Sunday, April 14, 2013


1,000 International Stadiums Poker Tour Seats Guaranteed

The International Stadiums Poker Tour is your chance to 
say you played at Wembley. €1 million is guaranteed to 
the winner. Day ones start live and online from May 11th 
and day two takes place at the iconic home of English 
football, Wembley Stadium, between May 31st and June 5th.

You can qualify for free at Dusk Till Dawn Poker, where 
1,000 €300 Day One seats will be guaranteed in satellites 
between May 6th and May 24th.

To win your seat, all you have to do is:

1. Visit the ISPT Schedule Page for details on qualifying.

2. Register an account at Dusk Till Dawn Poker, where you 
will be automatically credited with a €2 satellite token.

3. If you win a €300 day one seat you can use it online or 
live in one of 10 day ones being held. You can win multiple 
tickets as this is a re-entry event.

Good luck and see you at Wembley! 


Sunday, June 07, 2009


For Vegas only, my blog has been resurrected and can be found here:

We don't yet have a comments area in blogs, but please feel free to post on my board. Vanity is a sin, but it's nice to know that people are reading.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Days 29 & 30…

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Another year, another World Series, yes, I’ve come to the end of my Vegas tenure and now write to you from the comfort of my own upright British chair.

Expensive prices, claustrophobic surroundings, jocks whooping on the craps tables, male strippers in bow ties, gaudy burlesque shows, loud music, and a ghastly car that hovers above while some skank throws beads down – if I could imagine a run in hell, a month of the Rio would be at the forefront of my mind. So, for the last two days, Dana and I decided to escape the confines of our prison and move into the New York New York Hotel down the road.

Sandwiched between the Excalibur and MGM casinos, the New York New York (I’m already tiring of typing that twice) was surprisingly pleasant and boasted a serenity that the Rio sorely lacked. Of course, the forced theme was inevitably gaudy at times (one sign reads ‘Authentic New York Pizza’), but it presents everything in a less ‘in-your-face’ manner, meaning that if need be, you can escape to a far corner for a moment’s peace.

The view from the bedroom window was incredible, if a little different to that of the Rio, in that it boasted the majority of the rollercoaster. The muffled screams were reminiscent of a game of Rollercoaster Tycoon on the PC, and every time they sounded I would peer out the window to confirm that this was indeed real life. That’s when I notice the Statue of Liberty staring back at me.

Now I’m back in Birmingham, I’m finding it hard to adjust. After becoming accustomed to heading down the Rio of a day, working long hours and hitting the sack unconscious, the pace here seems incredibly slow and part of me is itching to get back in the game. I’m sure those feelings will expire when I start covering UK events again, but whilst the Series is still running, I can’t help but feel as though I’m missing out.

The jet lag upon return has been tough to handle. I tried to watch Mongol with Dana yesterday, but passed out about half way through. It was only five o’clock. I recall it took me about a fortnight to recover a couple of years back, but I hope it doesn’t take that long this time. I have lots I want to do, and I can’t afford to waste time feeling sleepy during daylight hours.

I’ve been trying to work out a suitable way of finishing my WSOP account, and concluded that it would be best to compare it to my previous visits. Well, apart from a few minor changes, the experience was pretty much the same. A big giant room with lots of poker – that really is about the size of it. You might witness a few differences, such as the heightened organisation, the eradication of the tent, a few new stalls and so on, but who cares, poker is about the characters, and as always, they remain the same. Scotty still says “baby”, Doyle still hobbles around, Sklansky still accompanies a random teenage girl, Phil Ivey still puts more than first prize on the game on the plasma screen, Mike Matusow is still centre of attention, Phil He11muth is still a twit, Erick Lindgren is still a smug git, Gus Hansen is still a ladies’ man, Bill Chen is still a nerd, Jennifer Tilly is still sizzling hot, TJ Cloutier is still losing a fortune at craps, Howard Lederer is still huge, Dutch Boyd is still speaking to the voices in his head, Roland de Wolfe is still wearing the ghastliest of shirts, Patrik Antonius still boasts the chiselled features of a Michaelangelo masterpiece, Greg Raymer still dons shorts, sandals and white socks, Marcel Luske is still stark raving mad, Davood Mehmrand is still psychotic, Freddy Deeb is still knee high to an oompa loompa, Andy Black still looks like he just got out of bed, Devilfish is still dressing like a teenager, Chris Ferguson is still the carrot-chopping messiah, Allen Cunningham is still unbeatable, Todd Brunson still looks like a pony from the back, Dave Singer is still a pain in the ass and the Brits still suck at poker.

Unless Doyle finally pops his clogs within the next twelve months, WSOP 2009 will be exactly the same… but that’s why we love it so.

