Posts Tagged ‘GUKPT’

On the Road Again…

October 16, 2009

Greetings poker fans, it’s been a long time, too long in fact since I have posted anything on the old blog front. Far from slacking however, I have been working hard writing my arse off.

Poker Player

So, to business, I have a Luke ‘_FullFlush1_’ Schwartz feature out in the latest copy of Poker Player magazine – Issue 53 with Vicky Coren on the front cover.

This was an interesting interview, it took me a while to pin young Mr Schwartz down but it was worth it and true to form, the UK’s latest internet phenomenon had some entertaining and often controversial stuff to say for himself. I’ll stick up a link to the article if they post it online, but feel free to check out the Poker Player website here.

PKR

I’ve been doing a bit of work for PKR recently and have been writing strategy articles on beating PLO and PLO8 SNG’s for the ‘Raise Your Game’ section of their website. I don’t think that the PLO8 articles are up yet but you can check out the three PLO SNG articles here:
•  Pot-limit Omaha Sit & Go strategy (Part 1): Basic PLO strategy
Pot-limit Omaha Sit & Go strategy (Part 2): PLO early and middle play
Beat pot-limit Omaha Sit & Go’s (part 3): PLO bubbles and beyond

Baller

A lot of the writing I’ve been doing recently is for a new Asian-based poker lifestyle magazine called Baller – check out their website here.
You can download a PDF copy of their pre-launch issue where I have an article on the APPT Macau and an interview with WSOP 2005 Main Event Champ Joe Hachem.

Joe was a pretty cool guy to interview, and I found him a genuinely friendly fella, very chatty and down to earth. We talked about all sorts of stuff but mainly focused on the Asian and Australian poker scene and his life after his World Series win. Feel free to check it out folks.

The mag launches next month (November) and I also have features on the PokerStars Team Asia Pro Bryan Huang who tells me all about the Singapore poker scene and with fellow Team Asia Pro Celina Lin who is currently leading the PokerStars Macau Poker Cup tournament leaderboard. I think they should be posting up some more content on the website after the launch so will keep you posted.

International Man of Mystery

I’ve become something of an international man of mystery recently (only with better teeth than Austin Powers, obviously…) and have been globetrotting with reckless abandon. My only regret is that with all the travelling I missed the GUKPT Cardiff leg.

Now while Cardiff is not as exotic as say Macau or Vegas it is my hometown and I was genuinely gutted to miss the GUKPT tour when it visited last month. Local boy Iwan Jones did us proud finishing in second and he was unlucky not to win. However, it was the Hit Squad’s Karl Mahrenholtz who took the honours along with his first GUKPT title, and being as Karl is an all round nice guy and an excellent poker player, this is no bad thing.

After covering the APPT Macau back in August/September I hit up London for the WSOPE. The final table there was a great one to watch and I found myself chatting with Mr Mahrenholtz about his GUKPT win while we were watching his fellow Hit Squaders Praz Bansi and James Akenhead get to work.

The Hit Squad boys are winning everything in sight at the mo, and the fact that Mr Akenhead has done a Demidov after making the WSOP Main Event final just shows how hard those boys have been working on their games. Praz was unlucky not to finish higher than third, but with Daniel Negreanu and eventual winner Barry Schulman on the final as well as Jason Mercier who is also running red hot, it was far from an easy final table.

Obviously I found some time to do some ‘networking’ (aka drinking) with GUKPT tour manager Jon Raab and had the pleasure of meeting JP Kelly, fresh from his second bracelet win. As well as being a very capable player and rising young poker star he struck me as a thoroughly nice guy and I hope I have the pleasure of interviewing him in the near future.

WPT Marrakech

The World Poker Tour makes its African debut

The World Poker Tour makes its African debut

I was barely home 5-minutes when it was on the road again, this time to the exotic location of Morocco where I am currently in the midst of covering the chilipoker.com WPT Marrakech. Feel free to check out some of the live updates from the Chilipoker blog or Poker News.

