Saturday, 29 May 2010

Day three - Sunday - Newastle - Players, pints, boxes and fuck knows what else

Sunday was supposed to be the big drinking day and midday saw us waiting patiently outside the pub for the doors to open. “Us” had shrunk from the Saturday with such lightweights (sic) as Mik and Pud disappearing along with Mair and Stan.
The first pint courtesy of Pud’s £360 chop went down like cold sick but things warmed up when the girls from the previous night turned up. No cash tried his hardest to blend into a potted plant as the girls he had endeared himself to the night before shot furious glances in his general direction. DoV was in full talk mode, questioning them all on their previous nights escapades like a demented Dad. Snake, Dd and Mr O chatted poker whilst I concentrated on not puking.
After a while we headed into the City centre for a few beers. On the way we nearly killed Keyser Soze when this gimp geezer limped directly behind our bus as the driver was reversing. We all screamed to stop and he missed this guy by inches who then broke into a sprint that Usain Bolt would have struggled to match. Weird.
We ended up in a bar called Players which had the cutest bar maids. DoV, Mr O and No Cash, all Liverpool fans so they reckon, then spent the next ninety minutes cheering for Chelsea against their team so that Man Utd wouldn’t win the League. Snake and I blanked the gay boys and talked Rugby. Dd went to the bog for a wank.
After a couple of hours and several Guinness we headed for some food. Opposite was a bookies so we had a couple of bets whilst waiting for a taxi. We were standing outside chatting with five of us looking down the road and No Cash facing us holding court when this girl walked past. Just as she drew level with the five of us who were facing the other way, No Cash looked at her and said “Jeez love, you’ve got the biggest box I’ve ever seen”. We all instantly turned around to see this girl carrying a Tupperware container which must have been 4 foot by 2 foot. Needless to say, in our pissed up state, it was the funniest thing ever. I guess you had to be there to appreciate it.
We headed back to the Casino and entered a £10 plus £10 bounty tournament which was just starting. The plan was to go mental at the start to get a load of chips and then set about trying to win it. No Cash took this to heart and went all in with Q 2 only for DoV to call him with AK. Flop KQ2, Q, X. DoV and No Cash hit the city centre first closely followed by Snake and Mr O. Chris, who had sat in the casino on his own all day, went next before Dd bust leaving me on my tod.
The tournament had been self dealt and unbeknownst to me our dealer had been Stumpy from the NPF. I only found this out as he got up and walked off after being eliminated and I noticed his name on the back of his shirt. For some unknown reason I then ended up dealing. This did have one advantage though, free Guinness. A few hours later I found myself on the final table. There was one man who I had been speaking to most of the weekend, Brian, who was a top guy, sitting next but one to me. Other than that, I knew no one.
I made a few nice plays, folded Jacks face up for some tight guy to flip over Aces. Eventually I ended up 4 of 4 with 3 times the big blinds. I shoved with A 9 to get insta called by JJ. Thank you and goodnight. Got sixty quid for fourth plus a further twenty quid in bounties.
By now it was one in the morning and I couldn’t be arsed to hit town. I spun twenty quid up to hundred on black jack before spotting Mike and Lou Saban. I chatted/bored them for a while and also chatted to the Kracked King guys for ages. About three O’clock DoV and Mr O walked in and things turned stupid for a while. Fuck knows what we were drinking but I can remember one round costing fifty quid.
Finally I dragged my sorry arse off to bed at six in the morning, another eighteen hour session to add to the two other mega ones I’d had this weekend.
The next day/five hours later, was purgatory. Mr O drove me, No Cash and DoV back to Blackpool. I had a quick cuppa with No Cash and Mrs No Cash who is far too good for that lunatic, before heading back to Gods Country. Eight and a half hours after leaving Newcastle I walked through the front door and collapsed into bed.
I honestly cannot wait for the next one!
