WSOP 2007 Diary – Entry 1

Back to the den of iniquity that is Las Vegas where poker player’s flock every year like floundering Wildebeest scrambling over each other eager not to be the last to have every last dollar fleeced from their pockets.

Whether it is the poker organisers who have zero regard for the poker player and every regard for the cash in the poker players pocket, or the wanton women offering anything you want for a price.

Down to a person who seems to be employed by every hotel to create a queue at the taxi rank in order to “help” each customer into each taxi and be rewarded at least $1 for each person they “help.”

The wholesale fleecing that goes on is not really a problem for most of the gamblers who simply do not care. I was talking to a friend of mine over dinner about investing capital in property as opposed to keeping bundles under floorboards.

He said poker players with big bankrolls should keep it in the bank as they would get 5% which would equate to £5000 per annum for every £100,000 deposited. I pointed out that this equates to about £100 per week which is an amount that many players would put into a pot hoping the last card to be dealt was a diamond and so it is just not a consideration for many.

Most poker players have an almost obscene disregard for the value of money which makes them appear like decadent playboys or girls.

There are many prostitutes here and hotel guests can participate in most activities that might take their fancy. I personally do not like to involve myself in such activity as I have an inherent dislike of any form of insincerity (which is why I generally dislike Las Vegas).

If I am to have sexual relations with a women I have, what nowadays, may be regarded as a psychological disorder that requires me to believe that they genuinely want to participate.

Rather than simply be good at pretending they want to participate or only actually want to participate to receive money off me.

This is why I do not particularly like cats as my experience of them is that they tend to be nice to you only when they want something off you.

Whilst I prefer to be fleeced by other methods it can be quite amusing to hear the stories of the activities of others. One player that we nicknamed “boy wonder” seriously injured himself while engaging a lap dancer on a friend’s pool table.

The spots of blood were a regular reminder as they were not well camouflaged on the green baize. We were kind enough to inform all women that entered our company as to the position with regard to the “boy wonder’s” broken penis.

Another poker player was very drunk and apparently reluctantly took a prostitute(they are not shy in making suggestions) back to his hotel room.  

As he sobered up he realised (and thought to himself) she bore a remarkable resemblance to footballer Emile Heskey. He had a particularly big room with two double beds and she said to him “is that the sleeping bed and the other one the fun bed?”

Like a good poker player he spotted his chance and replied “No, that’s my bed and that’s the door goodbye Emile” and sent her packing.

The money that is thrown around among poker players is mind boggling and the games available, even here, can sometimes fall short in terms of the adrenalin rush the high rollers’ seek.

To satisfy the need they make up random bets to amuse themselves. One top American player was bet $350,000 that he could not complete four consecutive rounds of golf each with a score under 100 and on foot completely in the searing heat of 110 degrees.

He completed the task, virtually requiring hospital attention afterwards, lost 10lb’s in weight but received the $350,000 and was back playing poker two days later.

High stakes player, former tennis player and model Patrik Antonius, who I last saw playing in his dressing gown at the Bellagio $15,000 entry tournament earlier in the year, was playing the $5000 entry Pot Limit Hold Em event unsuccessfully. In his disappointment, he suggested he might take three months off from playing poker.

A fellow player said, “I bet you 500 you can not stop playing for three months.” “500 what?” asks Mr Antonius,


“Make it 500,000 and you have a bet,” at which point the player attempts to disappear under the table.

That may sound flippant but he was genuinely not joking and, after being knocked out of that tournament, was later that evening seen playing online poker with over $700,000 on the table.

It’s not surprising that he may find it difficult to find the motivation to play at his peak in an event costing $5,000 to enter when he plays in a game where it may often cost $10,000 just to see the first three cards in any given hand.

Stuart Fox from Birmingham had yet another great result winning almost $450,000 for second place in the $5000 No Limit event. This followed a second and third place last year and it can surely only be a matter of time before he returns with a winners gold bracelet.

If any poker player deserves a bracelet it must surely be the legendary Micky Wernick who again showed his class winning $88,000 in a side event at the Bellagio.

Now for a bit of poker, namely the $10,000 entry Pot Limit Omaha Event, representing the soon to be opened new poker only club in Nottingham, Dusk Till Dawn.

This event gives the European players the greatest edge against the Americans as they are not as experienced as we are at this game. Despite the opportunity that exists in most poker games, to gamble or make a mistake and get lucky, existing particularly in this four card game, the Europeans tend to do well in this event. Even though often outnumbered in terms of players from the states.

The skill level displayed by many Americans when playing Omaha can often be described as chimpanzee like. They do not really understand what they are doing and simply throw enough chips at the problem and hope to get lucky.

My good friend Jeff Kimber, the current World Heads Up Champion, was knocked out by a gibbon throwing a barrage of coconuts and bananas his way, in the guise of double WSOP Main event winner and probably most read poker author Doyle Brunson.

He called Jeff’s re-raise with 891010 against Jeff’s pair of aces and, after an irrelevant first four cards, hit one of only two tens he could possibly hit to beat Jeff and knock him out.

Doyle’s son Todd had obviously been well taught on the value of 891010 and he doubled up on my table with the very same hand. As the student rather than the teacher Todd had to wait to hit his ten before he put all his chips into the pot.

I managed to mostly avoid the flying fruit from the Simian hordes and made it through to the second days play.

With 55 players remaining from an initial field of 314 the prize money ranges from $22,137 for 36th place, up to $768,889 for first I will be hoping to get lucky.