Get It Quietly

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

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Is She Really Going Out With Him ?

Unfortunately I don't have any salacious gossip, the people here who might actually do anything salacious happen to be about the last people I would want to spend any time with so can't help you there. Idle gossip I can do though, if you're bored.

Jennifer Tilly is here with Phil Laak and I have to say she looks fantastic. If you didn't know, you would think she was an extremely attractive woman of about 28. In fact she's 46. And this was at breakfast. At this point I ought to say something bitchy about Phil Laak but I don't know him and people tell me he's a nice guy and all that stuff he does is just an act for the sponsors. Fair play to him for doing Jennifer Tilly anyway. Give her a Unabomb for me.


I was wearing a QPR baseball cap in a Sit and Go and started chatting to a French guy about football. Nice guy, even the French are pleasant here, I know I shouldn't say that ... anyway he asked me if there were any French players at QPR. I said no. A moment later I realised I had somehow forgotten about that defensive colossus, midfield general and leader of the attack all in one, Georges Santos. Can you believe he had never heard of Georges Santos ? I don't know. Well he's not that bad Santos (although I know Keith hates him) but it does make you wonder, why are there so many 2-bit foreigners in the Championship who are unknown even in their own country ? Why aren't there as many Englishmen plodding through the Portuguese lower divisions, for example ? Another of life's mysteries.


Finally some news from the world of business, Caribbean Sun Poker are rebranding themselves as Sun Poker because so many people listen to their radio adverts, log on and fail to find the website because they can't spell Caribbean. If you want to start your own cardroom, I suggest calling it Duh Poker or something easy like that.


So that'll have to do you for now. I'm going to have a beach massage today. No, not that kind of massage. Or at least I assume not, seeing as it's on the beach. And not from Jennifer Tilly either. It's expensive enough as it is, but I suspect I'd have to win the main event to be able to afford that kind of massage from Jennifer Tilly. We can dream though.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Finding Your Level

An earlier departure today in the $500 No Limit, very little value on my table, just one guy I knew was weak from playing against him in a Sit and Go the night before, but he rocked up totally and might as well not have been there. Brian Wilson was my main foe, he won a bracelet last year which he was slightly ostentatiously wearing at the table, still I suppose we can excuse that. He had a slightly odd penchant for check-raising with top pair weak kicker. Doing this he doubled me up when I had Kings, but won it back when I didn't believe his check-raise on the river. So I was back around 2600. Raised KT, rock woke up and reraised, I passed. Raised AK, 2 callers, missed. Cut-off raised, I went all in with 77, he had JJ and that's all for today. The field looked tougher all round to me, I think that a lot of the qualifiers were given $1000 to play the undercard tournaments with, so they weren't playing today, and a few more pros have arrived. So I'll skip the $1000 tomorrow, and the Omaha rebuy tonight, and chill for a couple of days.

Update I knew it ! I fucking knew it ! I had a chat with Brian Wilson when the tournament was on break and he confirmed that when he check-raised me on the river he thought he was behind (with A8 on an A high board) and was trying to make me put down the best hand. My instinct was that his betting pattern was all wrong so I called him with QQ. It's not often you make the right read with the wrong result on the river. Nice guy, and he has a big stack now, I wouldn't be surprised if he was there or thereabouts when the dust settles. I just played a $100 Sit and Go and ran into AA straight away so maybe it just wasn't to be my day today.

What Do People Think This Is, A Holiday ?

What strikes me here is how good-natured the vast majority of people are. Makes sense when you think about it, it's not full of grinding pros and wannabe locals. A lot of people are just happy to be here, and why not ? The sole exception is the players in the big cash game, who I felt made themselves look foolish last night by complaining about the noise, "we're playing for money here", and exclaiming "oh someone's just won a $10 sit and go" whenever anyone elsewhere sounded happy. Well fuck them, I said it wouldn't bother me.

I had a decent run in the tournament yesterday, in fact I was very pleased with how I played. I drew an easier table than the day before and worked 2500 up to about 11K without being all in. I did pull some good cards and flops, and maybe could have made a bit more in a couple of spots, but I felt good and in control. Unfortunately I lost the lot 5 tables out in an unavoidable overpair v straight/flush draw coup. Just for once I had the overpair but he was actually a 51% favourite. These things happen, if anything was unlucky it was that I had built up the chips to withstand this kind of beat from most players, but he was caked up and had me covered.

