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Copenhagen - finally, a post!

by Xuan Liu |  Published: Mar 14, '11

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My next blog entries will be in reverse chronological order with my last poker stop being described in this one. I will begin with my most current trip, which consisted of EPT Copenhagen, IPT Malta, FPS Paris, WPT Venice, EPT Deauville, and finish off with some stories from PCA. Think this makes it a little easier for both me and whomever is bored/strangely amused enough to read this rather than regurgitating everything in a tl;dr format.

Copenhagen was the last stop of my latest trip. Though we went from semi-tropical Malta to bundle-up weather again, the city of efficiency was inviting in its own way. The Scandinavians I encountered were beautiful but reserved. The majority of taxi drivers were rude beyond belief, and when I conjured up the courage to ask one nice chauffeur why this was when I was slightly intoxicated one night, he laughed and explained there is a local slogan which was, in his words, "Don't think you are anything, you are nothing, you are shit." Reminds me of a variation of communism...there was even a girl as I was buying hot dogs at the stand in our last drunken night who was swearing/yelling at us to speak Danish or go home. Despite these incidents, I still had an awesome time there with some awesome people.

The first hotel Dom and I stayed at was this shithole called Cabinn City. It was on the list of EPT hotels approved by pokerstars, so even though the pictures made the place look ridiculously tiny and the price was about half of any other listed place, we didn't think they'd stick us in a place where the toilet shares the same space as the shower. You could literally do both at the same time. I also had to sleep on a mattress on the floor since the room was literally the size of a small walk-in closet and we had to strategically plan ahead when either of us needed to maneuver around. Anyhow, we made it our first order of business to re-book at the casino hotel the minute they had vacancy. Our first night at the main hotel waterhole we met a really friendly bartender named Rhys. Throughout our stay he would be by far the most hospitable person I have met at any of our stops. There was an on-going joke about him looking like an older Jeff Madsen - Marvin even insisted on sticking a FTP badge on him and making him do a rapper-pose for the camera.

The actual poker was promising, but ultimately fruitless. Everyone anticipated Copenhagen to be the most difficult EPT stop, but I probably had a good table draw and found it to be easier than my Deauville table, though it probably had a lot to do with Isildur and Swedish pro Ramzi Jelassi being on my right. The very cute Isildur was standardly pretty active especially after antes kicked in, played a lot of big pots, getting coolered in some and hero called in others, maintaining a see-saw stack until he went out on a flush-draw in a 3bp. The only real hand we got tangled in was when I 3b him when we were both about 100bb deep and fired 2 nicely-sized barrels on a QJxxA then went check-check on river. Before I could table my hand to the rest of the table, he saw my A2s and quickly and playfully turned over his KTo and laughed, saying it would've been sick if it went check/check on a brick river and I'd win with A high.

I finished the day with a few hundred chips below average and took the initiative to not mingle too long at the waterhole to get a good night's sleep. The next day I was seated at another mediocre table where I slowly accumulated chips til I doubled up Scott Montgomery JJ < AQ for his last 20 or so bb. The hand I busted was to a youngish player who had been opening a lot in position and folded a few times to re-shove stacks. I didn't exactly have the perfect re-shove stack, but I estimated his cut-off opening range to be about 40-50%, and given the table dynamics, the tendencies of players behind, and the hands I had shown down in similar spots I felt like My T7s was good enough to make the play at the time. Perhaps I was getting a little ahead of myself since I'd been grinding that stack little by little all day before the big hit and would prefer to play with a bigger stack at the table I was at, when really I should have kept telling myself that you can't win a tournament on day 2. After sulking and re-examining and being criticized for my play, I found out my opponent was actually a pretty renowned online player, Busto_Soon. Definitely would not have taken that spot if I had known at the time, although it may not have mattered too much since he did have AQ.

Luckily for me there was free beer during the "football" games in the player's lounge. The beanbag chairs were also pretty comfy and perfect for melting into. Before the week was done I'd also win some money/meals betting on FIFA w/ Vampy vs. Marvin, connect 4 vs. any challenger (I lost one 2/3 match the whole trip getting cocky at my unbeatable record), and taking it back with a guitar hero jam session.

