Join The London Poker Festival?
Friday, 1 October 2010
[Update: I had a RIDICULOUS day 2, a cold-deck JJ v KK in the blinds, a horrible hand with a pair of nines and… suffice to say I shall not be winning the 2010 London EPT. Maybe next year…]
Hello. I’m writing this just after midnight on Thursday; I’m going to try and get an early night, because today was INSANE. I had a long day’s poker on Wednesday, day 1 of the London EPT. I had a super-tough table with two fellow EPT winners, an English Poker Open winner and a series of internet geniuses, and was very relieved to survive the day with 80,000 in chips. I think the average going back will be about 65,000.
I seriously considered going home at the dinner break. Going for the night, I mean. I had 85,000 in chips, a scary line-up of opponents and an early start the next morning. I calculated that if I left for the day I would get blinded down to about 65-70,000 (still above average), would get a proper night’s sleep and no risk that I’d lose all my chips on this much-tougher-than-average table.
Obviously I didn’t go home. I might double up if I stayed! After a nice dinner in the Vic, back I went to play. I was ruing this decision within an hour; after a series of horrible pots, my chips went down to 20,000. Luckily, my form improved again and I got the stack back up; I feel like I played very well over the course of the day, and was very pleased to end up with more chips than I’d have had if I left at dinner!
Nevertheless, it was a tough Thursday. I managed about four hours’ sleep before I had to be up for The Wright Stuff on Channel 5, talking about the poker festival, followed by five hours of poker press. After that, I rushed home to get my notebook and tape recorder, then headed off to interview Miranda Hart for the Radio Times. This is not, I suspect, how Phil Ivey spent his day off. In fact I know it isn’t - Miranda would surely have mentioned it if he’d been there? But I have the tired satisfaction of a day well spent; Miranda Hart was fantastic and I’m looking forward to writing the piece. For now, my other job is out of my head and I’ll be going back in the morning to continue my quest to be the first person to have a double-EPT win.
Anyone can drop by to watch the tournament, which is taking place here - I’m not doing a formal book signing this year, but if you have a copy of For Richer, For Poorer that you’d like to get signed, you will find me in the tournament room on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between about midday and 12.30. There are no guarantees after that because obviously I can be knocked out at any time - but I’ll be playing the main event on Friday and (if knocked out of that) the High Roller on Saturday and the Heads Up on Sunday. So I’ll always be starting at 12 and may be there all day; you never know. Obviously I can’t have long chats when I’m playing but do come by with a book if you’d like it signed.
Or why not PLAY SOMETHING? The full schedule of events is here; I would recommend the charity tournament, which costs £120 plus up to four £110 rebuys if you lose your chips (£10 from each buy-in will go to Cancer Research and the total amount raised will be doubled by PokerStars). It’s an opportunity to play an event in the London Festival for relatively small money (but a guaranteed prize pool of £100,000) and, of course, a very good cause. You can come to the Metropole and buy in directly there (ask at the welcome desk on the ground floor, or at the entrance to the tournament room on the third floor). You can choose to play either Saturday or Sunday (midday start time on each day) but you would need to be available on Monday in case you get through to the second and final day.
There is also a Ladies Only event this weekend with a £500 buy-in - that starts at 3pm on Saturday and is completed on Sunday - with a £100 satellite for that on Friday night at 7pm. (If you’re not familiar with satellites, that means a tournament which costs £100 play and you can’t win money but you CAN win a cheap ticket into the main Ladies’ tournament for a fifth of its full price). Again you can buy in either for the main tournament or the satellite directly at the Metropole.
So, maybe I’ll see you down there. If not…. think lucky thoughts, and if you’re curious I’ll be posting occasional updates on Twitter.