Despite a heavy French presence – both Morocco and Marrakech have strong French ties and French is one of the more widely spoken languages here – I have befriended a trio of Italians from PokerTexano.com and have been hanging around with them for most of the time. They have kindly provided me with a couple of pics for my blog so a big thanks to Stefano and the guys. Check out their website here (warning – it is in Italian, strangely enough…).

Me with the Poker Texano boys at the WPT welcome dinner

Me with the Poker Texano boys at the WPT welcome dinner. Image courtesy of Poker Texano.com

Chilipoker are the masterminds behind the World Poker Tour’s first foray onto African soil, and we are enjoying the hospitality of the lovely Hotel Es Saadi and the swanky Casino De Marrakech. Day 1 is currently underway as we speak with over 400 players from 32 different countries coughing up the €4,500 (£4095) buy-in to create a monster MD 18,720,000 prize pool, which is the equivalent of around £1.5million.

With high calibre players like Tony G, 1996 WSOP Champ Huck Seed, WSOPE Champ Annette Obrestad and fellow Betfair pro’s Sorrel Mizzi and Jon Tabatabai, Andrew Feldman, Chilipoker’s own Liz Lieu, Antonio Esfandiari, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Bruno Fitoussi and international tournament director Matt Savage, it’s shaping up to be a great tournament.

It didn’t take long for the sparks to fly and on just the second hand France’s Anthony Lellouche

Winamax sponsored player Anthony Lellouche

Winamax sponsored player Anthony Lellouche. Image courtesy of PokerTexano.com

managed to iron out just under three-quarters of his 20,000 starting stack after running a set of Twos into his opponents set of Nines on a Ten, Nine, Two board. What’s actually impressive here is the fact that he managed not to go broke in this spot.

I bumped into Barny Boatman during the first break who is off to a shakey start; a fellow player managed to cover him in scalding hot coffee before he had even taken his seat and then he took a big hit on level two when his Aces were cracked by his flush-drawing opponent who hit runner, runner two pair to leave Boatman senior with around 8,000.

Jon Tabatabai has been shown the door unfortunately, running his two pair into his opponent’s rivered gutshot 😦
After chatting to the friendly Welshman I learned he very nearly didn’t make it here at all – when he went to fly out from Heathrow on Monday he realised he had forgotten his passport… Doh!

The Hendon Mob's Ross Boatman and second place finisher, Germany's Dominik Nitsche at the WPT Marrakech High Rollers event

The Hendon Mob's Ross Boatman and second place finisher, Germany's Dominik Nitsche at the WPT Marrakech High Rollers event. Image courtesy of Poker Texano.com

Other highlights so far include the Boatman brothers success in the High Rollers event with Boatman junior (Ross) taking down the tourney for a tasty €135,535 (£123 338) with big brother Barny cashing in 4th for €41,017 (£37,326). Not to be left out, fellow Hendon Mobster Joe Beevers came 14th in the €1,800 NLHE event for €4,000 (£3,670).
All three Mobsters are currently playing in the WPT Marrakech Main Event.

Wales’ Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough is also out here and has managed to bag himself a cash as well, finishing 8th in the €900 NLHE event for €4,927 (£4,483).

Not to be out done I figured it was time to get my name out there as well and I managed to bag second place in the WPT press tourney for $300 – while it’s not going to allow me to retire to a life of luxury just yet, free money is always nice. Not only did this give me bragging rights in the press tent with my fellow media types, but also allowed me to uphold the good name of WPT magazine, who I’m out here covering the tourney for 😉

I should be interviewing both Tony G and Liz Lieu later on today so will let you know how that goes, I’ll see if I can grab and interview with Antonio Esfandiari a bit later on as well.

Right, well I’m off to grab me a V6 racing camel and a small monkey in a fez, tune in tomorrow for more updates folks…

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GUKPT Summer Series Walsall

June 30, 2009

Greetings poker fans, and let me welcome you to another exciting instalment of the happenings of the UK poker scene.

It’s been a busy last couple of weeks for me both on and off the tables and continuing where I left off on Sunday let’s get right back into the thick of the action:

Congratulations are in order for Birmingham’s Vincent Price on taking down the GUKPT Walsall leg of the Summer Series.

Read the full feature here on Poker News UK.

