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Laurence Houghton WINS WPT National London for £27,500!


After a terrific heads-up battle, Laurence Houghton grabbed that big lead, and was never really going to let it go.  After a consistent pounding pre-flop to get to a 6:1 ratio lead, Houghton called all-in to see what would become the final hand.  Arvin had just 1.6 million (ten big blinds after the blinds popped up before the last deal) and he was behind.

Laurence Houghton

Arvin Ravindran

The board came out with Laurence home free from the turn, his rail cheering to the rafters as he finally toppled the fantastic Arvin in second place. Ravindran wins the biggest cash of his career, £19,400, in finishing runner-up.

We spoke to an ‘ecstatic’ Laurence after his victory:

Thanks once again for all your interactions, feedback and participation, especially via the Twitter hashtag #WPTNUK, we can see how much you guys have loved the tournament.  You’ve all turned the stunning Aspers Poker Room into a fantastic place to play poker and watch poker this week, and on behalf of all the blogging team, thanks for enjoying the ride as much as us!

Don’t forget, you can qualify for WPT-National Newcastle on the May Bank Holiday for as little as $1.65 on partypoker.  We’ve spoken to players who did just that over the last few hours – and won thousands of pounds sterling.

One thing is guaranteed – just like Laurence Houghton’s rail, it’s going to be one huge party!

Level 29 – Blinds 60,000/120,000/ante 20,000

Laurence Houghton Doubles Up


After Arvin took the lead, Laurence’s rail got ever more boisterous, cheering their man on to recover.  Well, it worked – he’s just doubled to take a good lead now at heads-up stage of the WPT National Event in London’s Aspers Casino.

Min-raising pre-flop to 250k, Arvin got a call and the players saw the flop of   , another bet meaning 800k was in the pot.   The on the turn created some more action, Laurence leading for 1.1 million and Arvin asked how much Laurence was playing, before calling too.  On the river of Laurence instantly shipped all-in and Arvin made the call.  Laurence turns over for the turned flush and Arvin mucks, Laurence now doubled to a massive 10.2 million and Arvin sitting behind just 4.2 million.

Name On the Trophy?


It’s natural to let superstition in on poker.  Each man heads-up is in his own world.  Consumed by the desire to win, it’s as much a battle against oneself as the opponent – master your own emotions, your own excitement and your mind is clear to focus on the optimal play.  cloud your judgement with any external factors and you open up a weak spot for your opponent to exploit.

Having dipped behind again, Arvin Ravindran leaned forward in his seat and stared down the next hand.  He raised to 500k on the button and Laurence smoothly slid forward the amount.  Over a million in a pot pre-flop brings forward the railbirds, it hushes conversation a little, sends people thinking ‘Is this the one?’ and the players feel the heat of the crowd edging closer to the action.  As if their actions were being magnified, this hand played out almost in slo-motion, the flop coming .  Arvin edged forward 400k, Laurence immediately raised to 925,000 and Arvin called.  Nearly three million in the pot.  Crowd, that swaying mass, gets closer still, craning their necks.

The turn is the .  this time Arvin checks. He looks disinterested, as if he’s given up on the hand.  Laurence bets 800k into three million, looking to take this away now.  Arvin raises all-in!  Suddenly everyone think that the moment has arrived, they almost expect the call so much as for it to be awkward for Laurence to fold.  But fold he does, to the chagrin of his friends, who turn away from the table.  the players ask for a break, but it looks like only Houghton needs one.

“Fuming.” is all he says…then Arvin turns over his cards.  Two sevens seem to smile as they spin across the felt.

“Just fuming.”

Arvin – 9.2 million

Laurence – 5.2 million

Swings & Roundabouts


Both men have had the lead, and almost as soon as they do have it, it goes in the other direction again.  Laurence Houghton was behind going into an interesting one, trailing with 6.3 million playing Arvin’s 8.1 million after some very impressive small-ball raising on the flop ground the lead back to the less-experienced player.

