Musings on Poker and Other Stuff
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!
Many times I've had the experience of departing from and returning to the same place. At first it started with home. I would go travel somewhere, explore, and when I would return I would have an interesting feeling of comfort from seeing things I knew and recognized. And yet, I continued to change. I would recognize something, but because of my internal changes my experience of it would be somehow different. There were certain feelings that I would always get as I flew over the Manhatten skyline on my way back to school. Like somehow the experience of the physical place brought out the parts of me that place nurtured. I used those visual cues to help me adjust bouncing around from place to place.
I came to Cannes in 2004 to help market a movie. My mom helped produce the movie. It was such a special experience that I will always treasure. My mom and I still have jokes we share from the weeks we spent here in my early twenties. (I will scan some pix when I get home...they were actually taken when people took film into the store to be developed.)
When I heard I was going to be coming here to cover the WSOP I was a little bit apprehensive. There are a couple of places from my life experiences that I suppose I want to protect. Places that I saw with, for lack of a better word, innocent eyes. Places that I still hold as some sort of momentary utopia.
Cannes was so special and precious in my heart that I feared returning 8 years later might taint it. But, as with lots of things, I was completely wrong. It has been beautiful to return to the same place, but with a new perspective, with a new kind of age and strength. I arrived and shared a ride with people who are both colleagues and friends. When I checked in and walked into my room, just across from the Palais, I was immediately struck with gratitude. I thought the apartment I shared with my mom in 2004 was amazing. I couldn't believe how I had lucked out. Now,I'm in an amazing hotel right across from the ocean. I literally took pictures when I walked in which I will probably never both to share with anyone...but I had to actually physically commemorate the moment. I feel at once both at home and totally out of place. It turns out that has always been a part of my process. Being a little out of place is where I feel the most at home. In some ways I don't feel grown up enough for this yet. I imagine if you asked my 21 year old self where I would be at 28 I would never guess at the Majestic in Cannes. But I also would not even have a concept of what a do now. LOL. I still feel like the little girl staring at myself in the mirror for an hour before I wear my thrift store 80s prom dress on the red carpet. And I simultaneously feel more comfortable in myself and in my life than ever before. I'm both a grown up and a girl.
Like every giddy kid who is genuinely excited I had to immediately put on the robe and slippers. I sat on the Croisette and watched the sun go down.
As I sat I realized that all those experiences of leaving and returning to places were not about the places at all. They were about me dealing with my own growing and changing and pushing myself. It was an external symbol for the internal rope I was walking between where I came from and where I was going. And looking over the water I felt peaceful that in so doing I found myself exactly where I belonged. Yes, I am in an amazing and fancy hotel in France, and I even rode first class for part of my flight. But I still feel a bit out of place sometimes in those situations because the culmination of my years and experiences has always brought me back home. I derive the most joy and feel the most radiant in the most simple things. I never feel more beautiful than when I'm with my family. (which I was the days before I came here
) I still get crazy for the little things (like turn down service). And I am always eager to jump into new like a web series I'm starting with Heath and some friends.
I guess the craziest thing is that I am still finding myself in these incredibly fortunate situations. Maybe the worst thing to taint my lovely Cannes from 2004, would have been to never return. The fact that I am here 8 years later is a testament to the path I chose and the blessing that this path keeps choosing me. Like a lot of things, I'm not sure I deserve all of this. But with the fullest heart I keep being Thankful.
And trying to share all the LOVE I CANNES!!!
I'm going to really date myself when I admit that when I was in high school hardly anyone had cell phones. When I first moved to Los Angeles having a 'camera' to document the fun we were all having was an absolute necessity. Well, just a few years later it seems there are a million ways to keep track of all the fun going on. And most of them originate on our phones. Slowly but surely we have all become photographers and artists. Some more than others of course. It cracks me up when I see a picture of a bike leaned up against a brick wall and it looks amazing because someone used a cool filter. We don't need fancy software anymore or even knowledge for that matter.
I went to Sante Fe this weekend and boom, I basically could make a coffee table book.
Just when I thought my photography skills couldn't get any more legit. I discovered paper camera. Now I'm an artist too!
My grandparents couldn't believe how fast I whipped up this sketch of them!
I didn't want to be the only one in Sante Fe developing new techniques. So I taught the whole family how to do the skinny arm!
Gotta keep evolving right?
I have always heard tons about the Philippines. Heath had gone as a guest for a fight a few years ago and came back raving. So naturally when Lynn requested to trade me for the Grand Final, I was more than happy to oblige. I opted to go a few days early. It made my flight cheaper, and that way I could enjoy some beach time before we headed to the Airport Hotel and Casino to work.
The water was incredibly clear. I fed the fish with little crumbly pieces of bread and they crowded around me with no fear. It was kind of like coming full circle. Let me explain. When I was younger I had a totally irrational fear of fish. I would swim but only with extreme trepidation. I was constantly imagining what might be lurking below me. Now, I was able to let them brush past my arms and legs in swift movement to score a bit of the tasty delight.
Speaking of tasty delights. I believe I had never really had a mango until I had a mango in the Philippines. They are known for having the juiciest and most mouth watering mangos on the planet. I actually <gasp> was drinking mixed drinks instead of wine. Nothing like a mango daiquiri to melt away my fish fears.
The Filippino people are known for being very welcoming and kind. And they did not disappoint. And what is more, the staff and players were equally as incredible. Having never done an APPT I was a bit worried about being a fish out of water so to speak. But the people welcomed me warmly like we'd known each other forever. I immediately felt at home.
So much so that I thought, we might just have to move there. It turns out you can get a place on the beach for $100 a month. We could live like kings. Which we did while we were there.
