Monday, December 19, 2016

Travel Report, EPT13 Prague, Day 11 -- Coffee, Crepes, and Communism

The last European Poker Tour festival is done, with winners emerging from both the Main Event and final High Roller in Prague. Both endings involved deals, and in fact when it came to the High Roller the sucker culminated with a deal rather than a victor being decided on the felt.

The Main Event had gotten down to three players when the deal talk first began. Essentially David Peters wanted more and couldn’t get the other two to give him what he wanted, so they played on and Peters ended up taking third (and earning considerably less than he would have with a deal).

Then at heads-up came another discussion and a completed deal, after which Jasper Meijer van Putten outlasted Marton Czuczor to win the trophy. Here’s a recap of the final day from Howard Swains that shares all of the final day’s highlights, including those deal talks.

Meanwhile later in the evening over in the high roller Patrick Serda and William Kassouf struck a curious bargain that gave Serda (who had a big chip lead) the larger cash prize but Kassouf the trophy and title, ending play with the deal (i.e., without playing it out for a small leftover bit of cash).

I was on the Main Event, and so wasn’t around for the multiple discussions punctuating the High Roller’s finish, which had to have been interesting to witness given Kassouf’s involvement. You can read Jack Stanton’s end-of-event recap for a bit more on how it all went over there.

Before play began, Vera Valmore and I made a return trip to a breakfast place we enjoyed before, lingering for a while over coffee and crepes with apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, and whipped cream (yum). From there we took a short subway ride over to the Museum of Communism located in the center of Prague on Na příkopě, itself an interesting, bustling area to walk around.

The not-so-easy-to-find museum is tucked away just above a McDonald’s, which gave us a chuckle. There’s a casino nearby as well, something else the museum advertises as a way to play up the contrast between how the Czech Republic looks in 2016 compared to the era the museum chronicles.

It’s a modest collection of materials related primarily to Czechoslovakia’s history under Communist rule from just after WWII through the Velvet Revolution. We took an hour or so winding our way through the various rooms looking at the photos, artwork and other propaganda, lingering over a couple of videos, and reading the long descriptions attached to each display.

Despite the often grim subject matter, the museum takes a humorous approach to things, particularly in the gift shop where the postcards and refrigerator magnets have more to do with kitsch than culture (“You couldn’t get laundry detergent but you could get your brainwashed”). I did get a kick out of one display near the end telling the story of the Plastic People of the Universe, that political “Prague Rock” band I wrote a little about before embarking on this trip.

The Kafka one might have been better, and as we left I found myself going over The Trial and The Castle in my head while remembering the dozens of times I taught “The Metamorphosis” to world lit classes. But I didn’t regret getting over to Na příkopě and exploring a different part of the city with Vera.

Kind of like with those tournaments, the museum visit was a bit of a compromise with which to end things here in Prague.

Home tomorrow! Has been great fun, and especially so with Vera here. But we’re both more than ready to get back to the farm. Let me go another 5,000-plus miles or so and we can talk again.

Photos: Museum of Communism.

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Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

so they played on and Peters ended up taking third (and earning considerably less than he would have with a deal).

It's amazing how often this happens.

12/30/2016 11:36 AM  

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