I hope you enjoyed my WSOP blog, it sure was tough to maintain, so much in fact that I think I need a rest. I don’t know when I’ll post on the blog again, if at all. Writing a blog can be time-consuming at times, and I’m wondering if maybe this should be my last post. I’ve always tried to bring my readers an honest account of all things poker related, whether that be Vegas, my travels around Europe, or my own personal experience with a game that deals out so many beats. I’ve done this without shoving banners, advertising or anything commercial down your face because the pure essence of poker is important to me. Although we embrace the poker boom, we also need to keep a hold of the reality… It’s just a game of cards.

See you around.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Day 28...

It‘s strange when you’ve worked for a month in the Rio and it suddenly ends. You become so accustomed to the Amazon Room that it becomes a home of sorts, somewhere you belong and feel comfortable. What’s more, it’s hard to switch off, to stop thinking about the game. For the past four weeks, my head has been polluted with poker, and I think it’s going to take a while before it begins to heel.

With our final day being the Sunday, we had just two days of free time in Vegas before heading back on Wednesday morning. It was Dana’s birthday on the Monday and I tried all week to get her tickets for the Penn and Teller Show on either Monday or Tuesday. Everyday I would approach the ticket machine and each time was told that tickets were unavailable for these days. I took this as meaning that the tickets weren’t on sale yet, especially as they presented it as a selectable date on the calendar, but it was simply that these were the days of the week that Penn and Teller didn’t work. I don’t know who sod is and how he got into politics, but I hate the fucker.

Nevertheless, Dana celebrated her birthday at the steakhouse in New York New York, eating steaks bigger than her head (that’s pretty big) before heading to the Voodoo Lounge where she drank a cocktail that was bigger than Hellmuth’s head (that’s even bigger). I’ve blogged about the Voodoo Lounge before, but must repeat that the view is excellent and worth the entry fee alone. Sadly, the bar fees are negative ev and I nearly fainted when I received no change for ten bucks after ordering a vodka and coke. I think I stood their waiting for a good few minutes before realising.

Afterwards, we headed down to Spearmint Rhino with Kara Scott, Nick Wetherall, ‘McLovin’ Gary Clark, Danny Ryan Jen and Rod and Marc Convey. McLovin in particular appeared pretty uncomfortable with the idea, and didn’t appreciate it when Dana encouraged a stripper to sit on his lap. Although McLovin was stubborn in his refusal, his pleas seemed to fall on stony ground as the stripper refused to move. After the umpteenth request, she did alight from his lap, but called him “lame” as she departed. I thought that was a bit rude and actually felt sorry for McLovin.

I was equally as uneasy with my surroundings as McLovin and made my exit shortly after arriving. I’ve been to a number of strip clubs before, Seamless was a frequent venue of choice during 2007, but just didn’t feel comfortable being in a strip club with my girlfriend. Not sure why, and I daren’t delve deeper into the reasons.

I was ill during the night and threw my guts up a couple of times, which was odd as I’d only had one drink all night. I hoped that it was something I ate, because if it wasn’t, then I fear my long hours, unhealthy diet and stress of trying to juggle multiple have finally caught up with me. There are a lot of people trying to make a living our of poker journalism. Whilst many of them are lazy fuckers, a handful are some of the hardest working people you will ever meet, so hard-working in fact that sometimes they forget to look after themselves. I think that may have happened to me.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Day 27…

Thankfully, poker is a game of hope, of clasping your hands together, praying to the poker gods and knowing that it any one given hand, one player can get aces, and the other kings. Sadly, I still think these buggers would have checked it down.

Yes, as I covered my final day of this year’s World Series, the two remaining players in the $2,500 Six-Handed No Limit Hold’Em Freezeout would ensure that my swan song was a gruelling affair, and one that would take longer than ten consecutive performances of the Miserables.

It didn’t start off too well, our plucky Brits displaying a low level of pluckiness to become the first two players to walk the plank, Ben Roberts failing to improve his shortstack whilst a disgruntled Michael Greco encountered a cooler best suited for your fridge freezer than the poker table.

But little did we know that after whittling the field down to just Davidi Kitai and Chris Bell (thankfully simple names to write), it would take a further six days to find our winner. It was check galore as few hands were raised preflop, no reraise bluffs were made along the streets and if someone dared to bet out, the other chap would cower in the corner like a eunuch in the locker room.

Although it was a dull affair, it was an affair for much money and prestige nonetheless, and the players had a right to tread with as much caution as their heart desired. What they didn’t have to be subjected to, however, was heckling from the crowd that came in the form of Gavin Smith, Layne Flack and co. I think the interest lied in that Erick Lingren had a percentage of Chris Bell, but either way, the pros were in full force to add a slice of familiarity to the stands.

