Monday, November 07, 2005

Going Pro: Week 16

Amsterdam is not at all what I expected, and it is everything I expected. A city of vast contradictions.

For a city full of drugs, sex shops and prostitutes it is remarkably classy and peaceful. I have yet to see one disturbance of any drunken kids causing trouble, no thugs, no people looking for trouble. The buildings are gorgeous in that old, classic European way. The city is amazingly clean.

Walking through the red-light district...if you do not look directly into the stores to see what they were selling, you could just as easily be in Manhatten or a nice part of San Francisco. Beautiful canals line all of the streets and good manners and polite greetings are the norm here.

They also have the best poker room I have ever been in. I was lucky enough to come during the Master Classics of Poker at the Holland Casino, so possibly it was made to look especially nice for this tournament, but it was an amazing place to play. It is very clear that poker is the 'in' thing in Europe also, people try very hard to look cool at the table here.

The main poker room looked like a planetarium on the ceiling, with a very nice restaurant and bar along the outer edges, which sits up a couple of feet from the rest of the room. There is a very pleasant red and wood decour through the entire room that gives it a very classy feel. What a place to play poker.

The lowest buy-in No Limit cash game they had was 250 Euro, around $300. As I stink at limit, this was the game I played. As I suspected, the game was based almost entirely on ego, plenty of hollywooding and table coaching (not from me of course), but fishy calling station action. A nice se$$ion.

On a sad note, the first ten days of this trip were supposed to be spent with my girlfriend, though when I broke the news to her that I would be staying away from the USA for an indefinate period of time, she was very unhappy. The trip was starting to be kind of a drag. I thought that maybe she'd be more happy traveling on her own so we've decided to take a few days to travel by ourselves...and see how that works out. I wish her the best as she goes to see Germany. I'm headed off to Paris in the next day or two.

Thanks for reading, now get back to the tables!

Wild Bill