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Luckylizzy7
One Pair


Joined: 12 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:34 pm
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Most of the time we hear about the tournament players of today and how one big tournament can turn an amateur player into a millionaire overnight. But what we dont get to hear very often is how it all began. In the early days of poker those who played the game risked their lives every day and didnt have the safety or respect they do now. According to cash game veteran Andrew (Giddy) Perendes it was a dog eat dog world in those days.

We here at Pokershark thought it would be really sobering to dive into the history of what it was like back in the days of old time cash games when playing the game meant you had to be extra tough. Not only did you need smarts to play back then, you needed to be pretty brave too! Heres the story of Andrew Perendes and how he made it through pokers darkest days, watching it transform into the well respected and highly popular game of today.

Perendes began his unofficial cash game poker career back in 1968 at the young age of 16. If there was action going on anywhere, anytime, Perendes was there, even if that meant no sleep, which quickly earned him the nickname Giddy. Wow, time sure flies by, he said during an interview with Pokershark.com. I was a young jack the lad kid with a mohair suit and a full head of hair! He started educating himself about the intricacies of poker in the heart of the notorious east end of London; white chapel where an illegal gambling establishment (spellar) called the Green Dragon was located. The infamous Kray Twins, known as the Godfathers of Britain, minded the place where he played. They dont get much heavier than them!!! said Perendes.

Recalling the days when his confidence and swagger kept him coming back for more action at the tables, he explained how you had to be a so called dog to survive in those days and if you went broke, there was no turning to credit to help get you by until the next big win. Things could get out of hand really fast since practically everyone in the clubs was either a thief or gangster and the laws did not apply once inside the doors. It was a thieves paradise, recalls Perendes, no cameras, no security, it was a piece of cake!One dealer, whom they called Tony, had a pistol taped underneath the table just in case there were any disputes or rule-ins.

Once Giddy Perendes turned 18, he ventured over to the west end where the big boys played. It was a poker players dream world with gambling clubs and night spots galore. Perendes reminisced about his favorite haunt, the Astor a night spot where whoever was someone or somebody was there. There were also several other spellars including the Beach Club, the Whisky a Go Go, the Spanish Club, La Fontain and his buddy Georgies club called Rousos. I went to them all! said Perendes.

Perendes again found himself in a dangerous situation when he was playing a poker game in a basement in the heart of Soho, London, when the buzzer rang. The men answered the buzzer and asked who was there. The man answered that he was Jack so the men opened the door only to be overcome by 4 masked gun men. The players, including Perendes were all forced against a wall and the men took every pound in the room. Now thats what you call a bad beat story! exclaimed Perendes.

When asked about his most unforgettable cash game memory, Perendes shared about the time he won a Shish Kabob shop. While playing in the back of the shop, the owner declared all in lock, stock and a kebab shop. Giddy called the man with Aces full and the owner had Kings full. So I finished up the proud owner of a shish kabob shop!

At 22 he had already made a name for himself all over London. Wherever he went he was recognized as a player to be reckoned with. He played against some of Londons most elite poker players including Morry the Head, the Swan and Manchester George. These were the Phil Hellmuths and Daniel Negreanus of their time. Some of the men he played against were even master jewel thieves and Londons biggest high rollers.

Even though Perendes tried to stay out of trouble, trouble eventually caught up with him and in 1973 he landed himself in prison where he served a three year sentence. During his time there, he continued to sharpen his game against the most hardcore criminals. They had all heard of him and vice versa. One of the inmates there was serving 40 years for a double murder and Perendes would play against him in a game of kalloki every day for his tobacco. Never did the murderer beat him once during the entire three years he was there. I felt no remorse! explained Perendes.

In 1977 Perendes bet 15,000 on Night Nurse to win the Champion Hurdle with odds of winning at 8/1. To his joy, the racehorse overcame those odds and won adding 120,000 to his pocket! But his happiness didnt last long. Perendes was pulled over by the police on the motorway and the money he had won was found to be counterfeit. Not wanted to draw attention to the illegal bookie and possibly get himself in even more trouble, Perendes did not give away the source of the counterfeit funds. He was sent to a prison that had no walls and low security and he was able to get away easily after which he obtained a passport a fled the country.

He then traveled the world, gambling and having the time of his life. He went to Sun City in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and more. During his adventures he found himself in a high stakes cash game on a third floor apartment in Marbella, Spain. There was no extradition in Marbella which made it a perfect place for criminals to high out. Three gunmen burst in to rob everyone of their money when Perendes pulled a James Bond move. He grabbed his money and jumped from the third story window, only to land safely in the swimming pool below! Thankfully, Perendes and his money got away to play another day!

