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Barny Boatman
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Phily frozen chicken

The Prima Poker Tour 2005
Report by Barny on Sunday, 23 January 2005 at 10:21 pm

It’s a week or so since the Prima Tour 2005 kicked off and we’re still playing ‘diary chicken’. Well, it looks like I blinked first again, so here it is:

We added Atlantic City to the tour at the last minute when we found out about the WSOP circuit event, and we just went over for the ten grand tournament. The field of 249 included all the American faces, but very few Europeans. There was me Ross and Ram, Surrinder, Carlos Mortenson, Tony G, Ivo ‘the penguin’ Donev a couple of Swedes and our good mate Dave ‘El Natural Blondie’ Colclough. We met Dave on the plane coming over and offered him a lift in our car from Philadelphia. I would like to apologise now for the scare I gave him on the drive when I nearly missed our exit from the freeway and had to cut up the car behind. I fancy he had to get the peroxide out to cover the extra grey hairs I gave him.

I was lucky with my starting table. The only player I knew was Gary Lent who I last faced in the final of the Poker Million. It was a relaxing day with a lot of joking around. I made a couple of new friends – hello Adam Green from DC – and even outdrew someone in a pot for the first time in quite a while when he flopped a set of sixes against my pocket Kings and I rivered a flush. At the end of the day one I was pretty proud to be in the small band of Europeans. Of the eighty odd players remaining Ram was second in chips with eighty-five thousand, I was seventh with fifty-five, Dave had forty –five and Ivo had about the same. Then we made our first mistake...

‘Let’s have a quick drink at the bar’ pipes up Hendon Mob ideas man Ram Vaswani. It’s already 5.00 am UK time but somehow I fail to spot the danger in this seemingly innocent suggestion. Six tequilas and five beers later I leave with Ram – I think Dave was still there -. A few hours later Ram called my room. ‘Barn, I need help.’ He said. Well who didn’t know that? Ram doesn’t order drinks by name or by quantity, he orders them by colour. ‘Give my another of those blue ones’ I remember him saying, and by the look on his face that morning he went for a couple of green ones as well.
Dave and Ram - the pride of Europe - and me as well, had the mother father and granddaddy of all hangovers going into day two.

Like night follows day I got the worst run of cards I can ever remember and after four levels I hadn’t won a single pot. We were down to four tables but I was down to twenty K and the finishing line was receding fast. It was frankly a miracle that I had lasted so long. Ram and Dave went out, I won a pot, and we broke to three tables. In the whole day I was dealt two pairs: Aces with which I split a pot with A7 off –suit, and Queens which got me the double-up that saw me through to the money.

Two tables left and I started getting busy. Eric Lindgren was chip leader and when I came over the top of him with K8 of diamonds he decided he could afford to take a shot at me with 56 of the same suit. I really needed that one to get me into the game but Eric hit a six and for the second time in a row I was out, in the money but just short of a monster pay-day and a televised final. But spare a thought for Ram, in the same two events a commanding chip stack had not been enough for him to get a draw.

Atlantic City in January is cold grey and bleak, but there is something charming about the boardwalk out of season. We spent the last day there checking out the cafes, fortune tellers, the pier, and Ripley’s ‘believe it or not’ museum, which I think included a rare photo of Harry Demeitrou with his mouth shut. We drove back to Philly in a freak blizzard as all around us cars and trucks spun helplessly on the ice. Thank god Dave had gone back earlier; he would have needed another bottle of hair dye.

We were off the plane and straight to Luton for the $250 pot limit hold-em. It started well, but by the time I missed a draw at two-am there were none of us left and it was all down to yesterday’s main event…

Joe was unlucky when he played Aces sweetly against a flush-draw which hit on the river. Ram went soon after – I’m not sure how – and Ross and I started building chips. I survived losing with second set against top set and AK against Queens and kept coming back. But eventually I got low and called a re-raise with Jacks against Queens; a mistake which finished me. Ross hung on in there and made the second day. He went out just short of the money in a heart-breaking coup holding Kings against AK and AQ. He deserved better.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I wrote this diary in record time, and now I’m off to watch Atlanta in the Super-Bowl. We all backed them pre-season at forty to one.
And if I write the next flaming diary then next time you see me just go ‘cluck-cluck’ and make like a chicken!

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