Just doing my thing

 Poker  Comments Off on Just doing my thing
Feb 282012

Normally I never have problems to write a blog but somehow today I can’t really put myself to it. I don’t really know where to start and that is in line with how I’ve been feeling the last two weeks. A bit lost, doing my thing but not really pushing myself doing one thing or the other. I’ve been living my life which is a good life so it’s no problem but I prefer to spent my days more, well I don’t even really know what I want to type here. You can’t always be the happiest man on earth and I’m still in a pretty good mood but I’m searching for something, I’ll let you know when I found out what it was exactly.

Last week I played a couple of session, things didn’t really work out the way I planned but I didn’t lose any big amounts. On Sunday I was happy to play poker and had a pretty good day, Monday afternoon I lost some money and I just didn’t feel like grinding in the evening. Since I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled on Tuesday I figured I really had to grind some more that evening. Obviously I lost (why else would I write about it) and was even more grumpy when I got into bed. When you really don’t feel like playing, don’t! A pretty obvious tip but I have to remind myself to it sometimes. On Tuesday I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled in the hospital, after getting my anesthetic the doctor needed more than 35minutes to get my bottom one out. Pretty weird that you see a man doing something to yourself which normally would be very painful but you don’t feel a thing at all. The other one didn’t even take 5 minutes and within the hour I was done. A couple of hours later I already ate lunch and apart from a swollen cheek and occasional mild pain it wasn’t that bad at all.

Last week was also the first time I took a ride on my bike this year. I went for a quick ride with 2 friends and was pretty happy we agreed that we would go under any weather conditions. When I woke up it was sunny, when I jumped on my bike it was raining and underway we even had some hail. Sunday I did another quick ride and already felt so much better than last week. I’m still pretty fit but I’m also pretty fat and I just can’t really lose the weight I’ve been trying to lose over the last couple of months. Not drinking any alcohol doesn’t really make the difference but if I hadn’t stopped I would have probably been even heavier then I am now. I know for certain that for the next couple of weeks I have to be on my bike at least two times a week to be ready to cycle 150km over pretty though hills on the 14th of April. Also I would love to play some tennis again as well but currently my tennis buddy is injured so it will have to wait, trying to exercise at least 2 but hopefully 3 times a week should really by top priority for the coming weeks.

Since I’ve been back from holiday I’ve been taking up a new role at my job. I already decided in 2010 I was going to take this role but because I had to finish a really important project up till now I could never really do the actual work I had chosen to do. Nowadays I’m working as IT-Architect and while being a pretty practical guy myself, IT-Architecture is a really theoretic thing. I also used to work in the Human Resource department of my company but I’m now doing the IT-Architecture for Facility Management so it’s two new things at the same time. So far it has been a lot of reading (not a big fan) but the transition to this new role has been easier than I anticipated. In this new role I really hope I can be part of the strategic discussions of how to bring our company forward and I’m pretty happy I’ve been given the opportunity to take on this role, especially working part-time. It’s really good to have this balance between a real job and poker but it’s getting harder and harder to keep balancing these two things, together with trying to stay fit and live a happy social life. Luxury problems so nothing to really complain about but it has been keeping my head busy these last couple of weeks.

Last Saturday I did a twitcam session and was happy to answer twitter questions from my followers. Unfortunately I was airing at the exact moment Mickey ‘mement_mori’ Petersen was playing Pierre Neuville Heads-Up for the victory of the EPT Copenhagen. Team Online colleague Mickey Petersen eventually won the Heads-Up and took home €338.221 , winning in his own country made it even more special. You can check my twitcam session below, feel free to ask any questions in case you still have some.

Sunday I’ve been playing some tournaments since I was planning to play the Red Spade Open anyway. I don’t really like to mix MTT’s and Cashgames so figured I would fire up a couple of more tournaments. Already after an hour I noticed I was really tired so I didn’t start to many tourneys and was playing pretty bad overall. Still I had an early double up in the Red Spade Open and managed to get some more chips from people who were really trying to give away their stack as soon as possible. In the Sunday Million I was doing okay as well until I really butchered a hand to go down to only 2,5k. However within 10 minutes I double up 3 times and from there I played pretty decent poker. Pretty quick the Sunday Million was my only tournament left and I even managed to get a top50 stack when playing the bubble. After that I didn’t play a single hand for 4 orbits! Lost some, won some until my KK wasn’t good enough vs AJ on a J high board. He shoved his whole stack in the middle on the flop, I only had to call, smile and watch the J hit the river. I busted around the 400th place or something, I really hate tournaments! I try to stick to cashgames to coming weeks but already know that on the 11th of March I will be doing a MTT Sunday again since then it will be the 6Year Anniversary of the Sunday Million. $6.000.000 Guaranteed and $1.000.000 Guaranteed for the winner so it would be a good idea to save my rungood for that day! For the Dutch readers I know there is a  special promo around this tournament, you can check http://www.pokerstars.nl/poker/promotions/dutch-sm-celebration/ but probably PokerStars will be doing a lot more promo’s around this tournament so keep an eye on the website!

