Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Surrounded by Donkeys!
Yes, it seems that even halfway around the world I still cannot escape the presence of donkeys! The good news it that the donkeys in Spain didn't take my money.
I've been back home in Vancouver for a few days now and have been (and will be for the rest of the month) busy as tits trying to cram a month's worth of work and obligations into two weeks. The work part is pretty standard-I need to earn at least 50K VPP's before June to retain my SNE status until it expires in September...I can predict that there is almost no chance that I will exceed much more than the minimal VPP requirements for this month. As for the obligations, well part of my duties for being on Team Online include hosting a bunch of SCOOP final tables this year (5 in total). A couple of the tournaments that I'm assigned to host will likely end around midnight on Friday and Saturday, which will complicate my plans for the long-weekend coming up but it's all good. PokerStars has been more than accommodating to me in that they took my holiday into consideration while planning the hosting schedule so I'm grateful for that and am happy to help out hosting. I've already hosted 2 "High" buy-in SCOOP events where the winner took home around $150K in both cases...pretty sick money.
On the other side of the coin, I also have the opportunity to play in some SCOOP events that I would normally pass on due to having some more buy-ins to work with for being on T.O. Instead of playing a bunch of low-medium events that I'm more than adequately bankrolled for anyways, I've decided to play a couple of bigger buy-in events to take a shot and gain some experience in larger stake MTT's. My SCOOP schedule is quite small and looks like this, keeping in mind the possibility of adding some minor changes if I see fit to do so at the last minute:
May 17: SCOOP 26- $1050, $109, $11 Turbo
May 22: SCOOP 37- $215 6-Max
May 22: SCOOP 38- $1050, $109 Main Event
I played the turbos today and cashed in 2 out of 3 of the events...but I didn't cash in the $1k so who cares lol! As I said, these buy-ins are compensated so I'm in a zero risk situation and all of the cashes are pure profit but it woulda been nice to at least min-cash the $1k :(
In the $1k, I was extremely card-dead throughout the entire tournament. My only premium hand in 2 hours was AKo and other than that I got AQs in the early levels and nothing else. I remained patient but my stack soon dwindled in half before I eventually found QJo, which looked like the stone cold nuts at this point, and shoved from MP for about 7 BB's and got called by A3o. The board ran out 9KxxT and I doubled back up to the 10K stack I started with. I went through the blinds and then shoved the aforementioned AKo from the Cutoff for 9K and got called by A5o in the Big Blind. That held and I doubled to just under 20K but could gain no momentum. In turbos, there's just no escaping the fact that you need to catch hands...not exclusively premium hands but you need to pick up at least mediocre hands that will play alright if you're called or you need to find a lot of spots to steal. Unfortunately, my position at the table was quite bad because there were a lot of bigger stacks on my right that were opening every pot and I wasn't picking up any hands to re-jam with since I had no fold equity. I busted when it folded to me on the button and I made a standard shove for 13K with KJo (1k-2k blinds) and ran into JJ in the SB. A little disappointing but I think that I played alright.
The $109 showed much more promise as I had worked my 10k starting stack up to $55k at 2.5k-5k blinds right before the money. We were down to around 620 players and 585 got paid and I was dealt AKo in the Cutoff. It folded to me and I decided to min-raise to 10k to induce a shove from somebody that might try to exploit the fact that we're on the money bubble (and assume that I will fold very often). The problem with the min-raise here is that it's should be so painfully obvious that I'm super strong as I would normally just shove my whole range here, especially on the bubble, but I had no reason to believe that any of the players behind me would pick up on this. The player in the BB ended up taking my bait and re-shoved his 50K stack with T4o...unfortunately my fish got off of the hook when he hit a pair on the flop and I missed. This left me with less than 1BB so instead of calling it off on the next hand I took my time and folded into the money a few hands later before busting.
I also made a deepish run in the L event working my stack up to about $140k and eventually busting in a standard hand where I shoved KQhh from MP for 10bb's but ran into AQo in the SB and didn't suckout. All in all, I had a fun time playing and look forward to the rest of the SCOOP and making a little bit of money!
So I'm still pretty jetlagged from my trip...I've been waking up around 7:30am PT (about 5-7hrs earlier than usual lol) and it's been great, hopefully it lasts! I was pretty out of it a couple of days ago though-I spent 15 minutes talking to my friend on the phone thinking it was a different friend the entire time. Hopefully my wits are back with me now.
