Ola senor and senoritas! Buenos ding dong diddly dios!
That’s about all the Spanish I picked up while in Madrid, and the latter half is from the Simpsons. All in all though the trip was great. I’ve taken a bunch of photos and will post some of them below, as well as some more specifics, but the highlights were definitely the food and soft poker tables. My results in the tournaments were lacklustre but that can only be put down to bad luck – I felt I played really, really well.
In the Main Event I was a tight nit and at the mercy of the cards and could have made some more moves but in the 5k PLO event I felt in control at every table and in every pot. I was in the zone, in the moment, and it went well. That is until my bust out hand. It was pretty standard and boring but i’ll mention it anyway: MP raise, CO calls, I call OTB with KJ98ds and the SB calls. Flop is J95r giving me two BDFDs. The original raiser pots (he was short), CO folds, I shove, SB re-shoves for not much more, MP calls it off and I call. MP has AKQT and the SB has J987 – both my BDFDs are live. Turn – brick, river T. GG me. The only thing I could have done differently is 3-bet pre but given the previous hands and my read on the opener and everyone’s stack sizes i’ve concluded that flatting was totally fine. Ah well.
The only other tourney I played was a 50k FPP SNE freeroll which got 11 runners and awarded two seats to the SCOOP High ME worth $10k each. For those who don’t know the value of FPPs there was a massive overlay. I busted in 4th when my TT lost to QJ AIPF, such is life.
The cash games were OUT OF THIS WORLD. I’m not kidding when I say that the 20/50 PLO tables were the softest games I’ve ever played in in my entire life. They were softer than a random $0.05/$0.10 PLO table online. I’ve heard people say this before and always put it down to gross exaggeration. It isn’t. It really was that soft. There were 9 way limped pots. 90% of pots were at least 4 players to the flop. People were putting $1k in pre with K962r. It was absurd. I booked a healthy profit which certainly helped heal the wounds of my tournament bustouts.
The food in Madrid was outstanding. I haven’t yet had an answer to the question I often get asked “Which country that you’ve traveled to has had the best food?” – but now I do. It’s Spain, and it’s not even close. There was a corner store next to our hotel that sold Jamon Iberico at € 6.99 per 100g. The food at the restaurant at the casino was amazing, and the service was just as good. We ate at a random tapas bar and everything was top notch. Sandwiches were made well. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Spain has given me the best food experience of any country that I’ve ever been to. I’m already looking forward to returning.
I admittedly did a fairly poor job of photo taking – not due to lack of trying but more so due to me using my phone rather than camera to take the photos and overzealous snapping rather than carefully planning shots. Either way here are a handful of the better ones:
I didn’t have a chance to check it out while there for the tournament but on my journey home I had an all-day stopover in Madrid. I took this time to explore the city a bit more and have lunch at Botin. The lunch itself was nothing to write home about. I had the whole suckling pig and disappointingly it was neither whole nor suckling. Mediocre at best. The sangria was great, though, and the experience was enough to make it worth it.
In my travels wandering the streets I stumbled upon a marketplace for all things food & drink. It was the kind of place I could spend all day, every day in and be a happy man. Unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of time so was only able to wander around and look enviously at all the delicious goodies I wouldn’t be able to devour until my next trip. I took a few snaps of what they had to offer though:
All in all I enjoyed Madrid immensely. I would have no hesitations in recommending the city to anyone and everyone, especially if food is your thing. I too plan to return one day, bringing Puneet along as I know she’d love it and likely as part of a broader Spain trip. I hear fantastic things about the rest of the country. The next stop on my short European adventure was Vienna, Austria where I would spend a few days with my parents (including a whirlwind trip to Budapest). I plan on writing a TR for this tail end of my trip too and expect to see it in one of my next few entries. I have been neglecting this blog lately, rationalizing it with travel coupled with a debilitating poker downswing but that’s no excuse. I’m back and will be updating regularly from here on in. Adios, muchachos!