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Old 01-20-2020, 08:37 PM   #101
mantecaa
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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By far the most interesting thread at 2p2. Hope you continue to post regularly thru the year.

GL.
Thank you, I appreciate it. I am really enjoying posting and having some actual follow up/accountability to the goals. Good to know people are reading!


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Btw how do you balance your personal life, family, rental stuff with playing 160h per month poker? Not sure how many hours you have to spent monthly on your rental stuff, but even wo that it seems challenging.
As far as the balance question. I've been asked this a bunch since I started this PGC so i'll just go through it from the start.

Typical day normally looks something like this.

9-10am:
Wake up
Breakfast and coffee with my wife.

11am-12:
Work on the rental business which is at this point much more automated and can all be done from a laptop/cellphone.
I am able to do this because on our first two properties I trial and erred a lot of things and really worked my ass off to figure out what worked. Now things are pre set and this really doesn't consume much time or mental effort. If I take more than an hour I'm wasting time.

Noon-2pm:
Depending on how productive I am that day: either something poker related, study, online or...
If not then read the paper, hang out with wife, swim in the pool, 2+2 etc.

2:40:
pick kids up from school and eat lunch all together

3-8:
some mix of homework, play, school/sports activities, walk the dogs, beach, chores, followed by dinner and then bed time.

8pm-2/3/4/5/6 am:
Live Poker

Normally I won't work a few nights a week and go out with friends or just my wife and I, play basketball once a week, dinner and a movie etc. And Saturdays I don't do anything during the day and generally don't play at night. Weekends we try to do something fun with the kids, and our house is a little bit of the hangout house so it seems like theres always a few kids over on Saturdays or Sundays.

There have been times when one area has suffered but the current schedule seems to work pretty perfectly. There were a lot of times when I wasn't sleeping very much at all especially in the first few months of having a new property.

More than anything I made this PGC to stop being lazy about playing, there's way more time in a month then it seems. 40/hrs a week really isn't that much, but in the past I would find reasons not to play vs. making a schedule that was conducive to playing as much as possible when the games were good.

It's also definitely easier because of some things:
1. my kids are still little and go to bed right when I start work.
2. My wife doesn't work and is incredibly helpful. She always takes the kids to school, encourages me to go on poker trips where she stays home for a week with the family and just generally makes my life easy on that front.
3. We live in Mexico and so are lucky enough to have a live-in nanny/housekeeper that lives in the casita. So if we want to go out at night its much easier with someone we trust at home with the kids. Also this reduces the household burden as far as time significantly. Cutting out laundry/cleaning/dishes etc frees up a ton of time.
4. I don't have FB/Instagram/Twitter
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:58 PM   #102
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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Couple questions. How long did it take before you became fluent in Spanish? How was your Spanish when moving down there? I was watching a video about an expat in Costa Rica, maybe a 65-70 year old guy, he was saying no matter how confident in Spanish he was he never felt like he could never just sit down and have real banter/casual convos with locals like you would in your home country. He was also saying he never felt 100% accepted and was talking about how hard it is to become part of a community in an area so used to tourist coming/going and felt people just saw him as money. I'm sure you've settled into whatever community you are in down there, but was just kind of wanting to get an idea of what its like being an expat in a Latin American country, since its something my wife and I have considered after spending a good 18 months down there over the past 15 years.
Spoke very little Spanish when I moved here. Grinded Rosetta Stone for about 4 months pretty intensely and then just went for it in every conversation until I felt more comfortable. not being shy goes a long way, its not Paris, nobody gets upset that you are butchering the language and I think are happy that you are trying. As far as totally comfortable conversationally that was probably about a year of speaking before I could make jokes and understand slang better, but I was getting to speak every single day which I think is key.

From a quality of life/ acceptance standpoint with expats more important than language I think it comes down to attitude. There are two camps of expats that I have seen.
A. the ones that embrace the differences of living abroad and really are a part of the culture, this also usually means fluency but not always.
B. the ones that have more complaints and wish it was more like home and try to change things or are constantly bitching about something. Always worried about getting ripped off, not trusting etc. (canadians seem to be most guilty of this). Mexicans are a proud people and the attitude towards these people is generally just "If you don't like it then go home!"

From a business standpoint the most successful expats fall into Camp A almost without exception. The culture here is very reliant on who you know and relationships and with the wrong attitude its quite difficult to succeed.