After seeing off a tough field featuring the odd poker professional that included Mickey Wernick and Liam ‘the gentleman’ Flood, Vincent also saw off challenges from seasoned UK tournament circuit players like Maria Demetriou and GUKPT Champion of Champion’s winner Ash Hussain.

Several Cardiff players were in attendance including 6-card PLO sickos Marco Clarke and Rana Gurnham and Neil Channing and Nik Persaud’s stable of Blackbeltpoker.com qualifiers in the form of Henry Griffiths (another South Wales boy) John Lundy and Toby Lewis were also on hand to give Mr Price a run for his money.

The price it seemed, was right for 21-year-old Birmingham native and Broadway casino regular Vincent, who was playing in his first big buy-in live tournament (note, not his first live tournament just his first tourney with a buy-in over £100).

After eliminating four of the nine players on the final table, crushing each in quick succession Vince found himself heads-up with 19-year-old Blackbeltpoker.com bluebelt Toby Lewis after Toby dispatched third place finisher Simon Wickenden with the mighty Ace King; which beat Simon’s Pocket Sixes in an all-in pre-flop race.

An epic hour-and-a-half heads-up battle ensued where the chip lead changed hands several times, but it was victory for Vincent when his turned full house on a 6-4-9-4-8 board proved too strong for Toby’s King Nine when all the money went in on the river.

“I’m over the moon, shocked still really, it still hasn’t sunk in yet and I can’t believe it. This is the first big tournament that I’ve ever played in and the first big tournament that I’ve ever bought into before for £500. This is the first real big cash that I’ve ever won,’ confirmed an ecstatic Mr Price, who has been a regular on the Birmingham live circuit for the last three years.

GUKPT Walsall leg winner Vincent Price. Image courtesy of the GUKPT/BlueSquare

GUKPT Walsall leg winner Vincent Price. Image courtesy of the GUKPT/BlueSquare

“My heads-up opponent Toby [Blackbeltpoker.com blue belt Toby Lewis] was solid and was the one player going on to the final table that I didn’t want to get involved in many pots with. He was a very solid player and heads-up went on for an hour and a half – it was a brilliant match against him and all credit to him he was very persistent and he raised my blinds like 90% of the time. He’s played in almost all of the GUKPT’s and I’m sure he’ll win one later on down the line; he’s definitely got the talent for it.”

Both Vincent and Toby agreed to a deal where both took around £16,000 for there troubles and played out for the prestige of the trophy and a seat in the £100,000 Champion of Champion’s tournament held at the end of the year in the Vic.

“I’m really looking forward to December, the Champion of Champion’s event. Funnily enough, when I actually bought into the tournament I didn’t even know that there was a seat for that tournament. It will be a very tough event with all the winners of the other events so it won’t be a walk in the park at all,’ confirmed Vince.

MBN…

Needless to say, while I played in the £200 side event (where I managed to run my Pocket Kings into Pocket Aces in a blind v blind battle on level three… doh!) my cash return for the weekend was somewhat less than £16,000.

I did however manage to make £300 playing in the casino’s local £50 triple-chance deep-stack on Sunday after we all agreed to a 12-way chop.

What? A twelve way chop… Now while deals are part and parcel of tournament poker, I usually like to play them out to a conclusion, but… well being as the tourney didn’t start until 21:30 (after I had finished all my work, obviously…) by the time 03:30 came around with 12 very evenly stacked players left, and still facing a two hour drive back to Cardiff, when someone mentioned some quick, easy money the mercenary in me jumped at the opportunity.

Working nine till five

Well, more like twelve till six by the time I crawled out of bed after arriving home at 05:30am, but I have been cranking out the features this week.

I’ve just sent off my tourney report to Poker News UK so you can read in more detail about the GUKPT’s fine Summer Series.

On a juicy gossip note, after chatting to Jonathan Rabb, the GUKPT tour manager it seems that we might not have seen the last of the Summer Series:

“We have recently bought the Isle of Capri casino, which is in the Rico Stadium in Coventry, that’s now going to be turned into a G-casino and we will be hoping to have a GUKPT event there soon… it’s quite possible that there may well be a Summer Series event 4 in there in September, but we have yet to finalise those details,” teased Jonathan.

