Saturday, September 30, 2006


The time is now 11.47 am. I’ve been playing online since 3am, so that’s well over 7 hours in total.
I’m pretty demorlaised. I was 800 up at one point, but through a combination of fatigue and bad decisions on vital pots, I lost that 800 pretty swiftly.

Then, whilst I was hovering on even for a while, something weird happened – my shoulders slumped and I truly started to feel down. It’s been a while since I’ve felt like that and, to be honest, it was pretty scary.

It’s probably the combination of a bad week at the office, a struggle with the online ring games, and just sheer exhaustion. I kinda feel burnt out at the moment and I think it’s affecting my online play. In fact, I’m almost certain it is, I’m just not playing with the same vigour as before and everything seems a little arduous. At one point I remember thinking those fearsome words “what’s the point?” Once you start thinking like that, you know you’re in trouble.

I really shouldn’t have played for so long. I managed to get to 600 up again, but then ended up 800 down for the day. I knew I should have stopped, so it’s a clear indication that my discipline has temporarily deserted me.

I’m finding it very difficult to quit at the moment, mainly due to my lack of playing opportunites and my over eagerness to make some extra bucks. I’ve been far too keen to hit the cash tables and, as a result, it’s actually costing me money.

The way I’m feeling right now, I’m not too sure I should be playing the Gutshot. It’s not the money, it’s just my state of mind that I’m concerned about. Perhaps I need a break, but even that’s difficult when your daily duties lie with blonde and you have a live update almost every week. I honestly find it very difficult to avoid poker, even for just a day.

Ah well, I shall see how I feel tomorrow, but I’m sure you can tell by tone that I’m not myself. I may give online another go this weekend, just to see how it feels. I’m not 100% confident, but I reckon if I focus on my discipline I should be back to normal in no time. I refuse to believe my recent losses have been down to bad luck, I couldn’t lose a week ago and I felt great. Time for that form to return…

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I’m in sombre mood today. Sometimes the game and everything surrounding it can really bring you down, and this week has been one of those times.

The week commenced with a rather painful $2,000 loss. I can take bad beats and cold decks, but when half the deficit is due to bad play, it really pisses me off. True, it wasn’t going my way, but I was playing shoddy poker, predominantly due to a lack of patience and the failure to identify the claw-back (which I have previously discovered leads to a big next session hit) that occurred the day before when I recovered from a $1,800 deficit.

Although I have learned to eliminate tilt from my game, I still suffer from adverse mood swings. If I’m winning, I’m over the moon, but if I’m losing, my shoulders slump and I allow the demoralising nature of poker to affect the way I feel in my every day life – it’s something that I have never been able to solve.

But, having said that, whatever the loss is, I always return to my normal self within a day, normally after a good night’s sleep, and am back at the tables within seconds.

What has really got me down this week though is not my losses endured at the felt, but other issues that I can’t really go into. Working for blonde isn’t always fun and games, and a few issues have made this a very stressful and trying week indeed.

The Vic in particular was one of the toughest live updates I’ve encountered. With 400 players, blonde’s busiest day in 18 months, a tentative wifi connection, tight and cramped conditions, a playing area that was segregated into 3 separate sections, and a pressroom that was miles away from the tables, I had to work harder than ever, not easy when you’re called in last minute after just a few hours of sleep.

However, this predicament was unavoidable and the Vic did whatever they could to make things easier, plus I was accompanied by two top-notch updaters in Chili and NoFlopsHomer, but, overall, I just began to feel the pressure a little more than usual and the joys of updating suddenly disappeared.

So I can take a much needed rest and come back rejuvenated, I’ve decided to play the whole week of the Gutshot’s London Poker Masters instead of heading off to Baden for the third EPT Event of the tour – that job is going to Jen (who kindly gave me the time off) and her highly esteemed partner, Flopsy.

I think I need this break though as I am in danger of being ungrateful for the wonderful position I am. I keep trying to remind myself of how lucky I am, and I’m determined to make sure that I don’t forget that. However, I still want updating to be fun, so I think playing the Gutshot instead of working is a sensible move.

It’s a cracking line up too, starting with a £200 2-day event and climaxing with the £500 No Limit Hold’Em Main Event. I plan to play them all, including the £200 Omaha Freezeout (my first venture into live Omaha tournament play), and it’s going to cost me £1,050 in total – not pennies, but I can afford it and I’m keen to give it a shot.

It should be interesting to see how I fair, I haven’t found a live win in a long time, and although that’s mainly due to not playing, I believe it’s also a result of my current mental state and my obsession with online ring games.

