Bruno Fitoussi did manage to pull in Freddie Deeb, Steve Zolotow (I’m sure he was my chemistry teacher at school) and Jason Lester from across the pond, not to mention Jeff Lisandro, Mads Andersen and Pascal Perrault. However, that was just a handful, only several Brits bothered with the tournament and even the Scandies, who I thought would have been wetting themselves at the ‘value’, failed to make the trip.
Instead, the comp was pretty much made up of French players, who many consider to be the worst in Europe, and it showed as not one of them made the final. Incredibly, two of our tiny army, Paul Gourlay and Ram Vaswani, made the last day, but took early baths, Ram’s A-Q being cruelly outdrawn by Will Ma’s (yes, the Flinstones’ gags were in full flow) A-9, all-in pre-flop for a massive pot.
One interesting comment that I prised out of Ram, who is normally incessantly quiet, is that he never wears an ipod at the table because he doesn’t want to miss anything. I commented that he looked so bored all the time and questioned his actual attention spam, to which he replied, “Yep, I am bored, but I’m still watching everything that happens.”
Anyhow, as usual, a North American, Will Ma, took down a big European comp (how the feck do they do it?!) and the 420k first prize (not bad considering the size of the field). As is always the case, the youngster didn’t look too bothered, seemingly accepting victory as if was ‘just another win’.
Outside of the Aviation Club, which, annoyingly, made me do 6 days of live updates in smart but exceedingly uncomfortable shoes, we didn’t veer too far off the Champ Elysees, our free time being spent in restaurants and nearby bars. One Chinese restaurant in particular is of great amusement to me as not only does it have a fish tank underneath the floor, but one of the fish is a dead ringer for Mickey Wernick. Put a beard on it and you honestly wouldn’t know the difference.
We did pop into one nice bar with Ramzi Jelassi, Mark Teltscher, Johan Storakers and co. The music was crap, but they had a colourful selection of fun cocktails, one in which we forced Swedish player Samir Shakhtoor to blind pick. Fortunately, mine came back relatively masculin, whilst Samir managed to pull out the girliest drink, and glass for that matter, possible.
Back in the good ol UK, I’ve been snowed under with a new project, which hopefully you will see soon. It’s called ‘blondepedia’ and will be the world’s largest bio and gallery database. It’s been a 24/7 task, but at least it’s something different and I’m looking forward to releasing it on the general public. I just hope they like it and my time hasn’t been a waste of well.. time.