Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Can't Think Of A Title

Well Gutshot has been entertaining me for a couple of weeks, I have to say that. Maybe I'd have been better entertained as an observer rather than a participant mostly (especially when I ought to be doing some work) but a few issues have popped up that are worth expanding on a little.

Some light relief to start with, the hissy fits being thrown over a couple of slot machines did make me laugh. For a start, no slot machines = no Vegas = no poker tournaments = no Gutshot. Cause and effect. Karma ! And gambling with an edge is still gambling, boys and girls. You can call poker a sport if you like but you might as well call it beach volleyball. Saying it doesn't make it so. If you don't like gambling, go and play bridge. Or chess. You can bet on just one thing - there won't be many slot machines in a chess club.

Which brings us neatly on to Phil Hellmuth Jr (very junior). "Why don't you fuck off and play chess then" is what I often think on hearing another rant about how "I'd win every time if it wasn't for luck". Still, I had promised to lay off him, considering him more worthy of pity than anything else, until this hagiography appeared on my screen, written by a professional therapist no less. How a professional therapist can't see that a 40-year old man who wants to be known as "The Poker Brat", and has recently taken his endearing reaction to losing a pot as far as throwing chairs around, doesn't have an issue or two - it beggars belief. Physician, heal thyself. I'm still waiting for the author to respond to my post on the article. As for people who think the whole jopke thing is just a typo, two points you're missing. 1) This demonstrates incontrovertibly that it's not an act or a calculated image play for the cameras and 2) it shows incredible contempt (or at least complete lack of regard) for his sponsors to behave like that on their own site.

Being on a roll at pissing people off, I then chipped in to the rake debate. Let me make it clear that I don't think Gutshot are making a lot of money, and a lot of what they do is for the good of poker. They have a right to make a living out of it too though. But I really, really think they let themselves down the way they handle the rake issue. People are entitled to ask how much they're paying for something and the evasive and, by turns, aggressive attitude shown to these questions I think makes them look very dodgy. Which they aren't, IMO. Up to you guys, you might want to re-think that one.

Finally something positive ! Well done to Roland De Wolfe on his WPT win. I've never met the guy, and in fact always seem to disagree with him on the forum, but it would be boring if we all agreed all the time :-). It's interesting I think to compare the reaction to this with the reaction to Tiffany Williamson's WSOP finish. Maybe the latter is more of a "giantkilling" or an "it could be me" thing but while, let me stress, both qualify as one hell of a result and it's a million to one I'll ever do better than either, I personally think that winning the WPT event is more impressive than 15th in the Big One. To win an event you have to negotiate all the different phases of play, including the "real bubble" (10 players in the WSOP, 7 in the WPT), then you have to close the deal short-handed which requires very different skills to those needed to progress through the early and middle stages. Personally I think there was an over-reaction to Williamson's result and, at least so far, an under-reaction to De Wolfe's. And of course the bottom line is that De Wolfe won more money. Which is good enough for me.

Anyway I shall be taking my own shot at the stars over the next week or two. Starting today as it happens. I phoned the Vic last night to see if there was anything going on today that would be some worthwhile "match practice" for the two events I'm playing next week. The guy was perfectly helpful "Omaha satellite for the double chance freezeout ... £50 entry ... " but through no fault of his own it was all "blah blah blah" until he said the magic words "added money". Blue Square are adding three seats. Let's hear it for Blue Square. They're putting some money in for you and me. As they do online, on a regular basis. Whether that's right or wrong, good or bad, compared to sponsoring high-profile players, is a moot point - bottom line, it's better for me. So hats off and I'll see you there this afternoon !