I’m guessing he has some kind of attention disorder, because Layne Flack has to be one of the biggest “look at me” merchants in poker. At every opportunity, he opted to shout out random shit, whether it be towards the players, the announcer or whoever, he sought the need to make sure his voice was heard. Meanwhile, he would pay no attention to the game itself, his disrespect going as far as taking out a pack of cards and playing Chinese Poker with his buddies, one of whom was Joseph Tehan. At one point, the camera panned down on Tehan playing cards, which led to Gavin Smith commenting out loud, “Hey Chris, they’re having to put the camera on us because you guys are so boring.” To me, that’s just rude. If you don’t like it, why don’t you just fuck off?

Our eventual winner was Davidi Kitai. Shaking hands rather than over-celebrating seems to be a thing of the past these days, but either way, Kitai was elated with his victory and received a group hug from the ensuing Frenchmen who invaded the stage. The “Davidi” chants continued right up to the receiving of the bracelet where the Belgian raised his bling aloft, the smile on Benjo’s face a mile wide as he applauded the first ever Winamax WSOP champion.

Prior to his winning hand, I heard calls of “Un fois” (“one time” for those who skipped their French GCSE), which reminded me of day two’s penultimate hand where Kitai had won a coinflip for his tournament life. He called “un fois” then, so I wondered how many “un fois”s it was possible to have in one tournament. Was that even his first “un fois”, or had he belted out the command numerous times throughout the day? His second “un fois” seemed to be equally effective, even though it was logically incorrect, yet he was rewarded anyhow. Was he in league with the poker gods, did they owe him multiple favours, or maybe, just maybe, do they not exist? I severely hope it’s not the latter as I’ve been mentioning them in updates as if they were my next door neighbours.

Back online, xdragon had finally disappeared, an impostor going under the cunning pseudonym xxdragon silencing our foe with shoutbox comments such as “I will not be a jerk any more” and “I will stop being rude to the updaters”. These more than made my day and I could almost picture the so-far unmet xdragon squirming in his seat. It doesn’t take much to please me though, just the completion of a marathon heads up encounter and the silencing of three bell ends, two in the stands and one on the net. Sadly, the ones in the stands were allowed to continue, but I guess that’s the elitism of poker – if you’re famous, you can do and say whatever you want.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Day 25...

Damn, accidentally deleted my word doc. I can assure you it was highly fascinating though.

Day 26…

The start of the day commenced with profanities from Michael Greco as the former soap star was told that he wouldn’t be allowed to play due to having no ID. He had credit card, player’s card, bus pass, Eastender’s reunion tickets but no picture ID, and thus was told to fuck off. “That’s bullshit,” said Greco politely. “I made a genuine mistake. I’m going to get blinded away,” he continued. “All the players know me, the press know me, can’t you let me play?”

Although his pleas initially fell on stony ground (the supervisor had clearly had a bad week and wanted to fuck someone over), the Gecko spotted another supervisor across the other side of the room who was… drum roll please… female.

Moments later, and Michael was back at the table and ready for action, ID-less, yet comforted by his ability to charm a rabid wolverine into submission. He may no longer be frequenting our screens three times a week, or donning the front page as the latest subject of tabloid cannon fodder, but when it comes to the ladies, the old boy’s still got it. (38, by the way, they announced it on the final.)

Sushi Heaven

I’m not sure how many people know about this, but hidden away in a corner is an all you can eat sushi. For $30 you can consume as much sushi as your stomach can take. One tip though, if you’re going during the dinner break, order all the food at once. When we sat down, the place filled up, and it took ages for our second and third order to arrive. By the time we’d left, we’d been there for 1hr15mins. Nonetheless, they cook it fresh, and it tastes excellent. What really baffles me is how sushi in the middle of the desert can be fresher than the kind you find in London just a 50 miles from the sea.

In other news, I finally found the secret loo that Pauly of Tao of Poker had been using. Damn it, I’m 26 days too late.


As the ten remaining players in the $2,000 Pot Limit Hold’Em Freezeout slimmed to one table, we only had one more to go and were hoping for an early finish Over two hours later and we were still there, the shortstack clinging on with the stubbornness of a resistant cat on his way to the veterinary.

Another reason for the delay was Robert Cheung, and according to Ben Roberts, Ayaz Mahmood was responsible too. With Benjamin Zamani raising it up preflop, Cheung came over the top only for a short-stacked Keith Greer to push in for a few dollars more. Ayaz Mahmood and Zamani both called, only for Cheung to push all in and isolate. With the other players getting out of the way, Greer showed queens (ok, fair enough) and Cheung K-Q (yep, okay… no, hold on, WTF!!!).