I never eat cheese. I only eat carbs once a day. I try to avoid sugar. I travel a lot and I know if I let myself indulge every time I go somewhere with some culinary delights...I will end up looking so bad on camera they might not send me anymore anyways. That being said, I made a decision to just let myself blow it out in Italy. And have I ever. In fact, I am still hung over at 6pm. But that is another story. I have been eating cheese with every meal. I just finished off a croissant. I ate almost an entire pizza. I am really going for it. I LOVE ITALY. I love Swtizerland. I love this choice to eat my face off. And from the moment I heard I was coming on this event, I started wondering about the party. Then, the event manager emailed me to let me know it was going to be ON A BOAT.
After watching that video about 75 times and chanting all week that I'm on a boat. I finally got on a boat.
Then I was Facebook stalking Olivier Busquet before my interview and I saw his wifey in his pix. I was like, she is smoking. Obviously he makes the final table and who is there to rail him? His lovely lady. My response is to try to get her into a video. Then I discovered several other beauties as well.
I love my job!
Just landed in Campione and did a little bit of exploring. Holy Cow this place is so beautiful.
Just strolling along and of course stumbled upon this gorgeous swan swimming upon Lake Lugano.
As I type this I can hear a bell ringing somewhere to let me know that it is 4pm. It seems so ancient and lovely to keep track of time that way. If I wasn't so enjoying the view from my hotel room,
I might actually get up and get ready for my big dinner tonight. We are heading out to a Grotto across the lake for some official home cooking.
I don't know how it is possible that after all these years of traveling around Europe and even living in Europe for a semester that I have NEVER been to Italy. Or Switzerland for that matter. Well, the truth is that I was saving my Italian adventure for a chance when I could really spend a long time and indulge. Like say...my honeymoon. But, as the fates would have it, my opportunity came before that and I couldn't be more grateful.
Flying over the Alps this morning at sunrise I was absolutely blown away. Here is the best version I could find.
I'm a Rocky Mountain girl originally and I LOVE mountains. However, these things are like nothing I've ever seen. They just go on and on with their white caps. Even from the misty lake here one can see some snow caps peaking out in the distance. Thus, Heath and I settled it. He used to drive from Holland to Italy all the time and is going to do it for me. I want to see the whole of Switzerland and Italy. Okay, so it might not happen on this trip. But I am inspired. I am in awe. I am blessed.
I just spent the last week before the PCA in Texas with Heath's family. It was so interesting because like always I had this incredibly overwhelming sense that FAMILY is absolutely the most important thing in the world. And yet I had the reassuring sense that I don't want children. Maybe I'm just going up slower than I thought.
When I was younger I imagined I would be married at 27 and I would have kids not too long after. I've since had my 28th birthday. And even though I've been with the same person 3.5 years, there is no wedding in sight. More than that though, I still don't find myself desiring the glory of parenthood. I keep waiting for the sensation. I'm so grateful for my parents. I treasure my family. So, why wouldn't I want to continue that legacy?
I guess I'm secretly afraid I'm a fair weather person. Let me be more clear. I'm holding a baby and thinking it so cute and touching his/her soft little head. Suddenly out of no where the baby starts crying and I can't get it outta my hands fast enough. Even the way I call babies "it" may have some kind of larger implications. I LOVE other peoples' kids. I want to Love them and kiss on them. But as soon as something comes up to do or see, I'm out of there! I invite the tots over but after 3 hours I think I might tear my hair out. I mean come on....I ought to be more steadfast and true.
Then I wonder if perhaps we are all just growing up a ton slower. I read the other day that 50% of people 18-25 live with their parents. I think that was unheard of some 50 years ago. Problem is our bodies haven't really evolved to accomodate our new sensibilities and freedoms. Or is it evolution at all? Maybe we are going backwards. I sure as h#*- don't have any idea.
I love my family and the sacrifices made for me become more glaring the closer I get to being 'that age.'
Lost most the pictures from the trip when my phone fell out at Heath's dad's ranch. I found some old ones of my family but they aren't uploading in the blog. I'll have to check back and try to do it again soon.
I couldn't have been more excited to get the news that I would be the video hostess for the newest EPT stop in Loutraki, Greece. I have ALWAYS wanted to come to Greece. Of course I imagined island hopping and swimming the Mediterranean, which my trip has not been at all. But what I got is something even better. I just did the all-inclusive Mexico thing. This trip has been about coming back to the beginning of Western civilization.
Heath decided to come to make sure I didn't get caught up in some riot. And of course to play his first EPT. We arrived very early in the morning, dropped off our bags and headed straight for the Acropolis. Heath immediately hired a private guide, which I thought was a bit pricey, but it was his money, so I indulged the splurge. Boy was it worth it. She had so many treasures to share. Not just history, but deeply ingrained principles of Greek philosophy.
She explained that we all have monsters which is what makes us human, but that we have the capacity to be like the Gods, that in fact it is our duty to reach toward our better selves and away from the things that make us broken and human. Heath and I would soon have a lesson in that. I could barely keep my eyes open, but Heath brought me to a little bar to share some Greek drinks before the dinner he had arranged. We went to dinner where I broke plates, ate and danced like an American girl trying to be a true Greek. Then things got ugly. We decided to let the wine take us where it would...which of course was a strip club. We drank too much. Fought. And wasted an entire day in Athens the next day.
That night we ate at a restaurant over looking the Acropolis and chatted about what a waste that was. How gross we felt after the elation of such a beautiful first day. We decided to make a conscious choice to let Greece teach us how to be our better selves. And since that I feel amazing. I woke up this morning and felt so grateful for my job, grateful for my life and beautiful in my own skin. I won't let my degenerate nature become ME.
I even had a blast shooting the welcome video in the midst of a pseudo hurricane!!