For me, the worst five minutes of the day by far at the WSOP consisted of the sweaty, uphill walk from the Rio parking lot to the Amazon Room. It was always hot, I was always exhausted from the night before, and I was always hauling a nearly 30-pound backpack loaded down with power cords, a camera, my purse, a hoodie to keep from freezing in the meat locker-like conditions, and my gargantuan 17-inch laptop. The Dell I bought two summers ago after my apartment was burglarized and my iBook stolen was purchased primarily for working from home and playing online poker (I can have four tables tiled on the screen with space to spare). I never thought I'd have to constantly lug it around through airports and casinos. I mean, the fucker weighs more than 11 pounds. That's a lotta laptop.
So with my four-week trip to Europe coming up and the prospect of covering more tournaments over the next several months, I took the plunge and my gargantuan machine now has a little sister. She's less than five pounds and can easily fit in my Marc Jacobs purse. Here they are together, during the ten-hour data migration marathon I endured two days ago:
So the big boy is staying home, waiting for me to fire up Poker Stars while the new kid is hitting the road with me on Wednesday morning. The first leg of our journey takes me on a 13-hour flight from LAX to Amsterdam. I get three full days in the 'Dam at Pauly, Benjo, and RK's swank canal-side flat where I will undoubtedly trip at least once on those narrow staircases and once on some fine Dutch mushrooms. This will be my third trip to the land of legal weed, and my second this year alone. From there we fly to Barcelona, Spain to cover the European Poker Tour event at the Casino de Barcelona for Poker News. In lieu of a hotel room, we rented a flat near Las Ramblas that looks very IKEA-chic from the online photos. I love Spanish food so I'm psyched to try the local cuisine, though Pauly is a bit leery since it doesn't exactly fall on the chicken-cheese-bread-tomato sauce spectrum that he usually sticks to. He's not a fan of fish or vegetables so there will no doubt be some excellent prop-betting opportunities.
The last leg of our Euro-Tour is in London, site of the inaugural WSOP-Europe where we'll spend over two weeks. I've been to England once-- over 18 years ago on a family vacation when Mandy was 9 and I was 12. I remember a lot of castles, cloudy days, Mandy whining about walking so much, the guillotine at the Tower of London, my father doing an awful job driving on the wrong side of the road, and the fantastic Indian food. No flat there, we went for a hotel super-close to the casino.
I think Pauly is going to Sweden this weekend for an online poker conference. If I were there, I'd pay him a tidy sum to engage in the local customs and wear capri pants. I got a quick call from him on his European bat-phone a couple of hours ago and he had just come home after spending the afternoon in Vondelpark. He was also eating mushrooms. Both of us were buzzing about Ryan, who chopped the $1,070 NLHE event at the Legends of Poker last night for over $25K! Along the way, he busted both Ted Lawson and Shirley Rosario. Head on over to Absinthetics and check out his Twitter feed where he posted live updates from the tournament. Congratulations, man!! It couldn't happen to a better player or a nicer guy.
And now I'm going to play with my new laptop all afternoon.