Posts Tagged ‘Spain’

Ana Marquez: Rising Estrella

by , Dec 3, 2012 | 5:12 am

Move over Carlos Mortenson … Ana Marquez is now the top Spanish player in the world. Playing for almost three years now, the 26-year-old PokerStars pro is the 227th-ranked player on the planet … with some $355k in live tournament winnings … good enough to make her #1 in Spain, and #2 for the 2012 Spanish Player of the Year. Makes for an interesting poker follow and potentially interesting end-of-year race … and she’s cute to boot (not that it should matter, but hey).

Like many of us, she cut her teeth in the American poker underground … and totally quirky, current WSOP Main Event champ Greg Merson who provided her first real-money online stake. Read her story here. And see below how new names emerge as notables on the poker landscape.


1. Vanessa Selbst 2390.65
2. Melanie Weisner 1546.48
3. Liv Boeree 1371.28
4. Ana Laura Marquez Esteban 1179.05
5. Maria Ho 1129.37

view more


1. Ana Laura Marquez Esteban 1179.05
2. Tomeu Gomila 1104.68
3. Carlos Mortensen 943.84
4. Juan Garcia Cid 941.67
5. Cesar Garcia 925.70

view more

Wider World of Poker

by , Oct 20, 2012 | 3:21 am

After very literally emerging from a Soviet bunker over the past week, I’m finding it difficult to integrate myself back into sublime British capitalism. Having a Russian man dispassionately tell you that, “now vee are in nuclear war,” as an alarming red light flashes in an underground corridor will do things to a man. Luckily there’s a whole warhead’s worth of worldwide poker news to help me readjust to society. Read on, you snivelling imperialist dogs. Oh, sorry.

Bodog Shifts Priorities

Making good on last week’s threats, Bodog have undertaken a daring raid into Asia. After abandoning their poker products throughout Europe, the copmany have welcomed onto their network, in an attempt to shift the focus of their business from West to East. [CardPlayer]

Possibly, but probably not, coincidentally, on the same day as Bodog confirmed their new parternship Sunderland A.F.C. – a mid-table team in the highest echelon of English football – announced as their official betting and gaming partner. []

France Masters Tournaments

There’s a distinctly Gallic feel to the big tournament results this week. Firstly the France Poker Series event in Mazagan, Morocco reached a dénouement. The victor was Karim El Rharbaoui, who picked up around €44,000 for his efforts. [Poker777]

Meanwhile, down in the boot of Europe, the EPT San Remo was grinding its way to a finale, with the French-sounding Canadian Jason Lavallee and actual French person Ludovic Lacay engaging in a swift heads up battle. Real France beat out psuedo-France to take the title. [Poker News Daily]

PokerStars Macau Announcement

I don’t often include tournament announcements in this roundup, but I think that news of anything new coming out of Macau is particularly interesting, given how under exploited it is. In fact, only PokerStars seem to have really grasped the bull by the horns (dragon by the ears?) so far as tournaments are concerned. To stand alongside the likes of the Macau Poker Cup, Stars have announced the Asian Championship of Poker – a $13k NLHE event that kicks off in just over a week. [Tight Poker]

Full Tilt Reward System Teased

If you were fond of building up Ironman streaks and cashing in 27% rakeback deals on your Full Tilt account then you’ll have to carry on pining. Full Tilt’s new reward system, details of which have been dribbled out onto 2+2, is a totally different animal. There does appear to be the possibility of earning a decent internal rakeback, but a move to the Weighted Contribution method will reward the aggressive player more than the tight. [Poker News Daily]

Dwan and Isildur on Tilt Again

Speaking of aggressive poker, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom and Tom “durrrr” Dwan will be reuniting on the virtual felt of Full Tilt as paid up members of the site’s new roster. Respectively the most exciting names in high stakes cash games for the last few years, Blom and Dwan join Gus Hansen in Full Tilt’s reformed team of sponsored pros. [PokerNews]

France and Spain Cosy Up

No doubt hastened by the news of massive contractions in the Italian gaming market, Spain and France have agreed a deal to share regulatory data. A deal which many see as a precursor to a shared player pool. The French have been running their own insular market for a while now, but newly regulated Spain will likely have some legitimate concerns about their ability to support their own isolationist economy. [PokerFuse]




Weekly Player Ranking List

by , Aug 27, 2012 | 11:07 pm

gpi global poker indexOver in Europe, Spain’s economy might be regularly on the brink of collapse, but that doesn’t prevent poker players from all over Europe from hitting Casino Barcelona with a €10k EPT main event buy-in. Turns out a Belarusian won it for about a million euros, and a rising American star took home nearly the same for his performance in the €50,000 Super High Roller event.

