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Poker Cruising, Will It Get easy?

:: snake


I have as much interest in going on a cruise as I do watching some Leonardo DiCaprio documentary on global warming, which is close to nil. I’m not saying I’d never watch such a documentary, it would just have to be done right. You know, like star Leo’s ex Gisele Bunchden and her Brazilian supermodel squad Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Fernanda Tavares and Ana _______ (fill in the blank with your favorite Amazonian named Ana) showing us just how hot it is getting around the world by walking around in their next-to-nothings on melting polar ice caps and stuff.

Angels2_1Likewise, I’d consider a cruise if it was done right, which should be read as: it’s cheap, offered poker 24 hours a day and wasn't packed with blue haired ladies, bratty kids and smelly people; which in the language of Brazilian supermodels should be read as: meus companheiros de quarto eram Alessandra, Adrianna, Fernanda, e um ou dois dos Anas.

I've actually come kind of close to this once before--the whole Brazilian model cabinmates on a poker cruise thing that is--except my cabinmate was my lovely wife, who’s from Milwaukee, and it was an overnight ferry from Copenhagen to some island in the middle of the Baltic Sea, and we played some heads-up poker for Danish candy and some snack I either don’t remember or never knew what it was in the first place. I was actually hoping some of the young, blonde-haired locals on the ship, which should be read as “everyone on the ship who wasn’t us,” would want to join us for a cash game but they were too busy not knowing how to speak English while entranced in an Olympic handball match on tv and chain smoking Marlboros by the carton.

So yes, all in all, it wasn't the ideal poker cruise scenario, but neither is something like the Card Player Cruise, which, despite offering poker, is still every bit of a carnival to me. And not to rock their boat, as I'm sure people have a grand time, but it's just that if you look at my requirements above, well, let's just say it's probably one too many gramps with a "Don't Forget My Senior Discount" shirtEasytub and a few Anas short of what I'm looking for, and costly at that.

I guess what I really want is exactly the opposite of your typical cruise ship experience and that's pretty much what low budget, low frill cruise line easyCruise is going for, and when I heard the other day that easyCruise is considering adding poker to its Atlantic crossing, the odds of me boarding a cruise just got better (still about 3.5:1 though).

EasybrandFor the uninitiated, easyCruise is part of the Easy brand started by Greek entrepreneurial wunderkind Stelios Haji-Ioannou (who prefers to go just by his first name, like any good Greek should do). Stelios started off with the airline easyJet when he was just 28-years-old and more or less created a low fare revolution in Europe that makes it about as cheap to fly from London to Amsterdam as it does to take a cab from Victoria Station to Upper Street in Angel, give or take a quid or two. Stelios has since attached the Easy name to enterprises such as easyInternetcafe, easyCar. easyValue, easyMoney, easyCinema, easyBus, easyHotel, easy4men, easyJobs, easyPizza, easyMusic, easyMobile, and easyWatch.

Easycruise3With easyCruise, the schtick is that travelers are generally in their 20s and 30s and are there mostly to party like an episode of Wild on E! (Brooke Burke era) wherever the ship happens to dock and then in the wee hours of the morning board the ship and sleep off the hangover in some shoebox size room with easyCruise.com written all over it until they wake up the next afternoon in a different port city to do the same thing all over again.

And while this works out well for the Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises, with plenty of ports of call to stop at, it doesn't work out so well when the ship is making its annual Transatlantic crossing. So when Stelios was traveling the other weekend to Barbados for the launch of his cruise ship in the Americas, he had, shall we say, the “Perfect brainStorm,” (ok, we shouldn’t have said) on how to make the ship's pond-crossing more "sellable.”

You got it: Poker, the panacea for any business--from your local dive pub to a European based cruise line--looking to make an extra buck during a slow night, or Transatlantic crossing.

Steliosbranson160x114And that my folks is why Stelios is making the Richard Branson bucks (and shaking Sir Richard's hand), and we’re schlepping away at low-limit tables on PokerStars.com.

Thankfully though, when it comes to easyCruise, it only takes a low-limit PokerStars bankroll to afford a trip, and if poker’s added to the mix, along with a bunch of crazy drunk European fish, well, it sounds like even a better deal, doesn't it?.

So just how cheap is it? Dirt cheap. While we don't know how much the pond-crossing will cost, prices for the Caribbean jaunts begin at $15 per person per night, based on two people sharing a standard cabin (without window). Current rates for a standard cabin with a window, quads and suites in the Caribbean start at $30 per person per night (based on 2 people sharing), $24 per person per night (based on 4 people sharing) and $72 per person per night (based on 2 people sharing), respectively.

Of course, for our U.S. readers, you'd have to factor in the cost of a flight over to Europe to catch the cruise to the Caribbean, but it just may be worth it for a few non-stop days and nights of nothing on the high seas but poker, partying and pretty girls (if easyCruise's marketing photos, seen below, are any measure of potential cabinmates).

We'll keep you posted if we hear anymore on easyCruise's poker plans, or any new Stelios ventures.



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that's his next venture...

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