Australia Trip Report Part 2


I'm back home and feeling A-OK after pretty much three days without sleep. The plane was ok, somehow the films were all different on the last flight and I was treated to 'Hot Rod' which is probably the funniest film of the year. One guy nearly died on my first plane and had to be revived, on the 2nd plane I had to wrestle a mobile phone out of the hands of a young Chinese guy that couldnt understand English or the fact that its very dangerous to be texting your mates at 30,000 feet.

The wedding was bordering on perfect. It was on a beach on the best day of the year, weather wise. The bride look stunning, the groom looked cool and we even saw a whale jump out of the water, almost as if it had been organised somehow.

Of course, as soon as it got to the dancing stage of the night it was just like any other wedding Ive been to. A bunch of pissed up Ozzies dancing to 'Land down under' by Men at Work capped the night off.

So I arrived in Melbourne on Monday and my hotel, in the Crown Casino, was the best Ive ever stayed in. Brilliant view, luxury room and every thing I could wish for (though the porn was pretty soft).

I'm not an expert Omaha player, Im a winning player, but really a hold'em man. My strategy is simple, wait for the nuts and let an idiot pay me off. So I entered the $200 PLO Rebuy event purely for the experience. By the end of the rebuy period I had played only a few hands, got myself to average and added on. I had only invested $400 and one guy at my table must have stuck in $3000.

So I opened up a little at the freezeout stage, I managed to triple up with quad aces at one point (runner runner to boot) but rarely went above the average. To my amazement I managed to 'fold' my way to the money, and somehow folded my way to the final table.

Now, I do think I played well pre-cashing, but it dawned on me after that I had NO CLUE WHATSOEVER about Omaha end game tournament strategy. I didnt know what constituted a pushing hand and what didnt. Normally at a final table that included Tino Lechich and Lee Nelson I may have been intimidated, but its hard to be intimidated when you have no positive attributes that could be cast into doubt.

I finished 4th for $8700 and was dissapointed I couldnt fold my way to the title. Tino won it and was probably the best player on the day. I think I deserved to cash but didn't really deserve to make the final table, especially not 4th.

So I was pretty knackered after this, it was day two and the final was just after noon, after going to bed around 4 am. It was about 5pm when I busted and I had already preregistered weeks ago for the next event starting at 7pm, so I decided to just hang around and wait for that.

500 players registered in total for the $230 NLHE, which meant I was potentially in for a long night. I decided to go for it and build a big stack, even found myself all in with just a pair of jacks early to do this. Before I knew it, 350 players were gone and another cash was looking good.

I was totally fucked, I looked like a zombie at the table and was using all of my resources to make poker decisions. It was actually the best I had played live in a long time. I sat keeled over, barely able to open my eyes and occassionally mustered the energy to say 'all in', but I cashed easy in the wee hours when we got down to 50.

As the time dragged on another final table was in my sights, I had built a bigish stack but the structure was so fast that I ended up all in with pocket tens against King Queen soon enough. The flop was merciful, in that it spiked a king right away instead of shafting me on the river. I was out in 14th place for nearly another grand and was totally devastaed.

I really wanted to make back to back final tables more than anything, I currently am looking ok in the Pokernews Cup leaderboard and a second final would have probably secured me winning it and the Aussie Millions package that comes with it.

So my last day in Oz was spent getting pissed and playing a cash table, with also very pissed Nick Wright from WPT Magazine. We were rowdy, straddling, doing our best Sam Farha impression and throwing all the money in with nothing. Somehow, despite being both wankered, we both managed to take a grand from the Aussies here and avoided getting our heads kicked in too. I actually played pretty well for a drunk and its a good table image to exploit if you can pull it off.

Poker in Australia is great. The standard is pretty poor, the people are very fun and the Crown Casino is the best Poker Venue I think that exists outside of Vegas. I came back $11,000 better off, which is not bad considering I went for a mates wedding.

I have treated the missus to a Nintendo Wii when I got back, we have both deluded ourselves into thinking its a valid form of 'exercise'.

Australia Trip Report Part 1

I'm halfway through my Australia trip and most of the guys are sleeping off a hangover mixed with sea sickness. I am just as ill but am trying to walk it off to get a better sleep tonight.

The flight was, relativley speaking, a doddle. 22 hours in total and despite slighty cramped, the service was second to none. Having already seen all the films I had to settle for some godawful sitcoms instead. One very poor australian one about some dumb bitch that cant pay her rent, another ABC american one about a 'single career girl that cant find Mr right' and the American version of the Office - which is part genius part akin to the raping of ones grandmother in a house of worship.

Eventually I started to watch the new Kevin Coster film, which alas sent me to sleep. That will be on a loop for my flight back.

Sydney is a lovely city. Like London or New York but without the hecticness (Is that a word?). I managed to find the time to play a little cash at the Star City Casino. Although I dropped nearly $500, let me tell you, the standard of play is awful in Sydney.

Any raise gets called by at least 3 players and you cannot get an Ozzie off a pair, in fact, you cant get an Ozzie off queen high. I had two big hands cracked by three outers to lose my money, but had a very nice time regardless.

Im in Byron Bay right now, a small hippy beach town. Its fantastic, completely unspoilt (Well, it was spoilt in the 70s and hasnt been since) and relaxing. Had a little too much beer last night and found myself in a trio of friends puking over the side of a dingy today. We were supposed to be 'whale watching' but the combined hangover and sea sickness meant the only thing we were watching was last nights barbeque as it left our guts.

Im off to my mates wedding tommorow and then over to Melbourne for a week long session at the pokernews cup.

Hopefully I can at least break even from the country whose poker skills I have been so quick to ridicule.


I'm gearing up for my trip to Australia, which starts on Saturday morning. We're flying with Singapore Airlines, whom are apparantley the dogs bollocks, however I checked out their film list for October and I've seen all of them. That should make the 30+ hour flight go quickly.

I went shopping today for a few travel essentials, including summer clothes. The good news was that summer clothing is in the sales right now, the bad news is that I have unwittingly bought a load of beige and khaki gear, which means I am going to look like Indiana Jones while I'm out there.

So I arrive in Sydney for a few days, then off to Byron Bay for a few more and my friends wedding. I end in Melbourne where I am playing in the Pokernews Cup, where I will also be sampling a game called Crazy Pinapple which Im looking forward too.

As much as I cannot wait, and as much as really need a good break, right now I am playing the poker of my life on the ipoker cash tables. I know it seems silly, but whenever I'm running good I always worry that any sort of break will see me 'forget' whatever it is that is making me win. I just came back from a two week break at the WSOPE and if anything the break made me play better, so maybe this is a good thing.

Either way I've got some nice extra spending money for Oz (assuming I don't donk it all off between now and Saturday)
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