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June 01, 2007

Walsall Shenanigans

Wednesday night saw 12 of us make the trek to Walsall Casino to play in their thirty quid double stack. I wasn’t going to go myself (as I had an exam in two days), but after some suitable encouragement from JD, I decided to sacrifice my revision for the greater good. I hope JD feels he made the right decision here. Anyway.

Bobby Jagger was one of those who decided to come. It was good to see Jags again, and it looked as if he had bought some new clothes to mark the occasion. His newly polished shoes, Party Poker Jacket, and disco-shirt combo were lovely, and the hand-moisturising he indulged in on the way meant he was glowing radiantly as we stepped out of the car at Walsall.

As we walked in, Flash and I got a bit of flirting in with the receptionists. Yawn. The rest of the group went off to Chiquito’s to have a Mexican. Chiquito’s is the most overpriced, overrated restaurant I have ever had the misfortune of stepping into. The service is terrible, and the food tastes like it just came out of a sewer. I wouldn’t feed it to my dog. Accordingly, I stayed at the casino and ordered some good old British bangers and mash.

The tournament kicked off at half nine, and unfortunately Scott, Minty and Jags, who weren’t in their seats at the time, were not allowed to play. I busted pretty quickly, and so sat in 2pound/2pound cash game. One interesting hand: Folded round to me on the button, and I pop it up to 16 with 7d9d (it had been straddled). SB and straddler both call. Flop is ATx, and the SB leads into me for 25. Straddler folds, and I am pretty sure that SB is just making a probe bet here with a weak ace. I shove for 104, and he calls with AT. gg me.

I walk over to the tourney to see how the Warwick lads are getting on. Jambon, Mark and Flash are still in, so I watch for a bit. They are using this tourney to train some new dealers for next weeks festival, and I time one dealer. She takes 1min and 10 seconds, which is absolutely ridiculous. I know that Saef can fire those bullets off in less than 5 seconds, which is much more like it.

After being forced to wait an hour, I sit in another cash game (this time the blinds are 1pound/1 pound). Mostly Warwick players, but also a few middle aged men. I begin to notice that one of the guys is muttering under his breath and is getting pissed off with me, so obviously I try to get him on tilt. I make it 4 blind UTG, and he looks at me, blood boiling in his veins and face turning a dark crimson, and says, menacingly ‘10, BLIND’. Ooooooh. Looks like this chap has come to play. I call and he shoves the flop. I fold and he shows 26. Nh sirrr.

Another classic:

Me: ‘Raise’

Old Boy: ‘Is that the only f***ing word in your vocabulary?’

Me: “I say pot sometimes too”

Anyway, was getting some good banter going before he bluffed his whole stack off to Flash with ten high. As the cash game is finishing up, Jambon wanders over. Jambon lost TT v 55 all in pre (even hitting a ten), AK v AJ all in pre, and then Ax vs Tc6c on an Ac xx board (i think). Sounds very sick. Mark has a similar experience when his A2 lost to QJ on an A52 board. Jambon finishes 7th and Mark 5th. I quit the cash game 250 quid up, so a good night, all in all.

Bit of banter as we are leaving the casino: the security guard starts teaching me a few Martial Arts moves. His name was Theo, and here is a pic:


More banter on the way back as Flash gets pulled over by the police for speeding. He had drunk 7 Stellas and Scotch on the Rocks earlier at the casino. Luckily, the ole penny in the mouth trick worked a treat, and the breathalyser came back negative.


The next evening, watched a bit of Hustle and The Apprentice with Flash and Lauren. I don’t think Naomi deserved to go, but Simon is pretty funny, and is good at break-dancing, so fair dues. No doubt Naomi will go on and have a starring role in the Porn industry.

A quick note that a ‘How well do you know Tommo’ quiz will appear on my Facebook profile soon. 20 multiple choice questions, and if anyone gets the lot right, I’ll give them a pat on the back. Ok, got an exam in half an hour, so I better dash.

May 02, 2006

Oxford Cup

Well, I have so much to say about this. Here goes.

After a hearty Rootes breakfast,we were full of good cheer and humour.Spurred along by the tireless lyrical genius that is "Candyshop", and the boost button the journey to Oxford passed quickly.

Upon arrival it was obvious that the tournament was going to be on the shambolic side. However, my confidence was buoyed when I was greeted by an American wearing sunglasses who appeared to be "organising" registration. Clearly, this gent felt the shades necessary in order to shade his identity, lest he was lynched by the hoardes of disappointed punters who had unwittingly forked out £7.5k for the pleasure of a smoke filled, dirty hole. However, perhaps the lack of natural light made some of the internet players feel at home.