I would not have had as many cool experiences/ success without speaking the language and would not have many close friends down here either. You can absolutely get by in Mex/Central America without a word of Spanish but I think the experience is 100x better with language.

What country are you and your wife thinking about?
Cheers!

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Great pictures
Cheers! GL in the Ignition streets.
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Old 01-20-2020, 08:58 PM   #103
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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I very strongly doubt it was you. Villain was not the reggiest of characters. I was surprised that the game was a 5k cap and more surprised that so many people were sitting 500bbs deep. For the most part seemed like a pretty nice environment. They said that the 5/T NL games don't run because of that game specifically which is a bit of a drag but I see the appeal of PLO over NL with that specific mix of players. (I'm assuming the 5/T NL game didn't have quite the same makeup)
5/T NL ran into summer of '18, all the NL regs went to vegas so the player pools of NL and PLO sorta cannibalized each other. floor decided only 5/T PLO and just 5/5NL and player pool for 5/5 sorta exploded and floor decided no reason to ever bring back 5/TNL.

PLO tends to not regularly play that deep, usually only ppl sitting that deep are strong players. but like once or twice a week (esp if the game runs until like 3am or whatever) you'll see some crazy stacks and the game will play huge.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:11 PM   #104
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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5/T NL ran into summer of '18, all the NL regs went to vegas so the player pools of NL and PLO sorta cannibalized each other. floor decided only 5/T PLO and just 5/5NL and player pool for 5/5 sorta exploded and floor decided no reason to ever bring back 5/TNL.

PLO tends to not regularly play that deep, usually only ppl sitting that deep are strong players. but like once or twice a week (esp if the game runs until like 3am or whatever) you'll see some crazy stacks and the game will play huge.
Makes sense. The 5/5NL games looked quite good from what I saw as well.
Most of the bigger games I play here are similarly structured as well. A few people will buy in deeper, the weaker players buy in 50-100bbs but by the end of the night its generally pretty deep and the nocap or huge cap allows people to loss chase pretty nicely.

GL, from what I saw you've got yourself a nice little ecosystem there. The next time I'm in SD I will hit you up for a beer and some cards
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:06 AM   #105
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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Find who the smokers are and try to sit away from them. No real options man, thats one of the downsides of most (not all) Mexican poker rooms. GL
please tell me the rooms where they do not smoke?
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:12 PM   #106
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

Was thinking Nicaragua, maybe Mex though as I have spent half my total travels down this way camping on one beach in Michoacan so I could definitely imagine living in a city like Tecoman or Zihuat.

Definitely would not come down here trying to run a business, too big of a risk. I am in Nicaragua right now, a small village with unpaved roads and a few stores/places to eat. I was here 14 years ago and there was maybe 4 places to stay and 2 restaurants, now it is probably 15 places to stay and 15 restaurants and I can't see all of them succeeding, just not enough tourists to go around for everyone.

As far as categories A and B, I love the way things are down here and try to do things their way. Whenever I stay in an area for a few weeks or more I try to become friendly with local businesses, give small gifts to the local kids (surfboards at end of trips) I never felt like I was ripped off over 10+previous trips down here.

Now that I'm not living on $15/day though and have extra money and look more like a tourist than poor surfer, it feels like I was getting taken advantage of quite a lot, things like wrong change or exchange rate, charging more for taxi or haircuts after the fact, all in Costa Rica mostly though. I just appreciate when someone gives me regular local pricing and I will usually tip very well.
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:33 PM   #107
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

how do you and the family live there full time? Does a visa allow this? Does your wife work or income from poker support family? What about kids education and quality of schooling etc?
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:41 PM   #108
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

Going to an international or local Mexican school is probably quite a lot better for kids when its a situation where they will learn at least one second language and cultures. I can't think of anything at school I learned other than reading and basic math which would of been more useful to me than a second language. I don't know about USA, but in Canada I don't know a single kid who properly learned a language at school, even taking up to grade 11/12 French or Spanish. There is private schools available anywhere there might be a decent amount of expats if you don't want to use public schools.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:34 PM   #109
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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how do you and the family live there full time? Does a visa allow this? Does your wife work or income from poker support family? What about kids education and quality of schooling etc?
My wife is a Mexican citizen, I am whats called a Permanent Resident of Mexico. I have all rights of citizenship except the right to vote. When I first moved here I had to get a renewable visa every 360 days. I applied for permanent residency and it used to be fairly easy to obtain, provided you were paying taxes etc.

