Day 1 - Arrival

On Wednesday morning I started my rather long journey from Düsseldorf to the Isle of Man, land of the PokerStars HQ. The actual flight time was no more than 2 hours on board of two small propeller-driven planes, but there was a lot of wait at London City airport in between flights. After a total of 7 hours travel accompanied by the soothing effect of my iPad entertainment I arrived at Ronaldsway airport. I got a little bit of a Game of Thrones impression during the landing close to the rough sea and especially after entering the airport:

I got picked up by a super friendly taxi driver who took me to Douglas where the PokerStars HQ located on a cliff overseeing the ocean and the promenade. Upon arriving there I met my Team Online mates Alex 'Kanu7' Millar, Andre 'acoimbra' Coimbra and his girlfriend, had lunch with and got shown around the office by Team Online manager Chris Jonat. Although I can't disclose any details I can say we were all very impressed with what we saw.

Shortly after I checked into my hotel room at the Sefton which is directly located on the prom next to the site overlooking the ocean. Later that day I met up with Christin, my former PokerSchool boss, and Team Online mate 'daleroxxu' for some drinks at the Sefton bar and to register for the mainevent at the site nearby.

At night we all made our way to the location of VIP Club Live, another one of these great parties
hosted by PokerStars for players, Team Pro, Team Online and staff members. Just like it was in
Berlin we had free drinks, great food, music, entertainment from a magician, interesting encounters and good conversations. I met up with André aka "HoRRoR" who some of you may know as a former PokerSchool trainer and Christin invited us both to take us for a short roadtrip around the island the next day as we both would play the mainevent on day 1B.

Day 2 - Roadtrip around the island

After breakfast Christin took us for the promised trip around the southern half of the island. The
weather was quite good, we had some sun and were able to get some great views from different vista points:

In the evening we had another Team Online gathering where I also met my Team Online Week Coach Isaac 'Ike' Haxton and his wife. We had pizza, great talks and a lot of fun that night. Even though I got to know so few of my Team Online mates up until now I have to say they are all superfriendly and supersmart people. It was a real pleasure spending time with them on the island and it is an understatement to say I feel honoured to be on a team with them.

Day 3 - Mainevent Day 1B

Shortly after breakfast I made my way to the UKIPT site Villa Marina and take my seat at table 1
of this beautiful venue.

At my table was PokerStars' own SteveD whom you may know from the 2+2 Pokercast. For the PS staff this tourney was something very special as they would not only get to play in their own homegame but also showcase what they were doing to the locals. Every PS employee even had their own PS staff patch on.

During the first levels I played the tourney just like a cashgame and was able to build up my stack from 20k to 30k easily as I had so much room to maneuver with the blinds so low. However I shouldn't have put too much effort into trying to bluff the wrong people at my table as I was constantly getting up to 3 streets of value even with weakish top pair type hands. In one spot which I found to be a great opportunity to make chips I tried to barrel somebody off a board but he ended up calling me down with naked A9o.

How it went for me from there you can read in my next installment of this tripreport!