Sunday, January 06, 2008

BIRMINGHAM WITH PALM TREES


“It’s just Birmingham with palm trees,” I proclaim to Floppy in the taxi. The shops try and rip you off, motorists dive on the left and it’s even starting to rain! Aw shucks, who am I kidding here, it’s nothing like Brum – it’s bright, sunny and lively, and the rain’s not proper rain, just a slight warm drizzle, unlike our freezing cold rain that attacks you from an angle and gives you pneumonia.

Not sure how I ended up here though. When did the Bahamas become part of the EU? Will the GUKPT see us set off to Barbados, and will the GBPT announce that Bristol, Edinburgh and Bournemouth are to be joined by a quick stop off in Bermuda? Whoever at PokerStars blagged this one needs a medal! Can't wait for next year and the introduction of the Sidney EPT.

Meanwhile, US customs give us a grilling again. A year or two ago, Jen was inches away from the rubber glove treatment, so I always excrete bricks when I approach the security box. I don’t know why, I’ve got nothing to hide, it’s just they make me feel so guilty that just one menacing look wants me to confess to something... anything!

It makes me feel like a teenager again, anxiously awaiting my fate as the smug bouncer sniggers at my fake ID. “Adamus Snoopius, sir?” How about when you’re actually 18 but have forgotten your driving license, that’s even more nerve-wracking as you know your mates are bound to rib you for being knocked back when you’re actually above the legal age.

When I enter the States, I always crumble under the spotlight, even though I'm an innocent man. The simplest of questions suddenly sound like something from University Challenge and if you don’t answer immediately and with conviction, you fear that they’re going to summon over Big Bubba and request that you bend over pronto. When they asked me what my occupation was, the word ‘terrorist’ was inexplicably bouncing around in my head. I know it’s a taboo word, but it sounds a little like ‘journalist’, and I very nearly said the wrong one. Crikey, I might as well bring my own lube!

I haven't been able to experience much of the Bahamas beyond the confines of my hotel room and the Atlantis resort just yet, but so far, I haven't been particularly impressed as it all feels a little bit fake with corporate infestation oozing out of every pore. It almost feels like Vegas, with everyone trying to rip you off, taxi cabs in every nook and cranny and a resort that closer resembles a Bahamas themed casino rather than a casino in the Bahamas.

It's all very odd, and at times feels like a set-piece from the Truman Show. Just walking to the casino in the morning, I noticed that the buildings were painted a rather grotesque combination of pink, yellow and brown. This can't be the real Bahamas surely? At the moment, I'm reserving judgment because I just get the feeling that the true Bahamian experience lies beyond the constraints of the Atlantis resort which is more reminiscent of Disney Land than the exotic, cultural experience that you'd hope to expect from a Caribbean island.

In a way, it makes me feel sad that I am becoming such a grumpy old man at the tender age of 26. There are so many people out there that would love to be in my position, out here in a beautiful, sunny country standing on the shoulders of esteemed players such as Barry Greenstein, Greg Raymer, Daniel Negreanu and co, but for some reason, I seem unable to feign excitement anymore. What people don't realise is that I get out of bed, head straight to the cardroom, update the tournament for 12 hours then head back to finish off my daily chores on the blonde poker Main Site, whether that be uploading results, writing news items, or compiling interview questions. By the time I've finished all that, it's off to bed again. In that sense, it barely matters what country I'm in.

I've been to so many places, and seen so many famous names, that it just doesn't feel new anymore. I used to work a tedious 9-5 office job, but I guess it's just human nature that once you are doing something you love, you still yearn for more, even if it's tens times better than what you did before. Like at the tables, you're never happy unless you come first, even if second offers a lucrative prize. We're a greedy bunch.

4 Comments:

At 4:34 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Thanks for the comment on the blog.

I spent half an hour last night on poker tracker mainly looking at my own stats and it does show some interesting stats about my own play.

I also noticed a couple of names that I'll have to start avoiding and a few that I should be looking up!

I'll have to put in a bit more time to get to know it better.

Enjoy yourself out there.

One question I've got, is there any truth in the rumour that you actually went through customs three times? Your blog seems to be fascinated by the prospect of being searched!!!

 
At 1:48 AM, Blogger Amatay said...

Quality post Snoops. Did that fish Edwin reply btw?

 
At 6:48 PM, Blogger Ukgatsby said...

Gatsby Award Alert !!!
check for details
wd wd
gl for 08

Paul

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Alex Martin said...

Nice post Snoops, such a hard life you lead.........

 

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