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August 27, 2005

The Biggie!

Armed with gallons of enthusiasm and a plentiful supply of confidence I took my feeling of belonging to table 4, seat 5, where I find, amongst others, Tim Flanders, Shaf and Koresh. I look around and making his way to the table behind me is Willie Tann who sits directly behind me (back to back). I can’t believe how much I feel at home and don’t really have any nerves at all – I’m ready for battle!

I’m not sat down long, in fact it’s the first hand and I’m dealt 9-9 in mid-position with a couple of early limpers already in the pot. I decide to limp as well and hope to see a flop… with a big juicy 9 on it! The flop comes down J-4-9 (she’s there!) UTG checks and Shaf (a leery, loud, fast action player from Blackpool) fires out at the pot… on every street (the turn is a 2 and the river an A). I call him all the way and eventually re-raise all in on the river – he mucks and shouts for chips (it’s a double chance freeze-out) and I’m nerve free and up to nearly 10K with another 5K in reserve whenever I want them.

The first break arrives, I get my additional 5K and I am up to 29K and from a quick straw poll around the bar looks like I am in the chip leader – it surely couldn’t get any better!

Following the break, I keep it tight for a few hours, opening up when I get the opportunity and try to accumulate some more chips. My good friend; Tony Kendall arrives at my table and immediately points at me and then at my stack and declares to the entire table that “I am the biggest ‘at-it merchant’ this side of the M6”… I sigh, groan, protest but to be honest it ensured that a few of my big hands get paid off and I manage to win a lot of small to medium-sized pots when called with weaker hands (they got the impression I was at-it – thanks Tikay!) - In short it’s going exactly to plan.

The day started with 147 players and they all seem to be dropping likes flies despite the 10K in starting chips, low blinds and slow clock. We reach the end of play of day 1 at 3:30am and there are 38 players left, I am 6th in chips and have a lovely table to return to the next day, which contains Paul ‘Action Jack’ Jackson, Sonny Nirinja, John Shipley, Stuart Fox and Joseph Grech (I could have wished for easier opponents) but, hey, where playing for big money now… this aint no £20 re-buy!


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