It's pretty difficult to find out what Martin Franke, the hyperactive Estonian entrepreneur, is brewing in his head but once it's brewed, the word goes out and spreads like a wildfire thanks to an efficient marketing machinery. I've been following Martin on social media for years and we came close to working together at some point in the past but the main thing I have learned about him so far, is that he might be the only person in Europe that travels more than I do but fact is, his 'actually getting on the booked flight' performances are worse than mine and it seems he misses more planes than I do :-p ^^
Something else that has to be credited to him, is the creation of 'The Festival', a unique gaming caravan aiming to travel around and hosting international game competitions. After a great 2021 edition in Bratislava, the gaming event is heading to Estonia's capital, Tallinn, where the next leg will take place between the 27th of June and the 3rd of July 2022.
Yesterday, I decided not to walk along the ocean on my way to Cascais. It's something I hardly do since it makes very little sense. The view is gorgeous every day and the distance is roughly the same. Yet, the lesson to learn in this post is that new ways bring new surprises :-)
I'll arrive in Vegas for two months on the 31st of May around noon and the feedback I get is great. The WSOP are always the most intense time of the Poker media circus featuring lots of daily news to digest on one side and a great appetite for content from the followers on the other one. With numerous members of the international Poker scene gathering, stories, rumours, results or clashes are the bread and butter of the journalists and I will partially be drawing from but I will also be feeding the Poker media monster.
I'll be focusing again on the German speaking community this year working hand in hand with PokerFirma to deliver a coverage of the 2022 World Series of Poker featuring bits and pieces from the Las Vegas lifestyle.
I don't know David apart from a few lines exchanged online.
'This might be my last trip.' With these words, David Hendrix is making a strong statement and sets the tone. David has a rare neuromuscular disorder that affects his ability to control voluntary movements. He wasn't supposed to live past two years yet here were are: David is 31, which is probably more rare than his spinal muscular atrophy type 1 but his condition is getting worse.
Recently, fellow photographer, Christophe Mendes, from Luxembourg left to Medyka (Poland) again. This time, with Morpheus. The mission was to fill two cars with animal food and care products for humans and to drive to the Poland/Ukraine border town. From there, they evacuated some pets out of Ukraine and helped giving the animals they were taking care of some care and affection.
The 2022 dream car caravan will soon be on its way across Europe again starting in London and traveling to the Monaco F1 Grand Prix with stops in seven cities within seven days and one of the stops will be the Rives de Clausen in the heart of Luxembourg with about 100 displayed cars that I will have the pleasure to shoot days before leaving to the WSOP in Las Vegas until August.
Guess where I will be spending some time from next Tuesday ... ;-)
It's May already! This means that by the end of this month, I'll be back in Las Vegas for two months or maybe more.
I got invited to take part in a MEET UP CASH GAME NIGHT at MGM Grand in late June. Thanks, Tyler, for the invitation.
A few weeks ago, pretty quickly after the beginning of the war in Ukraine, we planted the seed of the idea of training and relocation Ukrainian exiled women in order to give them the opportunity to build a new existence in Slovakia - not as refugees, not in shelters but as casino workers to build a new future.
The waiting game is on! For a Poker tournament photographer, the last day of the competition is essentially about patience after a whole week of insane coverage action.
The Banco Casino Masters festival was an opportunity to get back to some live Poker coverage for me. All in all, it's been an intense week full of excitement I had been missing along with stuff I really haven't :-)
I'm back in Bratislava for 5-6 weeks of Banco Casino action before moving on to Las Vegas for a 2-month WSOP 2022 cash game attack and gorgeous photo reports for PokerFirma.
The Kamzik Tower is an almost 200m high architecture feat imagined by Stanislav Majek, Jakub Tomasak, Juraj Kozak, Milan Jurica and Jan Privitzer before being constructed in 1975.
Its main purpose is to operate as a radio and TV transmission structure. Since it is standing on a 437-meter hill, the additional 196m of the construction itself offer an observation deck at an altitude of roughly 600m. From up there, you get amazing views over Bratislava but you can also see vast parts of Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
The location also seems to be a premium hiking destination since the tower lies within the Bratislava Forest Park ... and, of course, in grand consumerism fashion, there's a restaurant up there. :-)
If you enjoy what you see and read, you can get more since I curate all recent relevant #allineverywhere content of the BLOG and occasionally from other sources via my Scoop.it account. A photo archive is available via the Photos & Coverages section and you might also be interested in checking the social media updates via the links below.
