27 September 2008

Poker News Strategy

We have gone live. This has been an exciting project for me and I have put a lot of time and energy into making it the best I can. I hope everyone enjoys it and finds the videos educational. Making the videos has been an interesting process and I feel that I have learned more talking aloud and paying closer attention to what I am doing and why.

You can check it out at http://www.pokernews.com/strategy-videos/

This blog will be moving to my www.PatrikAntonius.com webpage so check there for new blogs. I have been very ill for the past 10 days, so I apologize for the lack of updates. I am in London for the WSOPE and a cash game on TV, and will report all the details soon.


06 September 2008

$25,000 Heads-Up PLO Championships

I apologize for the long delay in posting. I have been on a much needed vacation in Finland and now in South Africa. I promise to write a long blog in the next few days. As for now, I have to get some rest and get ready to win the $25,000 Heads Up tournament tomorrow. I won 4 matches tonight, since I am in South Africa, I played my matches when I would usually be sleeping.

My opponent in the semifinals is "Urindanger." He is one of the best online players, and we have also battled in a few big pots in Bobbys Room. I am sure he is going to be ready for the challenge and try to get some revenge for his brother, whom I beat in the quarterfinals.

Wish me luck


05 August 2008

Back to Europe

I am just about to leave for the airport with Maya and Mila and go to Finland for the first time in a few years. It has been a fun time back in Las Vegas, although I could easily forget this last week, but thats a whole 'nother story.

I have been playing a lot of poker this week as well. I played in Bobby's Room with Tom Dwan, David B, Bobby Baldwin, Sammy F and a few others a few times in the past few days. We were playing mostly NL and PLO with no cap and of course props and Chinese every once in a while. The games on Full Tilt are going strong as well. I have been battling in Omaha 8 and HORSE with Lolina especially the past few days.

Here is a recap of some bets I made the past few weeks.

Brandon Adams and I played our 18 hole stroke play golf match at TPC Summerlin and I played very well and won by a few shots. Easy $100,000!! We decided instead of playing a tennis match, we would play a $100,000 NL HU Freezeout on Full Tilt. I decided this was the best strategy for me, because I had so many big golf bets coming up, it was not worth the risk of getting injured. Only a few hands into the match and we both flopped trips and he turned a full house and he won back his $100,000. Easy come easy go.

My good friend Mikko finally made it to town for our highly anticipated golf adventure. The first two days were a 36 hole 2 man team total stroke play. My partner Nick and I were up 15 shots after day 1 and they conceded after 9 holes on day 2. That was $200,000 in our pockets. The next day we decided to play 36 holes, 18 hole scramble match and 18 hole best ball. We won the scramble, I was a putting machine and we won another $50,000. The best ball did not go as planned, we might have been a little cocky going into the match, and quickly found ourselves down a few shots. Jani who was quite stuck going into the match wanted to play my partner Nick in a separate match of total score, and he wanted us to lay hm 8-1. I let him bet $20,000 and looking back, it only gave Jani more reason to focus and play his best. Nick birdied 3 of the last 6 holes and made an amazing up and down on 18 to win by 1 shot and save me $160,000.

We lost $50,000 in the best ball match, but felt like a winner when Nick made his last putt. I was so concerned following their match I forgot to focus on my own game. Anyway, it was a fun, adventurous, and quite profitable 3 days with these guys. But better then winning the money, was the look on poor Mikkos face at the end of the scramble match, he came to Vegas 110% certain he was going to win all the money and go back a rich man. He looked like a kid who found coal in his stockings on Christmas.

Full of confidence after this little match, it was time for bigger and better golf games. No one better to play then Daniel and the misfits, as he likes to call them. Daniel and his little group fly around TPC every afternoon and you cannot miss them. They are usually teeing it up from the ladies tees with no shame, because I have never seen any ladies playing in their group. My coach Jimmy joined our team and we played a scramble against Daniels team. We won the first day and then got crushed the 2nd and 3rd day. We are all very good putters, but the 2nd day it was like there was a lid on top of the hole, we were hitting great shots close to the hole, but could never convert. Meanwhile Daniels team would be across the green 30-50 feet away, and sink the putt every time. Naturally this was as frustrating as it gets, but they won fair and square and I paid Daniel his money.

So when it was all said and done, Daniel is currently 83rd on the PGA money list for 2008, right behind Freddy Couples.

I am excited about this vacation and seeing my family in Finland. I will be checking Full Tilt and playing if the games are good. I also want to thank all the nice railbirds who say hi to me when I am playing online, I wish I had enough time to write back to everyone, but I always appreciate the kind words.

