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  • Aruba

    Hey all,

    I guess I'm a little overdue in getting this report up which I owe to all of you, so here goes. There's not going to be a lot of detail on hands played, etc. because I'm not real good about remembering too much of that stuff. Also, I'm not going to talk at all about the WPT main event because my play there stunk something fierce. Don't worry though I didn't mention that I was a PSO student to too many people there so you all don't have to be associated with my crappy play.

    First, a little background. I won a trip to the Ultimate Poker Classic II in Aruba and entry into the WPT event there. I put $50 into my account in August, built it up to a couple of hundred in low limit ring games and eventually entered an Aruba super-satellite for $100 where one in 60 wins the trip package. I won that super and my wife and I started making our travel plans.

    Before I get to the poker I just want to say a little about the island of Aruba. The place is absolutely gorgeous and the weather is awesome (perhaps a little warm for some). Our hotel there was wonderful (The Radisson - thank you UB for upgrading us at the last minute). All in all, it's a great place to visit even if there wasn't some amazing poker to be played there. Even if I didn't have the oportunity to play in a WPT event, I was already a winner for just having the trip paid for.

    The event this year attracted most of poker's finest players. From Doyle and T.J. to most of the younger final table stars from last year's WPT events. I felt like I was at the poker equivalent of one of those adult sports fantasy camps. Of course, I was also scared **itless that these guys were going to be taking all of my chips.

    Before the main event I decided to play in a $545 limit HE event to warm up. When I sit down at my table, Peter Costa (who had just been introduced at a seminar earlier as the top player in Europe right now) is sitting to my left. I notice a guy a couple of seats over who's wearing his WSOP championship bracelet (turns out to be Barry Shulman of CardPlayer fame) and he and Peter know about three other guys at my table (one of whom turns out to be Kenna James who is also a very good player). I'm thinking I'm in big trouble at this point and I may have been if I'd got a few playable hands. The few hands I did play I feel I did real well with, got up a little in chips but eventually faded away as the blinds went up and the cards went cold.

    Peter and Barry were just a couple of the very personable and welcoming pros that I met there. Peter was out before me and Barry shortly after but I'm sure the 4th place in the main event more than made up for Barry. Barry's son Jeff was also a great guy (even if he did graduate from my alma mater's big rival).

    Other top players that I enjoyed speaking to: PSO's own Jennifer Harman - I didn't have the oportunity to play with her (I was really looking forward to posting some questions on hands that we might have both been playing in) but I did go introduce myself and told her how much all of us PSO'ers enjoyed her writing here. She was every bit as friendly and charming as you might imagine from her well thought-out posts here at the school. Andy Bloch - I ran in to him a couple of times during the time I was there and every time he was friendly and was wonderful to chat with. He even gave me a few one-on-one tips about playing live (unsolicited and very much welcomed).

    My poker highlight for the weekend came the second day of the main event (I had already busted out the first day). I played another $545 tournament, this time NLHE. There were about 150 people in this one and my first table was nowhere near as rough as the limit event. There was no one at the table initally that I recognized so I imagine that everyone else was an online winner like me with limited experience. I did real well this time, building my stack up nicely as the tourney progressed. About half way through, Tom McEvoy and Kathy Liebert were both moved to my table at the same time. Tom had about 1/2 as many chips as I did and Kathy had about the same number. I eventually got the honor of busting Tom and managed to hold my own against Kathy.

    I ended up finishing 12th and getting a payout of $850. I know that's not much, but that's my first big buy-in money finish.

    So, now I've really got the live tourney bug. PSO'ers can look out for me at as many of the west coast PSO live events as I can justify making. Also, the glitz and glamour around a WPT event are intoxicating. I'll probably try and play a few of the super-satellites for the more local events that remain this season on the off-chance that I win my way into another big event (I promise I'll play better this time).

    Also, as much as I hate promoting other pay sites, I would highly recommend other PSO'ers think about cruising over to UB after Jan. 11th and try their hands at gaining entry into next year's event (in your spare time when you're not playing for all the wonderful cash and prizes available at Bugsys). They're guaranteeing a $4M prize with $1M for first place. I'm sure that there are plenty of PSO'ers better than myself that can easily win their way in (and who knows, they might not even suck as bad as I did in the main event and make some serious money!).

  • #2
    A 12th place finish and you bury it at the end of your report??
    MAN< THAT IS AN AWESOME FINISH out of 150 or so people! I am very impressed!

    When you get a chance, could you PM me or post on here some of the other things about Aruba that might not have included poker? What about snorkeling, etc.

    Thanks for a great report! The only thing missing was my being there !!


    • #3
      Originally posted by NewJane
      A 12th place finish and you bury it at the end of your report??
      Got to agree with Jane on this one. (Of course, since disagreeing with Jane is not good for your health)

      Tell us all about your money finishes early. It will gain you more readers and there are a big bunch of us here at pokerschool who truely enjoy other peoples success.

      Great Job! Keep up the good work.



      • #4
        Thanks for the kind words.

        One other trip follow-on to add. While in Aruba I was interviewed by Linda Johnson for an article that just came out in CardPlayer asking a few questions of those of us who had won online. For those of you who don't get the mag (and why the heck don't you?) you can read the article at: . I'm Brian VanLoo and my comments are about 1/2 way through.



        • #5
          Originally posted by TheBrain
          While in Aruba I was interviewed by Linda Johnson for an article that just came out in CardPlayer asking a few questions of those of us who had won online. For those of you who don't get the mag (and why the heck don't you?) you can read the article at: . I'm Brian VanLoo and my comments are about 1/2 way through.
          Congrats on your 12th place finish in the NLHE event! Even though things didn't go your way in the main event, I'm sure you'll remember the trip for years.

          I had just read the article you attached yesterday while waiting for a tourney to start in my local casino. I remember thinking that people really seemed to have a great time at the tourney and that someday I'd like to play in one myself!




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