Tuesday, May 15, 2012


"The Adventure" is a series of articles about my journey this summer that will take me from Rockland, Ontario, Canada to the World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop 1M buy-in tournament in Las Vegas...


“I wanna have the same last dream again,
the one where I wake up and I'm alive.
Just as the four walls close me within,
my eyes are opened up with pure sunlight.
I'm the first to know,
my dearest friends,
even if your hope has burned with time,
anything that's dead shall be re-grown,
and your vicious pain, your warning sign,
you will be fine.

Hey, oh, here I am,
and here we go, life's waiting to begin.”

- Angels and Airwaves, The Adventure
(We Don’t Need to Whisper, 2006 Geffen Records)

Rare is it that a person is granted the opportunity of the lifetime, let alone at age 35.

In French Canada, you’re programmed to do two things right from the day that you’re born and that’s play hockey and play cards … and eat tons of amazing French Canadian food too! But that’s it; it’s as simple as that. In fact, in many French-Canadian family gatherings, it’s not a true PARTY unless cards are in the air at some point.

I can remember vividly playing in wildly competitive cribbage matches with my father, grandfather and cousin, living the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat; or playing the game “500” with my uncles (which we still do to this day every Christmas) – there were no “there, there”, no freebees, no “let’s let the kids win”, it was savage, it was vicious, it was no holds barred, it was exactly how I would have wanted it. There is no doubt that part of the reason I am who I am today is due to those card games, in my grandparents’ basement, where it was winner take all, survival of the fittest.

I’ve always been a fan of cards, sports and statistics. In fact, in high school, I created a statistical system for cribbage, where players could find out about all kind of things, including cribbage pct, peg pct, etc … we’re talking YEARS before the arrival of VPIP kids!

A few years ago, I designed a scoring system to determine who the best live poker player was on the circuit. There are other scoring systems out there, but I believed it mine. What was first a fun way to track the major players on the circuit became a blog that then became an obsession. Earlier this year, my site, www.ptprpoker.com, joined forces with poker media giant QuadJacks (www.quadjacks.com) to introduce the 2012 QuadJacks Poker Player of the Year, powered by PTPRpoker.

Last September, when Loto-Québec announced it would be hosting a 25K buy-in tournament with the winner qualifying for the Big One for One Drop million-dollar buy-in tournament at the WSOP (World Series of Poker) … and that this tournament would be held at the Casino du Lac-Leamy, minutes away from my hometown … I thought “wouldn’t it be a great opportunity to cover the event for my website”.

Well, a few months ago, Loto-Québec accepted my request for media accreditation and starting Saturday, I will be covering Le Grand Tournoi de poker Loto-Québec – the most prestigious poker event in Canada’s history, marking the beginning of “The Adventure”.

As mentioned, the winner of this coming weekend’s event will be representing Loto-Québec at the One Drop during the WSOP in Las Vegas starting on July 1st, Canada Day. I decided I was going to go all-in (poker pun intended) and apply for media accreditation at the World Series of Poker.

Having the opportunity to follow the winner of Le Grand Tournoi down to Las Vegas to witness him/her compete at the One Drop was an opportunity too good to pass up.

I have been to the WSOP a number of occasions, I even participated in the Series a few years back but this, this was going to be a whole new ballgame. See, anyone can go to Vegas; anyone can actually buy-into a WSOP event and play, but receiving media accreditation from the WSOP – that’s something that’s hard to get.

A few weeks ago, I received some great news; I was accepted by the WSOP Media team and will be on my way to the World Series on June 30th to cover the event.

Here it is, “The Adventure” - a 50-day trek that will take me from Rockland to Gatineau to Las Vegas and to other places in between. Join me as I attempt to relive the blow-by-blow accounts of the thrill-ride that awaits me this summer.

Here I am, standing in front of you, as vulnerable as ever, but ready – win or fail – to live the thrill of a lifetime and hoping you will follow along as I live “The Adventure”.

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