When I met my wife we both worked. I was working for a real estate investment firm and playing poker. We bought real estate and started a vacation rental business which we still have today and I am always looking to add more properties and continue growing. My wife stopped working late 2016 and I started playing poker full time and running the business. 16/17/18 were amazing years from a poker standpoint and then last year was the first real struggle I've had.

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What about kids education and quality of schooling etc?
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Going to an international or local Mexican school is probably quite a lot better for kids when its a situation where they will learn at least one second language and cultures. I can't think of anything at school I learned other than reading and basic math which would of been more useful to me than a second language. I don't know about USA, but in Canada I don't know a single kid who properly learned a language at school, even taking up to grade 11/12 French or Spanish. There is private schools available anywhere there might be a decent amount of expats if you don't want to use public schools.
I think theres a lot of truth in what Snowie says above. We have continued to live where we live because there is a pretty awesome school system, but not all of Mexico is as fortunate in that regard, especially in the public school system. Basically if it's a bigger city or a city with tourist dollars coming in there will be more options and more gov. money spent on education.
My girls go to a private school that is probably 80% Mexican/ 20% Euro/American/Canadian. Half of the day is in Spanish, half in English. The school is K-12th grade and they have a pretty awesome track record of sending their kids to great universities, not just in Mex but worldwide. They also do cool exchange student programs with other intl. schools.
Both of my daughters were born here and are Mexican/American dual citizens but I think definitely are getting a better education then I got growing up in San Diego.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:48 PM   #110
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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Was thinking Nicaragua, maybe Mex though as I have spent half my total travels down this way camping on one beach in Michoacan so I could definitely imagine living in a city like Tecoman or Zihuat.

Definitely would not come down here trying to run a business, too big of a risk. I am in Nicaragua right now, a small village with unpaved roads and a few stores/places to eat. I was here 14 years ago and there was maybe 4 places to stay and 2 restaurants, now it is probably 15 places to stay and 15 restaurants and I can't see all of them succeeding, just not enough tourists to go around for everyone.

As far as categories A and B, I love the way things are down here and try to do things their way. Whenever I stay in an area for a few weeks or more I try to become friendly with local businesses, give small gifts to the local kids (surfboards at end of trips) I never felt like I was ripped off over 10+previous trips down here.

Now that I'm not living on $15/day though and have extra money and look more like a tourist than poor surfer, it feels like I was getting taken advantage of quite a lot, things like wrong change or exchange rate, charging more for taxi or haircuts after the fact, all in Costa Rica mostly though. I just appreciate when someone gives me regular local pricing and I will usually tip very well.
Awesome man, I think those small gestures of kindness go a long way. As far as the second part there are obvious disadvantages to not appearing to be broke anymore, the "gringo tax". Being able to speak fluently and conversationally helps in that spot a lot.

This definitely decreases as you become a more familiar face also. Because Mexico uses a flat(ish) income tax system I always just thought of that 10% markup I was paying as a little extra tax and tried not to worry too much about it.

Good luck in your adventure, sounds pretty awesome. I don't really know much about Nica but seems like a pretty nice spot to get off the beaten path.
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:28 AM   #111
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

Amazing blog. I really like your approach to mixing live/online and investing in property. I do something very similar. I would love to hear more about your journey with property investing, how you found your first one and how you plan to expand. Will be following, gl!
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Old 01-22-2020, 10:33 AM   #112
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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I don't know about USA, but in Canada I don't know a single kid who properly learned a language at school, even taking up to grade 11/12 French or Spanish.
No disrespect friend, but it is not a Canadian thing to not have a tendency to learn another language(s) (as attested by folks living in Quebec who acquire a fair amount of English/conversational English by the time their schooling is done), but moreso an Anglo-Saxon thing : the same situation can be said about UK, Australia, NZ, USA, Scotland etc. Let's face it : when we are kids/teenagers, we could not care less about learning a new language, it is only until we are somehow forced to or highly encouraged to for career/travel/immigration reasons (basically all non-Anglo Saxon peeps), that we deliberately put in the extra effort

I can assess that learning both English and Spanish have been HIGHLY useful for me ; the former, well you can imagine why, and the latter definitely creates more affinities with the locals in LA (I do believe it is MUCH more feasible to become somewhat of a local in Latin America then it is in South-East Asia, for instance).

