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Along for the ride, on a bike and in life

teampro-thumb.JPGThe WCOOP ended not too long ago. Some of you might have heard about a WCOOP prop bet I made with fellow PokerStars Team Pro Eugene Katchalov, and I thought I'd give a report on how that went.

Eugene and I really wanted to come up with some sort of bet that would be hard for the person who lost, but something that was still healthy and not too crazy. And not money-related, either.

So we went through a few possibilities and had lots of suggestions from others, and eventually we arrived at the idea of having the loser of the bet ride a bike from Cannes (after the end of the WSOPE) to San Remo (for the EPT).

The bet turned out to be close. I had a chance to catch Eugene in winnings on the very last day after making Day 2 of the Main Event. I needed to finish around 45th to catch him, but unfortunately I busted out shortly after we reached the money (in 221st), and so Eugene won.

Originally the idea was just to have the loser ride, and in fact I think it would have been ten times harder to have done it alone. But Eugene decided to come along for the ride, too, as did our trainer and his girlfriend. It made it so much easier for me, because it was much more fun to have made the trip as a team like that.

It was about a 70-mile trip and took about six hours altogether. We stopped a couple of times to have a drink and to have lunch in Monaco. Physically it wasn't so hard, although before that I hadn't really ridden a bike for about 15 years, so my control of the bike wasn't perfect.

There are bike lanes all over France, and a lot of time we were riding next to the sea, which was really nice. Every now and then we had to go through a tunnel, such as when we got to Italy. And the Italian drivers aren't necessarily the greatest drivers, which didn't make for the best combination! But we made it to San Remo just fine.

katchalov_elkY-bikes.jpg

I feel very blessed to have good friends like Eugene in the poker community.
The fact is poker can be a tough game -- especially when you're on the road a lot -- and so having good friends with whom you can share the experience is quite important.

In a way, it's a lot like what I was saying about the bike ride having been a lot easier to do with others rather than by myself. Being able to share this "journey" (so to speak) with friends on the poker circuit helps provide balance and definitely can make it easier and more fun, too.

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