So for the past week, I have been staying with fellow ambassador and Twitch streamer David Vanderheyden and his girlfriend Satu in Belgium. David’s house is located in Leuven, which is 15-20 minutes east of Brussels. From there we made day trips to see Brussels, Brugge, and Gent – all of which were beautiful cities. We filmed a lot of stuff from Brussels and Brugge, so expect that to show up in a vlog, pretty soon!
Having played the Unibet UK Poker Tour in Brighton the week before, me, David and Satu took the Eurostar train from London to Brussels. After arriving that evening, we grabbed some food before heading out to check out Leuven. Satu was in a dancing mood and we went to a Salsa-place in the middle of Leuven’s bar district. It’s not a place I would ever go to by myself, so it was cool to see something else than the typical beer bars I usually frequent. We went from there to a couple of more bars, before calling it a night, seeing how we were all fairly tired after traveling.
Duo-streams with DaVitsche
The day after we woke up pretty late, and went straight to the gym. I knew the week was gonna be filled with Belgian beers, waffles, chocolate and so on, so it felt good to get in a gym session straight off the bat. After our gym session, we decided to do a duo-stream on David’s Twitch channel www.twitch.tv/davitsche (go follow!). We hooked up a couple of webcams, put the microphone between us, and used the share screen feature on Skype, to include tables from both of us. Shortly after beginning the session, eSports legends Craig “onscreenlol” Shannon and Alan “hotted89” Widmann showed up in chat. Onscreen said something about “I’m gonna hop in the NL800 game with Uhlen soon”, and hotted asked “really?”. I thought he was just joking as well, but a few moments later he was sitting in my NL800 game, with his awesome custom made avatar. It didn’t take long before hotted decided to hop in there as well, and suddenly we had 3 custom avatars on the same NL800 table (prob a history first right there)! We had some pretty interesting spots during our session, and we ended up profiting around €3000 in the end. I’ll post a couple of video clips at the end of this blog post, showing two of the more fun/interesting hands we played.
Visiting 3 Fonteinen
Being a huge beer geek, I had two big goals for my week in Belgium. Visiting “3 Fonteinen” and “Cantillon”, two of most infamous breweries in the world. People (huge beer geeks like myself) travel from all across the globe to visit these two breweries. Being good hosts, David and Satu took me to see both of these breweries, even though none of them are big beer drinkers themselves (David doesn’t drink alcohol at all). Our first trip was to 3 Fonteinen. 3 Fonteinen is located right south of Brussels, out on the countryside. They have two facilities, one being the brewery and the other one being the barrel aging facility and visitors center.
We visited the latter, where we got a tour of the barreling room, blending facility and bottling plant, before buying some drinks and relaxing in their cafe/tasting room. There was one more group there, and they were from the US, probably traveling to Belgium for the sole purpose of visiting 3 Fonteinen and Cantillon. They had a bunch of board games there, and we stayed for 4-5 hours playing “Settlers of Catan”, a very strategical GTO resource management game. David of course out-GTO’ed me, despite me having a decent lead, and took home the victory. After the devastating loss, I got myself a fanboy t-shirt, a few semi-rare beers and we headed home.
A couple of days later we decided to make the trip to Cantillon as well. Cantillon is located in a pretty worn down neighborhood in the middle of Brussels. A place you would never expect to find one of the world’s most renowned breweries.
We spent a good 30 minutes or so touring the brewing facilities. Cantillon (as well as 3 Fonteinen) makes so-called “sour beers”, of the styles Lambic, Gueuze, Kriek and Faro. These are beers that are fermented using natural bioflora from the environment, meaning no laboratory propagated yeast strains are added to the beers. They simply put the wort (soon to be beer) in a so-called “koelschip” to cool down over night, and let yeast and bacteria from the air enter the beers and ferment them naturally. Cantillon has been using this method since 1900, and the brewery looks pretty much the same today as it did back then. Alright… Enough geeking out over beer, this is a poker blog, goddamnit!
I’ll wrap up this post talking a bit about what’s up going forward. I left Belgium the day before yesterday, and I now find myself in Dublin, at the lovely Citywest hotel. I am here in Dublin to play a bunch of events at the festival going on at the hotel. It’s a pretty cool poker festival, where they have combined the Irish Open with the Norwegian Championships, as well as some Party Poker Millions stuff. I’ll probably be playing around 8-10 tournaments in total there, with the highlights being the €1150 Irish Open Main Event, the €800 Norwegian Championship Main Event and the €1100 Norwegian Championship HU event. I’m sure it’s gonna be an amazing festval, and I’m super looking forward! I’m gonna stay in Dublin for two weeks, so feel free to hit me up if you are in Dublin and want to grab a beer. Cheers!