The 2008 Beagle Awards

by Snoopy
Submitted by: snoopy on Sun, 18/01/2009 - 5:33am

I don’t know why I bother – nobody comes to the ceremony, none of the winners collect their trophies (not even via satellite) and Jonathan Ross adamantly refuses to host the damn thing. Nevertheless, the show must go on, so it is with great pleasure that I bring to you the 2008 Beagle Awards, a brief look back at the last twelve months of poker festivity.


Winner = Rick ‘Action Man’ Trigg
2007 = Phil ‘Snatiramas’ Cooklin
2006 = Simon ‘ACES’ Trumper

Abysmal posture, clothes on the floor and an overflowing ashtray may be enough to send mothers all across the globe into a frenzy of despair, but to the unbiased eye, there is another sin being committed here that in some countries would warrant a lifetime sentence.

When this image of Rick Trigg’s ghostly tree trunks being choked by a pair of ultra-tight silver shorts cropped up on the blonde poker forum, reports came in of bleeding eyes, lock-jaws and severe giggle-fits. With a sheen that could wake a small child out of a coma, Rick’s silky crotch huggers have yet to see the light of day in a brick and mortar card room, but with DTD recently easing their dress-code, a few Nottingham based players may be in for a unwelcome surprise come the monthly freezeout.


Winner = Davood Merhmand
2007 = Gary ‘The Choirboy’ Jones
2006 = Olabode ‘Buddy’ Ayegun

DTD’s Napoleon Dynamite may have had eyes on glory, but it’s this buffonted effort from Davood Merhmand that steals the show. Although sightings were spotted in Donald Trump’s wig draw and on David Hasselhoff’s chest, Davood’s barnet remained firmly attached throughout the GUKPT Grand Final, intimidating amateurs and pros alike as it pointed at opponents,  slit its throat and mouthed the words “You’re next”.


Winner = Emma-Sophia Stroman
2007 = Dena
2006 = the Doylesroom Girls

It was (quite literally) a toss up between Emma-Sohia Stroman and Sandra Edlund, but the former pipped her fellow team member for skills in the bust area with impressive scores in effort and presentation. This Right Said Fred reunion was first witnessed at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo, but with T6 experiencing ‘technical difficulties’, it’s looks as though it was a rare delight for your intrepid, and salivating update team.


Winner = Rod ‘Junglecat’ Stirzaker

2007 = Andrew ‘AndrewT’ Tracey
2006 = Curtis ‘Sheriff Fatman’ Ledger

As voted for by all the great members (and some of the crap ones) of the blonde poker forum, it’s the undeniable fortune of Rod ‘Junglecat’ Stirzaker that takes this one down with his pearler for hapless victims Red-Dog and Karabiner. They say that if you give umpteen chimpanzees umpteen typewriters, they will eventually churn out the complete works of Shakespeare. Rod was bound to win one of these things sooner or later.

 After experimenting with introducing a bad beat counsellor into the DTD cardroom, management decide they may need to work on their recruitment policy.


Winner = Phil Hellmuth
2007 = Gordon Brown
2006 = H.O.R.S.E Final

If ever there were evidence of an elitism in poker and the power of the ‘celebrity’ it was at this year’s World Series of Poker Europe. Considering himself to be ‘bigger’ than the event itself, Phil Hellmuth strode his way around the Empire Casino as if he had a penis the size of Texas, doing and saying exactly what he liked. He moaned, he badgered, he abused and, when the chips were quite literally down, verbally assaulted a dealer enough that she eventually shed a tear. His actions went, of course, mainly unpunished, thus condoning his behaviour and proving that poker isn’t always the level playing field it claims to be.