On a final note, the 2025 Wimbledon Champion Mila Antonius has taken her first few steps, and has started walking all on her own. It was a very exciting time for Maya and I, and its hard to believe how fast she is growing.

Good luck at the tables

11 July 2008

Heads Up Freezeout vs Brandon Adams

In a few minutes I will be playing my friend Brandon Adams in a $100,000 No Limit Heads Up match with blinds of $300-600. We agreed to cancel our big tennis match on Monday, and instead, play this poker match tonight.

Brandon is a very good no limit player and it should be a great match. I am happy that I have been playing some No Limit lately against some very good players on Full Tilt, so my game is sharp.

We will be playing on Full Tilt naturally and the official start time is 11:30 pm Las Vegas time.

I will write about the match tomorrow, wish me luck!!

08 July 2008

WSOP Main Event

I will start with a little recap of my first day at the 2008 WSOP Main Event. I made it through day one for the second straight year which is good. It was a long day and everything was going great until the last hand of the night. I was close to the chiplead most of the day and was getting ready to bag my chips up and go home, but the last hand got me good. I had J6 on a J J 5 flop and got it all in on the flop, my opponent was leading with AJ and had me drawing dead on the turn when an Ace fell. It was the last hand of the night and instead of going home with around 110,000 I am going to start day 2 with 64,125. 64k is still a good stack and I will enjoy a few days off before day 2. Maya played Day 1a and she has around 70k in chips. We will both be playing tomorrow in Day 2a and hopefully we both survive to day 3.

I have taken a few days off tennis because I hurt my neck last week. It was so bad that I could only chip and putt at the golf course. Yesterday I finally could start hitting some woods and long irons and played some golf with Jani and Nick. Jani has hired a new caddie James, and unfortunately for us, he is helping Jani so much. Most people would call it a day after spending an afternoon golfing at TPC, well Jani and I needed a little more excitement. We bought the nicest seats available at the Forest Griffin vs Rampage Jackson UFC fight. Jani and I had a small bet on the fight and I had Griffin and he pulled off the upset. It was getting late, but whats a day without some poker. I headed over to the Bellagio and sat down in a nice little $4000-$8000 game with David, Eli, Rafi, and Mynh. While we were playing I was thinking to myself, I am living the dream, I golfed, went to a UFC fight, played in Bobby's Room, and the Wimbledon final will be on TV in a few minutes. 2 TV's in Bobbys Room started showing the Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal Wimbledon final. I kept playing in the poker game, but was really watching the tennis. It turned out to be one of the greatest matches in Wimbledon history and was a pleasure to watch two of the greatest players battling to the end. I decided my day was complete and time to go home. I had booked a nice win and was halfway home when my phone rang. My agent, called and said I could meet Forest Griffin and Chuck Liddell over at the RIO if I wanted to. I am a huge MMA fan, and rushed over to the RIO to congragulate Forest and chat with the two before they played in the Main Event. It was a long day, but I could not have dreamed up a better day. I love Las Vegas, there is no other city in the world that can match it.

Brandon Adams and I had agreed to play our match at the Wynn Golf Course. I was allowed to pick three courses, and he would select the final one. I chose TPC Summerlin, Bears Best, and the Wynn. TPC is my home course, but it is also very tough. Bears Best is my least favorite, because it has very tough rough and I have a lot of difficulty chipping out of it. The Wynn is my favorite, and last time we played there, Brandon stormed off the course after 9 holes with me up around $70,000.

Well we had to make a change today, due to some unusual circumstances. We had a practice round today at the Wynn. Brandon, Jani, Nick, my agent Chris, and myself. We paid a small fortune to play, greens fees were over $2000 when it was all said and done. The troubles started before we teed off the first tee, the assistant golf pro Greg said we could not have our own caddies. We all have personal caddies we pay to come wherever we golf to help us and caddie.

The Wynn provides their own caddies, which is fine, we just told him to stay out of the way and let us do our thing. We were all playing for big money and everyone brought their own caddie. The assistant pro drove around the course spying on us seeing if our personal caddies were staying in the cart like they were told. Well I pay Jimmy and felt that he should be able to help me read greens, clean my clubs, and do normal caddie duties. On about the 5th hole they threw our caddies off the course. I could not believe what I was seeing. The Wynn staff treated us so poorly no one could believe it. You can bet every penny you have that the next time I lose 1 million dollars at the craps table, it will not be at the Wynn.

