Sunday, August 05, 2007


Binge Day 3 – Broadway Birmingham

My third consecutive day of poker and different venues each time, I felt in fine fettle heading into the Broadway £20 rebuy, and not too fazed by my sudden onslaught of pokermania after 7 months on the bench.

From my standpoint, the £20 rebuy fest is a much underrated tournament and one that is wrongly categorised as a mere crapshoot. Poker is all about adapting to various situations, including the tournament type. There’s admittedly a lot of variance in small rebuy comps, but if you play them correctly, you’ll come out a winner in the end. The likes of Julian Thew, Ash Abdullah and even tikay are proof of this, the £20er their bread and butter back when I were a tax-dodging student in Nottingham.

It seems to me that there is a market for written teachings on these smaller comps, especially when so many people play them. It’s not just a ‘lottery’, there’s an arsenal of skills required: how to gamble during the rebuy period, when you should take the add on and when you shouldn’t, not tilting and going crazy on rebuys, when to push, which blinds to attack, striking a deal – the list is a lot more extensive than people think, and if they were to stretch their mentality beyond the self-soothing bingo theory, they’d eventually begin to prosper.

One of the reasons why a £20 rebuy can be profitable is the laxity of the field. A large contingent fall into two simple categories: gamblers and tilters; when the two mix in bad beat bedlam on a boozy “It’s the end of the week so I’ll let myself go” Friday night, you’re destined for a huge ‘high value’ pot. The Broadway in particular benefits from this combo, 110 degenerates somehow producing a 9.5k prizepool and mammoth £3,680 first prize. Yum!

Amongst the rabble were a few tough players: Ben Callinan, Steve Jelinek, Wayne Fitzpatrick, Darshan Sami, Marcus Bebb-Jones, Des Jonas off the top of my head, but even some of them deem this small fry and gamble like there’s no tomorrow. Frankie Knight was present as always. A tight, solid, old school player, you know where you are with Frankie, but he must have a few moves in him as he frequently cashes. He’s known as Mr Vegas to many and has been a prominent figure in the Midlands for decades. If you ever need a Vegas contact, then Frankie’s your man. He told me that he managed to swindle a luxury room at the Horseshoe for just $28 per night, so he obviously knows who to speak to.

The Broadway remains one of my favourite casinos. Good service, prompt starts, friendly staff, dealer dealt tables, swift waitress service, great facilities and a sensored flush in the loos, it really is the bee’s knees, and Raj is most accommodating whenever I play. Apparently they have the second safest car park in the country, just behind one in Derby who I believe will soon be sending muggers over to Brum to ensure they hold onto that top spot.

The free halftime dinner is a nice touch. Chicken, rice and chips seems to be the norm, but it fills a gap. It’s a long pause though, 30 minutes they give you. As a born cynic, I expect it’s so they can prise the most out of the roulette wheel, and why shouldn’t they, people don’t have to play the house games, and they are the crux of the business after all.

Broadway is far from perfect though, and is likely to be surpassed by DTD who look set to raise the bar even further. The £8 sessions on the cash tables sting, dealers seem to work long, unsociable hours for little reward and there’s a guy in the bogs who I simply refuse to tip. There’s no way I’m paying anyone for the privilege of relieving myself and I detest that awkward moment when he holds out a hand towel and I say, “It’s okay, mate, I’ll use the hand drier… (because I’m too stingy to tip).” I’m battling through the guilt though and standing my ground, I just hope that he doesn’t think I have a hand drier fetish.

Whatever you make of the above, if you’re part of AdamM’s crusade, I’d advise you to tred carefully. Yep, you guessed it… “Move the shortsack!” Whatever the poll says, I’m with Adam on this one, moving the shortstack seems a little harsh. You end up having a seat of death, especially if they move from the button to the big blind. Plus the same guy can keep jumping from one table to the next without even paying a blind. Surely taking the big blind is the fairest, but cynical hat on again, I guess the Broadway aren’t too fussed about fairness and just want it done and dusted.

As for the comp, I played well with very little and predominantly yo-yoed before finally stumbling upon the following hand. With two tables left and the shorties taking it in turns to push all-in to stay alive, Steve Jelinek limped from the small blind and I checked the big with 4-2. K-3-5 Flop, check check, Ace Turn, he bet, I called. Rag River, he bet, I raised all-in, he called quicker than a sheep in RobertHM’s garden and proudly revealed Pocket Kings. Hehe. This gave me some chips for the final where I eliminated two players at once with Aces to give me double anyone else’s stack.

With 4 left and just 20 minutes on the clock I was offered a deal: they get £1,500 each and I take £2,300. I’m not a massive fan of deals, but I was getting £500 more than second, so accepted knowing how easy it would be for me to have my stack sliced in half.

I’ve won lots of rebuy events for similar figures before, but this one was particularly important to me. Earlier on in the night, someone commented that I was bottom of the barrel now that Jen was winning, which hurt a little. In fact, I hear that quite a lot at the moment, so I was pleased to prove to myself that I could actually play a bit too. It’s one thing others thinking you’re a donkey, it’s another when you start to believe it yourself.


Post a Comment

<< Home