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Keith 'The Camel' Hawkins

Keith The Camel Hawkins

Keith 'The Camel' Hawkins Older Articles

The Camel's Christmas Presents 2004

By Keith 'The Camel' Hawkins / December 2004

Yuletide is the time of year to be presenting gongs and plaudits for the year past. I propose to be no different, making my awards for various catergories, some sincere, some highly irreverent. It's up to you to decide which is which...

Class of the Year: The most prestigious award must go to James Vogl for his self-effacing attitude in winning his bracelet at the 2004 WSOP. While other champions made themselves look like braggarts at best and performing seals at worst in their ESPN interviews, James kept an admirable amount of sang froid when being interviewed. Here is a selection of his words of wisdom:

"I'm really not that good"
After being knocked out he said to David Chui, "You're the best player at the table".
"Sometimes the luck goes with you and sometimes it doesn't"
"To be honest with you, I find poker quite boring"
"It's really not that skilful"
"I don't think I'm good enough to be a world champion, it just happened real quickly"
"With those cards, I think my mother could have won this tournament in about an hour and a half"
"I don't think my Dad will be too impressed because he wants me to go and get a job"
" And my personal favourite, right at the end of the show, when asked to lift some of his prize money in the air James replied: "I don't really want to hold it up, it's a bit vulgar. I'm British, you know?"

Absolutely different class.

Arse of the Year: Lots of options here, but as it's my game I've got to pick Jim "Septic Tiger" Britton for his pathetic attempts to give me the rub down after knocking me out of the Grosvenor UK Open at Luton in August. Septic, my old china, if you are going to be in this game for long (and judging on how badly you play you won't be), you will have to understand what goes around, comes around. You will get yours mate.

Performance of the Year: I nearly gave this gong to the entire European performance at the WSOP. A tremendous showing from Ram Vaswani, Marcel Luske, Gary Jones, Harry Demetriou, James Vogl, Garry Bush, Richard Gardner -Brown and many others who played brilliantly and behaved impeccibly. But, in the end I have to tip my hat to Martin de Knijff for his win at the WPT Championship event at the Bellagio in April. A masterful performance from start to finish in what many think is the real world championship. A nice guy and a great player. Congratulations.

Funniest Line of the Year: Padraig Parkinson came up me at Barcelona: "Have you seen John Duthie?", "No, why?" "Because last night, I asked Veronique where the toilet was and she said turn right at John Duthie. And now I can't find him..."

Worst TV poker show of the Year: I thought there would be no challengers to the dreadful coverage of the World Poker Championships from Dublin. But, then I saw the Celebpoker.com Challenge from Brighton. I feverently hope the standard can go no lower than that complete dross...

Hendon Mob Forum Post of the Year: Read the whole thread "Dave Squelch does his fans proud again!" and you will understand why the clear winner is "Wally". Although "good money" in the "PokerStars Job Opportunity" thread really made me chuckle a couple of months ago.

Best Looking Waitresses of the Year: Luton. For the 76th year running.

The bookies' Christmas present to punters: Wigan are 5/2 to win the Championship with Stan James. They are clearly the best team in this section despite a dodgy run of late. They have a series of easy matches to look forward to and I am confident by New Years Day they will be comfortable leaders and 5/2 will look like amazing value. Get on now.

Ripoff of the Year: I think this award has to go to GetMinted for their satellites for a tournament at the Vic. They guaranteed 3 seats for the target tournament and that's all they paid despite having far more money in the prize pool than the £2325 needed for the 3 seats. They simply kept the rest of the money. This must have been the highest raked satellite in the history of poker!

Value of the Year: The "Betfair Championship" garnered alot of criticism at the time. The structure wasn't great. But, Betfair guaranteed £100,000 regardless of the turnout. As it was, a little over 600 players (many of dubious skill levels) showed up, so Betfair added about £30,000. Tremendous value.

Spammer of the Year: Does Keith Sloane ever post on any poker forum without plugging his latest business venture? I just wish the Mob forum had a "killfile" option so I would not be subjected to the tedium any more.

Newcomer of the Year: I may be biased, but the arrival of Card Player to Europe seems like a great step forward. Poker Europa is ok, but hopefully the arrival of the biggest name in poker publications can only push the game to a new prominence. Now, if only the distribution problems could be solved...

Worst Nickname of the Year: This has to go to George "The Iceman" Geary. Whichever publicity assistant for some tv company invented this nicknames deserves to be fired. Immediately. (Although Harry "The Wise Owl" Demetriou gets an honourable mention in this category. You can't choose your own moniker Harry. It doesn't work like that!)

Mystery of the Year: Who is the self-styled "PokerBastard"? If you haven't read www.pokerbastard.blogspot.com do so. It's very entertaining. And before you ask, no, it's not me.

Scandal of the Year: The blatant collusion between players in the final event of the "European Nations Poker Challenge" clearly brought poker into disrepute. The fact that this event will be shown on television in the near future sends shivers down my spine. The tournament organisers must take a portion of the blame for structuring the event to make collusion so appealing. But, the players involved should be ashamed of themselves.

That's all. It just remains for me to wish all Hendon Mob readers a very Happy Christmas.

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