So Brandon and I decided to play our match at TPC, my home course. Because I have a little edge there, if Brandon wins, he gets $110,000 and if I win, I get $100,000. Brandon is starting to play better so I am the underdog.

We will be playing our tennis match the day after the golf, around the 14th of July. It should be a fun two days and hopefully I can win both of them and make a nice little profit.

I should have a new video blog coming out soon as well, so check www.rawvegas.com for that as well.

12 June 2008

WSOP and Golf Update

I have had a very busy and great start to the WSOP. As many of you have probably heard, I signed a deal with Full Tilt. I am very proud to be a member of Team Full Tilt and be on such an exclusive and elite team. In the first event this year, the $10,000 World Championship of Pot Limit Hold Em, I reached the final table and finished 7th for a nice payday of $124, 080. It was a very strong final table with Kathy Liebert, Phil Laak, Chris Bell, Mike Sexton, Andy Bloch, Mike Sowers, Amit Makhija, and Nenad Medic . Nenad played very well and eventually went on the take down the tournament.

In event #4 the $5000 Mixed No limit and limit tournament I had a very good stack deep on day two, but ran into a few big hands, but still had my second cash, as I finished in 27th place. Erick Lindgren went on to win this event and his first bracelet, Erick is one of the nicest guys in poker and happy to see him win his bracelet, hopefully my first one is coming sooner then later.

With so much poker the first few days, I was missing my favorite thing to do, golf. It did not take long either for a very interesting bet to happen either. My assistant was texting Daniel about a possible team match between us and Daniel and his caddie / coach. We decided to play $20,000 for low team total on every hole and $20,000 for individual low score on each hole. There were going to be a lot of ties, but it would still be possible for one team to win or lose $300,000. It was a very dramatic match, we started out hot, and were up around $140,000, but Daniel went on a tear and played his best round ever and was phenomenal on the back nine. He was a wizard with his chipping and putting, and they beat us for $20,000 when it was all said and done. We are definitely getting a rematch next week, so will be sure to keep you posted on how that goes. Raw Vegas was there to film it, and I think will be airing it in a High Stakes Golf series in the next few days.

I would like to issue a little challenge to a few online players who have been very successful at the biggest games online the past few months. All they do is hide behind their computer screens, scared to play anyone that they think is any good. I have not played Heads Up No Limit on Full Tilt for a long time and have hardly any experience playing it compared to these guys, yet, they refuse to play me and are dodging me in all games.

Durrr, OMGClayAiken, trex313, Urindanger, I am looking for action and I want a chance to play against the best. I will play any of you in any game on Full Tilt, I will be waiting, hopefully your up for the challenge.

03 June 2008

Video Blog #2

I have been playing a lot of poker the past few days, which is a very good thing, because it means I am doing well in my tournaments. I finished 7th in the $10,000 PLH which was disappointing, but there was nothing I could have done.

I survived Day 1 today of the $5000 Mix No Limit / Limit tournament and have a little above average stack. Hopefully I can continue to play well on Day 2 and make my second final table.

Raw Vegas Video

01 June 2008

Day 1 WSOP

I did a short video blog before day one of the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold em event. I will be doing video blogs a few times a week to keep everyone updated.

Raw Vegas Video

16 May 2008


I arrived in Barcelona after working the past two weeks in Amsterdam. I have talked about this new project I am working on a few times, and unfortunately, I can still not give out too many details. But, I can tell you I have put in many 10 hour days in Amsterdam working as hard as I can to make it really special. I also got to spend a lot of time with one of my best friends Noeh Boeken and his crew.

I really enjoyed Amsterdam, and got lucky that the weather was so nice. It was around 80 degrees everyday and I took advantage of it, playing a ton of tennis while I was there. I have to give a special thanks to Melle Van Gemerden who kicked my butt on the tennis court a few times. He is recovering from an injury, and when he gets back on tour, watch out for him to have some great results.

The only major problem I found in Amsterdam, was the lack of golf courses. My financial and legal manager Tommi, came to visit, and we headed out to a nearby course. It would be an understatement to say that the fairways at Shadow Creek were a lot nicer then this courses greens. I did visit a driving range a few times, but they only had mats to hit off of, and I really prefer practicing on grass. My good buddy Mikko has been hitting on the indoor mats in Finland the past few months, and thinks he can beat Tiger Woods. I cannot wait until he arrives in Barcelona and realizes golf is played on grass and not mats.

The plan in Barcelona is to play a lot of tennis and golf in preparation of a summer full of tennis and golf bets. Gus and I are playing very soon, so it is important to be in tip top tennis shape. My golf game is a little rusty from not playing much in Amsterdam, so I am sure my friends who are arriving soon are going to try and bust me the first few days.

