Saturday, January 05, 2008

Back to Work

By Pauly
Melbourne, Australia

On Friday night, we had a staff dinner at the pub. Each tournament that I cover (depending on the location) there's a different crew. For this Aussie Millions, our team is made up of a few local Aussies and a bunch of Americans. I have worked with a couple of the Aussie in October but we had a couple of new hires to get to know.

Dinner was short followed by drinks in the Velvet Lounge. Jen Leo made the trip down under and tagged along with Schecky. In the past, Nicky, Schecky, Jen Leo and I have played Chinese Poker in a sort of couples night out in Hollyweird. We resumed our roving game in Australia at the lounge.

My roommate from Amsterdam showed up. Johnny Mushrooms rented an apartment across the street from the casino and was tanked when we finally met up. He's a poker pro and has a similar grueling traveling schedule like mine. He's from Adelaide, Australia and said that he spent a total of 10 weeks there in 2007. He wanted to scale back the travel this year and I don't blame him.

Anyway, after the Chinese Poker game broke up, we got smashed with Johnny Mushrooms as we recanted stories about our time in Amsterdam and how I almost shit my pants and took a dump in between two park cars along the side of a canal or how Benjo would fetch him fresh croissants every morning or about the hookers who worked around the corner from our apartment.

I woke up on Saturday morning with a minor hangover from the night before. I had only been in Oz for a couple of days, I have almost drank a case of wine and a keg of beer. Alas, that's what I do down under... drink. A ton. I'd say that 75% of my total alcohol consumption in 2007 occurred in Australia.

I was at work by 11:30am and the action lasted until way past 3:30am. It was a typical 16 hour day, but I had not worked in a couple of months so I was rusty. By Midnight, I was dragging ass. At least, I managed to eat two meals. Sometimes I only get to eat one when I'm working, but on the first day, I was up early enough for a brunch. I also ate ravioli for dinner. It was tasty for sure, but the special treat of the day was a slice of chocolate and caramel cake that I devoured for dessert.

The big buzz of the day was that actor Michael Vartan (best known from Alias although I only saw one or two episodes of that show... but I know him better from flicks such as The Pallbearer and Never Been Kissed) was playing in the first event of the Aussie Millions. Since his current show had halted production due to the writer's strike in Hollyweird, he flew down under to play some poker. He admitted that he developed an addiction to poker and said that he played a lot of online poker.

Of course, both Nicky and Amanda were swooning over his appearance at the poker tournament. They couldn't stop talking about him and we snagged him for an interview with Poker News. Too bad, but the pretty boy busted out early, yet Nicky and Amanda still kept talking about him.

I managed to put a few bets on the NFL playoffs with one of the local bookies. I woke up early on Sunday to watch the games. It's technically Saturday afternoon right now in the States, but it's Sunday morning down under. I have to be at work in a few hours but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to watch one of the games that I have money on. Although the games are on NBC, the local ESPN affiliate carries the game. The last time I was here in November, I had to wake up early to sweat the MLB playoffs.

I'd write more, but my ten minutes to blog is up.

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