Also there have been a lot of talks about the introduction of ZOOM (Rush) poker at the PokerStars Client. I’ve been doing some testing myself in the closed alpha and beta but at this moment you can test the ZOOM feature yourself on the PokerStars Test Client. You can read how to sign up for the test client here: http://www.testpokerstars.com/instructions.html . I don’t know when the official launch will be but as soon as it’s public you will probably know it asap since I think a lot of people have been waiting for this.

Well, that’s it for today. Tonight I will be going to a concert in Amsterdam. Justice will play at Paradiso and I’m really looking forward to their show. Till next time.

 Posted by at 4:01 pm

Poker, Poker, WBCOOP, PokerStars & Poker

 Poker  Comments Off on Poker, Poker, WBCOOP, PokerStars & Poker
Feb 172012

Ah, a blog about Poker! Or well that’s the intention 😉 I’ll just ramble away like I normally do but because the last two weeks I’ve played a lot of poker hopefully it’s poker what I’m mostly going to talk about.

I got home from my trip on Saturday and since I was pretty tired and my girlfriend was meeting up with her friends I just sat on the couch and watched some TV. I didn’t really feel like sitting behind my PC and grind but I did want to just play some poker. I grabbed my laptop and joined some random HyperTurbo MTT’s. I couldn’t really care about the buy-ins, I just wanted to have some all-ins and feel lucky. I played 2/3 tables and was doing pretty good in the $1 HyperTurbo! Some railers were asking what the hell I was doing and one guy asked if I could spare him some money because he was broke. Obviously I declined but since I was pretty chatty and was just having fun I challenged him HU4Rollz! To my surprise he accepted which also meant he wasn’t broke but I’ll forgive him for his lie 😉 I accepted him to my PokerStars Home Games and I set-up a really deep (20.000 Stack with 20minutes blind levels) $3,30 MTT just for the fun of it. At the same time I had put myself on the waiting list of a $50/$100 LHE 6-max table, why I don’t really know. While still being in the HyperTurbo and playing the beggar HU I got the pop-up to sit in at the LHE table. On my laptop I have no HUD, I had never played $50/$100 but I was still in holiday mode so I sat in and played. 36 hands later the game broke (fish left) and I was up $933 and a happy man 🙂 I was still playing the HU (for over 2 hours already at that moment) and had some trouble winning the big pots. After busting the HyperTurbo I focused on grinding the guy down and won and we actually had good fun chatting while playing, a great first day back at the tables!

On Sunday there were some great sport events to look forward to. The day started with the final of the Australian Open, Djokovic vs Nadal then during that match the biggest soccer match of our competition, Feyenoord – Ajax started. I went over to my favorite bar where I met all my friends which are all Ajax fans, myself being the only Feyenoord fan. Ajax was the huge favorite and after being 0-1 behind Feyenoord won the match with 4-2. When Feyenoord was 3-1 ahead most of my friends didn’t really believe in it anymore, the whole bar was quiet since 99% are Ajax supporters. When Ajax scored the 3-2 after a big mistake of the Feyenoord goalie, all my friends were back at the edge of their seats again and you just saw the hope in their eyes. The best moment of this football season was when Guidetti scored the 4-2, for all my friends a soul crushing moment after just being sparked with hope and for myself the most beautiful goal of the season! Djokovic and Nadal were still playing in a great tennis match and I really watched some breathtaking rallies. During the evening I played the last TCOOP (Turbo Championship of Online Poker) events and watched Stefan Groothuis win the Sprint Speed-skate Championship. A day full of awesome sport events, another great day back home.