Without doubt the tournament directors did a superb joke, who could fail to see the funny side ofthe MC's Alzheimers joke..About 400 people at a guess. Thought it was in the best possible taste myself..A considerable sum of the £7.5k must have been spent on the audio equipment, we were lucky enough to hear the life memoirs of the terribly amusing gent, who seemed to be havinga wonderful time with the microphone.

Performances aside, this had the potential to be a shining example of tournament poker. This compounded my misery, I felt incredibly dissapointed, despite the huge amount of rake taken, there was no customer satisfaction whatsoever. The standard of play was pretty poor, but this is no problem. Clearly not for Simon Trumper, who despite finishing second was whinging about the ability of the field. Thought it was a nice touch from a player who went broke, that's the tournament rollercoaster for you Simon.

The event was also full of a large amount of unsavoury characters, I'd expect this in a casino environment, but clearly the organisers felt the need to whore out the event..No doubt to ensure they generated enough to pay for Eric Engler's snappy wardrobe. Held under the guise of a student event, the field was full of weak/tight and loose/weak middle aged men who had a rather exagerrated sense of their own ability.

On the bright side, 1/2 pint of coke was only £1.50, very reasonable I'm sure you'd agree. Over all this event was no more than cynical exploitation, I'm shocked the University Poker League would endorse such a chaotic travesty. Whilst I understand the field was large, the players were dehumanised, barely treated as humans as we were enforced to endure the ridiculous self dealing ettiquette. I felt violated by my experience in Oxford.

April 27, 2006

Oxford Cup: The Preview

Looking forward to heading to Oxford this weekend. Will be a good chance to listen to the lyrical genius of Candyshop. Am feeling very confident, although there are a few players from Warwick I will be keeping my eye on. Jambon is one of those, and I also feel Alex Liang is a bit of a wildcard (he is due a result soon, he hasn't had one for donkeys years). The softly spoken Mitesh is another one to watch.

The sad news is that Devilfish has let the whole of the UK Poker Scene down by his decision to dishonour his previous commitment and visit strip clubs in Vegas. Bloody Northeners! Oh well, I suppose at least he is not beating his wife.

February 23, 2006

The black hole that is Star City

With ten fellow slackers last night I visited the Star City casino complex to compete in the £10 rebuy competition.

The whole place looked like a circus, and I was particularly perturbed by the lavatories being named "restrooms". However, I am sorry to say that this shocking inditement on the establishment was perhaps only a minor irritation in comparison with the other horrors that awaited.

The dealers' incompetence was a disgrace, they clearly shouldn't have ever been employed, couldn't they do something more useful, like claim "Jobseekers Allowance"? The speed of their dealing was incredibly frustrating and splitting the pot and calculating sidepots clearly regarded as a massive inconvenience.

The structure of the tournament was incredibly fast which enabled me to adopt a hyper-aggressive style in order to build my stack by blind-stealing. I became incredibly frustrated with our dealer; incidentally I have played snap with 5yr olds who are more articulate and better card handlers than the travesty that was our dealer.

Clearly not being one to suffer in silence it became apparent that our charming dealer was aware of my displeasure. Obviously rather than treat the cause of the problem i.e terrible dealers, I was apparently threatened with being asked to leave the tournament, although this was never mentioned to my face.

Being a polite lad at heart I managed to add a scrap of sincerity to an apology. Upon the final table I felt I was the most accomplished player and was feeling very confident of my ability to take many pots down to China Town preflop. Buoyed by a glass of decent red wine I became a raising machine who one of my opponents described as "one aggressive bastard".

One particularly amusing hand occured when I held 85o..With 2 limpers and blinds at 2k 4k and a couple of limpers a 15k raise from the Small blind seemed the order of the day. One player, the ep limper called, and uponn hitting a 5 (mid pair) I put the chap allin, he called off his chips with AJ and my hand stood up. The old guard at the table were visibly shocked, and I felt that no-one fancied getting involved with me, as I had a tonne of chips and was capable of running anyone over…

Unfortunately a pre-flop raise met with some resistance from this chap, Ronnie, I had AJ and made a pot sized continuation bet on the flop, and he moved right over the top. I had to lay down.

I now started raising like a man possesed as my stack was around 40k and blinds at 3k-6k. One memorable moment was moving in with T3s utg only for my opponent to fold 77 face up, claiming he didn't fancy gambling against 2 overcards. Other raising hands included 84,26,27,2T etc….

So I stole my way back up to 100k with four players left. Unfortunately I made a move that clearly led to murder on the dance floor when my pre flop allin with K3 failed to convince 'The Kid' and 'Frenchy' that their 99 and AK were inferior…

Out in 4th for a somewhat dissapointing £340. I felt I played incredibly well, and received compliments from several players. Whilst I could have tempered my aggressive style after having resusitating my stack, the blinds were still high, and I was playing to win.

Returned to leamington, and was in bed under poker stars table cloths by 6am…

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