I went pretty deep but not deep enough in the 1k side event, finishing 14th when 10 got paid. At one point on Day 1 Joe Ebanks, Vampy, Some Guy, and I were at the same table. Not that much fun though since I was trying hard to maintain my game fase. It was unfortunate I didn't even cash because there were several stacks shorter than my average one when I busted, but it's kind of difficult folding AQ from c/o vs. button's AK with our chip counts. I quickly went to play in the ladies' event, and busted again with AQ vs. AK in a similar situation. I also had an interesting girl sit directly to my right for the first few levels. She was a "hostess" for various events that were being organized for poker players in town...some (Dom) would refer to these shindigs as hooker parties. Perhaps that's what they were, but she was a really nice girl and seemed pretty good at her job.

So on what I thought would be my last night Rhys/Jeff recommended a few bars to go to. We ended up at this pretty trendy artsy lounge that had vintage porn-inspired posters, "Friends" on TV, and random signage in different languages. The cocktails they made were also quite delicious (Blueberry Bitches had a handful of real blueberries & lychee), although it was pretty packed and took forever to get our drinks. I also had another fiasco with losing my phone, but Dom was kind enough to go back to the bar with me and I was also pretty lucky the bartenders found it and hadn't left yet by the time we got back. I was still pretty turned-off by hard booze after our last night in Malta, so I took it easy that night and unknowingly saved myself for the next day.

I woke up in the morning with my stuff all packed and ready to sweat Mr. John Eames aka Tony G's son. Yes, they look remarkably alike, not just in appearance but also in demeanor. I first met Eddy in Venice through Dom after he introduced us to this hidden restaurant with cheese bowls for your pasta and really delicious lobster linguine. He had gone really deep and though he didn't have many chips going into the final table of the main, he woke up with KK 3 times within the first 15 hands and became a force to be reckoned with. He was kind enough to offer to pay for my flight if I extended my stay for one more night just to party with them after his victory, and I couldn't say no anymore after he went on a tear. I first met the other Jon (Spinkles) the night I lost my first painful CCR. We ate at this pretty legit "contemporary" place at the top of our hotel and I remember the moment when I knew I adored everyone I was with. Being one of the clumsiest people you'll ever meet, I had accidentally spilled my flight of wine across the table during dinner, right into Jon's plate and lap! Instead of showing the slightest bit of annoyance, he quickly made a joke about his meat tasting better with wine anyway, and made sure I didn't feel as guilty as I did. What a sweetheart! He did get his revenge when he picked me last for CCR though.

Team Eames ended up 3rd pretty much due to two bad hands, QQ < AK and AK < AJ. Eddy was a little devastated but we were determined to show him a good time anyway. We had originally planned to go to a club the hostess introduced us to, but after waiting outside a bit and being told some of the guys weren't up to par with the dress-code, we decided to do some bar-hopping in the area. We stopped by Bar 7 again as our first stop for drinks/shots, walked a bit and found this legit 90s rockbar playing some of my favourites, then finally ended up at one of the other clubs Rhys/Jeff introduced us to. Our entrance into the place was pretty funny - we were all pretty buzzed by this time and after walking straight past the bouncer and being escorted back to the line to get carded, the dude spewed out some cliche anti-American insults at me (I explained that I was Canadian, but he insisted that we were the same - we all lived in white picket-fenced houses and my dad drove a Chrysler). Anywho I lol'd and was mildly offended/rowdy at the same time, but was ultimately more worried for Domse and some of the other guys who were underage. I thought there was gonna be trouble and wanted to stay really bad since the place looked fun with it's pop porno/dirty slogan (e.g. fuck my brains out) wallpaper, plus Rhys/Jeff had come to meet us there. Anywho, it ended up being pretty awesome because the bouncer was actually a really cool guy as he checked their IDs while insulting them with words, but letting them in without anyone being the wiser that they were young pups. So of course a round was needed to celebrate being let into the place, and Eddy was ambitious enough to order us all these gross ice tea cocktails which were really just pints of hard liquor. I successfully nursed that one til the end of the night.

By the end of another month in Europe I was pretty thrilled to go home for some comfort food and detox, preparing to come back stronger than ever. I really wished I had done better in my liveaments, but overall I think I played pretty well and am staying optimistic for my turn of run-good. In the meantime I plan to stay at home for another few weeks to put in more MTT hours online, spend quality time with fam, blog, and plan out my schedule until the end of WSOP.

Next up, IPT Malta!
Thanks for reading <3
 
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