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.
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.
Plenty of live Poker action coming up in Slovakia with Banco Casino in Bratislava and Košice. Check out their website for detailed info.
I'll be shooting the Spade Poker Day 1A this Wednesday. The photos will be available in the official coverage.
Over the past weeks, our tightly knitted network of independent reporters and activists wasted no time and resources to enter Ukraine days after the Russian invasion and offer direct help to the most vulnerable while being backed by a series of additional private individuals on the outside that were taking care of communication and logistics support. We are friends, old travel partners and like-minded media buddies believing in quick direct action leaving slow bureaucracy in the hands of bureaucrats.
It has been repeatedly reported that human filth is at work on the Ukrainian borders. Honestly, I'm speechless ... but being speechless is not what is going to keep people safe.
Banco Casino Bratislava usually run Ladies Poker Nights on regular Tuesdays except if other Poker festivals are on with a specific schedule. The events are not exclusively for female players but the lady raisers usually freeroll this super fun low buy-in event.
During my emotionally troubled past in a conflictual existence and through a series of intense ideology soaked cultural projects, I got lost in the violence of some of my thoughts and convictions, a violence that regularly turned into physical roughness. I was able to break some destructive habits some fifteen years ago by getting deep into Poker, into the practice of photography and, at the same time, into my scary self.
Banco Casino Bratislava are offering a bunch of promotions to Poker players including catering or rakeback deals for cash game players and there's also the possibility to take part to higher stakes games in their VIP room.
I play there sometimes myself, more specifically for PLO games from 5/5 but there are also big NLH running occasionally.
Have a sneak peek behind the red curtain with me in this post :-)
My fresh start in Bratislava is very exciting! I'm working on my own plans of setting up a base in Slovakia for the months to come and I am getting involved in various networking and support initiatives in order to assist the still growing flow of Ukrainians seeking a new start too.
Hotel Kyjev is one of the last reminders from the Soviet times in Bratislava. Now that the ghost of former imperialist Russia woke up again in neighbouring Ukraine, I remembered this photo report I did during a visit in 2019.
The Poker Belgique Masters has been a great success with a main event of over 1k entries and, once again, Bratislava has confirmed its place in my heart's favourite cities of Europe.
Thank you Banco Casino for having us!
Every day has been bringing its share of bad news from Ukraine over the last week and it looks like the worst is still to come unfortunately. Support is getting organised outside Ukraine and I'm still in Slovakia building networks of people who are willing and capable to help and trying to stay in touch with and assist all the Ukrainians I know while my dear friend, DaPic (David Pichler), made his way inside Ukraine. He arrived in Lviv yesterday to provide an inside view.
I know quite some people in Eastern Europe. Obviously also in Ukraine. While in Luxembourg over the last days, I spent a lot of time on the phone, writing messages, sending letters and chatting to try to find clever ways to help where I can.
The first Belgians are arriving in Slovakia since yesterday for this week's PB Masters at Banco Casino !
The next Poker Belgique Masters kick off in Slovakia in the end of February and there are still a few hotel packs up for grabs if you consider to join.
... you're not drunk enough :-)
The aliens have landed in Bratislava. They disguised their saucer from outer space as a bridge and use it as a restaurant for deception purposes.
The Belgians of Poker Belgique will also land in Slovakia soon … Check out the POKER TRIPS of this site for details.
The PB Masters will be on in early March in Slovakia's capital and there are pretty nice hotel packages up for grabs. Are you in?