Tony Chapman went on to win the tournament, well done to him ! One more for the good guys. The funny thing was that every time I spoke to him during a break he bent my ear with some hand that went horribly wrong. The power of negative thinking :-). I clawed some of it back in a small sit and go against a strange mix of pros and a few locals spinning it up. One poor girl, I think it was the first time she had ever played, a short stack was all in and 4 or 5 of us checked it to the river. I had 57s and the 4 on the flop was joined by a runner-runner 3 on the turn and 6 on the river. The girl bet, I raised, another guy called and she called with a set of 6s :-/. I hope it doesn't put her off for life !

Weather is great thanks for asking David :-), though you are spot on I have to be very careful not to go out in the noonday sun. I'm going to give the $500 a spin today and if that doesn't come off I'm perfectly happy to skip the $1000 tomorrow and have a day off. Not least because I have been invited to the William Hill beach party, with the promise of an Antonio Esfandiari magic show. Rest assured that if I get the chance I'll say "Wow Antonio, that magic was totally rocks and rings".

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Just Like Luton On A Friday Night

So here we are then, sun sea sand and poker ! Plenty of friendly faces too, the Vladars, the Altermans, the Burberrys, Tony Chapman, Julian Thew, Simon Trumper, The Guvnor. A Vic posse as well, this always makes me laugh, Sonny, Keston, Kabbaj and Posner have flown half way round the world to all play in the same cash game. Same old faces. Just like Luton on a Friday night !

Rest assured that in every other respect you could imagine this is completely unlike Luton on a Friday night, that is it's very nice. And a little kerching for me as I scraped in 18th today for $460. I know, I know, I was trying to go out on the bubble but I couldn't manage it. Someone else beat me to it before I finally ran into a hand and lost my remaining bowl of rice soon after.

Hard work in the main, there are probably more Europeans here than Americans and a few too many of them can play for my liking. Fun though, I was sat next to Donna for a fair while, she always makes me laugh, and most of the Scandis and Dutch are very friendly. One whinge (I couldn't let it go), check this out, if you ask them how much is in the pot before the raise, they won't tell you. Only in Pot Limit they're allowed to tell you how much is in the pot. Work that one out.

Anyway a good day today, considering the start it had, Rangers 2 down at home to Hull before they fought back to 2-2 (and hit the post twice, doh). All of which I could listen to on Talksport's website in better quality than I pick it up on the radio at home. Isn't technology wonderful ? What an age we live in.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

So Long, Schlubs !

It's cold, it's dark, work is boring and QPR are sliding down the Championship at an alarming rate, but I don't care, because I'm going to the Caribbean Poker Classic ! Hooray !

I'm not in the main event because I didn't win a satellite. I'm paying for flight, hotel, those tournaments I choose to enter, apple martinis and beach massages with winnings from throughout the year. Do you see how it works yet ? Whatever.

I'm going to play some hands, have a good time, and if people want to act like jerks at the table that's their problem because I'm just going to laugh at them. Updates will follow, if I can !

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Men Who Didn't Break The Bank In Monte Carlo

A big oonlucky to Richard G and Paul S in Monte Carlo, I was funking for you. It sounds to me like Richard should have had less Sole, and Paul should have had more beer. Next time.

Meanwhile, the slightly less funked-for Tony G suffered a double blow. Despite holding the clear chip lead for some time, he busted out 7th, one short of the big final. However, they have this totally bizarre structure where everybody who entered the tournament (bar the final six) tries again, and the winner of this "consolation" event takes up a seat at the final table with 10 big blinds and a guaranteed "7th" prize of $100K. What were they smoking when they thought that one up ? Anyway, TG was just in time to take his seat in that, only to bust out on the first hand. Small consolation indeed.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Come To The Dark Side

Here's something that's so obvious I just can't believe no one has thought of it. Hate him or ignore him, you can't love him, Hellmuth was the topic of discussion yet again on a forum when someone said "poker needs a villain". Now as it happens they were right. But Hellmuth is not your man. On the scaryvillainometer, he's down there with Gargamel, or maybe Skeletor on a good day.

But why has no one set themselves up as the evil guy ? Not the unpleasant guy, not the whiney guy, not the rude guy, the EVIL guy. A Cantona. Or a Tyson. Someone who exudes menace at the poker table, if not downright Satanism. The Devilfish has come closer than anyone I suppose, but I suspect he just hasn't been on American TV enough to build up the image. Barry Greenstein does look like a vampire but he spoils it with all that charity stuff.

