Homeless Poker Player’s Wild Florida Trip Report Part 2October 14th, 2015 by Carlos Welch
After spending a few more days in Fort Lauderdale, I finally forced myself to leave South Florida and head up to Daytona Beach. I was in town to play the Heartland Poker Tour’s single table satellites. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club.
The only other dog track I’d been to was the Palm Beach Kennel Club which I was not very fond of. This one was different. The chips were not faded, I could not smell the dogs, and the food was much better. Everything just seemed to be an improvement on Palm Beach.
I decided to go ahead and play Event 1 of the Heartland Poker Tour because I’d just arrived in town and had nothing better to do. Unfortunately, I never really got going and busted the tournament a couple hours after I entered. Like in South Florida, I was never able to get much single table satellite action, so I decided to enter one of their qualifiers which is essentially a mega satellite to the main.
I played the $375 buy-in because it had the lowest rate. They awarded 1 seat for every 5 players and we ended up getting like 11 entries, one of which was a re-entry. This meant that we all played at one table the whole time. What I realized was that these high buy-in qualifiers play similarly to single table satellites, only with a much better structure and a forced chop heads up. I lasted several hours, but not long enough to win a seat.
By this point in the trip, I was sick of live poker. Including the satellites and tournaments I played in Tampa and West Palm Beach, I was like 0 for 7 in live events. I decided to stick to online tournaments for the rest of the trip since I was crushing them over the past week or so.
This would have been tough to do from the van, but luckily I found a motel right on Daytona Beach for $190 a week. What an incredible price! I booked a room and played online for the rest of the trip. Again, this turned out to be a good decision as I took 1st and 5th in two tournaments on America’s Cardroom for a total of $3700. You can watch a Twitch replay of the final tables here as well as a stream I did while parked directly on the beach here.
In the morning after my last day in the motel, I left Florida to head home. Some of you may be followers of my Twitch stream and know that for the past few weeks, I’d been promising to bring a live giraffe on stream. I know that sounds crazy and many of you did not believe me, but I was able to make it happen.
On my way back to Atlanta, I decided to double down on the panther crossing sign and take the wildness of my stream up several notches. I stopped by the Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Ga, where I drove through the wilderness protected by the Nitmobile.
Well, except for that one time when I couldn’t get the damn window to roll up! There, many beasts came right up to my van where I fed them treats. The guests of honor included a giraffe, buffalo, rhinoceres, bulls, zebras, ostriches, and my personal favorite…donkeys! As a poker player, I love whenever I get to spend time with them. You can watch a replay of what has to go down as the craziest Twitch poker stream in history by clicking here.
After leaving the safari, I drove home and settled back into the Nitcave. The Florida trip was absolutely amazing, but I am glad to be home for a few days of normal van life. I’ll be here for a week, then I will fly to Fort Worth, TX where I will watch a rap battle featuring friend and fellow poker player Alex ″Assassinato″ Fitzgerald.
A week after that, I will be heading to the Dominican Republic for the Punta Cana Classic. I’m sure these trips will provide me with more crazy adventures to tell you guys about.