The rest of the table were understandably up in arms, and even a random member shouted out ‘what an idiot’ (how he wasn’t escorted out, I’ll never know). Of course, the queens stood up, and Cheung received a hammering from Mahmood who had folded kings (WTF again!!!). Fellow shortstacks Davidi Kitai and Michael Greco looked at each other in dismay whilst the press sighed at the prospect of another hour of ten-handed play.

However, I can’t complain too loudly, as come the final day, Cheung handed us a bag full of sugary goodies to thank us for adding him to the chip counts. Whether it makes up for keeping us behind for longer than we needed to be, I’ve yet to decide.


Anyone ever heard of a female player called Cycalona? How about if I added the name Gowen? Yep, according to the player list, that’s Clonie Gowen’s full name. Where that comes from, I’ve no idea. It’s certainly not Brummie.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Day 23…

The final of the 6-handed was a mixed bag, fast paced early doors but tortoise slow three-handed. We were treated to an array of bad beats, outdraws and general up the bum hole penetration, although no player in particular directed their protruding rod.

The most eye-brow raising beats cropped up with three left. With Justin Filtz and Seth Fischer going raise crazy, the latter saw his A-K flop a king and turn a third against Filtz’s aces. Security required a crowbar to remove Filtz’s stunned carcass from the stage floor, but they eventually scooped him up.

Heads up, it was Dario Minieri’s turn to deal the suckout blow, his 4-3 (oops) all in against Fischer’s kings hitting two fours on the end to stay alive, and eventually take the title. In fact, looking back, Fischer should have been third, Minieri second and the poker gods first, although I’m not sure how multiple winners, or divine beings for that matter would share a bracelet.

One aspect that amused me during this three-handed affair was when the boisterous Italian fans on the rail started complaining to the tournament director of collusion between the other two players. The very next hand, Fischer eliminated Filtz. The Italians didn’t complain after that. I suppose it’s such a shock when it’s not going Dario’s way that someone must be cheating somewhere, surely?

Whist dashing back and forth to the loo during the breaks, I bumped into a number of new faces. Many of them were Brits, so it seems as though we’re starting to make our presence felt over here. Mickey Wernick, Kevin O’Leary, Craig Wildman, Paul Jackson, Simon Trumper, Michael Greco, Joe Beevers – all turned up in recent days.

Day 24….

Woohoo, day-off! The only problem with our day off is that we’re so tired from updating an event that we end up sleeping through the afternoon, which isn’t the best preparation when you have to get up at 10.30am the next morning. You need two days off really otherwise you just can’t adapt to any kind of sleeping cycle.

Anyhow, we did manage to rise at a semi-decent hour and get ourselves down to the Sahara to have a stab at the Speed rollercoaster. I was quite surprised, although it’s in a less affable area of the Strip, the Sahara isn’t too bad, and would probably be one of the best value hotels to stay in if you were searching for something cheap.

What strikes me as bizarre about the Sahara is how Nascar Racing can possibly fit into the Egyptian desert theme, but I guess money talks in Vegas and the price was right. Either way, it’s allowed them to stick a racing car theme onto the back of the casino where this Speed ride is, and Dana and I, being the speed junkies that we are, couldn’t resist giving it a bash.

After the soiling experience of the Big Shot at the Stratosphere, I thought I was prepared for anything, but little did I know that during mid conversation about whether or not my harness was secure, the roller coaster car would shoot off without warning at a squillion miles per hour.

Twists, turns and loops later and we were heading back, this time in reverse after reaching the end of the track. Surely that’s just laziness on their part to send you back the way you came instead of completing the track, but I guess it saves them a few bucks.

Although the reverse journey made me want to throw up bile onto the people in front, the ride as a whole was very entertaining, if brief, and just as fun-filled as the Big Shot and the New York New York rollercoaster. If I had to pick one though, it would probably be the Big Shot, if only for it’s sheer scare factor.

The Sahara was just the start of a casino crawl. On our day off we also visited the Wynn, Treasure Island, Mirage and Flamingo casinos, the latter of which advertised ‘burlesque dancers’ which involved two skanks pole dancing, before finally setting up camp in the lesser known Bill’s Gamblin Hall & Saloon.

We stopped here because there was a poker game going, albeit in the world’s smallest cadroom (it has space for two tables). Sadly, I lost $238, but Dana managed to get her big hands paid off a couple of times and left with $120. Not great, but could be worse, I haven’t told her yet, but Dana and I have a joint account when it comes to poker and er… me losing.