It's been a long while since I last wrote, and I'm not sure why I've been so bad about it, but nonetheless, I'll pick up right where I left off last time...
So after making it back from Macau, I went back to the same hotel where I would spend the next 2 weeks. I was able to meet some cool HK locals and hang out/practice my cantonese heh. Of course, I also continued my never-ending exploration of my favorite city in the world. One day, I randomly decided to visit an outlying island called Cheung Chau on a steaming afternoon via a 60 min ferry ride. I got there just as the sun was beginning to set, and I made my way towards a point called the “north point lookout.” Somewhere along the way I lost the trail by wandering off and exploring places, so I trailblazed my own way randomly until I got to a tranquil spot. I just sat there and watched the sun set overlooking the rest of the island and the edge of HK island in the distance. What a gorgeous view, and I was comfortably secluded too with me being the only one in sight. The island is pretty unique in that it does not have any cars or roads; all transportation is via walking or biking (similar to Mackinac Island in the USA). Everything is very old and antiquated, as it is a fishing village primarily. It was an amazing experience exploring a world that is pretty much the polar opposite of mine – 4am wake-ups to start the day-long fishing grind in a 50 year-old tug trolley vs Internet poker grinding on a 30” monitor in the comfort of my home (more on that later). The irony is that this island lies no more than 20 miles from the city of Hong Kong, a wonderful marvel of high-tech, fast-paced, and modern commercial life.
So after my month long escapade overseas, I found myself longing to move into my own place. The struggle to decide on a location finally ended as I was fortunate enough to find a great roommate who wanted to move out to Arlington, VA in October. By choosing to stay in Virginia, I got to stay close to family, which is always good, and move closer to my best friends who had just moved there a few weeks beforehand. Some people have expressed the “Really? Arlington?” to me, and I don't blame them, as Virginia is a bit less exotic than some of the places I've been in the past. However, I've found the move to be a great decision for me, and I have enjoyed my new apartment and roommate even more than I had imagined. It has been a great pleasure playing online while looking out my windows and enjoying the view of a sunset over Washington DC. But who knows, there's always the chance I make it back out to Hong Kong or Sydney :)
After a couple months of hanging out and “workin” in my new “office”, my friend and I randomly decided to take a week long trip to Costa Rica in November, more specifically Playa Hermosa. I was invited by 'spacegravy' (well known poker player online) to come check out and stay at his new poker training pad down there. We rented a car in San Jose and cruised around the city and met up with some friends at their house before driving out to the beach. The waves were pretty wild and so surfing was an instant-no for me heh. During my stay there, I yearned for the comforts of my new apartment back home, which reminded me how much I do enjoy my new place. All the bugs and humidity didn't help either!
After a month back in Arlington, I went skiing for the first time ever in Wintergreen (near my university town), which was pretty interesting. I gotta work on the nuances of slowing and turning, as the “go as fast as you can and then stop by wiping out down the mountain multiple times” strategy gets laughed at by friends (and probably isn't too good on the hips/body in general). Celebrating new years with friends in the ski house was pretty tight.
And literally 2 days after our return from the winter slopes, we were all off to the Bahamas! My roommate and her friend came with me, along with a bunch of my other good friends, most of whom play poker either recreationally or professionally. It was almost a repeat of my Bahamas trip last year and I really do appreciate all the support by my friends for coming down to 'paradise' to chill. And by “almost,” that's what I really mean, unfortunately. I lost in the first day of play (unlike last year where I had a semi-deep run) and the weather was just cold and windy for the most part (unlike last year where the water was inviting everyday). In fact I am sitting on the bed now as it is actually storming outside. The trip hasn't been as exciting as last year due to the weather, but hey, no complaints... the most important thing to me is that everyone is enjoying themselves, and I'm sure everyone is having a great time away from the real cold in VA. I have 3 more days here before heading back home, not sure whether I will play any more live events or not. As for upcoming trips, the only real planned one I have is back to Monte Carlo, Monaco in April for the another big tournament. Until then, I'll be chilling in northern VA.
For those interested in my poker progress, my goal is to achieve Supernova Elite again in 2010.. it just makes so much financial sense, even though the games are getting pretty tough nowadays. Goal for now, as it was last year, was 2M VPPs (altho it ended up being 1.25M for 2009, slacked I did). I'll try to mix in a more regimented MTT schedule as well as dabble in cash here and there.