April 15, 2008 - Cirling Europe
Hello from beautiful Monte Carlo, although I hardly feel beautiful today. It's been a crazy few weeks, including my time in Malta with the Chilipoker team, a cash at the EPT San Remo, and a lot of expectations heading into the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. I was so looking forward to getting off to a great start, but I unfortunately I never got out of bed.
I spent a lot of time working with the Chilipoker team in Malta. Alex has put together some terrific people, and we're working on many great things for the rest of this year. I'm so glad I chose Chilipoker and Alex as partners, because that's what they are: true partners in every sense of the word.
From there, I headed to Italy and EPT San Remo. San Remo is near France and not too easy to reach, as I flew into Milano then rode in a car for almost three hours. It is a beautiful, ancient place, but I had no time to see the sights. It was a great tournament for me, and not due to the fact that I cashed (although that is always welcome). No, it was great because I played great, made good decisions, and made no real mistakes. I was near the chip lead on Day 2 and would have been strong for a deep run had it not been for this tough hand.
The blinds were 800/1600 with a 200 ante, and I picked up pocket 4's. I raised to 5k and both blinds called. The rainbow flop came 9-8-6, and I checked behind both blinds. When I saw 4(d) come from the dealer on the turn, I caught my nice bottom set. I bet 9500 after both blinds checked, then one of the guys moved all-in for 49,200. I quickly called and saw him turn over J-10o. If I could avoid a queen or 7, I'd have a great stack. It was one of the queens that spiked on the river, and it crippled me.
I went out in 53rd place with 8,000 euro (a little over $12,600). I felt I'd played poorly in Poland, and here I played really well. I even had a little luck, with my dreaded pocket aces holding up five times in a row!
After heading back to Malta for a bit, I flew to Monte Carlo for the final event of the EPT season, the EPT Grand Final. I arrived early so I could be really relaxed and prepared for this big event. I even skipped the PokerStars party the evening before Day 1A. I ordered salmon for room service and headed to bed early. When I woke up, I felt horrible. Major headache and drowsiness. I called Alex at Chilipoker to see if he could reschedule me for Day 1B (he could), and I went back to bed after taking some medication from the concierge.
The next morning, it was worse. I reached back out to Alex to see if he could get a refund, and I felt relieved when he told me he could. I was able to have a doctor see me, and I didn't really feel better for a couple days. I missed playing in the tournament, but I'd rather not play then not play my best. I owe it to Alex and Chilipoker to only put my best foot forward, and Alex has been great throughout the EPT season.
And now, I'll be heading back to the US and Las Vegas. I can't wait to get out of the hotels and back home again. I play in the $25k WPT Championship at the Bellagio this weekend, and I'm hoping I'll feel 100% by then. I'll be staying in Vegas throughout the summer at the World Series, and I have high hopes to have a great few months.
Join me at Chilipoker when you have a chance. And if you're somewhere in Asia, you can find me on the cover of Asian Poker Times as well (one of my nicer photos, too!). Keep up all the encouraging comments and thoughts. They really, really help me a lot!