So, to avoid making that one vital mistake and to ensure that I don’t go into battle with a cash game mindset, I’ll be eating three healthy meals per day and relinquishing the online tables by Sunday. I may play the odd multi to practice, but I want to be fresh going into the week so I can give myself as good a chance as possible of making it a lucrative week.

I shall be logging my progress on my blog, so keep an eye out. Hopefully I’ll be in higher spirits…

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


he’s human!

During the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E Event final (which included similarly familiar names such as Brunson, Reese, Bloch, Betchel and Cloutier), Phil Ivey raced out to the hotdog stand and queued with us mere mortals.

To see someone as renowned and wealthy as Ivey fiddling around with his coppers and munching on a sausage with the peasants was quite a sight, especially when he was playing for 1.7 million bucks.

I was shocked that Harrah's didn't provide a back room for these players to dine in during these breaks, especially when they are playing what many considered to be the biggest event of the Series. I mean, even the Grosvenor Events offer a buffet for the finalists, whoever they are.


A quick tip from this Beagle love machine (I hope that moniker isn’t misinterpreted):

Wear a tuxedo, a bowler hat and speak the Queen’s English wherever possible. The women go wild for it, whether you’re aesthetically hideous or not.

Having said that, I do recall Paul Jackson being told ‘English at the table’ one year.

pray silence for the orleans

I love the Orleans – out of the way, quiet but lively, lacking the garishness of other casinos, a relaxed friendly atmosphere, plenty of familiar faces, aesthetically pleasing waitresses, a top notch cardroom, speedy room service, sizable rooms and, although it took me a week to work out what it was, a pretty good theme, if only for the fact that it meant that the waitresses had to don rather snug outfits. Marvellous!

And to top it all off, the Orleans was playing host to a Miss America contest. My dreams have finally come true, although some looked rather young, so I may have to retract that statement.

poo watch

Many of you may have noticed that I have adopted what I refer to as a ‘poo watch’. This involves a trip to the toilet, whether I need to go or not, to eavesdrop on conversations undertaken during the breaks of big comps.

A recent example of this was the Barcelona EPT in which, whilst standing at the urinal, I overheard Ivey from one of the cubicles, innocently chatting away on his mobile. “I was bluffing all the way on that hand”, and “This is the place to be” were just two of the intriguing comments that I couldn’t resist in jotting down.

Now, although it sounds rather spontaneous, this wasn’t an improvised strategy, but one in fact that was born in Vegas.

During the 10 minute break of Day 2 of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E Event, a comp which included a concentrated line-up of famous names, I was gob-smacked to trundle into the public loo to find the urinals taken up by a who’s who of poker.

Although Annie Duke was an obvious omission, Doyle Brunson, Barry Greenstein, Chip Reese, Andy Bloch and TJ Cloutier (the latter taking up a cubicle), were all chatting away about the comp in hand. All rather surreal, but I was determined to listen out for any scoops, and I wasn’t disappointed. I left the khazi with some cracking quotes that now make ‘poo watch’ a necessity for garnering info that would otherwise remain hidden from the media.

To paraphrase a certain Jeremy Beadle show - Watch out, Beagle’s about… especially in the loos.

work or play?

Before you make the trip across the pond, decide whether you’re going for fun or to earn money.

If you’re there to make money, then playing the cash games can be highly lucrative, especially with the droves of drunken tourists who swamp the various cardrooms.

If, however, you just want to have some fun, then don’t be afraid to do so. Sometimes people forget that poker can be a form of entertainment, you don’t always have to record your wins and losses, just think about it as a purchase. Free your mind (I feel like Morpheus saying that) and have a laugh.

Unfortunately, I got caught in-between the two.

a shrine to tikay

Whilst the Rio, Bellagio and Palms were modern, cool and hip, the Gold Coast was dated, uncool and full of people who needed hip replacements.

On entering, I was sure I’d stumbled into my Nan’s local Mecca Bingo, but no, after some further observation it was definitely a casino – just full of oldies.

I’m sure I saw a gold statue of tikay in the centre…

the drinks are never free

To the sensible drinker, the best thing about Vegas is the free booze. As far as I’m aware, you are at liberty not to pay any tip so, effectively, you could get drunk for nothing, but be warned, send the waitress away without any dough and your cocktail may return with a slight tang and a frothy layer.

