What's great about Madrid? Well basically, everything . . . .

women_thumb.jpgHong Kong, Japan, Mexico, the Bahamas--all wonderful places to visit and as a former travel agent, I've been lucky enough to see them. They all came highly recommended of course, and I know from experience that recommendations from people who have been there are much more reliable than those doctored up travel brochures. (That picture of the hotel with what looks like a swimming pool in the corner is really a goldfish pond. The photo of the spacious room with the balcony overlooking the ocean is not the $79 a night room as you first thought, but the suite that goes for $350.) So I always seek out recommendations from friends, family, and online reviews about the places I visit.
People love to tell me about their vacations, so I've gotten plenty of great stories about beautiful beaches in Mexico, wild nights at Carlos and Charlie's in Cancun, and secret hideaways in the Bahamas. Rave reviews about shopping and dining in Japan and Hong Kong are the norm, along with restaurant referrals. But nothing compares to what I've heard about Madrid. The words are usually half out of my mouth before people start gushing about their trip there and how much fun they had, or about how they are dying to go there.

"Oh my gosh, it was the most fun I've ever had on a trip in my life," one friend said. "We hardly got any sleep but we had so much fun!" "The food! The food is the best in the world! And the people are so much fun and so friendly," said another. Everyone I speak to has a story about a trip to Madrid they went on, are going on, or plan to go on. They rave about the bars, the nightlife, the food, the history, the sightseeing, and the museums. They talk about the fantastic old hotels with service that is unheard of in most cities today.

So all of this makes Madrid a wonderful place to see, but now there is another reason to add to the city's repute as one of the greatest cities in the world. This year for the first time, Madrid will be the site of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Grand Final and the PokerStars Women Live EPT Grand Final. The Casino Gran Madrid will host the event as poker players from around the world gather to play poker in the Spanish capital. Some of the players will be taking home a cash infusion to their bank account that will add significantly to their excitement about seeing this great city. And of course, to wrap it all up, the PokerStars party at the end of the tournament will be the party invitation of the year.

The PokerStars Women Live event is on May 11 and 12th and will host women from around the world competing in a tournament for women only. The buy-in is €550, which will make the tournament more affordable and more accessible for women with various levels of experience. Direct buy-ins are available online now on the PokerStars client. And if you don't get a chance to register before you get there, you can buy-in live at the event, or try your hand at the €110 satellite on May 10 at 1 p.m. for a chance to play what is lining up to be a really competitive and fun event.
Don't miss a fantastic line-up of tournaments in Madrid, and all the wonderful things to do in this amazing city. We hope to see you there!

For more information, see PokerStars Women Live.

Rebekah Mercer
@PokerStars in PS Women