Since I had been away for a full month I had plenty of stuff to catch up with. Also I had a lot of time to think about 2012 and how I wanted to go about playing poker this year. I’ve been together with my girlfriend for 2,5 years now and we have planned to officially start living together as of March 1. The last couple of months she was already sleeping at my place 7 days a week so nothing really would change but I felt I had to change my schedule to make sure I wasn’t trying to hold on to a schedule which I already knew I wasn’t going to follow. Late 2011 I already made the transition to 6-max, played less tables and tried to remain focused on playing poker while not playing 24 tables (since when playing 24 tables there is no way to lose focus). I made up a lot of excuses to not play poker last year, one of my biggest excuse is that i.e. I only have 2 hours and I don’t like to put in small sessions. For 2012 I had decided to do some things completely different. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday will still be my “work-days” I play poker on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. Where normally I would start grinding at 20:00 till late in the night, when living together a 9-5 rhythm makes a lot more sense. I wasn’t planning on doing 9-5 but that old fixed schedule just didn’t work anymore. Before 20:00 I would always tell myself I would start playing at 20:00, then around 01:00 my girlfriend would go to bed and I would join her so basically I was fooling myself. The idea for 2012 is just to play when I can, really simple. On Sunday till Tuesday I’ll just play when I see a good game or feel like playing. Maybe 1-2 hours when I wake up, do something during the day and start grinding at 16:00 again just before diner. Then after diner fire up the tables again and go to bed around 01:00. The schedule fits better with my girlfriend, fits better with my normal day-job and still doesn’t have to be a 9-5 boring grind, since I probably never wake up before 11:00 anyway. I still plan to play 20+ hours a week, grinding 1/2 hours on a Wednesday/Thursday evening is fine as well. Not having a fixed schedule can be dangerous but I think this rhythm just supports my current phase in life a lot better.

Since I was running hot on the $50/$100 that first Saturday I also decided to jump into those games more often. I’m definitely playing with the best LHE players out there at those stakes but these games never run anyway without a fish sitting. The higher LHE games really only run around fish, any table at $5/$10 and higher breaks as soon as 6 regulars are sitting. It makes sense but it’s also a problem for the poker community, something I might discuss in a future blog. For now I consider my normal grind, 8 tables of $5/$10 6-max LHE. So when I want to grind for my VPP Goals I would do it at those limits, probably on the Sunday/Monday evening. I’ll always keep lurking at the lobby to watch if I see any good $30/$60 or $50/$100 games running and if I can join any of these tables I will quit my $5/$10 tables and really try to focus on the High Stakes games. During the day less tables run so I’ll just try to table-select a lot between the $5/$10 and $50/$100. I did already play a couple of $100/$200 hands but I really want to try and avoid those stakes. I played in a game with 2 fish and since 1 regular was sitting out it was 5-handed which is really juicy but currently I just can’t afford the swings on those limits. A game like that is hard to pass, but when only 1 fish sits in I’m just not going to sit in. I’ve been following this “schedule” now for the last 2 weeks and the sample isn’t that big yet but till yesterday it was pretty successful.

On Monday I did the same as any other day and a lot of good tables were running. I try not to look at my results nowadays when playing but I really needed to take a piss for over 2 hours already. When I eventually took a small break I saw that I was down $3.7k at one moment but had grinded it back to -$600, pretty promising and I rushed back to keep the good run going. I again didn’t look at my results but after hitting a really good streak of hands ($2k in a couple of hands) I knew my graph would skyrocket so I wanted to see how I was doing. It was exactly 00:00 at the moment, a perfect time to go to bed. I just needed to win $600 more and go to bed, unfortunately I lost a $1.300 pot and obviously never even considered any more to go to bed 🙂 Later on the $50/$100 and $30/$60 tables broke and I probably wasn’t playing my best game anymore on the $15/$30 proven by a hand in which I managed to put in 11,5 Big Blinds (The max you can put in yourself in a LHE pot is 12 Big Blinds) with A5s on a 789sss board. It was against a regular which I hadn’t played a lot of hands with and he was playing really aggressive. Capping the flop and turn was fine (considering how the action went) but 3-betting the river, which resulted in him capping with a Straight Flush was just a small moment of tilt. I really didn’t tilt in any other part of the session and since the big games were gone I decided this was a really good moment to go to bed. Down $4k, not happy but not uncommon on those limits.

