Barcelona Hates Me, or Vice Versa

by , Oct 25, 2007 | 4:30 pm

OK, so I already talked about how the Barcelona gypsies took my money, and you may have read about how I busted out early in the WPT Spanish Championship – I should have re-raised with Aces instead of calling a raise with them – but what about the rest of the trip?

I’m normally not much of a complainer, but I want the people that aspire to be a professional tournament poker player to get a realistic idea of what that grind can really entail. Winning sure is fun, but traveling 50 hours in total, flight delays, losing your luggage and most all your C-notes is what it’s all about sometimes.

We arrived in Barcelona at noon on Wednesday. Julie got her luggage at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Let’s just say this would have been a good time for an “Angry Julie” segment on Beyond the Table. The good news for her though is that she had packed her very special curling-iron-blow-dryer-brush in my suitcase, so she didn’t have to go without that until I blew it up by plugging it into the wrong electrical converter. I wish I had recorded that. Then she gets into the shower and I hear, “To-oo-mmm!” Oh shit, what now? The shower’s not draining and water’s getting all over the bathroom floor. Just as we unpacked all our clothes we had to switch rooms.

Our new abode had a 4-foot obstruction right across our whole window. Excellent. And it had a similar problem with the plumbing.
Julie and I did play some cash games, and some even stranger things happened at Casino Barcelona.

First off, if you leave a cash table without picking up your chips, you will be blinded off just like in a tournament. This rule seemed to keep people from taking extended walks and leaving games short-handed, however, I don’t believe that the rule encouraged hand washing after relieving oneself – don’t want to take a 30 Euro dump.

While I was playing in a 20-40 Euro limit game, before the flop I wanted to re-raise to 60 Euro. I stacked 6 – 10 Euro chips on top of one another and shoved them forward across the betting line, then cut them into 2 stacks of 3 chips. The dealer immediately called string raise with the enthusiasm of the nuns that used to slap my wrist with a ruler in grade school. She seemed ecstatic to be able to do this. Then, like the gypsies the night before, a few locals at the table started crying, “yes, a string raise!” like they were so pleased. I had grown tired of this group fervor when it comes to screwing Tom. I said call the floor, which I haven’t done anywhere in years. The dealer looked shocked and didn’t seem to want to get the floor involved. I insisted. The floor came over and I showed him how I put my raise in. He wondered what the question was. Case closed. Gypsies lose this one.

Julie was playing in a 20-40 Euro limit hold’em game. There was a 40 Euro bet on the end. Julie won the pot, but one of the players thought it was appropriate to grab his 40 call back and conceal it in his hand. The shell game didn’t work this time on Julie. She insisted that the guy open up his hand. Voila! There was no trap door in his hand.

After getting knocked out of the WPT event with pocket aces, seeing some funny business going on at the casino and meeting some gypsies that took $450 from me, I thought it would be great to go out and see how the locals would treat us.

Unfortunately, the people of Barcelona are among the least friendly people in any major city I have ever been to. I’m told by my good friend John that the people of Catalan, which is like a state in Spain, are not very open people. Julie and I walked into 30 shops in a small town near Barcelona called Sitgen. Only one shop owner said, “Hola,” when we walked in. These folks could use a little help from Sam Walton. None of them smiled and none wanted to help us much if we were struggling with the language a bit. Both Julie and I know quite a few words in Spanish, but not Catalan, which is some snooty version of Espanol. It would be like someone going to San Francisco and using the word ain’t and the shop owner saying they don’t understand.

I’m sure that being from the good ole USofA didn’t help either. Some people around the world aren’t in support of our government including many people in the U.S.A. That’s OK, but I’m tired of us helping people that treat us like shit. I guess I shouldn’t have worn my medium sized “Viva George Bush!” T-shirt, with my hamburger filled belly partially hanging out. Note to self.

We decided to leave a day early only to get into Philly and have US Airways get us out 6 hours late, but we did get our luggage this time. (Note: I wrote this anticipating only being 6 hours late) It turns out that we were 13 hours late and Julie and I had to sleep in the airport. Angry Julie rides again, but she was nothing compared to some of the people that were ripping into U.S. Air people. As always the sleeping was wonderful at the Philly airport with a couple of guys needing to polish and wetvac the area right in front of where we were sleeping. In addition, the music playing throughout the place sounded like a score from Hannibal Lecter’s iPod played at teenager volumes.

Other than spending time with my good friend John and his wife, Bardelona was a bust. I don’t plan on making the trip back there until their attitude changes. What’s your line on the over/under of that happening? I hear the people of Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand are nice. I’m blowing my money on their gypsies next time.

One Comment to “Barcelona Hates Me, or Vice Versa”

  1. DanM

    ***I’m normally not much of a complainer***

    I call bluff!