In PLO Poker, everybody loves a wrap although ... technically, you generally don't have much other than a very promising hand at that point. In the film industry, everybody loves a wrap too :-) That's when all the shooting parts are done. Technically, you also have nothing at this stage but a promising image archive.
I was in Luxembourg in April and I documented part of the shooting of Farid Ismaïl's latest short film ENTRE LES MOTS backed up by Wady Media.
Everybody had to wear a mask at all times except for the actors when acting. The shots are still kinda cool but it is obvious that losing the facial expressions is a catastrophe for photojournalism.
There is something really special about the Poker games in Estoril. There are honestly friendly interactions between casino staff members and players so sometimes, we end up doing things together other than shoving and shuffling chips and cards.
Obv, we used to be a lot more together before the pandemic, sharing moments together ranging from boat or surfing trips to karting races featuring the mandatory occasional meetings on the beach. We've been locked up for months again this winter over here but since group activities are allowed again in Portugal, a fellow Poker player started to organise weekly football games. We got ourselves a nice 7vs7 last generation synthetic field in Estoril, a standard we honestly don't deserve... Don't be fooled - the photos look nicer than our bola skills are :-D
The games are friendly ... but tough. I mean ... it's football ... in Portugal. This is serious shit!
The preparation for the final production steps are going well and I am pretty confident to be able to decide what kind of optional wall mount to chose from over the coming days. Shipping details and procedures are also being taken care of before I launch the official production and online sales at some point soon within the 2 next weeks.
Some copies have sold on pre-sale already. Thanks a lot for the interest!
During April, I released the first prototype of a series of photos of Cascais that I shot during the winter 2020/2021 lockdowns. I initially wanted to release 10 photos but I ended up being stuck with 18 photos I really liked so I made an additional effort to narrow down my choice but I still decided to keep 15 in the end. In this post, you will find out about all the 15 photos I selected for this small personal project. Each item will be printed 10 times only and will come numbered, signed and with a personal greeting. First come, first served as pre-sale has started about 2 weeks ago.
After more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions, I still see a surprising amount of people with no plan what so ever in terms of down time management and giving in to wasting copious amounts of time. Nature around us knows no such thing as inaction. So why should we?
Inaction can be defined as the lack of action where some is expected or appropriate.
Everything evolves, matures, grows, changes, betters, worsens, decays, accelerates & decelerates in nature. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly but nothing is ever still.
Actually, you might think that you're just sitting there looking at this sketch and reading this text. On the bus, on a train. Even if you're in a lobby or on your couch at home not moving for hours on a lazy Sunday, you are still traveling an incredible amount of kilometres per second ... that is: every second.
Think about that for only one second ... BAM! You just moved about the distance between Brussels and Lisbon :D
During these days in April 2019, I had the immense pleasure to get invited by Frank Koopmann's to his Big Wrap festival, probably the coolest PLO event there has been so far. I played a ton but I also shot a lot of photos.
One of the event's ambassadors was Fernando 'JNandez' Habegger, the PLO MASTERMIND guru. We were meeting with his crew almost every day for breakfast and I spent a lot of time with his photographer, Lionel Ceccavara, who happens to be an awesome landscape photographer. Go check out his shots!
Shoutouts to Tom Smeets who runs a really cool Poker website called Poker Ecosystem and to Luuk Botter who runs a brilliant PLO Youtube channel of his own as a personal side show.
I am especially happy that the JNandez crew decided to purchase a set of photos of mine and that those are still displayed on the PLO MASTERMIND website today.
View all my Big Wrap shots in my Flickr archive.
What can a poet teach us about Poker?
I got a book from a friend a few weeks ago. The Book of Disquiet is about Bernardo Soares, a Lisbon book keeper recording impressions and feelings he doesn’t intend to publish. Anyone who attempts to kickstart a big project, will sooner or later realise that hope and expectations walk hand in hand. The first is driving, the second might be crippling when making dreams compete with achievements.
It is widely agreed that being result oriented is a major barrier to evolution and development, yet everybody is.
... except maybe for the fact that there are many things we do not know.
