Sunday, 18 July 2010


My partner Simon didn't win millions at the main event of WSOP poker tournament and I didn't win millions at Las Vegas casinos. However, I managed to break even on roulette and won $200 in 10 minutes at craps! I think that was beginner's luck as I'd never played craps before. After that Simon wisely kept me away from craps tables so that I didn't lose my winnings!

One week in Las Vegas is more than enough unless you are a hard-core gambler. After you've seen several shows, looked inside many grand hotels and did a bit of shopping you kind of run out of things to do. At the end I decided not to be left out with all the poker around me and played in my first ever live poker tournament at the Venetian hotel. I was a bit scared as I'd only played a little poker with my friends and online. I mean, do you remember how scared you felt playing in your first ever chess tournament? I was worried I'd make some silly poker rules mistakes while everyone at the table was watching me. I did make mistakes but nothing serious, not as bad as a woman next to me who showed her cards prematurely and was penalised for a whole round! I lasted for a couple of hours before getting knocked out and now I'm not that scared of live tournament poker. J

On the last night in Vegas we went to a private party hosted by "Poker Stars" which was headlined by Snoop Dogg's performance. He's one of the most famous rappers and even though I don't follow that kind of music his performance was great. I was very amused by his diamond-encrusted microphone and hair bands. J It was also the night after Spain won the football World Cup and Snoop Dogg was wearing Spanish football shirt! Who said Americans didn't care about football?? Well done to Spain by the way!! Here is somewhat blurred Snoop Dogg in case you don't believe me. J

After Vegas we went to explore San Francisco for a few days. It was nice and cool but sunny after unbearably boiling Vegas. Walking up and down the hills of San Francisco was very tough, it reminded me just how unfit I am and that I should start going to the gym again! Looks like this San Francisco's sea lion is encouraging me to exercise by demonstrating some press-ups. J

Now we are playing chess in Agoura Hills near Los Angeles. The tournament is called the Pacific Coast Open and consists of only 6 rounds. So far I'm on 2 out of 3. I had a slow start drawing two games against lower-rated opponents while missing available chances. However, I bounced back with a win in the third round against a higher-rated opponent. I always find that if I haven't played for a while I need at least one game to get my brain into the "chess mode" and use my time appropriately. I think playing a bit of blitz or rapidplay games before a serious tournament helps to minimise the adjustment period. I've taken a bye in the 4th round as I decided to relax this evening rather than play two rounds today. I can't see any results posted on the internet so no results link this time I'm afraid. Tomorrow we have two more rounds at the end of which I will get to see my parents and my sister for the first time in 1.5 years. J I wonder if I'd be too excited for serious chess playing!

No comments: