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Barny Boatman
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The Rocky Road

The Midland Masters 2003, Walsall
£250 No Limit Hold'em
Report by Barny on Friday, 28 November 2003 at 5:34 pm

Last night 106 players sat down at 8.30pm for the start of the £500 no limit hold-em. At 8.35 they got up, wandered around a bit and at about 9.00pm we were ready to go.
This has been the one big flaw in the Midlands Meltdown festival. I have been to the last three tables of every comp this week and seen how the blind structure suddenly races ahead in an effort to finish on time. All of a sudden the tournament is a crap shoot and you finish up with chip counts or seven way deals. The obvious answer is either to start earlier (and on time) or to play all the finals the following day, which in the case of the two main events is exactly what is being done.
Just like in Helsinki I found myself on the ‘table of death’, which naturally I took to be a good omen. ‘Joining us tonight’ as Jesse May would say, were Willie ‘The Dice Man’ Tann, Mickey Finn, Paul 'The Pirate' Testud, Gareth ‘The Nugget’ Jones, Mick ‘The Clock’ Cook and in form Afghan Legend Sherkahn who has already won two events this week. We had more dodgy nicknames than a fifties Mob movie and the one I was most wary of was two my right: ‘Rocky’ Ross Boatman.
Big hands it seems are like buses. You wait for ever then loads come at once, and you still can’t get on! Having gone about five holdem comps without seeing Aces or Kings I got both early on, as well as AK, and won nice pots with all of them. Ross was working a bit harder for his chips but by the time the table broke we were both in good shape. Joe went out early raising with a draw, (hey, it sounds like we were playing each other’s game!) but the rest of us were hanging in and at about 4.00am we found ourselves all at the same table. Unlike on previous nights there was still a lot of play in the chips at the three table stage but I couldn’t avoid getting in an evens shot with Ram when he called my AQ with 88. So, it was down to two Mobsters and at close of play Ram had 60,000 chips and Ross had 50,000. With seventeen players left they were near enough average.
The tournament re-started at 3.00pm today and it was an hour and a half before Ross found his evens shot. This time the other fella had the AQ and Ross had got his chips in first with sixes. We lost the coin toss again and now it’s down to Ram. Maybe Ram’s tournament victories are like buses as well…

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