He even came to Vegas for a while where he had the honor of becoming friends with Stu Ungar. He first met Ungar, who called Perendes the Flush Greek Ponce, in the Sands Hotel. After that the two became buddies. Perendes had a great amount of respect for Ungar. He was the greatest all around card player I have seen and I have seen them all, said Giddy.

Now, all these years later, Andrew Giddy Perendes is still here and playing the best poker of his life. He has seen a lot of fellow players come and go, but through thick and thin Giddy has remained. When it comes to the so called young guns, he wishes that they would have more respect for old school poker, where it takes more than just a quick tournament win to sky rocket to fame and fortune.

I agree you wont get rich playing old skool poker, but it all depends on how long you wanna be around, he explained. Today if you win a big tourney they give you a medal or a trophy and lots and lots of cash. Then they become a celebrity and never have to play again in their life. But old school you have to work for the big money and if you did win big, you werent wanted around anymore! A poker player was not just a poker player in those days according to Perendes. They were true gamblers and would gamble on anything. Today most poker players are strictly poker players.

Perendes estimates that he has contributed 3 million pounds in tax and at least 250,000 in tips for the croupiers (dealers) over the years. There are more poker clubs in the UK than anywhere in Europe, he said. There is so much loose cash around when it comes to cash games and its just a matter of how much you want to win! He still can be found playing cash games all over London. So many if fact, that it would take 20 pages just to write them all down. Just a few of his regular clubs are Palm Beach, The Victoria, The Empire, The Fox, The Mint and the International, which is run by Barry Martin. Martin has done so much for Texas Holdem in the UK, contributing to its popularity greatly.

After nearly 45 years of making poker his life, lots of young poker players seek advice from Perendes. I am always there for any of them if they wanna play my style of poker, he says. Some even laugh at his style of play because they are so used to the new school ways but Perendes says, well, lets see if theyre around 40 years from now!

However there are a hand-full of players that Perendes respects and admires, both in the way they play at the tables and how they conduct themselves. This includes James Akenhead and Praz Bansi. As for the women of poker, he says that he is glad more women are playing these days. They bring a bit of spice to the game, added Giddy. Suzanne Gilbert is a class act, she has the ability to read her opponents and thats what makes a champ!!!

Once, someone shook his hand and said, Wow your skin is like silk! Thats because after 45 years of playing poker, Perendes has always managed to make enough money not to have to work a day in his life!

What does Giddy say about what it takes to succeed? A winner never drops his guard while hes gambling cause if you do, youll get stuffed. Always keep your guard up because thats what makes a winner!

Now 60 years young, Perendes looks back at his past and appreciates the newfound respect for his chosen profession as a cash game player. Poker is played by all kinds today business people, solicitors, barristers and celebrities..back in my prime it was played only by low lives, Perendes explained. Once he was in a club in the East end of London when three men came in wearing ski masks covering their entire faces. They demanded to know who Bob was and Bob asked, Who wants to know? Three bullets later, Bob was lying dead over the poker table, the green felt turning red with blood. In those times that type of occurrence was so common that all the players at the table just continued on playing as if nothing has happened! These days poker players are much better protected and violence of that magnitude is almost unheard of, especially in a casino or poker room. Today if something like that happened they would be serving every poker player on the felt toilet paper! Giddy said.

Poker is now a lot safer and more respected than ever before and Perendes can continue to enjoy the game he has known his whole life without the dangers of illegal gambling clubs and masked gunmen. These days he has settled down a bit and has parted ways with any illegal activity since what he does is now perfectly legal. At the end of the day poker has been good to me, he said. Lets hope it continues for a good number of years to come!!

We here at Pokershark know that Perendes will indeed have plenty of good years ahead of him. Though his story is what movies are made of, he is perfectly content with the same old skool cash games he has always known and loved. When asked about the best advice he could give to a young poker player on a losing streak, Perendes said, My advice to poker players who are going through a rough time is that its not a crime to lay down the winning hand when youre running bad. Be patient. Poker is a marathon-not a sprint!

If you ever find yourself in need of some good advice when it comes to cash games, just find Giddy Perendes in the best poker clubs of London and hell let you know all about what it takes to become a big dog like himself. And, if youre lucky, you might even get to hear more about the many stories that make up the past 45 years of his life on the felt!

