The Punta Cana Poker Classic & SNG 2.0 Continued

Punta Cana Poker Classic 2016 & SNG 2.0 Continued - Spin & Go Strategy

Here’s a hot-tip for all my Spin And Go Strategy compatriots for the next time you find yourself travelling to an exotic location for a live poker tournament:

Starting a 15-hour travel journey at 10pm is highly discouraged if you, like me, have an innate inability to sleep on planes!

Not only was the 40+ straight hours of wakefulness physically and mentally exhausting, but it’s also left me beginning sentences whose purpose escapes me before I’ve even had the chance to complete them, much like this one.

I’ll give the organizers of the Punta Cana Poker Classic one thing though, welcoming us at the entrance of this tropical paradise with a martini glass filled with delicious blue and green icy boozy goodness was a great way to get that third and fourth wind going! Because, as it turns out, sugary boozy goodness combined with the beginning stages of sleep-deprivation combine to form a wonderfully delicious stimulant that kept me rolling for a solid 12-hours past what I thought was the point of no return.

So here now are a few of the highlights from Day 1 of the Punta Cana Poker Classic.

The Location

If you ever have a chance to visit the Melia Caribe Tropical in beautiful Dominican Republic, I highly recommend it. The grounds are stunning, the people are as friendly as can be and the beach is…well…take a look for yourself:

The Food

Oh the food! Though my outdated (but not explosive) Samsung Galaxy hardly does it justice, everything I sampled on Day 1, from the drinks, to the mussels, to the grilled salmon, to the quaint little BBQ jerk-chicken stand conveniently located pool-side was top notch. In fact, my primary inspiration for finishing this blog is the thought of the deliciousness that I can hearing calling my name.

wine mussels punta cana poker classic

The People

OK, fair enough, it’s not hard to enjoy the company of new people when all of you are full of rum and have escaped the cold and rain of the West for a frolic through 30 degree (aka mid-80s Faranheit) sunshine and happiness, but even still, everyone I met so far seemed like they were already having the time of their life. From some of the wonderful organizers of this event (shoutout to Phil, Gaby, Tony, Juan and Laura), to the Resort staff (shout-out to Mr. “my name is *something unintelligible*, but you can call me Elvis”), to the kid I met in the poker-room who, upon learning I was reporting on the event, instructed me to “make sure you tell them you met the future champ and I’ll give you the first interview when I win” (I’d love to bud, but I already forgot your name due to the aforementioned multi-colored drinks and sleep-deprivation. Sorry!), to the one and only Mr Doug Polk, who I finally got to chat to in person but refrained from asking for a picture to lessen the likelihood of bearing the brunt of Cate Hall’s twitter wrath (I’m not totally sure what a bros’ bro is, but I’d like to think I’m my own bro and no one else’s!), everyone seemed on top of their game, and I very much enjoyed them all!

cate hall twitter doug polk

And, finally…

The Poker

Any time you have a destination-tournament where the majority of the field has made it through via online qualifiers, there’s going to be a lot to get excited about, and I can assure you that is most definitely the case at the Punta Cana Poker Classic. With the introduction of Americas Cardroom sponsored Sit & Go 2.0, the games were loose, wild and heavily influenced by the size of one’s bladder (with multiple players at my tables needing to make a mad dash to the washroom while nursing sub-15BB stacks). Not only that, but the gameplay was reminiscent of the golden age of poker circa-Moneymaker’s WSOP Main Event win with players raise/calling all ins with hands like J6s and A3o for wayyyyy too many Big Blinds, limp-calling in early position with hands like J9o and K4s, and hero-calling 3 streets with 87o on a KQ7J4 board, all things I witnessed in just two SNGs! Therefore, all I had to do to be crowned as the world’s first S&G 2.0 champion was sit back and let the chips roll in. Easy game.

sng 2.0 poker punta cana poker classic pcpc16

And now, if you’ll excuse me, my breakfast is here and a long day of suntanning and pokering looms ahead.

Until next time, may your drinks be boozy and your opponents qualifiers!

Adios Amigos.

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