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Daniel - Poker Journal

Hanging with the Proteges

29 Apr 2006

I woke up a little late and when I finally did get up I had to hurry to the shower and get ready to head over to the new MTV Canada building at Yonge and Davenport.

When I finally got there, I noticed an inordinate amount of 13-15 year old girls. I was about to appear on a show that is the equivalent to TRL in the U.S. On the show with me, was a "young stud" from the very popular MTV show, Laguna Beach.

As I waited for my segment on the live show, the screams were deafening! The girls just belt it out, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!" Amazing really.

As I was waiting in the green room I met the guy that would be following me around for the next several days. He told me to refer to him as "MTV" so from here on out, if you here MTV that's the dude I'm talking about.

Anyway, he is putting together an MTV Diary episode, following me through the various things I'll be doing in Toronto. Now, this isn't the first time I've been followed around in one of these "day in the life" segments, but I was thoroughly impressed with "MTV." This guy was a real pro and seemed to get all of the right shots without being intrusive in any way.

After doing my duties at the Masonic Temple (the media building for MTV) I headed back to the hotel to meet with an old friend Ali for a quick bite. We caught up on things, and then realized we had to move it along as we were going to be meeting the protégé finalists.

I met most of the guys in the hallway before heading upstairs to change. When I got back, we all headed to Gretzky's for cocktails and appetizers. I spent most of the night just trying to get to know all of the finalists. I was feeling them out, learning more about them, and basically just doing my "homework." All the while I was having a really great time.

After Gretzky's we headed back to the hotel. From there, a lot of us met up with my cousin Mike and my brother Mike. How original huh? We needed to find a place for 20 of us to go which is a difficult task on short notice.

Luckily, my cousin Mike is a club promoter in Toronto and has a ton of connections. Within minutes, he was able to hook us all up in the V.I.P. section at Budo. Very cool club with a very cool vibe.

The fun continued and I felt like the group was bonding very well and that everybody was having a good time. We ended up closing the place and then going to a 24 hour spot near the hotel for eats. Here's where things got really fun.

Mattias Andersson, no not the loud annoying guy from the WSOP, had just flew in from Denmark and I pegged him as a "party guy" right away. He's the type of guy that seemed up for anything.

After eating a full meal, I offered him $500 if he could finish off a plate that Amanda, a Red Hot Poker Tour player, couldn't finish. She barely touched it, eating less than half of a large bowl of rice, veggies and chicken.

I told Mattias that he had 10 minutes to eat the whole bowl. Now, in fairness, this kid eat and drank a lot, and he wasn't exactly a heavy guy. He gave it a valiant effort, but it was clear he had no shot and quit rather quickly.

Now, with very little eaten after Mattias tried, I sent the plate over to my brother Mike, who we might as well call the human garbage disposal. When Mike goes out to eat with a group of people, he often eats all of his food, and ALL of the leftovers!

I offered my brother $1000 if he could finish off the plate in less than three minutes. Now, my brother just finished a full plate of fries and an absolutely disgusting extra beef four pounder burger with cheese!

I have so much faith in my brother, I figured he'd do it easy. I wasn't disappointed. From bite number one, I think everybody realized he was a cinch. My brother put the pedal to the medal, and after about 80 seconds clearing the entire plate, I threw $1000 into his plate and said, "Eat that too buddy!"

The whole restaurant was getting into it and by brother didn't break a sweat. I tried to bet Ali another $1000 that my brother could down another burger in less than two minutes. Clearly, since no one was willing to back it, everyone appreciated my brother's Kobayashi like skills.

From there, we still had a decent sized group of us with nowhere to go. So, I invited the stragglers up to my suite to hang out for a little while longer.

I had a really great time meeting everyone and getting to know them better. In fact, near the end of the night I took in some powerful words of wisdom from those that remained. All in all, it was a very cool vibe and a great start to the weekend... more to come in the next few days.

*** Remember, if you want to watch the final or be a part of the Free Protégé Pool, join us on Sunday April 30th for the live web cast only available through www.fullcontactpoker.com