15/02/2004

Flush With Success?

Joe Beevers 'The Elegance'

Euro Finals of Poker, Paris
€5,000 No Limit Hold'em Championship
Report by Joe on Sunday, 15 February 2004 at 3:45 am

We all returned to Paris today for the Euro 5000 NLH main event with high expectations. Ram was still in Paris, having stayed through the week, and I decided to take an earlier train than usual, on Eurostar, from Waterloo as I wanted to watch the African Nations Cup Final live on Eurosport at 3pm Paris time. Both Ram and I had backed Tunisia at 13/2 right at the start of the tournament and they were now in the final with their North African rivals Morocco. Tunisia was the host country and home advantage is significant in events like this. If I got the 11.30am train with the Boatmans I would have missed the first half.

I learnt a very important lesson at Waterloo this morning. Never go to Paris on February 14th, Valentines Day. I must have been the only single bloke queuing up to go through security screening and what would normally take about 5 minutes took 40! I only just made the train and Eurostar were doing their best working at capacity with so many passengers. It was hard to see where the queues started and finished. I slept most of the way and when I arrived at Gare du Nord the queue for taxis was the longest I have ever seen there. Another 30 minute wait. I pulled up at Hotel California in Rue de Berri at 3.05pm and met Ram in reception. By the time I got to turn on the hotel TV Tunisia had already scored and were winning 1-0. Morocco equalised just before half time but the hosts won 2-1 in the end with a goal from their star player, Jaziri. A good start to the weekend!

The Euro has gone from strength to strength in the last few months and a result in Paris would be a good one worth about 25% more than if we were playing in US dollars so after spending the afternoon resting we all arrived at the ACF in determined mood. There were 45 entrants making first prize in the region on Euro 80,000.

At the dinner break we were all going well and the field was down to 36 with all four Mobsters still in. The Aviation restaurant is not as good value as it used to be. They now have a full menu but the days of Euro 20 per head for everything including wine are sadly behind us so we booked a table at a very good Chinese/ Thai restaurant in the adjacent street. The restaurant has a unique feature. The floors are made of glass and are full of tropical fish and live turtles. There was a mix up with the booking (Ram made it) and we finished up on two different tables. Barny and I spent our Valentines dinner listening to Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott’s bad beat stories and jokes about restaurant kitchens.

Back to the Aviation and shortly after play resumed we broke to four tables. Ross was now sat three to my left. A strange thing happened next. The blinds were 100 / 200 and I had a little over the 5,000 we started with. Ross was on the big blind and before the cards were dealt I noticed the Frenchman on my right break his chips into two piles. He had 2,100; 600 in one pile and 1,500 in the other. It looked like he had predetermined that he was going to raise as this was before the cards had been dealt. He didn’t disappoint and as the action passed to him he made it 600 to go. I looked down and found the Ace of clubs and the Jack of clubs; I called. Ross put in the extra 400 and we were 3 handed. The flop brought three rag cards including two clubs. Ross checked, the raiser moved all in, I called and Ross overcalled. The turn was a blank and we both checked. The river brought the 8 of clubs and Ross moved all in for what he had left. He had made a flush as well with the 9, 10 of clubs and there was yet another incident of Mobster knocking out Mobster.

A little later and we broke to three tables. I moved to a table with last weekend’s Omaha winner Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough and Barny. I found Aces and picked up a nice pot and was building steadily. I then found the A, K of spades on the big blind and when a player in late position made it 1,200 (big blind was now 300) I re-raised 5,000 more. He called all in and before we turned our hands over Barny said ‘I think that you’ve got the A, K of spades and he’s got the A, K of hearts.’ It was uncanny but I wish he had said diamonds because when the third heart hit the river my stack was decimated. I went out a few hands later when I walked into Dave’s pocket Queens on the blinds. When I left 25 players remained with Barny and Ram both going strong. They play until a final table today and the final is at 5pm tomorrow.

Update 8am
12 players remain Ram has 35,000 and is chip leader: Barny has 26,000: Dave Colclough has 31,000 and Paul Maxwell is going well too: average is 18,750.

The Result
1st Paul Maxfield (England) E83,600
2nd Dave Colclough (England) E41,800
3rd Eddy Martial (France) E31,350
4th Bob Burnside E19,200
5th Barny Boatman (Hendon) E12,800
6th Ram Vaswani (Hendon) E8,550
7th Jason Lester (Canada) E6,400
8th Roger Hairabedian (France) E5,000
9th Jan Boubli (France) E5,000