30/7 pm I did play (after a fashion), no good. After doubling up with Aces against a set, all money in on the flop Ace on the turn, I somehow won a bit more and doubled up again to about 20K. 30K would have been par for a seat. But I wanked half of it off and then lost the old Omaha classic Kings v Aces with about 20 players left. It would have been funny to play the £1000 as a gamble but I'm not going to lose much sleep over missing out on that one.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Some extra rake for me - I have just received a fixed £60 fine and 3 penalty points for the heinous crime of doing 40 mph through a one-horse dungheap of a village on the back road to Luton, at the prime time rush hour of 11:28 pm, just when the kids are being walked home from school. If this letter had said "Give us 60 quid or we'll jump on your head" I would have respected it more for honesty, given that's what it boils down to. And hey, it's obviously a much more serious offence than driving the wrong way round a roundabout while pissed off your head and nearly crashing into someone (me) a year before, about which they did fuck all.

But to add insult to injury the letter is clearly marked as a "Notice of Intended Prosecution" or NIP. I swear I'm not making this up. Someone is taking the fucking piss. Here's your £60 and damn your eyes. Don't spend it all at once you cunts.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Maths ? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Maths !

I heard a Vegas story on Saturday which I know most people won't find as amusing as the strip club robbery but I like this one on a number of levels. Names withheld to protect the guilty. A very well known European TV "face" was walking past the coffee shop with his paramour when he spotted three lesser mortals inside. "Is anyone an odds expert ?" asked the TVF. Yes, one of the LMs indicated another of their number, ex-bookie and shrewdie sports bettor who could probably have a bash at any tricky odds-related scenarios. The poser was "what are the odds, pair of sixes against Ace-three ?". LM indicated that the 6s were about a 5-to-2 jolly. "There," TVF triumphantly informed his girlfriend, "I told you I was favourite".

While I'm here a Harry Potter update : apparently the book's release did not escape the attention of Phil Hellmuth who, according to Iggy, opined that "Sirius Black is a seriously powerful wizard" as part of his Card Player commentary on the final table. It would have been worth listening to the whole thing just to hear that. We all knew Phil was a 12-year-old trapped in a man's body, nice to have final confirmation though. Thanks to Iggy for the strategy blog plug too, not so secret any more I guess :-)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Let's Do It For The Great Satan

Quiet now the WSOP's finished isn't it ? A few wounds to be licked :-). Not for long though, with the Vic, Luton, the VC Cup thing and another random $10K tournament in London - where's the money coming from ? It'll all end in tears, mark my words.

Anyway I was at the charity thingy in Smithfields last night and quite enjoyed it, saw a few people I hadn't seen in a while, DY, Dr. Channing, Jo, Stevie B, Steve and Xuyen, the William Hill guys. I didn't partake of the auction, I couldn't really hear what was going on, the top prize appeared to be a day of Harry Demetriou's time, which wouldn't have been bad, he could have done my shopping and cleaned my oven. Made the last train by about 3 milliseconds, the London transport system still being in a state of chaos.

Despite this chaos it's worth pointing out that QPR hosted Iran yesterday, and beat them 3-0 ! That'll learn them ! Seriously if Rangers can host this kind of game right now 2 miles from the West End, where do Inter Milan get off cancelling their games against Leicester and Portsmouth ? Cretins. While one should never read too much into pre-season friendlies, Rangers have beefed up the squad over the past couple of months, bringing in Royce who is the best keeper we have had for some time ; Ian Evatt and two youngsters from Arsenal at the back ; Tommy Docherty and Aaron Brown in midfield ; and along with Stefan Moore from Aston Villa, yesterday a 6'5" Danish international centre forward from Brescia. The latter sounds impressive until you check out his statistics (6 goals in 4 seasons) but nonetheless you must have something about you to earn a crust in Serie A. Much like Peter Crouch this will give us a "different option", i.e. we can launch it if we're being outplayed :-). And don't forget Dean Sturridge, has he been spotted at the Vic yet ?

Promotion might be a step too far but don't forget the Football League will have the transfer window restriction this year and that's really going to hurt smaller squads. Rangers have the depth - is the quality there ? Time will tell.

