Vienna Spring Poker Festival, Vienna
€500 No Limit Hold'em
Report by Joe on Monday, 8 March 2004 at 10:13 am

The last time that we were at the Concorde Card Casino in Vienna was last June for the World Heads Up Championships. Players were complaining because the heat was unbearable, especially in the club where the air conditioning wasn’t working. After three or four days mobile air conditioning units arrived which helped a little but the heat was still stifling and players were falling asleep all over the place. This time around it’s a little different. It has been snowing more or less non stop since we got here yesterday afternoon and the big Christmas tree outside our hotel is covered with crisp white snow. Thankfully the air conditioning is working just fine but may need turning down a bit as I saw one player go to the cloakroom during yesterdays Euro 500 NLH freeze-out and come back with a scarf! – There’s just no pleasing some poker players.

The structures of the events here allow for a lot of play and with fields around the hundred mark it’s a good thing that they start the events at 3pm. The main reason we are here is for the WSOP trial which starts on Thursday; a Euro 2000 event played to WSOP main event structures and lasting three days. The last time all four of us played this event Ram, Ross and I all made the final with Barny just missing out on the bubble. Ross also made the final of this event four years running so we’re all looking forward to it again as you might have guessed.

In yesterday’s NLH freeze-out I was going along quite nicely having not had a hand all day and had built my 5,000 starting stack up to over 12,000. Then all of a sudden I found my best three hands of the day in a ten minute spell; Kings, Queens and Ace/ King and found myself on the way back to the hotel. It’s funny how things happen in poker. I left about 25 players and Ross was the only Mobster remaining with average chips. The full result will follow later.

In poker we have a number of different terms that we use to describe players, ‘Rock’ and ‘Granite’ are terms for players that don’t move much or don’t play many hands. I learnt a new one yesterday. Michael Keiner, a semi retired plastic surgeon from Germany, and star of Late Night Poker was sat next to me for a while. He described the player in the black baseball cap at the other end of our table as ‘steinbeisser’ which literally means ‘Stone biter’. I’m sure a lot of you know or have played with a few stone biters in your time!

Somebody commented to me the other day that most of my diaries contain something about food. I must say I hadn’t noticed but just to keep the trend going I’d like to share a story with you from Heathrow airport on our way here.

Ram and I were first to check in and set off in search of a place for breakfast. Ram ordered the breakfast special but ‘instead of the fried tomatoes and mushrooms can I have beans please’. Our waitress smiled and nodded but with a certain unconvincing look. Ram explained again very slowly and clearly and it was quite obvious that English wasn’t her first language. She nodded. When breakfast arrived, with mushrooms and tomatoes and no sign of beans, Ram didn’t look too happy. He must have repeated about five or six times, ‘Beans, I asked for beans.’ She didn’t seem to understand and went off to get the other waiter whose English was just fine. Ram explained to him what had happened and what he wanted. Expecting some foreign dialogue to follow we watched as the waiter looked at her and said, ‘Beans!’ Off she went and brought back the beans. Amazing!

No Limit Hold 'em Full Result
March 7, 2004 at 3:00 PM
Concord Card Casino
Buy-In Euro 500 + 40
Prize Pool Euro 41,000
Entries 82

1 Johann Vlasits (Austria) Euro 14,414
2 Ayhan Alsancak (Turkey) Euro 7,790
3 Ross Boatman (Hendon) Euro 4,674
4 Mark Bartlog (USA) Euro 3,505
5 Rob Hollink (Holland) Euro 2,531
6 Corc Ercin (Austria) Euro 1,947
7 Mehrmand Davood (Germany) Euro 1,558
8 Paul Testud (France) Euro 1,363
9 Mark Duran (Austria) Euro 1,168