Friday, January 15, 2016

Travel Report: 2016 PCA, Day 9: The Home Stretch

Yesterday began with me doing various work in the room, then going to enjoy one last big mean with Nick, one of my blogging colleagues here at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

We went to Olives, one of the several good restaurants in the Atlantis, and had a fairly massive lunch as we knew we wouldn’t be able to get away later for dinner, and since we were departing Paradise Island it was going to be our final table, so to speak. Beef carpaccio appetizer, steak frites for the main course, and an espresso.

Then it was down to the poker room one last time where the two of us were helping finish cover the $25K High Roller eventually won by Nick Maimone, who happens to hail from Charlotte, North Carolina -- my destination flying home and not far from where I presently live. Maimone knocked out all but one of his final eight opponents, winning nearly $1 million after making a deal heads-up with Sean Winter.

Easily the most interesting hand came right after the final four players had decided to take an unscheduled dinner break. In fact, it was the first hand back, and resulted in the knockout of Josh Beckley in fourth. Maimone and Beckley had gotten to the river without a great deal of fanfare, then after a bet from Maimone, Beckley shoved, and after a slightly odd moment or two as Maimone stood up, he called and flatly said “I have a straight flush.”

Meanwhile Beckley had an ace-high flush, and the fact that the call hadn’t come instantly led to a little bit of awkwardness thereafter, although after Beckley left Maimone explained he was trying to make sure he’d read the board correctly, it was such an unusual situation.

In any event, they were suddenly down to three, then after Maimone took out the short-stacked Dario Sammartino, a lengthy deal talk ensued followed by a relatively quick heads-up match. I was all done and back in the room by about 11, and in fact watched the end of the Main Event on the live stream to see Mike “SirWatts” Watson win that one.

The trip back was super easy (less than a two-hour flight). Rode along atop a cream-of-wheat-looking bowl of clouds for much of the latter part of the flight, along which I’d occasionally see a plane dart over top, not unlike a stingray flapping past. Can see a couple scratching the sky in that pic above (click to embiggen).

Was back on the farm by dinner time. It’s cold and wet and nothing at all like the Bahamas here. And it’s supposed to snow this weekend, they say. But I’m glad to be home.

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