Winner = Gowen vs. Tiltware LLC

2007 = Vinnie Vinh
2006 = Jon Hewston’s mystery chip

There are many mysteries about this case that may never be confirmed: was Gowen promised a 1% stake of the company, is the company worth $4 billion, did Howard Lederer offer her a $250,000 pay off, and, most importantly, is Cycalona a made up name? Nevertheless, when Gowen filed a lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker, Tiltware and co, the 37-year old American pro wanted $40 million for her share in the companies that she declares were made over the phone.
As the hooky dude at the start of the old VHS films used to say in a common-as-muck accent: “Oral contract, not worth the paper it’s written on”


Winner = Dusk Till Dawn
2007 = Dusk Till Dawn
2006 = The Broadway Casino, Birmingham

Like all newborn babies, there are always going to be teething problems, but although Dusk Till Dawn have been ambushed from various angles, the general consensus is that after their first full year in the business,they have cemented their status as the UK’s premier poker venue. In Britain, it’s part of our culture to complain, but DTD's constant strive for perfection through dealer dealt tournaments, excellent structures, top notch grub, and a friendly atmosphere have made them an unstoppable force in the industry and surely worth forgiving of any minor slip-ups.


Winner =  Gran Casino, Barcelona
2007 = Hyatt Regency, Warsaw
2006 = Casino Barriere, Deauville

If swapping the Grosvenor Walsall and the M6 surroundings for the Gran Casino and a stroll down the Spanish coastline isn’t enough to launch you into an EPT satellite, then nothing is, as Barcelona is a delight to visit and a venue that should encourage even the poorest of players to try their luck. A bodyguard of Barry Neville proportions may be required to walk the streets at night, but if you have your wits about you, Barcelona can be a wonderful city to visit from the spectacular architecture to the fabulous food, all enjoyed under the never-ending beating rays of the sun.

Although a victim of ‘same village’ tendencies, the Gran Casino is a worthy host for an EPT, the combination of a heaving bar and equally populated house games creating a bubbly atmosphere and reminding you that a casino can be a fun place to play.


Winner = European Deepstack Poker Championships

2007 = Irish Poker Open
2006 = Amsterdam Master Classics

Whilst Ireland has always been famed for leprechauns, Guinness and er… Frank Carson, it’s their ability to host “a cracker” of a tournament that's make them shine these days. Although a good, well structured comp can be found for just €500, the best value on offer is easily the catchy titled Green Joker Poker European Deepstack Poker Championships in Drogheda in which, for the modest sum of €1,500, players are blessed with a 60 minute clock and 50,000 starting stack.

With more chips than an entire series of Catchphrase, you’d expect the opening day to pass without a so much as a mouse fart. But don’t underestimate the power of the donk as within just one level, our first casualty exited with an over-pair to a flopped straight. I guess to some players, it doesn’t matter how many chips they have.


Winner = PokerStars
2007 = PokerStars
2006 = PokerStars

For the third consecutive year, PokerStars win the award for ‘online site of the year’ with little, if any competition. Staring George Bush straight in the face and exclaiming, “Pft, what bill!” (just to confirm, ‘pft’ is not a spitting noise – that would be wrong and I would never condone such an act), Stars have continued to dominate the US online poker scene, whilst also accruing most of the European market through its ever popular European Poker Tour.

LAPT and APT tours may suggest world dominance and the overthrowing of all major political leaders, but they have kept their finger on the pulse back home by offering online players a safe, secure environment in which to play with record-breaking fields and gargantuan prize pools, not to mention more satellites than Sky HQ.


Winner = Full Tilt: Tom Dwan vs. John Juanda
2007 = Dublin EPT: Mallu vs. Mestre
2006 = HSP: Hansen vs. Negreanu

On the final week of October, the Full Tilt cash tables turned into a wild frenzy as the record for the biggest ever online pot was broken multiple times. With the chat box a hotbed of nippery with poker geeks offering to swallow the players’ love lengths in return for money, Tom Dwan, John Juanda and Phil Ivey all took turns in winning $600,000 plus pots.

The most memorable hand of that session involved Dwan and Juanda in a $678,069 pot, a figure that is too high for our mere brains to fathom without melting, but an encounter which probably resulted in both players shrugging nonchalantly before moving onto the next. After a ferocious preflop raising war, Juanda typed ‘SO SICK’ (capitals, as to add emphasis to his vomit-inducing state) into the chat box before making the call with pocket kings. Dwan revealed a dominant pair of aces, but a brutal king on the river may have resulted in a swivel-first-pump manoeuvre from Juanda followed by Dwan’s testicles finally dropping.

