Hello everyone! Once again it has been too long since my last update. I'm writing this blog entry from a hotel room in the breathtaking town of Lugano, Switzerland. Since my last update, I have spent 31 nights in the US, 36 nights in Costa Rica, and 18 nights in Europe. I'd like to go through and do the calculation for the last 15 months, as I've been spending increasingly less time in America.
After the World Series of Poker ended this summer in Las Vegas, I did about a month worth of unwinding back in Alabama. I then spent a weekend I won't soon forget with friends attending the wedding of our pal Eric Baldwin and his wife Mary in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. When I arrived back home on Sunday August 19 I got a call from my mom saying that my sister Heather, who was expecting a baby September 5, was on her way to the hospital. At 11:57 pm she gave birth to my first niece Alaina! It was a really cool experience and I look forward to watching Alaina grow up. I had a flight to Costa Rica booked for the 21st, so the timing was perfect!
As I type this, I’m sitting in my office in my condo in Birmingham, Alabama. I bought this place in late March 2011 here in the city in which I grew up. The online poker fallout known as ‘Black Friday’ happened three weeks later on April 15, 2011. For those that don’t know, the three major online poker sites were seized by the Department of Justice on that day and online poker was essentially banned in the United States. I was a little unlucky with the timing of things, as I clearly wouldn’t purchase a home in a place where I can’t get any work done. Although I still call it home, I don’t get to spend much time here. When I do, I absolutely love it. My whole family is here, I’m comfortable, and it’s great for relaxing and having time away from the always-stressful career that is tournament poker.
Some of you will notice that it has been six and a half months since my last entry. It's really strange to sit here and type that as I vividly remember blogging daily (sometimes twice daily) a few years ago. Honestly, I just grew tired of it. I look back and cringe a little bit about some of the stuff I put on the internet years ago. Call it poor blogging etiquette, but it got to the point that I actually took the blog entry archives off the internet. Additionally, I lost interest in talking about myself and have thoroughly enjoyed laying low and not reporting to anyone the last year or so.
This entry is being written from an apartment in Budapest, Hungary as I'm currently vacationing here with my boy Matt while I'm about halfway through a seven week European poker trip. This is a really incredible city with so much history, and it's such a great opportunity to visit it. Our time here comes after 12 days in Cannes, France for the World Series of Poker Europe and seven days in San Remo, Italy for a European Poker Tour series. This weekend we'll head to Amsterdam for a week long series followed by a two day vacation in Athens, Greece. Then, Ill head an hour west to a town called Loutraki for another EPT series for a week to conclude the trip before heading back to Birmingham for Thanksgiving. Needless to say, this has been an experience of a lifetime. I've really taken the time to see some sites and haven't taken a moment of the trip for granted. If I could offer one piece of advice from all the travels that I've been so fortunate to experience during my time in this business, it would be to see the southeastern coast of France as it meets Italy. The views of the houses on the hills on the Mediterranean Sea were images that will never escape me as long as I live.
Where to begin? To say that I underachieved pokerwise during my 8 week stay in Las Vegas this summer would be a gross understatement. That said, I'm not writing here to whine or bemoan my luck, nor will I seek sympathy. I am extremely fortunate, grateful, and humbled to be in the position I'm in right now. I look back on some of my blog entries from a few years ago (and even some of my twitter posts from the last year), and I'm left shaking my head at my ignorance.