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!!
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.
I can't believe it is already the PCA again! PCA was my debut on camera 3 years ago and as such always make me reflect on the last few years. This year I felt inspired to comb back through all the vids I made in 2012 and find some of my favs.
Best Welcome Video:
Best Explain This:
Best Winner Interview:
Best Who Would You Rather:
Best Interview in a Bed:
Best Video of 2012:
I went to school in Prague for a semester during my time at NYU. I enjoyed myself. But, honestly, it wasn't my first choice. I wanted to live in London. I was into punk rock. I was into movies. My guts told me to go to London. I let a lot of people convince Prague was like London but way cheaper. Prague is nothing like London. It is cheaper. It's not cheap. And it is not London.
When I came before, I was alone. I had been traveling alone for months in Europe before I found myself in a dorm in one of Prague's lesser known districts. Although I didn't particularly enjoy traveling alone, I preferred it to what I considered the mental midgets that were my peers. I was so condescending to my fellow students since I perceived them as being typical co-ed types that only "act" like they want a cultural experience...meanwhile they throw fake keggers in foreign dorms and make out with each other.
I found the locals in Prague to be just as aloof to me as I was to the other kids. I wasn't very interested in architecture. I've never liked beer. And the Czech language was impossible for me. Needless to say, even though I had a good time, Prague was never my favorite travel destination.
I guess it goes without saying I didn't care one way or the other about coming to this EPT. If I've realized anything though, it isn't about where you go as much as it is about who you go with. Wandering the city with our tight knit little video crew and my new fiance was a blast. We were freezing by the end, but laughing and enjoying the journey. Instead of looking at how this place could enrich me, I found myself seeing how we enrich each other. Maybe my time here before was colored less by the place itself and more by my attitude. Maybe in some karmic way it wasn't a paradise for me because I didn't deserve a paradise.
Somehow I think as you get older everything is prettier. I think as you age you look more inward to shape experiences instead of letting the outside shape you. We even got stuck in a snowstorm and spent 12 hours in Amsterdam Airport trying to figure out what was going on. Even that felt completely comfy and even a little fun.
I had never been here during the holiday season and I have to say I think that is the perfect time to come. I welcomed the snow! We never get it in Vegas and it just feels more like Christmas when it is cold and snowy. It makes the eventual move from the sights of the city and into a warm & kitchy restaurant all that much more precious. When I think about next year I know I will be excited to go...because it doesn't matter where we go...as long as we are all going together!
I remember when I did one of my first tournaments on my own and Kristy Arnett saw the blooper reel, she asked me, "why can't you let a little more of that show through in your interviews?" We talked about it briefly and she said she couldn't figure out why I was so sarcastic and fun in real life, but as soon as the camera came on I got all tense and acted like the nice, dumb girl. I was like a deer in headlights when the camera lights turned on. My personality turned off. People said these all these mean things about me. And then as soon as the blooper reel would come out people would be like, "that chick is hilarious."
But I was still having a hard time figuring out how to put that bit of me into what I considered 'serious' interviews. But slowly and surely as I gaged the reactions from players I realized it actually made them feel more comfortable when I was being myself too! I relaxed and add libbed a bit more. Listened a bit more instead of trying to remember my planned questions and ended up with some silly interviews.
Instead of trying to plan I let things evolve more naturally. And it just makes things more fun. I realized when you are having fun, so is the interviewee and so is the viewer. And so, in honor of that, here is us at our best from this years WSOP. My favorite moments, the authentic ones where we get to be us! And the players get to react.
Hope you enjoy. I'm enjoying two days at a winery in California with the slowest internet ever! Hope it actually goes up.
Welp, we are nearly 27 events deep in the WSOP. As always it is going by SO fast. I was re-watching some of my favorite videos so far this year and figured I would post em up and see what you guys think to.
As I expected, my favorite so far is the THE STRADDLE. This is a Series where Kristy gets to just put together whatever she wants. She is so creative and works so well with her camera guy...everything they do is genius.
I personally love the chance to put poker players on blast. Facebook, along with a few other things, has essentially eliminated privacy. Thus, if you've done it...someone tweeted it, snapped a pic, Instagramed or Facebooked it. Looking forward to more of this series from the players who play on and off the felt.
Lynn has always been the best at blowing that bankroll. So she headed over to see what Vanessa Rousso had put together in terms of housing for some of pokers' best gals.
Obviously there are more gems coming out every day, so I'll keep adding and you guys keep letting us know what you love and hate.
We are back in the Rio and it feels great! It's crazy how working can actually feel great. This is how we like to kick it off every year.
Kmo and I started it off just the two of us and our camera girl Tennille.
Then FINALLY Lynn arrived. So obviously we had to have a girls dinner immediately.
And Kristy was able to grant us with some awesome BFF necklaces. (yes, we are 12)
I'm just having fun seeing everyone again and working again. I love being able to work from home, but sometimes it feels so good to laugh and joke and play with other people. I'm so stoked for this year and to watch the lives of so many people change.
I'm heading to the Rio tomorrow for the first of what will be many trips to my summer homeland. It is such an interesting feeling each year, like going to summer camp when you where kid. One can't help but feel a mixture of emotions; excitement at the anticipation of seeing everyone and seeing lives changed, combined with a little nerves at the prospect of forgetting your own life for a few months and hopefully not messing up too bad. Speaking of messing up, I was just prepping to shoot the Welcome to the WSOP 2012 video today and I stumbled across some gems from last year.
Bloopers are always my favorite. Watching these made me miss my team so much! I wonder how many blogs I can have that are themed, I am so grateful to be in this business? But I feel like I am constantly reminding myself how lucky this whole journey has been. It got me thinking how we all keep changing and growing, but some things stay the same. Here is the blooper reel from my first tournament in front of the camera. My voice is literally at least 5 octaves higher than normal.
I want to thank my girls so much for showing me the ropes. Kristy Arnett & Lynn Gilmartin were already best friends and it would have been so easy for them to be caddy to me or at least not helpful. But it was the total opposite. The team at PokerNews is so amazing and I can't wait to spend the summer watching poker history happen before our eyes. This little gem pretty much explains how I feel.