Get It Quietly

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

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Party Poker World Open IV !!!!11!1

This contains spoilers so if you do want to hang on the edge of your seat for 6 months until this is televised then look away now ...

So as I have mentioned elsewhere, I took my reservations about playing poker on TV, stuffed them into a small box and jumped up and down on the lid so they will never escape. Never ! And coughed up for the latest Matchroom/Channel 5 production, which is being filmed in East London this week. I turned up just as the Celeb heat was wrapping up, which was totally worthwhile for the purposes of ogling the two female players who were both smoking hot :-) Then there was a ton of hanging around, which I did expect to be fair, before Jesse did the intros and described me as an "anorak". TBH I would have been on firmer ground to contest this if I hadn't been sitting in the corner reading a fantasy novel at the time. Once we were ushered onto the set I did have an attack of the nerves, it was a lot like when I used to play football before a big game (as big as they got in College 2nd XI anyway). So much so that I couldn't remember my screen-name on Betfair when another player asked me, and they had to shoot an intro twice because I couldn't grasp the fairly straightforward instruction to follow the previous player onto the set.

I was still a bit edgy for the first level but settled down after I took the blinds once or twice. It was super hot under the lights which also took some getting used to. However, as the blinds moved up, once we were in resteal and then pushbot territory I was fine because I had played these spots 1000 times before online so I was much more comfortable with that than the other players I think. I'll save any hand discussion for the airdate, but long story short I won hooray. So I'll be back on Thursday for the semi-final which should be really interesting.

The other players were all friendly and really nice guys, with one exception, and everyone who was there will know who I mean, who was giving out huge "I don't want to fucking be here" vibes so I just let him get on with it. In particular Min Patel, the "Celeb qualifier" was very friendly and clearly took his poker very seriously. He was proud to tell me that he won the Party $300K last year, and justifiably so. I didn't have the heart to tell him I've won it twice :-). But if I had been asked to pick the "celeb" sight unseen I would have struggled, and then got it wrong, definitely.

Now I'm in the comfortable position of waiting to see who else makes the semis. If you're interested, they're doing live updates on the Matchroom Forum. I will probably pop down again on Monday as there are two heats and a turbo semi, and you can see all the hole cards in the Green Room [1]. Now that does sound anoraky I admit. But I have $40K equity in this thing at the moment so I think a few hours homework is well in order !

Update : I just had a look on that Forum and I see Jesse has described me a cross between Neil Channing and Annette Obrestad, lol. That's a bit more flattering than an anorak. I think. Seriously I like Jesse and you can see how good he is at his job when you're there, whatever you think of his commentating style (and I don't mind it).

[1] I don't know how previous shows have worked, but in this one active players were not allowed to sneak into the Green Room to check hands before they were knocked out, and quite right too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Man Who Broke Your Jaw In Monte Carlo

Well, nearly. I'll come on to that. Various shenanigans at the EPT Monte Carlo have caught my eye, mostly via 2+2. On a sidenote, I've been to Monte Carlo on a jolly with work and I thought it was the ponciest, snootiest place in the world so I'm quite glad that a bunch of boorish poker players are oafing the place up. More power to them.

Anyway, it's almost all contained within this thread. The action starts around post 467, where Woody Deck, who may be known to a few Gutshotters, manages to provoke Joe Hachem into flying at him in a rage and having to be held back by security. As no actual fight took place, I was denied the opportunity to use the title of this post in earnest. Not to mention the possible "Hachem hit in face by Deck" that could also have arisen.

Typically, this all arose out of an "I want to see that hand" incident. Reports vary as usual, Hachem is either the innocent party who bluffed the river, said "you win" and folded, or a skank who was constantly trying to angle showdowns all day. I don't really understand the fuss myself. If someone bets the river, gets called and says "you win", then he must have some bunch of crap. Does it really matter what bunch of crap ? But anyway. Hachem then gets a considerable bashing for his general attitude in another thread in NVG. Frankly I'm on the side of the bashers in this one. The way the guy goes "one time" and "story of my life" when he loses is an embarrassment given that he won the biggest crapshoot in history to even be here. What comes across to me is someone who's not enjoying his poker. And seeing as he can hardly need the money, why is he playing at all ? I wonder exactly what terms he signed with Pokerstars. If, and I don't know I'm just saying if, he committed to playing X number of live tournaments for a certain amount of money, then that would have been pretty short-sighted IMO. Because it leads to the possibility of having to do something that you don't want to do, which seems a bit unnecessary when you've won enough in one event to be set for life. Nothing comes for free in this life, and poker sponsorship is no exception.

Anyway, soon after in the original thread, at post 511 banana-smoking wafflecrusher (you have to read 2+2 to understand any of that I know) Shaun Deeb takes exception to some comments made by our own Dr. Channing after his (Deeb's) exit. As Keith pointed out in the thread, it seemed like an over-reaction ; the problem in these spots is that often these poker reporters who drak around tournaments trying to dredge up anything of interest are very quick to report anything that might stir the pot a bit. And it always looks worse written down than it sounds in real life. Anyway Neil gets some random bashing off 2+2 for this and that, although citing his wikipedia write-up that one of his mates doctored for a laugh seems a bit of a stretch.

As for Deeb, I could have pointed out that the last time I played against him online he asked me "could you play any worse ?" after I won a small pot off him blind v blind, when I'd said nothing to him. But there was no point. I did find his epiphany at the end of the thread quite interesting :

"I really hate live and I am only playing live at wsop **** everything else"

That's basically my position, and it took me a lot more live tournaments than Deeb has played to work that out. It's a QFT. If you're good at online MTTs, the only live tournaments you can play that give a comparable hourly rate have such high buyins that your variance is through the roof, and frankly playing them on someone else's money with makeup seems to be the worst way of all to go about it IMO. Even if you make any profit you have to give half of it to your backer. The only tournaments that are just about worth playing are the WSOP because they have the softest fields and they're all concentrated in one place for a month which cuts your expenses per tournament. TBH they're probably still not worth it really but it's close enough to make a nice break from online.

So I'm looking forward to June, and if there are more rows and ructions I should really just pull out the popcorn and enjoy the show instead of getting uptight over it. That's live poker baby.

Here's Why We're Fucked

I saw two posters in town today, right next to each other, on a bus stop as it happens. The first one was a "cleaner environment" poster, encouraging people to walk or take public transport. Great. The second one had two pictures. One was a speed camera. The other was a little kid looking into one of those picture-box play cameras. And the tag was something to the effect of "If you lose your licence speeding, it'll be like being a child again". I can't remember the exact wording but I swear I haven't exaggerated it.

So there you go. Save the planet. Provided you drive your own car. Because if you don't do that, you're not even a man. Our grandchildren will curse us with their dying breath.