Adventures in Foie Gras
Since my last update, I took a couple of short trips with my fiancé Yvette and our daughter Liliana. A few days before Thanksgiving, we flew to Texas to visit my mother. She got to spend some quality time with Lili and for Thanksgiving dinner, we drove out to my uncle's house. Yvette was able to meet some of my extended family for the first time and they all got to meet Lili. The trip was short, but we had a lot of fun.
While we were in Forth Worth I was racking my brain, trying to think of something fun for the three of us to do together. Then it just hit me--Fort Worth has a great zoo. I used to go all the time when I was little and my daughter is at that age when kids are crazy about animals. I was concerned it might be closed for the holidays, but it turns out the zoo is open 365 days a year because the animals need to be cared for every day. Lili had a great time, of course, but I was surprised how much fun I had myself. I hadn't been to a zoo in a long time and it was so cool to see all the animals. It reminded me to check out zoos when I travel for poker. The other day I was reading about the Barcelona Zoo and I go there every year for the EPT-- I even brought Lili with me last time. Next year I'll have to remember to check out the zoo.
The day after Thanksgiving, it was all business for me. By 6 a.m. I was in a cab to the airport to catch a flight to play in the WPT Montreal. While I went to Canada, Yvette and Lili went to visit her mother in Worcester, MA. I went straight into action after I landed, and actually had a great Day 1A. I was among the chip leaders in the middle of the day and although I lost a bit of it back, I still bagged up a healthy stack. That meant I had Day 1B off.
One of my favorite pastimes on poker trips is trying new, exciting restaurants. I'm kind of a foodie, and there's a whole group of us in poker who are really into it--Scott Seiver, Justin Bonomo, and Isaac Haxton all make up the core group. I was able to get a reservation at Au Pied de Cochon, which means "The Foot of the Pig" in French. It's a pork-centric restaurant that was featured on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain and it's pretty tough to get a table. However, I worked my magic and was able to get one for Day 1B. It's kind of funny--I think having this reservation made me play my best on Day 1A. I knew if I did well on Day 1A, I wouldn't have to play Day 1B and I'd be free to go to the restaurant. If I busted on Day 1A and had to re-enter on Day 1B, that day would end with me either doing well and having to miss the dinner or actually going to the dinner, but only after busting out twice!
Thankfully Day 1A was a success and the next evening Peter Jetten and Max Greenwood joined me at Au Pied de Cochon. The three of us had an absolutely amazing meal. The first course was a foie gras poutine. Poutine is a French-Canadian specialty of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy, but this gourmet version was topped with foie gras. Everything about it was perfect. I think about it daily and still have a picture of it on my phone. I can honestly say it was the best single item I've ever eaten in my life and I've had some fantastic meals in Michelin-starred restaurants all over the world. That one dish... I can't say enough words to get even close to how I felt.
Unfortunately, I had to share the poutine three ways, and since we'd ordered a lot of food, we didn't end up getting a second plate of it. Another highlight was a dish called "Duck in a Can." They took a duck breast, cooked it in a can with cabbage, carrots, and foie gras and when it arrives at the table, the waiter pulls out a can opener and reveals the most tender duck breast you'll ever eat. We also tried their signature dish, called the "Pig's Head for Two." It's an entire pig's head smothered with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and stuffed with a whole lobster inside the pig's mouth. Very decadent. I can't wait to go back to Montreal and eat there again.
After such a sensational culinary experience, I woke up the next morning to play Day 2 and ended up getting my money in as dead as I've ever been in my life. In a three-way pot, I had top pair and a flush draw with T♠7♠ on a 7-5-3 board with two spades. I was up against top set with pocket sevens and a guy with K♠Q♠, so I had about half a percent in equity. I busted out, but luckily still had time to late register the Sunday Million and a few other online tournaments. Although I have a place in Canada, my main residence is still in the United States, so it was a bonus to be able to squeeze in a regular Sunday grind. More than anything, it made me really hungry to play more online next year. I can't wait to get back to Canada or Mexico or Europe... anywhere I can play on PokerStars. It really made me realize how much I miss being able to play online every day.
The next day, I flew out to Boston and met Yvette and Lili in Worcester. We spent about four days there and had a post-Thanksgiving celebration with Yvette's mom. She is an amazing Italian cook and made us wonderful meals--sauces, pasta dishes, meatballs, the whole nine yards. It was the perfect way to top off the holiday week and best of all, Lili got to spend time with both of her grandmothers.
Now I'm at the PCA and looking to win something big before leaving the Caribbean. Wish me luck!
David Williams is a member of Team PokerStars Pro