Chateau de Bagnols Part 1: Tossing My Cookies in a French Castle | Matt Stout Poker Blog October 18, 2011


A couple weeks ago I spent three of the most unforgettable days of my entire life at Chateau de Bagnols, a castle near Lyon, France. Jennifer Larson, the owner of Lock Poker, rented out the whole place so that we could take it over for the first ever LockPRO retreat (although I’m sure there are plenty more to come).

The ultimate goal of the retreat was to help us get to know one another since many of us had never met before and live in various countries, but it was also a great opportunity to get to know the owner as well. Oddly enough, despite being a LockPRO for over three years and having been through hell and high water with Jenn as we left the Cake Network and moved to the Merge Network, we’d still never met. I’d never been through such a struggle with someone without having met them before in my life, so it was great to finally hang out and party together.

I was stunned at how incredible the pictures looked online before arriving at the castle, but even they didn’t do it justice. The place is just beyond description. When walk in you can feel the history as you marvel at the perfectly preserved remnants of the past. Most of the stuff there is OLDER THAN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is. It’s just incredible to see how they’ve managed to preserve history in such beautiful fashion.

And I puked on it.

That’s right, apparently I got a little too drunk at the welcome party after flying for about a day to get there. I was really excited to finally get to meet everyone, and everyone was partying pretty hard after our 10-or-so course dinner when the DJ started spinning and the open bar came out. Not to be outdone, I *decided* that I was going to get blackout drunk and head back to my room for a long night of puking.

I probably should have stopped after this particular screwdriver.

I woke up the next day nice and hung over, and managed to miss archery in the moat. Archery in the moat. I missed archery in a fucking MOAT because I was hung over. What a dumbass. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunites to do that again in the near future!

Archery in a moat!

I managed to make it down to lunch, and literally stopped dead in my tracks and quiet said “holy fucking shit” to myself when I saw the views from the area where were were set up for lunch. I really felt like I was in a movie where they show one of those epic landscape shots. Then they served us a five-course meal while we marvel at the view. When I say give, I’m just estimating because I often lost count during these absurd and incredible marathon meals.

Holy fucking shit.

After lunch I headed to the pool with Jeff Romano, Marc Alioto, and Nicky Evans. Shortly after getting in one of Jenn’s lawyers decided to do me the favor of informing me that while cleaning the room, the staff discovered that a 17th century antique had been puked on. They were now trying to clean it and would assess the cost as soon as possible. Rather than tell the people who were staying in the room, they decided to go straight to the owner of Lock with this info.

Oh, joy and rapture…I’d like to thank them for that. This is the part where I get to hop out of the pool and go have a chat with the owner in swim trunks, flip flops, and a Bustout t-shirt about the little situation we had going on. Doubt she could have been cooler about it, but I never expected to be standing in front of her explaining that I was never again going to vomit on any 17th century antiques in a French castle that she was paying for, and offered to pay for any damages. Although no one ever saw this alleged antique because it was removed from the room for cleaning, it was apparently some sort of marble sculpture.

My new buddies from gambling911 were nice enough to publish the following article on the matter:

I’d like to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Sigh…

To be continued!


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