I am trying to decide if I am going to play the WPT Spanish Championships or the big $25,000 Heads Up online tournament the same time. I keep saying that I am ready to have some good results in tournaments, and hopefully I can get the momentum started heading into the WSOP. I am going to be fresh and ready for an exciting June and July at the RIO, and hopefully do well in the big games in Bobby's Room as well.

01 May 2008

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel

I was hoping to break the news myself, but Daniel spoiled it for me. I would like all my loyal readers to know, that I have given up poker and joining the PGA Tour full time, starting this weekend at the Wachovia Championship. Most people find it amazing that I only picked up a golf club for the first time a few months ago and just broke the course record at Shadow Creek shattering Tiger Woods 63, with a 59 of my own.

What Daniel fails to mention in his blog, is that it was the first time I have ever broke 90, and more importantly, it was me reaching into my pockets and paying Daniel in the clubhouse. He beat me for a large sum of money and he is talking like I am the next Tiger Woods. All that aside, I had a lot of fun playing with Daniel and Erik Lindgren. Daniel is not going to win any long drive competitions, but his ball never sniffs the rough and he can putt lights out.

I am currently in Amsterdam working very hard on an exciting project that will hopefully launch in a few weeks. I will blog all about it in the next few weeks and cannot wait to share the news. I am going to be here for a few days and then off to Barcelona for a few weeks of rest, golf, and relaxation. A few friends are also coming into town and we are going to have a lot of fun gambling on the golf course and probably some all night Chinese games. The real purpose of the trip is to refresh and go into the WSOP ready to grind long tournament hours and win a bracelet.

I am committed to playing more tournaments at this years WSOP, too be honest, I am a little frustrated with my tournament play as of late, and want to start making some final tables and make things happen.

The night before flying to Amsterdam, I played at the Bellagio in the Big Game with Doyle, Phil Ivey, Tom "Durr" Dwan, and David Benyamine. I give Tom a lot of credit for playing some mixed games at stakes that high. The game broke after two hours, but I still booked a very nice win. I headed home and got ready for the flight.

One of my best poker friends Noah Boeken is my tour guide for the week, so naturally it will be a fun few days. Will write soon when I get to Barcelona, and my favorite Hotel in the word, Hotel Arts.

19 April 2008

Doyle, Poker after Dark, and more Prop Bets

I was enjoying my first few days back in Vegas when all of a sudden I received a ton of phone calls and emails all asking me about a golf match with Doyle Brunson. I had no idea what they were talking about until I read Doyle's blog, and saw he challenged me to a $100,000 per hole golf match. First of all, when the hell did Doyle Brunson start writing a blog, is it even legal for a man that old to blog? Pretty amazing for a guy that was around before TV's and telephones. And second, what is the gambling world coming to when a 108 year old man can challenge a young man in the prime of his life to a $100,000 a hole golf match.

Now you have to remember I took up golf only a few months ago. I am very happy if I can break 100 when I play 18 holes. Doyle on the other hand, is rumored to have hustled the likes of Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, and other legends at Shadow Creek since the early 20's.

I would like Doyle to know that I accept his challenge (not that I had much of a choice, I would be the laughing stock of the poker world if I backed down from this challenge) and if I have until August to practice and improve, hopefully I can make a big dent in Todd's inheritance. Seeing Todd cringe when I win millions is going to be worth just as much as the money.

Doyle and I met this past Wednesday to discuss our upcoming heads up poker match before we played on Poker After Dark that evening. In the three years I have known Doyle, I have never seen him looking more alive and with so much energy and focus. Most likely due to the fact that he thinks he has finally found the ultimate fish who is going to donate millions on the golf course and poker table.

I am going to play some tennis in the morning and then hit the putting and chipping greens to work on my short game. The WPT Bellagio starts for me Sunday and you can bet that I will bring my best game and fight hard for every chip.

13 April 2008

Should have gone to sleep

That is what I was asking myself as I left the casino and headed home yesterday after the completion of Day 1. I had a crazy up and down day yesterday at the EPT Grand Final here in Monaco. I was down to 3700 early in level 2 from the starting stack of 15,000. And then things started to turn around and I went on a nice rush and built my stack to around 70,000.

