Tuesday, March 28, 2006


By my new "stay at home, put my slippers on, light up my pipe and play on Pokerstars" lifestyle last week was pretty damn hectic.

A quick rush through the nine day week...

Saturday: Catch an unhealthily early train down from Darlo to Kings Cross for the R's make or break game with Brighton. It's not make or break for the players of course. With the R's safely ensconced in mid table and the Seagulls needing an act of Parliament to stay up the players couldn't give two shits about the match. But for me it was huge. Assuming Reading don't fuck up totally I have just two long term bets running on the Championship. I am short of Brighton points at 46 (Yum yum) and long of R's points at 64 (Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww). A real six pointer for me. Rangers pretty much played them off the park for the first half and should have been 3 or 4 up. They weren't and when Kevin Gallen got sent off for swinging an elbow in the amusingly named Paul McShane's (first rule of comedy yada yada yada) face it was always going to be a nervy last half hour. Brighton never really threatened until Marcus Bignot launched a perfectly placed header into his own net with about 5 minutes left. Cunt.

Alcohol was always going to be a pretty big part of the day. I met Andy Ward for a pint before the game (he even defied his super wimp status by having one himself!) to congratulate him over his wise decision to leave the dark side and give up work. Best of luck mate.

After the game it was off to leafy North London for Tony Bloom's birthday party. An eclectic mix of guests included various poker players and gamblers who arrived at regular intervals after getting busted out of the £200 tournament at the Vic. There were also a couple of the marketing types from Pokerstars who got very very drunk and spilt all sorts of interesting secrets about the company and some of their players. Undoubted highlight of the evening was watching Alex the Gent dance to Wham! I only wish I had some way of capturing the image. He looked like a goldfish on speed doing the breatstroke. Highly amusing. I also had the following exchange with someone I hadn't seen for about 3 years.

"Oi, Camel why are you ignoring me? You've walked past me 5 times and not said hello"

It wasn't that I was being rude on this particular occassion.. It was only when he opened his mouth that I recognised him. The guy had lost about 8 stone. Amazing. He looked about 10 years younger too. If Jake isn't incentive enough for me to lose weight nothing is. So, if anyone sees me in the process of eating a pie, a cake or some chocolate, do me a favour and snatch it off me. It's very hard, but I am determined to do it.

Sunday: Had to move hotels. The Marrriott Marble Arch is 10 times better than the Metropole and much closer to the Vic. But it didn't have any rooms for Saturday so I had to switch. Arrived 5 minutes late for the super satellite and was told I can't buyin as entries close 30 minutes before the tournament starts due to "new computer system". I begged and pleaded with the poker guys and they managed to squeeze me in if I promised not to be late again.

Lifetime I am many thousands down at supers and I managed to fail to win a seat again even though I tried much harder than usual. I only had three rebuys and had an above average stack when I lost as 1-3 favourite three times in quick succession. Ho hum. Stupid game anyways.

Monday: Played the £750 NL tournament at the Vic. As I took my seat I waved hello to Julian Thew. He waved back and mouthed "Do you want to swap 5%?". He's a fish, but a pretty lucky one, so I nodded yes.

I soon discovered I had drawn a very juicy table. Only James Vogl posed a potential threat in my mind although he was two to my left which is about as bad as it gets.. But, he pretty much kept out of my way so I could get on my merry way.

I must admit, with so many chips on offer I played a little too tight and didn't take full advantage.

One interesting hand sticks in my mind. I raised under the gun with KK to 600 at the 200-400 stage . A fairly loose player minimum reraised me in middle position. Hmmm. I wasn't passing but I was concerned he had AA. So I called (We both had approximately 8000) and saw a JJ2 flop. I checked, hoping to check raise. He checked behind me. Curiouser and curiouser. Turn is a 9. I'm confused now and check again. He follows suit. WTF? The river changed nothing. I honestly have no clue what he's got. I probably should have bet but checked. He bet 1000. NOw I thought he had quad Jacks. But I called, and he showed me the boots! I don't know who played the hand worse!

