Countdown to Bilko

Neil Channing 'Bad Beat'

Event #17 NLH $1000 Freezeout and Event #18 $2000 PLH Freezeout

After a reasonably satisfactory World Cup final - I sang La Marseillaise throughout the penalties but all it did was provoke knocking on the wall from the people next door - I got myself off to The Venetian. I checked out their lovely card room and can report that "The Big Game" has moved there. Rumour has it that the casino is paying each player $60,000 just so they will play there and the game was full, with Ivey, Reese, Brunson, Grey and Benyamine all salivating over Larry Flynt. Not sure whether Gus Hansen was salivating or being salivated over. I soon left those boys to get on with it and hopped into a cab with Andy Ward, The Camel, Katherine and 2027 WSOP Champ Jake (big cab). We were off to a BBQ organised by top fella (and top player) Asher Derei and his lovely English wife.

They could obviously see we needed a square meal and soon Asher was taking the male role of poncing around with the glamorous and interesting bits while Mrs D did all the work. Ben Akiva, a regular at The Vic, was also there and we obviously spent a day relaxing away from the Series talking non-stop about poker. Keith entertained us with his list of American players he hates. This is made up of pretty much all of them with the notable exception of Phil Ivey, who we later find out, he's never actually played with. He reserves a space on top of his list for Daniel Negreanu who, he claims, once described him as weak tight on his blog. He then demonstrates the dance Daniel did in his face after knocking him out of a WPT event. After all that fun it's time for an early night and I quickly stop by to buy in for Monday's $1000 NLH freezeout. I'm a bit shocked, though stupidly so, to find out that all 2200 seats have gone and that I'll have to queue at 9am to be an alternate. Those of you that know me well know that's not happening, and I manage to wangle my way in.

After one hour of play enough people have gone for my table of ten alternates to start playing. Apparently there are a lot of things you can do in Vegas for $250 a minute and this tournament may not have been the top of the charts. I decided to gamble to get chips which is why I lost half of my chips on hand 2 with KK. The other half on hand 3 went with AK mostly because of the guy who raised to 5bb from utg and then called the reraise for half his stack with JQoff. There are a lot of people like that in these events which is why people travel thousands of miles to play here. They don't have to always get me though.

At least I wouldn't have to waste a whole day and I could be fresh for Tuesday's $2000 PLH. This is one of my favourites and I was delighted to get a good start. I did well to dodge a bullett when I played AK very cautiously in a three way pot against AA and KK. I didn't do so well to catch a third 8 on the turn holding 8,4 from the blinds and then pay off a guy who flopped a set from the bb. When I got to Gavin Smith's table I had $4000 and the average was $2500. I call it "his table" because he raised every pot and bet every flop, easily adding to his $14k stack. The only other time I played with him I thought "Typical arrogant, cocky, loudmouth, American, only been around two minutes, loves himself, sure to die broke..." As it happens I was wrong and he is Canadian. Today though I must have been in a better mood as I quite liked him. He certainly knows how to play the game and is kind of a super,super aggressive Jac Arama but cleverer.

I was very pleased with my play against him and got my stack over $7000. In between hands I also chatted to The Lizard who was also doing well on this table. Particularly pleasing was my play with AsQc on a board of Ad8d2d...Ah...5s where I only lost a minimal amount against Gavin's 8s8c. With almost half the field gone I was really enjoying myself and felt my heart pound when a limper, an early position raiser and a full pot reraise from the button lead to me going all in from the bb with AA. The guy with KK knew it was on him but couldn't resist the 4/1 odds. The dealer waited until the turn to put a King out and teased me a bit more by giving me a flush draw. That night I played the 11pm 2nd chance. I was very pleased with my dedication and played to my best despite the dissappointing start to the day. With 40 people left and 12k looking like average for the final I got 9k of my 11k in with AA on a 9,7,5 flop against a move maker with 3,3. I just knew the 4 and 6 were coming and it was a battered and bruised Bad Beat that fell asleep that night.

Neil Channing is suffering some disasters on behalf of the ever patient BetUSA.com and BetUK.com