Hey everyone! Hope y'all had a great holiday weekend and are having great success in 2008. Right now I'm spending the next few weeks in Vegas getting ready for Heath's big UFC fight March 1.
That means no LAPC for me, but occasionally I get to sneak away and play the Venetian Deep Stacks going on this month. I want to send the best of luck to all my friends playing at Commerce. Get that money!
The last few blogs I talked about one of my favorite casinos, Borgata. Now it's time to share my true favorite, the River Rock Casino Resort. Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, the River Rock is where you'll find me going back again and again as often as I can.
To start writing this blog I got cozy, pulled out my photo album and made a hot cup of Tim Hortons French Vanilla. This drink always reminds me of the first time I went to Vancouver and stayed at the River Rock.
Tim Hortons, for those of you who don't know, is the best coffee-and-donut shop in Canada - maybe even the world. The best gift ever was from a poker player who heard how much I loved Horties and gave me a canister of the instant version. Canadians are the coolest.
Back in 2006 I traveled to Vancouver to speak at a poker seminar, Rush to Win. Johnny Chan, Phil Helmuth, Brad Booth and Joe Tehan would also be speakers at this event.
I was so excited getting to visit a new city and to be a part of this team. Our one-day seminar would be held at the River Rock's theater so all of the pros would also be staying there.
Flying into Vancouver for the first time was an experience in itself. Holy moly! I had no idea the customs officers were so strict. They asked a million questions and by the time they were done I felt like I must have committed some type of violent crime.
For those of you who haven't traveled to Canada make sure you can cross the border. They are very strict on letting people in.
All of that was quickly forgotten driving up to the casino. River Rock Resort reminds me of a warm cabin you'd find up in the mountains. Except it's only five minutes from the airport alongside the Fraser River.
Walking into the four-story lobby you see a grand fireplace, large pine trees and waterfalls - all of which gives the impression of being outdoors and indoors at the same time.
To the left is the casino side and to the right is the theater and spa side. You could easily spend your whole trip on one side of the resort and never know the other side existed. Pretty cool.
Playing in the casino you feel as though you are outdoors in the wilderness. The ceiling looks like the night sky with tiny stars that twinkle. Occasionally you can catch a shooting star and make a wish. Mine usually consist of getting a natural nine. lol.
The poker room is on the second floor and is the largest in Canada. There are 25 tables and the staff goes out of their way to make everyone's experience a great one. There is even a balcony overlooking the marina in case you need to step outside and get some fresh air.
Perfect for those times you take a bad beat: it gives you a refuge (other than the bathroom!) in which to reset and relax. When I'm not playing or eating you'll always find me in the fitness center. I love it and it's open 24 hours a day! It's not very big, but it's got all the essentials.
It's the view that keeps me in there though. It overlooks the 144-berth marina and you can watch the boats traveling down the river. Also you can see the swimming pool that has a really fun waterslide.
I really enjoy having great views when I'm running on the treadmill; it beats staring at the TV or worse, at a bunch of sweaty people on machines.
Saving the best part for last are the beds. Each room is a suite with the most amazing beds you've ever slept on. There are four layers of cashmere in these beds and you instantly drift off to sleep the moment your head hits the pillow.
Being a lifelong insomniac it's saying a lot I'm able to fall right asleep.
These are only a few reasons why River Rock is my favorite. Make sure to check back next week when I talk about Vancouver, the BCPCs, Rush to Win, the Johnny Chan Poker Classic and hanging out with my best friends Alex Lee Behan and Brad Booth.
Till next time,