He also hinted that the GUKPT maybe Europe bound next year, with a possibility of a leg or two in Belgium as the Rank Group own two casinos out there that have recently started spreading poker games.

Remember folks, you read it here first 😉
SCOOOOOOOOOP!!

Visit Poker News UK for the full low-down.

Right well, I’ve got me some feature to write for Poker Pro Europe as well (I’ll let you know more details closer to the time) and still have to put some work into my Micro-stakes Mission as well as conquer the world of online poker.

Super-stardom here we come…

Summer of Shove

June 24, 2009

In the summertime when the weather is high, you can stretch right up and touch the sky. When the weather’s fine – you got poker, you got poker on your mind….

While the worlds attention maybe focused on some small town poker tournament called the World Poker Series or something held in the depths of the Nevada desert (it’ll never catch on if you ask me…) there is still plenty of poker out there in the UK for you discerning poker junkies to sate your urges.

Both Grosvenor Casinos and Coral are keeping Britain as the land of poker hope and glory with their GUKPT Summer Series and the Coral British Masters Poker Tour for those of you not flush enough to pony up $10,000 or just plain not lucky enough to win a WSOP seat online.

With the events ranging from £100 freeze-outs (at the CBMPT), £200 Freeze-outs (GUKPT & CBMPT), £300 freeze-outs (GUKPT) and the £500 main events (both the GUKPT & CBMPT) this summer is a pretty good one for you British poker players.

British Master Class

After being fortunate enough to win myself a seat online at www.eurobetpoker.net for the princely sum of $75+5 (well, technically nothing as this was just a small fraction of my online profit this month after a successful assault on the Pot-Limit Omaha tables courtesy of Rolf Slotboom’s short-stack PLO strategy ;)) I was in sunny Leeds last weekend (19–21 June) for the Coral British Masters.

While I was unable to convert my online success into a cash – I busted in 50th out of the main event when my short-stacked shove for 6,500 at the 300/600 level with Pocket Kings ran into the mighty Ace-Jack with all the money in the middle pre-flop (guess the first card out…) – another Welshman in the form of Carl Williams managed to cash.

Admittedly it was only for £250, but being as Carl had qualified online for next-to-nothing (around $10 I believe) this was still a pretty decent ROI, and being as I had 10% of him I managed to earn myself £25 as well. Granted that’s not quite as impressive as winning a World Series bracelet, but money won is still twice as sweet as money earned.

CBMPT Leeds Champion Tom MacDonald. Image courtesy of A World of Poker.

CBMPT Leeds Champion Tom MacDonald. Image courtesy of A World of Poker.

Congratulations go to 18-year-old Tom MacDonald who saw off 93 other players to reach heads-up with over a 3–1 chip lead. After seeing off a spirited challenge from runner-up Jamie Sykes he bagged a bankroll boosting £15,400 for his troubles, with Mr Sykes earning himself a cool £10,000 in the process for second place.

My disastrous run of tournament form continued in the £100 freeze-out and after getting down to the final 20 with around 35k in chips at the 800/1,600 level the wheels fell off…

I managed to lose two massive back-to-back pots, both while holding Ace Queen; the first was pretty standard, a guy with around 20k shoved my blind from the button and being as he had looked eager to get his chips in the middle for a while, when I looked down to see Ace Queen of spades in the Big Blind I was pretty sure I was in front.
Sure enough after making the call my big chick was dominating the gentleman’s Ace Four of diamonds, until he flopped a Four…
Running Ten’s and Seven’s saw me chop the pot (apparently I’m the lucky bastard here…) so one 72% v 23% (the other 5% is a chop) down, one more to go…

Just a scant two hands later I find myself on the Button with… Ace Queen. I raise to 4,000 the Big Blind glances at his cards and instantly moves all-in. Now personally, I don’t think that he’s doing this with a hand here, maybe a rag Ace or small pocket pair at best so it doesn’t take long for me to make the call.

