Bad Day At The Vic - Friday 24th March

Sun, 02/04/2006 - 12:04pm
Back down to London for the 3rd time in 5 days, but an excuse to get the train again - Midland Mainline run from Derby to London every half hour. On the half-hour, they use those poncey new plastic glorified DMU's - "Meridians" - but the top of the hour train is the old Diesel hauled slam-door stock, so evocotive, proper coachwork & British craftsmanship at its best.
Was a bit disappointed that I never saw Bertie before I left home today. Bertie is a blackbird, almost tame now, for whom I put out bird food daily. They are fascinating birds - ground-feeders, sheer glossy black with a yellowy-orange bill. I hope he's OK. Beautiful dawn choruses are generally led by blackbirds - "choof-choof", & they fly in little ground-hugging swoops.

Check into The Metropole, where the booking-in is achieved in a record time - 8 minutes - by a pretty young Lady who fails even once to smile or make eye-contact. What happened to service with a smile?

I purchased a pair of shades in Edgware Road - proper jobs - and sauntered back to he Metropole wearing them,  looking, I thought, minus nearly three stone into my crash diet, pretty cool & hip, all things considered. Stopped to cross the road & a lady came up & took my arm & walked me across the road - I think she thought I was blind. Tart.

Bump into Simon Nowab, Colchester Couch & The Yongsta in  the Bar - where else? - before checking into my "City-View" room, which actually has a view of the Air-Conditioning Plant. Perhaps the brochure said "Shitty View".

Meet with Dave C at 5pm prompt. He's in surprisingly good heart, considering he was up at 0800 to play the British Poker Open & busted out first, and had played until 0400 in his Vic Main Event Day one. But his health seems much better post-op. And he's happier in himself too, maybe because, at last, he can sleep properly.

We have two meetings, & he tells me he has just had a meeting with Catman - WHO? - about a blonde Poker School.. A WHAT? Next week. WHEN? I need to be there. WHY? But it all adds up after he explains it. Sort of. The "opening night" will be a Media Event, so a fantastic opportunity to spread the news about the blonde cardroom, priceless really. Life brings surprise after surprise for me these days. I'm not at all sure if this "blonde School" idea will work, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.....

The cardroom has been open a week today, & we have been monitoring the figures - they are staggeringly good, considering we have not spent a bean on marketing it. The advertising budget is a nice round sum - nil - by design. I hate the advertising industry, more than Estate Agents, all of whom should be shot. But it appears there are problems with depositing, & withdrawal more to the point, & it's kicking off on the Forum. The Cardroom is Dave's responsibility, the Forum is mine, but there is crossover here, & I agree to handle the problem.

Late as ever, I dash across to The Vic at 7pm, & run into heavy weather immediately. I meet a guy who has a weird name - Constantiou I believe - which is spelt different by everyone, & this means his Ranking Points are allocated to different names. He's not happy, & asks me to sort it. No prob, but it's weird how I have ended up as The Ranking's Man, they have nothing to do with me, but I guess it helps oil the Wm Hill relationship I have.

Then I need to see Jen, & Ben, & I bump into Leona, and Kevin (O'Connell) wants to tell me a story, then I see Couch,  dammit, I need to be in my seat in 30 seconds for the Main Event. (See seperate Tourney Report). I sit down in the nick of time, but my head is spinning, & I need to gear up mentally for a long session. Dave's last words to me had been "time you won one of these Big Ones. Remember - Patience, Patience, Patience". 50 minutes into the comp - that's over 5 minutes into Level 2 - I am out. Bollocks.

118118 - "time of the last train back to Derby please?", great, back to the Hotel Room to pack (a night's hotel cost wasted too), a taxi is found, & I'm back at St Pancras in time for the 22.15. But the opportunity for a "free day" at home on the Saturday is too good to miss. On the way to the station, Willie Tann calls. His wife is unwell, & the poor fella misses her terribly. Gosney calls too, & we chat about this & that. He's a good mate, & I like him a lot.

Arrived in Derby 0030, drove home, &, 300 yards from my house, I spot Angell (my pure-white "Dude" cat) playing with his mates in the middle of the road. He spots me & makes a dash for it, across gardens & through back alleys, & he's sitting on the doorstep by the time I park in the drive, with a look of "me - nah not me bruv, I've been here all night"......