Tuesday, July 13, 2010

6 Month Update... lol

Wow, alright, I really let my life drag on without updating this thing, mostly due to procrastination, but also just lack of time as I have been pretty busy with my online pokers and a 5 month relationship that didn't turn out exactly ideally. First things first, picking up where I left off last time- the Bahamas.

After getting back from that trip in the Caribbean, I proceeded to restart my online pokering. In addition to that, my social life took on a change as I met someone through a friend who was new to the area, and we started a relationship. Most of my waking hours from that point on consisted of "working" during the afternoons, and chilling with her at night. We took a few trips together, most notably to the island nation of Barbados in the Caribbean for 3 days (yep I returned and it only took a couple months) for 3 days. We also took a short trip to Houston, Texas as part of her business trip; I went just because I wanted to see what it was like down there. I even drove to Austin, Texas and back in a day, since I had heard sweet things about the city (got pulled over though sigh, 84 in a 65). Aftr that, we made another another trip, this time a weekend trip out to San Diego, and subsequent roadtrip up to Carlsbad, Los Angeles, and Malibu. I couldn't stop thinking of Entourage the whole way. This was the first time I'd been to Southern California, and wow, I must say that SoCal would be a top pick for places to settle in the USA, if you've got the $. Like La Jolla! Finally, there was the EPT Monte Carlo tournament to attend in April. My gf stayed behind for the first week I went on a Eurotrip, starting with a flight to Barcelona, Spain. I intended to meet up with my friends who flew out about a week earlier, however, the volcanic ash cloud disrupted their flights, and so I explored Barca on my own for 3 days. No complaints though, it was a fabulous city, splendidly modern compared to other European cities I'd been to (Paris/London). Where else does the metro come every 3 minutes, at most, with an accurate timer at each station? Their main attraction, the Sagrada Familia, isn't even completed!! Someone dropped the ball on that one. From Barcelona, I was able to fly to Geneva, Switzerland, just as the cloud cleared over southern Europe, and I got to meet up with my friends there. Practically the only 'landmark' to visit there is the Jet d'Eau, a huge stream of water pumped out continuously; pretty neat to watch but that's about it. It was a cloudy day, so we weren't able to see the mountain view across Lake Geneva :( Geneva is possibly the most extravagant/rich city I've been to, including Monte Carlo, with well-dressed socialite-types at every turn and BMWs flying by like Hondas. We spent a night in Swissland, and the next morning my friend and I split off from the group to make the drive down to the Mediterranean Sea and Nice, France to drop their rental car off. Along the way, we drove through Mont Blanc (via a 65 Euro toll WTF) and witnessed some stunning views of the French/Swiss Alps while going through the 20 or so tunnels through the Italian hills. We swung by Torino, Italy (site of 2006 Olympic winter games) and finally ended up back in France 5 hours later. We met my gf who had flown in to Nice that afternoon, and we all took a bus to Monte Carlo finally!

The tournament went about as badly as I could have expected, I lost in the 2nd level (i.e., 2 hours in)...losing with AQ to AA on a AT6QQ board. For those without poker experience, basically some poker god somewhere flipped a coin up there, and decided that I would be out and the other guy would be doubled up, with no choice in the matter by either player haha. By losing early, however, I got to hang out with the guys and my gf instead of being cramped up in the poker room for days. Can't say I wouldn't want that though, haha, I just mean if I'm going to lose the tournament, might as well be on the first day. We made a day trip out to Nice which was very relaxing, and after Monte Carlo, we proceeded to Italia! My gf and I flew from Nice to Rome, spent 2 days there, then made took the train up to Firenze (Florence), Bologna, and Milan before departing back to the states. A fantastic trip there – great weather, crazy old churches and “duomo's” all over the place, and pasta every meal, what more could I ask for?

As soon as we returned, I resumed my grind.. and having taken 20 days straight off, I needed to get playing. For those following my poker progress, my goal is still 2M VPPs, and as of now I have 945,633, so a little behind pace (which is a little more than 1M), but nothing I can't overcome by year's end. I'm hoping for a better 2nd half of 2010, as the 1st half didn't go as smoothly as last year's. In non-poker news, my aforementioned relationship did not work out unfortunately, and so these days, I spend much of my free time running and biking around the area; I never realized that the northern Virginia/DC area is so beautiful and accessible. So far this summer, I've biked a total of 159 miles over 11.5 hours, on 11 separate rides. It is utterly sick to think that riders in the Tour de France are biking this distance every day for 2 weeks at race pace as I type this. Thankfully I don't have to do that, and I bike at my leisure after my poker sessions. I am actually looking forward to upgrading my bike to a more mid-level road racing bike, since I'm really enjoying this very much.

My most recent trip update was a short sojourn to Las Vegas to partake in the World Series main event. I went with my friend at the last possible day to play, and we both lost promptly on the first day. I lost when I called a 12k shove on the turn with AsQs on a board of AcKcTd7d, the guy had Tc3c, for a flush draw and trips/two pair draw... he got there on the 4c river (roughly 36k pot). Losing on the first day was for the better, since my friend and I both high-tailed and flew back the following day. I'd rather go to many places over Vegas, but the allure and positive expectation of the tournament was too much to pass up. It's just that Vegas is just the most degenerate place, filled with ugly people who do blah things, and is simply not the type of place for me.

I have no future short-term plans to travel at this point, no live tournaments to go to or anything. My main goal every day is to play as much as I can without burning out, and spending quality time with friends in the area while meeting new people. I'm about to have a roommate change as my best poker friend (who drove with me from Geneva to Nice and who I went to Vegas with) is coming in to replace my current roommate. As soon as he gets in, this will become the primo poker grind apartment of Arlington haha, as we'll be playing pretty much every day and hopefully both motivating each other to play as much as possible. I certainly look forward to it!

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