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