Spanish poker players, of course, turned out to be gracious hosts. Here are the top Spanish players, according to the newly recharged Global Poker Index:


#270 (+1) 1. Carlos Mortensen 1109.51
2. Juan Manuel Pastor 1005.91
3. Adria Maria Balaguer 1002.25
4. Cesar Garcia 944.89
5. (+1) Ana Laura Marquez Esteban 873.62

See the rest on the list here.

I still couldn’t begin to explain how this point system works differently than others, really, nor the difference between the GPI Top 100 and the GPI POY. (The latter is just 2012, while the other factors in 2 or 3 years of results, maybe?) Either way, Cesar Garcia is #1 on that list, while Ms. Ana Laura Marquez Esteban is #5 in both places … so you should probably know that.


Wider World of Poker

by , Jun 9, 2012 | 12:55 am

It’s been a busy old time here in England. Last weekend, a lot of people crowded into London to shout at an old lady on a boat, as part of a big ‘thank you’ party for giving us two days of extra holiday, or something like that.

Meanwhile the rest of the world sent their poker ambassadors to Las Vegas for the WSOP, so you might think this would be a quiet week for non-American poker news. You’d be right of course, but it hasn’t been a totally barren period so stop looking so smug.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

There’s a lot of talk among poker players about the nobility of their business. Such as a man only being as good as his word. The flipside of this is that when something goes awry all that dirty laundry gets a very public airing. The latest whistle blower is Douglas “WCGrider” Polk, who is claiming missing payments from Brad Booth. The player known as “Yukon” lost over $1,000,000 in the Ultimate Bet cheating scandal and has reportedly been borrowing money left right and centre. That includes $30,000 from WCGrinder, of which only $2,000 has been paid back. Booth has now changed his phone number and left the country. [TwoPlusTwo]

British pro Sam Trickett is threatening to reveal the identity of his own bad debtor, unless the unnamed (but apparently well-known) player pays up. [Tight Poker]

Spanish Freedoms

After a couple of minor bumps in the road, Spain has finally put its new regulatory plan into action. Companies hoping to operate in the country are required to apply for a license, which the Spanish seem only too happy to grant. PokerStars are already up and running, alongside familiar names like, 888, and Bet365. The latest company to be granted an Iberian permit is British betting exchange, Betfair. [Reuters]

Dutch Poker Plots

Online Casino Reports suggest that the Netherlands are looking to “adopt the Danish model”. Presumably this news concerns online gambling regulations and not foster parentage of a pastry statue. The Dutch currently have laws in place to prevent their citizens playing online, but much like UIGEA-era U.S.A everyone just ignores them. Unlike America, the government’s response has been to draw up plans for an open, regulated market. It parallels the system in Denmark, in that online casinos will be charged a lower rate of tax than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts. [Online Casino Reports]

PokerStars Tournament Hubbub

The huge jumble of tournaments over at PokerStars is undergoing some reconstruction. First up, the Macau Poker Cup has been cancelled. No reason has been given other than, “events beyond our reasonable control,” which could be pretty much anything. Maybe they got wind that the high stakes cash game players aren’t planning to trek back to Asia after the WSOP finishes. [Card Player]

It’s OK, dry your eyes, there’s a new online jem to take your mind off Macau. The MicroMillions festival is like the World Series for people who pay for things with loose change. There are one hundred events of all different shapes and sizes, with buy-ins ranging from $0.11 to $22. [PokerNews]

There’s a lot of Jubilee detritus littering the streets right now. I’ll do my best to avoid it and so long as I’m not swallowed up in a storm of bunting and miniature flags, I shall see you next week for more news from the Wider World of Poker.

Online Gambling Rain in Spain

by , Jun 5, 2012 | 9:51 am

It’s time for the Spanish online gambling market to open up, so it’s also time for all the would-be license candidates to pay up. Plus, Bwin pays out $50 million… but none of it is earmarked for the affiliates they shafted.

