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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

The Round Table – Sights and Sounds from a Carnival Cruise Ship

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I just got back from an amazing weekend in Mexico/the Pacific Ocean. Are you wondering how I ended up there? Well it all started back in November when Adam ‘Roothlus’ Levy made one of his random comments he is known for.

This comment went a little like this, “if I profit $100,000 in my pocket in the next few months I’m taking a group of us on a cruise,” he blurted out one day while a group of us were hanging out. Yes please! I laughed and told him I would hold him to that.
Cut to just 3 months later where Adam took 2nd in the $5000 FTOPS, cashing in for $387,500. (Not to mention within a 3 week span another $100,000 plus in tournament cashes.) Mexico here we come!

Adam picked out the Mayercraft Carrier as our cruise of choice, a music cruise headlined by John Mayer. In addition to him O.A.R., Guster, Martin Sexton, Jessie Baylin, David Ryan Harris, Matt Hires, DJ Logic, Brendan James, Erin McCarley, Justin Nozuka, and a few more all were set to perform during this 5 day cruise.

Adam, his younger brother Justin (who plays online as Roothlus2 and has been raking in his fair share of online scores as well) and my friend Lauren all departed the Port of Los Angeles on the last weekend of March headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The boat was enormous, with plenty of fun activities to participate in when there weren’t bands playing…which actually was almost never. There were hot tubs, pools, a slide, trivia sessions, rock band sessions, bingo sessions (where Justin won once and then tried to claim a second win but it was not a bingo!) Also, there was a casino…

So I almost never gamble in casinos…if I am bored I may stick a $20 into a slot machine or play craps for small stakes. I decided to try both of the above and quickly lost $100 and was done with games where the casino has a huge edge.

The only poker the ship offered was the Poker Pro table, the electronic game. It was a full 9 seater poker table with no dealer, no chips, and no cards. Everything was done through a screen in front of each player, and a screen placed on the top of the felt in the center of the table. You just cupped your hands on the screen to see your cards and then tapped the screen to pick whatever action you wanted to take.

Adam and I got the first game of the ship going a little after leaving port. Most of the people that walked by were apprehensive about the new approach to poker. I have to say…as much as I like playing with chips it was actually enjoyable to do everything electronically. I guess it reminded me of playing online, which is where I play most anyways.

Adam agreed with my sentiments, saying. “It was fun. It was way better than playing live with a dealer.”

It will be interesting to see if this takes off and is featured in more casinos around the world.

The cruise was a blast and the day after we returned, Adam and I met up with Amit ‘Amak316’ Makhija, Matt Graham, Peter Neff, and Annie Duke at the Commerce to do some filming for a promo for the Celebrity Apprentice. Our portion that we filmed will be airing in May.

All of us, minus Annie, played a freeze out along with Rafe Furst, Joe Reitman, and Hollywood Dave, who were there too. While at the table some people shared funny stories about Annie, some relating to her stint on the Apprentice – i.e. she called Rafe when he was out of the country and asked him to buy an expensive wedding dress for his fiancée, which he did, but later donated to charity.

Annie’s boyfriend Joe shared that they love to play games together and Annie always wants to win, but the one game she can’t seem to master is when they name an actor and then try to list all the movies they have been in. Joe is a thespian himself, so that is one challenge Annie can’t seem to beat him at.
After almost all of the boys were eliminated I ended up heads up with Rafe and after a brief battle he took the win and the extra cash for his wallet.
I’m headed to Vegas next week as the Five-Star World Poker Classic is currently kicking off. Catch you from there.

Like a wheel, the Round Table is a circle of adventures and victories, beats and stories, and life as it unfolds with a cast of characters that may, or may not, have joined you in your home on a local TV program. There's so much more to poker than what you see on TV. Although I won't use canvas, I will paint the full picture for you as I follow the lives of some of your favorite (and some unknown) players. The Round Table is an ongoing series of life, viewed full circle.

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