One week in Costa Rica for a wedding, one week in Bahamas with Pokerstars and…YOU'RE BANNED!
By Rebecca Liggero
This challenge is entirely possible, so long as half of those people don't mind piling on the pullouts in the living room and sleeping through excessive snoring. Aside from the snoring (you know who you are), I loved the entire experience because the whole group was together as one big, happy family cooking dinner, setting off fireworks, drinking beers, playing cards, listening to music, watching movies, going on daily excursions and taking family trips to the beach. Thank you Julia and Fred for organizing an amazing week around your wedding for your friends and family, we love you and congratulations!
The nightlife around Manuel Antonio is fun, especially if you are gay and love monkeys. However, our little family preferred the straight and local crowd so we chose a nice dance floor close to our beach house for beers and dancing. Warning: no one should venture onto the dance floor at a local joint in Quepos unless you are a full blooded Latin American with some serious dance moves. I mean, wow.
Throughout my one week in Costa Rica I was constantly surrounded by Ticos, Ticas, Guatemalans, French, and Brits which of course I loved. I especially loved it when my British friends gave each other high fives while repeating the words "awesome", "dude" and "like" followed by fat jokes in their dreadful American accent. You know, the usual. When I laughed and sarcastically reminded them that I actually am an American, they just laughed and said, "see, that's why we love you- instead of getting upset, you find it funny when we make fun of you and your kind". Awesome guys, thanks! High five.
Julia and Fred's wedding was an absolute melting pot of cultures, personalities, ages, languages and backgrounds. What an amazing (and history making) experience! As we all know, it is pretty rare for any "more than just physical" relationship to come out of online gambling conferences, but this is the real deal my friends...and another wedding is on the way. Yes, it can happen to you too- attend online gambling conferences and you might find true love. Someone you've got your eye on? Let me know and I'll set it up. I'm serious!
One of the best aspects of the online gambling world is the large network of friends you are able to make in a relatively short period of time. Throughout my several weeks away, I was able to spend lots of time with the head of PokerSource.com, PocketFives.com and BonusWhores.com at the wedding and in the Bahamas, and by random chance, we were on the same flight to the Bahamas from San Jose. I am very thankful for the generosity and great company of Michael and Michelle, a couple who welcomed me into their world for my last few days in Manuel Antonio and San Jose. Also, I will never forget the 7 course tasting menus that we experienced together at Café Martinique and Nobu during our stay at the Atlantis in the Bahamas. Taste bud heaven on earth. Thank god I'm a runner.
Have any of you ever been to the Caribbean Poker Adventure? Great. Ok, now have any of you ever been invited to the Caribbean Poker Adventure with Pokerstars as one of their affiliates? If not, I highly recommend you give it a shot one of these days as you will not be disappointed. I have been on many "affiliate appreciation" trips, and I must say, I am beyond impressed by the Pokerstars affiliate team for all the time, effort and care they put into this five night luxurious experience in the Bahamas. I mean, even Saturday's fraud and VIP player presentation was fun and well done. Chris, Carly, Fiona, and Ben, thank you all so much, and I have nothing but the greatest respect for you, your affiliate program, and Pokerstars.com.
Thank you Pokerstars for treating me to a hotel room that I could never afford on my own. The Cove Atlantis blows the rest of the resort right out of the water, to the point where I don't think I can ever go back to the other Atlantis towers. The Cove customer service is unreal, the ratio of Cove staff to hotel guests is about 900:1, room service arrives within minutes, the IT guy appears at your door right after a phone call, the adult pool has a live DJ, topless babes, no screaming children, and you can order a poolside sandwich for the bargain price of $28 USD. What else could you ever ask for?
A nice surprise awaited me in the Bahamas, the presence of my two favorite Germans, Mediadonis and Christof who were both playing in the Caribbean Classic tournament. After the tourney, the boys joined our Pokerstars affiliate crew and spent several days with us at the pool and joined us for a swim with the dolphins. Even though Mediadonis felt somewhat constrained by the T's & C's on the dolphin swim waivers we were required to sign, he still managed to have some fun...and horrify the staff.
Once again, the Pokerstars affiliate team really came through. Who would ever think little Rebecca would find herself playing poker with the biggest Pokerstars affiliates and Team Pokerstars' Chris Moneymaker, Joe Hachem, and Victor Ramden? Not me because I completely suck! However, I think I held my ground fairly well with all things considered- Victor called me his "nemesis" because he could not read my sporadic play, I pulled off a few successful bluffs, and I even had a nice mound of chips at one point...until I busted out thanks to Chris Moneymaker. It's ok though, Chris warned me that would happen the minute I sat down at his table.