We had played for almost twelve hours and I was in great position to put myself in contention to be a major threat, buy I got a little frisky preflop with 22 and lost a huge pot to KK. For some reason I decided that my opponent did not have a big hand, and my pocket deuces were the best hand at the moment. I did not want to call preflop, so I decided to make a over raise and commit myself. He pushed all in and I was in trouble against KK. My deuces could not crack his kings and I lost a ton of chips. I was not too happy with myself at the end of the day and going to try my best to recover on Day 2.

I start day 2 tomorrow with 15,000 in chips, thankfully the structure is very good and I still have a little time to make things happen. We are going to start the day with blinds of 200-400 and 50 ante.

I spent the day off today going up to the mountains to hit some golf balls on the range. I had a Swedish camera crew following me around for interviews and pictures for an upcoming article in a Swedish poker magazine.

I have a few new prop bets that I will write about in my next blog, but here is a quick look into what I have going on this summer. It is going to be a super busy June and July with all these bets and the WSOP events. I am planning on playing a few more events this year.

Heads Up Poker match vs the legend Doyle Brunson (I have been working non stop on my pineapple game Doyle, so you better watch out)

Tennis / Golf bet for $100,000 with Brandon Adams

Tennis match vs Gus Hansen for $200,000

Golf team match with my assistant vs two Finnish pros for $200,000

Heads Up Stud 8 or Better match / Golf match with Daniel Negreanu for $500,000

The family is doing great, everyone is starting to feel like Monaco is home. It felt like a vacation for everyone the first few weeks, but we have finally settled. Mila is getting so big, fast, and smart it is amazing. She is the most curious little girl and tries to get her hands on anything she can get a hold of. Maya and I cannot take our eyes off her for a second, if we are not paying close attention, she finds trouble wherever she can.

The weather has not been very good the past week and I have not been able to play tennis or golf, hopefully the sun comes out before I leave so I can get some practice. The match with Gus is finally going to happen, so I need my game to be in tip top shape so I can have the Bobby's Rooms tennis bragging rights.

As soon as the EPT finished I will be flying to Las Vegas for a taping of Poker After Dark and to play in the $25,000 WPT Bellagio Event. This is one of my favorite events and the large prize pool makes it a great tournament. I have had some deep runs the past few years in this event, and I feel if I play well and remember that 2's do not beat Kings, I might have a chance to make something special happen in Vegas.

I have found a new interest in tournaments, so going to really focus tomorrow and try to double up early. Wish me luck and I will keep you posted on how the day goes soon.


24 March 2008

Tournament Schedule

I hope everyone had a great Easter. Mine did not go as smoothly as planned, but everything is fine now. I went on a last minute vacation to the Canary Islands to spend a few days with my good friends Jani and Mikko. We are staying at a beuatiful five star hotel, but my first room had no Internet, they moved me and now I am set. We all have been working extra hard on our golf games because we are so competitive with each other. The trash talking has been non stop and the way Mikko is talking, he is ready to take on Tiger Woods.

I have started to host some Bounty tournaments on Martins Poker. All the information is available on Martins Poker, click the link for all the details. The tournaments are €5 + €1 buy in with rebuys for the first 4 levels. If you knock me out, you receive €200 immediately into your account.

Here are the dates I will be playing:

Tuesday: March 25 at 20:00CET
Thursday: March 27 at 20:00CET

I look forward to seeing you all at the tables and good luck, your going to need it.

18 March 2008

Exciting News

I just returned from a small little golf vacation with my good Finnish buddies Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies, Jani Vilmunen, and my accountant Tommi Majala at the beautiful Four Seasons in Nice, France. It was a great trip and my golf game took a big jump. I am now shooting from 92-96 consistently which is a lot more fun then shooting 114 like I was doing a few weeks ago.

While were on the way to the airport we were enjoying a few drinks and it was not long before we were in a heated debate over who was was the best at all the different games. Jani is not a big guy, and he was working on his third beer. Three beers for Jani is about nine beers for the average guy, so you can imagine that he is really feeling good and his confidence level is at an all time high. He was bragging about how he has not had a losing heads up PLO session in a long time. Ilari who also had about three beers was sober as could be and knew that it was the perfect time to challenge Jani to a match of some sort. I joined in the negotiations and we were trying to come up with some interesting HU battles for a large amount of money. We decided to call one of the most successful HU no limit players, our friend Sami “LarsLuzak” Kelpuro to see if he would be interested in gambling with his buddies. Sami is only 23 but he has established himself as an online legend and has a hard time finding opponents that will play him. The boys flew back to Finland that night and met Sami at the night club and got him to agree on a bet. It is going to be a team HU match, Ilari and myself vs Jani and Sami.

All matches will be played on Martins Poker with 200BB stacks.

