Tuesday, August 02, 2011

New Adventures

LAPT Punta del EsteEmbarking on a couple of new adventures this week.

One is another tourney trip, this time down to Punta del Este, Uruguay to help report on the Latin American Poker Tour event that begins there on Thursday. I’ll be at the airport later this afternoon for the first of three flights that will eventually get me there. Will basically be either in the air or waiting to get on the next plane for about 24 hours or so.

I think distance-wise this’ll about equal my longest-ever voyage (as the crow flies) to go cover a poker tournament. The number of miles -- like 5,100-plus -- is close to the same for that trip to Kyiv, Ukraine back in 2009.

This’ll be my first time to LAPT Punta del Este, after having twice reported from LAPT Lima. So there will be some familiar folks about including the LAPT staff, Brad “Otis” Willis (with whom I’ll be working for the PokerStars blog), the PokerNews folks, and probably a number of players, too.

But there will be much that is new, too, I expect. Hoping to provide a few updates here along the way, so stay tuned.

The other new adventure I’d like to pass along is a new column/blog I have begun over at the Epic Poker site, called “Community Cards: Poker in Popular Culture.” Kind of reviving that old “Poker & Pop Culture” column I’d written before (see here). Am planning to write both about poker in contemporary culture as well as occasionally delving back in history for interesting poker-related stories and anecdotes. My first entry is up now, having to do with poker frequently popping up as a topic of conversation on late night talk shows.

Epic PokerHas been a lot of buzz of late over the fast-approaching first event for the Epic Poker league (of Federated Sports+Gaming) which kicks off in just a few days. The just-announced television deal with CBS and Velocity got a lot of talk last week. And I think many are going to be curious to see how many of the 252 players who are qualified to participate wind up playing that $20,000 buy-in, six-handed NLHE main event (with $400,000 added to the prize pool) that starts Aug. 9.

Connected with the league is a newly-launched site featuring all sorts of information about the league, the players, the events, as well as a bunch of other poker-related content. Author Michael Craig is serving as the editor-in-chief over there, and he’s assembled a number of different folks to contribute columns on a regular basis.

Have to say I’m fairly psyched to be there writing alongside this group. Shane “Shaniac” Schleger will be sharing highlights from the Two Plus Two forums. Jen Newell will write about legal news. AlCantHang will report on poker in social media. Mark Gahagan will be analyzing poker news items to identify “winners” and “losers.” Jess Welman will contribute features about Epic Poker league players. John Vorhaus (author of the poker-themed novel Under the Gun and those “Killer Poker” strategy books) will write an advice column for new players. Fred Bevill will report from the Heartland Poker Tour. And Craig will also be frequently contributing variously, including filing updates on that new Global Poker Index.

Craig has written an introductory “mission statement” post with some further info about the site and the columnists, if you’re curious. There are also some player blogs, videos, photos, and other news already up on the site. And I imagine once the events start happening there will be a lot of reporting from the tourneys, too.

Meanwhile, in a few weeks I’ll be teaching my “Poker in American Film and Culture” class again. Will be changing a few items on the syllabus over the next couple of weeks, for sure. And I have a couple of other poker-related items brewing which may well evolve into still more adventures.

Better sign off now, though. I mean, if I’m gonna run off on another one of these epic-length odysseys, I probably oughta pack a bag.

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