Last edited by Dubnjoy000; 01-22-2020 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 01-22-2020, 01:17 PM   #113
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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Awesome man, I think those small gestures of kindness go a long way. As far as the second part there are obvious disadvantages to not appearing to be broke anymore, the "gringo tax". Being able to speak fluently and conversationally helps in that spot a lot.

This definitely decreases as you become a more familiar face also. Because Mexico uses a flat(ish) income tax system I always just thought of that 10% markup I was paying as a little extra tax and tried not to worry too much about it.

Good luck in your adventure, sounds pretty awesome. I don't really know much about Nica but seems like a pretty nice spot to get off the beaten path.
I went shopping with my boyfriend in the segundas a few weeks ago in Ensenada and every store was quoting us absolutely insane prices for goods. we just needed a couple baking sheets and a large cooking pot. Apparently used baking sheets in not very good condition are worth 600+ pesos (~$35). we decided to go to walmart and bought brand new ones for 150 pesos each. had the same experience when we went to some other segundas. any place without prices written on the products was quoting insane prices, like they just didn't want to sell to us. and I speak pretty good conversational spanish too

now I just send my bf alone and everything is at least 50% off. though besides the segundas I haven't had any issue with being overcharged. In less touristy areas I have never felt like I was getting overcharged - a couple restaurants even undercharged us in mexico city. Just gotta watch out in the touristy parts because they know they can get away with overcharging dumb gringos. don't blame them one bit tbh
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:57 PM   #114
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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the same situation can be said about UK, Australia, NZ, USA, Scotland etc. Let's face it : when we are kids/teenagers, we could not care less about learning a new language, it is only until we are somehow forced to or highly encouraged to for career/travel/immigration reasons (basically all non-Anglo Saxon peeps), that we deliberately put in the extra effort
Agreed. I grew up with plenty of opportunity to learn Spanish: offered in high school, huge Spanish speaking community where I grew up and I used to drive to Tijuana/Rosarito/Ensenada with friends/family all through my childhood and never learned any Spanish until it really benefited me after my move.

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I went shopping with my boyfriend in the segundas a few weeks ago in Ensenada and every store was quoting us absolutely insane prices for goods. we just needed a couple baking sheets and a large cooking pot. Apparently used baking sheets in not very good condition are worth 600+ pesos (~$35). we decided to go to walmart and bought brand new ones for 150 pesos each. had the same experience when we went to some other segundas. any place without prices written on the products was quoting insane prices, like they just didn't want to sell to us. and I speak pretty good conversational spanish too

now I just send my bf alone and everything is at least 50% off. though besides the segundas I haven't had any issue with being overcharged. In less touristy areas I have never felt like I was getting overcharged - a couple restaurants even undercharged us in mexico city. Just gotta watch out in the touristy parts because they know they can get away with overcharging dumb gringos. don't blame them one bit tbh
You got it about the more touristy areas. It's almost built into the business model, these stores are paying more for rent because they are in an area that gets more tourist traffic. The reason that is valuable is because tourists on average are willing to pays more for the same goods. Anywhere where they aren't putting a price tag is expecting you to negotiate.

Hope you're still enjoying Mexico, one of the my favorite cities to just walk around. If you guys like seafood try Agua y Sal in Polanco. Less expensive then some of the bigger fancy food names but very clean and tasty.

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Amazing blog. I really like your approach to mixing live/online and investing in property. I do something very similar. I would love to hear more about your journey with property investing, how you found your first one and how you plan to expand. Will be following, gl!
Cheers! I'll do a full real estate investing write up soon. Thanks for reading


Probably heading to Vallarta in the coming days for a little tourney series/cash and to spend some time with old friends. I've really been grinding this month, putting in a ton of long sessions and having decent results. I'm playing smaller and lower variance games but they run longer and more frequently. GL in the streets!
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Old 01-22-2020, 11:32 PM   #115
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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No disrespect friend, but it is not a Canadian thing to not have a tendency to learn another language(s) (as attested by folks living in Quebec who acquire a fair amount of English/conversational English by the time their schooling is done), but moreso an Anglo-Saxon thing : the same situation can be said about UK, Australia, NZ, USA, Scotland etc. Let's face it : when we are kids/teenagers, we could not care less about learning a new language, it is only until we are somehow forced to or highly encouraged to for career/travel/immigration reasons (basically all non-Anglo Saxon peeps), that we deliberately put in the extra effort

