Monday, 9 September 2013

Albufeira report

It’s the 10th of September and I’ve officially been home from Albufeira for 6 days… *sigh*…

Front window of apartment

In my “Life Update/Future” post in July I briefly touched up on the fact I had moved to Albufeira in June to grind for a few months. Well that time is now up and I’m back in Sunny Scotland….or should I say, constantly pissing it down with rain freezing Scotland….BLLAHHHH!!!!!
Anyway, I wanted to do a mini report on Albufeira for anyone considering going there and to bang some photos up.
Apartment living room

As you can see from a few of the photos I’ve uploaded (more at the bottom of page), we were staying in a super old school Portuguese style 2 bedroom apartment. Having been born in 1989 I’ve never lived in 1955 but fuck, it sort of felt like it with the tacky wall and floor design – I would never choose to live in an apartment like that but given we didn’t have a place to stay the day before jetting out we weren’t left with much options! It was also pretty compact in size; ideally I would have rather moved into an apartment with an extra room to set up a grind room and have a separate main living room but beggars can’t be choosers and I was just delighted we had an apartment to stay in before flying out.

Chillin' in the old town, I'm the dude 2nd from left, my stakee is far left

These drawbacks however were more than made up for in apartment price and location. The rent cost 600 euros a month including bills which isn’t bad at all split 2 ways. The location was nothing short of pure vomit whitey sick: we were living less than a minute’s walk away from Albufeira Square/bar street which is where everything’s going on in the old town and a further 1-2 minute walk to the beach.

The square and bar street are just packed with loads of restaurants, bars and disco bars – most of which stay open till 4am and sometimes later if there were any events on. There were a few solid live music bars in the Square, most notably Vertigo and Rock Café which had some cover bands belting out the likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Whilst classic 60s/70s rock isn’t my thing, I was impressed with a few of the bands and the live music scene in general in Albufeira. If you wanted to keep partying till 6am/7am you could easily jump in a cab and head to the new town – that cost around 5-6 euros from the square and was only a couple of minutes away in a taxi so wasn’t bad at all!

It was also pretty convenient living so close to the beach given our usual wake up time was anywhere tween 2.30pm and 5pm (standard!!) so allowed us to quickly swoop down and soak up some sun. Standard bed time was anywhere between 6am and 9am before you call me lazy!

Beach at 6am, walking home after night out in new town
The costs of living:

The costs of living were all round pretty decent too. There were enough markets to shop from and the cost of food probably worked out at a similar price to the UK. One downside was the prices of drinks in the disco bars, although this is probably no different from any other tourist resort. You were typically looking at 5 euros for a vodka mix, and there was even a place in bar street that had the arrogance to charge 8 euros, maaaaaad!

Anyway, it ended up not being too bad for us; we found a few pubs where you could get a pint for 2-3 euros, and if we wanted an epic night out we would usually stock up on a litre of Smirnoff which cost 13 euros from one of the local shops which is pretty sick. Hhhhhmmmmm 6.5 euros to tank half a litre of vodka before going out or 5 euros for a single vodka mix? That’s a tough yeen!

Needless to say, we made sure to spend some good quality time pre-bevving at the apartment to ensure we got hammered. Most pre-bevving took place between 12am-2am, and it became the norm to head out around 2am. In Glasgow, your night’s pretty much finished by then so will be pretty weird adjusting to that and just the fact the area where I live in Glasgow is so quiet at night. Wish me luck!

Dancing in the apartment. You can make out some of my poker charts on the wall!

Things to do:

In terms of activities, there’s plenty to do! We took a day out to hit up the waterpark “Slide n Splash” and hired a pedalo for a couple of hours another day which was fun. Besides that, there’s plenty of other activities running that you can take part in like pub crawls, booze cruises whilst paragliding seemed to be one of the most popular outdoor activities. We probably should have spent more time doing more of the outdoor activities that were on offer, although I think we needed the beach on too many days to cure the inevitable hangover!

Tattoo place right round the corner from us. Luckily for us we didn't start drinking till night when it's closed!

Summing up
Our final month was easily the craziest!

From 11th August onwards there wasn’t a day where we didn’t have at least one friend over visiting, or exploiting our accommodation for free should I say! This meant from August 11th to September 4th, there was rarely a day where I wasn’t consuming alcohol – can’t say us Glaswegians don’t know how to drink!

As depressing as it may be to be back in Glasgow for various reasons, I’m actually pleased I’m giving my body some time to recover – my liver really did take a pounding out there and I’d be slightly concerned for my health doing another month out there at the same rate! Unfortunately, this basically meant in the final month poker was pretty much non-existent. I am back in Glasgow however, the nights are starting to draw in and I aim to get serious again volume wise in the final few months of the year.

Ring of fire drinking game. Not quite poker, but just as good!

All in all, I would definitely recommend Albufeira to anyone – either for living for a short period of time or vacation. There’s pretty much something there for everyone whether you wanna chill with the family or go batshit crazy with your buddies. We met some awesome people and I'd like to think one day I might be back.

Next year I’ll be moving away with my stakee to grind poker for a year, and at the moment it looks like there’s a great chance we’ll end up in Budapest in January. I’m also thinking about abandoning the idea of an SNE chase in 2014, and instead getting into the coaching side of things and balance that with playing. I am currently undecided and will trial the pace of SNE regardless in October and take things from there. More on that in the coming weeks!

Oh, and if you didn’t see my last post, I’m writing articles exclusively for the official ICMIZER website which can be found at
I’ll be writing hopefully between 2 and 4 articles per month and my first article (preview below) will be published very soon, so stay tuned! It should be sick!

Well, that brings a wrap, so until next time!
Live long and prosper

 ICMIZER article preview:
ICM calculators although great for telling us the immediate EV of a move fail to account for the bigger picture i.e. what may happen in the following 5+ hands. With this in mind, it's worth thinking about what is likely to happen if we double up against the big stack here. We will become a clear mid-stack on the bubble so our opponent if any clue about ICM will raise and shove wider into us and with more equity to protect our all-in call ranges will tighten up which basically means we’ll have very poor future $EV.


More photos:
Bar street


Chillin' on a pedalo!


Just off the main square in old town!


My buddy playing guitar in the streets!


Getting up to no good at the waterpark!

Lil bit tipsy anyone?!
Smoking a fag. I don't even smoke!

Close up of TV in living room. Shame it was limited to Portuguese channels.

Apartment living room looking into the bedrooms



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