I will play LarzLuzak in NL HU and Ilari will play Jani in HU PLO.

If one team wins both matches, then they are crowned Champions. If it is a split, then I will play Sami in a final tie breaker, the final match will be NL to decide the Champion.

Just when you thought that was an interesting heads up match, there is another one that is in the works that would be a dream come true. I made a little challenge to Doyle in the latest Card Player magazine, and it seems like Doyle has gladly accepted.

Since I am in Europe I have not yet seen the cover or read the article. It is my first ever CardPlayer cover and I am excited to see it. My new agent Chris is working on getting the match on TV. I will try and talk to Doyle and iron out the details. No matter who wins, it will be an amazing experience playing Doyle, one of the great legends of all time, heads up for over a million dollars. I am getting excited just thinking about it.

I have been playing a lot online the past few days on Martins Poker. I have been running really well in NL, but Ilari has been getting the best of me in PLO the past few days. I have been playing 50-100 to 200-400 Euros games.

Starting this Friday I will be playing in a few Bounty tournament on Martins Poker. The entry fee will be $5 Euros and the bounty on my head is $200 Euros. You can download Martins Poker by clicking on that link, unfortunately USA residents are not allowed to play on Martins Poker currently, hopefully that changes soon.

Maya has been putting some finishing touches on the loft and it really finally feels like home. I am still waiting on my computer chair to arrive, I have been playing online sitting on the kitchen chairs and it is not very comfortable.

I forgot to mention in my last blog that I bought a new car last time I was in Monaco. It has been awhile since I bought myself something really nice, so I decided to go big time and get the newest Range Rover, the SE Vogue. I sparred no expense and got all the top accessories and extras, needless to say, Mila will be having fun in the backseat with all the TV's and other gadgets.

I write soon with more details about the bounty tournaments on Martins Poker. And hopefully I have news about the match with Doyle as well. I am going to try and play a little tennis this afternoon or hit the gym. Hopefully I will see some of you on Martins Poker battling with me in the upcoming tournaments.

Good luck at the tables

07 March 2008

Back Home

I was visiting Vegas for a few days to play in the NBC Heads up and have a few meetings. I played the NBC Heads Up tournament this past weekend, and unfortunately I did not last too long. I was up against poker commentator Gabe Kaplan in the first round anhd started off well and built a nice chip lead. The levels are not long, and was forced to push the action faster than I would have liked. When I had a slight lead, we got it all in before the flop and I had JT and he had AJ. The flop was a good one for me, 89K, but I did not hit any of my outs and we were close to even. The blinds were 600-1200 when I looked down at 22 and pushed all in from the button and Gabe called with A5 with the 5 of diamonds, and the flop came A K Q all diamonds.

I had a great meeting on the golf course yesterday which could lead to a lot of interesting deals for me. I wish I could give you all the fun details, but you will have to wait a few weeks before I can public ally announce them. We discussed one interesting golf bet involving a few friends and it looks like it might even be on TV, which would be a lot of fun.

It is nice to be home in Monaco, it really feels like home now, because Maya and Mila are here, but the first few days have been rough for them, because they are struggling with the jetlag. Naturally, with all the travels I have been through, I do not feel any jetlag.

It was an adventurous trip from Las Vegas. We took a Southwest flight from LV to LAX, and naturally one of my bags did not make it. Thankfully my assistant made the flight with us to LA in case of a situation like this. He waited for the next flight from Vegas to arrive and rushed the bag across two terminals to us while we checked in for our American Airlines flight to London. Mila is a pro traveler, she has flown around the world a few times now and sits quietly and enjoys the flight.

I will be playing a lot of golf and tennis the next few days and have a big golf match with my buddy Jani in a a week or so. We are playing 18 holes for $100,000 and he has to beat me by 15 shots. We are playing from the club tees at the Four Seasons golf resort in the south of France. I think I have an edge and hopefully I can pull it out. I want to thank my favorite caddie and golf coach Joe, who has helped my game a ton the past few weeks.

I will be in Monaco for about six weeks before heading back to Vegas for Poker after Dark and the WPT Championships in the middle of April. Hopefully I can get a little action online in the meantime and make some money.


24 February 2008

Enjoying Europe

Life has been very busy the past few weeks. I played in a huge cash game in Vegas, partied at Carnival in Brazil, golfed in Rome, and finally had Phil Ivey try his best to hustle me on the golf course. Needless to say, it has been a fun few weeks.

