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May 11, 2013
The tournament that I mentioned in my latest entry hasn't resulted in qualification for the final. In fact, we finished 14th out of 14 nations! Despite this disappointing result, we had a wonderful time, and it was both a pleasure and an honor to play a part in helping poker grow/mature/get recognized as a skill game.
In fact, not long after we returned from Cyprus, a well-known Dutch player happened to win a trial about this exact case: is poker a game of skill (as he claimed) or of chance? (As the state claimed.) It is still unclear as to the exact implications of the verdict, but at least it is clear that there is now jurisprudence in my home country on this subject, other than the remarkable Concord Card Club lawsuit from 1998.
The past few months I have been focusing mostly on things other than poker. I have assisted in a campaign for an environmental institution, have become more active in my political endeavors, and I have made a (thus far, successful) re-entry in college. In other words: active poker has not been on the top of my list of priorities lately. However, for the PokerBond I am still on top of things, knowing that any time soon important developments could take place regarding the modernization of online play.
Off to Cyprus
April 9, 2013
In my latest blog entry, I referred to an upcoming live poker tournament that I would be involved in.
The tournament I meant is the European Nations Cup in Cyprus, April 12-15. Just like last year, the Dutch Poker Federation (PokerBond) has been invited by the IFP to participate in this special event. Special, because of the structure: a form of duplicate poker where every player gets dealt the exact same two cards as the players at all other tables, and thus the scores at all tables should reflect skill level rather than any accidental runs of good or bad cards.
This time, despite our good performance at the final in late 2011, the Netherlands will need to qualify for the final in November. I have again been asked to serve as team captain, a rather big honor. The team will consist of three players who were also there in 2011: big gunners Jorryt van Hoof, Rob Hollink and Koen de Bakker. New are the lady player (Wendy van Veenendaal), and also the two representatives from the leading Dutch poker forums PokerNews and PokerCity, Raymond Wynia & Joris Ruys.
Lots of information regarding this event can be found at the site of the PokerBond. During the days of the event, live streams will be available at PokerNews, Nederpoker and PokerCity. Also, check out the PokerBond Twitter for frequent updates about our performance at the tables, plus our experiences.
March 10, 2013
Not all that many developments from the poker front in my home country. I have not played any events, tournaments or cash games since the start of this year - meaning I can confidently hold on to my status of 'former poker pro'. Heck, one could even call me 'retired' - even though this is a term that I tend to relate to somewhat older men. :P
And there have been no real decisions when it comes to the regulation of online poker, either. Talks have been conducted between the Dutch Gaming Authority and potential licencees. The exact developments in this respect, more specifically the dangers of overasking by one of the three parties involved (the potential licencess, the players, the state/tax department) I have just described in my latest PokerBond blog entry.
Having stepped away from frequent/active poker, I have shifted my focus elsewhere. For instance, I have decided to complete my college degree. Back when I started up my poker career, I had almost completed my study Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam - I was just an internship + thesis away from graduation. Now, I have decided to finish the education after all - hopefully earning myself a well-deserved Bsc or Msc title.
Also, I have actively started up my political career, having joined the board of a local political party, and taking care of communications there. Just local stuff and nothing fancy just yet; however, it will provide me with the field experience that I might need in my further career/in years to come.
All in all, lots of interesting developments, I would say - though not yet at the poker tables. However, in the next update I will share the details of an upcoming live poker event that I will join. So, stay stuned on this site - and obviously, also on my Twitter.
January 2, 2013
The New Year has started! Time for some resolutions? Well, not really. I have never set myself goals in this way, at least not goals that are related to any specific year.
I have always set myself goals, though! In fact, I have always set myself goals that way exceeded my abilities. For instance, in my first-ever interview for a Dutch newspaper, in 1999 I think, I was asked what my goals were after having decided to become a professional poker player. My response: "Well, that's obvious: trying to become the best player in the world."
It should be clear that I have never reached this goal, in fact I never even came close. But always keeping this goal in mind helped me focus to the max on always playing to the best of my abilities. And by always maintaining maximum focus, I basically became the ultimate cash game grinder: never on tilt, always concentrated, never in unprofitable games, always on top of things. As a result, I became one of the very best cash game players in the Netherlands, and also a more than decent international tournament player. Quite an accomplishment for someone who has always had to train himself and learn things the hard way, rather than through the assistance of others.
Now that I have shifted into a somewhat new endeavor, I still carry this same kind of mentality. My focus is still on becoming the best politician I can, or on being the best spokesperson that the Dutch Poker Federation could have wished for. However, now that I have grown a few years older and may even have become a tad wiser, I have learned that it is sometimes better to actually do things rather than telling everyone you're gonna do it. Saves a lot of headache - especially for someone like me who likes to set himself rather unreachable goals. :P
All in all, this is my new year's resolution, as published today on PokerNews. For those who don't read Dutch: it is basically a wish of 'more of the same', and of trying to become better and better at the things that I currently do.
To everyone of you: I wish you all the very best in the new year! Best of luck at the poker tables, and more in general a very happy and healthy 2013.