I can assess that learning both English and Spanish have been HIGHLY useful for me ; the former, well you can imagine why, and the latter definitely creates more affinities with the locals in LA (I do believe it is MUCH more feasible to become somewhat of a local in Latin America then it is in South-East Asia, for instance).
Thats what I was trying to get at actually, never realized it was more than just the US/Canada.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:13 PM   #116
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

I love this thread. Please keep it up!
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:13 PM   #117
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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You got it about the more touristy areas. It's almost built into the business model, these stores are paying more for rent because they are in an area that gets more tourist traffic. The reason that is valuable is because tourists on average are willing to pays more for the same goods. Anywhere where they aren't putting a price tag is expecting you to negotiate.
yeah, that makes sense. although none of the stores in ensenada wouldn't negotiate with us for even 1 peso below asking price. was very strange


Quote:
Hope you're still enjoying Mexico, one of the my favorite cities to just walk around. If you guys like seafood try Agua y Sal in Polanco. Less expensive then some of the bigger fancy food names but very clean and tasty.
we loved it in cdmx. didn't get a chance to visit polanco but we're seriously considering moving into somewhere around the roma area
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:41 AM   #118
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

Awesome, subbd
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:32 AM   #119
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

Hey mantecaa, in puerto Vallarta I didn’t find poker cash game, in win club casino not enough players, maybe you know name casino with regular game?
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:37 AM   #120
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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Awesome, subbd
Cheers!

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Hey mantecaa, in puerto Vallarta I didn’t find poker cash game, in win club casino not enough players, maybe you know name casino with regular game?
I have actually been in Vallarta for the last 5 days. Encanto Casino, has a nice poker room and have had at least 5 games running the whole time i've been here with the tournament series going. 25/50, 50/100 and 100/200 NL + a Omaha/MataAces 50/100 mixed game. I'm not sure they have regular games, as tonight there wasn't a game going with the series over but they have 6 tables so I assume theres games at least on the weekend. Worth a shot, they have a nice room and good staff.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:03 AM   #121
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

Here in Vallarta, flying out tomorrow. All of my friends left this morning and I couldn't get anything out last minute. The great games that were supposed to run today didn't go off so I was left with nothing to do until 4pm tomorrow.

So.. with nothing to do... I am 10k hands into the longest online session I have put in since I was a teenager. Have run up my sad little rakeback and bonus based BR into $400 all at the micros. Feeling like micros Linus at the moment.

I won't play another hand of poker this month, thank the lord. And i'll write a wrap up on the month + a trip review because there was some pretty classic **** going on early in the trip, pre mini depression that kicked in the last few days This Kobe thing really shook me up and bummed me out the last few days and made me want to be home with the family quite badly.

After 2 trips and almost 200 hours of poker total with marginal (albeit winning) results I am ready for a break.

Gl on the tables. I'll do a better write up/month in review/trip report mañana o al día siguiente when I feel more motivated to do it.
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:53 AM   #122
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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Cheers!



I have actually been in Vallarta for the last 5 days. Encanto Casino, has a nice poker room and have had at least 5 games running the whole time i've been here with the tournament series going. 25/50, 50/100 and 100/200 NL + a Omaha/MataAces 50/100 mixed game. I'm not sure they have regular games, as tonight there wasn't a game going with the series over but they have 6 tables so I assume theres games at least on the weekend. Worth a shot, they have a nice room and good staff.
Thanks, I been in Incanto 1 day and saw just one table 25/50, but room is cool, no smoking. I can’t imagine that they played 50/100 or 100/200 because even at 25/50 the stacks are very small
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Old 02-11-2020, 06:54 PM   #123
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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Originally Posted by mantecaa View Post
Gl on the tables. I'll do a better write up/month in review/trip report mañana o al día siguiente when I feel more motivated to do it.
I'm really looking forward your trip report and this thread so far, the fact that you say you feel kinda unmotivated makes me think things didn't go exactly your way on the trip?
Hope that's not the case!

Saludos desde cdmx!
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Old 03-16-2020, 10:37 AM   #124
CrunchyBlack
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

How you doing buddy?
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Old 03-16-2020, 10:56 AM   #125
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Re: Fighting out of the Downswing// $250k Year Live Pokers in Mexico

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Originally Posted by CrunchyBlack View Post
How you doing buddy?


Solid bump! +1, hope all is well.
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