Obviously financially battered and bruised by this loss, Dwan later challenged the poker world to a $1 million heads up match.


Winner = Tony G
2007 = TheV0id
2006 = Josh ‘JJProdigy’ Field

I’m sure there are other Frank Spencers more deserving of this accolade, but, quite frankly, the opportunity to award Tony G the ‘Doh! of the Year’ is too good to pass up. With three remaining in the star-studded Premier League, Tony G called a push from Andy Black with pocket sixes and flipped over his hand, only to realise than the Irishman still had chips behind. With opponents Andy and Roland de Wolfe giggling profusely at their embarrassed foe, the tournament director ruled that Tony could no longer bet in the hand, only fold or call. Much to the hilarity of the table, a six peeled off on the river to leave the Mad Monk drawing dead and Tony with the pot, but ruing what should have been a much needed double through.


Winner = Jamie Pickering

New category

Scotty Nguyen horsing around was the obvious choice, and Jen Mason’s night of intoxication at blonde Bash VI leads the chasing back, but it’s dark horse Jamie Pickering who snatches gold in a photo finish. Hailing from Queensland, Australia, Pickering had clearly consumed too many Castlemaine XXX as he went tete-a-tete with Vanessa Selbst in the final of the WSOP $1,500 pot limit Omaha freezeout, the encounter turning into a wild frenzy as the strip club owner began shouting, downing drinks and playing hands blind. Selbst triumphed in the end, but not after having to adjust her game accordingly and block out the raucous crowd who were immersed in the sideshow that was Jamie Pickering.


Winner = Russ Hamilton

2007 = Absolute Poker

Forcing thousands of players to eat humble pie and confess, “Okay, maybe there’s a chance that online poker is rigged after all”, Russ Hamilton was this year found to have been the main perpetrator behind the Ultimate Bet super accounts, adding millions to his bankroll in the process. As a former WSOP champion, $1,000,000 clearly wasn’t enough to get the adrenalin pumping, but he’s seemingly got off Scott free by an ungoverned industry and proved once again the frailty of poker when it comes to cheating and outright theft.


Winner = WSOP final table delay
New category

Whilst the finalists danced a merry jig at the thought of an endless shower of sponsorship deals, the poker community threatened to riot when this decision was made, the mere thought that the WSOP would finish after the WSOPE enough to send millions of poker enthusiasts into a wild fury. But after no players were assassinated prior to the event, protestors relinquished their torches and concluded that the world wasn’t coming to an end after all. Viewing figures suggested improvement, but possibly not enough to warrant a repeat performance in 2009.


Winner = Shane Warne
2007 = Boris Becker

Providing the perfect cushion for retired athletes across the world, poker became the easy route for former International cricketer Shane Warne when he joined forces with Does he know the rules? Can he play? Will he fold his big blind in an unraised pot? Who gives a shit, we can’t just let him wither away in a sea of obscurity - giving him a sumptuous sponsorship deal appears to be the only option. Meanwhile, the thousands of players who’ve doggedly battled their way up the poker ladder exhale a deep sigh and roll in their graves before they’ve even been dug.


Winner = Ben Grundy: Milkybarkid’s Poker Blog
2007 = Pauly Maguire: Tao of Poker
2006 = Ed Hollis: 88% Concentration

The documented rise and rise of Ben Grundy may not be to everyone's taste, but for those who like big pots and sick graphs, the Milkybarkid’s Poker Blog is a must see. Posts may be brief, but they’re brutally honest, direct and highly informative. Plus, he’s been maintaining his ramblings since October 2004; an award for stamina at the very least.


Winner = snoopy1239
New category

I gratefully accept this award on behalf of Tommy and Magnum, my two most valued friends, always by my side and never unfaithful. Rarely called into action, but like sleeping tigers they can be awoken at a moment’s notice and pounce without warning. Visit the gun show at your own risk.


