan's check

I was filling in for Thomas Kresmer

That's it for now. On Tuesday, I'll be in Atlantic City, NJ for a few days where I'll be covering the World Poker Tour and the Borgata Open.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Saturday in Spain

It's raining in Spain. I didn't think that happened. Anyway, I woke up before Noon. I was up until past 6am writing a few articles. The first day of the Barcelona Open concluded at 4:30am local time. Today will be the final day.

Yesterday was pretty crazy. For lunch, I crashed the Poker Stars luncheon for their players who qualified online. On a big screen in the center of the room, they showed clips from last year's EPT Barcelona event, which was cool because I never saw any of the episodes since they are not aired on American TV. Brandon told me that most of the episodes from Season 1 are available for download at bit torrent. I also got to eat another meal with Brandon and two of his friends from Seattle. It's hard not to root for such a nice guy.

Conrad from Poker Stars spoke for a little bit and he even introduced me as a reputable member of the American media. He's obviously never read any of my clips!! Ha! I've been eating fish at every meal since I arrived in Spain and lunch was no different. I also got to catch a glimpse of the stunning Caroline Flack, who is the hostess for the EPT. She's the Shana Hiatt of the EPT and was conducting random player interviews during the luncheon. Talk about a hottie!

I headed over to the casino to set up my stuff. Luckily, they added wifi access for members of the media and I was in press row again with members from Poker Stars, the Brits over at Gutshot, and the Irish guys from Antes Up.

Then, out of nowhere, I was asked to annouce the "feature TV table" for the audience at the Casino de Barcelona. There are twenty five plus table sint he poker room, but the TV production company set up a TV set where they tape the table. I would stand up at the TV table with a microphone and annouce "Gus Hansen raised to 1200" and stuff like that. I was more like an emcee.

It was surreal!

Poker Stars is sponsoring the European Poker Tour (EPT). Otis works for Poker Stars and he introduced me to a ton of big wigs during the WSOP in Vegas. He didn't make it out for this trip but I hung out witha ton of Poker Stars folks that I met through him.

Anyway, although im freelance here, I'd been tagging along with Team Poker Stars. They took me out to dinner a bunch of times and I haven't paid for too many drinks either. They have been very very generous and I told them that if they needed any help during the EPT, to simply ask.

Well Tamar, who is a big wig at Poker Stars, came up to me yesterday while I was setting up in media row. She was flustered and asked if I would like to annouce the feature TV table. Now since it was Day 1, the production comnpany decided to include some action just like at the WSOP. Usually they only tape the final table. This was not a final table so it wasnt as crucial that the regular guy do it... the Tournament Director Thomas Kresmer. He was busy trying to actually run the tourney and get alternates in since the event was over sold. They olny had space for 250 and had 90 players on the wait list! 325 ended up playing.

So, I alternated with another guy from Poker Stars. Like every other hour we'd take turns announcing the TV table for the crowd. I was super nervous at first because Gus Hansen was at the table! From Denamrk, Hansen is one of the best players in Europe. He cracked A-A with Q-8s when he got quad queens.

Anyway.... I doubt that I'd actually make the actual airing. I'm sure my ugly mug will get lost on the cutting room floor. The EPT shows are 90 minutes long and they also have a 60 minute version for EuroSport (England's version of ESPN). I know that the WSOP emcees barely get any TV time on ESPN. But, since I watched those guys do it so closely, I tried to do my best imitation of the guys that I met in Las Vegas who did that job like Johnny Grooms.

So the TV production crew gave me a quick rundown on what to do. I got to sit in the TV truck for that meeting. On the set, they had cute British chicks as the production assiatnts and they would guide me along.

Here's the funny thing, the dealers and players thought I was part of the actual tournament staff so they ask me for rulings! I thought that was hilarious. It was cool to watch Gus Hansen play up close.

Anyway, Day 2 begins very soon and I might do some announcing again for an hour or so. Once the final table is set the normal guy will resume his duties.

Seriosuly... what a long strange trip it's been!

I was super nervous and finally got the hang of it! Plus the folks at Poker Stars and the British prouction team were pleased with my efforts to step in at the last minute. Bonus Points! Perhaps I can parlay this into an actually annocuing job on the Poker Channel which is huge in England right now. Too bad the EPT isn't aired in America. Bastards! But I heard you can download epsiodes off the net.

Friday, September 16, 2005

More Barcelona Stories

On Thursday night I headed over to the Casino de Barcelona to survey the scene. They didn't have wifi set up and that could have been a problem. European casinos are much smaller than in Las Vegas. I pretty much drank at the bar a few steps away from the poker room and ran into a few Irish poker players/bloggers that I met in Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker. Mike "Lucky Blind" Lacey and Tom Murphy run Antes Up and we drank a lot together in Vegas. It was good to see some familiar faces.

I had diner with Mad and her coworkers at Poker Stars. Also attending was Brandon Schaefer. He's from Seattle and he won a EPT event in France last year and came in 2nd at the Grand Finale in Monte Carlo. He's a really nice guy and when I introduced myself he said, "I love your poker blog! It's the best one around."

Wow. Great to hear that professional players read my stuff.

Anyway, we all ate at a nice place near the Olympic Village. There's a part of Barcelona that was developed for the 1992 Olympics and it's amazing. I ate black rice with seafood. Since I arrived in Spain, I've been eating nothing but fish and drinking nonstop. Dinner lasted for a fe whours and we drank a ton of wine. Mostly everyone here from Poker Stars is British. So I've been hanging out with Brits.

Oh by the way, my Spanish is so horrible that when I try to sepak it, most locals asnwer me back in English.

Here are a few pictures:

My dinner

Some cool buildings near my hotel

Street art