Still these swings are pretty normal and I really shouldn’t worry about it. I should just try to focus on BB’s and not $ lost and actually I’m not worried about these kind of losses at all. However If you think about these amounts outside of poker it’s pretty hard to explain to people that these swings are pretty standard. TPirahna mentioned in his recent blog a $40k downswing, that’s something I’m definitely trying to avoid 😉 Because of Mondays session I decided not to play any poker on Tuesday and wrote two blogs (The previous one and this one). Obviously the same two fish as to whom I lost my money on Monday are currently playing as I’m writing this blog but it’s also Valentine’s day today, so after I’m done writing I’m going to give my girlfriend some quality time!

I’m trying to stay away from tournaments but PokerStars is not really helping with all the promotions they have (like last Sunday’s Double Vision). I did play the $215 weekly LHE tournament on Saturday because I was playing the $1.000.000 SuperNova+ freeroll and I final tabled the LHE tournament finishing 5th for $880. Since I was already all-in in the first hour (pretty hard to do in a LHE tournament) I felt pretty happy about it and PokerStars had just introduced a new table theme for people who manage to get to the final table so at least I saw that one as well 🙂 Also from the 23rd of February till the 4th of March PokerStars is holding the WBCOOP (World  Blogger Championship of Online Poker) again. After blogging about the WBCOOP and submitting your link you can earn a lot of tickets to SCOOP events in 30 separate freerolls and even $5.000 cash in case you are awarded to be the Best Blogger or $1.000 for the best Live Tweeter. For busting any of the Team Pro’s you also receive $11, so I wish you good luck in busting me. I would suggest to read the rest of the information at the PokerStars Website.

I’ve also been busy planning my WSOP 2012 schedule! The schedule came out a week ago and I really can’t wait to go to Vegas again. I really want to be back home before the 1st match of the Dutch soccer team in the European Championship at the 9th of June but the schedule in exactly that week is just so awesome. On the 8th there is the Razz event, the next day a LHE, the 10th the 2-7 Triple Lowball and the 12th another LHE event. The 4 events which I really wanted to play all in one week! I’ve been thinking about it a lot but also because I’m not alone in this decision we decided to go to Vegas from the 28th of May till the 8th of June. On the 5th of June I will be playing the $1.500 LHE WSOP event so I can at least play one LHE event this year again. We are going with a pretty big group this year (8 people) and I’m really excited because it will be the first time for one of my best buddies. We’ve been talking about bringing him to Vegas for several years now and this year it’s finally going to happen. Showing him all the places which I always talk about is just so great. It’s been 8 years ago since the last time he joined us on holiday, unfortunately one of my other good friends can’t make it this year but for sure we are going to have a lot of fun again!

PokerStars has been busy as well and the guys from PokerStarsblog.com did an interview with me when I returned from my holiday. Also they just announced that PokerStars have now launched their mobile app in the UK market for both IOS and Android after already a successful launch in Italy. I think a lot of people are waiting for being able to play on their IPad so we just have to be patient for PokerStars to launch it in the rest of the world. Probably PokerStars wants this as bad as the players, so I expect that they will do anything to launch it as soon as possible (probably also depends on licensing in each of the countries). Luckily PokerStars hasn’t sit still on that either so for Swedish and Finnish players they have now opened PokerStars.eu, hopefully more/all countries will follow soon so we finally can leave all the ridiculous tax related differences in the European Union behind us. Again you can read more at PokerStarsblog.com

One last thing to add is that on the 25th of February I will be doing a “Twitcam” session. It’s actually just past midnight on the 26th but just to get things clear, it’s Saturday-evening/Sunday-morning! From 00:00 till 01:00 I will be answering questions on webcam, people can ask questions via twitter. You can follow @RTL_Poker on twitter or use the #rtlpoker or #askrichard hashtag to ask questions so feel free to start brainstorming 😉

Well, I think that’s it for now. Three blogs in one week is a lot but I really needed to catch up. Hopefully I can show some good results on the High/Mid Stakes LHE tables next blog, only time will tell!

 Posted by at 7:02 pm

The time of my life: Part 2

 Social  Comments Off on The time of my life: Part 2
Feb 142012

So in Part 1 I left you when I was leaving the Bahamas. My trip continued at Aruba where my girlfriend was already waiting on me at the airport. We had two weeks of doing “nothing” ahead of us. First one week at Aruba and then we flew to Curacao for another week of relaxing.