I had been planning on going to Brazil for quite some time. Martins Poker is going to be the official sponsor of the WSOP Brazil and I was going to go there to do some promotional work. A few days before the flight, I became very ill and it looked like I was going to have to cancel the trip. I missed my first flight because I was too sick to fly. I got a phone call from a friend that he was coming to Vegas and he wanted to play some $1000-2000 PLO / NL game that with no cap. I told him I was supposed to be in Brazil, but since I was sick, I was still in Vegas. He told me that after the game, I could join him on his private jet, since he was headed to Brazil himself the day after the game.

One of the most amazing things I have ever seen in the Bellagio happened that night as well. One of the players in the $40-80 mix game right outside Bobbys Room just walked right into Bobby's Room and sat down at our table, pulled out a bunch of $5000 and $25,000 chips and played with us for about seven hours. He was straddling every hand and moving chips as fast as he could. He ended up winning over $200,000. I am not sure how many players have played a six hour session of $40-80 and a seven hour session of $1000-2000 NL and PLO in the same day.

I brought along my good friend Mikko down to Brazil. It was his first time in a private jet and we had a blast. This was my first visit to Brazil and Carnival was absolutely amazing. The acts were very impressive. Of course we found a golf course close by and got some holes in.

I flew into Nice, France a few days ago and was suppose to fly to Copenhagen for the EPT event. I have not played any poker since leaving Australia and ready to get back into action. But at the last minute I decided to skip the tournament and finish decorating my loft in Monaco. Maya and Mila are joining me in a few weeks and I want the place to be looking good for their arrival.
They are both doing well, Mila is a few days away from walking all on her own; it is really cute watching her trying so hard to balance and then fall down.

I went golfing with Martin de Knijff, Phil Ivey, Winky Wright, and my assistant Nick at Shadow Creek awhile back. Nick who is a 12-14 handicap, performed one of the worst golf hustling moves in the history of Shadow Creek. Now considering how many gamblers play there, that is no small feat. Nick had grand plans of winning his retirement in one day of golf with Ivey and when Nick asked Phil how much he wanted to play for, and Phil did not want to bet, Nick was heartbroken. Nick was on super tilt and decided to show Phil what he was missing. He almost drove the first green with a 345 yard drive and was 2 under par after five holes. He ended up shooting a 36 from the tips on the front nine. Needless to say, Phil Ivey will not be betting Nick on the golf course anytime soon. Phil still doesn't believe Nick is my assistant, he thinks I brought out a ringer to hustle him. Phil was trying as hard as he could to not score well himself. He played some of the worst golf he has ever played and I am sure next time we play, he will not want to give me any shots. I will not fall for his hustling, so don't worry about me.

Brandon Adams and I have been negotiating an interesting prop bet. It is a hybrid prop bet, $200,000 Tennis and Golf Match. If one of us can win an 18 hole golf match and 2 out of 3 set tennis match, he wins. If it is split, it is a push. At the moment, I am a big favorite in tennis and he is the big favorite in golf. I have heard that Brandon has been hitting tennis balls every day the past two weeks, but that's ok, because my golf game is getting better as well.

I have been enjoying the past few days in Rome, one of my favorite cities. I have just been going to the gym, golfing, and enjoying the amazing food of Italy.

I will be heading back to Vegas in a few days for the NBC Heads Up Championship which is a really fun and tough tournament. Hopefully I play well and run good and can have a good showing.

Good luck at the tables.


25 January 2008

Australia Trip Report

I made a New Years resolution to write my blog more often and more consistent. Well I am off to a bad start, but going to make up for it. We just got back from Melbourne a few days ago and I have been on a really weird sleep schedule ever since.

A friend of ours made arrangements for a private jet to take us from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. I had been in Vegas for a few days visiting Maya and Mila. When we were checking in at LAX, the nice lady at ticketing informed me that the tickets were not paid for. I could not believe that my travel agent could screw up so bad. It was painful paying for six people to fly first class from LA to Melbourne.

I skipped the $100,000 buy in tournament, because I could not pass up some high stakes golf. I am so frustrated with my golf swing, I am hitting worse now then I did the first day I ever hit a golf ball. So you can only imagine how much money I lost on the golf course. Lucky for me I finally started winningat Chinese Poker and recovered all my golf losses and even made some money.

The main event at the Aussie Millions is always a great tournament. I made it deep last year and was hoping to improve on my 13th place finish. I did not even make it past day 1 which was frustrating. I arrived about three hours late which did not help the cause either. I was steaming from a few different things and did not want to start the tournament on the wrong foot. I have a lot of respect for the players who make a living playing only tournaments, it is a lot harder than people think.

