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Much hilarity in the hotel bar last night. Our Italian players were sat at the bar and conversation was hard enough as English language didn’t come naturally.

Salavatore Deluca had talked of having 43,100  chips but when the official chips counts came through it stated 431,000 making him chip leader! TYPO – got a couple of calls from media. Salvatore loved the fact that he was seen as the chip leader for one of the largest tournaments in the world but after the first hand it was curtains! He has the email to treasure!

Welcome to the world of Peter Eastgate

Online qualifier Jeff Kimber stopped by briefly, along with his friend Peter Eastgate. Peter was saying he was a bit zoned out of poker at the moment but that hasnt stopped him tearing it up on the tournament circuit. It could be hard to concentrate if you had won over $9 million at the WSOP Main Event Final table I suppose…As Jesse May used to say in commentary – welcome to the world of Peter Eastgate!

Anyway, sat down last night, planning on a quiet night, just had a couple of drinks with our players. Then I get a call saying my name is on the gate for a party at the Playboy Mansion! Of course I have to go!

My name is on the gate for a party at the Playboy Mansion

PartyPoker Playboy Mansion

Ask for Marvin on the gate I am told. Problem is I am rolling up in a yellow commerce taxi – why didn’t you come in a limo they said?

It wasnt going well, my name wasn’t on the list. I am going to fall at the first hurdle. The security were getting agitated as I got my yellow cab hot wheels to move to the side.

“There’s no dropping at the gate, you have to take a car up.” HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

Word comes through and I am through the main gates. Then I get stopped again as I havent got the wristband for the VIP section. Again, I found English politeness works best in this situation, “thanks and sorry for troubling you,” I add. It is working – here comes Marvin.

‘Ah Mr Lush – here’s Trixie and Annabelle, nice to meet you,’ said Marvin, who is wearing a dracula coat.

The next person  I see are two World Poker Tour guys – “We paid $1,500 a ticket, how the hell did you get in?”

FOR FREE – what a result. “Thanks for the invite!”

Chris Ferguson and Antonio Esfandiari have their own tables


Unsurprisingly, there is a large poker contingent there. I see Chris Ferguson and Antonio Esfandiari have their own tables and see lots of familiar faces. What’s it like? Well, there are hundreds of girls around – a fantastic spectacle – I can truly say that.

I got in at 11.30pm and the party was really pumping by then. Was Hugh Hefner there? Most definitely not I guess – these are strongly branded parties these days I guess. Paul Oakenfold was playing – definitely one of the better crashes in my time.

Then I realise I have another problem – it is a masked ball! Ah, that kind of explains why that Marvin guy was looking like Dracula. I get over this though and head for a table where I know people.

What was going on? Well there were very attractive girls everywhere. It was kind of what the ultimate online qualifier party should be!

My name is Warren, which is the name of a place rabbits live but, unfortunately, I wasn’t popular with these bunnies.

“Who is the geeky looking tired guy with the glasses with the strange voice – is he from Australia?” It went well…

At 2am everybody was piling out to go home, there were huge queues. Mike Matusow and others were looking for the afterparty but it was straight back to the Commerce for me.

Luckily, I found Jesus and Mr Chris Ferguson gave me a lift


Luckily, I found Jesus and Mr Chris Ferguson gave me a lift home in his limo. I havent seen him look so tired since I took the picture of him below during a break at the Poker Nations Cup!

In my past, I always look back on one incident which I know could have changed my life decisively, whether it was for the better or poorer I will never know. The question then was should I gatecrash or not – the decision wasn’t as easy as this Playboy Mansion decision!

I was working for Leader of the Opposition in the UK Parliament in summer of 1997 – I was still at University at the time. Anyway, I am tasked with taking a letter to Tony Blair.

It was the evening of the famous Cool Britannia party, the Spice Girls, Oasis etc were visiting Number 10 Downing Street. I get through security and had met actor Ross Kemp and the then editor of The Sun, Rebekkah Wade, briefly before. I start talking to them as we walk down. I get ushered through the front door past security into the party area as they assumed I was with them!

In my hand is a letter about an education clash at Prime Ministers Questions. I get through the next level of security and am almost in the party – THEN I BOTTLE IT and tell them why I am really there. How much would I have been able to sell my story for if I had gatecrashed this party as a young intern! I will always ask myself what if!

Anyway, less of all this waffle – its back to the action. We have two qualifiers left, Malte and my UK compatriot Mr Kimber…

I better start looking up what Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck is in Russian

I have just been told that along with my colleague Naomi I have to take a large contingent to Disneyland in the morning. It is all part of the fantastic online qualifier experience. Our large Russian contingent is coming so I better start looking up what Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck is in Russian.

One thing is for sure. At Disneyland, I may be able to find a human sized stuff donkey that I can purchase and put in players’ seats when they are getting blinded out!


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