With 1.6 million in the pot on the flop, it came .  Both players checked, eyed each others stacks and glowered at the other man, waiting for the weakest to look down at the turn.  The it was, and Arvin led out 700k, Laurence called without pausing, barely a flicker of emotion behind his every move.

The on the river prompted two checks, and Laurence showed – good enough to take the lead back from Arvin.

“How do you hit the turn every time?” Arvin asks.  But Laurence doesn’t look up.  He just piles chips, 7.6 million to Arvin’s 6.8 million.  Blinds will go up any minute…

Laurence Takes The Lead


It’s quite a statement, but even across all four days, and by his own admission, Laurence Houghton may just have made “the play of the tournament” here in the Aspers Poker Room at WPT National London.

A min-raise pre-flop and post-flop brought the turn on a board of .  That was when it all kicked off.  Arvin Ravindran raised to  500,000, but Laurence Houghton raised quickly to a million.  Arvin wasn’t scared, firing 2.3 million total into the pot.  But Houghton did the ultimate, four-bet shoving all-in for 6.7 million.  Arvin made a reluctant, agonising fold…and Laurence showed him for the up and down straight draw.

“I played it bad – I fold Ace-Ten spades.  I should have just peeled.” said Arvin, chewing on the hand as the next one was being played.

Laurence now has 9.1 million, Arvin 5.3.  Has the momentum shifted in this heads-up duel to the eventual winner?

Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000/ante 10,000

Early  Skirmishes


Neither of these players are the type to drift in poker, and so it’s proved in the early pots.  Starting with the chip lead, Laurence Houghton put the pressure on early to try to build his lead.  On a flop of Laurence bet 150,000, which Arvin called.  The turn was a and this time a bet of 275,000 from Laurence was enough to take it away.

Arvin fought back, however, seeing a flop in position after Laurence raised with The flop came and both players checked through that and the turn.  On the river of , however, Arvin bet 800k.  Somewhat surprisingly, Laurence called fairly quickly, showing his eight.  Arvin turned over for flopped trips, and he took the lead with 8.4m playing Laurence’s 6m.

In the next hand, Laurence twice called 200k bets both pre and post-flop from Arvin on a board of before a bet on the river made Arvin lay it down.  Laurence showed   and Arvin gave him a little ribbing.

“You must be tilting, you call out of position with ten-three.”

A laugh from Laurence and a smile from Arvin.

“I call anything with two suited cards heads-up.” says Laurence.  The dealer gets ready for the next fan across the middle ground of the table.  The battleground.

Heads-Up For The Title – Laurence Houghton And Arvin Ravindran



This is certainly no David vs. Goliath, but there is a distinct difference in the histories of these two players as heads-up gets under way.  Whatever happens, this will be Arvin Ravindran’s best result in poker by a long, long way.  With just a couple of cashes on the live circuit, he is destined to look back on this weekend with immense pride, maybe even the moment where his perseverance in the game of poker translated into a big result in a huge tournament.  The WPT National Event here in London has lit up the Aspers Poker Room, with the glamour of the World Poker Tour and community spirit between Aspers’ loyal player base and partypoker qualifiers dovetailing like a dream.  Now we await crowning only our winner.

Laurence Houghton has 7.7 million chips and the slight lead over his less-experienced opponent holding 6.7 million.  Houghton is looking to progress from being ranked in the top 250 players in English poker history with another title.  He has a loud rail cheering every pot he wins…and he admits that he’s “really excited about this.”  Arvin is no less thrilled to be here, as he says, he’s “very happy with how it’s gone so far.” How well both men might be so proud, they are now battling for the glittering trophy and £27,500 top prize.  2nd place will be awarded £19,400..but who wants that now?

Steve Owens Interview


While we await the pictures, chip-stacks and a few words about our heads-up opponents, check out this interview we did with partypoker qualifier Steve Owens, who finished a very impressive 7th place at the WPT-National UK London.