‘Fucking hell, I’m in bad shape’ mumbles the gent in question as I call and he’s sees my Ace Queen, and he turns over Ace Nine off…
Blank, blank, blank, blank… Nine on the river sees me left with just one Big Blind and a bad taste in my mouth and I’m out in 19th on the next hand when my bag of spanners fails to connect with the flop.

But then, that’s tournament poker for you…
You can read all about the action and adventure at uk.pokernews.com as I’ve just submitted a feature for their website.

On the plus side I managed to come away with a £500 profit from my escapades on the cash tables (£350 of which I made in 10 minutes at one table…) so life’s not all bad.

The atmosphere surrounding the Tour is as friendly as the Gala Tour, and with a lot of the same faces and the fact that you can play in all three tournaments and pay for your hotel for the price of just one GUKPT, it is a pretty good value poker weekend.

The next leg is 24–26 July in Teeside, followed by the Nottingham leg on 14–16 August. Qualify online at www.coralpoker.com, www.galapoker.co.uk and www.eurobetpoker.net for as little as nothing as they are running a series of freerolls from 6pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or visit www.britishmasterspokertour.co.uk for more details.

GUKPT Summer Series

GUKPT Aberdeen Summer Series Champion John Angus. Image courtesy of BlueSquare/GUKPT

GUKPT Aberdeen Summer Series Champion John Angus. Image courtesy of BlueSquare/GUKPT

Not to be outdone, Grosvenor Casino’s are also running their Summer Series. Their second event was held up in Aberdeen last weekend (yes, an unfortunate schedule clash with the CBMPT which probably explained the low number of runners) where retired accountant John Angus (insert Burger King joke here…) saw off the 41 other runners to win himself £7,870. Congratulations to Black Belt Poker blue belt and Poker Player Strategy Editor Nick Wright on his third place finish for £3,780. It’s always nice to see a fellow poker journo win some glory, and Nick is an all round nice guy anyway.

The last event of the Summer Series will be running this coming weekend (25–18 June) in Walsall so you can still get your Summer of Shove tournament fix here.

Needless to say I and several other members of Cardiff’s poker mafia (the Tafia ;)) will be attending and will be writing an article on it for Poker News.

The quality of play and the value at these tournaments is immense, so while the majority of the poker world focuses on Las Vegas, don’t forget there is still poker to be played and money to be made on this side of the pond as well.

Visit http://www.grosvenorukpokertour.com/summer_series.shtml
for more info or qualify online at BlueSquare.com.

Micro-stakes madness…

Unfortunately as my focus both online and live has been on the above I have not had a chance to play any poker relating to my Micro-stakes Mission, but as this is a work in progress, rest assured I will be grinding it out at the lower levels in an attempt to win fortune and glory in the coming weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Well I’ve got me a few features to write before the weekend so I’ll sign off until Monday where I’ll let you know all about the GUKPT Summer Series in Walsall and probably bitch about my bad beats 😉

Keep it real folks, and if all else fails… try Wales.

Tidy.

Three decades in…

April 27, 2009

Greetings poker fans and apologies for the lack of post on Friday – I did think, however it would make more sense to post after the weekend’s poker action at the GUKPT Manchester leg and the EPT San Remo.

So onto business:

First time’s a charm at the GUKPT

Unlike the 298 runners, I was unable to make it up to Manchester for the forth leg of the GUKPT due to work and partying commitments (it was my 30th birthday this weekend).

With £298,000 to play for and a seat in the £100,000 Champion of Champion’s tournament up for grabs the competition was always going to be fierce.

Some of the UK’s toughest pro’s were in attendance including:
Paul Jackson, Joe Grech, Dave Colclough, Surinder Sunar, Jeff Kimber, the Hit Squad’s Karl Marenholtz & James Akenhead, Leg 3 winner Martin Silke. Stuart Rutter, Ryan Fronda, Marc Goodwin. Ian Frazer and online whiz kid Chris Moorman.
With a field as a tough as this it was always going to be a tricky one to navigate, but in true tournament style – there can be only one…

And it was Simon Moorman (father of online tournament professional Chris Moorman) who walked away £88,630 richer.

