IT'S ALL ABOUT TIMING
However, whilst I admittedly played the Grinch and Scrooge’s lovechild this Christmas, the aftermath brought more than a rye smile to my face.
My father, Peter, has suffered a troubling year; Surpassing the dreaded 60 mark last November, he was forced to fold his business a week or two go, and for a man who is deemed virtually unemployable by society and treated like crap by the government, it’s been a pretty tough time for him.
Gambling wise, he’s been unable to avoid the poker bug, picking the game up from his two offspring around 18 months ago. During that time, he has frequented the £5 rebuy at Walsall (approximately every fortnight), and enjoyed the odd venture into the £10 comp.
Unfortunately, due to work and a limited bankroll, Dad has been restricted to what everyone refers to as ‘bingo’ comps and has always pined to partake in some ‘proper poker’.
Therefore, knowing cheap tat and cotton socks would probably be left to gather dust in a dark corner of a drawer and that his jaunts down to Walsall were now being put on hold, I decided to treat him to the Broadway’s £50 Boxing Day Freezeout.
So, brother Jammer in tow, off he we trotted to what I consider to be one of the best casinos in England. Good service, prompt starts, friendly staff, dealer dealt tables, great facilities and a censored flush in the loos, the Broadway really is the bee’s knees and a far cry from what Pops is used to at Junction 10.
The tournament lured in 68 runners and a 1st prize of £1,380. Dave Welch, Wayne Fitzpatrick and blondeite DaMatrix were all present, but overall it was a pretty soft field, and I was confident that whilst I could easily make the top 3, my Dad, a tight passive player but nobody’s fool, had a realistic chance of quietly creeping into the money.
Although one family member exited early doors, Dad and I were both running well. With 2,500 in chips and a 30-minute clock, you could afford to be patient near the start and then strike when the blinds became threatening. Whilst this is the route I took, Dad managed to accrue chips early on, and come the last two tables, we were both sitting comfortably with around 20k.
Soon enough, we were on the final, a great result for my Dad! I now had 24k and a great chance of winning, and although snoopy senior had tightened up a little too much near the bubble, he’d now guaranteed himself a profit of somesort and was very happy indeed.
During one of the earlier breaks, I recall Dad describing a hand to me where he called a 1,200 pre-flop raise with K-J suited and blinds of 100/200 and before he went any further, I commented that playing those hands was a great way to dribble away chips.
My Dad is an above average player, but not the quickest learner, and often when we give advice such as don’t play Ace-Rag or call big raises with potentially dominated hands, he’ll be eliminated from comps doing just that. This time however, I made my views clearer, and I think it finally sunk in as he later reported that he’d played these hands more affimatively, releasing them early doors and only calling (or raising) if he felt he could outplay his opponent or there was value in the pot.
Anyhow, to cut a long story short, whilst I came 8th for £104, my Dad went on to carve up the final table and take top spot, eventually agreeing on a deal heads up where he took away £1,180, just £200 short of 1st prize.
Clearly shell-shocked by what was by far his biggest win to date (his other being around £150 for a £5 rebuy final table finish), my Dad was absolutely over the moon and couldn’t wait to tell my mother the good news.
What is most important, however, is not just that he won an event outright, but that the money came at just the right time. Maybe it’s because he was accompanied by his sons or perhaps even because he knew that the money would make a real difference this time round, but my Dad later commented, “I was much more focused today and played the best poker I’ve ever played”.
So, whilst he may not be a blondeite member due to his lack of computer knowledge and Internet access, I would like to offer my congratulations and say a big well done from his Beagle son who was watching nervously at ringside. I am immensely proud of his efforts and chuffed to bits that he won over a grand, especially considering that it was my Christmas gift that put him there.
As the title says, it’s all about timing, and this timing was as good as any as Christmas in the snoopy household finished on a much higher note than any of us could have imagined.
In reflection, I guess I didn’t have to dread Christmas as much as I thought I did as it ended up being one of the best ones so far…
Ps. I went out of the final when my Kings were four flushed on the River by A-T. Oh, and before you say, you can stick your 50p right up your exit holes!