The cool breeze and light rain was refreshing after being stuck in a stuffy plane for over four hours. When the car drove up, I quickly hopped in - a warm and toasty town car with the light sound of trance music. Sweet.
Halfway into the ride the driver asked how long I would be staying at Borgata. I replied 19 days. "Wow!" he said. "You'll practically be a New Jersey resident by the time you leave." I couldn't help but smile.
I checked into my room on the 14th floor. I didn't even calculate it was really the 13th floor until I watched the numbers light up in the elevator... 11, 12, 14... Ding. Crap! Isn't staying on the 13th floor bad?
If it wasn't, why would they not have a 13th floor? Instead of going back downstairs to change my room, I decided to tough it out and not be a wimp. Aside from that the room was perfect and I began to unpack my insane amount of clothes.
The next morning I woke up eagerly looking forward to relaxing and taking a break for a few days. Learning my lesson last time, I realized I needed to settle in before playing a tournament. Planning my trip this time I made sure I arrived with a few days to relax followed by a few days to play. Then I would start working.
Relaxing at Borgata is effortless. The Toccare Spa on the second floor is an incredible spa. With all the lavish treatments they have to offer, it's impossible to walk away unsatisfied. Last time Heath and I tried the couples massage and it was the best I've ever experienced.
The room is a huge suite with a fireplace, living room, full bathroom and a hot tub! After the invigorating massages you and your partner are able to enjoy the suite and hang out for a while. That's pretty damn cool.
This time around I made sure to take full advantage of the spa. The Pump Room is the name of the full-service gym at Spa Toccare. This was the place where I spent the most of my time. It has every machine that you need and even has a stand-up tanning bed!
After my extensive workouts I would head straight to the steam room. It's the best way to wind down after putting your body through a tough training session. As soon as you walk into the sweltering thick mist you smell the deep scent of eucalyptus. Being so relaxed never felt this good!
Having the extra days of rest and relaxation prepared me for the tournaments ahead. This is a vital step I see most players forget to do. As we all know, poker is a mind game, so why wouldn't you give it proper attention and care? Working out, eating right and getting enough sleep are the best ways to stay fresh and play your A game.
Unfortunately for me, even though I was mentally prepared to play I ran into bad luck in every tournament. I played four events and only cashed in the modified shootout. I took 48th place when my pocket kings ran into the mighty pocket nines all-in pre-flop.
Who knew they'd hit a two-outer on the flop? I guess he did as he went on to take second place in the tournament. Good for him, bad for me.
The Nick Schulman: Sometimes, not even quad fives can save you.