Finally despite being at a loose end all afternoon yesterday I wasn't tempted to blow the dust off the TV and suffer the cricket. Cricket is like a lot of sports (and non-sport gambling games like poker !) in that when you're up against a better team (or players) it's vital not to give them anything. If someone makes a hundred without giving a chance, or dismisses you with an unplayable delivery, that's fair enough. But you can't afford to give your wickets away with rash shots or (the ultimate sin) drop catches in the field. England have a chance if they do their best, but it's depressing to hear that they're not.

Monday, July 18, 2005

In Sickness And In Health

But mostly sickness. If you haven't received an invite to the poker wedding of the year then, well, what can I say. You're just not on the poker A-list. Never mind, you can read about it in OK magazine. As ever, one is faced with the prospect of perusing a gift list and thinking "Hmm. The golf towel or the trouser press ? Decisions decisions". I was once talking about this in the pub, asking just what do you buy for someone you don't know very well, and I received the answer "It depends how well you don't know them". Good enough for Radio 4 quite frankly, if not too good, standards are so low at the BBC nowadays.

Of course though I know Lord and soon-to-be-Lady Miros all too well, sickos that they are, and I'm surprised that they haven't compiled their own gift list. So I have taken the liberty of compiling a suitable alternative list, which has the bonus of being tailored towards the typical poker player's pocket at this post-WSOP time of year.

- 10% of your action in the Big One in Luton. Complete with blow-by-blow account of how Tom Myland knocked you out with K9 suited.

- His and Hers Poker Brat Hockey Jerseys. Look deep into each other's souls with the help of this stylish apparel. Plus Phil really needs the money. It's almost like giving to charity.

- "Bar Beat" box set. Ron Fanelli on etiquette, yours truly on how to mix poker with a successful relationship, and much more. A sound base for any young couple starting out on their life together I'm sure you'll agree.

- A Neil Channing Poker Story Gift Voucher Book. This is my own invention, going on line soon. As soon as the good doctor says to you "So anyway, I'm in the 2 seat" or some other poker equivalent to the opening line of "The Iliad", the grateful owner of the voucher book whips it out, tears off the appropriate ticket and hands it over to his benefactor, who stands in for a couple of hours with the necessary "That's a good question Neil, what do you put him on at this point" and so on, until the bitter end, "Unlucky mate, what can you do". Truly marvellous.

- Who would dare call himself a Lord who does not have the shrunken heads of his enemies over the fireplace ? No one that's who. Which is why a set of Pokerheads would make the perfect gift. And what would be better to spice things up in the bedroom than 7" tall polyresin figurines of Jennifer Harman and Amir Vahedi ? Hubba Hubba !!

- Finally, the reality of life is that any marriage must start out on a sound financial footing, and so any help we can give in that area would be the most practical gift of all. About 10,000 should do it. FPPs that is. No, don't cry, I know, it's an emotional day for everyone.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Words Fail Me (Almost)

I have just arrived back from Luton's £100 rebuy (rebuy !? teach me to check first) comp. I was crippled after I called 4000 on the flop with no pair and two outs, which takes some doing I know, but it was Asif. Luton regulars will need no further explanation.

So having battled through the roadworks dogging my every turn, I make it to Enfield just after midnight. For some reason, instead of the usual kebab-munching stragglers, Enfield High Street is packed with what can only be described as a crowd of people. WTF I am thinking when it hits me. These people are queueing up outside Ottakar's to buy the new Harry Potter book.

The word "sad" is over-used, but really, you sad bastards. We have created a world where people can't wait till 9am to read about the adventures of a 14 year old wizard and his chums. And I thought people staying up for webcasts of a poker tournament involving no one they know at all needed to get a life. And on that note, I'm off to bed.

16/7 pm Non-Luton regulars can find an explanation here. Such as it is :-)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Now You Said Jehovah

From a comment on Paul Phillips' blog :

"Shawn Sheikhan made a comment during a hand in progress and Mike Matusow told him to "STFU". When Jack Eiffel, the tournament director, came over to resolve the problem, Shawn Sheikham repeated Matusow's comment verbatim. Because the camera's were rolling when he repeated the comment, both players were given a ten minute penalty."

