Wednesday did not start well. I woke up a couple of hours before Pauly and decided to play a little online poker. 45 minutes later, I was stuck $300 after taking a stupid shot at what I thought was a soft $10-20 LHE game. Dumb dumb dumb me. Seething with tilt, I walked into the bathroom only to step into a puddle of Pauly's cold urine. Evidently, he had taken a couple of sleeping pills the night before and missed the bowl when he took a piss in the middle of the night. Lovely.
But let's not dwell on the bad, or in this case, really fucking gross stuff.
It's been a whirlwind of a week here at the Crown Casino. I covered all five preliminary event final tables at the Poker News Cup, including a marathon nine-hour H.O.R.S.E. affair last night that saw a guy called Billy the Croc take down the title. Believe it or not, it was the first H.O.R.S.E. tournament ever held in Australia. My friend Slippers, who worked with Pauly and I at the WSOP this summer dealt the final table, though I was about to stab him with my pen when he kept dealing suckouts to all the short-stacks. In one Omaha 8/B hand, Billy the Croc had flopped the wheel, holding 4-5 in his hand with A-2-3 on the board and Slippers managed to pull a running 4-5 out of the deck for a split (the short stack had a 2-3). Now that's talent.
My editor, John Caldwell took down Event #4, $550 NLHE with rebuys for a $30K score. That was a fun one to report on, as I knew his wife, Jen Leo would be sweating the coverage from home in Las Vegas. Jen won a Planet Hollywood Daily Tourney earlier in the week, so kudos to both the Caldwells.
Another friend of ours, Barry Carter (aka "DaveShoelace") finished 4th in the $230 PLO earlier in the week. We met Barry in London and covered the WSOP-Europe together. He already had plans to come to Australia for a friend's wedding, so he decided to add a side trip to Melbourne to play in a few PNC events. Barry told me he ate kangaroo while he was up in Byron Bay for the nuptuals. He described it as "succulent" and best eaten rare. I'm an adventurous eater, but dude... I'm not going there.
I also ran into "Aussie Sarah" Bilney in the poker room. Though she had done quite well at the '06 WSOP, she had to skip this year's Series since she was in the third trimester of her pregnancy. She had a beautiful little girl nine weeks ago and just got back to the tables this week. For having a baby only a couple of months ago, she looks damn good. Sarah saw my Nobu pics from a few days ago and it was enough to convince her and her husband to dine there. I told her not to miss out on the Waygu steaks. I'm salivating just thinking about them.
Speaking of food, Pauly and I had the privilege of enjoying a home-cooked dinner at the home of Jules and her fiance Graham. They have an adorable cottage in the Melbourne suburb of Bentleigh and just got the cutest Dachsund puppy called Moe (pronounced "Mo-ey"). Jules made lemon-herb chicken, scalloped potatoes and a green bean, onion, and bacon relish. Soooo delicious. We washed that down with 4-5 bottles of Shiraz. It was so fantastic to spend time with those two. I could have stayed and chatted all night, but we had to work in the morning. We even got a dial-a-shot from Kat. Thanks again to Jules and Graham for the excellent conversation and for making us feel right at home.
I got to play a little live poker a couple of days ago. Though Jules had told me that the $2-$3 NL was as soft as a newborn's ass, there was a list 20 deep and I only had a couple of hours to spare. Instead I sat in a $5-$10 LHE game and finished up about $175. The quality of play felt like the good old days of Party Poker. Lots of calling and very little raising. After showing down A-K twice in the first hour, I had all the benefits of a tight image and was able to start betting out with second pair and draws and induce folds from my opponents. Just the way I like it.
In other Australia-related events, check this shit out. As most of you know, AlCantHang tirelessly organized the Battle of the Bloggers 2 Tournament Series on Full Tilt. There are some sick, sick prizes at stake, including a "Tournament of Champions" freeroll for the 27 winners of the individual tournaments. At stake? An $18,000 Aussie Millions prize package. Now here's what really depresses me. Two more TOC seats are going to whomever can write the best post about the Aussie Millions. Here are the details, courtesy of Mr. CantHang:
Write Your Way to Australia
Because the only thing bloggers enjoy as much as playing poker is writing about poker, we’re offering two free seats at the Tournament of Champions for the two bloggers who write the best posts about Aussie Millions.
Look into the future – how did the Battle of the Bloggers end? What happened at the Aussie Millions Tournament? Who were the victors and who were the defeated? What happened away from the tables in Melbourne? Your job is to create a completely fictional blog post reporting “what happened” during the 2008 Aussie Millions Poker Championship. You are only limited by your imagination.
Show us why you’re the blogger who should join Team Full Tilt for the largest poker tournament in the Southern Hemisphere. We want to hear what you’ve got that makes you the best person to head Down Under. This is how you make it happen:
* Write the post
* Include the following 2 links in your post:
* Post the entry on your blog
* Send a link to your post and your Full Tilt Poker username to firstname.lastname@example.org
* Sit back and plot how you’ll drop the hammer on the competition
I committed to covering the Aussie Millions for Poker News months ago, so alas, I can't use the seat. I don't have time to play the blonkaments, but fuck... the chance to write my way into a 29-player $18K freeroll? That's my kind of satellite. And we all know I scribble a helluva lot better than I play poker.
I'm buckled down covering the Poker News Cup Main Event through Monday, but after that, Pauly and I will take off on a couple of side trips out of Melbourne. We're planning to drive the Great Ocean Road as well as spend a day on Philip Island. After that, we fly up to Sydney for a 4-day stay before heading back to L.A.
Hopefully by that time, it will no longer be on fire.