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!!!!
Only been in London a few days but already been enjoying myself a ton despite the chilly weather. I started by galavanting around The sights and looking for Poker Terms IRL.
They were everywhere!
Then, we headed out to the PokerStars party at one of hottest night clubs in London, DSTRKT Apparently, Kanye and Jay-Z and Rihanna and everyone in hip hop has partied there. The party was gorgeous as always. And free...which is one of the amazing perks of this job.
Day 1a Kicked off with a heads-up match Full Tilt vs PokerStars and I got to interview some of my favorite guys in Poker.
It's only Day 1b. Can't wait to see what London has in store for me the rest of the week!
I spent a brief period of time working on a film in Wisconsin in my early twenties. I was there early for prep and so I wasn't working full hours all day every day. With all this free time on my hands and still trying to save money to move to Los angeles...I decided to take on some other forms of employment.
First I took a job as a waitress at Bab's French Quarter Kitchen. I really started developing relationships with a lot of the locals in Madison. One was the woman who was slated to be the make-up artist on the film set I was working on.
She shared with me that she was a model for a few of the University art classes. She had a womanly figure but I was vintage and very beautiful. The way she spoke about her experience modeling nude, made me find her even more beautiful. She told me that she had moments of insecurity, as any person does, but allowing herself to push through that fear and to be truly seen had helped her feel even more confident and beautiful.
I had always been relatively confident. However, I worked out daily to try to perfect my body. As is human nature, I never felt like I was at my ideal body size. Bold as I've always been, I decided to give it a try.
The first time I came out with a sheet over my body I was so nervous I was literally shaking. The professor told me that I could position myself however i wanted. With no experience, I tried something very dynamic with my body. My arms were out and my legs bent far too much. I would urge everyone to try it once. While you are watching TV try to assume a position and hold that position for an hour. You can not imagine how fast things start to fall asleep. Or your arms start to shake from exhaustion..not nerves. Your knees start to go weak. And you have nothing else to think about. It is an incredible exercise in the strength of both your mind and body. Even though you are going crazy in your tingling muscles and your mind is wandering from intense pain to extreme boredom...you enter an almost meditative state.
After you stand naked for hours and hours in poses that challenge both your body and mind, you stop panicing about being naked. You stop feeling so strange being the only naked person in the room. And you learn to be comfortable. I learned to let the rolls on my stomach be. I learned to let the turkey in arms lay. I learned being a good figure model, was not about having a good figure, but about being comfortable.
The second class I did, they liked my combat boots and dress when I walked in and asked me to wear those instead of going nude. The teacher gave me the sketchs he drew during the warm up. I had become so comfortable I actually fell asleep with my head on my knee at some point.
Ultimately the professors asked me to model these opera wardrobes in these incredible outdoor setting. Feeling safe without my clothes on brought me to a place where I wore more clothes than I ever have and still got paid. Although I recognize that not everyone could do this if possible I think everyone should try. Everyone should stand naked in a room full of people who are fully clothed...and find themselves eventually at peace. Everyone should try standing in a place that makes them feel sexy and come to realize that feeling comfortable is what makes you look sexy in the long run.
My 15th Bday
Going to Vegas when I was 15
Going to Mexico w a girlfriend at 16
Picnic at 19
My 22nd Bday
(getting a tattoo)
My bro and I in a parking lot. NOT FAIR. He did nothing for that.
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.
Every time someone tried to convince me (ahem, Heath) that there is no need to do a real wedding I am reminded that we do it not for ourselves but for the other people we love. We do it to give people joyous occasions to come together when during the monotony of our lives, we quite often don't find the time.
One of my best friends from LA got married this weekend and I couldn't believe how the old crew came together. No matter where we all live or work now, we all managed to come together for this one moment. It was such a beautiful moment to celebrate where we were and how that part of us has got us where we are now.
My grandma was offended when my cousin ran off and married secretly. At first I wasn't sure why. But when I thought about how many years she had put into building my cousin into the woman she had become I totally understood. Those are the moments you wait for. Those are the moments where you allow yourself the joy of knowing that you brought someone to this next step. Those are the moments you replay later in life that remind you that things are changing, but that we are all so deeply ingrained in each others' lives that deciding to spend your life with someone isn't just about you. It is about everyone and everything that walked with you to that other person.
Society chose to make these moments about communities because it keeps us together. It keeps us connected.
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.