Poker in a volcano
Yes, in a volcano. Got your attention? Well, first things first.
Almost every poker player has a dream of traveling the world and playing poker. And with joining the Team Online, I actually got a first glimpse of that.
Well, it's true that we didn't play poker in Stockholm VIP Club event, which I attended about a month ago, but it surely felt great flying into a different country, doing a bit of touristy stuff, having fun at the actual party and flying back home the next day. I'm sure you already read the Stockholm report from Alex's and Katerina's perspective, so I won't bother you with the details. All I want to say is, if you have FPPs to spend and you don't know what to do with them, tickets for a PokerStars VIP Club Events are surely a great value. I met some individuals who went to multiple events already with no intentions to stop the trend.
But Stockholm isn't the main theme of this blog post. For a fourth year in a row PokerStars has organized an Extreme Challenge in my home country, where we play live poker in extreme locations. The first year we were playing poker in igloos and the second year in a coal mine 700 feet underground. A ski jumping hill was a venue last year and this year, we were playing in a volcano. Well, sort of.
Our new extreme location was Adventure Park Volcania in Goričko, Slovenia, where volcano was active more than 3 million years ago. We put our helmets on and went into a special "elevator", which brought us "20,000 feet underground" where we walked into a "lava tunnel". You need quite a bit of imagination, but it was still lots of fun and educational too. After watching a 4D movie about creation of the Earth and volcanoes, it was time for an actual poker tournament. PokerStars invited bunch of Slovenian celebrities, which was an awesome move from their part as this also brought basically every media house there is. Besides celebrities and me, there were also few qualifiers and two hosts - Peter Poles and Dani Bavec, friends of PokerStars and poker commentators on TV.
Bunch of people even didn't know the rules, so we had to teach them along the way. One of those was a lead singer of one of the most popular Slovenian bands Tabu. She also knocked me out, when I went all-in preflop with QQ, she called me with T2o and qualifier also joined us with JJ. She got a runner-runner straight and that was it for me. Of course I rooted for her the rest of the tournament and man... Some people say online poker is rigged, but if they had seen what I've seen that day, they would surely change their mind. She managed to knock out probably three-quarter of the field and got to heads-up with one of the qualifiers, where she actually pushed with a better hand preflop and lost at the end. It wasn't a complete fairly tale, but media jumped all over this story anyway.
All in all, it was a fun and relaxing event, everybody had a great time and it's nice to play a tournament from time to time, where you have nothing to lose. It was also really exciting to meet so many celebrities. I mean... I'm sure it wasn't as exciting as Katerina's experience, when she met Ronaldo (I'm so jelly), but it was nice anyway. Besides Stockholm and poker in a volcano, I was also invited to several casinos, where I joined some of the small buy-in tournaments. I'm not much of a live-poker person, but I still enjoyed every one of them, as atmosphere was very different of what I was used to. Maybe that was because I had a bounty on my head? Still, it was nice to meet some of online players in person and I hope I'll be attending more events like this in the future.