Surviving modern life has become a lot like playing Poker these days: navigating a huge amount of incomplete information. I plan, I cancel, I plan again, I reschedule ... I cancel and then I plan again, maybe. Taking decisions feels like rolling a dice and making any sorts of plans feels audacious. In order to be able to move forward at all, I try to use what I have learned playing cards: not to be too much of a result oriented fool.
One of the most beautiful things when you are running an independent non-commercial blog is the freedom you have to fool around (with post titles for instance).
Live games seem off limits in Portugal until at least May. Also, there is not much going on around the Luxembourg area either and traveling to anywhere where cards are in the air still seems a little bit far-fetched for now. Sticking to online games looks like the legit option and I am preparing a series of work sessions about satellites for the coming weeks.
It has been a while since I have used my favourite hashtag, #allineverywhere , on social media. In late April 2020, more than a full month into the first European Covid wave and locked up in Luxembourg, I was publishing a post about how questionnable it was to consider a live comeback in 2020. Back then, I thought of myself: 'What a nit! - Of course there will be plenty of games again in a few months ... right?'
It has been almost a year now since the Al Andalus Poker Circuit Main Event in Seville. The Al Andalus Seville festival was the first of a dozen Poker festivals scheduled throughout Andalusia during 2020. The event was scheduled from 9th to 15th March 2020 if I am not mistaken but we never made it to Day 1C since the festival was interrupted after the end of Day 1B when the first countries of Europe were starting lockdowns. I bagged a decent stack for Day 2, a Day 2 that never came so far and the organiser has been quiet ever since.
There are still no updates about when we are going to be able to carry out the rest of the event. You will find a link to the photos I shot during my brief stay in the PHOTOS & COVERAGES section and I will post news if there is a way to pull this off during 2021.
Portugal has entered its 4th month of winter 2020/2021 lockdown. Psychologically speaking, this one has struck me a lot harder than the spring lockdown of 2020.
With all work projects down the drain and almost no opportunities to play live, my focus has stayed on online Poker and studying A LOT but we all know how your soul starts melting when you hit a longer streak of swinging down variance lane and I was forced to navigate strong inner emotional currents.
My mum keeps hating it :-p but it still looks like playing Poker is THE revenue generating activity that will make me stay afloat. That said, I have only been staying afloat financially. Mentally, the ride through the winter months has been rough and ugly.
For those who are following my Facebook page, you might have noticed that I have started to share some posts of a page called 11F Sport. Yes, some people say that Poker is a sport :) I will do a bunch of test publications over the coming weeks to test the audience's response. The posts will all be in Luxembourgish. I am promoting those posts with the hashtag #letzpoker and a Luxembourg player won the SCOOP 2020 High Roller event a few days ago, which obviously made one of my first posts an easy success :p Thanks zazano and congrats again!
Also, I am in the process of kicking off an online challenge for the summer.
If you hav a routine of playing online on Winamax and you have not been able to play since yesterday morning, you should read what follows before tilting further.
As a matter of fact, it has been impossible to connect to the French online Poker market leader servers since roughly yesterday 10:30am. The reason is somehow unusual as some key Orange telecommunications installations have been vandalised bringing down a huge part of the South Paris area Internet network including two French departments. The damage happens to be so severe that the Internet provider initially announced that it would take them until Saturday afternoon to bring back online thousands of clients including private individuals and many companies among which Winamax with its servers that happen to be physically located in that area. By now, there are maybe hopes to get everybody back online for Thursday night as Poker News France reported but it seems the situation is already improving today.
4/30/2020 0 Comments
After the success of the winter edition in February 2020 and after moving the dates of the big #spfpoker summer Poker party to later in July/August in order to accommodate more players more comfortably, it's now time (with no big surprise) to announce the latest COVID-19 victim in our festival schedule.
Besides, Sevilla, Granada and San Roque, the SPF festivals of Madrid (May), Valencia (May), Bilbao (June) and now Rozvadov (July/August) are officially cancelled with all Al Anadlus events in between also suppressed from our calendars and there might be more following. Officially, we are trying to work out new dates and possible solutions for 2021 but the blow to the organising teams is significant.
