The final leg for 2007, prior to the GUKPT grand final itself, was at the very popular and well run Grosvenor G casino on Blackpool's seafront ...though perhaps not the best time of the year for a visit to the seaside. Blackpool has always been a well attended event very popular with all the north and midlands players.
Team "Trotter" on this occasion consisted of the usual suspects, Dan, Lucy and myself plus one very special edition, one of Europe's best known and highly rated pros Dave "El Blondie" Colclough ...I must take some of the blame or credit? for this addition.
My four hour drive up to Blackpool was reasonably quiet and uneventful and I had planned to arrive in plenty of time for the 4pm start.. or at least that was what I thought. At about five to three as I approached Blackpool's lovely historic (or possibly pre-?) Town centre I received a phone call. On the other end of the line was my old pal the "blonde" one, "Where are you?" was his opening comment "Don't panic I'm about ten minutes away " was my casual reply. "Great" ...was the retort "it starts in five"... What!? apparently it was scheduled to start at 3pm not 4pm as advertised on some websites....Oh well.
Having weathered DC's derogatory comments and withering criticism of my slightly late arrival, I hand him his poker.co.uk official shirt and much to my delight and his chagrin it's.. bright red!...Nice one Matt..Doesn't he look pretty.
We take our seats for the tourney...next to each other.. unbelievable! and the inevitable "Twins" jokes start, but the blonde one has the last laugh. Having been the butt of everybody's jokes for the first half hour several dishy ladies including Dana tell him he looks quite sexy in his bright red shirt..hmmm... maybe I'll try the "Fire engine" look next year.
In the event itself Lucy's out before we have time to say hi, my efforts come to a sticky end late on day one (after a very nice Chinese players buffet) but the great "Red One" manages to sail supremely on only to eventually fall just short of the money. Dan played on the second start day and I was not around to see his efforts so check out his blog for an account.
So that was our combined efforts in Blackpool, a great tournament venue, well run and friendly, unfortunately no prize money for us but... some great publicity for the site courtesy of DC and his red shirt....nice one Matt.
After a few days rest from the trials of Blackpool next on the agenda was a short (time wise at least) trip up to the "Midland Masters" event at Walsall...everybody's favourite midlands town... No?.. why on earth not?!
This event has in the past proved very popular, but on this occasion with a field of around 80 it was quite a bit down on previous years... A sign of the times? Maybe but....the satellites being run for this event by the casino also left a lot to be desired... to say the least!
Having arrived in plenty of time and dined on the superb culinary delights offered in the players buffet, well superb if.... you hadn't eaten for a month and survived on a diet of dead rat and bin scraps!! (Apologies to all homeless street urchins).. but it was awful!
Still at least I got an easy starting table with the likes of "El Blondie" "Yo Yo" Ian Woodley and Ian Herbert all sitting either left or right of me ...marvellous. Others in attendance included Marc Goodwin, Paul Jackson and "Skallie". So a small but very strong line-up for the event.
Taking into account my table make-up I decided to wheel out my new "Modus aparendi" ....almost L.A.G, but not quite. My new style seemed to fox most of my old pals especially Woodley who seemed to have only one thing to say about my new style "What the F...k is going on?" .."I'm lost" ( System working well with just a touch of fine tuning required) I make the last twenty-something, eventually dealt a crippling blow when my pocket Queens get chased down by an A-9 (All in pre flop ) Oh well...I was happy with my play and it bodes well for 2008.
My final adventure for 2007 was in the support events at the GUKPT grand final. Dan was scheduled for the heads up and the main event, and I got to play in two side events which unfortunately proved a very frustrating end to my 2007 campaign. Took sick beats in both but, was pretty happy with my much improved style of play in the middle to late stages allowing me to at least gather some chips and inject a little pace into the play. Ultimately that's about all you can do and then let the cards fall where they may.
A couple of things that I have noticed in 2007 is how fast the game is changing and....how badly a lot of people play! No, I'm not trying to sound big headed, and it's not a case of "sour grapes" or "I know it all" but, watching some of the plays at both the GUKPT and the GBT you would be surprised at how far off some peoples game is. They call pre flop when it can't possibly be correct, they pass when they should actually call or better still... raise, and then to cap it all... proceed to call off chips totally unnecessarily! It's all pretty basic stuff that plenty seem to totally disregard or perhaps just don't understand, and the reason I'm telling you all this? Well ...if, as I suspect, many of you reading this would dearly like to have a shot at one of these tourneys then get on the Poker.co.uk site, generate yourself some rake and be one of the lucky guest players to join "Team Trotter" at the 2008 events. Who knows you may turn very little into a very big something...give it a go!
Talking of 2008 - made any New Years resolutions?....me too. Not exactly resolutions more kind of targets for 2008 poker wise. First off I will win over $100,000 in 2008. I will make at least one TV final. I will enter and win a TV crapshoot ...one of those six handed, I'm a clueless celebrity get me outa here things!... Crapshoots they may be but great publicity for the site. Finally I will try and show more compassion and respect for my fellow team members, site owners and forum posters and I will stop being so arrogant and belligerent with my comments....Okay you're right, some things I can achieve... leopards and spots just ain't gonna happen
Well that's about it 2007 done and dusted and 2008 already upon us. "Team Trotters" or at least the star player (Dan "Lucky bastard"...err sorry promised no sour grapes "Lucky Scrote's") first outing is to the PCA in the Bahamas. Dan ably mentored by Matt [i](edit: Matt - unfortunately he's taking his girlfriend, not me! :( )[/i] will be travelling out to the Caribbean probably at about the same time as you are reading this, so let's all wish the lucky bas...sorry...sorry, I just can't help myself ...so let's wish Dan all the very best of luck and whilst he's basking on some tropical beach with Matt (wearing matching leather thongs, and rubbing each other with Hawaiian tropical oil) the rest of us will be shivering and snivelling our way through the cold and wet January mornings, wishing that we had played just that bit better in 2007! But we aren't jealous, are we? No ..no..no...Yes!
Ahh..yes one last thing... the Poker.co.uk Christmas party....in January !! Only Matt could schedule this! Now I have discussed this with "Haggis" and we couldn't work out if it was a very early 2008 Christmas do, a belated 2007 Christmas do or... as Haggis thought the one originally planned in 2005 delayed "due to a backlog" (standard Donk Dale excuse) but.. wait a mo what's this ? "?50 maybe more of free booze for all Mod's and Pro's attending" Whoa baby! Free booze? Count me in!
Note to Matt: Please edit out all my condescending and derogatory remarks about the very nice Christmas party on Jan 26th... It is a wonderful gesture and we (the missus and me) would be delighted to attend and will arrive around 4pm. Please could the ?50 plus booze allowance be more "plus" than 50 as that will barely quench wifey's thirst.. let alone mine.
Merry Christmas all and a happy New Year.
Until next time,
Staay saafe, pray well and enjoysh yure pokerrrr "Hic"