It would be funny if there wasn't so much money at stake here. According to one report players stalled to let the other two back in without losing many chips, so kudos if that's true.

By the sounds of it, Sheikhan is taking Matusow on verbally which I think is a mistake. Whatever you think of Matusow (I'm starting to warm to him in a way) this is his game. This is what he does 24/7/365 and he's probably better at it than you. This is one reason I don't go in for verbals at the table. I'm rubbish at thinking of cutting remarks on the spot. I'd be like Sideshow Bob, 10 minutes later "Say that again. I've got one now".

Finally, interesting fact courtesy of the excellent Jim Geary. 6 of the remaining 11 players have never won more than $10,000 in a B+M tournament. Jehovah ! Even I've done that !

Thursday, July 14, 2005

News From The Front

This guy is good. He can write and he knows his stuff. It's well worth having a look through the back articles. This particular piece has some great advice and if I can extract just one snippet, it's

"You need to play with smarts and caution, but you can’t play scared. Throughout the previous weeks, I’ve witnessed any number of players who were so frightened of busting that they made very poor laydowns. Strong players will smell that tendency and exploit it mercilessly."

Damn straight. A lot of the people who want to fold these big hands are oblivious to the metagame implications. Half of them would probably be stupid enough to show everyone "look, I'm folding Kings". If there are two or three good players on your table, you are now toast unless you can find the virtual nuts.

I wasn't sure about Neil's hand with the Kings, but I think I have convinced myself not to pass them pre-flop. I don't have to go all-in myself, but if I have to call, fuck it. You got Aces, you get paid.

Someone To Root For

Check out Gutshot for the funniest interview I've seen this WSOP, Andrew Black surrounded by his coterie of, erm, nuns.

Also check out his reaction when a player mistakenly thought it was a dinner break and wasn't at the table when the game restarted. With Greg, that makes two good guys left in. Hopefully there are more, but two's all we know at the moment !

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wednesday Afternoon Quarterbacks

I'm very loath to comment on any WSOP hands because it's very difficult for reporters to verify all the details, and a very small discrepancy can completely change the rationale for a decision. Nonetheless it seems to be a fully accepted version of events that, after a player in early position with around 1 million in chips made it 30K to go, Tiffany Williamson moved in for one million with AQ, and the guy called her with Kings. Ace on the flop, better luck next year.

Tiffany, who knows. At least she is giving herself a chance and good luck to her. But what drives me almost to despair is that posters on Gutshot are criticising the guy who called with Kings.

This is plumbing new depths of idiocy. He obviously had a good idea that the all-in was not definitely Aces, in fact he might well have known for a fact that it wasn't Aces, depending on his read of the situation. One million chips sounds like a lot but it's only 2% of the chips in play. You will need about 6 million to have an average stack in the final. If you want to "outplay them later", can someone let me know when exactly "later" is ? We're down to 60 runners out of 5600. But this isn't late enough ? How exactly would you accumulate 1 million chips by "waiting to outplay them later" for four days ? Fucked if I know. Which is why I would take every edge I could. Now. I should be glad that others will "wait". Which is why I post this here and not on Gutshot :-)

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Bubble Bursts

And so they're in the money. Great relief for those who qualified for $3 or 40 FPPs. Actually great relief for everybody if each hand was taking 16 minutes. According to Gutshot :

"Carl [Ygborn] must be the unluckiest player this year, going out on the bubble. Although Harrah's have paid for him to enter next years Main Event."

Surely in that case the previous guy to bust out must be the unluckiest player. So he should get something. That's not fair. This is a bit like the deals people make on the bubble so that "everyone gets something". Well what about the guy who finished 11th (as TJ pointed out on Jesse and Padraig's stalker TV show in their cellar *) ? And so on and so on. I won't make these deals and if you think that makes me a Nazi you'll just have to lump it :-)

Well done to Joe, Garry and Neil who are about all I have left to root for. Neil has cashed two years in a row. I'm sure he's not the only one to do that (well Raymer for a start !) but there can't be many. Now go get that cake !