Every online Poker traffic analyist site is going nuts these weeks! Spring has been amazing this year ... not necessarily the weather although it has been very nice here in Luxembourg over the duration of my already +six-week self-isolation (6 weeeeeeks?! - OMG!!).
As a non-stop traveling Poker player, photo reporter and film maker, this has been an experience I had not tested for 10-15 years. I cannot really tell but it has been longer than I can spontaneously remember since I stayed for so long in the same spot and I am not even mentioning the fact of staying in the same house. As a homeless rounder, the movement restrictions brought a lot of interrogations about myself. Not only was I (and I still am very much) worried about the future of my projects in the film and photo industry, I also had to face the prospect of not being able to go back to the live Poker tables ... potentially for months ...
So it's official now! There will be no Poker party in the Nevada desert this summer. The mother of all Poker festivals has folded yesterday. Officially, it is postponed to fall or winter 2020, talks and rumors about an online edition of the 51st annual World Series of Poker are being mentioned here and there but many believe that we are more probably heading towards a plain and simple cancellation of the world championship of our favorite game.
Exactly two weeks have passed since I made my way from Spain to confine myself at some friends' place in Luxembourg and although I could not have dreamt of better conditions to stay in lockdown, I am growing anxious about the sad record I am about to set. It must have been 10 years since I last stayed in the same spot for 15 days or more...
Psychologically speaking it's really hard to stay confined when all you usually do is moving around. It's especially hard when you don't have a place of your own to be confined in while watching everything you had been working for over the last months and years is crumbling as you helplessly watch the days go by. We are for instance starting to give up on some of our cinema release projects switching to VOD release solutions with #sawahmovie in Belgium for instance. The financial loss will be huge: 5 ... maybe even 6 figures and hundreds of hours of work by dozens of people are just going down the drain. Not much news about the Luxembourg release of 'My grandpa is an alien' until now and I am still investing last energy bursts to try to keep the #chagosfilm dream alive. More news will follow via our production company Wady Media.
Also, it does not look like we will get back to playing live Poker before autumn and international photo reporting also seems far away as travel restrictions will still last for weeks or months according to what I have learned from government and institution officials I know personally...
Tough one to keep a traveller's blog active in these times so all I thought of doing for now was to update my photo section with recent shots of Portugal and Spain. I am not shooting much in Luxembourg these days as I am mainly focused on helping those I can (I helped producing Covid19 info videos for the population and I am assisting social workers in translating and spreading useful news to people in need). I am also seeking solutions for myself as I am not eligible for any government help so there are probably tough times coming up for me financially speaking with no home, no income and no more ongoing projects to lean on. Being stuck in one of the most expensive places in the world (a room in a shared flat costs up to €1.000/month over here) will probably consume what's left of my bankroll and reserves in a matter of months if I don't act quickly.
Right now, the best I can do in order to soften the fall is getting back to grinding the online Poker tables as standard job search looks kinda hopeless. Enjoy some of my latest photos and stay as safe as you can out there.
The corona suckout has struck hard and it looks like we are off and away for a relatively long time out. I am kinda stuck in Peñiscola, Spain for now but I am healthy and I spent my time in zones where outbrakes were small or non-existent so I should be allowed to leave Spain for Luxembourg during the coming week. Vamos a ver ...
For the rest, all my travels are on hold for the moment as all events I was planning to attend have been cancelled anyway. What's more, all of my photography, reporting, filmmaking ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶p̶o̶l̶e̶ ̶d̶a̶n̶c̶i̶n̶g̶ gigs have been cancelled until this summer. Sick bad beat!
I guess, I will be back to the online grind for a few weeks ... #allinnowhereforawhile . I will keep my POKER TRIPS section updated as soon as things get moving again.
Time to think about new projects ... In the meanwhile, enjoy some photos I shot in Spain over the last days.
My POKER TRIPS section got an update!
A new #spfpoker flyer was uploaded with the new date for SPF SUMMER at King's and you'll find info for the March festivals I am planning to attend in Spain.
For the rest, there should be some surfing and cash game action going on in Portugal and maybe some more cash games in Brussels later during the month.
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