Monday, April 25, 2016

Travel Report: EPT12 Grand Final, Arrival -- From Green to Blue

Bonjour mes amis. I am writing late on a Monday night from a hotel in Monaco, having arrived here earlier today. It’s my home-away-from-home for the next couple of weeks as I’ll be helping with the reporting from the European Poker Tour’s final stop of Season 12.

Took the red-eye to London, then had another two-hour hop down to Nice. Both flights were fine, with the first half of the transatlantic one occupied by dinner and a viewing of Oliver Stone’s JFK.

Had seen it long ago, of course, but this time through watched with a much more thorough understanding of the different conspiracies Stone weaves together to create his narrative. Also knew practically all of the bit players introduced throughout the story -- i.e., the historical versions, I mean -- and so was even aware of embellishments and omissions here and there.

The all-encompassing monologue delivered by Donald Sutherland’s “Mr. X” (based on L. Fletcher Prouty) is the great highlight, of course, signaling a recognition, I think, that the scope of the mystery is ultimately too great for any single person to be capable of tackling alone. In other words, a conspiracy of investigators (which now would have to involve members of several different generations) would have to come together in order to unravel fully a conspiracy that resulted in JFK’s killing.

A shuttle carried me from Nice to Monaco, one I shared with Jason Mercier and Natasha Barbour, both here to play, of course. Talked playoffs with Mercier a bit, as he’s a Heat fan and I’m for the Hornets, although I’m not too enthusiastic about Charlotte’s chances against Miami.

Took it easy during the afternoon, then met up with several of the fellas for a delicious dinner at an Italian place called Risotrante Mozza located not too far from where we’re staying. For an appetizer had insalata tiepida di polpo, that is, a salad with potatoes and octopus that was mouthwateringly flavorful. Then it was pizza for the main course, the tartufo featuring truffle and potato slices with rocket salad on top, also delicious.

Expect to have a few more nice meals along the way here, although there will be the occasional 20-euro cheeseburger thrown in as well.

Weather here is comparable to back home -- blue skies, sunny, and a light wind making it very spring-like. The deep blue water of the Mediterranean Sea out back (see above) contrasts sharply with the green on the farm, though, which I’m already missing as Vera sends me another picture of Sammy, Maggie, and our yearling, Ruby (a.k.a., the “Roobster”).

It’ll be a late start tomorrow as the first big event, the €10,000 Single Re-Entry High Roller, doesn’t get going until 6 p.m. local time. You can follow reports over on the PokerStars blog.

Gonna try while here to provide some brief reports on the blog each night after things conclude. Have a big day, in terms of the history of Hard-Boiled Poker, coming up this Thursday, though, where I may have to write about something else, too. Any guesses what that might be?

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