November 11, 2007 - Around The World and Back
Okay, so I am back in Vegas now. Well sort of. I'll tell you more in a bit. For starters, I attended a charity poker event hosted by Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil on November 8th at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The tournament benefits the Skylar Neil Memorial Fund (http://www.skylarneil.org) and the TJ Martell Foundation (http://www.tjmartellfoundation.org). This years "Off The Strip" Poker Event hosted by Vince Neil raised approx $175,000.
All proceeds are divided between the two designated charities. The Skylar Neil Memorial Fund was formed in 1995 after the death of Neil's four-year old daughter Skylar. Her battle with stomach cancer inspired Neil to start the foundation that helps fund various organizations for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research. And the T.J. Martell Foundation was founded by T.J. Martell's father who vowed to uphold the wishes of a teenage boy who wanted to raise a million dollars for leukemia research. Upon the boy's death from leukemia, Martell started the organization in 1975 and has since raised more than $225 million for research.
I was really honored to be a part of this charity event. An auction kicked off the event. There were lots of great items to purchase and I chipped in by purchasing a poker table signed by all of the poker pro's in attendance. After the auction the tournament began. The tournament itself was a re-buy event with all of the proceeds going to charity so the action was a little wild and loose to say the least. I played a little looser then my normal myself. Hehe. After all, it's for charity right?!? :-)
Next on the agenda was a quick trip into L.A. to visit my mom and take care of some errands I was unable to handle while in Europe and Southeast Asia over the past couple of months. Then off to North Carolina to meet up with Dalton Cox who is one of the best photographers around. I flew into North Carolina for a couple of days to participate in a photo shoot which will eventually be posted on my new poker website Chilipoker.com. Dalton and his wife Jill were two of the nicest people and I really enjoyed my photo shoot experience. Dalton was extremely patient and always smiling. The photo shoot took two full days at three different locations. Dalton told me over 2,000 pictures were taken during this photo shoot. Wow!! I also want to say a quick thanks to Dalton's assistant Jenn and Daryl who assisted with Lighting.
After spending a couple of days in N.C., I flew back to Las Vegas. So here I am!! J I'm so happy to be back in the States. However, I will only be in LV for another week then I fly out to Macau on November 18. Macau is the next stop on the Pokerstars.net Asia Pacific Tour and will mark the first time a real money no limit hold em poker tournament will be played in China. The event is scheduled for Nov 22-27 at the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino. If you don't already know, Macau is Asia's version of Las Vegas. Many consider it the gambling capital of the world with HUGE hotels and casinos. Even larger then the hotel and casinos you see in Las Vegas.
The Macau event is another event I'm really excited to be a part of. I really want to see poker grow in Asia and I think the Macau event is just the beginning of bigger and better things for China and the rest of the region. Hopefully I'll win this one!! Keep your fingers crossed. Afterwards, I will take a short flight into Vietnam and spend a week there to dedicate my father's 100th day. This is a Vietnamese tradition when a loved one passes away and he is still often in my memories. He meant the world to me and I'm still trying to deal with the loss. The past couple of months have been a very difficult time for me and this trip to Vietnam will be another opportunity for me to visit my father and pay my respects to him once again. I will be back in Las Vegas on December 8th and will be competing in the Five Diamond Bellagio Classic in mid December. So look for me there. I hope everyone has a Happy Turkey day and safe Holiday!!