04 September 2007

Leaving Pain in Spain, EPT Moves to London

On the flight to Spain, I was very focused and ready for the upcoming EPT Barcelona. I have not played a lot of tournaments this year, but I am very excited for all the EPTs this fall. Not only are EPTs my favorite tournaments, but also Barcelona is one of my favorite cities. Maya, Mila, and our nanny/chef, all came along for the trip so there were no excuses not to perform well. I could use an airline sponsor since my entourage is growing and I have spent over $40,000 on airline tickets in the last month.

After we arrived I found out I was scheduled to play on Day Two. That was great news as it gave me an extra day to get used to the time change. My mom, dad and sister all flew in before the tournament and I got to spend some quality time with them. It has been a long time since I have been back to Finland and it was really nice seeing my family.

Day One was very good. I managed to stay out of big pots and slowly accumulate chips. When play was done for the day I was in sixteenth place. The European circuit is very different from the WPTs in America. The average age of the players in Europe is a lot younger, which is probably why they are twice as aggressive. Also the structures are very good in EPTs; they add a few levels that really allow for a lot of play on Day One.

The worst bad beat of the tournament for me came the morning before Day Two. I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and a terrible sore throat. My throat hurt so much I could not get back to sleep. I took enough painkillers to numb the pain, but I was in bad shape. I was not in the mood to grind all day and was willing to gamble a little more than usual.

I eventually busted out on Day Two with pocket deuces. The blinds were 500-1k when the cutoff raised to 3,200 and I was on the button with 41,000. The SB and BB were both very tight, so I figured the cutoff was raising a large range of hands. I decided to push all in thinking that the raiser would fold pocket pairs 33-99. If he had AA-TT he is going to call and there is nothing I can do. He woke up with QQ and I could not catch a miracle deuce.

It was very disappointing to get sick and to get knocked out so early. I would have liked to play small-pot poker and try not to put my chips at risk with a coin flip if I could avoid it. But sometimes things like this happen and you have to adapt as best you can. I will have to wait until EPT London for another shot at my second EPT title.

I have been putting some good hours playing online and doing well. I have also been enjoying spending a lot of time with my girls Maya and Mila, we have been going to the beaches and relaxing and enjoying a little vacation.

A few days ago, Maya, David Williams and his girlfriend, Noah Boeken, and I took a 30-minute cab ride to a very nice beach outside of Barcelona. Noah Boeken is one of my best friends on the circuit and it is a lot of fun seeing a lot of my old European friends.

My Mom, Dad, and Sister have all really enjoyed seeing Mila for the first time, and Mila is loving the attention as usual.

I leave for London tomorrow and will attend a WSOPE launch party tomorrow night. The next day I start playing HORSE, which I’m really looking forward to.

I’m hoping for some good results there, but whatever happens I’m going to an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event at the O2 Arena on the evening of the 8th. I love watching this type of fighting. It’s tough, no-excuses combat that reminds me in some ways of heads-up poker – fortune often favors the brave.

Good luck.