On Aruba we had to walk 100 meter from our apartment to the beach, now that’s what I call ideal. I brought the Game of Thrones books, Song of Ice & Fire and we had a pretty simple daily schedule: Breakfast, Beach, Lunch, Beach, Dinner, Bed and repeat!

Aruba is a beautiful Island with great beaches and big “American” style hotels. We had a more cozy low-rise apartment (Amsterdam Manor Beach) because I always prefer an apartment above an hotel but there are plenty of good resorts to choose from. It’s 30 degrees all year round and because there is almost always a breeze it’s just so nice to be around the beach all day long. The food was great at most places as well although pretty expensive. We had two great restaurants attached to our resort and around the high-rise hotels there was a big variety of restaurants to choose from. The best restaurant we went to was Blossoms, a Japanese & Chinese Restaurant in the Westin Resort where we had one of our best Sushi ever.

Unfortunately the next day around diner time I got really sick. I have no clue if it was because of the Sushi but it was a sort of food poisoning for sure. I had to visit the toilet more often than a person would like during and the worst thing was that we had to fly out to Curacao the next day. At night there would have been no way I would have been without a toilet for more than 30minutes but in the morning I felt a little better luckily. Still I had to “survive” a trip to the airport first and then later on the flight to Curacao. I opted to delay my flight for one day, waited till the last possible moment before going to the airport but I figured that feeling sick on the day I was flying anyway was better than any other day. At the airport I strolled around a little bit and when I walked over to the gate I didn’t see a plane at the gate. I never heard of Insel Air so checked out what logo their planes had and when I found out I saw this tiny aircraft a bit further away from the gate. Trust me, when feeling miserable this wasn’t what I was hoping for!

The plane fit 15 people but only when piled up in a specific way. There was no stewardess, no safety instructions and that worst thing of all, no toilet! The flight only took 30 minutes but we still had to wait a little before taking off. I also expected a lot more turbulence in such a small airplane and since my stomach really can’t handle turbulence I was pretty nervous. In the end this 30minute flight was probably the best flight I ever had. The plane stayed pretty close to the ground so you have a beautiful view of both Aruba and Curacao, we had zero turbulence and when I landed on Curacao I felt really relieved.

Unfortunately on Curacao the weather wasn’t as great as on Aruba but for a rainy day I had downloaded the TV-Series Homelands and some movies. We finished Homelands in one day (I would recommend it!), watched Crazy, Stupid, Love (brilliant movie) and I finished the first book of Song of Ice & Fire. I’m about halfway now in the second book and I just can’t wait for the new season of Game of Thrones! Unfortunately I have to wait till the 1st of April (no joke!). I had already visited Curacao before and the hotel (Lion’s Dive) we stayed in is just such a relaxing place. The Dutch Olympic Swimming Team were staying in our resort as well, training twice a day in the official 50m pool which was pretty fun to watch. These 3 weeks were really fantastic, I doubt I ever felt so well rested and spending two weeks away with my girlfriend in such beautiful places was really an awesome way to start the year.

Stay tuned because on Thursday I’ll post another blog with a lot of Poker related updates!

 Posted by at 5:36 pm
Feb 112012

So I haven’t blogged for almost 2 months and this wasn’t because I had nothing interesting to tell. Actually since my last blog I’m having the time of my life! These last 2 months have been incredible but my new blog is really overdue. Being away for a month and having to catch up with a lot of things when I got back just didn’t allow me to put any time into my blog. Since it’s been so long I’m probably going to cut this blog into smaller pieces.

The good life started on the 23rd of December. A couple of months ago I promised myself not to drink for a while. I agreed on a couple of exceptions upfront: Christmas, NYE & my holiday to Aruba/Curacao. At that time I didn’t know yet that I was going to the PCA and since I’m the all-in or fold kind of guy I decided that from the 23rd of December, till I got back again on the 28th of January, I had an excuse to drink again. It’s only a couple of days difference anyway, hmmm why am I explaining my drinking habits anyway to you? Those couple of months I didn’t drink, did had some good results. I felt fit, lost 5kg and played tennis on Saturday or Sunday where normally I would need to sleep out my hangover. Let’s get back to the 23rd of December! Since most of the time around Christmas is taken up by family, we decided to have a boys night out. The things I do remember about that night is a lot of irresponsible drinking, a lot of dancing and coming home completely wasted around 05:00. A good night out, but so much alcohol after a long period of no alcohol at all was probably not the smartest thing I could have done. I stayed in bed till 17:00 the next day but in the evening there was another night out planned. I tried to be a little smarter by not drinking that much and could note the difference the next morning 🙂