Source:
http://pokershark.com
Bogus
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:54 pm
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TLDNR

Creq?
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Luckylizzy7
One Pair


Joined: 12 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:31 pm
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To each his own Smile I couldn't stop writing lol There was so much good stuff to get in there.
PokerSensation
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Joined: 18 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:16 pm
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This was an amazing read. Legendary!!

I really liked the bit about the players today who win a big tournament, but still don't really understand poker. Giddy was always a legend. Good to see an article on the old school. A true gambler and poker player.

Great read.
Hullcity
Full House


Joined: 26 Jan 2011
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Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:35 pm
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Am I on my own in thinking some of this has been romanticized and exaggerated?
ukdannyb
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:50 pm
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What was he arrested for? Did he go back inside when he got back to blighty after escaping from prison?
Luckylizzy7
One Pair


Joined: 12 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:02 pm
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I may be a bit biased in my answer because I am the one who wrote it, but to my knowledge it was not exaggerated. Maybe a bit romanticized though... Smile But I have lots of respect for cash game players and definitely think it takes a special person to be successful enough to make poker a career. Like I said, it's not every day we get to hear about the lives of cash game players and what it was like for them as poker went from what it was for Giddy back in the day to the highly respected game it is now.

Anyone have any positive feedback? I hope some of you have enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed talking with Andrew and writing it!
Luckylizzy7
One Pair


Joined: 12 Apr 2011
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:10 pm
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ukdannyb wrote:
What was he arrested for? Did he go back inside when he got back to blighty after escaping from prison?


I know one of the times he was arrested because he had 20K in counterfeit money which was given to him by a bookmaker after he won a bet on the horse Night Nurse in the 70s. He didn't give up the name of the bookmaker so they took him in.

As for whether he was arrested on his return to the UK, I am not quite sure. I'll ask him and get back to you on it though Smile My guess would be yes at some point lol
StGilmore
Straight Flush


Joined: 12 May 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:22 pm
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I very much enjoyed this - his life story is high action adventure. A dropped thread in the story line here and there keeps me wondering - not sure if this was intended, as in will there be a follow up story? Fleshing out the first jail time, as ukdanny mentioned and since he jumped over the wall the second time, how was that resolved? (As I post this reply I see you've caught these threads Smile )

Anyway, sounds like a great book/film to me - find yourself a writing partner and get it done and you've got one consumer here ready to pay to enjoy the whole story. Very Happy
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Luckylizzy7
One Pair


Joined: 12 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:49 pm
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StGilmore,

Honestly, I was writing it and started thinking, this is getting really long, how can I stop without leaving too much for you to wonder about? I am going to have to talk with Giddy about the first jail time and then how things were resolved when he escaped from prison.

I do think it might be fun to write a book about it all in more detail so that we can find out more about the whole story. I'll let you know if that happens and maybe you can get the first copy! Wink
StGilmore
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:49 pm
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Honestly- I would pay to get the first copy - retail! Very Happy And just a hint- ask Giddy about it right away and try to get your option in first - seriously anyone reading this might think the same way I do and envision what it could be. Godd luck! Very Happy
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"I find it's best to start the day with no composure and then you've got nothing to lose." B. Boatman

http://midlifepoker.blogspot.com/
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bhh
High Card


Joined: 18 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:23 pm
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wow this is awsome,i remember when andrew perendes and jimmy flood the big irish profesional gambler were arrested on the moter way with all the forged money.i wondered what happend to the court case in 1977 which was a big write up in the sporting life now the raceing post.i have known andrew for the best part of fourty years,and aways met him in the clubs he mentioned,the beech whiskey agogo la fontain any many of the casinos round most of europe.any body that knows where he is now let me know,as i moved away from london and lost touch. frankie
bhh
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:27 pm
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If Andrew Perendes, better known to us in the poke fraternity as "Giddy" is writing a book about his poker exploits all over the world, it will be one I really want to read - and would have liked to handle in my publishing days. He was always bold and unpredictable, and whenever he was around there was an air of excitement. This aura will certainly shine through his book, which will be full of his amazing exploits, and will be a "must read" for all poker afficionados. I have viewed his career over the past decades, from both near and afar, and his fame in the poker rooms always preceded him. He is a man with a remarkable presence, and outrageous skill. Many of us who love the game wish we could have been just a little like him.
Luckylizzy7
One Pair


Joined: 12 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:08 pm
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A book is in the works! I'm very excited to write about every last story that Giddy has to share with us. Smile

Who knows..maybe it will be worthy of the big screen!
Jack Starr
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:52 pm
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Any photo?
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