I can finally say that I won a fairly major poker tournament "freeroll," with the help of a friend of mine. We competed in a "Tag-Team" Texas Hold'em tournament where I would play the first blind level and then he would take over the next level with the same chip stack and so on until the tournament was over. We came back several times from near death and while I didn't think I pulled my weight in the beginning, I definitely feel like I redeemed myself near the end!
As with many free to enter tournaments there was not an outright cash prize, but we both are now qualified for another tournament later in the year in which we will play against approximately thirty players for a chance at entry into another tournament that takes place at the Borgata in Atlantic City. In the invitational tournament at the Borgata, everyone gets a prize and the winner normally gets an entry into a major tournament that takes place at the Borgata as well. As with many things in life, you have to use momentum to your benefit in order to succeed consecutive times and win the ultimate prize. We'll see if I'm up for the challenge, but most of all I'm just happy to have the opportunity and have a good time while I'm trying!
The next major poker tournaments might potentially take place on the same day in late May. One of them will be for a trip to the Borgata and another will be for a trip to Las Vegas and entry into a $1,500 World Series of Poker event in the summer. Last year in the WSOP qualifier event, I finished second so I will be very hungry to redeem myself. Win or lose, I have some money set aside to travel down to Atlantic City for one of the Borgata Summer Open events in June. Should be a fun experience!
The most intriguing news as of late in auto racing has to be Kasey Kahne's move to Hendrick for 2012. While I'm not really a fan of Kahne, I see it as a pretty good maneuver by Hendrick Motorsports to sign him. I just hope that they will work closely with Mark Martin to keep him in competitive equipment if he wishes to keep racing past 2011. The last thing I would want to see is such a class act like Martin struggle in sub-par equipment during his twilight years in NASCAR.
Talladega is coming up. Let's hope that this year's races will rekindle my interest in attending races there someday. Usually my favorite race to watch during the Talladega race weekend is the ARCA race. I'll be rooting for the restrictor plate master, Lebanon, PA's Bobby Gerhart to win once again! I feel that overall ARCA has the most entertaining race, although the Nationwide and Cup races normally have some wild finishes. Let's hope those finishes this year are mostly a result of competitive side-by-side racing during the late stages and not a complete demolition derby like we've seen often in recent years at Talladega.
For any short track racing fans, how about the competitive fields and car counts in some of these series? Namely, the fifty cars that showed up for the PASS South Series Easter Bunny 150 that took place at Hickory Motor Speedway. It makes me look forward to going to their North Wilkesboro race on Labor Day weekend later in the year even more! Another short track series that is turning some heads but may not get as much attention is out in the Southwestern part of the United States: the SRL Southwest Tour which has many of the same drivers and cars that competed in the former NASCAR Southwest Series. There were more than thirty cars for their season opener last month at All American Speedway in California. This is a series that struggled to get twenty competitive cars to an event during the past few years. Great to see short track racing alive and well!
On the local front, a friend and I made it out to Big Diamond Raceway near Pottsville, Pennsylvania to see some dirt modified racing last weekend. The weather would have been much nicer if we had gone the weekend before, and we heard that it was standing room only throughout the stands which is a great thing to hear. However, the Friday night we made the trip we braved the approximately forty degree weather to see some great racing. It was probably the best time I have ever had watching an event in weather that chilly.
No pictures or videos were taken from the Big Diamond event; however, I will be bringing my Flip Video when I travel down to Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina later this month for what should be an excellent night of short track racing. Scheduled to compete are the USAC Ford Focus Midgets, Allison Legacy Series, Rolling Thunder Modifieds, ISCARS Dash Series and the USAR Pro Cup Series headlining the night with a 250 lap race. Videos will be posted on my YouTube account following the race. Hopefully the weather will be a little warmer for this event, and most important of all precipitation free!
Last of all, how about them Duke Blue Devils?! They weren't my pick to win it all this year, but it's always great to see coach Mike Krzyzewski and his players work hard and take home another title. In my opinion, it was one of the best championship games in years and both Duke and their unlikely opponent the Butler Bulldogs showed that they deserved to play for the college basketball title. Now college basketball is over and it's full steam ahead in the racing world for the next several months!
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