GUKPT Manchester winner Simon Moorman. Images courtesy of GUKPT/Quentin Kozma

GUKPT Manchester winner Simon Moorman. Images courtesy of GUKPT/Quentin Kozma

Playing in only his second ever live tournament and first ever GUKPT, 52-year-old Simon from Essex defeated a final table featuring Surinder Sunar and GCBPT serial final tablist Dave Maudlin before triumphing over Finland’s Harri Isomaki (also playing in one of his first live tournaments after qualifying via an online freeroll for a 50,000% ROI…) after a short heads-up battle.

The irony of this cannot be lost on Moorman junior (Chris) who has so far been unable to translate his prolific online success to the live tournament scene, especially as it was Chris who bought his father into the tournament as a late birthday present.

“The only way I can top this is to win the main event of the World Series of Poker.” Chris commented afterwards.

The tour now moves on to Newcastle, where the 5th leg of this year tour will take place from the 18th-24th May, with the 4-day main event taking place from the 21st-24th.

Visit the GUKPT website for more details.
The Italian Job

On a more continental note, also on last week was the EPT San Remo main event where 1,178 players ponied up the €5,300 buy-in to compete in what has officially become the biggest major poker tournament ever held in Europe.

With an eye-poppingly massive prize pool of € 5,713,300 to play for and a star studded field to play through, this was always going to be a high calibre tournament, hence the picturesque wealthy setting – San Remo is just a 30-minute drive from Monte Carlo.

As well as the obligatory collection of ultra-aggressive Scandies including EPT winner Andreas Hoivold, young Mr Albert Iversen (see my forthcoming interview with him in Poker Pro Europe) fellow Dane Jesper Hougaard and 2007 WSOPE winner Annette Obrestad there was also a plethora of representatives from a multitude of countries.

Representing the US was last year’s winner Jason Mercier, Greg ‘Fossil Man’ Raymer and Chad Brown. Winner of the EPT Dortmund leg Sandra Naujoks was in attendance as were fellow Germans Benjamin Kang, Jan Heitmann and George Danzer.

EPT regulars such as Marcel Luske, Patrik Antonius were in attendance on Day 1B as well as Bill ‘The Mathematics of Poker’ Chen, WSOP champion Peter Eastgate, Ireland’s Marty Smyth, Liam Flood and Tony Cascarino, Wales’ John Tabatabai and Roberto Romanello, online super sicko Ben ‘Milkybar Kid’ Grundy, Richard Ashby, 2007 GUKPT champ Mike Ellis and I believe that Richard Kellett told me he was planning to play as well as many, many others.

In fact I could go on to list a whole host of different names from many, many different countries but I’m not going to as it would take up loads of space and not actually be that interesting, after all it is the action and adventure that actually matters.

EPT San Remo winner Constant Rijkenberg

EPT San Remo winner Constant Rijkenberg

And it was Dutchman Constant Rijkenberg who bagged the €1,508,000 first prize beating Finland’s Kalle Niemi heads-up in just five hands.

The 20-year-old Dutchman from Amsterdam is an economics student so I’m sure he will have plenty of plans to invest his winnings productively, probably none of which will involve blowing the lot playing ultra-high stakes.

The next leg the EPT Grand Final kicks off tomorrow (28th April) so it’ll just be the small matter of relocating the 1,778 poker players up the road to Monte Carlo for the €10,600 tournament and more fast and furious action.

Visit the EPT homepage here for more info.

No rest for the wicked

On a work related note I am busy with a Roland de Wolfe and Juha Helppi interview which should be appearing in Poker Pro Europe at some point in the next few months – I’ll keep you posted.

It looks like a busy couple of weeks for me as I attempt to clear my current workload before heading off to Sin City (Las Vegas, not Frank Miller’s black and white comic book dystopia) for a working holiday involving poker… lots of poker.

Also, big thanks to UK poker pundit Barry Carter for helping me sell some of my work and for all his invaluable advice on making it in the cut throat world of poker journalism.

Stay tuned poker fans – there will be more blogage as I have many more articles to sell. After all life (so I am told by my older friends) begins at 30 – so today is the first day of the rest of my life. I’ll let you know how it goes…

Getting down with the sickness…

April 7, 2009

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.