Every year the Ogmore Poker Tour goes on the road and heads to Blackpool to play poker for three days solid at the GUKPT. So why choose Blackpool? I haven’t a fucking clue to be honest. The place is a zillion miles away from the Valleys, the hotel we stay in is shite and it is always freezing. We spend 80% of our time in the hotel playing poker between ourselves over a pool table – an activity we could do in our local pub. The lads will tell you it is a tradition. We have been going for two years!
Eleven of us braved the arguments with the wives and girlfriends and headed north. By the end of the three days we had won a combined total of £13,870 in tournament winnings alone.
There were two tournaments on the Friday. The Main Event was the first event to kick off and Gary “The Sleeper” Acreman, Danny Mac and I had all stolen the Christmas savings so we could stump up the £1,070 entry fee. All three of us made it back to Day 2. In the evening in the £100 freezeout Eddie Ace and Darren “Sutton” Sutton shared the spoils in a three-way chop – each earning £2,700.
On the Saturday Danny Mac was eliminated early in the Main Event but The Sleeper and I both had deep runs. We even found ourselves in an unfortunate situation - when seated next to each other - blind on blind I shoved with pocket nines and The Sleeper woke up with pocket Kings. A few more nines later and I had virtually eliminated The Sleeper with my quads. The Sleeper eventually finished in 19th place for £2,400. Then with 13 players remaining, a chip stack of 250,000 and a pair of Jacks in the hole I was pushed to the test when my opponent shoved all-in on the turn on a Queen high board. I called and my opponent revealed King Jack for an open ended straight draw and one over card. I was about to be given 500,000 chips and a guaranteed seat at the final table when a King on the river ended my journey in 13th place for a £3,100 prize. Later that evening Danny Mac dusted off his disappointment to enter the £300 2 day side event with a few more of the guys and Eddie Ace and Danny Mac made it through to day two.
On the Sunday Danny Mac finished in fifth place in the £300 for £2,700 and I final tabled the £100 bounty tournament for £220 in prize money, £50 bounties and £100 last longer betting making it an incredibly successful weekend of tournaments for the Tuesday Night Home Game Regulars. But tournaments are boring. It is the cash games that draw all the laughter!
“What happened?” Neil “Black 4” Farm asks.
“I got all of the money in on the turn with the best hand and he hit one of his outs. Nothing special.” I told him.
“Well no time to cry over spilt milk. Sit your arse down here and give us some of that money you have just won.” Said Black 4.
“I haven’t put my name on the list.” I said.
“Fuck the list. Just sit down.” Said Eddie’s Dad Steve.
I pull two £50 notes out of my wallet and put them in the table in front of me. I take my jacket off and put my gay man bag on the back of my chair.
“Hard luck mate. Just remember how well you did to even cash. Now get your head on this game.” Said Steve “The Rock” John.
“It’s tough though. I can’t stop thinking about what might have been.” I tell him but he is more interested in the hand he has found himself in and doesn’t respond.
“Be careful with your money on this table.” Said Sutton.
“Why’s that Sutton?” I ask.
You could tell he was a little bit pissed. Sutton then flew into an incoherent story that I wasn’t paying too much attention to. From the snippets of noise that infiltrated my ear I gathered that one of the casino employee’s had come around the tables exchanging chips for cash and he believed they had short changed him to the tune of £100.
“Thieving bastards!” Said Sutton.
“Why don’t you go and ask them to check the camera?” I told him.
“Where is the camera?” Asked Sutton.
“Right there.” I said pointing above my head.
Sutton got up from his chair and wobbled over to the cash desk. At the midway point he turned and shouted, “and don’t let any fucker take my place. I’ll be back!” He shouted - the last line in the voice of The Terminator.
“Fuck me! He has had a few.” I said to The Rock.
I am dealt Ts8s and open in late position making it £6 to play and I receive one caller in the shape of Terry “The Run” Welsh. It is only two of us to the flop and the Dealer whom has a name badge with Dimitri written on gives us a flop.
“Oh Dimitri! Where are you from?” Asks Black 4.
“Greece.” Replies Dimitri.
I have the flush draw and decide to call one bet if The Run decides to proceed so I check the action over to him and he makes a bet of £10 and I call.
Dimitri flips over the turn and it is the Ks giving me my flush and I check again.
“Greece! Fuck me we have Danny La Rousso dealing for us!” Black 4 declares to the rest of the table.
“Danny La Rousso?” I say pretending not to be interested in the hand.
The Run leads out again, this time for £20 and I again call. There is now £72 in the pot and I have £164 in left in front of me.
“Yeah, you know the dude with the leather jacket on that starred in the film Greece. Danny La Rousso.” Said Black 4 who coincidentally had a black leather jacket on.
“That’s Danny Zucko you prick. Take a look in the mirror you look just like him.” Said The Rock from the other corner of the table.
“Danny Zucko?” Black 4 muttered to himself before bursting out in a fit of laughter. The rest of the table laughed as well - well everyone except The Run and I.
“Can we have another card please T-Bird?” I motion to Dimitri.
The river is flipped over and it is the 4d and doesn’t really help either of us. I have a think about his range and action so far. In the background I can hear Black 4 winding Dimitri up. He is singing ‘Summer Loving” to him. I think The Run has a top pair or two pair type hand and I think he will bet if I check to him so I tap the felt for the third time. The Run does bet and it is a weak bet of £20.
“I’ll put you all in Terry.” I tell him.
“I’ll call Ching.” Says The Run.
The Run turns over KdQc for two pair and I show him the flush. He goes to scoop the pot not realising that he has lost - he never does.
“You hit the flush did you, you little bastard.” Said The Run as he reached into his pocket to pull out some more cash.
Sutton returns to his seat.
“What did they say about the camera?” I asked as I scoop Terry’s chips into my own.
“They reckon that the image is inconclusive. They are going to check the till. Bastards!” Shouted Sutton again.
“Sutton, calm down!” I tell him.
“Ok, ok, ok.” Sutton said - the oks getting quieter as his sentence trailed off.
“Where is my drink? Where the fuck is my drink? Stavros what have you done with my drink?” Shouted Sutton.
“Owadduwaduwaduoomph! Tell me more! Tell me more! Why did we have a fight! They have nicked his drink and his £100!” laughed Black 4.
Sutton gets up from his seat.
“Fuck this I am going for food.” Said Sutton.
“There is nothing open this time of the night Sutton.” Said Black 4.
“Me and Welshy had a lovely curry and chips about this time last night.” Said Eddies Dad Steve.
“Curry and Chips? Where?” Asked Sutton.
“That Big Mac place you all keep going on about.” Said Eddies Dad Steve.
This article first appeared in BLUFF Europe magazine.