Speaking of my trip, I had a great time in London hanging out with my brother and my cousin and then with my parents in Spain. It was nice to spend some time with the family, especially after missing out on a vacation to Hawaii last year due to the SNE chase. I could really spend hours and hours blogging about my travels but I really need to get some sleep! Basically, in London, I found different ways to amuse myself during the day while my brother and cousin were working and then we would meet up afterwards. Daily activities included getting lost around the city many times, shopping, working out, recruiting girls to join us later at a club (epic fail), and even a 2 hour soccer match one day. At night, we alternated between taking it easy by going out to a movie or dinner/casual drinks and going out to clubs. We went to a couple of amazing clubs, stuff that you'd never see anywhere in Vancouver that's for sure lol. It was very tough to get in since you need to either be a member or willing to drop 150 pounds each at these places but my brother had a couple of connections to luckily bypass the strict entry. It's worth getting in though, especially if you know someone with a table inside. You're basically looking at top shelf liquor, no girls below an 8.5, good music...fk one of the clubs even had circus performers on stilts/strippers lol. And a sexy doorman with the biggest triceps you've ever seen! (inside joooke)
I don't have any pics from London, basically because I couldn't be bothered to carry around my camera. I do have some pictures from Spain though courtesy of my dad. We stayed in a remote village about 1.5 hours out of Malaga where almost no one spoke any English. It was a complete 180 from London and was very relaxing...although we did travel around to a couple of bigger cities like Serville and Marbella. These pics are from the village, Serville, and Marbella, respectively:
Flights. Flights were somewhat of a nightmare this trip. Going over to London wasn't that bad at all, apart from the airline being quite unorganized upon check-in and we didn't have any time to spare once we got past security. The flight to Spain from London was much worse...because my brother and I missed it! We were at the airport before scheduled takeoff but the flight was already "closed" and we couldn't get our boarding passes. It was 100% our fault but after being out quite late the night before there was no chance that we could get up any earlier than we did, especially after we thought that we would still have enough time to make it. We ended up getting on the next easyJet flight after paying a 50 pound "rescue fee."
Coming home was painful. On about 4 hours of sleep, I got my ass to the airport at 8am (2 hours before my 10am flight back to Vancouver) only to see the biggest lineup imaginable for check-in. Apparently the computer system went down earlier so things were very slow and on top of that there were two giant flights checking-in at the same desk (one to Van and one to Calgary). Waiting in what turned out to be a 2 hour lineup was bad but the worst part was that nobody was able to tell us whether or not the plane would be delayed or if it would leave with about half of the passengers on it. Obviously it would be ridiculous to leave without half of the people on it but after witnessing easyJet's "we don't wait for nobody!" policy a few days prior I couldn't help worry about missing yet another flight. Things only got worse when I go to the check-in desk. Each person is allowed a 20kg bag to drop and a 5kg carry-on. My bag was about 15kg but my carry-on was about 10kg, double the limit. I was pretty frantic at this point, still worried that I'd miss the flight so I said fine whatever, I'll drop 2 bags how much is the cost? The man told me it would be a charge of 15 pounds per kg over (75 pounds) so I thought fk that and frantically started shoving clothes from my carry-on into my bigger bag. For the next 5 minutes I was "that guy" who was too stupid to weigh his bags before he left and was now holding up the entire line to save a few bucks. Eventually, after kneeling on my bag to keep it closed, I got both of my bags to fall under the respective limits and I was on my way.
As I had suspected, luckily they did delay the flight so that everyone could board and I walked on to take my seat. I arrived at my assigned seat of 31F only to see a mother with a crying baby sitting in my seat. I figured that she was one seat over from where she should be since the seat on her left was open and thought "you've got to be kidding me!" "Uh, is this 31F?" I asked her. "Oh, yeah, but we switched seats with someone up there" as she pointed in some vague direction. "Okay, no problem, what seat did you switch with?" "23A or B" she said. I walked up to take a look and saw a cute girl sitting in the aisle seat and two empty seats to her left. "Is anyone sitting there?" I asked. The answer was no and suddenly the 9 hour flight didn't seem so bad! We talked on and off between between me watching movies and her reading a book and to make a long story short we're facebook friends. Yeah, pretty much married. We might be going for drinks soon (and by might, I mean she hasn't said no yet)...I haven't decided if I want to use my "one time" on the SCOOP main event or this situation, we'll see.
gl at the tables, thxx for reading!