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GG Swine Flu

I’ve now found my way to Macau for the start of the Asian season. I arrived after a chilly, but mostly safe flight with discount airline Viva Macau. I didn’t have to flap my arms out the window and the most dangerous thing about the flight was pretending not to cry during Marley and Me. Since when did Jennifer Aniston movies become more than a mindless perve?

One good thing about Viva Macau was that we landed right in the heart of Macau, and after a ten minute cab we were at our hotel. No transfers, no ferries, no fuss! Unfortunately some of our friends and colleagues on the same flight two days later wouldn’t have the same fortune as their flight was delayed, then cancelled and they were forced to pay $900 to get on another flight. They kindly get their refund in 6-8 weeks. WP Viva Macau. Please get me home in one piece. One time.

So we spent the first three days at the beautiful Galaxy StarWorld Hotel. Our view was spectacular from the 30th floor, across downtown Macau and across to the lake. We spent the first few days busily working on finishing the third edition of the PokerNews AU magazine, and sorting out details for the newly announced merger between PokerNews, PokerNetwork and our closest competitor Bluff Australasia. It’s a pretty exciting time as we now have a mega-super power in poker in Australia.

We then had the APT event which ran pretty smoothly, which David Steicke pwned to finish 4th, and of course the infamous APT player party. Held in the Presidential Suite of the Galaxy StarWorld Hotel, it was an incredible night. Before we’d even had time to grab our first beer, we witness two of the most stunning APT models, dressed in nothing but body paint, posing for photos. The suite was awesome and although there were no spa antics this time around (apparently due to the carnage imparted on the room last year), there was still plenty of fun to be had. One memorable moment was being introduced to John Juanda in the queue for the gents and then watch him stagger in, and stumble back out, pissed as a fart.

After an unexpected tiff which left Garry making an early exit, the rest of us ventured over to the infamous D2 nightclub. Not being a fan of nightclubs, I was reluctant to go, but was half interested to see what all the fuss was about. We arrived at the overly-crowded, overly-loud club and I bumped into APPT President Jeffrey Haas within about five minutes who invited me to his VIP booth with 4 bottle of scotch, beers and more sitting on the table. Unable to talk over the fkn loud as hell music, he poured me a scotch…neat. I battled away for a swig or two before grabbing a coke to make the scotch drinking somewhat more enjoyable. It became a whole lot more enjoyable when I found out Saab was paying the tab. Bottoms up! Fruity test tubes of some unknown cocktail followed by shots that resembled chocolate milkshakes and the rest of the evening became a whole lot more blurry. There were rumours of yours truly “carving up the dancefloor”, “shakin what yo mamma gave you”, “work it, work it, oh yeh” but they are unsubstantiated gossip. I recall an overly-aggressive Chinese promo girl wanting to get me up onto the dance floor. When I politely declined, (girlfriend is in the bathroom, got lost in translation) her response was to aggressively grab my wrist and attempt to drag my sorry ass out there herself. This was no flirtatious grab. She was one strong chick (read lady boy). It felt more like she was grabbing me to throw me out, such was her aggression. Short of slapping her in a sleeper hold to get her to calm the fuck down, I held onto the bar with my other hand and rode out the pulling affect until she got bored about five minutes later and left. The good news is that my wing span is now three metres.

The next night I played my first live cash session in god knows how long. Maybe six months. Maybe more. I played 10/20 with Tim and first hand picked up AKo UTG. I raised to 70 and got onehundredandseventyfivemilliontybillion callers, so I check folded on the baby flop. I stacked a guy with pocket kings, and won another nice pot with trip sevens where I got three streets of value town. There are two hands were somewhat interesting. The first was in a seven-way limped pot, I had pocket fives in the small blind and caught a set on a 573 flop. I checked, expecting one of the many limpers to toss something into the middle, allowing me to check-raise. A mistake I guess, but life is never easy OOP right? Everyone checked around of course. Turn was an innocent looking 2. I led out for 100 into 140 and got one caller on the button. River A. The board is rainbow, so I only fear a four. I can’t really put a button limper on many fours, but I can certainly get value from a two pair, esp if he has an ace. So I put out a part blocking, part value bet of 150. If I’m raised, I have to fold, but 150 is cheaper than me check-calling, and allows me to get value from a worse hand that might check behind. He tanked and tanked and muttered something about me having four-six before making a crying call. I assumed I win, and flip my cards. He then turns over Q4. WP. This same guy tanked with a flopped set earlier in the evening against Ducky who had shoved with a straight+flush draw. So sick.

The other interesting spot was in one of the last hands of my night. After two limpers, I’d decided I didn’t want any customers when I looked at AK, so I made it 140. A guy in the small blind then raised to 420. This was a sick spot as this guy had only shown AA and QQ all evening. We were both at around 3,000 deep, so part of me thinks a call is ok. Online I definitely call or four-bet, but I guess live, I had enough of a read on this guy to realise I was either dead or drawing to an three/six outs. I folded and he showed pocket kings.

I ended up HK$940 in front, and then proceeded to lose $1,000 the next night on a fun but retardedly rigged game of three-card Baccarat. GG and I had so many opportunities to crush this game when the dealer would tease us with a 3, 2, 1 or even a 0, but we would show our utter naivety for the supreme skill of this game, and we continually failed to better the dealer’s score. Time, and time, and time, and time again. On our final hand, with it all on the line the dealer pulled a 1. GG pulled 6,3, muthfkn A. I squeezed monkey, monkey, monkey. WP three-card Baccarat dealer. We then jumped over to regular Baccarat, and although I wasn’t playing I was thoroughly entertained by GG taking on random Asian guy in an epic heads-up Baccarat duel. The Asian dude had a tell, he was angry when he had a good hand, and happy when he had a bad hand. So when he looked really upset one time we knew we were in trouble (since GG was always betting on the opposite to this guy). The Asian dude looked down, then looked at us and said “Bye bye!” and flipped natural nine. Slowrolling mutha fucka! From there it was game on, and GG was steaming after losing around 4k but he got back to square and we moved on.

We’ve now jumped over to the Sofitel Hotel and are working at the Grand Lisboa Casino for the APPT Macau event. I guess you are wondering why I have actually updated this blog. Well it’s simple. Swine flu. A few days ago I picked up some nasty virus, origins unknown, and have been in quarantine. From states of eyeball-rolling hazes, to supreme sweats, to earth-shattering chills, the last three days have had it all, but it’s given me a chance to finally update this blog! The bad news for readers is that I’ve shaken off the worst of it, and expect to be back at work again tomorrow. Unfortunately I don’t get sick often, so stay tuned for the next update!

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