January 17, 2008 - Aussie Millions Down Under
Well, my trip to Australia was eventful but for all the wrong reasons. It was a quickie, and after I busted out, I wished I could get out of there even quicker.
Most people I know say they would love to go to Australia, but few people really understand where Australia is. It is a long, long, long way from Las Vegas. It took me 24 hours to get there, and believe me I felt every hour. I slept a good bit on my flight, but even so I was worn out when I arrived in Melbourne. I was supposed to head to the Poker Room when I landed, but I didn't have the energy to go down. So I just chilled and relaxed my room the first day.
After waking up from a much needed nap, I called my good friend Shannon Elizabeth to see what she was up to. We decided we'd do a bite of sight seeing, and that's what we did the following morning. We were out of the hotel by 11am and took a long walk down to the morning market to watch one of Shannon's friends doing a live performance with his band there. After that, we spent another few hours just walking around, having a blast and exploring the city of Melbourne.
There were 780 players at the Aussie Millions, and the field was broken into three groups to start over three days. The hospitality was terrific the entire time I was there, but I think they've outgrown the facility for the tournament. The tables were crowded, and I happened to take my seat in the 1s with my back literally up against the railbirds. I played on Day 1A, and I always try to play the first day of big events. I had the strangest feeling before my play though. Call it a woman's intuition or whatever you want, but I just felt like it wasn't going to be my day. On PokerListings, I wrote about a message I'd sent to my brother a few hours before play started: "I'll be playing the main event here in about 4 hrs, but I don't have a good feeling about this event. It's just a gut feeling!! I still have to play it anyways though."
I lost a big pot early with queens on a 10-9-6-9-4 board (he had 10-9). I then picked up aces and had a bizarre situation occur. The blinds were 50/100, and the 8s made it 275. I was on the button in the 1s, and I said "Raise" and tossed out a 500 chip. He called, and the dealer gave me back 50. I questioned the dealer, she told me I'd made the minimum raise, we got the floor over, Matt Savage ruled the 8s needed to put out another 50 to call, three other floor people came over, then they told us that the 8s could either call another 50 or take his bet back and muck. Sorry for the run-on sentence, but it was a bit of a blur just like that! By this time, the guy in the 8s had decided that getting his 175 back and mucking his cards was a pretty good deal, so that's what he did. I mucked my cards and raked the pot, but I was still frustrated to see my aces wasted like that. Every hand is important in a tournament, and this one could have been a big swing for me.
I tracked the floor people down, and they told me that the dealer had told the 8s the raise was to 450. They said that this was the error, and that the player had the right to call or take his chips back. I understand the ruling, but it makes it no less frustrating for me. I ended up going out with two pair on a Qc-Jc-9d-As board. My A-Q was up against Kh-10h, and I didn't catch my boat. I wanted to have a great run, and flying this far for such a quick exit made it all the more difficult to take.
So there I was, out of the Aussie Millions and sitting in Melbourne. When you think of Australia, most people think of the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast, the city life of Sydney, or the huge wasteland of the Outback. Melbourne isn't really like any of this. It is a smaller city that was bustling with the Australian Open tennis championship in full swing. Many of the players were staying at our hotel, which made the stay unique. It's a slower paced city than you would find in Europe or the US.
After busting out of the main event, I was able to get a flight Thursday out of Melbourne through New Zealand to LA, and then back to Vegas. Another brutal series of flights, but finally I'm back in the States.
I'll be heading back to LA in a couple days to spend some time with my Mom and focus on cash games at the Commerce until my next trip to Paris. I would like to thank everyone for all the kind words and best wishes, I really appreciate it! Until next time everyone. Cheers!