¡Qué Bueno! PokerStars Gets Licensed in Spain

by , Jun 1, 2012 | 6:06 am

I wasn’t paying close attention … but a glimpse of Twitter in the wee hours (morning time in Europe) revealed people waiting like they were watching the NBA lottery to see who would get the go ahead to serve up online poker in Spain.

I figured it was a done deal for PokerStars, the way all that spam those press releases started coming in a couple weeks ago from Estrellas Poker Tour.But apparently there was quite the scary period as the “first wave” got read — Codere, Cirsa, Jaxx, bet365 and Sportingbet — but now apparently all has returned to normal with PokerStars, the #1 online poker site in the world still, becoming more and more legit in places that don’t rely on weak or at least legally questionable laws (I’m looking at you, UIGEA) to facilitate a proper American-style shakedown.

Statement direct from PokerStarzistan below …

(My question: with getting the license, is still the largest poker site, or for the sake of accuracy should we start calling it “the world’s largest alliance of geographically restricted online poker sub-sites” or something like that? This kinda makes a difference for those of us still thinking about how online poker is gonna work in the US with that inter-vs-intra-state thing. But ultimately it’s all, right? And so that dot-net thing you really was just a bunch bullshit-dot-us? OK, Just checkin’ … and congrats!)


How a Tennis Star Could “Let” PokerStars into Spain

by , May 30, 2012 | 10:24 pm

Nadal, accepting 2008 Olympic gold medal, wrapped in Spain's flag

Nearly every poker player knows that May 27 kicked of the 2012 World Series of Poker. It was also the first day of Tennis’ coveted Rolland Garros, better known as the French Open. But that may not be only common feature between tennis and poker this year.

The Spanish blog PokerGenio posted a rumor that PokerStars had signed the Spanish tennis star, Rafael Nadal to a two-year endorsement deal (thanks Google translate). In a 2+2 thread on the topic, Marty “LipoFund” Mathis chimed in that he had “heard about this at the stars meeting.” 

Last year’s French Open final featured an epic showdown between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Nadal prevailed in the hard-fought battle. By signing Nadal, Pokerstars may be looking to prevail in the increasingly costly battle for Spain’s online poker market.

Spain plans to launch regulated online poker on June 1st. A number of poker sites, including Bodog and Titan, have folded their hand in Spain, rather than pay the new regulated tax rate of roughly 20 percent. But the remaining poker sites are going to have to dig even deeper if they want to operate in Spain.

As Pokerati’s token chief European Joe detailed, cash-strapped Spain recently upped the ante by shaking down online poker sites for back taxes. PokerStars’ back tax bill is estimated to be roughly $250 million. If the rumor about Nadal is true, it will say a lot about PokerStars’ intentions to pay for residence north of Gibraltar.

Wider World of Poker

by , May 26, 2012 | 5:02 am

A wise person once said, “money is very important in poker.” That was me. I said that. You might have thought, with your steam-powered brain, that this nugget concerned only towers of plastic chips being shuffled around in a million simultaneous cash games. Simpleton! Even away from the felt, fiscal forces buffet the poker industry, as we shall shortly see in this week’s Wider World of Poker.

Spanish Money Grab

I imagine that many of you have spent hours telling various friends why it would be a good idea for the U.S. government to legalize online poker. So fish out that tattered sheet of arguments and remind yourself of example 3.5: tax revenue.

The equation simply goes, if you allow online poker companies to operate in your country, you can generate piles of money and make a lot people happy. A manoeuvre hitherto considered impossible.

Cash-strapped Spain have taken this a step further. In anticipation of granting their first official licenses, Iberian authorities have suddenly decided to demand back taxes from all companies who were operating in the country from January 2009 to May 2011. The legal bedrock for these demands come from repurposing two old laws, created in the 60s and 70s. [Tax News]

Aussies Get Legal

With a glacial pace that befits government, country after country are laying the groundwork for their own regulated online gambling industry. Latest to fall into line are our friendly cousins from downstairs, the Australians. It’s all still rumour at the moment, but important people with fancy job titles are suggesting that regulations for online poker and in-play sports betting could become a reality in 6-12 months. [Daily Telegraph (AU)]

Grippo Grabs SCOOP Title 

The Spring Championship of Online Poker is over, a tradition used to mark the beginning of Summer since the ancient Egyptians invented multitabling. The victor of victors was Nick “GripsDsNutz” Grippo. He took down the $10,000 Main Event – the most expensive selection from three different buy-in tiers. His prize was around $800,000, earned not only by great play, but also a savvy piece of negotiation. Rich Ryan over at PokerNews has a great breakdown of how Grippo managed to walk away from a three-way deal with $100,000 in bonus equity. [Poker News]

40K Sit & Go Challenge

When sites like PokerStars announce that they’ve passed their seventy twentieth billionthty hand, it’s difficult to process just how vast that volume really is. With data collected over such a large spread of time that’s to be expected, but I never thought I’d have trouble comprehending the amount of poker one man plans plays in a single month.