We use #allin4ukraine on social media in case you care to keep up and there is a SOLIDARITY section regrouping my blog posts similar to this one. If you wish to donate equipment, time or money, beam yourself to the CONTACT & INFO section and get in touch or use the following social media links: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter
Flying drones is a lot of fun and I am really glad I went through the legal and administration hassle in order to become a legal drone pilot. Flying as such is not that difficult - at least not for me because I have had flight training and experience as a glider pilot since I was a young adult. What is a bit more tricky, is understanding where how and when you are allowed to fly your UAV or UAS. Over late 2021 and the beginning of 2022, I went through the processes of studying and passing aviation exams in order to get both my international drone pilot and drone operator licenses.
I’ve been a Christophe Mendes follower for a while. For those who don’t know, I was born in Luxembourg and Christophe’s street photography allowed me to follow the evolution of things back in the Grand-Duchy while I am away since I am on the move so much. Turns out, his heart is at least as big as his photo talent and skill.
It looks like the Domink Demcak will not be available to shoot the Banco Masters in late April, so it's very likely I will (at least partially) jump in as the Banco Casino photo reporter for this huge event together with my buddy Denis as a blogger.
A nice comeback ahead after some two weeks away from Slovakia! Check out the POKER TRIPS section for details.
I am spending my past days in Luxembourg while David is still in Ukraine. I'm going to be heading back to Slovakia on Monday. No idea when I will be able to meet again with David who is relentlessly covering the dramatic situation of many civilians in Ukraine. We knew we would come across tough stuff after the Russian retreat. Yet, it's hard to be prepared for these kinds of things.
Lately from Borodvanka, a small town in the Kyiv suburbs:
'Borodyanka is a site of unbelievable destruction brought by the Russians onto a town which was not a military base but a civilian living area.'
'There is rubble which has not been cleared and it’s almost certainly bodies underneath, Ukrainian bodies, civilian bodies.'
'We had a team of professional deminers with us, who were photographing evidence that Russia is breaking Geneva convention.'
Quotes by Sviatoslav Yurash, Borodyanka April 5th 2022
The Russian retreat from the Kyiv suburbs is leaving Ukrainians with the horrific acknowledgement of what looks like a series of war crimes similar to the ones discovered in Bujah.
Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, member of the parliament and spokesperson for foreign policy, migration, human rights and LGBTIQ+ for the Austrian Green party, is working on the matter and is in touch with David Pichler in Ukraine.
David is still in Ukraine, still delivering meds, still hardly sleeping, still shooting ... awesome pics. It's hard to tell whether the war will still worsen or if we are on the path to peace these days so while the white males on a power trip with their disproportionate egos are still looking for a way to talk to each other like civilised monkeys, we remain alert and cautious.
Stuck between Kamanné Námestie Square featuring the abandoned modernist architecture jewel known as 'Hotel Kyjev' and the Old Market Hall, a very interesting building is standing tall since the mid 1930s in the heart of Bratislava just a 5-minute walk away from Banco Casino.
I'm so grateful for the awesome life I have and the great partnerships I was able to build over the years. In a few days, I will be flying back to Slovakia where I am setting up a base in a nice flat together with PokerBelgique buddies and we won't be lacking action for sure!
Banco Casino is up for a hot Poker April!
Covid uncertainties are part of the factors that I was able to implement in my #allineverywhere decision taking over the past two years but the evolution of the war in Ukraine is a tricky one to predict and to adapt for since I got involved in a bunch of solidarity actions via this blog. Long story short, I decided to shorten my initial U.S. travel plan and I will 'only' spend two months over there. Less road trips in funky remote places but still a lot of reporting from Las Vegas and its surroundings for some PokerFirma content.
This is it! The perfect illustration of the direct actions we've been working on with one of my favourite humans on the block, David Pichler, who is still in Ukraine.
Earlier this week, before leaving Slovakia, I got notified that nine Ukrainians from the Kharkiv and Odesa regions were about to start their training in the Kosice and Bratislava casinos and that they were being assisted to find decent homes in order to start a new peaceful and independent life. GG and thank you again, Jan Packa at Banco Casino, for your open mind.
The original plan was to spend 10 days or so in Bratislava ... then shit got really weird in Ukraine so I decided to stay closer to where the action is and I spent almost the whole month in Slovakia to play Poker and to help getting humanitarian projects going.