Thanks to Big Mik for inviting me, hope I haven’t pissed on my chips for next year. A real pleasure to meet Pud, Snake, Mair, Stan and Chris for the first time. Hopefully you won’t run off like pussys next time? Also a pleasure to meet Mike and Lou along with the Kracked King guys and Stumpy and Brian from the NPF. Catch you next year folks. Always a pleasure having a beer with DoV, Mr O and Dd. When we hitting London you Northen Monkeys?
Finally, big heads up to No Cash for looking after me on the Friday night. Hasta la vista baby.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Day two - Saturday - Newcastle - 21 hours of bad beats, bad karma, Bud and Bulmers.

Dave woke me up early from my slumbers in the arm chair and made a cup of coffee for us both.
“Fuck me Rubbish, you were pissed last night. You sat down there and were out cold within seconds. I tried to wake you to go to the spare room but you were dead to the World”.
I didn’t doubt him for one second.
Twenty minutes later we were out of his house to meet Mr O and DoV for our lift to Newcastle. Dave informed me that he was taking the poker serious and wasn’t having a drink until 8.00pm that evening. DoV pitched up first, dropped off by his lovely missus. Dave and I looked at each other and shrugged. Sometimes there’s no justice in this World. Five minutes later Mr O turned up and we were off.
DoV had thoughtfully brought a case of Bud with him. What he hadn’t brought was his wallet so we had a detour to go back to his gaffe. Not sure why a battalion of the Welsh regiment was waiting outside his house when we got there?
And then we were off. The time was 8.30am and we were on our first beer of the day, 12 hours earlier than Dave had planned.
Mr O put on some horrendous music and punched Newcastle in the Sat Nav or the Cogs as I like to call it. Ten minutes up the M55 and DoV blurted out that he knew a shortcut. I inwardly groaned. Mr O punched in the new details and we said goodbye to motorway traffic for the remainder of the journey. By now Dave, DoV and I were on our second bottle.
The shortcut was eventful to say the least. After driving through country lanes, following tractors for miles, turning up someone’s drive and nearly mowing down twenty people walking around a village fete we started to climb through some mountain range. I’ve subsequently looked on a map and I haven’t a clue which one it is.
The gradient of the road got steeper and the mountain side turned into a massive pine forest. The trees were huge, sixty or seventy feet high and as the road narrowed so did the daylight. The first thunderclap passed overhead like a sonic boom. It was so loud we all actually ducked. The rain started, a light drizzle which soon turned into a torrential downpour. By now we were driving in pitch darkness and even with the headlights on visibility was only a couple of yards. An electrical storm passed so close overhead that it knocked the stereo and Cogs out. A lightning bolt crashed into the forest illuminating the tree line and that’s when I saw them first. Seven maybe eight feet high, moving quickly, much quicker than we were currently driving. Dave saw them as well.
Another thunder clap burst overhead reverberating through the car. One of the beasts was now by the side of us. It must have been doing twenty five mph. Blood red eyes and fangs were the only visible parts of its body. You could smell death on its breath. Mr O crunched down a gear. We were losing momentum as the roads gradient increased. Through the back window I spotted four more of them, lit up by a huge bolt of lightning. They were gaining and would be on us in seconds. The one to our left hand side swung a huge claw/paw at the side of the car. We momentarily went up on two wheels. DoV screamed.
What am I on about? It wasn’t that exciting a journey. We got lost several times and then, three hours later, we were there. Fuck knows how?
Actually we went to the wrong Hotel first off which was a bit gutting because there was a three foot midget, painted entirely blue and dressed in a smurf outfit. The amount of fun we could have had with that guy. I would have paid him fifty to have been our mascot for a couple of hours, running around the casino bollock naked, screaming “Raise the River” over and over. As it was Dd had to do that himself.
When we got to our proper Hotel we had had four buds each and Dave and I had topped up nicely. We met Mik, Pud, Snake and Dd and after a super quick shower headed for the Grosvenor. Once there we met up with Stan and Tripz and our team was complete.
