Thursday, December 8, 2011

Philippines 2011 - Part 3 - Manila Spirits

Esther and i flew to Manila from Legazpi on thanksgiving. BloomFat searched out potential options for a t-day dinner. Turns out the Hilton was offering a special dinner buffet and seven of us who had arrived early met up to celebrate my favorite holiday.

We showed up a little early and i met BG in the casino. With only about 30 minutes before dinner, i sat down at the no-limit hold-em table (25/50 peso blind). I bought 2000 pesos in chips, about $50. I wouldn't be able to see too many hands, so my goal was to find a good spot to get all my money in. That opportunity would come in the tenth hand.

I was dealt pocket kings, the second best possible starting hand. I raise to 350, four players call, the fifth re-raises to 800. I push all-in, four players fold, and the re-raiser calls with pocket 7's. I'm an 80% favorite to win the hand. I'm covering him in one suit with my kings, so his outs are: four spades, a third 7, or four cards for a straight. I've played the hard perfectly, giving myself a great chance to triple up. He hits his fifth spade on the turn. It's disgusting, but it's better to be lucky than good. I get up and go to dinner.

... which was great, but a far cry from a real thanksgiving. They had excellent indian food, fresh sushi, pizza, hamburgers, rib eye, italian, mexican, and... a turkey, gravy, and some mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving dinner a turkey does not make. Where is my cranberry sauce, the kind with the baked ocean spray cranberries? Where's my stuffing? My green bean casserole? The dessert was pretty epic though, complete with a chocolate waterfall/fountain, and, like, all the pies. Ever.

Tournament Recap
We played three days of ultimate, as Friday was a one day single gender tournament. On the Men's side, our Beijng/Shanghai/Lincoln team lost in the finals against Philippines' own Boracay Dragons, on the final point, 17-16. We played a great game too, but we were plagued by injuries and strained muscles from the intense heat. We lost 3 or 4 key players about halfway through the game, and our lead turned into a deficit. We fought to keep it close and even had possession on the final point, we just couldn't finish it.

On the Women's side, China won everything against the Bebots, also from the Philippines, with a dominating final score of15-9, i believe.

For the co-ed tournament on saturday and sunday, Big Brother played great... up until the last points. We lost two key games against strong filipino teams, Boracay and Sunken Pleasure, both games lost on the final point again. I think the final score of both games was 10-9, or 11-10... something like that. Heartbreakers, both of them. As a result, we finished 7th overall out of 32 teams, which is quite good, but we could have easily been top 3. If those two games go differently, we become a contender for the finals. One problem is that most of our team played friday also, and when sunday becomes your third straight day playing under the brutal Manila sun, you have to dig deep to find the strength to push hard. We just didn't have anything left.

We did kick ass at the saturday party, as always. The theme was "Back To School" and Big Brother went as chinese schoolgirls. Nina gets credit for the original idea. Esther and I found the costume on Taobao for $10 each. I worked the logistics of pulling everything together. Esther worked with the factory directly to sort out the sizes and request custom XXXL's for the big dudes on our team. Gareth and Nina carried all the costumes over.

The result was fantastic.

I also played one song with the band, their cover of Sublime's Santeria. It must have sounded decent, or at least been memorable, because a bunch of people recognized me on the fields sunday. Good times.

What a mustache.


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