I didn't get a press badge after all. Sigh. We were given three more after some haranguing of the Harrah's staff, now for those of you who are maths experts you'll notice that three press passes plus three more press passes does not equal the eight press passes needed by our team. And so Muggins here, ended up being one of the two guys without one. But enough of the Harrah's bashing, I think I've spelt out enough inefficiencies for one year.
Following on from my last post, it turns out UltimateBet have continued to snap up members of the PokerXFactor team, as Eric 'Rizen' Lynch becomes the next member to join JohhnyBax suckling on the proverbial golden teat. (In-joke for Wolverhampton Wanderers fans there). He's posted on his blog here his comments on signing with UB openly acknowledging that he'll come in for a lot of criticism, which is already more than JohnnyBax did.
If you have time, read some of the comments/replies to his blog piece, there's a lot of very unhappy people who now see him as a sell-out. Perhaps these guys really think they'll make a difference, but the poker world can never make you anything but cynical, as people consistently fuck each other over and it's rare that you could find anyone who didn't have a price. Rizen and JohnnyBax found theirs. Maybe the case is that, for some players, morals simply become being seen as another leak in your game.
For those feeling very depressed by that, here's a little bit of hope entwined in this story from Terrence 'Not Johnny' Chan's blog.
James Akenhead's 2nd place in the $1,500 was one of the cruellest things I've ever seen, I watched the first hour with the Hitsquad before heading off to get some food (I hadn't eaten all day) and then writing some blog stuff before I played a couple of tournaments online and managed to win the $100 turbo on Full Tilt for $6,500. It was a pretty sick tournament, I called all-in vs a button push for 9 BB's with K-8 very early on vs K-4, before later trapping a guy with Aces against his Queens. Four handed I won a big flip with Tens against Ace Jack and ground the other two players down. I'm now planning to play the $1,500 PLO and will be selling a few % should anyone be interested. If you are then pm me on blonde or email me.
I then went back down to watch the rest of the $1,500 where James had just got heads-up with Grant Hinkle. The entire Hitsquad were there, as was Tony Phillips, Paul Parker, Sam Trickett, Mick McCool and Neil Channing. Channing kept nodding off during the battle, a fact which caused the tournament announcer to ask the players to please play more quietly.
Both players were raising every pot from the button, but James was gradually grinding him down and took the chip lead, before losing it back in a couple of bigger pots. But the longer the battle went on, the more you suspected James was going to win. Hinkle raised to 350k (blinds 80k/160k) playing something like a 6.5 million stack, Akenhead with around 5 million popped it up to I think 900k or 1 million and Hinkle moved all-in. James quickly calling with A-K. Grant looked stunned and said nervously, “Do you have a pair?” and James shook his head as he saw his opponent's T-4 of diamonds. There was like a two minute delay before the fateful board was dealt for most of the chips in play.
The flop came T-T-4 and we all winced in disbelief as the Hinkle family and supporters went berserk, the turn was the case Ten and the atmosphere was akin to losing the Cup Final on penalties. The consolation for James was the $530k or so he picked up for second, but at that moment, he was clearly hurting.
The Brits began shaking his hand and then trudging off quietly, perhaps all secretly hoping to be in that position of joy and pain over the next six weeks.
Song of the day. 'The Man Don't Give A Fuck' by Super Furry Animals.