01/12/2005

Same Old Faces – Deauville Part I

Neil Channing 'Bad Beat'

The journey from Waterloo to Deauville was easy. Barny, Vicky and I had a relaxing journey to Paris, quick change and two trains 'til we were there. All those people flying to Paris, the sickos going straight from the Vic to the ferry, and the nouveau helicopter crew had got it wrong.

Deauville is a small town in Normandy with buildings that look slightly Gothic and a bit Swiss. Somebody said it had a chocolate box feel to it and although I don't really understand that I know what they mean.

The Normandy Hotel Barriere is a fantastic spread eagled old building that looks like it should be wrapped in a ribbon and is still fairly glamorous.

I go to check into the Ibis which has a shoe box feel to it and looks like it should be wrapped in concrete, which luckily it is. It reminds me a lot of home - Sarf London.

On arrival at the casino you can tell it's going to be a good week as we keep bumping into my favourite people. Alan and Jeff had a good journey on the boat at 6am and Jeff got straight down to playing. We see Willie, Paul Parker and Keith. Each one tells us how Rory was roaring drunk the night before.

We go for a quick check on the tournament. There seem to be quite a few "Vic Trained" present with Stuart Nash, Bambos, Jeff, Brian Gilbert and Ross and Ram all still going. Two minutes of that and we bump into Rory who suggests he fancies a few drinks tonight. The three of us join him, Mickey and Jesse May and Julian Gardner in a small restaurant opposite the casino. The food was fairly average for a country that's supposed to know about this stuff, but the company and wine made up for it.

There was just time for a quick Sit n Go before bed. Cash games are legally not allowed here so these are the best way round that. Vicky and I got the EPT "Mr Big" involved in a Euro 100 one where John made some moves that showed what a world class player he is. Unfortunately the other players just weren't good enough to appreciate them and he went out 9th. I played slightly more conventionally and got an unlucky 2nd for a small profit.

A night in the Ibis reminded me very much of the Gold Coast in Vegas. You can hear most of what goes on in adjoining rooms and if that, or the maids vacuuming, didn't wake you, then the police sirens from the station behind should do it.

After less than a standard 9hrs I got up and went for a walk to the beach. The front reminds me of Eastbourne and the beach Bournemouth, although with the tractor giving it the once over it also had something of Monmore Dog Track. The beach huts are all named after film stars who have attended the local film festival over the years. It seems the older ones have their names painted over by newer stars. I'd guess if Buzz Aldrin doesn't have another hit soon his might be next.

After all that fresh air I'm ready to play the main event; 10,000 chips with a 1hr clock and loads of internet qualifiers. This will be the first Non-English European tournament I've played for about 5 years and I've really been looking forward to it.

I was initially disappointed to be drawn next to my pal Willie Tann and "The Guvnor" didn't surprise by playing very aggressively in almost every pot. I was left a spectator and my chips went down accordingly. After a while though he lost a lot of chips with a very poor (you know I'm right) call and quietened down. I was able to step up and got my stack to 17,000 with the help of quad 6s and a couple of flushes.

It was then with the average at 11k that I limped for 200 and called a 400 raise with pocket deuces. I won't go through the rest of the hand as I'm 100% certain I did nothing wrong. I just need to not flop set under set.

It took me a while to recover from my disappointment and I switched concentration to funking my percentages. That didn't help them much. Barny had started with a straight flush on his first hand to double up but he and Vicky would also be free now to play Friday's 500 comp. This was despite Vicky's excellent recovery after a crippling 50/50. I didn't even manage a result in the two Sit n Go's I played and headed off to bed a bit fed up.

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