If you want to see the poker world you have to hit the road, and lately I have certainly put in my share of miles.  Last week I stopped into Cork for the UKIPT, one of the greatest poker tours on the planet.  I’ve spent plenty of time playing poker in Ireland, but had yet to make it down to Cork, surely one of the friendliest places on earth.  They are passionate about their poker in Cork, and also passionate about their black pudding.

Some people aren’t crazy about black pudding, a mix of oatmeal, spices and some mystery meats, but when it’s served up on a breakfast plate called the Full Irish it suits me just fine.  Of course the pints of Guinness were flowing, and down in Cork they drink an even more local black brew called Murphy’s.  Irish hospitality is the stuff of legends, and one evening I found myself with three pints lined up in front of me on the bar because they were buying them far faster than I was drinking them. 

Now it’s known that the Guinness tastes better in Ireland than anywhere else, but I was also informed that the pour of Irish Guinness is such an art that a pint must be drunk within fifteen minutes or else it loses its flavor.  If I couldn’t drink faster, I was told, they’d have to throw the pints out!  Needless to say, this made for a messy night.  I’ll be back in Ireland next month for the Irish Open, one of the oldest poker tournaments in Europe, held every Easter weekend in Dublin.  If I had to choose only one tournament a year to go to for both the poker and fun, it would be the Irish Open every time.

Speaking of old European poker tournaments, I’m currently in Vienna, Austria, for the WPT Baden. The tournament is being held at the Casino Austria in Baden, which is also the former site of the Poker EM.  For most of the 1990’s and a few years beyond, the Poker European Masters was one of the biggest tournaments in the world and attracted a monster field for their seven-card stud shootout with a six figure first prize.  When Poker Stars Team Pro Theo Jorgensen won the event in 2004, it was his first major title and the beginning of his professional poker career.  In 2000, the title was won by none other than the poker brat himself, Phil Hellmuth Jr.

Vienna is full of old world charm, but aside from the poker I mostly like to concentrate on the food. And the thing about good Austrian cuisine is that there’s really no other place in the world that you can get it. Of course you must make time for a Wienerschnitzel.  The secret to a good Wienerschnitzel is in the preparation, and when we could hear a hammering from the kitchen we knew it was our schnitzels being pounded flat before being pan-fried in a special mix of butter and oil.  Accompanied by potato salad and a local pilsner in a tall glass, it’s a perfect meal.  But enough with the food talk, I’m here to talk to you all about the PokerStars World Blogging Championship of Online Poker or the WBCOOP as it’s often known by.

The WBCOOP is a fantastic promotion run each year around this time by PokerStars, the world’s leader in online poker. You find all the information you need on this year’s promotion right HERE and also I’ve found a video on You Tube of Team Online player Tyler ‘frosty012’ Frost which you can watch below. As an added incentive I will be handing out some ‘Big Bang’ tickets to bloggers who post really good content here at PSO so that’s a great reason to use PSO to post your WBCOOP entry. I’ll give you four tips to the kind of thing I’m looking for in a great blog.

1. Good Content – Your blog shouldn’t be too short and for the WBCOOP promotion it must be a minimum of 500 words long. Think for about 5-10 minutes about what you are going to blog about before you start to write. Use Microsoft Word to write your blog as this will keep a word count for you and also help with a spellcheck. You can also then save your blog on your PC as a handy back-up.

2. Bling Your Blog – A photo or image really adds color to what would otherwise be a very monotone page. At PSO you can add an image to your blog or even embed a you-tube video in it which is great for all you video bloggers out there like Tyler below for example.

3. Entertain Us – Remember that other people will be reading your blogs so try not to bore them to death. One thing that I find is that it’s often the little things, like my Full Irish Breakfast above that gets the most comments from people. It’s not going to change anyone’s world but it’s quirky and people like that.

4. Snoop Around – Take some time out to read and comment on other members’ blogs, this will be time well spent. You will pick up lots of ideas from other blogs here and it’s a really nice gesture to leave an encouraging comment on another member’s blog. They remember this and return the favor someday.

So those are a few of my quick-tips for blogging, I hope you find them useful. Over the weekend you will see a new section at PSO called ‘Star Blogs’. What you will find in there will be some of the best blogs posted by PokerSchoolOnline members and every blog that gets featured in this new section will be awarded a ‘Big Bang’ ticket.

So what are you waiting for, get your blogging career on track today and I really really hope that a PokerSchoolOnline member can win this year’s WBCOOP, which would be awesome!

Good Luck to All!

The Prof.

[youtube link="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XtXdMClhwis"]