My name is Joe Sicko. I'm a poker player, poker enthusiast and most recently a poker room owner and manager in beautiful Punta Cana. This story started last year after I participated in the Punta Cana Poker Classic as a member of Team Bovada. The experience was great. My wife Megan and I loved the trip and, of course, the money that I won. After returning back home to the snow and cold of upstate New York we decided to take a chance and follow our passion.
That passion brought us back to Punta Cana to open our new poker room. “The Fish Bowl at Punta Cana – A Poker Sicko’s Paradise”! After almost a year of planning, design and construction (filled with blood, sweat and tears) the doors finally opened just a week ago. The year was – no lie – one of the most challenging year that we have ever experienced, but in the end it was all worth it. The room has been an instant hit and this is in no small part due to some filming that has been taking place in the days since we opened for business.
This filming has involved some big-name actors and actresses including Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Edward Norton and Marion Cotillard. You guessed right: Rounders 2 is being filmed in our new poker room! I'm not permitted to go into details on the film, but I will say the buzz this has created around the room has been surreal. Fans of the movie and the celebrities have come out in mass to see the stars and to try and be a part of the cult classic’s sequel.
Fans have pulled all the usual stunts you would expect to get a piece of the spotlight and attention from the stars. Women flashing the crowds, mega fans begging for autographs, and some of the braver people have even been running into shoots screaming and yelling. One person is particular ran in and made it rain with Monopoly money, screaming, "It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money!!!"
Filming wraps up in a couple weeks before moving on to Las Vegas for a wrap up. Today, I leave you with a poker quote from Edward Norton: "Life, like poker has an element of risk. It shouldn't be avoided. It should be faced."
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