01/12/2005

C’est Lavie – Deauville Part II

Neil Channing 'Bad Beat'

Managed a much better night's sleep and woke up at lunchtime on Friday. With the 500 Euro tournament not starting 'til 6pm this seemed an excellent time of day for fish, dry white wine and convivial company. Topics of conversation ranged from poker TV to Michael Arnold's technique for pulling women via the magic of beach volleyball. John Duthie told us a good story about how he'd once dressed "commando style" for an audition he was running and we now know exactly why he's called poker's "Mr Big".

After all that hilarity the tournament was a bit of an anticlimax. I managed to accumulate an enormous stack early on which I completely dumped on John Gale. I had raised with Jh9d and he had called with JsQh. After the flop of 8h9h10h we put in 35k despite the blinds being only 150/300 and the average stack 9k.

I went off to play a Sit n Go while Vicky tried to get me out of it in the tournament. After seemingly hours of moaning about no cards it was inevitable that as soon as she found QQ she would run into AK and get knocked out just outside the money.

Some people were put off by attending Deauville because of the lack of cash games, but I thought the Sit n Go's were excellent. They offered a reasonable structure, fair juice to pay and a large quantity of terrible players. I personally find that if I'm away playing lots of tournaments I'm not looking to play long cash sessions and these offered a chance to "get the wages" for a low risk. They were also ignored by most of the Scandi Uberpros who camped 24hrs a day outside the Normandy's Business Centre, benefitting from the wireless connection and comfortable sofas while their expensive rooms were empty.

I managed to win my table outright and got 1700. The start of it coincided with a win on the next table for Alan Vinson and the end was synchronised with a similarly good job by Jeff. Different class.

Saturday was an earlier start with more players and a 1000 freeze out. I made an excellent start and raced to 35k while the average was just 11k. At one stage I was next to a Danish guy who looked unnervingly like Gus Hansen. By a complete coincidence he was a bit of a knob and played just like Gus Hansen too. The way he was going he'll soon be skint like him too. Unfortunately, I never found a hand or a situation from there and I was short stacked with 28 of the 250ish runners left.

With a stack of 22k and blinds at 800/1600-200 I was looking to play a hand so when the big stack made it 4500 to go from UTG I thought about moving in with Jh10h. In the end I just called and moved the rest in on a 9h6h3s board. That might have worked if he hadn't have raised with Ah7h. Marvellieux.

The casino was absolutely mobbed for the Saturday night and as we couldn't find a seat near the blackjack Vicky and I decided on a last Sit n Go. She was in form having just finished destroying Steve Vladar and Ross after a long battle.
(It took hours 3 handed - you'd swear they were all skint!). Despite a valiant attempt to dump her chips on me Vicky eventually came through to the heads-up and split it with a random Scandi. An early casualty was Isabelle, who minutes earlier had been eliminated from the main event final. Hat's off to her for sickness.

By Sunday morning it was a fairly bleary eyed and disparate bunch of poker players who stood around the station at Deauville waiting for the Lisieux train.

With British pros, dealers and floor people all in separate little groups avoiding eye contact I was reminded of The Great Escape and found myself nervously checking for my papers. Luckily we didn't end up at the side of the tracks a la David McCallum and I was able to get back to The Vic by midnight, a little bit poorer, but richer in experience. It was a fun few days and I had a shot.

Neil Channing is sponsored by BetUSA.com and BetUK.com.