Nevertheless that’s how I felt while hearing about Martin “phasE89” Balaz’s decision to play 40,000 Sit & Go tournaments in 30 days. The Czech pro has form in this seemingly insane arena, have previously completed a 24,000 SnG prop bet. I’m definitely pulling for him, if only thanks to the brilliantly grandiose trailer that he and a friend put together to advertise the challenge. That, and when PokerNews asked why he was doing it, he said, “I like popularity.” I can get behind that kind of honesty. [Poker News]

PokerStars a Fine Place to Work

It’s easy to be (often justifiably) cynical about the behemoths of online poker and their occasionally dubious activities, but hats off to PokerStars. Even amid the tumult of Black Friday, a survey of their employees by Great Place to Work have named them one of the UK’s finest workplaces. [Gaming Intelligence]

After that uncharacteristic burst of positivity, I need a rest. The sun has launched a surprise assault on my beloved London, so I’m going to do my part for the nation and lie down on the grass in an attempt to deflect the fiery orb’s attack rays back into space. If this glorious struggle doesn’t cost me my life, I’ll see you again next week for another Wider World of Poker.

Wider World of Poker

by , Mar 16, 2012 | 5:59 am

Isn’t the media weird? This week, my Prime Minister was left to wander the United States being posh. Luckily Barack caught up with him before he ensnared any commoners and the pair seem to have had a jolly old time. Most notably, watching basketball games while manoeuvring disturbingly yellow hot dogs into their faces.

In fact, the trip has been so void of substance that the BBC ran a report detailing how the U.S. press have had nothing to report. I expect the New York Times to respond with an even more self-reflexive story about the BBC and so on, until every media outlet only runs articles that detail what other outlets are not saying about what isn’t going on. Don’t fret, however. This faithful journalist will stick purely to the finest cuts of poker news, as this opening paragraph surely indicates.

Full Tilt and Tapie To Tie Up Tryst?

The rumour mill informs us that Full Tilt and Group Bernard Tapie have nearly finished thrashing out a deal to relaunch the tarnished site. We’ve experienced plenty of false dawns before, so don’t get out your party hats just yet. That said, Gaming Intelligence are reporting a deadline of today (March 16th) is in place, so we should know pretty soon whether or not to start laying out the celebratory buffet. [Part Time Poker]

Haxton Wins Again

The much anticipated rematch between Isaac Haxton and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom stumbled its way to completion earlier this week. As part of the PokerStars SuperStar Showdown the famously volatile Swede has been taking on, and beating, all comers. Haxton was one of the few to have bested him and proved the victor once again as they reunited. After 2500 hands, Isaac’s margin of victory was a slender $5,093. [Card Player]

Partouche Invasion

Typical! The Prime Minister leaves the country and the next thing you know, the French are invading our sovereign internet. Partouche – one of the big players in France’s insular gaming market – have got themselves a license from Malta and are planning to launch themselves on a handful of foreign countries, including the UK. Online sportsbook France-Pari are also getting in on the act. [Gambling Kingz]

Bulgaria & Online Gambling’s Love/Hate Relationship

Regulated online gambling is on its way to Bulgaria, with the local government hammering out the details of the country’s first Gambling Bill. Great news for Martenitsa-wearing poker players everywhere. However, the Bulgarian government clearly believe in maintaining a cosmic equilibrium, having first introduced legislation requiring ISPs to block all unlicensed sites. Given that it is not yet possible to acquire licenses, that black list would include just about everyone. [Novinite]

Spain Deny Early Licences

While we’re talking about licenses that don’t exist, let’s hop over to the other side of Europe for some tapas. With regulated online gambling almost upon the Spanish, there are rumours that some companies have had their license applications secretly pre-approved. Gaming regulator Enrique Alejo denies it. “Good progress had been made,” he told a journalist, before adding “oh look, a Spanish Imperial Eagle,” while stuffing large quantities of paper into a briefcase*. [Poker Fuse]

Italy a Hotbed of Euro-Poker 

If you’re looking for lots of online poker games in Europe, your best bet is to seek out the country shaped most like a piece of footwear. No other nation on the continent draws in as much cash from online poker, although the practice still pails in comparison to the buzzing, flashing gaming machines that pepper non-digital Italy. [Market Watch]

*Some of that last sentence may not be 100% factually accurate.

