Sunday, August 12, 2007


Binge Day 5 – Broadway Birmingham

The last day of my mini binge was pretty inconsequential and rather anti-climatic. I accrued a nice stack of several thousand during the rebuy period before being forced to push later on with J-T under the gun. I had more than a pot raise in me, but found an instant caller in the Big Blind who couldn’t release K-T.

Slightly frustrating, but it didn’t really bother me, as long as I’d played well, which I believe I did. The most crucial point was that it confirmed one thing for me… after several months out of tournament poker, very little has changed. Yep, everything is just as I left it. People still make dodgy calls, players suffer from bad beats, opponents go on tilt and I still use words like ‘sound’ and ‘bloody hell’ when I return to the Midlands – nothing changes.

One thing that definitely isn’t threatening to change is the lack of any permanent set of rules. I was initially shocked to hear that the Broadway were inexplicably moving the shortstack, but then I simply accepted it, knowing full well that due to the lack of governing body there wasn’t too much anyone could do about it. In this sense, the big casino wigs still have a monopoly on the game and can make whatever rules they want, and until we see the DTD doors open, they’ll probably revolve around getting the tournament finished so people can play the House games. Fortunately, there are some genuine poker fans organising tournaments, such as Rob from Grosvenor Stoke and Jonathan Raab at Blue Square – what we’d do without these guys, I just don’t know.

Vitally, numbers are still as good as they were since I last played in December 2006. As 2007 commenced, many were somehow predicting the end of the poker boom, especially with the interest in televised poker waning and the recent Internet bills in America, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The WSOP received record numbers and attracted over 6,000 to the Main Event, which surely would have been double if the government hadn’t stuck it’s schnoz in. Meanwhile, the introductory of two major Tours (GUKPT and GBPT) this side of the Atlantic have sent the poker community into a frenzy with everyone eager to take advantage of the added value, bigger fields and prizepools, and opportunity to get their mug on the box.

Then you’ve got the cardrooms themselves. Even when people were suggesting that interest in poker was drawing to a close or that there were “no new players”, places like Torquay, Plymouth and Moortown Leeds started showing their face and saying, “Hey, there are lots of people who still want to play poker” and providing us with even more venues from which to play the game. Just take a look at the Walsall £300er, still garnering over 120 players for one comp. If this is the poker boom coming to an end, then I must be seeing things.

On a personal note, I’ve certainly missed the game. I’ve been focusing my attentions on work, but that desire to play tournaments has been gradually burning away at my starved flesh. The best thing was that I still experienced that adrenalin rush, still loved making someone fold the best hand and still got a kick from when I made a great call. That and the fact that anyone can win on any given day is surely what keeps the game alive.

Of course, the heartache remains. From taking 2.3k at the Broadway, I then went on to donk myself out of the Walsall £300er and give away more than enough to my virtual enemies on the blonde poker cardroom, but that’s poker. Poker is a rollercoaster ride, and an emotional and demoralising one at times, but it’s one that I’m happy to be on.

With this in mind, I’m pleased to be returning to the game with the buzz still present, not just in me, but around the community as a whole. People still love to play poker and have a genuine passion about the game, and unless something drastic happens, I can’t see this changing.

Here is my final record for the 5 day binge:

Day 1: Grosvenor Walsall -- £30 NLH 1xR/B = 8th for £90 = £25 profit.
Day 2: Gala Notts -- £50 NLH 2xR/B = £100 loss
Day 3: Broadway Birmingham -- £20 NLH R/B = 1st for £2,300 = £2,258 profit
Day 4: Grosvenor Walsall -- £300 NLH F/O = £330 loss
Day 5: Broadway Birmingham -- £20 NLH R/B = £60 loss

Total profit = £1,791

-- THE END --


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