Today, I'm playing in Day 2 of the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller, and if I survive until tomorrow it's going to put a serious dent in my plans to play the PCA's first Open-Face Chinese Poker tournament.
After spending over two months traveling around Europe for tournaments, I was finally able to go home to Florida. I spent about seven weeks there before making a last-minute decision to fly out to Prague for two weeks to play the WPT and EPT events. I didn't get the results I was hoping for, but taking the trip ended up being a good decision. I made a deep run in the WPT and got 12th place, and then got 7th in the €10,000 High Roller event at the EPT.
I also got in plenty of hours playing Open-Face Chinese while I was in Prague. A ton of Russian guys were playing and games went off pretty often. I mostly played for €100 a point and ended up doing fairly well. Although I've talked a lot about Open-Face Chinese lately, this time we were playing a bit of a different variation of the game that not everyone knows about yet. This extra component to the game is called "Fantasyland." It basically means that if you get queens or better in your top hand, on the next deal you get to look at all 13 of your cards face-down and set it like a regular Chinese hand while the rest of your opponents continue playing face-up. Getting to Fantasyland is a pretty rare feat because it's extremely difficult to make that big a three-card hand in Open-Face. It might be common in regular Chinese, but the hand values are a lot different in Open-Face. Fantasyland is a pretty cool addition to the game because a lot of people gamble hard to make it there and end up fouling their hand along the way. It adds more variance and excitement and puts another gambling element in play.
For now, I'm turning my focus to the the $100,000 event today, but rest assured, that Open-Face tourney isn't going to be far from my mind.
Jason Mercier is a member of Team PokerStars Pro