Wider World of Poker

by , Feb 17, 2012 | 6:09 am

Wow, what a week it’s been. All of those events that happened! Do you remember the one with the things? What about the person who was doing all that behaviour? Oh, the stories we will tell our grandchildren.

That’s the kind of introduction I’d love to have written, but in reality it’s been a humble week for poker news. To jazz things up, pretend that Daniel Negreanu is preparing a vblog tirade in response to each story.

PokerStars Launch UK App

First up we have PokerStars revealing their evil scheme to greatly increase neck damage among their customers by forcing them to stare down at their newly released mobile app. The software, which supports real money multi-tabling, allows the hordes of pasty-faced grinders to get some sunshine without having to abandon the felt. They could market it as a Vitamin D supplement. [Poker News Report]

Spanish Bullfight

It’s Spain vs. Spain vs. Everyone on the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish government are so excited about getting their regulated online gambling market up and running they have moved the deadline for license applications forward to March 31st. Not everyone is totally thrilled about the idea, however. Most of the big names have been operating offshore in Spain for years and local operators Codere are very grumpy about it. They’ve started firing out injunctions towards all the sites that were trading in Spain before the new legislation passed. So far they’ve forced Sportingbet to pay €2 million and have been rebuffed in their attempts to stifle PokerStars. [CardPlayer] & [Casino Advisor]

Serbia Plays Hardball

Meanwhile, in Serbia, similar legislative tussles are taking place, but the government have decided to handle all the tussling themselves. The Balkan state passed new online gambling legislation in November requiring licenses, taxes, regulations, and all that good stuff. With a number of big gaming companies yet to sign up to the new system, the government have issued an ultimatum to those who remain off-shore. Names on the list include 888,, and Ladbrokes. The choice is simple: sign up for a license in the next six months or get your ISP banned. []

PokerStars Love EU

Start as you mean to finish. That’s terrible advice, but whatever, it’s back to PokerStars to conclude this week’s roundup. The poker giants did a good job buttering up the Europeans this week with the release of This new front-end for what is essentially the same old service does have a few implications for tax laws in certain countries. Right now, poker players in Sweden and Finland have to pay 50% tax on their winnings from offshore operators. is licensed in Malta – a member of the EU which does not charge any taxes on gambling – saving Nordic degenerates a whole heap of cash. Hyvää onnea! [Poker News]

If that snapshot of worldwide poker news wasn’t enough for you, why don’t you stop complaining and do something about it? Go and win a tournament or moon Gus Hansen or something. Off with you.

Wider World of Poker

by , Jan 4, 2012 | 4:25 pm

This is the bleakest time of year. When festivities have faded, but the bitter cold maintains its grip. A time when you are forced to chain yourself to the grindstone for another 12 months, as fresh-faced resolutions are crushed under the weight of your own inescapable weakness. Sorry about that. Maybe I can cheer you up with some news from poker’s farthest shores. This week we’ve got tales of resignation, government crackdowns, robbery, and assault. Feeling better yet?

France Announces Online Poker Crackdown

It’s a good time to be in European online poker, so long as you’re on the list. France have been running a strictly regulated market since May 2010, but have this month enacted laws which require ISPs to proactively prevent French players from accessing unlicensed sites. This follows similar action taken by the Belgian government. Meanwhile, Spain – one of the big EU countries without a regulated market – has elected to delay its online gambling plans until June 30th. [Poker News]

Duthie Says Cheerio

John Duthie has left PokerStars. You might be thinking, “Who cares about John Duthie! So long as they still have Liv Boeree, it’s all good. She’s so hot, ship it holla check-raise.” Oh you and your staggering ignorance. The wiser heads in the audience will know that Duthie is lauded among the poker community thanks to his founding of the European Poker Tour. John spearheaded the tour to great success, but as part of his resignation, has also decided to step down as EPT CEO. Although he may not be as high profile as some of his former team mates, John is a highly respected member of the industry and you can be sure that the game’s movers and shakers have taken note of his departure. [Poker News Report]

