EAST vs. WEST

I am in Vienna, Austria – my second home. This is the place where I started my poker career; where I came off the streets and into the big time. I will talk a bit how it went here for me six years ago. With no bank roll to speak of, and not many outs, I came to Vienna in 2001, with no friends and a bank roll of about $3,000 and started playing around $15-$30.

It was not easy going but I managed to win and the people at the Concorde Card Casino were very kind to me and gave me every chance to play heads up or what ever I wanted to do here. Soon I got players to take me on heads up and was fortunate enough to clean them out for everything they had and that is not an idle statement nor am I patting myself on the back. It was just a fact. One guy even went to the bank three times until I said just transfer the lot to my account; we bank at the same place. And he said hey that is a cool idea. I’m always looking out for my players.

But this city is great. It is really clean, people are genuine and having spent over one year living here and being able to do what I wanted, it will always be a special place for me. So the reason I’m here this time? I am the captain of East vs. West. I take on the West team captained by the Devil Fish. I lead the ex Soviet block against the good guys from the West. I am here to play and have been playing the cash games. We ran a little 300-600 Euro limit game last night and I picked up 20k and I am looking for action. Saturday is the day East vs. West meets and the next day it’s the East WSOP main event where I ran second (5 years ago), with one of the worst bad beats in history. It seems worse now but being second that time was great for me and was the first event that I cashed really big in and thought “Hey I can do this. Let’s just get a little crazy and go for it.”

So my plan is to rip that Devil Fish apart and send the West gently down the River Danube as they drift back home. This is all TV stuff so I have to perform well, especially after the 24 hour cash game where I ripped Hellmuth to a state where he will never want to play poker with me again.

I am feeling good.

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