I haven’t played in many live tournaments so I’m not sure if the atmosphere was lively or subdued. I’m guessing it was electric. We all had to walk on as a team and I tried to get the Madness, One step beyond, song. Unfortunately the music had been predetermined but how cool would it have been for us to have done the Madness walk into the arena.
I know quite a few of the RTR boys have played live and Mik, Snake, DoV and No Cash knew quite a few of the people in the other teams. I sort of knew one other person there which was Stan’s Wife, Mair. Spookily I ended up sitting next to her. We had a bit of a giggle chatting away but poker wise; one hour started blurring into another. I do know due to texting Dave though that at 17.30 I had $18k in chips from a starting stack of $7.5k.
Quite a few of the guys exited early and after a while only DoV, Mr O and myself were left. I’m not saying I would have lasted into the second day had there been quite a few of us left but my heart wasn’t in it towards the end. I went out with Q9 on a flop of KQ9. I couldn’t tell you if I limped into the hand out of position or raised in the big blind. All I know is I ended up all in for a huge pot and the other guy turned J10. No miracle Q or 9 on the turn or River and that was that. DoV bombed soon after and we converged at the bar.
At some stage in the evening Gazza walked in with an entourage. He was immediately surrounded by three floor managers and within one minute they were all leaving again. Very wierd.
A couple of the boys were playing in the side event so six or seven of us headed back to the Hotel for a change of gear before carrying on. There was a hen night in the reception who had finished for the evening so I guess it was past 2.00am at this point. One of the girls was sitting on the floor with someone, who shall remain nameless, standing next to her. Why he said it I do not know. Maybe he was thinking of the "is that your feet I can smell" joke? Maybe he was hallucinating? Maybe he was reeally drunk but without warning he asked her if the smell in reception was because she hadn’t washed her c***. Several punches were thrown at this point and he was so surprised by this I honestly think he didn’t realise he was speaking out loud.
We ended up going lap dancing, I think because most clubs had closed. It was shit. That said, some of the boys seemed to enjoy it. Finally we left and went back to the casino. A few more ciders whilst railing Snake who was crushing everyone in the side event which he ended up chopping for £370 before heading off at 5.30am. A nice little 21 hour session for Dave, DoV and myself which absolutely killed me.
Day three to follow.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Day one - Friday - Blackpool - the legendary Tower lounge and the legend that is "Dave no cash"

Travelling from Cardiff to Newcastle was starting to become a real problem. Flights from Cardiff would see me arrive a day early and leave a day after everyone else. Trains would take six hours and cost a small fortune. I also wasn’t sure of the start time of the tournament so guessed that I would have to leave Cardiff at six in the morning. Driving would logistically pose the same problems.
Eventually I posted an SOS on the RTR forum to meet up with someone on the Friday for a few pints and hopefully share a lift with on the Saturday. Luckily for me Dave “no cash” answered my call.
I had only met Dave once before but that was enough to convince me to jump in my car on Friday morning and head for Blackpool. Dave is one of these rare beasts that can drink his own body weight and he doesn’t care what is put in front of him. I’ve seen him start on Stella, move onto Guinness, have a swift couple of beers before ending with a few ciders. Add in all the Jamieson Whiskey he puts away as well and he’s a handful to go out boozing with. My kind of guy.
I got to Blackpool about two thirty in the afternoon and had a wander around whilst waiting for Dave to finish work. The one thing I can be 100% certain on is that at quarter past three I was in a pub called the Castle drinking my first Guinness.
I met with Dave shortly after that and we had a couple of swiftys in some Irish bars before heading for something to eat with another drink, of course. By this time I think we were on Cider but am not certain.
Next up was the legendary Tower Lounge. Legendary is their description not mine but it was interesting. It reminded me of the night club in the second Bourne film where the Russian assassin is drinking vodka surrounded by a load of gorgeous Women. The club is bouncing and the music is blaring out. He gets a call and walks out and it’s daylight. The Tower Lounge was exactly the same. There were stag nights, hen nights, drunks, idiots, the whole spectrum. We were drinking our third cider in there and I happened to glance at the main entrance. It was a glorious sunny day, six in the evening when you would expect it to be about midnight.
