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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit - Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard- Poker in Paradise Part 1

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A blog of sorts, a story to be told, the true depth of poker is about to unfold:

Another Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure has come and gone, and I can't help but feel that live poker is just a little rigged. Well maybe it's not rigged, but I have yet to win an important coin flip, or really any coin flip at all in any tournament with a buy in of $5,000 and over. Aside from the poker I had a great time down in the Bahamas hanging out with friends, relaxing in the sun, and dropping thousands of dollars on incredibly overpriced food.

I first arrived to the Atlantis, where the tournament was being held as always, a little later than I expected on Sunday. Maybe the taxi drivers down there read my last blog and realized how they were driving was incredibly unsafe or something, but I definitely noticed a much different experience this time in comparison to the death ride I explained in my last entry.

Since it was Sunday I decided that once I got down there I would jump into the lobby where a lot of my friends were already playing online poker, and try to take my share of the money up for grabs in the Sunday majors. The first problem I encountered was that there was no place to plug my laptop in left in the lobby; apparently all the outlets were being monopolized by the swarm of players who had already taken over the space. When I finally hunted down an outlet in a very obscure spot I quickly discovered problem number 2, for some reason the wireless internet wasn't working. I tried for around 15 minutes to move around the lobby thinking that maybe it was just the spot I was in that was causing the problem, but I couldn't get a signal anywhere.

It was almost time for the 3'o clock tournaments to start, so I decided to go talk to guest services to see if they could figure out what was wrong. Apparently several other people were having the same problem, including none other than Daniel Negreanu . If PokerStars golden boy can't even get his internet to work, then there is obviously a huge issue here.

For the next 30 minutes I talked to Daniel, mainly about how Windows Vista is a piece of shit operating system and how Sony Vaios suck just as much, which coincidentally we both had. He even went as far as saying he was going to take his laptop back to Best Buy and smash it right in the middle of the store. Daniel is a pretty interesting guy, and he kept us entertained until the situation was finally resolved.

I played the rest of the day in the lobby, often times having various tourists come over and wonder what the hell was going on. They will never understand our world, but they did ask plenty of annoying questions in an attempt too while I was trying to focus on the 9 tournaments I had going on at the same time. It was cool having friends come over to check out what was going on; especially when I was deep in the nightly 100 rebuy on Stars. I even had Scott "SCTrojans" Freeman come over at one point and tell me not to worry because I was going to win the tournament, I promptly bubbled the final table right after that. Thanks Scott...

The next night I met up with a bunch of friends who were also playing the second day of the tournament to go to this Japanese fusion type restaurant that seemed to be very popular called Nobu. Some of the people that were along for the ride included Adam "Roothlus" Levy, Dan "Wretchy" Martin, Kevin "BeL0WaB0Ve" Saul, and poker writer/agent Katie Lindsay. Apparently this place was known for having great food that was also very expensive, and with our large group it was inevitable that the bill was gonna be huge.

Kevin made it clear that he wanted to play Credit Card Roulette (CCR) to see who pays the bill, and then throughout the meal him and Dan kept saying thank you in advance to me for paying for their meals. Guess they had heard stories of how bad I run in the game. We did end up having some really good grub, and when it was time to pay the bill it ended up only being a mere $1600. Katie did her best Vanna White impression as she pulled out the cards one by one during the CCR game, and as luck would have it my card was picked sixth so I didn't have to sweat too much. I believe the person who did end up paying for the bill was a guy I had just met that night, whose online name is "Sivtec", so thanks for the meal bro. My luck was looking up.

I managed to show up around 15 minutes late the next day for the tournament, but somehow the tournament hadn't even started yet. It didn't take long for me to recognize some of the faces at my table which included PokerStars pros Noah "Exclusive" Boeken, Alex "Allingomes" Gomez, and Will "The Thrill" Failla. I wasn't that worried about this table assignment, that is until Dario Minieri took the last empty seat at my table. Now I wasn't so stoked. From everything I've heard about playing with Dario and also from seeing him on TV, I know he's insanely aggressive and he kinda looks like an Italian version of Harry Potter especially with his scarf. I figured it would be best to wait to get hands to make my move against him.

The first level went by and I watched as Dario and Allingomes raised, 3 bet and 4 bet nearly every single pot. If they did manage to see a flop they would bet on every single street, usually causing their opponent to fold, but every once in awhile they would decide to actually hit their hands on the river and just get paid off that way. It was quite an interesting show. I wasn't scared to get involved with these lagtards, however whenever I did see a flop I managed to miss it in every way possible. I could already tell it was going be a long day.

Stay tuned for part 2 to find out how the tournament progressed along with my week in paradise.

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