* Shame on the guy who was offered a knee trembler when Kristy Gazes was sat next to him, and didn't invite her to join him ! Mmmmm Kristy Gazes.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Oh Behave

There's been a lot of talk about behaviour lately, which is good IMO, even if it has been triggered by unsavoury incidents. Poker is a difficult, if not impossible, game to police entirely through rules. There are holes, there are grey areas, there are cracks to slip through.

Unscrupulous players, or "cunts" as they are also known, seek to exploit this. There are more people out there every day who think it's "all part of the game" to deliberately play out of turn, short the pot, dwell up incessantly, ad infinitum ad nauseam. And then there's my particular least favourite, using rules which are in place to protect the innocent to attack the innocent instead.

I know not everyone agrees but I'm with Phillips/Greenstein in that if everyone behaved like this, the game would be totally unplayable. Think about it. The majority of players don't do these things. Out of respect and courtesy for their opponents. Those few who do, usually for minutely small advantages, deserve nothing but scorn and contempt. They have placed themselves outside what is reasonable and respectful, they should be treated as outsiders. Shunned or, if you think they aren't totally unredeemable, told in no uncertain terms what idiots they are making of themselves.

And I don't believe that more rules are the answer. Here's a great example of why not. Some time back in Russell Square, someone dwelled up for 3 minutes and then raised in a cash game, with the nuts of course. There was a big scream-up. In a well-meaning attempt to address this, the cardroom introduced a rule which stated that a player may not raise after thinking for more than 20 seconds.

Now the whole cardroom (tournaments included) was forced to act within 20 seconds if they wanted to reserve all their options. The majority of players did not attempt to invoke this rule out of respect for their opponents. Angle-shooters, however, loved it and would call it in any time they didn't want to be raised (of course not any time at all, just when they didn't want a raise). The rule made the situation far worse for everyone, and was simply more grist to the angle-shooters' mill (is that the right expression ?)

Similarly with this F-Bomb rule in the US. I ought to be pleased because it's the only prediction I made for this WSOP that's come true. But in fact, much more of this and it won't be much more of a World Series Of Poker than a World Series Of Trying To Make Your Opponent Say Fuck.

As I said before, I'm going to try not to bitch about people for their playing ability. I could, and should, have made my point below without the "If Annie Duke was a man" clause. But I will continue to highlight those who act up, cause trouble and generally make a nuisance of themselves at the poker table. We should all do it, for the good of the game.

On a rare visit to the Hendon Mob forum last week, a poster opined "if you don't like discourteous behaviour, play online instead". Is this the poker world we are creating ? Is this what I should do when the game I love is being eroded bit by bit ? I don't think it is. But then again I'm glad it's an option. At least you can play on-line, no chat, no shit to deal with.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

More Excellent Footage

From Paul Phillip's WSOP blog type thing on

"[Jennifer Harman] had moved all-in on the river with queens full, a powerhouse hand that could be beaten on that particular board only by an unlikely four of a kind or an even more improbable straight flush. As her opponent called, he said, "Looks like it's an early day for me, I guess I'll go do some sightseeing." And then he rolled over his unbeatable straight flush."

Maybe I was out of line to be so critical of Annie Duke below based on hearsay, and maybe a poster was in order to (effectively) ask me who I was to criticize her, but I truly hope that no one with an attitude like the hero above gets deep enough in this event to influence the TV generation.

Funking For The Good Guys

I must admit an involuntary smile passed my lips when this was reported on Gutshot :

"1:58 am. Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth become the latest pros to fall".

The very worst thing that could happen to poker is if this event is won by an angle-shooter. Very few of the top players shoot angles, for the simple reason that they don't need to. That's what makes them top. Duke on the other hand has a long history of it and was at it again last night according to reports. Make what you like of this but IMO if Annie Duke was a man she would be another faceless, unpopular mid-ranking grinding pro. All you have to do is ask yourself what kind of person still pulls these stunts after they have won a $2 million freeroll.

