First off, since I didn’t punch in until later in the afternoon to go help report on Day 1 of the European Poker Tour Malta €10K High Roller, I was able to do a couple of things I’d wanted to do since I got here over a week ago.
One was to take a quick swim in the pool. The skies were overcast but it was warm and there was not much wind, and so it was a refreshing 15 minutes or so splashing around for a few laps. I’ve had a couple of trips where I’ve managed to work in a short dip in the mornings after breakfast and before the workday begins. In addition to physical benefits, there are mental ones, too, as it gives that vacation feeling even in the middle of a lot of work.
Another was to take a quick cab ride over to Mdnia to the Ta’ Qali Crafts Village for a little gift-seeking. Whereas I’ve been staying over on the east coast of Malta, Mdnia is over in the central part of the island, so the drive was essentially due west. Got to see once again all of the building and construction happening all over the place, reminding me of the local joke that the national bird is the crane.
Once at Mdina I didn’t really get to explore all that much as my cabbie agreed to wait for me as I looked around. Mdina is well known for glass blowing and ceramics, as well as for lace making and honey. So it wasn’t too hard to find some nice items and get on back over in good time to get ready for the day of work. Another quickly-traced circuit by your humble scribbler.
After I got back Howard told me a little about how a number of films were produced in Malta, including Robert Altman’s Popeye (1980) (a spectacular box office flop). Now there’s a whole Popeye Village in the northwestern part of the island. Would be something to explore, I think, on a return trip.
Okay, to review the poker quickly, too, where again I watched the chips and cards go round and round...
The High Roller (with a single re-entry option) attracted a decent number of entries -- over 130, with late registration still open until the start of Friday’s Day 2. Alexander Ivarsson ended with a big chip lead among the 73 surviving, with Martin Finger and Stephen Chidwick among the big stacks. Over in the Main Event they played down to 14 with Mats Karlsson of Sweden leading and Dominik Panka lurking with a big stack. Also coming back to short stacks will be Benjamin Pollak and Ole Schemion.
Only one more day working for me as I’ll be jetting off a little early to get some time on the farm before heading back out to New Jersey early next week. As always visit the PokerStars blog to follow along.