Winner = Nik Persaud
2007 = Ian Cox
2006 = Stuart Fox

The GUKPT’s ‘nearly man’ with three final tables including a second, fourth and sixth place finish, Nik Persuad (as he is spelt in certain publications) enjoyed a stonking 2008 with circa £100,000 in tournament winnings from relatively few appearances. Predominantly applying his trade online, Nik seems to have injected a smidgen of discipline into his game, making bankruptcy less of a possibility but maintaining his fearless approach to the game nonetheless.

Don’t let his simple looks fool you, folks, as beyond the thick set NHS specs lies a calculated poker mind, and one that deserves to be rewarded with a major title come 2009.


Winner = William Fry
2007 = Chip Reese
2006 = Vicky Coren

Not since I last pulled have I been this surprised, little known Willie Fry triggering a flurry of wide eyes as he brought EPT gold back home to Nottingham at his very first attempt. A cash player at heart, Willie paid for his seat with frequent player points on Stars and headed off to Budapest with little expectation. A week later, he returned, €595,840 richer and the envy of everyone at DTD.  


2008 = Neil 'Bad Beat' Channing
2007 = Jonathan ‘AlrightJack’ Raab
2006 = Arshad Hussain

He might stake more people than Buffy, but Neil Channing ain’t half bad himself. Having enjoyed/suffered a lifetime of grinding in the murky depths of the Vic, Neil dived headfirst into the tournament circuit and reaped immediate rewards: GUKPT and WSOPE final tables, second in the World Open, seven WSOP cashes, and his crowning achievement, the Irish Open. Now, if only he hadn’t staked the other 666 runners in the event.


Winner = James 'Sickdog' Akenhead
2007 = Jon ‘Skalie’ Kalmar
2006 = John Gale

Our Japanese friends may endure magnifying glasses to the nipples, tarantulas crawling up their groin and other such extremities, but never have they displayed the stamina and mental fortitude that James Akenhead would require as he bought into WSOP #2’s $1,500 no limit Hold’em freezeout. With 3,929 runners, it was the largest non-main event in history and included a brutal 16-hour day, but when the dust had cleared, James was left heads up with eventual winner Grant Hinkle. A criminal A-K versus T-4 outdraw stole defeat from the jaws of victory, but, nevertheless, James proved that he was equally as capable, if not more so, than any of his fellow Hit Squadders.


Winner = Sam Trickett
2007 = Ben Vinson
2006 = Zahir ‘Zippy’ Aslam

Drunken brawls aside, Sam Trickett has had a fruitful year and quickly emerged as one of the UK’s hottest talents. He may wear more bright colours than a fruit pastille lolly, but he’s proved himself to be a highly skilled player with a GUKPT title in Luton and a fourth place finish in a $5,000 no limit hold’em WSOP event for a mouth-watering $245,927 payday. A danger man at any table… and in any bar.


Winner = Marty Smyth
2007 = Julian ‘Yoyo’ Thew
2006 = Roland De Wolfe

Never has someone achieved so much in one year, and received so little recognition. Whilst the like of Devilfish, Roland de Wolfe and Tony G continue to dominate the limelight, Marty Smyth lies in the shadows, quietly going about business without such of a murmur and earning millions in the process.

Having won the Irish Open the year prior, Marty followed 2007 up with in excess of $2.1 million in tournament winnings, including titles in the Poker Million and the World Open as well as a bracelet in the $10,000 pot limit Omaha World Championship event – a quite spectacular trio of accolades, and an achievement that will be nigh on impossible to echo this year.


Winner = Ivan Demidov
2007 = Annette ‘Annette_15’ Obrestad

Jesper Hougaard, Sebastian Ruthenberg and Peter Eastgate all game close, but it’s Russian pro Ivan Demidov who steals the spoils following WSOP main event final tables both side of the Atlantic. Whilst Ivan could only manage a paltry £334,850 for his third place finish in London, his runner up spot to Eastgate in Vegas netted him a cool $5,809,595 and, along with this prestigious award, capped a year that all players dream of.

And that’s a wrap, folks!

Stick a fork in me...