So I was just lazing around and working on a boring Wednesday
afternoon, and intervention suggested that I should attend the cash
games festival in Nepal, and after a little bit of thinking, and
getting some issues sorted – (should really thank Aditya “Bitti”
Agarwal and Aditya “Intervention” Agarwal for the all-expense paid
trip, organized at the last minute), I was on a flight to Kathmandu
on Friday morning heading to Nepal for the very first time, and with
the excitement of traveling and playing poker in a new country.
For those of my friends, who have no idea about poker, I have divided
this blog into two parts, first – no talk about poker and the second
just about poker, so you can skip to whichever section you want.
Firstly nothing poker:
Kathmandu was a beautiful place, and although their airport is
crumbling, I liked the different indigenous architecture that it had
compared to the other airports I visited. When you land in Kathmandu,
your flight is encompassed by the clouds, when you are in the high
ranges of the Himalayas, and you don’t see anything around you for a
little while, and then suddenly out of the clouds, you see the airport
landing strip – it’s beautiful. The people in Kathmandu are very laid
back and the girls in Nepal are very friendly and beautiful. The
hospitality and the food at the hotel and the casino were top notch,
and I want to congratulate Bitti again for organizing this event well.
Although the visit was short, and I couldn’t do much sightseeing, I
did make a lot of friends this time in Nepal, learnt some Nepali (you’d be surprised how easily the Nepali girls are impressed if you
can speak a word or two of Nepali), and hope to visit again sometime
soon. All the nights were spent playing poker, but I really want to
try to make it see to the Everest Base Camp someday, and also want to
visit Pokhara in Nepal – I heard it is beautiful.
I had a great time socializing with my poker friends too – our outings
across the city exploring areas, and parties at the hotels were fun. I
have found some of the best friends of mine among the poker crowd –
it’s funny if you come to think of it. Off the table you can be best
friends, but when on the table, you just want to rip the person apart,
and take all his money, you want to break him, tilt him. Well at the
end of the day I have realized that one poker player can understand
the other, after all. It’s healthy gaming rivalry only on the tables.
Now some tips for those who are thinking about traveling to Nepal –
For those who think, the Indian currency is becoming more and more
worthless due to the free fall against the dollar recently, there is
some good news – the Nepali rupee is pegged at 1.6 to the Indian
rupee, so everything in Nepal is very cheap and affordable, and the
Indian currency is worthwhile at least in Nepal. Also, you can’t carry
500 and 1000 rupee notes either on the way to Nepal or back, so it was
funny in a way that I was carrying a lot of Indian 100 rupee notes..
Even a 10,000 rupee bundle in 100 rupee notes feels so heavy in the
pockets. I did carry a lot of US dollars too though, and that’s what I
eventually converted anything to during cashout – there is no problem
Now a little bit about poker:
We were staying at Casino Venus, which was a part of the Malla Hotel.
The casino itself was separate from the hotel, and we had some good
action during the poker cash festival. I played over 28 hours of poker
during this weekend, and had some ups and downs, mostly because i was
rusty and hadn’t played live cash in a while, however despite some
sick bad beats especially in big pots, (for e.g., lost a 80K pot when
I had top 2 pairs to a tilting player who made a call with a one card
gutshot and he hit on the river), overall I ended up being in
positive, and it was a rewardable experience. I am glad I didn’t get
stuck or lose money in Nepal. I was a little bit in negative until my
final hand, when I won a biggish pot with Aces, just 30 minutes before
my departure to the airport on Monday morning. Regarding the players,
mostly the crowd comprised of the Goa and Calcutta regulars, there
were a couple of good local Nepali players too, who were very
knowledgeable, I saw them calling some of the big pots regularly with
Ace High. I had a chat with the local players, and you can surely get
at least one or two tables running every day in one or the other
casino every day in Nepal (like he said the action is good at Hyatt
generally), so even if you don’t go as a part of a cash games
festival, you can get some action.
Among my future plans, it is back to Goa now, and I will be mostly
playing 3 of the next 4 organized tourneys in Goa – CR cup, IPS, and
then PGT. I am also looking forward to grinding in cash in Goa too.
Really want to get into the cash game mode for some time and make some
Overall a very remarkable trip, and definitely you should visit Nepal
for a change, and, maybe I will try poker in Colombo, Sri Lanka next!
Until next time… Cheers!