Getting down with the sickness…

So… Welcome to my blog; let’s get right into it and start getting down with the sickness…

As a qualified professional and self-confessed poker degenerate, it’s been a busy few weeks for me both on and off the poker tables.

While I’ll be mentioning certain poker websites and providing links through to all topics I tend to talk about, please be aware that this is not just shameless plugging – I receive nothing for getting you guys to check out any of the links I provide, it’s just me being thorough.
(Obviously I’m not responsible for any content I myself don’t post, and if you sign up to one of these online poker rooms on the ol’intermawebthingy and lose a shed load, that’s not my fault either. ;))

RazorSharpProse and WPT

I’m currently in the midst of revamping and launching my freelance website – www.RazorSharpProse.com (be aware that it doesn’t go live until next week) – here you can check out some of the articles and interviews I’ve written for WPT magazine, Poker News and see some of the articles I have awaiting publication for the new and redesigned Players Publishing World Poker Tour magazine.

I’ll be keeping my blog updated with what forthcoming features I have pending and for whom, for any and all interested fans of the beautiful game of poker.

I have an upcoming Pro on Pro interview with Welsh poker wizard and mean Omaha player Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough and James ‘Flushey’ Dempsey that’ll be in the next issue of WPT (issue 42, on sale in the next two weeks I believe)– it’s quite an interesting one where Dave and James discuss the changing face of the game and how to adapt and be successful in the modern game. Link through to the feature online at the WPT website here.

You can check out WPT’s shiny new magazine website here: www.wptmag.com
Feel free to chip in with some feedback (though I would prefer constructive criticism rather than being flamed…)

GUKPT Updates

Poker-wise, I have just returned from a lucrative working trip to the GUKPT London leg at the Victoria Casino.

Congratulations to Richard Kellett on taking down the £200 re-buy and winning himself the an extremely tasty £26,350 – I had the pleasure of interviewing Rich at the GCBPT Grand Final at the Harborside Casino in Bristol at Christmas and figured it was just a matter of time before he took down a decent live tournament (of course 15th place at the EPT Dortmund is nothing to be sniffed at either…).

I even found time to call in at The Empire Casino in Leicester Square, home of the WSOPE for a hit and run on the cash tables with partner in crime, PLO degenerate and fellow Tafia member Neil ‘6-card’ Shellard.
This coincided nicely with a chance to catch up with their new card room supervisor Alistair Watt – he has been running the Gala’s Harbourside Casino cardroom with aplomb for quite some time so I’m sure his new role at the Empire can only be a good thing for London based poker players.

It’s all about the APAT

The Amateur Poker Association Tour (APAT) hit Cardiff this weekend (3rd April), bringing some great deep-stack play to my local cardroom.
The APAT has gone from strength to strength and, now in its third year is doing great things for the UK’s amateur poker scene.

Congratulations to Dean Saunders (no, not the ex-Welsh footballer) and Jon O’Neill, the only Cardiff players to make it deep in the main event – with 6th and 7th place respectively to fly the flag for the Welsh boys, but it was Simon Auckland who took down his first big live tournament win and £3,200 for first place.
Follow the action and the updates here: www.apat.com

It was also a great excuse to catch up with the Leicester boys, GCBPT champs Rupinder ‘George’ Bedi and Neil Blatchly who were down to compete for a share of the £12,150 prize pool.
I took the opportunity to take the boys out on the town for a few beers where I discovered:

1.) That despite winning the GCBPT Nottingham and taking down 7th place in the Pokerstars Sunday Million guaranteed for $28k, George can’t drink for shit 🙂

2.) Neil thinks gin and tonic is a girl’s drink… but it’s ok to drink Bacardi…

Coral Announce Poker Tour

Fans of the GCBPT will be pleased to note that Coral have picked up the reins where Gala left off; the announcement of the British Masters Poker Tour has nicely filled the gap left after Gala’s departure from the £500 tournament buy-in market.

With six dates announced, the tour kicks off next month in Edinburgh, and in addition to the £500 two-day main event also has a £200 and £100 one-day freeze-out on the Friday and Sunday respectively.

Check out the website for updates and information – with the Gala Tour selling out most legs I’m sure the Coral Tour will be just as well received.

The boys at thenutz.tv and A World of Poker (AWOP – www.aworldofpoker.com) will be covering the event with a full live stream, and if it works half as well as it did at the GCBPT Grand Final in Bristol then it’ll be some great viewing.

You can qualify online via the Coral Poker website for as little as nothing, as they will be running freerolls online at www.coralpoker.co.uk at 6pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday along with a number of $5 and $10 qualifiers – though you could always buy into the online final directly for $75+5.

Visit www.britishmasterspokertour.co.uk for more details.

Neil Blatchly tells me he will definitely be playing the Bristol Harbourside leg in October to defend his title and I’m sure the tour will be every bit as successful and popular as the Gala tour.
Hell, I might even stretch to playing in one or two myself – that is if I’m not covering them for work… It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it 😉

Irish Open beckons

I’m heading over to Ireland on Thursday for the Irish Open, and after covering PaddyPower’s Irish Winter Festival last October, am really looking forward to returning to Dublin for the craic (no, not the kind you smoke).

With big name players of the calibre of Tony G (“Bring me more Russians…”), Brian ‘Sbrugby’ Townsend and the squeezeplay pioneer himself, Mr Dan Harrington it should be a great weekend.

I’ll be doing my utmost to interview those three so will keep you posted with updates over the weekend – expect interviews… coming soon to a magazine near you.

Feel free to leave comments and questions you want me to ask them, after all – how often do you get a chance to ask the author of one of the greatest tournament books of all time questions about everything and anything…

I’m sure Ireland’s finest (yes that’ll be Marty Smyth, Big C O’Leary and Padraig Parkinson to name but a few) will be out in force to defend their honour and make sure that Europe’s largest and oldest poker tournament title remains in Irish hands.

As far as I’m aware there’s still time to qualify – check out the PaddyPower website for more details: www.irishpokeropen.com

I’m pretty sure that they’re still running online qualifiers – the Irish Open Last Chance Saloon, a series of $300 + $20 ticket-only satellites.

The four Last Chance Saloon grand final tournaments are scheduled April 5th – 8th at 8.30pm, with feeder satellites running from April 3rd. One Irish Open main event ticket will be awarded for every $4,650 in the prizepool.

Winners of the Last Chance Saloon will also qualify for the poker room’s €100,000 Sole Survivor promotion, which will award a €100,000 package to the longest-lasting paddypowerpoker.com online qualifier at the Irish Open.

Irish Open Last Chance Saloon satellite tournaments can be accessed via the poker software lobby; select ‘Scheduled MTT’s’, ‘Specials’ and then the ‘Irish Open’ tab.

I get to play in a media freeroll for a seat in the main event myself so fingers crossed… How good are poker journalists at actually playing cards anyway…

I’m sure I’ll also receive some friendly banter about the men in green’s recent Grand Slam glory at the expense of the mighty Wales – but power to them, 60+ years is a long time to wait between Slams, and the atmosphere in Cardiff was electric all day.

Well, that’s it for today’s instalment poker fans; stay tuned over the weekend for on the spot updates from Dublin’s CityWest Hotel where the Guinness should be flowing and the chips flying.

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