Unfortunately, not all of us are sensible, and I tend to fall into that oh so dangerous category, frequently following a familiar pattern:

-- Drink #1 = $1 tip and a few cents in the video poker machine (-$2)
-- Drink #2 = $1 tip and 10 dollars lost in the video poker machine (-$13)
-- Drink #3 = $2 tip and one losing $20 spin on the Roulette wheel (-$35)
-- Drink #4 = $5 tip and two losing $50 bets on the Paigow table (-$140)
-- Drink #5 = $20 tip and 3 losing $100 bets on the Blackjack table (-$460)
-- Drink #6 = bedtime

And before you know it, those 5 double White Russians have you almost $500 down and wandering over to a game you’ve never played before – a recipe for disaster.

Total cost for those free drinks = Well over a grand!

What I don’t understand is why they exclaim “cocktails!” only for everyone to purchase a beer. There seems to be a lack of logic there, surely the correct cry would be “drinks!” or, at the very least, “booze!”. The intoxicated mind boggles.

the ebay mission

Armed with a plain pack of cards, the initial plan was to have the 52 top names all sign a card (back or front? – boy, that was a big decision), only for me to make my millions (or ones) on ebay.

Although I failed in my mission to accrue a whole pack of signed cards (mainly due to a justified fear of massaging the egos of Devilfish, Hellmuth and the like), I did manage double figures.

In order of keenness to obtainess:

Phil Ivey – I felt like a Take That fan. Respect!

Doyle Brunson – From all the autographs he gives, this guy must have more hand cramp than the world masturbation champion.

Daniel Negreanu – Am I the first to get his autograph whilst he was involved in a hand? What a cheeky Beagle I am.

Allen Cunningham – like my windy pops, silent but violent

Scotty Nguyen – 4 simple words… “Yeah man, no problem”. If he wasn’t a cross between the Fonz and Mr T, he’d be the coolest dude in town.

Chris Ferguson – I don’t care who he is, I want his totty for a night (with my girlfriend’s permission of course)

Gus Hansen – grumpy git could barely force a smile. I am currently trying to wash off his signature.

John Shipley – Being a fellow Solihullian is enough to warrant inclusion.

John Kabbaj – If he new I called him 'cabbage' on the updates would he still have signed?

Carlos Mortensen – And I’ll have his mrs too. I’m really not as greedy as I sound, honest guv. Took an age for us to get the lid off the pen though, how embarrassing.

Greg Raymer – grr, I asked him to just stick his name down, yet I looked down to see the following pretentious message: ‘Play Smart!’ Doh, and to think I’d been ‘playing thick’ all this time. Also, he was one of the few to request a specific card, demanding the 8 of diamonds because that’s "the one I won the World Series with". Don’t you need 2?…

Max Pescatori – Aaaaaaaaaar. Gotta have a pirate in there…

Mel Judah – Er… I like his grey hair.

Dewey Tomko – just need to get Hughey and Louis’s now and I’ll have the full set

I can’t tell you how tempted I was to go up to Phil Hellmuth saying “Phil, Phil, how about an autograph?” and when he says “Sure, no worries, kid”, sign the card myself and hand it over to him. The expression on his face would surely be priceless!

I almost got Amarillo Slim’s, but he trundled off at the last minute. I MUST get his, if only because he’s an asthmatic gnat’s breath away from popping his clogs.

13 down, 39 to go. The likes of Jennifer Harman, Freddie Deeb, Ram Vaswani, Erick Lindgren, and co are next on the hit list. Might take a while to complete, but any early bids?…

to be continued...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


It’s been over a month since my return and, with what could easily show the transparencies in my shambolic writing style (although my fingers remain crossed for something brisk, fun and entertaining), I hereby present to you my…


the biggest cheer of the year…

… goes to Sir Phil Hellmuth of Brattiness. On exiting the Main Event, the dude on the mic officially announced his departure, surely knowing full well the response it would provoke.

In what became a moment that would unite a whole room of poker enthusiasts, play ceased, onlookers put down their drinks and the totty stopped gyrating their boobage to join in with a chorus of cheers and applause.

For the first time at the Rio, there was a real party atmosphere, and Hellmuth was the unwitting cause. A justified celebration of a right plonker!

room with a view

You really should venture up to the Voodoo Lounge in the Rio. It’s so high up that you feel as if you’re being taken to heaven, but the view is spectacular. The bar is poncy, but it’s just so relaxing up there on the balcony that you really won’t care.

bamboozled by a kazi

Okay, I’m no Einstein, but I never thought I’d be outwitted by a toilet. In fact, I was more than outwitted, I was tied up in knots and hung out to dry.

