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.