Someone should take the stage to a flash of lightning, in a full-length black leather cloak, looking as if they've just sacrificed a goat while drinking a pint of blood. I reckon they'd clean up, in sponsorship terms.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Gordon Ramsay's Cannibal Island

Here's my new reality TV idea. Well it all flows naturally from the title. You assemble the usual array of D-list presenters, actresses, lip-synchers and ex-sportsmen, and cart them all off to Gordon Ramsay's Island. They do all the normal bollocks, plus Gordon swears at them. Then of course someone is voted off and now, here's the twist. What they don't know is that they're not being voted off the island, they're being voted into the pot. Gordon cooks up a tasty longpig recipe and feeds it to all the other contestants. Repeat until someone twigs, and then it becomes and all-out battle royale. Plus you could do cannibal jokes.

It's a surefire winner. Maybe a few years ahead of its time, but it won't be long. My idea, I own it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What If They Had A WSOP And No One Turned Up ?

I've always been a hippy at heart ...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I Said They Should Do That And Then They Did

A couple of months ago I wrote an article for Gutshot bemoaning the fact that TV poker was bereft of the one factor that adds a genuine edge to the game - someone losing a serious wedge of their own money. One suggestion I made was for them to televise the big cash game in the Bellagio. Well it sounds like they've only gone and done it !

This is poker I'd really like to see on TV, if they showed the good bits. Which would be a certain person going on "stone cold tilt", doing his bollocks and getting the rubdown. 10 to 1 said person was not playing his own money, but close enough :-). It also sounds like the players are being properly paid for their time, and I'm not sure about who's allowed in, but it may well be "anyone who has $100K and wants to play" which is how it should be.

One thing Negreanu touches on here is the American practice of "running the cards twice". When all the money is in the middle, they deal the remaining cards twice for half the pot each, even three times. IMO this is bent. It's like they're saying "Hey, this is the big cash game, we're the big-balled guys who gamble all this money !", except when it's all in they say "Oh boo hoo, can we deal it 8 times with insurance". Obviously no one can bring themselves to just play in a game half the size. Big balls are all very well, but no substitute for big brains.

As for today's other events, perhaps I should stick to predicting poker. As I said, you win some you lose some :-). You should thank me for putting the bok on Chelsea big style. Poker isn't going much better this month, $600 down in double quick time with just one bubble to show for it, i.e. nothing. You know when you're not playing well, and I'm not just at the moment. A few days off might be the ticket.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Smash The State

Hooray ! Football 365 have printed my slightly off-topic Email. Scroll right down to the bottom. Take that, establishment !

Seriously, maybe it'll make a few people wake up and have a look around them.

End Of An Era

Having a brief flick through Luton's schedule on Cheeseypoker, it seems that the Stud tournaments have finally bitten the dust. I would guess so anyway - Sundays are now taken up with satellites and £5 Hold-em tournaments. You can hardly blame the casino, looking at turnouts of less than 20 on a prime Sunday afternoon slot.

I'm not one for nostalgia, but what a game that was on the right day. 40-50 runners, token nothing prizes for 6th-9th, high antes. What you could do around the bubble - it shouldn't have been allowed ! All in all it was pretty hard not to beat a game where players would regularly do things like open blind for the minimum, look at their cards while the action went round and place their protector on top if, and only if, they had a big pair.

Once I got the hang of if I took at least £10K ? (I'll check it later) out of £20 tournaments at a rate which I assure you would have been totally beyond the laws of physics playing Hold-Em. But even without the TV generation and the Cadillac Of Poker, attendances were on the slide. It was a difficult game for new players to get into. It was slow, many of the regulars were rude and intolerant, the game was very conducive to angle-shooting, open collusion was often condoned * and the amount of fucking about on the showdown (there was no "on their backs" rule) would have tested a saint. "One pair goin in ... I'll ave a little squeeze ... wot av I got to beat ?" while some poor sod was sweating on his whole tournament. And if you made them show first when they were supposed, you were the bad guy for spoiling their fun.

So all in all, the wheel of karma has dispensed its ineffable justice once again. No doubt the likes of George Kiss are now bemoaning what a shame it is. Well, what goes around comes around. Ask yourselves why no-one wants to play with you, if it's not too late for you to change.

* To be honest I condoned it myself on the occasions where players made no attempt to hide it and they were massive donators anyway.