As for Phil, by comparison I almost feel sorry for him. The guy clearly needs psychiatric help. Like any small child, the more attention, the worse he gets.

I hope a good guy wins it this year - it's probably too much to hope that someone I know wins it, and perhaps too much to hope that a champion as worthy of the name as Greg comes to the fore.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Fashionably Late

I said below the WSOP day starts at 11am for most people. When I say most people, I mean those who turn up on time. There seems to be an increasing trend for "name" players (whether real or perceived) to arrive an hour or more after the tournament has started.

Of course the most well-known example is Hellmuth who apparently is rarely ever seen during the first level of any tournament. This just perplexes me. It is nothing short of ego gone mad. A moment's thought should tell you that the best time to get chips off bad players is while they still have them. Before they give them to someone else. Meanwhile if you're a world master at observing your opponents, aren't you better off putting this skill to work in the early levels, instead of looking in the mirror practising your poker scowl ? Get a grip.

Perhaps the only point in favour when you face a 15-hour day is that shaving an hour or two off the start isn't going to cost you much, whereas sneaking off for an early night is going to cost you a bomb by the time the antes kick in. How do you deal with up to 7 days of tournament poker on the spin ? There's one way I hadn't considered. There are some interesting links via Paul Phillips' blog about various prescriptions for ADHD which are apparently extremely effective for increasing your concentration span and level. A bit like betablockers in snooker. Personally I'd be very wary of taking them. It's my firm (albeit unscientific) belief that any substance you take for a short-term "hit" is borrowing out of your body's reserves. And we all know what happens with borrowing - you have to pay it back later with interest. But is this another advantage that opponents may have over me at this level ? One to think about. I'd rather stick to a bit of exercise and the odd power nap. And having just had these, I'm off to Luton for the £100. Or course I shall be arriving in good time !

Burning The Midnight Oil

WSOP day one kicked off at 11am for most people (I'll come on to this later) ... the lucky third of the field who made it to the end of the day bagged up their chips at about 2-30am. Lucky indeed, for they have two days rest before starting all over again. That's a 15 hour day of intense poker, interspersed with the odd bout of walking miles and miles to find something to eat, laughably dubbed a "break".

I cannot believe it is anything other than a huge disadvantage to be drawn on Day 3, unless you are some kind of genetic mutant who can perform at this level on a daily basis with no ill-effects. One would hope that the later days won't last 15 hours but by then the damage may well be done. It does seem grossly unfair to me not to have a rest day after the first three, but nonetheless here we are.

If you have been drawn on Day 3, you'll have to lump it. If they won't let Layne Flack change days when he is running a temperature of 106, then I think you're stuck with your draw. If you are playing Day 3 then IMO it is an absolute necessity to play as much poker as you can while you're still on a level playing field with your opponents. Play some hands. Gamble. Try to build a big stack because you are surely going to need it the next day. Sitting on 8,000 thinking "I'll come back tomorrow" must be WRONG. Tomorrow, two-thirds of the field will be well rested and raring to go, while you'll be propping your eyelids open with matchsticks (I like that one you can tell).

Furthermore to that, do all these "I regard myself as a poker player, I'll outplay them later" types not realise how draining 7 days of poker at this level is going to be ? Especially if you're not used to it. Any edge that you really do have is going to melt away once you're left with mostly tough professionals who are used to playing at this level day in, day out.

If I ever do find myself in a tournament like this I resolve to gamble it up and play marginal EV / high variance plays absolutely whenever I can. After all it will be a holiday - who wants to spend it grinding away with a low stack for five days ? Get some chips or get to the bar that's what I reckon. Kudos to Gutshot's Tiffany who is going for it by all accounts. We shall see if anyone else can seize the day.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

It's All About Awareness

Some of you might not remember what a big thing Live Aid was at the time, and how lame Live 8 looks in comparison. As a diversion, I think it's odd how it started off as "Band Aid" (humour), although now I'm more cynical I wonder if someone was trying to say that the whole thing was about as useful as sticking an Elastoplast on a broken leg. That became "Live Aid" with the concert , and now we have "Live 8" which has turned into a sort of double pun which in itself means nothing whatsoever. That's what I was thinking today. Well it beats doing any work.

