Sunday, September 02, 2007

Adios, Espana

Huge, huge congratulations to Kristy Gazes for taking down WPT Ladies Night V at the Bicycle Casino! Kristy continued her 2007 hot streak by besting a field of talented women including runner-up Linda Johnson, Pamela Brunson, J.J. Liu, Mimi Tran, and Melissa Hayden. I only wish I could have been there to see what pair of fabulous Jimmy Choos Gazes chose for the televised final table and/or what sort of shoe-based side bets were made between the six ladies.

Of course, it took me almost 15 minutes of Googling and surfing various poker websites to find the results, since only "official" poker media were allowed to cover the event and the rest of my contemporaries were banished from the premises. Going to overseas automatically re-directs people to sign up for their online casino, so it took some creativity to find the live updates page. The front page of website of their partners-in-crime CardPlayer told me nothing, as did their tournament results page. If you're gonna be "official," can you, I don't know, AT LEAST report the results?

Thanks for everyone's comments and emails regarding my tumble at the Casino Barcelona. My ankle is still a bit sore especially in the mornings and I have to be very careful walking on these cobblestone streets, but I'll live. For what it's worth, someone took notice of the deplorable reporting conditions for the media and the final day went much smoother. We had a roped-off media area once we were down to the final 13 players and badge-holding media were given permission to kick out spectators from our area. Poker Stars' Mad Harper was working overtime pulling railbirds off the ropes and if you take a look at the coverage, you'll see a noticeable improvement from the reporting on Day 3. I did, however get my ass grabbed by a dirty old man on the rail after politely telling him that he wasn't permitted to stand there. I turned around and hit him after it happened. Thank God Pauly wasn't there to see it or this asshole would have been drop-kicked to the floor and we would have likely been ejected from the casino. Wouldn't be my first time getting kicked out of a gaming establishment.

Today was our last day in Barcelona. Though we booked ourselves here through Tuesday, Pauly and I made an impromptu decision to return to Amsterdam for one day before heading up to London for 15 days for the WSOP-Europe. Gee, I wonder why? Here's a clue. My week-long stint of sobriety is the longest stretch I've gone without my beloved cannabis since the late nineties. Not very Pot Committed of me I know, but I did a helluva lot better than I thought I would.

After sleeping in late, we got tapas for lunch at a fantastic place on the Placa del Palau. The crispy prawns were perhaps the best bite of food I've had in Europe, and we downed an entire pitcher of perfectly sweet sangria. We hit the Picasso Museum after that, and finished the afternoon with a long walk around the Barri Gotic and up La Rambla to the Placa Catalunya where we stopped at a cafe for beers and Chinese Poker. Though I left Amsterdam up 22 points after a sick run at the Abraxas coffeeshop, I've had a horrible losing streak in Spain and now I'm only up 8. Perhaps our return to the 'Dam will turn things around.

I'm behind on stories of my Euro-travels, I know but I'll do my best over the next few days to catch you all up before we tumble back into the abyss of the casino. Until then, here's a few Barcelona photos to sate you all. There are many more to be found on my Flickr page.

View from our apartment balcony

La Sagrada Familia

Monument al Colom

Stained glass windows inside La Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia windows


pokertart said...

Sorry to hear you had such a rough time trying to cover the event. Good for you for hitting the ass-grabber - how awful!

The pictures of La Sagrada Familia are astonishing.

Enjoy London :)

CarmenSinCity said...

DAMN! I just read your post about being pushed off the chair and I'm like shocked. I am just beside myself that you guys have had to put up with that kind of treatment. I was thinking that Barcelona looked beautiful in your pictures, but I might have to skip it!