Tuesday, August 10, 2010

LAPT - Brazil (July 22 - Aug 9)

The purpose of my trip to Brazil was simply to serve two purposes: (1) to fire up another decent-sized LIVE tournament (LAPT-Florianopolis), where I felt I had a distinct edge/advantage over other players (i.e. soft/passive field) *attempt to work smart!*; (2) to live it up on the beaches of Rio de Janiero and enjoy some nice vacay time *play time!* =)

***After being in Las Vegas for 6 wks (non-stop casino life), I wanted desperately to see a beach and have a good reason to go, hence LAPT! May as well milk the perks of what I do, right? Travel + Poker!

I scheduled 2 wks in Rio de Janiero, then 1 wk in Florianopolis for the tournament. Though I was by myself (first time traveling on my own for such length of time to a place I’ve never been), I had such a blast! I got to see/experience first-hand why Rio de Janiero is considered one of the best beaches in the world. Rio = the nuts! It’s not the most scenic beach spot I’ve ever been to, but hands-down it was def the most fun (and helps with hot Brazilian chicks all over the place—major “Damnnn girllllllllll!!!” was the thoughts circulating in my head LOL). Met a few Brazilian girls at the hostel I was staying at. They were from Belo Horizonte, a city 200 miles away, coming to Rio for fun as well. Man oh man hahaha big fan of Brazilian girls now. Smokin’ hot/pretty+curves+really fun to be around, passionate ppl, down to earth, unspoiled, friendly—don’t think you can ask for more. I definitely want to come back to Rio for “CARNIVAL” (FEB/MAR of every yr). If I can hit my poker goals between now and then, I will reward myself with another trip (hopefully go with couple Bros next time haha). Gotta live it up (esp while single)—Entourage style!

My typical schedule in Rio: wake up 9-10am, go to beach for 2-3 hrs (lay out, drink some caiprinhas, relax, enjoy the goof life+sun), get some lunch; 2pm-11pm get my poker tournaments/games in, 11-12pm go out or continue playing poker. Pretty awesome if you ask me hahaha ample sleep + fun/relaxation + poker! Perfect balance. =)

Was sad to leave my spot at the beach in Rio, but off to take care of biz in Florianopolis. The tournament took place quite a distance from where I was staying (a good 25km+). Every day I had to prepare 2.5 hrs for bus time to get to the tournament w/o feeling pressure to be late. Getting around is pretty hard when you don’t speak Portuguese (though just downloaded Rosetta Stone-Portuguese) hahaha had to just wing it and eventually find my way; though is fun/liberating to travel on own though and just figure things out. Rio was sunny warm the entire time I was there (except the ONE DAY I decided to go see the famous Christ statue; foggy/cloudy FML hahaha estupido!). Florianopolis on the other hand had REFRIGERATOR COLD WEATHER BLAH!!! (not even kidding, was damn cold *brrrr!!!*) I am def in favor of nice sunny beach weather vs. COLD-WINDY-RAINY crappola weather, but who isn’t?

Tournament: 20k starting chips, great deep stack structure. I played phenomenal poker from the onset. I got to 45k chips, just punishing fools in the first 4-5 hrs, *jab jab HAYMAKER jab!!! Pop Pop!!!*. I’m really proud of how I got those chips. This kind of play will win me a lot of prize money in the future. During late stage of Day 1, things started to unravel for me. Lost a huge pot to a river flush (I had made straight on turn); guy drew out on me argh. I don’t lose poker tournaments because of a lack of talent or not knowing what I am doing; tournaments are often times lost because of stupid mishap hands and inability to win coin-flip spots. For instance, mishap #1 (after that big lost pot): we were at 200-400 (+ante 50), guy with 10k chips open jams all in from UTG+1 (and he has done this 4-5x already, just desperate and unskilled tbh). I had 29k at the time. I was dying to pick him off, get some kind of hand that I knew would dominate his ass. I’m in the big blind this hand, look down at AK. Me thinking “BINGO!” *SNAP CALL HIM SO FAST!* He shows KJ hearts (as I had suspected- weak holding, I had great opportunity to chip up). 20k pot… board runs K-J-2-3-8. Pretty eff-ed up to lose 20k pot in such a depressing manner (esp since we are starting with 20k chips and obv I had him dominated). Huge difference in one hand (all cuz stupid JACK for hit haha FML!); being at 49k-ish vs. 19k. This hand and another hand really hindered my chances, cause ultimately it’s easier to win a tournament with chips than not (more room to maneuver and find easier ways to obtain chips). I ended up dying 60something out of 350 entrants, 20-something away from the money (though I don’t care too much about minimum/small cashes, cause that’s not what I play for—could care less to just cash, want to win the tournament/+FAT MONEY and will take all chances to go for it). All in all, played near flawless and proud of my efforts. Get em’ next time! =)

I spent about $2000 usd just to fly to Brazil; tournament was only a $2700 buy-in. Could be considered pretty stupid (bankroll leak) hahaha esp since I bricked the tournament; a big FAT ZERO. Was it all worth it? Still yes, absolutely was damn worth it. I got to live 3 wks out here in Brazil, playing online poker as my work (vs. be stuck in an office or have a boss to answer to—EFF THAT! hahaha love going as I please and taking my work anywhere in the world). I won some decent money online during the trip (15k+ worth). Would’ve been ROI-brilliant if I won $200k+ usd LAPT first prize. Didn’t happen this time, but if I keep up my poker efforts, there is no doubt in my mind/heart I will get to that promise-land. Need more at-bats to hit homeruns is the bottom-line. And by coming here and playing, I am xxx much closer to getting what I want.

My immediate goal is a $100k+ usd tournament score (which I am pretty confident will come in near future *fingers crossed!*). If I can do that, it’ll be that much easier to than go for a $250k-1 mill+ score (with more bullets in my bankroll). Life-changing money + FREEDOM!

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