The Camel’s Christmas Presents 2005

By Keith ‘The Camel’ Hawkins / December 2005

It’s that time of year again. Christmas Parties; 3 hour queues for the latest Xbox; snogging that bird in accounts with a wonky eye and a limp under the mistletoe; going massively overdrawn; telling your boss what you really think of him and, of course, it’s time for my annual awards for the best and worst in poker.

So without any further ado, here are the Camel’s Christmas Presents:

Class of the Year

The most eagerly sought after award has a clear winner this year.

Down to 4 tables in the main event of the WSOP it was time for a dinner break. But, with ESPN eager to call it a wrap for the day with just a few players to go before play was adjourned the powers that be decided to skip the 75 minute break. One player never heard the announcement and wandered off to the buffet. When play was resumed after just a 15 minute stoppage he was nowhere to be seen.

The tournament directors decided to carry on, and ante the absent player away. Andy Black thought this decision was disgraceful and, when his attempts to organise a player revolt failed, he went on a go slow taking as much time as possible to make every decision so the absent player (I think it was Bing Wang, but don’t quote me on that) lost far fewer chips than he might have.

Add to this selfless action his self deprecating post tournament interviews Andy Black is clearly the class act of 2005. My hat is doffed to him.

Arse of the Year

For his never ceasing bad behaviour, rub downs and taunting. Added to the facts he called me a wanker and the Hendon Mob a “joke to poker” (what exactly is a joke to poker?) on the Blondepoker forum, Tony G fully deserves this award.

He needs to grow up and show a bit of class. He would be a laughing stock if he wasn’t so damned offensive.

Funniest Line of the Year

I was lucky enough to be invited to poker’s wedding of the decade when Lord and Lady Miros tied the knot.

Someone asked where the happy couple were going on honeymoon. Quick as flash ‘Bad Beat’ Channing quipped “Well. They were hoping to go to Aruba, but they only won one seat!”

Best Looking Waitresses of the Year

I must admit the girls at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas gave a great showing this year. But, I can’t go against the Luton waitresses. Simply the best!

Ripoff of the Year

I am getting heartily sick of all these made for television poker tournaments which charge big entrance fees to players and add nothing in the way of extra value. The programme makers are getting rich and it is about time they added prize money like William Hill did for their excellent Grand Prix.

How much added money was on offer the UK Open, the Party Poker European Open, the VC Cup or the Poker Den? Not a penny. It is time for the players to vote with their feet and boycott the events which pay nothing to the players featured.

Value of the Year

No doubt where this award is headed. The $10,000 London Poker Open was sponsored by WSEX who guaranteed $2 million in prize money. Only 140 players turned up as the event was held the same week as the VC Cup and a festival at the Vic. Gulp. But, they didn’t renege on the guarantee. They provided the players and spectators with superb conditions and added 600 large to the prize pool.

What an event!

Performance of the Year

How Paul Maxfield kept his cool in the WPT Championship when some very dubious shenanigans were taking place is beyond me. How he managed to play some absolutely tremendous poker while everything was happening astounds me.

He was very unfortunate not to win the event. But, for coming second he fully deserves the performance of the year award.

Newcomer of the Year

While all the TV people are making money from poker it was refreshing to see one event give something back.

The William Hill Grand Prix not only offered excellent structures and playing conditions, but Hills also added over £100,000 to the prize pool.

Sadly I had to turn down my invitation to play this year. Hopefully I will get the chance to play in 2006. I won’t turn it down if I do…

Worst TV poker show of the Year

I was doing a little shopping in Sainsburys a few weeks ago. I thought I might buy a DVD to watch that evening. I was astounded to see 3 poker instructional DVD’s in the Top 100 list.

And who were the presenters? Devilfish, the Mob and Marcel? No. These august productions for your viewing delectation are presented by the titans of the green baize Mike Reid, Jon Thomson and Phil Tufnell!

After seeing Reid interviewed on Richard and Judy and Thomson on GMTV and realising just how clueless they are, I know I don’t have to watch the DVD’s to know that purchasing them would be the biggest waste of £13.99 I ever made.

Mystery of the Year/Hendon Mob Forum Thread of the Year

Who exactly is Isabelle Murphy? ’Nuff said.

That’s yer lot. Happy Christmas to all Hendon Mob readers.