It was Christmas and I’ve never been a big fan of Christmas. I love my family 365 days a year, not just this one day and I do not believe in god so for me the best thing about Christmas is that I don’t have to work that day. Since this year Christmas was on a Sunday, you could say it wasn’t special at all. Since I was young we always gourmet with Christmas which always resulted in eating way too much and feeling stuffed for two days. This year Eric (the new husband of my mother) and my mom cooked dinner with most of the kids and grandkids, unfortunately my sister couldn’t make it. It was the first time in years I didn’t feel stuffed and since in the Netherlands most people celebrate two days of Christmas (3 including Christmas Eve) this was a good start. Next day we celebrated Christmas with my girlfriends family where we again had a great diner and good company. I really liked this year’s Christmas and maybe even start to like this whole family get together. However it wasn’t over yet since we had organized a big finally on 3rd Christmas day! 3 couples, the guys only had to drink and eat and the ladies would do all the work in the kitchen and keep our glassed filled at all times. It can’t get any better right? The ladies had planned a meeting to discuss the secret menu, shopped twice to get all the food and drinks together and they were nervous. They knew that nothing could go wrong and that everything had to be perfect because the men were watching! Well actually that’s probably what they thought in their heads, us guys just wanted some food and drinks 😉 The preparations started at 10:00 that day and unfortunately I invited them in my house so I had to get out of bed as well 😉 They had made a complete menu:

This whole evening was fantastic! The food was superb, the different wines tasted really good and the company was great. Unfortunately you can’t have all your good friends at the dinner table at once but having a meal like this with the 6 of us was really great. Each of the guys had its own personalized menu-item. Mine was the desert, which is normally my favorite course anyway. My girlfriend made “Richard’s Chocolate Fantasy”, a brownie, vanilla ice with chocolate sauce and a scroppino, my 3 favorite deserts in one!

The evening went on till about 02:00 and unfortunately both my girlfriend and me had to work the next day. I had only three days of work left to do and since I wasn’t going to work a single day in January, it wasn’t a real problem to motivate myself getting out of bed. Those 3 days went by very smooth and I could finish 99% of my work before I left the office. Leaving my inbox with 0 e-mails, something that never happened before in those 12,5 years I’ve been working.

It was finally time for New Years Eve and some friends of us had organised a big private party. About 100 people, many which I call friends at a pretty deserted location so we could do anything we wanted without disturbing anybody. There was a theme to the party as well: “Bad Resolutions”. We partied till 05:00, everybody got really hammered and it was a really awesome party to start the year with. I definitely hope to do it again next year, same location, same people. I was smiling the whole evening anyway because in a couple of days I would fly to the Bahamas again! Knowing that you have 4 weeks to relax ahead of you is just the greatest feeling on earth.

The plan to go to the Bahamas was put together pretty late and since last year I didn’t do a lot at the Bahamas I didn’t had a lot of expectations. I was hoping for some good weather to enjoy the pool/beach and had planned to play some poker, but due to the Dutch tax regulations it just doesn’t make sense to play a lot of tournaments abroad unfortunately. The first day, our Team Online manager Dustin had organised a meeting which started at 10:00. A pretty bizarre time knowing that 18 poker players had to show up but it worked out okay. I knew some of the Team Online members via Twitter, I read most of their blogs but I hadn’t met any in real life yet. Probably most of the other people had never met each other as well so we really started by doing an introduction of everybody. As being the only guy who plays LHE I explained how easy my game is by having only 3 options. Then Björn ‘Bjoerni89’ Schneider explained that he only had 2 options (Shove or fold) while playing since he plays Hyperturbo SNGs. It might be time to switch games 😉 A lot of people had similar backgrounds, some used to play Magic The Gathering (like I did), others were professional online gamers and others had a chess background. I also found 3 other Team Online members who played tennis, so a tennis match was quickly setup. The next day we had planned to go swimming with a small group. Tyler “frosty012” Frost (Canadian), Andre “acoimbra” Coimbra (Portuguese) & Diego “vgreen22” Brunelli (Brazilian) came along. It was probably around 25 degrees (Celcius) and Tyler and me were really enjoying the water. Andre and Diego were freezing and wanted to get out of the water asap! The next day Andre even brought a jacket to the pool, I guess for some people even the Bahamas can be a cold place.

