Best PCA Ever!

I had a blast, an absolute blast. I go to the PCA (PokerStars Carribean Adventure) every year, but this year was different, I had more fun than I’d ever had in the Bahamas before. The first couple days there the weather wasn’t great but it improved quickly and got to be pretty nice. I had my cousins with me, 14 year old kid who looks about, oh, 22, and also my 20 year old cousin was there with me too. Unfortunately due to the tournament and then having some other responsibilities I didn’t get a chance to hang out with them as much as I’d like. It’s amazing how the weather can play such a role in one’s outlook. The first few days there were kind of, bleh, but then the last couple days there it seemed to be sunny all day and night. I played well in the tournament once again. Day two was a direct contrast to day one where I played lots of hands. On day two, I was dealt very few playable hands and was also at a tougher table which forced me to play a little more carefully. This is how my day two started: Played three hands in the first hour: AQ, A10, AQ. I raised all three times and the flops came Q-10-2, 10-7-2, and A-K-5, giving me top pair and top kicker every time. Easy game, as my opponent folded on the flop every time. Aside from that I got nothing to play at all and the players at the table were definitely noticing which put me in an interesting spot: I looked like I was playing super nitty. That’s not the truth really, but I realized that my table image would be greatly affected by the cold cards, which should help explain the following two hands: A player raised under the gun and I called with JJ from second position. A big stack (I was a big stack too) re-raised from middle position and I laid down the hand. He had AK, and I’m totally fine with the lay down as I knew he had to have a strong hand. The very next hand I raise under the gun to 3k with AK suited and “Big Egypt” re-raised me to about 9k from second position. I folded that one too, and he showed AK suited. Once again, I figured his range could never include a hand that I was ahead of, he was either paired up or had the same hand, but being out of position against a good, young player with chips, I figured folding was the best play. I didn’t get any real hands all day and kind of anted myself off for the whole day, finally going bust in the last level of the day when I made a stand with Qc Jc and a player behind me picked up… AA. I waited, and waited for the right situation or the right hand to come up, but it just never happened. I finished about 170th out of the 1135 player field which didn’t pay, but was still a decent result. After the tournament I decided to host the PokerRoad radio show, and ended up doing so with Justin Bonomo as the guest. There has been loads of talk about online players versus live players and I felt like Justin had a lot of good things to say in the interview. If you haven’t heard the show you should definitely check them out. I’m a big fan of the “mom and pop” sites having a chance to cover tournaments, etc. as you know, and I think PokerRoad is a quality site that helps the growth of poker. I try to do whatever I can to help out, whether it was PokerWire, PokerRoad, or any of the other smaller sites that provide content for the poker community. I think it’s really important that these kinds of sites continue to thrive and a site like PokerRoad already seems to have built up a huge audience in a relatively short period of time. So after doing the show I figured it was time to let loose and have some fun. Up until this point in the trip it was pretty much a typical PCA trip for me, hanging with some of the younger guys, doing a couple interviews, etc. But now that I was essentially done with all of that I had the opportunity to take some time for myself and do the things that I wanted to do: truly enjoy what this vacation had to offer. If I wanted to take a nap, hey, I’d take a nap. Speaking of naps, I didn’t sleep too well the first couple of nights because they have soft pillows and I like a firm pillow. Mental note: on my next vacation or tournament make sure to bring a pillow. I’m very picky when it comes to pillows and if it’s not JUUUUST right, then I don’t sleep nearly as well. I didn’t do anything extraordinary exactly, went to the comedy club, walked the beaches, went to the club, watched a movie, etc., but I think it was just the fact that I felt carefree, not bogged down with work, or anything like that. I’d been playing a lot online (for me anyway) and doing some writing, so this last few days was an opportunity for me to really unwind and soak it all in. To really appreciate the vacation. In the end, as much as I miss being home in Vegas, I really didn’t want to leave at all. I felt like I was just starting to really have a good time out there and then, bam, time to go home. Oh well, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to make sure that I get more out of these vacations from now on. Poker is awesome and everything, but we travel to such beautiful places it would be a shame to continue wasting these opportunities. My next trip is to the beautiful and fabulous Tunica, MI. where I usually go every January. I have no idea what it is about that place, but I seem to always run really good there in January so I’m not about to skip that tournament. From there, it’ll be off to Germany for my fourth shot at an EPT title in Dartmound. Then in mid-February I’m headed to Copenhagen followed by Los Angeles. The trip I’m most excited about, though, is San Remo, Italy. I have some special plans for that trip and just can’t wait to get out there! I’m thinking about staying out there a little bit longer so I can soak it all in before going to Monte Carlo a week later. After Monte Carlo, it’s back to Vegas for the WPT Championship. Those are basically all of the travel plans I have on my schedule for now, but that could all change too. I’m in a very strange place right now where I might just decide to take off for a week to somewhere quiet. In the meantime, I’m going to golf, continue with my writing, work on PokerVT, and also brush up on my German, Italian, and Spanish.