Musings on Poker and Other Stuff
For the second smallest country on Earth, this Monte Carlo place is probably the most expensive on Earth. Thus it is the perfect place to pretend like I'm a rock star. Only rock stars can still have half their head shaved, wear boots and show up in a place known for glamour and elitism and get away with it. So let us just pretend...that is what I've been doing.
Every morning at breakfast I act like I'm really hung over from my hard night of entertaining people with my musical antics. Meanwhile I actually look adoringly at the gorgeous view and eat a scrumptious breakfast while plotting ways to become an actual rock star.
Then I head out into the streets, always with a microphone in my hand and act like Kristy is my entourage. I even stop every once in a while to take a photo with my adoring fans.
But, lets be honest. I don't think I fooled anyone.
It might be the circus pants.
I have long been a conspiracy theorist and lover of history. So, while the schnitzel and beer weren't exactly calling my name...I couldn't wait to explore the vibrant city of Berlin.
As we approached the Brandenburg Gates there was huge protest going on. We watched and listened to try to figure what it was all about and soon realized it was to protect animals from cruelty and animal testing. I am a huge animal lover and advocate, so the city could not have welcomed me more perfectly.
We meandered through Tiergarden, the largest park in Berlin. Even though the weather was a little chilly, people were already out having picnics, eager for a taste of the summer to come. People were laughing and photo-bombing every time we tried to shoot. But, it was all in good fun and I can totally appreciate a good photo bomb. We actually had one guy dry humping his friend all the way through our shot and had to use an out take in our actual video!
The stop I had been waiting for since I learned I would be headed to this EPT was the Reichstag Building. A fire in 1933, which was blamed on a mentally handicapped youth, started in the Reichstag and would eventually lead to the NAZI assumption of power and the pushing out of communists in Germany. (And later anyone who was a threat in Germany and beyond). It is widely accepted at this point in our modern culture that likely the Nazi's started the fire themselves to begin usurping the rights and power in Germany. It is such an epic piece of history rooted deep inside this building. It was all but destroyed several times and has been rebuilt in modern times. During one re-build a glass dome was added in the center to represent transparency in government moving forward. The building was seeping with stories and the weight of a rich and wild past.
I remember reading stories about the falling of the Berlin Wall and people coming into contact for the first time with bananas and jeans! It is hard to imagine. I felt so blessed to be able to actually see parts of this crumbling facade. Later we stumbled upon several pieces of the wall that were kept almost like statues in Potzdammer Platz. As if Berlin hadn't already been incredible, we found graffiti on the wall that couldn't be more fitting if I had written it myself.
The people of this country seem aware and conscious of the world around us. Perhaps it is their frightening past that makes them alarmingly aware of how possible it is for power to corrupt. Their knowledge of history keeps their eyes open to prevent the inevitability of tyranny.
Berlin is a city which is both looking forward and backward. It is modern and historic. I am extremely grateful to spend the rest of the week here. I don't even like beer, but for Berlin, I'm happy to keep my mind open and take one down.
Beer down, head up, eyes open. Here's to you Berlin!!
Recently PokerStars hosted the second anniversary of the Woman's Sunday. I was fortunate enough to be the host for the Google Hang out with tons of pokers most prominent ladies. On the saturday before the Woman's sunday I had a champagne toast with Fatima Moreira de Melo, Celina Lin, Adrienne Rawsome, Katie Dozier, Jen Shahad and Joe from PokerStars Woman. It was a blast and you can check it out below.
Now, I'm not going to review Spring Breakers as a movie. I have some opinions about it from a cinematic and story telling stand point. But what stood out to me the most about it was the incredible images and amazing fashion! Whomever did the wardrobe on this film is my hero! They need to make their own fashion line. The whole fantasy element was reminiscent of True Romance.
The managed to mingle this very 90s style raver wardrobe and southern gangsta style. Taking the innocent reputation of these newly adult woman, Spring Breakers created a ton of wild images that will stay with me way after the movie's story has long been forgotten.
Playing on the mixed messages that I have always admired in fashion the team plays with images as vast as unicorns and shotguns.
Okay, those swimsuits are amazing! Some of the t-shirts featured Brittany Spears, DTF and baskets full of kittens. It just worked so well on these smokin hot girls.
And finally, James Franco blew everyone out of the water as Alien. You can barely tell he is a handsome leading man.
Again, I can't say weather or not the movie itself was amazing but I think it is worth it just for the wild images. I saw it yesterday and it made me want to go shopping!!!!
I have been to Deauville several times before, but this time has been amazing so far.
For starters, for the 3rd time in the last 6 months my TV on the flight didn't work. Normally this is a huge bummer. But luckily I was sitting next to one of my favorite people in the world, Kristy Arnett and so I was able to catch up some really guilty pleasures courtesy of her computer. Nothing like a little Real Housewives to make you feel good about yourself.
Normally we have to take the international flight and then once we arrive we take a train or cab to a train station and then the train to Deauville and a cab from there to the hotel. Last year I fell asleep in the freezing cold open air Paris train station waiting for my train and woke up with a pigeon on me. This year, EPT concierge made an affordable service to transfer people from the airport. It was so simple. I caught up on some sleep as we cruised the 2.5 hours from Paris to Deauville.
Although it was pretty chilly, especially by the water, the weather during the welcome video was WAY better than the last few years.
After shooting the welcome video I arrived at a restaurant I had been to a few times last year. I was frozen and jet lagged. Well, the waiter remembered me and immediately brought me a lovely Pinot Noir. I didn't even have to ask. In my state of exhaustion I forgot to ask for my pizza with no cheese. But, don't worry, the waiter reminded me, "no cheese correct?" WOW, what a boss.
PokerStars had a beautiful party the day before the Main Event began. It was beautiful and full of one of my favorite drinks: champagne.
So of course after staying classy and shooting the party video...Kristy and I just relaxed and enjoyed.
What a great start to EPT Deauville Season 9.
Walking through the halls of Atlantis I can't help but think about how different I feel now then I when I first came here 3 years ago. I barely knew anyone or anything about poker and I couldn't be more fortunate to be where I am now. I feel like the poker world opened up its arms completely and let me in for the full bear hug.
A HUGE part of that is in THANKS to these ladies.
And I can't forget the boys.
It wasn't all roses when I started...
But with a lot of help along the way own job has become way easier.
And the Poker Community finally feels like home!
Walking down the halls I see my friends and the faces of the people I love. Thank you so much for making me better. For putting up with me through the good and bad. For teaching me the difference between a gut shot and an open ender. For showing me who you are. And for sharing your life changing moments with me.
I am truly grateful.