Has it crossed your mind to leave everything and take the trip of your life with your motorcycle ? It is well known that motorcycles and adventure have always gone hand in hand, but there are specific people who have been able to take this duo even further. This is the case, without a doubt, of Jonathan Salamon and the challenge that in his day he was able to carry out. Leaving his land, crossing countries with his first machine that he bought during the trip, running out of money at a difficult time, falling in love, and becoming a star thanks to your other hobby. Thousands of stories thanks to the journey with the motorcycle and playing poker .
This young Frenchman decided to unite his two great passions, motorcycles and poker, to undertake his great journey aboard the first and financing himself solely with the second. In this way, for two years and four months he toured most of the American continent on his motorcycle in what he himself called his World Poker Trip , and which is now recounted in his book called “Récit d’un joueur itinérant” (« The story of a traveling player «, in Spanish)
It goes without saying that to emulate Jonathan Salamon it is essential to know this type of cards in depth , but surely that is not the most complex issue. A trip covering 40,000 kilometers through 14 countries , contains an infinite number of surprises and, logically, not all of them were positive.
At the age of 25, this young architect from the north of France decided to put aside his successful career with studies, which promised him such a promising career in the workplace. At the end of 2012, he rejected an indefinite employment contract offered to him by his boss, to escape from that golden cage that awaits him ahead and fulfill his dream of traveling alone around the world.
Beginning of the great journey
On April 1, 2013, Jonathan Salamon breaks with his conventional way of life and begins his adventure. Brazil was the starting point of that wonderful trip. Loaded with energy and illusion and deck in hand, in Rio de Janeiro he managed to collect the first money at the poker tables to continue to Paraguay where he acquired his first mount. A Paraguayan-Chinese “montage” Leopard that, because of his spectacular vibrations, he baptizes as ‘ Parkinson ‘ .
In the task of choosing a motorcycle , surely in other circumstances Salamon would have opted for something different for what was to come, but ‘ Parkinson ‘ at least fulfilled his part in the mission.
From here, Salamon’s journey took place through Argentina , playing both in casinos and in any venue that hosts a high-limit table and that gave him the chance to replenish his meager budget. From there he went to Bolivia , where he comes face to face with the harsh reality of a project with such risk. For the first time he allowed himself to be snatched an important part of his money and sometimes when he won he didn’t even get his rivals to pay him.
The first year of his trip is in Peru, where a girl’s game and heart keep him for a long time. From there to Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico .
In Colombia he went through the most delicate moment of his adventure when he lost practically all his money in a tournament that, as Salamon himself later admitted, he should never have played. This event almost ended his trip, but thanks to the fact that some international media had already covered his World Poker Trip, he finally continued in Medellín with the help of a sponsor.
Meanwhile, his first motorcycle, ‘ Parkirson ‘ , said enough was enough and he had to replace it with a second companion on the road. This time she’s a Keeway , which he decided to call ‘ Vegas’ . She accompanied him on the rest of his trip, right up to the city of sin in the United States .
Apart from enjoying the wonders that surround Las Vegas , Salamon arrived determined to fulfill another of his dreams: playing in the World Series of Poker . For this, he had to spend a considerable number of hours sitting at the most modest tables in the city until he collected the $10,000 registration fee demanded by the popular tournament.
Finally he succeeded, but his participation never had any significance in terms of results; however, that prize was the least of it. Jonathan Salamon ends up completing his motorcycle trip from Rio to Las Vegas in July 2015.
Throughout his journey, Jonathan Salamon can boast that he visited marvelous places, fell in love, related to the townspeople and the aristocracy, lived with an indigenous tribe, and knew hunger and cold first-hand, although he also the Paradise. He did all of this with the most legitimate adventurous spirit , on the back of his motorcycle and with a French deck of cards in his pocket.