By eight o’clock we must have had ten plus pints. Everything was starting to get a bit messy.
I know we watched a Rugby match on the TV in a Weatherspoons pub and we got chatting to some girls on a hen night in another bar. At some point in the evening Dave suggested we head to the Grosvenor Casino to play some cash.
When the taxi pulled up outside the front door of the Casino I fell out. And when I say fell out I mean fell out. I crawled on my hands and knees to the bouncer who was stood shaking his head and used his suit jacket and tie to pull myself up. He wasn’t impressed and immediately told us we were too drunk to come in. I say “we” but he meant “me”. Dave tried to argue our case pointing out that we were so bladdered we were bound to do a few hundred at the tables. The bouncer was having none of it though so we headed back to the bars. It is at this point that I officially can remember nothing.
Where we ended up is unknown but I was sat at the bar speaking to some random people and Dave started playing pool. At some point Dave beat some guy and gave him a mouthful before doing a little winners dance in front of him. The guy took exception and swung the pool cue at him. Dave punched him and the guys mates who were stood behind Dave jumped in. Dave can remember curling up into a ball as these guys pummelled him and then being rolled out of the door by the bouncers. About half an hour later I walked out and asked him where he had been. Some wing man I am.
Dave thinks we called it a night at this point and headed back to his house. The time was unknown. From the little bits I can remember I guess we averaged two pints an hour up until midnight. Not the best way for the two of us to start the weekend off with a serious game of poker coming up and the reputation of RTR to uphold.
Day two tomorrow.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

NPF Team poker tournament - an outline

I'm sure you all know I was heading to Newcastle last weekend for the above tournament. Well, it was a mad weekend. To write it up in one blog post would take about ten thousand words and the patience of a Saint to read in one sitting. I'm therefore going to split it into a three parter.
Before I start I might as well point out that there is only two things I'm certain of:
1. I texted Dave "No Cash" at 15.15pm on Friday from a pub in Blackpool whilst I was having my first pint of Guinness;
2. In the 63 hours that followed I was drinking for 50 of them.
Twenty years ago when I was young, dumb and full of drugs that wouldn't have been a problem. In fact it was probably happening quite regularly. These days though, I'm too old to keep up with the young bucks and by God I'm paying for it now.
But now is now and last weekend is a blurred memory of Guinness, cider, poker and laughs. I wish I had taken notes every hour and then I could have done a chronological write up which might have resembled fact. As it is I'm going from brief memories and recollections which kind of happens when you drink solidly for 50 hours.
One thing I do remember though is the amount of effort the Newcastle Poker Forum went into making the event a great one. I'd also like to thank Mik from Raise the River for inviting me.
The tournament was an outstanding financial success for me as I'm now in a position to lease my name to the other nine members of the RTR team who managed, along with myself, to score the massive sum of zero points. Quite a few people there reckoned we were fortunate to have got zero. One thing is for certain, I'm there next year if invited.
Anyhow, I'll be posting what I can recall over the next few days. I met quite a lot of people and was pleasantly surprised to find that a few of them read this shit regularly and actually seem to enjoy it. The reports will take in twelve hours in Blackpool that I can't remember, a twenty one hour drinking session spoilt only by a game of poker and a further seventeen and a half hour session in which I won and lost some money. Interspersed in all this frantic drinking is a poker tournament, a three foot midget painted from head to toe in blue and dressed up as smurf, Paul Gascoigne, lap dancers, fights, seventeen Premier Inns, Snake cashing, getting hopelessly lost in Scotland (DoV), rimming, one liners, last longer bets which I may or may not be able to talk about (Mike, Lou?), dildos, personal hygiene issues, a Woman with the biggest box ever, bouncers with no sense of humour and a whole lot more. Strangely there were no guns involved.
Stay tuned.