Penthouse grinding

Not long ago I rented a place with Mayu "marroca5" Roca and Matias "Festivuss" Gabrenja in Mexico City. Both are great friends -- Mayu you might remember finished fourth in the EPT Grand Final last month, and Matias is one of the Ivey Poker pros who has had a lot of success. We got a nice penthouse together where we all grinded the SCOOP, and had a lot of fun and the vibe was great for the entire time.

Angel Guillen PS Blog May 2014 Photo 1.jpg

We ran amazingly well, too. I think we had eight or nine final tables between us, and made about $400,000 in profit altogether, perhaps even more. Mayu in particular did incredibly well, going very deep in a number of events and finishing runner-up in several. I made one final table, finishing third in Event #19-M ($215 NLHE Shootout, 6-Max.). Other players came around sometimes to play at the place, too, including Nacho Barbero who came during the last part of the series.

In the past I've done different things when it comes to playing SCOOP and WCOOP. Pretty much I had always aimed for a beach location, makes sense I mean, you want the right set-up plus the right mindset for long days of play, and being near the ocean is awesome in many ways. This time we decided to stay in the city and it was actually surprisingly relaxing, the neighborhood we picked was great, the best part was having friends there coming in and out and creating this very positive atmosphere in which to play. Every morning we'd have breakfast, do some yoga or go for a walk to get some exercise. We were near Bosque de Chapultepec which is probably the biggest forest in Mexico City, and that was a nice place to go. The place had a nice balcony, too, so we always could walk outside and not feel cooped up all the time.

We hired a massage therapist who gave us massages while we played, or if someone busted he would get a longer, proper massage as a kind of consolation prize. During breaks and when days ended early, Matias, Mayu, and I had an ongoing chess competition on this giant chessboard the house had, which was a fun diversion.


Lynn was there, too, and she was cooking for us. She'd make the lightest, healthiest meals, and we always felt energized and well taken care of. We'd also have fruits and vegetables throughout the day. It was great not having to worry about meals and just be able to focus on playing. There was one time when we had to order takeout -- we were out of groceries -- and had a late dinner of sushi, and that was the only night we ever got tired while playing.

That one night proved for us how having a balanced diet can increase your energy and focus. And the whole series showed how it makes sense to prepare well even when playing online, and especially when preparing for an intense grind like SCOOP.

Next comes LAPT Brazil for me -- which will probably already be going on or have happened when this post goes up. That's happening alongside the BSOP and so will likely be very big. I was thinking about possibly staying in Brazil afterwards for the World Cup, but right now I'm leaning toward not going (we'll see).

After that I will be playing the WSOP Main Event and perhaps one or two other events, but I'm not going for the long haul this year, mainly because the tax situation makes it hard to make that trip profitable when playing a lot of events. That's a big change for me, as I would love to be playing every event, but financially it's not the smartest decision for me.

That's part of poker, though -- planning ahead and making sure you put yourself in a position to play your best and profit when you do.


Angel Guillen is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

Angel Guillen
@PokerStars in Team PokerStars Pro