Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Living in Thailand

In March I moved back to Bangkok - the city that I previously called home.

I had originally settled in Thailand in early 2011 but by the end of 2012 I had to make a tough decision between staying in Thailand but losing my PokerStars contract or moving back to the UK immediately and keeping it.

PokerStars had decided that they needed their Team Online representative from the UK to actually live in the UK and physically be there for most of the year, which although I wasn't happy about it, was a reasonable enough request. It was a tough ultimatum for me though as I was very well settled and happy in Thailand, but I also very much enjoyed being part of the PokerStars team.

I decided that it was worth making sacrifices to remain in the team, so two weeks into the new year of 2013 I cancelled the lease on my Bangkok condo and flew 6,000 miles to Edinburgh on a one-way ticket with all my belongings.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Dropped from PokerStars

Last week I travelled to Spain to play the UKIPT / Estrellas Poker Tour Marbella as a member of Team PokerStars Online.

During the UKIPT Marbella there was a screening of the Spain v Holland match of World Cup 2014 at the hotel with unlimited free drinks for everyone.

I went there to support Holland, even knowing that would make me Mr Unpopular with a 95% Spanish crowd there.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Eureka Vienna Trip Report

Recently I had the pleasure of playing poker in an imperial palace. It was quite a a step up from the wobbly kitchen table in a sketchy North London council flat where I played my first poker tournament.

The Hofburg Palace in Vienna is home to the current Austrian president Heinz Fischer and the bloke was nice enough to let a bunch of us poker players take over a wing of his gaff for a couple of weeks.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Sleepless in Dublin - UKIPT Trip Report

Main Event Day 1

Whenever I have a live poker tournament coming up I always seem to be on some crazy nocturnal sleep pattern, never managing to adjust in time. It's difficult to suddenly switch from going to bed at noon every day to waking up early enough to play a tourney that starts at noon.

My first ever trip to Dublin, to play in the UK and Ireland Poker Tour, was no exception. I travelled there a day early but still couldn't adjust my sleep pattern, so by the time cards were in the air for Day 1b of the main event I'd already been awake for 12 hours. My poker day was just beginning but my body clock day was coming to an end.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Malta Trip Report

After my trip to the Bahamas in January I was back in Scotland for all of two weeks before I had enough of that crap and decided to GTFO. The very best thing that you can do during the winter in Scotland is hibernate, and that gets boring pretty fast.

Malta is somewhere that I'd been planning to visit for over a year but I just never got round to it. During the winter it's one of the warmest countries in Europe and Ryanair have started doing direct 4-hour flights from Edinburgh. So I just booked a cheap flight for the next morning and off I went.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Bahamas / PokerStars Caribbean Adventure - Trip Report.

After freezing my bollocks off for the whole of December in Prague and Edinburgh, what better way to kick off 2014 than a vacation to the Bahamas? Well, it was kind of a vacation. PokerStars flew me over there for a couple of days of meetings and PR / Social Media training but I planned to spend the rest of the trip outside in the glorious sunshine thawing out those aforementioned frozen testicles.

I hadn't even reached the Bahamas yet before I'd met up with some of my PokerStars Team Online mates. Alex 'Kanu7' Millar was sitting right behind me on the London to Miami flight. Despite us hanging out for a couple of days on the Isle of Man just two months previous he didn't recognize me, even as he stood less than arm's length away directly facing me. Surely I'm not that easily forgettable? His girlfriend told me not to worry about it "he's even walked right past me in the street before." Probably too busy thinking about high level poker strategy to be concerned much with what's happening in the real world.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Prague Trip Report

Over the first three weeks of December there were two major poker festivals in Prague, Czech Republic. It's an inexpensive place for flights and accommodation so I settled down there for a few weeks with the intention of playing loads of side-events to gain some more live / MTT experience.

I had visited Prague before. When I started travelling 3 years ago it was my first stop, to celebrate the new year in style. Check out my trip report here. Back then I was a less experienced traveller and I took taxis everywhere, stayed in 5 star hotels and just generally pissed money away. What a noob!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

UKIPT Nottingham 6-Max Trip Report

Just a few weeks after returning from the Isle of Man I was packing my bags for yet another poker trip. I made my first ever visit to Nottingham to play the final UKIPT event of 2013.

Considering that Notts is the home of the largest card room in Europe, Dusk Till Dawn, it's crazy that I hadn't been there until now. I'd heard nothing but good things about the club from fellow poker players so my expectations were high.

Friday, 8 November 2013

UKIPT Isle of Man - Trip Report

PokerStars recently hosted their first official home game on the small Island in the Irish Sea that they call home - the Isle of Man. The week long festival was the newest addition to the UK and Ireland Poker Tour.

There was a lot of excitement in the run up to UKIPT IOM. I'd heard from the people I know at PokerStars that they were pulling out all the stops to make it a very special event. For the first time ever PokerStars staff had been given permission to play in a PokerStars tour main event and Team PokerStars players from all over the world were flying in to attend.

I believe that I had the longest journey out of everyone. I wanted to be there so much that in one day I travelled for 22 hours over 3 flights all the way from Thailand.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Happy Days

As August came to an end it started to get very cold and miserable again in Scotland. That'll be the winter setting in, obv. So I did the sensible thing by stuffing a suitcase full of clothes and Irn Bru and flying back to Thailand at the start of September.

I found myself a sick condo in Bangkok to rent short term with nice facilities such as gym and swimming pool. For the past 6 weeks I've been happily living there, wearing shorts and t-shirt every day and consuming a copious amount of coconut water.

Thankfully I have a very stable internet connection and have had only one power cut so far so it's been easy to continue the online poker grind. That's if you can call it a grind. I'm just opening up my laptop and blasting out a few hundred hands of Zoom PLO at several times throughout the day when I'm not out doing stuff.

The only negative thing about the trip is that I missed out on playing UKIPT London recently but that's OK because I'm going to make up for it by winning the next one, in Isle of Man.