I was invited again to play in the high stakes cash game that airs on Fox. I played very well and hit some big hands at the right time and booked a very nice win. I have said it before, but I love these TV cash games. Everyone opens their games up more and gambles.

The side action was great down in Australia too. We got a $500-1000 PLO and PLH game going with Tom “Durr” Dwan, Phil Laak, Tony G, and a few others mixed in. One of the more interesting hands was against Durr. We were playing with a $2000 live straddle, so Durr raised to $6000. I was to his immediate left and just called with KK. The flop came 8 6 5 and Durr bet $13,000 and I called. The turn was an off suit 2 and he checked. I bet $22,500 and Durr called. The river was a 10 and again Durr checked. I thought I had the best hand and I wanted him to call, so I only bet $65,000 into the $80,000 pot. He called and I was pretty shocked when he turned over 88 for a set. I am lucky that I did not lose more on this hand.

I made it to a few tennis matches with a few poker friends. My country mate Jarkko Niemenen had a great tournament and reached the quarterfinals before falling to Nadal. Jarkko just got done with his military service, and said he is in the best shape of his life

I also got to do a little tennis training. I have always been impressed with how many top poker players are also excellent tennis players. David Grey, David B, Gus H were all top junior players. I spent a lot of time with Brandon Adams in Melbourne and he turned out to be a very good tennis player too. We had a great hit and are in negotiations for our own tennis / golf bet.

Melbourne is a gorgeous city and Maya has been looking forward to coming here for a long time. It is nice being able to give Mila the opportunity to travel the world, even though she is too young to remember, I am sure it is a great experience for her. Mila also swam for the first time with Maya at the hotel pool. She was having so much fun it was hard getting her out of the water. The most fun thing I did on the trip was taking Mila to the Melbourne Zoo. She loved all the animals and she had the biggest smile on her face the entire time.

I am off to Brazil in a few days for some business meetings and a little vacation. After that I will be returning to Monaco and preparing for the EPT Copenhagen.

Good luck at the tables

04 January 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Years and a Look Back at 2007

Maya and I just spent New Years Eve at Marco and Jennifer’s new place in Queensridge. We had a lot of fun and I spent a lot of time with Daniel Negreanu talking about my new favorite hobby. Daniel has been addicted for a long time, but I am on my way to being the biggest golf enthusiast out there. I have been thinking of splurging on a virtual reality golf simulator for Maya’s place, because it is so cold in Vegas during the winter. Daniel gave me a strong sales pitch and I was sold.

I have been living the dream the past few weeks. My daily routine is to wake up around ten, head to the golf course and hit the range. We usually play 12-18 holes, and the last three holes are brutal because it is around 35 degrees, but no one wants to quit because they want to try and get even. We then grab a nice meal at TPC and add up the bets on the day. We take a little break and then go to the gym and play racquetball and lift. I love golf so much, although I do not love the fact that I am already down $450,000 in golf bets, but hopefully I can get even soon. Phil Ivey and I are planning on golfing everyday in Australia, so I will definitely have some good stories to share when I get back.

I will always look back at 2007 as one of the most important years of my life. I started the year in Australia and had a solid result in the Aussie Millions. My bankroll got a nice boost with my tournament cash and booking a few wins in some high stakes cash games down under. I did not play a full tournament schedule this year, but I managed to make a few results and finished the year a winner in tournaments. I almost won my first bracelet at the WSOP in a Pot-Limit Omaha event. I finished the year strong at the Bellagio, at one point I won eight sessions in a row in Bobby’s Room. Overall it was a great year that I will always remember.

I traveled a lot this past year to play in tournaments and a few high stakes cash games that aired on TV. I really enjoy live cash games and especially when they are on TV. The TV cameras seem to do a great job of creating action. I had a lot of fun playing on Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker and will look forward to playing in them again this year.

There were a lot of big changes in my life away from poker this year as well. I made a big change in moving back to Europe and living in Monaco. I have a beautiful place and I have missed living in Europe the past few years.

By far the best part of this year was the birth of Mila. Watching her grow and spending time with her has brought me so much happiness and motivates me to succeed so that I can provide all the opportunities for her. Poker is my passion, but Mila and Maya are the two most important things in my life and they always will be.

I hope everyone had wonderful and safe Holidays. I will start the New Year in Australia for the Aussie Millions. I am going to try and catch a few tennis matches at the Australian Open while we are in town. Mila will be making the trip; she is already a world traveler. After Australia, Mila and Maya will join me in Monaco for a few months.

Good luck at the tables