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Barny Boatman
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Memoirs of an Invisible Man

Master Classics Of Poker 2003, Amsterdam
€800 Texas Hold'em No Limit
Report by Barny on Friday, 7 November 2003 at 10:30 pm

Playing poker in Holland this week has been lot like walking around in Amsterdam. You can see the sunshine everywhere, but it is very hard to emerge from the shadows between the huddled buildings and stand directly in it. There’s no escaping the fact that this has been a very disappointing leg of The Tour for The Mob. I don’t normally tell too many poker stories in The Diary, but for those of you who may be wondering whether we are actually turning up to play in Amsterdam I’m going to describe a few hands from today’s event, just to prove I was there!

Today was the EU 800 no limit holdem, a great chance to put the misery of the main event behind us and get a result. I sat down next to Johan Storakas, the winner of the big one who told me a lot of things about how he played the final including a brilliant call he’d made against Dave Ulliot with two fours. (It had been a great final to watch, and with a little more luck at the end either Dave or Ian Oldershaw might have won it).

I had a dream start, hitting some big hands on what looked like a tough table which included the brilliant young Russians Kiril Gerasimov and Alex Kravchenko. After a couple of hours I had turned 2,500 into 16,000. I raised with 5,3 of clubs and was called by chess Grand Master and amateur dramatist Ivo Donev. The flop came A Q J with the Ace of clubs. Raisers flop right? Ivo checked and so did I. The turn brought the 4 of clubs and when Ivo checked again it was time for me to bet. There was something about the way Ivo called me that set off alarm bells, I wasn’t going to try to steal it again on the river... I wasn’t going to have to; the river brought a 2 giving me the wheel. What a card! Then Ivo put on one off his performances before betting 2,000 (about two thirds of the pot) and my heart sank. I called the bet saying ‘your straight wins’ and sure enough he rolled over K,10.The river had brought one of three cards that would get him paid. Still, I had escaped major damage and was very glad I hadn’t raised on the end. By the dinner break we were all still there, and Ram was one of the chip leaders with 28,000.

I have a new doctor; the quietly spoken Fari Mansour who Dave Colclough says is one of the world’s greatest Omaha players. In the main event I lost most of my chips to him when I raised with AQ and he called with 5,5 hitting a flop of Q,Q,5!
Today I was in better shape when the money went in. I had just moved in with sevens having hardly played a hand on my new table, and the very next hand I picked up Kings in mid position. I was thinking that if I moved all in a second time I might get paid by a non believer but just as I was about to bet I realised that Alex Kravchenko on my left was planning to raise, so I just called. He raised and Fari on the big blind moved all in. I called and Alex thought for ages before passing an Ace. Alex had been raising every third pot and it was easy to see why Fari had re-raised him with AQ. I’m sure though, that Fari would not have called me if I’d moved in as I had originally intended. I must be feeling the pressure a bit more than usual because I banged the table when the Ace hit the board and headed straight out of the card room.

When I left Ram was still in and going strong but he went out shortly after and I’ve gotta say that with one event left, the Camel’s bet is looking distinctly dodgy.

A few congratulations are in order. Well done to Johan for winning two tournaments at the festival, a brilliant achievement; To Ian Oldershaw the ‘unknown’ British player kept his cool on the big stage and came within an Ace of winning the event; To Julian Quance, now known as Super Sub after repeating last year’s 12th place finish in the pot limit Omaha, and last but not least to Tony Chapman leading member of the Alzheimer’s Mob, for wandering into the final table of the EU 200 NLH and managing to nick a few quid before anyone noticed he was there.

Final results of the Euro 800 NLH (one rebuy):

1. Henrik Gwinner, Denmark, EUR 110,246
2. James Vogl, England, EUR 55,123
3. Julian Gardner, England, EUR 27,562
4. Marcel Lüske, Netherlands, EUR 17,915
5. Mickey Finn, Ireland / USA, EUR 13,781
6. Tanh Nguyen, Vietnam / Germany, EUR 9,647
7. Michael Keiner, Germany, EUR 6,890
8. Fari Badimansour, England, EUR 5,512
9. Alexander Tarasenko, Russia, EUR 4,134

Entrants: 220
Rebuys: 128
Prize money: EUR 278,400
Added prize money: EUR 9,600
Total prize pool: EUR 288,000

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