Holt Halted In 3rd for £12,500 As Heads Up Looms


Darren Holt (pictured) has just made his biggest result ever, and in a completely standard way busted to Laurence Houghton to send the two remaining players heads-up.  With little over 2 million in chips, Holt shoved with J-5 and was called by Houghton’s A-J which held across a dry board to bust the friendly Holt.  He’s played every hand in the spirit of the game, loved every minute of his ride and banks £12,500 for a tremendous run in the tournament.  Now we just have one titanic battle left.  Houghton vs Ravindran – with chip-stacks so close this could be epic.

Let’s bring it on…

Heartbreak River


With four players left, a major, major hand has just sent shockwaves around the Aspers Poker Room here in London for the WPT-National event.  Pre-flop in the blinds, Chaz Chattha in the small blind raised on Arvin Ravindran in the big blind, with Arvin electing to call.  The flop came and Chaz checked.  Arvin bet, and the Team Duffy pro made the call.  The turn came a and Chaz checked.  Arvin made a chunky bet this time… and Chaz shipped the whole lot in.  A quick call from Arvin, who thinks Chaz is bluffing.

Chaz Chattha

Arvin Ravindran

Chaz well ahead with a turned set, and he turns to his girlfriend for support.  He just hopes it holds.  Maybe he prays it holds.  Arvin sits forward in his seat, unable to move.  He’s not at risk, Chaz is, with 3 million playing 3.5 million.  But Arvin knows  this is it. If he loses this pot, his tournament is as good as over.

Then it happens.  the dealer burns one, turns one and an ace slams down onto the river!  Arvin closes his eyes and drops his head in disbelief.  House over house.  Only an ace would do, with a four meaning Chaz would still have a bigger full house.  Two cards could deny him a seven million chip pot, and one of them came in.  The chips are passed across to Arvin.  The two men shake hands and when the gasps, oohs and ahhs from the rail cease, applause rings out for Chaz.  But we can tell, just like anyone could, that though the smile of one of the popular guys at the felt, he can’t hear a single clap – just the rip of the felt when that ace came down.

Chaz Chattha’s tournament ends in a glorious, tumultuous hand and in 4th place for £9,300.

Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000/ante 10,000

Under Pressure…


With blinds now at a frightening level of 80,000 each in the big blind, the pressure is really on to get busy or fall behind.  Laurence Houghton is definitely trying to take control of this table…and succeeding in the most part.  He has grown the stack of 4.8 million by raising most pots pre-flop or on the flop, pushing Holt off a couple and forcing Gareth to adopt a ‘pre-flop or nothing’ attitude.


Here’s how it’s looking…


Laurence Houghton (right) 5.9 million

Arvin Ravindran 3.5 million

Chaz Chattha 3.0 million

Gareth Holt 2.02 million

David Gassian Goes As Houghton Holds


David Gassian’s journey from massive chip leader to finishing fifth has been a painful one – not just for him, an excellent player who just busted but one feels for the whole room.  Here was the looming beast at the battle, the immovable object and one player everyone would be heads-up, waiting for whoever challenged him with the biggest stack, ready to attack.  Over the last hour, his whole tournament fell apart, ending in 5th place for just £6,900, with £27,500 a top prize he can now only look up at ruefully on the television screens around Aspers Poker Room.  This stunning cardroom has played host to unbelievable drama at times this week, but perhaps nothing as cruel as David’s demise.

With every pot he lost, Gassian seemed to shrink in size to his opponents, and through no fault of his own – perhaps that K-5 call apart – the man with half the chips with the infamous five gathered now watches the fab four fight on.

He got his last 1.5 million into the middle with but Laurence Houghton called with and the board ran out and David left to applause from all four corners of the casino as his WPT National assault ended in disaster.  One thing is for sure – every chip leader has experienced it before, but all of them are good enough to come back.


Laurence Houghton – 4.8 million

Chaz Chattha 3.6 million

Gareth Holt 3.2 million

Arvin Ravindran 2.2m

Deal? No Deal.


With the stacks so even, talk inevitably turned to a deal.  but after players looked at both ICM and ‘Chip Chop’ deals, at least three of the players weren’t satisfied with it, and resolved to play on as things stand.  One big hand against a player and talk may be back on, but for now, the game continues as it is… and we can’t get enough of that!