Regal Reward for Betting Queen

The founder of Bet365, Denise Coates, has been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the UK’s New Year’s Honours list. Now that our empire has shrunk to size of a tiny thimble, this title has become a purely symbolic ‘well done’ from the monarchy. For your reference, a CBE is one rank below Knight and Dame-hood in Britain’s chivalric hierarchy. As part of the ceremony, Denise gets to meet the Queen and listen to her say things like, “What do you do?” “Oh that’s nice,” and “I have this special badge for you.” [BBC]

WSOP Bracelet Theives are All In Jail

In Canada, which is mostly empty, four men and one woman will have to locate the Longueuil courthouse. They are summoned to hear charges that include aggravated assault and armed robbery, all accrued while breaking into the home of former World Champion, Jonathan Duhamel. Although their cases are yet to be heard, it seems that the nexus of the robbery may have been Duhamel’s former girlfriend, Bianca Rojas-Latraverse. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. [CTV]

Cheer up mate! Things are looking good for poker after all. I mean, barring some sort of Even Blacker Friday, 2012 has got to be an improvement over last year. If that much-analysed DoJ opinion bears the fruit we’re all desperately hoping it does, perhaps this will prove to be one of the industry’s finest hours. Hope springs eternal.

Wider World of Poker

by , Nov 2, 2011 | 5:10 pm

This autumnal winds of Dorset attempted to blow me out to sea, but I stayed rooted to the shore like defiant bollard. I knew that without their weekly dose of un-American gambling news, Pokerati readers might immediately expire. I couldn’t live with that on my conscience, so I’m back from my holiday with a suitcase full of facts.

# 888’s Third Quarter Upswing

While you Americans were outdoors being adventurous, we Brits carried on our time honoured tradition of ‘staying indoors and being poor’. At least that’s what 888 Holdings Plc credit for the massive boost in revenue they’ve been enjoying recently. The company banked $86 million in the third quarter and grew their userbase to over 10 million. [Reuters]

# Spain say eCOGRA are A-Okay

ecogra logoSpain have opened their doors to fully regulated online gambling, but before you can get your hands on a shiny Spanish license, you need to have your software thoroughly examined by an accredited agency. eCOGRA – whose seals are sported by the likes of Party Poker – have been given the blessing of the local government to carry out these inspections. eCOGRA’s CEO made happy noises at the news, but also took the chance to moan about EU nations being allowed to develop contrasting systems. [eCOGRA]

# MacPhee Takes Aim at the Hendon Mob

barney barnyVeteran British grinder Barny Boatman kept his upper lip fully stiffened this week after enduring a verbal barrage from American pro Kevin ‘ImaLuckSac’ MacPhee. The fracas took place on Twitter, in the aftermath of the latter’s exit from the EPT San Remo. MacPhee, who is not a qualified physician, branded Boatman a “f*cking r*tard” for eliminating him from the event. In reaction, Boatman took the Hendon Mob forums to present an eloquent defence of his play. [Poker News Report]

It’s not been the most thrilling week in worldwide poker. America has clutched all the big news to its bosom like a greedy news-clutching monster. Even going so far as to steal away reliable Euro headline makers Nevertheless, I shall continue to sift through the bins of the internet, searching out the choicest morsels for your delectation. Until next week…

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.


Barcelona Gypsies 1, Tom Minus $450

by , Oct 15, 2007 | 7:50 pm

I made the trip to Barcelona to play in the WPT Spanish Championship. This trip was a big mistake in so many ways, but for this particular post, I’m going to reveal what a true dumbass I really am.

My friend John lives in Barcelona and has for several years. He takes Julie and I down to this famous street called the Ramblas…don’t know if that’s the right spelling, and I don’t give a shit either. He looks at Julie’s wedding ring and suggests she not wear it and says that the only real crime in Barcelona is pick pocketers, so watch your purse and your wallet. I’m guarding my wallet like a pit bull and watching Julie’s purse like a trained assassin.

We are walking down the street and we see statue people. They dress up in unusual costumes and people pay them for this. We stumble onto this group of people in a circle making a lot of noise. I always like to see what’s going on so Julie, John and I squeeze in. The guy has 3 tops of match boxes which he rotates and scrambles while hiding a pea underneath one of them… in essence a shell game. The strange thing about this shell game is that people are winning at it and the pea is actually easy to spot in many cases. Enter dumbass.