20/02/2004

Paris - London - New York - LA - Barking

Ross Boatman

LA Poker Classic, Los Angeles
$10,000 No Limit Hold'em WPT Event
Preview by Ross on Friday, 20 February 2004 at 10:19 am

When we arrived back to London from Paris there wasn’t a moment to lose. Just enough time to pack a bag, kiss the kids goodbye and catch the first flight to New York. I’ve seen New York in so many of my favourite movies and was looking forward, very much, to seeing the real thing. Someone once said ‘If a man can live in New York, he can live anywhere,’ but being a boy from the hard and fast streets of London I felt I was in good shape for anything New York might throw my way. Nothing had prepared me for my first experience there. As I joined the taxi queue outside JFK airport, gasping for my first nicotine rush in seven hours, I reached deep into my pockets to find a smoke. When the packet I found was empty the cravings got worse. I looked up to see if anything was open. Everything was closed. Then I noticed a young woman behind me taking a long, hard drag on a cigarette. I saw my chance. ‘Please miss can you spare a smoke?’ She looked me straight in the eye and cool as a cucumber said, ‘Bark like a doggie.’ Sadly, without any hesitation, I found myself playing the obedient pooch. ‘I love a man with no pride', she said.

The rest of my time there was a lot more fun. We were there on some Prima business but there was plenty of time left over to take in some of the sights. Barny was the only one of us that had been to New York before and gladly agreed to be our guide. We only had two days so Joe and I were keen to see as much as we could. Ram ‘The Culture Vulture’ Vaswani , on the other hand, said that one building was pretty much the same as the next and spent his time in the Big Apple holed up in his room playing $1000 heads up matches on his computer. I’m not sure how he finished up but the rest of us had a great tour; Empire State, Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, The Chrysler Building, Chinatown, Little Italy, Uptown, Downtown you name it we saw it.

By the time I had caught my breath it was time to embark on the next leg of our Tour. We were on our way to the Commerce in LA for our first WPT event. Before we got our flight I made sure that I had plenty of cigarettes with me. An early death is one thing but the humiliation of doing dog impersonations in something I don’t cope well with.

We arrived in LA last night and sat up half the night watching re-runs of last years event. It’s really got me in the mood, I can hardly wait for tomorrow. This is by far the most exciting tournament on the Tour to date and although it is going to be very tough we all have high hopes.