I got pretty sick and missed a lot of this year's World Series of Poker. Normally, this would upset a lot of player, but it really didn't bother me that much. I've been part of the most important poker scene in Latin America.
Just recently, Mexico City legalized live poker. We now have three live poker rooms publicly operating in the city and they already match some of the better poker rooms I've seen across the world.
The Master Tournament poker room has 12 poker tables and is always running tournaments. They have all their permits and even have sportsbooks, chefs and several flat screen TVs throughout the room. They always have around seven or eight games running and they range from $2/4 all the way up to $20/40.
I like playing tournaments, but cash games are my bread-and-butter. It's what I've always done and what I'll keep on doing. Now I can do it in the most beautiful place in the world, Mexico.
Mexico was already an attractive place for online poker players. Lots of players came to Mexico after Black Friday and never looked back. The beautiful beaches in Cabo and Playa del Carmen changed their lives to the point where some of them joked that Black Friday was the best thing that ever happened to them.
Mexico's home team of online players is also getting better. There are currently about 10 Mexican players that keep getting great results in major online tournaments.
I had a pretty good score myself recently. I finished fourth in Event #08 this past WCOOP for $107,032. I started the final table with the chip lead, but lost a few hands and got knocked out when my pair of deuces ran into ace-king.
I was hoping for a win, but I'm still happy with my finish. It's also always fun to make it that deep in a tournament and have fans on the rail cheering for me. Mexican fans have always been great online and now -- thanks to the legal poker rooms in Mexico -- I'm getting to meet a lot of them in person.
I'll just be sitting at a table and someone will come up to me and ask if I'm "El Grillo." I'll smile and nod and they'll tell me how they talked to me or Angel Guillen on PokerStars and ask for a picture.
Poker is exploding in Mexico in a way we didn't even dream about just a few years ago. I'm happier than ever and I still have a lot of poker to look forward to this year.
I'm now off to Europe for the EPT Prague main event this weekend. After that, I'll rest up for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
Next year's PCA has a great schedule and I'm looking forward to having an even better year in 2013.