I can manage a sensor flush, but when it flushes randomly, it’s quite perplexing.

According to my reliable source, the WSOP loo is meant to detect the pressure of your tush when you sit down and then flush when you rise.

Not so, as my intricate testing and analysis found out. Fully clothed, I gave the seat my fullest heaviness, before faking a toilet wipe and moving towards the door… yet no flush!

And then, on a second test, the toilet flushed as I feigned the wiping of my bottom.

the mind boggles…

yummy yummy ive got food in my tummy

Coming from the land of ‘beans on toast’ and ‘fish and chips’, I always knew that the food over there would provide more than a slight improvement on my Brummie cuisine.

After spending time in Monte Carlo where I had to queue up for ages to purchase a viciously overpriced and poorly cooked burger, eating in Vegas was a delight. Everything is oversized, (I couldn’t finish a hotdog the one day), instantly accessible, and served with a smile – compare that to the lack-lustre service at Grosvenor Bolton during the Poker 6 and you really begin to appreciate the American’s level of professionalism.

The food service in the Orleans is worthy of a mention too. I ordered some Lemon chicken and within several minutes they were rattling my door. What I received was way over the top, but much appreciated; big plate of chicken, bowl of rice, two bowls of lemon sauce, a selection of savoury dips, salt and pepper, a bowl of what looked like Twiglets, a bottle of Tabasco sauce and a bottle of soy sauce. Aye carumba!

a quiet night in…

… Seamless. Yes, if the boys (who shall remain nameless - bung me later, Aaron) weren’t going out on the razz, they’d be spending their time and money in the local totty nest.

Seamless was so close to our hotel that one of Aaron’s buddies claimed that he was woken up one time by the flashing neon lights protruding from the building. And like a sheppard walking towards the star, he was in babylon heaven within minutes.

At one point I accidentally stumbled in after searching for the local chapel. But once inside, it would have been rude not to meet and greet the neighbours. In fact, we all seemed to get on splendidly, so much so that they charged me for their hospitality.

The talent in there was top notch. Whilst our home-grown strip clubs are rather dreadful creations in which the customer is treated like scum unless they don diamond shoes and the dancers are brought in off the streets, Seamless treated everyone the same and was full to the brim with incredibly beautiful women. A pleasant surprise indeed.

Although I decided not to return due to giving all my money to a pair of breasts, the others (nothing to do with Lost) became valued season ticket holders.

the invasion

Okay, it’s official, Full Tilt have landed their spaceship and are set to take over the World. Stepping off the flying saucer are an endless (and that is only just an exaggeration) list of stars; Seidel, Lederer, Ivey, Bloch, Matusow, Lindgren, Jesus, blah bah blah. It’s not fair! They’re beginning to dominate poker.

To their credit, their marketing strategies are top banana. Those hockey jerseys stick out like a sore thumb and they’ve got the right people wearing them. Everyone!

Speaking of Full Tilt and their members, Barney Boatman broke my heart recently when he informed me that Vicky Coren was famous for playing the hand 7-4 a good while before it got a mention on blonde. Crikey, I guess we’ll have to change to 9-3 of diamonds after all, ‘7-4, it’s a Coren thing’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

God only knows (ahem) what Brian Wilson will say.

a routine test for the guns

Whilst I sat next to Audley Harrison and updated on Lennox Lewis, the guns stood up to the challenge and clearly intimidated both boxers in terms of size and bicepial (new word?) content. Both took one look, chucked their chips in with rubbish and scarpered.

As long as they know where they stand.

top of the tits

(5) Creeping in at number five are the lasses from Crazy Poker – the thinking man’s totty.

(4) In at number four are the Playboy Bunnies. They don’t look like geniuses, but I wouldn’t be talking politics with them. And look at those tails!

(3) Sitting in a respectable third place are the Bodog girls. Perched on a raised floor, Bodog would film you pillow fighting two half dressed floozies on a bed. They would then email you the evidence and let you take the pillow home as a souvenir. Seeing Tom from Antes Up smelling his pillow like a man possessed is a sight that will haunt me for years.

(2) Just pushed out of the top spot are the Milwaukee Beer Girls. They looked suspiciously young, but were cute, petite and scantily clad. What more can you ask for?

(1) Straight in at number one are the Doylesroom girls. Slightly classier than the rest of the tittie mob – oh I do love a cowgirl. Yeeeeehaaaaa!

bottom of the tits

The Sun Poker girls could have woken a small child from a coma and the lack of boobage was most dissatisfying. Eek!

to be continued…

Sunday, September 17, 2006


It's been a tough, but rewarding week in which I spent most of my time in the Casino Barcelona in, yep, you guessed it... Baaaaaaaaaaaarcelona!