So at lunchtime I went out to have a Number One All Over Buzzcut to make me look hard (it worked I look awesome). As the clipper guy was doing his stuff, news of the violence in Edinburgh last night came on the radio. "That's bad that is," he said, "It's not what Geldof would have wanted is it ?". I explained, with some help from the other slightly more with-it barber, that Geldof didn't run the whole protest movement, he was just one part of it. "OK yeah, " he said, "but it reflects badly on the G8 dunnit ?". After a moment of stunned silence I explained, as if to a small child, that the protestors were protesting against the G8, to make them be nice and share their toys with the poorer countries.

I'm not sure that the optimal level of awareness has been reached yet.

Winning Friends And Influencing People

A poster in the comments asked me about the Trumper/Greenstein spat. Well, seeing as the protagonists have kissed and made up I think we should let it lie. It is interesting to note, though, how skilfully Simon defused the situation [according to BG on 2+2]. He explained himself to BG by saying "It was the only way I could get a call from a world class player". Having been complimented so fulsomely, there's little that BG could do other than say "OK, well, just don't do it again".

I might not have noticed if I hadn't been reading "How To Win Friends And Influence People". Yes really ! It's like a comedy standby isn't it - the cardroom grouch stomps off cursing everyone after another "unlucky" exit and you say "How To Win Friends And Influence People - by [Insert Name Here]". Anyway I found it in a charity shop and thought why not (I view charity shops as libraries where you pay the fee in advance and they don't hassle you). The book is interesting, and all makes sense, although I do think some of it is a bit manipulative. But it does stress that you should compliment people sincerely rather than just flatter them. My downfall is clear enough - "For people to like you, you have to be interested in them". Well that's me fucked because 99% of people don't interest me in the slightest.

Maybe I should just try harder. When I was in Vegas in April, I chatted to quite a few pros who I know on the sort of "acquaintance" level (I don't mean friends like Keith or Bushy who are fine), sponsored pros who I know enough to say hello to. Thinking back I'm fairly sure (I noted it at the time) that only two of them actually asked me about anything I was doing. Joe Beevers asked me where I was playing etc, and Padraig Parkinson talked about Bar Beat. And so of course I thought much better of them than the guys who were just "me me me". Maybe the lesson is that you have to give action to get action !

So I spotted a chance today to try this out. Going into our little kitchen bit for a drink I saw the new canteen girl doing the washing up. "Hello, I'm sorry I don't know your name, I'm Andy, how are you getting on, etc." seemed to go down quite well. Maybe this stuff works after all :-). I like the girls in our canteen, they call me "And" because Andy is too formal. Maybe if I perfect Dale Carnegie's techniques they will call me "An" or even "A". Then I'll know I've cracked it. Yes I know, not ripping the piss out of people would help too. But I don't think they're reading this blog...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Holiday In The Sun

I am really tempted by the Caribbean Poker Classic . Not to play the $6,000 event but just to go, play some single tables and lead-up events (there's one each day from $200 up to $1000) and hang out in the sun. It looks more attractive than Tunica don't you think ? Of course expenses are treble what they would be by the banks of the Mississippi, but you know what, I could use a holiday and I don't care. If I decide to go, then I'm going. I don't need to spend all my time trying to qualify for it as I am capable of booking flights and hotels myself. Of course if there are any added money sats online then I can give them a spin.

Did anyone go to the corresponding event last year ? Anyone else thinking of heading out there ?

And while I'm here congratulations to Lawrence Gosney on his WSOP win. I got chatting to Lawrence in a super in Vegas a couple of years ago, and he's always been friendly any time I've seen him since. Nice one.