Friday, 6 January 2012

2012, what a terrible live schedule.

so I missed PCA and I've skipped Aussie millions. I'm also the mug that skipped WPT Ireland. I am quite A grinder normally when it comes to live tournaments but the current look for 2012 is pretty shocking overall.

Why one skips PCA and Australia

Well PCA sucks. It’s in a 5 star resort in the Bahamas and this sounds like a good idea. They have a fun pool and great tournament series, as well as having probably the biggest satellite schedule of any EPT in any given year. However it is also really really expensive. Not just the accomodation, as a poker player one usually only leaves the resort to go to senior frogs.
Now I actually don’t mind to pay a little more if I am getting something better in return. Nope the service is in fact, a little worse, and in some cases is just shocking. For example to buy a burger at break, you must buy a ticket, take the ticket to the burger place, then eat outside as food is not allowed in the tournament area. You probably only lose 15mins tournament time if you try this.

It is kind of a unique experience though as far as poker tournaments go, and should probably be experienced at least once. One of the most unique aspects of PCA is that thousands of poker people either spend their time in their rooms, in the tournament area or looking for food.
Because the resort is so big, this involves a lot of walking to get between places. Since there are so many younger poker players at the PCA and really only 1 main super long corridor, this generally involves doing your best to mutually blank people you have known for years as you have both already said hello to 25+ people and now you are bored (and late). I will of course stop to talk to people I know if they want to and I'm not late for something, but I also appreciate the people who know that a head nod or quick fist bump/elbow nub is about the max either of us is looking for most of the time.
Australia on the other hand is much more like a normal tournament series. Just in some random city in the world where we go to a pre-existing tournament room. Melbourne is a beautiful city and pretty good weather for the time of year. An absolutely great break from the cold northern hemisphere.  Also for me the food court above the tournament area is just super clutch, with meals around $10-$15 a piece this is really good value for the convenience and quality of food.
Unfortuanately Melbourne hosts it’s worldwide tennis open at the same time, and prices of accomodation in the city just skyrocket. Also even prices in the supermarket are just absurdly high, in many ways even more expensive than England. It was not a pleasing experience. Oh the flight is probably £1200+ from England. 
They have a good main event and a decently sized side schedule, but the problem is the sides are relatively spaced out. I'd much prefer a slightly more packed schedule, $500 tournaments are necessary overall and I appreciate that but I'm not getting out of bed for them.

What I like to play. 

It's usually summed up in an EPT schedule. However I am having real problems this year, for the first time in maybe 3. Part of this could be because of age, I’m getting old. Disillusion has set in.
The next plausible EPT is in Deuville. Last time I was there was 2 years ago and I really had a good time. However that was probably because I ran pretty good in the main for the most part.
Looking at the cold facts though. It's a really really shitty place to go in late January. It's probably a really beautiful seaside town in the summer, but in the winter the whole town is just shut down. I would imagine the EPT is here at this time because it has a very suitable location tournamentwise, and is much more accessible to both staff and players in the winter as it is cheaper. BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO GO. Mickey went last year and called it the worst poker trip of his life. This seems about right.
So after that is EPT Copenhagen. Again a straight no. There's an added govt tax. and also it's in some stupid currency that you just get raped on. Also again cold. Even more cold than elsewhere, with 1/2 foot of snow/mush layering the ground. ffs. (I hear it's a great city in the summer). The one time I've been I obviously ran super good but fell short of a final table in the Main Event, and I had a great time because I stayed for free at Mickey's place. However he now lives in England with... me, so doesn't have it anymore. Did I mention it was cold?
Then it's EPT Madrid. This would be great but there's no hotels near the tournament area and it's like a 30min shuttle bus each way every day. If I was gonna do a job that I have to commute 30mins/day each way to, I’d have actually worked hard at university. I may still have to go just because Spanish people are not very good, but this might go against my currently very strong NO SPAIN policy which thinking again, I should never break. Spain is the worst fucking country in the world. Good paella though! NO SPAIN tho.

What I actually will play...

EPT Campione is next. Sounds good. EPT, check. Italy, check. Poker check. Hope their economy doesn't fall apart in the next 3 months, or maybe I do. I dunno, whatever it's in the book. I've also never been so even more reason to go as I have no idea how terrible the city/tournament area can be yet.
The Irish Open is in early April. I love it. Great tournament, the locals speak English, poor side schedule, but I am there. Put me down. The place kinda sucks overall though, and also the side schedule is super light. Beggars can't really be choosers though.

A week break and then its EPT Berlin. Another great stop, great city, a little cold as its still not quite Spring but I will live with it. See you there buddies!
After this is probably gonna be the grand final. Location as yet undetermined. I may or may not play based on this, but I may be forced to go just because I've skipped like 4/6 epts for the start of 2012. Not a fun spot and with it being the grand final, it's always a fucking expenses nightmare. Please be in London or Dublin. London pls, with that kind of run good already I’d be pretty much a lock to win already...
WSOPwise on the Harrahs total rewards website they say the schedule would be out already. Get your shit together Harrahs pls. I can not fucking wait for the WSOP its my favourite time of the year. It’s summer, I get to drive a car and I am amongst the absolute elite $1k-$1.5k players of all time. Maybe an overexaggeration but close to true, somehow I feel like the exact setup of the tournament, location, timing means that no one is better than me over the series at those specific tournaments.
I rarely turn up tired, hell I don’t even really like to drink, I know exactly how to negotiate my way through the pack and also I’m pretty decent (actually excellent against the competition) when it comes to the mid-late stages when it’s actually a real torunament again. I actually welcome it when I bust early in these because it happens so rarely, I think last year I missed 2 (maybe 3)  dinner breaks playing a full schedule of them. Even when I’m tired, I’m such a live pro I can easily manage grinding out tournaments whilst napping at the table.
My new favourite tv show is Pawn Stars, who's main shop is in Vegas. I cannot wait to go shoot the shit with Chumlee. I might even try and find something to sell (and get ripped off by) them.

What else?

On a side note I got super excited for the UKIPT season 2, then find out its not even on Channel 4 in the UK. I've already satted into the Galway tournament, now trying to skip the rest unless there's a good one nearby. fml at least there’s still satellites to grind online.
Maybe there will be some cool WPT stops coming up. I'd be especially interested if they pulled a Prague and scheduled neatly with the EPT. Why hasn’t there been a WPT in England again? I mean come on there was one in 2010 and not one in 2011. How about something soon?
I'm currently look at something like 3/4 overseas trips for the next 5 months, and thats really depressing right now given I have a huge amount of euro cash burning a hole in my pocket and I've already lost chunks because of the recent EU crisis.(#fuckyougreece)
There is gonna be a GUKPT from 27-29 of Jan in Manchester for £1070, but no one worth their salt is gonna turn up. Why? the TCOOP online on If people aren’t still in Australia then they’re coming home to play a great onlnine turbo. Only fucking idiots are gonna turn up for GUKPT Manchester which means it’s a good tournament to go to if you aren’t super good but better than the fish.

All in all it looks like I am gonna be spending a lot of time this winter at home in London. Hopefully this means I get a good amount of grind in. The plan is to just play a lot online for the rest of January and see how 2012 unfolds.