This isn't my first visit though - when I was 17, I won a scholarship to study the magnificent architecture of Anotnio Gaudi, an absolute treat at the time for someone keen on the arts. On this occasion, however, visiting the sights was out of the question as the opening EPT of the new season was already underway.

Although the blondeites failed to make much of an impact, JP one of the few successfully flying the blonde flag, we somehow managed to land 2 Brits on the final table, an incredible feat considering the recent Scandinavian invasion.

And it was also great to witness Phil Ivey take the runner-up spot. Seeing the best player in the world run so well in his first EPT is not only going to make the whole thing ten times more entertaining, but also re-assure the dark side of my mind that poker isn't the solely luck-orientated game that so many people suggest it is. Ivey is the master and he has proven he is on a regular basis - it's just a shame that he couldn't take top honours.

That title went to Bjorn Erik Glenne, a 35-year old pro' from Norway. He fully deserved the accolade, even outplaying Ivey on a number of hands.

It's always slightly bizarre when I spot Ivey at an Event. He's so quiet and reserved, yet seems to attract a heap of onlookers. Even Matusow or Brenes couldn't attract the crowds Ivey did, no matter how big their pantomime was.

On a personal note, I just love watching Ivey. He barely moves an inch, but there's something about him that makes onlooking so much more fasinating. Every pause, every moment he thinks about a hand, I just can't help but be intrigued, constantly wondering what's going on in that complex mind of his and why exactly he is so much better than everyone else.

But that's enough about the Main Event, it's time to move onto Paul Parker...

Due to the lack of taxi service and the swarms of Spaniards roaming the streets, getting home was a complete struggle, especially with the burden of our heavy laptops and the constant threat of being mugged. (Matt Tyler was knocked unconcious and mercilessly pillaged earlier on in the week.)

Come 5am, however, we met up with Paul, Stephen Bartley and David Lloyd, all struggling to find a way home. "Let's walk," suggests Paul, "It's not that far."

As a result, we didn't return home until 6.30am, predominatly due to the persuasive powers of Paul Parker who was adamant that we were only a short walk away.

30 minutes of wandering aimlessly through the dark mugger-infested streets of Barcelona with Mr Parker saying "It's the next street" at the end of each road, Paul suddenly turns around and asks, "You are going to this place aren't you?", to which Jen and I reply "No"

Sigh, out comes the map and, after a slight detour, we eventually manage to stumble across our hotel, a mere 90 minute stroll.

I got a taxi on the next night...

Due to the inability to adjust my body-clock, the long working hours, and the difficulties in getting back to the hotel, I managed very little sleep in Barcelona, finally finishing with just the three hours on my final night - not great, but difficult to avoid under the circumstances.

It only takes a day or two to get back into the swing of things though, and that's exactly what I intend to do. A well deserved rest, and then back onto the cash tables to earn some dough. I need to maintain an income, but it's difficult when I'm updating. Next stop is only a few days away - Thursday's London EPT.

Okay, that's the tough, so what about the rewarding. Well, this job is still the mutt's nutts, and, quite frankly, I'd do these updates for free - as long as my expenses were paid for, I'd happily continue to stand at tableside, notepad and pen in hand - it really is that much of a joy.

It wasn't that long ago that I was working a 9-5 office job, bored out of my brain and praying for something else to come along - so for that, I am truly grateful for the position I am in. And you know what, tough work aside, it really is a fun job. Just to be there, in the mix of things, watching poker history unfold is reward enough.

However, there are times when I feel I deserve a treat, and that will come in the form of my upcoming live poker binge at the Gutshot. Their London Masters festival will be offering five very affordable freezeouts, so I intend to play the lot for a total of £1,050.

Should be fun.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


This week I made my debut in the fantastic Equal Chance Club in Walthamstow. This is what poker’s about. Forget your roulette wheels, pricey bar, uninterested casino staff and corporate heads, and so on, the future lies in the social clubs, not the casinos, well, I can only hope so anyway…

The suburb of Walthamstow may not look like much, and it probably isn’t, but just off St James’ Street lies a neat little social club. In true Rounders style, although lacking the cage and KGB host, I was buzzed in only to be greeted in super-fast time by (1) the lovely lass behind the bar (left) (2) her husband and club proprietor, Chris Karanikki (also left) and (3) friendly Scot, Billy Whicher, whose equally accommodating son took an impressive three levels to win a hand – all keen as mustard to meet, greet, and chat with me even though I’d never stepped foot in the place before. Made me feel highly welcome!

