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Sometimes in poker, you have to be careful of what you wish for. Well, that also applies to other things in life...I had often watched poker on TV and wished for the opportunity to commentate on players and to how they perform. Well...I just got my chance. And I have to be honest, it may not be easy as you think.
I had just spent the last three months back home in the UK chilling out. It was my first real break away from poker for almost three years. I think I was trying to reserve some energy for what I expect will be a very tough year on the poker circuit. As has been the case for the last two years, my year was due to begin with a trip to Australia and to the Aussie Millions in Melbourne. As some of you will probably know, this event has been very good for me with nine finals and a win in the main event. I planned to break up the trip from the UK to Australia with a mini-break in Hong Kong. Then something happened on the way to the travel agent - I was offered a chance to present and commentate on a TV poker show. It was now just a small matter of going to Australia via Los Angeles. Hong Kong will have to wait for another year.
The Caribbean Poker Classic was recently held on the beautiful island of St Maarten. The $5,000 buy-in event was put together by the WagerLogic poker network and consisted mostly of online qualifiers. It was therefore no surprise to see that the final contained just one pro and five amateurs. It made for interesting viewing...
I was delighted that my co-presenter for the show was to be none other than tournament director extraordinaire, Matt Savage. As you probably know, Matt has run tournaments all over the world and is well renowned for being one of the best. Well...he astounded the production crew at the ease in which he took control for presenting on TV - he was just pure joy to work with. Matt, you have found your new calling in life. As for myself? Well, the production crew seemed pleased. However, I shall wait to see the finished product before I comment any further. Suffice to say that I find playing poker much easier. But would I do it again? You bet!
As for the final? This was to be my first real opportunity to see online players at work. And I must admit, yes... there is a major difference between the amateur and the pro. But hey, there should be! If it was that easy, they would all be doing our job.
So rather than knock the amateur, I will compliment them by saying that I know exactly how difficult it is to perform in a completely new environment.
Anyhow, after an eleven hour flight to get here to LA - my wife and I are now faced with another fifteen hours in the clouds. I just hope that Melbourne can again prove fruitful - I am in desperate need of new material. But whatever happens, my next article will be about Australia and to the wonderful people that make the trip well worth it - irrespective of personal results.
While on the subject of Australia. For any of you who have thought about putting the Aussie Millions on your schedule - you really need to give this place a shot. As for this year’s event - it seems that first place is expected to pay AUD $1M. You know why? Yep, you guessed it - online qualifiers will form the majority of the field. I shall therefore prepare myself for the nervous over-betting of hands and to the fearful all-ins that form a big part of the online player’s arsenal. The term tip-toeing through a minefield comes to mind...
Watch this space for an update.
Until then, play well, get lucky and enjoy life!
Peter “The Poet” Costa