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PokerListings.com tagged along with Team 888poker and their online qualifiers for a night of drinks, conversation and breathtaking views from a river cruise ship on the Seine in Paris. We speak with Jesse Sylvia, Sam Holden and Australian qualifier Damian Toon about what goes on beyond the felt at major poker events.
Jesse Sylvia: What's up? This is Jesse Sylvia. We are on a cruise ship at the 888 party in downtown Paris. We're here to show people that we do a little bit more than just play poker. So let's take a look around and check it out.
Sam Holden: We're in Paris, on a boat, on a late cruise through all the sights. We've got a lot of 888 [SP] qualifiers with us as well, and all the team really. So yeah we're pretty excited.
Jesse Sylvia: I will say, I've never been to Paris before. This is a pretty awesome way to check it out.
Damian Toon: My name is Damian Toon. I'm from Melbourne, Australia. I got here by playing the Jackie Glazier Tournament. Since I've been here this has been so well organized. The whole tournament's been great, and the social thing's just been awesome. I love playing cards. Obviously you play serious, you play to win. But it's about having a good time.
Sam Holden: 888 really focus on the lifestyle aspect of poker and the recreational side as well. Poker should be fun for everyone, if you're playing full time or if you're just doing it recreationally. And yeah, we end up meeting people from all over the world, and we do a lot of social events like this. So we all can get to know each other, hang out, have a few drinks, have a good time, and yeah, have some fun.
Jesse Sylvia: Getting away from the poker table and doing stuff like this is absolutely vital. If you don't have a life balance, I really believe that you start to dislike the game. It gets stagnant to you. It's not something that you enjoy. And that really hurts your game. So if you don't have a balanced lifestyle, in general, you're not going to do as well, at least in the poker world. You might be some uber-genius who does pretty well anyways, but I think it's super important. So if you can go out and do really fun stuff like this, then you're set.
Sam Holden: Support from friends in poker is everything. I wouldn't have got started in Poker if I wasn't playing every week with my friends, just home games. It wasn't a serious thing. It was just a recreational thing. It was a cheap night. A few beers and catch up with your friends.
Jesse Sylvia: You gotta go out, you gotta have fun, and you gotta enjoy what you're doing. I think having this network of friends and this community is a really incredible thing that they're setting up. And I don't know, I'm proud to be a part of that.