Anyhow, a bit more about the place – 2 pool tables, about a dozen free computer terminals with unlimited internet access, several poker tables (although plenty of space for more), three eating booths, comfy leather sofas – okay, admittedly it’s not the Ritz, but when it comes to a fun night out, what more do you need? A pack of cards and friendly smile is all I ever ask for, and both were in abundance here.

What’s most important about the Equal Chance Club is that it is, and I apologise for quoting an overused cliché, ‘for poker players by poker players’. It is crystal clear that both Billy and Chris are huge poker enthusiasts and have a genuine passion for the game. Of course, as we have witnessed with all these recent clubs, this makes a massive difference and allows poker to emerge as the number one factor rather than having it swamped down by any corporate or monetary issues.

Although money is obviously an important factor, I don’t believe it is the number 1 priority here. Playing poker and having fun is furlongs ahead, and that’s what makes these places so refreshing.

As with everyone else in attendance, I wasn’t there to spin a roulette wheel or waste my hours at the Blackjack table, I was here to give the £200 Freezeout a shot – a quite splendid tourney which, with blinds starting at 50/100, offers a 10,000 starting stack and 25 minute levels. Although I had my reservations about the clock, the comp has one night to reach its conclusion, so you can't be overly generous with the structure. In fact, I doubt there are too many comps where you get this much play for one night’s worth of entertainment – if I was heading for the exit early doors, it would probably be of my own doing, and that’s kind of what happened.

Out of the blue, I cut my stack in half, twice (well, I guess that means I 3/4ered it)! I raised from late position with J-9 suited, the button called. I then check-raised a 9-7-2 (two hearts) flop, to which he smooth called. Confident that he was on a flush draw, I bet the black 6 on the Turn, but, to my chagrin, it was met by a brisk all-in.

Now, I don’t like folding top pair with so much invested in the pot and one card still to come, but, fresh off a season of watching Micky ‘The Worm’ Wernick, I knew I wouldn’t be dead if I folded. And seeing as how my opponent had played so few hands, I opted for a fold, sure that his all-in was a signal that I was in hot water, perhaps even drawing completely dead. He knew I only had 3k left behind, so I doubt he expected me to fold, which, in my experience, means I’m in trouble.

After doubling up soon after (my J-J vs Ks-Qs survived a bowel-encouraging flopped flush draw), I rose back up to 8k. But alas, it wasn’t to be and, with the blinds threatening to eat me up, my Q-J failed to outdraw my nemesis’ A-2s and I was a gonna – disappointed, but not too miffed.

Meanwhile, Jen (above-left), who deserves a win, made it all the way to third place, at one point holding the chip lead with just three left. However, she didn't quite take top honours but did manage to scoop a handy 1,100 squid for her troubles, which should afford her a few more pink cardigans for the collection.

The eventual winner was James Arkenhead, a young fellow who has one hell of a game. Always searching for opportunities, his constant aggression reminds me of one Stuart Fox, raising and re-raising in relentless fashion and constantly putting pressure on his opponents, whilst fully prepared to let go of his hand when he detects he’s beat. One to look out for the future, that’s for sure.

But my biggest praise must go out to The Equal Chance Club and the cracking atmosphere Chris Karanikki has created. It reminded me of the good ol’ days down the Gala, Notts. With the cardroom cut-off from the casino, there was a smashing atmosphere down there too, and plenty of characters to boot. Equal Chance is no different – a quick scour of the room and you’ll witness a larger than life Ade Bayo entertaining the onlookers with his table antics, a sick Dave Penley multitabling six high stakes tables at a terminal after returning from Vegas just hours ago, and the highly humorous quips of Jym Jam, an amusing fellow you won’t forget in a hurry.

So, on that note, I urge you to lend this club, and all those of its ilk, your much needed support by wandering down to The Equal Chance Club in Walthamstow. If not for the night’s entertainment that you’re sure to encounter, then at least to take advantage of their 10k guaranteed £30 rebuy, a comp which, as I’m reliably informed, recently created a pot of 21k – how about that for value?

For more information, please feel free to contact them on 020 8521 2121 or, alternatively, trundle down to The Equal Chance Club personally at 74-76 St James’ Street, Walthamstow, London, E17 7PE

Oh, and before I forget, be sure to check out the website at

It's pink!