I moved upstairs to a very interesting table. Three to my left was Paul "Action Jack" Jackson. I must admit I took an instant dislike to Mr Jackson when I first met him, mainly because he put a horrid outdraw on me when he made a terrible play against me two tables out in a big tournament at Walsall which he went onto win. But also because of some misogynist ramblings by Paul in a Poker Europa article. But, after sitting and playing with him for a couple of hours it seems I was wrong. He has a sharp sense of humour at the table (always a plus point in my book) and seems quite congenial company. He also proved in an mpeg you can see on www.tillerman.net that he is a truly excellent player in hand with Phil Ivey at the Monte Carlo Millions. Possibly the most remarkable hand in the history of televised poker. Check it out.

But, I'm afraid I can't be so nice about Mark Teltscher who was to be frank a bit of an arse. He never once shut up and bored the table rigid with his inane nattering. I have no clue about his playing abilities but when he dissed Chris Bjorin after the Swede got knocked out, he proved he has no clue about poker. Chris has already won more than Teltscher will ever win.

I got a nice treble up at the 600-1200 level when Colin Kennedy moved in late position, the guy in the cutoff did likewise and I found the boots on the button. But, at 25k that was as nice as it got. I wanked away about half my chips when a tight player limped on my BB. The sb made up and I picked up AK in the BB.. The caller shook a little as he limped and I half fancied he had a big hand. The flop came K63. Much to my surprise the sb led out with a pot sized bet. I only had 10 bb's so it was pretty much now or never I felt. I moved in. The limper beat me into the pot. He had flopped trip 3's. Another misplayed hand..

Tuesday: I took the Darlo flyer back home for a couple of days. Received a rather nice text message on the way which said Thewy had chopped the £750. Nice work mate. Katharine had an important poetry reading and I didn't want to miss it.. Plus a week away from the little fella would be just too much. K and J would be coming down for the weekend.

Wednesday: Katharine's reading, with Jake in attendance for his first poetry performance. We drove through the night to arrive at the Marriott at about 5am, only to be told our room had been sold to someone else because we were "non arrivals". This was despite the fact I told Marriott when I booked the room the earlies we would arrive was 3am, and possibly much later. They let the room go at 1am. Luckily someone else had failed to show, so we had their room...

Thursday: The Vic pretty much let you choose which day you played in the £1500 tournie and knowing I would be knackered after a long drive, I chose Friday. So Thursday was left to a long lay in followed by getting jake to meet up with some poker glitterati for drinks and dinner..

Jake looks a little less thrilled by meeting Vicky Coren than vice versa...

I'm sure Francis Rohan would like to "get locked up" with this group.. From left to right: Me; my poker mentor "Backdoor" Bob Coombes; "Taliban" Bob Pigg; Vicky Coren holding Jake and Neil "Bad Beat" Channing.

To be continued...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Annual Meeting of the "National association of Impoverished Punters" (NIPs)

Cheltenham Branch.

Update: Amazingly, I understand from feedback noone recognises many of the faces in this particular rogues gallery who met up on Champion Chase day at Cheltenham..

So, from right to left: Tony "The Hat" Conner; Katharine; Jake; Tony's wiser half Tessa; Alex "The Gent" Goldie and Stevie "The Bald Beast" Bennett (who scared the living daylights out of Jake with his removing hat routine!)

Thursday, March 09, 2006


...I couldn't give two shit's about the poker circus anymore.

Some stuff happened at the Deauville EPT which two or three years ago would have got me saddling up on my high horse and riding into more controversy. And where would it have got me? At least 2 more enemies and possibly banned from EPT events in the fuure. I am not going to cut off my nose to spite my face ever again.

As for laying off The Ambassador, well, I don't even care very much any more what happens to him. If he can look himself in the mirror and feel happy, good luck to him. I just felt a bit sorry for the Aces Poker investors who lost their cash and would dearly like to be playing in Monte Carlo, the WSOP, the Bellagio etc but can't afford it because they lost all their savings in this venture.

By the way Richard, in no way was I taking the piss out of DW for playing a £5 tournament. I wasn't angry at Mr G for suggesting I couldn't afford the buyin for Monte Carlo. There is no shame in not being able to afford 25 lumps in my book. I think it's DW taking the piss, playing these huge tournaments while the investors look on.

From now on, if it's controversy you want, I suggest you look at DPommo's blog. Rory Liffey is great bloke and doesn't deserve the abuse Pommo gives him. As for me, I will just be happy getting my wages on 'Stars and keeping my head down..

And here, now nearly aged 6 months, is the reason for my serenity:

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