Well well, What's this a new columnist? Not exactly 'new' or a 'columnist' to be honest. More like an old pro player who does a bit of writing, TV commentary work and can string a few sentences together, which I hope you will find amusing, entertaining and informative! If not, just read them anyway - it will pass a few minutes whilst your waiting for your next sit and go!
My recent road trip north saw me arrive at Walsall's Midlands meltdown tournament. Walsall's convenient location and its well run and reasonably priced entry fees always guarantees a good turnout, oh and not to mention a free sumptuous buffet. (More on that in a moment).
The first three events consisted of ?100 no limit Hold em with rebuys, ?150 pot limit Hold em with one rebuy and a ?300 no limit freeze out. I played all three and not wishing to bore you with the details suffice it to say I fell just short of the money with a couple of brave or foolhardy moves too many. oh well "c'est la vie".
Entries seemed a little down on previous events so I think the poker calander maybe becoming a bit too crowded.
Each night prior to the start of the event there was a free players buffet. Well the first night was umm, err Ok, the second night was just short of Ok and on the third night I`m sure the meat must have died of natural causes!! How on Earth can you cock up fish and chicken? Jamie Oliver, Walsall needs you badly.
At this point I decided to take stock of the situation: Three tournaments played - no result. Three buffets eaten - escaped salmonella and still alive. What a great result! Time for a break I think so I decide to return home for a couple of days and return fresh for Saturdays main event.
I return on Saturday refreshed and raring to go and pay my ?1000 entry fee along with just over one hundred others. Again entry's are slightly lower than expected but plenty of big names are in attendance. John Shipley, Marc Goodwin, Simon Nowab, Carlo Citrone and Paul Jackson are all there, so this was never going to be an easy event.
Poker.co.uk also had a runner in this event in the form of young Dan Carter. I have spoken to Dan on a couple of other occasions. He`s learning and practising hard, and keen to get a result, but on this occasion he found himself on a very tough table and busted out late on the first day.
I managed to survive and returned along with twenty odd others for day two, but once again fell short of the money. In the end it was a scoop for the "Dusk till Dawn" mob with Simon Nowab, Rob Yong etc. splitting the top spots and money.
Talking of money, Walsall had apparently decided to flatten the payout structures with only about 36% of the prize pool going to the winner, thus giving the lower places extra cash. I spoke to several top players about this and we were all in agreement: poker tournaments are tough to win there are no cakewalks anymore, so first prize should be at least 50%. I know a lot of players like to do deals but I still feel that there should be a decent payday for those that wish to play it out.
So poor food (not unusual for Walsall), entries down, and a flat payout structure which were unusual for Walsall.
Is the money starting to dry up in the poker world ? Certainly there are too many events one after the other coming along, so players will start to get choosey and some events will suffer.
One event that certainly won`t suffer, not just yet anyhow, is the "World Series of Poker" a monster affair that starts soon and runs on into August. I won`t be in attendance this year unless I have a miracle day online, but to the many of you that will here are a few tips from an old pro to help you survive with you bankroll and mind intact. It`s a long journey to Las Vegas so when you first get there take a day or two to acclimatise, don`t be in too much of a rush to be involved. It will all still be there tomorrow.
When you do start to play pace yourself, don`t expect to play everyday. Nobody can play there best game day in day out for several weeks. Take days off, go to Mount Charleston or Lake Mead. My power boat trips on Lake Mead are legendary with the Midlands crew and the Hoover Dam isn`t half as spectacular from the top as it is from a boat at the base!
Manage your bankroll carefully. Las Vegas is one of the best places in the world when you have money, and definitely the worst when you go bust. It`a no fun having to sit around for a week or more waiting for your flight home whilst all around you are having fun. So, be warned.
These few tips should help you through the Las Vegas minefield and with some good play and a lot of good luck, who knows? A World Series of Poker bracelet may be yours.
So good luck, have a great trip, and enjoy the 120 degrees sunbathing!
As for me I`m off to London for the "World Masters" and then the "Summer Breeze" at Brighton. I`ll have a word or two to say about these in my next column. Talking of which look out for my series on playing Omaha poker which will also begin in my next column.
Well that`s about it for this time, just time to say look out for the "Worlds Headsup" on which yours truly does the commentary along with presenter Mike Carlson. Its`s due to air on the Challenge TV channel later on in the year, it`s exciting stuff so don`t miss it. Ah... so now you know who the prat writing this drivel is.. good. At least you can put a face to the name, or is it the other way round? Who cares I`m starting to babble, its time to go.
Until next time stay safe, play well and enjoy your poker.