The next day I played tennis with Tyler, Diego and Shane “shaniac” Schleger  and when warming up Tyler hardly hit any balls. On the other side, Diego was already killing it so the teams were made up pretty fast. Tyler had fooled us because his first serve was immediately a good one and again I remembered you always have to be careful not to get hustled when you are around poker players. Diego was by far the best player I had ever played tennis with, so playing some rally’s with him was a pretty big challenge. Obviously Shane and I lost but we did have a lot of fun. Later that week I also played a singles match against Shane. I think we were pretty equal and since we both played pretty safe we had some really long rallies trying to force the other into making the error. I had Shane on match-point but still lost the match, unfortunate but still happy about my overall game.

Dustin had planned another diner with all the Team Online members at Mesa’s grill. It was a real good diner but what always happens when you put 15 poker players in 1 room, they want to prove themselves. We decided that we had to play a Team Online Sit & go. Sure a regular SNG would be too easy, so we decided it had to be a 8-game SNG. We ended up playing an 11-handed, 8-game SNG which is pretty ridiculous because a lot of games in the 8-game rotation can’t even be played with 11 people.

Some people (like Tyler Frost) didn’t even know how to play any other game then Hold’em or Omaha so we explained some of the rules while switching to the specific game. This resulted in Grzegorz “DaWarsaw” Mikielewicz throwing away the 2nd nuts in Razz, because Andre could only have the nuts (pure bluff) and Tyler checking back a wheel/straight on 6th and 7th street in Stud-8. Let’s say that the table was pretty soft 😉 That didn’t really matter because we played mainly for fun and only had a small last longer bet going. Obviously the guy who didn’t want to participate in the last longer and didn’t know most of the games won.

As you can see I had to cry myself asleep while Tyler was the happiest Team Online of the evening.

We went to the pool most days and I spent a lot of time with Tyler and DaWarsaw. DaWarsaw had explained us during his introduction the first day that he was still playing small stakes NL cash, because every time he build something that looked like a bankroll he would throw it away in a stupid propbet. Now sure that’s something you should never tell to a group of poker players but we didn’t try to exploit him to much during the trip. On one night when we just had diner he felt like doing a stupid bet. He first wanted to eat 16 pickles and 4 white/green tomatoes within 1 hour. I offered him $80 but he wanted $200 so that didn’t happen. He still wanted to do something stupid which resulted in him trying to eat a disgusting tomato within 35 seconds for the crazy amount of $5. How much fun can you have for $5? the answer is here:

Unfortunately the trip had to come to an end. The last evening we planned a big diner at Nobu where we all enjoyed the great Sushi and other Japanese cuisine. For most of the Team Online members this had been a great trip, either because they cashed or even won (Talonchick won the Omaha/Stud Hi/Lo $1k event) playing poker or because they just had a lot of fun at the pool or in the club. For poker players it’s pretty normal that at the end of the evening the bill is getting paid by the loser in a game called Credit Card Roulette. It’s pretty simple: You put all Credit Cards in one big hat, you let the waitress pick the credit card and whoever owns that credit card most pay the whole bill. I normally don’t hang out with a lot of poker players so this was only the 2nd time I played it. We played a different version where not the credit card which was picked had to pay but that credit card was out, so we would draw credit cards until there was only 1 left and that one had to pay. Obviously it was me and Javier ‘El_Cañonero’ Dominguez left and I opted to split the bill among the two of us. In the end we gambled and I lost, resulting in me having to pay a $1300+ diner. Since I had to get out of bed at 04:00 and it was already 00:00 I decided not to go to bed. I wasn’t planning on drinking but the club was open and many people would leave the next day so everybody was planning to go out. We joined up with Caleb and some of the other PokerStars employees for another fun night out.

This was probably the best poker trip I’ve ever had. Meeting a lot of cool Team Online Members (& friends) but also getting to know the people behind PokerStars which is really important as I’m representing PokerStars as a Sponsored player. Knowing that there are so many poker loving and dedicated people working for PokerStars just makes it so much easier for me the be proud on being a member of PokerStars Team: Online.

Stay tuned for part 2!

 Posted by at 2:45 pm