The wedding dash

I decided to play the WPT event at the Seminole Hard Rock for two reasons. One was the $10 million guarantee and the other was because I promised Vanessa Selbst I would go to her wedding. The tournament was in Miami and it had three Day Ones (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). Vanessa was getting married on Saturday and Day 2 was on Sunday. My plan was to play Day 1A, bag up my chips, fly to New York City, go to the wedding, and fly back to Miami in time to play Day 2. No problem, right?

I arrived in Miami and played Day 1A with the intention of doing a couple of re-entries. I didn't have to and made it through with a good stack. I also played a lot of Pineapple Open-Face Chinese while I was there. It's the new variation everybody's crazy about. Pineapple Open-Face starts off the same as regular OFC with each player getting five cards to set. Then, in the subsequent rounds, you get three cards, two you must set and one you must discard face down. Because of the discards, it can only be played two or three-handed, and it contains a much bigger gambling element. You go to Fantasyland all the time and the swings are huge. It's possible I'm even more into Pineapple OFC than I am to regular OFC. And it's a good thing I won because when it came time for me to leave for Vanessa's wedding, I realized I hadn't packed my suit!


Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero

About $4,000 later, I had a new suit, dress shirt and shoes. Very quickly, this was turning into the most expensive wedding ever! But it was all worth it once I got up to that Brooklyn rooftop. I'm not the emotional type, but the ceremony was so beautiful I almost cried. You could see all of Manhattan and the different bridges spread out behind Vanessa and Miranda as they exchanged their vows. The party afterwards was a lot of fun too, but at 4 am the next morning Andrew "luckychewy" Lichtenberger and I had to shrug off our hangovers and get in a taxi to the airport. We got on the first flight out of New York, landed in Miami at 9 am and were back in the casino playing Day 2 by noon.

Best laid plans...
The rest of the tournament was pretty frustrating. Two guys at my table were very inexperienced players--usually a good thing--but they were slowing down the game so much it tested everyone's patience... especially mine. They never remembered when it was their turn to act, were always on their phones, and would constantly forget to put out their antes. At some point I got really tired of it and confronted one of the guys.

"Come on, dude. The dealer can't remind you every single hand to put out your ante. You're slowing everything down," I said, as patiently as I could.

When the second guy heard what I said to his cohort, he dropped the F-bomb and told me what I could go do to myself. Thankfully, the floor heard it and gave him a penalty. However, the other guy was already involved in a hand. The blinds were 1,500/3,000 and a short-stacked player opened for 7,000. My nemesis flat-called the 7,000 and I looked down at K-Q on the button. We were pretty close to the money bubble and I had 67,000 in chips. The initial raiser was a really tight player and I knew he'd never call me light, so I decided to shove. He folded as I expected, but my nemesis called off 22 big blinds and showed K-7. Although I had him crushed, he spiked a three-outer with a seven on the turn and I was out only a few spots off the money.


"Of course, you hit the seven."

Despite it's awful end, I had a fantastic trip. The Open-Face action was great, I saw one of my best friends marry the love of her life, and even though I couldn't bring a WPT title home with me to Argentina, at least I have a new suit.

Nacho Barbero is a member of Team PokerStars Pro.

Jose Barbero
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