Chaz Chattha 3.5 million

Laurence Houghton (pictured above) 3.1 million

Gareth Holt 3.1 million

David Gassian 2.35 million

Arvin Ravindran 2.1 million

Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000/ante 10,000

The Pendulum Swings


For a long time in this final day, David Gassian has been the man to beat.  Wielding his axe seemingly at will, he has sliced through a lot of the field, with opponents dropping left, right and centre.  Not any longer.  In just a couple of hands, his lead has been almost entirely eroded, and without doubt, the first chinks are appearing in his armour as we are five-handed.

First, Chaz Chattha and Laurence Houghton both peeled off 125k to see a flop with the Frenchman whose adopted home is London…and the live poker felt.  the flop came and Laurence popped in 145k, which Gassian called off, but Chaz raised to 475k! total pressure on both Houghton and Gassian who both folded.

In the next hand, Laurence shoved for 1. million, and Gassian absolutely snap-called him.  Holt and Chattha dodged the drama, but Arvin Ravindran tank-folded…Ace-King!   When the cards were flipped, it didn’t look as crazy a fold as you might think.



“I’m just never up against two other aces there am I?” said Arvin.

The board came out to give Laurence a priceless double and further damage Gassian.

Just now, Gassian has called a shove from Gareth Holt and lost again!  Holt shoved with – Gassian called it off with .  We stop short of calling this a blow-up, but it’s incredible how quickly Gassian has allowed his chip-stack, which looked so impenetrable just thirty minutes or so ago, to disappear.

New chip-counts:

Chaz Chattha – 3.6million

Laurence Houghton – 3.3 million

Gareth Holt – 2.8 million

Arvin Ravindran – 2.4 million

David Gassian – 2.3 million

Bobbie Brummitt OUT in 6th (£5,540)


No sooner had Brummitt outlasted the partypoker qualifier field has he gone.  In a cold deck situation, once again the blessed David Gassian has both skill and fortune in equal measure and has taken all of Brummitt’s 1.8 million chips.

Bobbie and David got it in on the turn after the board has fallen and Bobbie turned over but Gassian held for the flopped straight!  Incredible dealing, and Brummitt must console himself with the added £1,000 package to take part in the WPT National event in Newcastle in May.  Well done, sir!


David Gassian – 7 million

Chaz Chattha – 3.1 million

Laurence Houghton – 1.7 million

Arvin Ravindran 1.5 million

Gareth Holt – 1.5 million

No Strings

Laurence Houghton (pictured) has one of the most vocal rails here.  They’re not simply loud, either, displaying a fair amount of native wit against the man they’re cheering on (to join them at the bar). Laurence is far too experienced a live player to find it anything other than amusing, of course, and everyone is enjoying the spirit in which this final table is taking place.  There may be big money at stake, but there is fun, laughter and excitement on every big hand.  It’s how poker should  be played.

When Laurence got it all in pre-flop with against Gareth holt’s , his friend-group couldn’t resist the needle.

“Thunderbirds are go!” and

“How long did it take you to get a hand in, Thunderbird?” his friends cheer.  If they’re comparing poor Laurence with an inanimate being who is motionless until called into action upon which he saves the day and rescues the mission, well…OK, they have a point. Houghton doubles to 1.8 million through the unlucky Holt, who drops to 800k and short-stack.

Steve Owens OUT in 6th (£4,610)

Steve Owens gave it a tremendous run, but it’s over in 7th place after he ran into a bigger hand pre-flop.  Shoving from mid-position with , he was dismayed to see Chaz Chattha quickly call off the required 385,000 and once the blinds got out of the way, Chattha showed and the board played out to send Steve home.

As well as Steve winning a handsome £4,610 for coming in seventh, that bust-out means Bobbie Brummitt is our last partypoker qualifier, meaning that he’s won a staggering £1,000 package to WPT-National Event in Newcastle on the May Bank Holiday!

Chattha At The Double!


Chaz Chattha (above) hasn’t been too active at the final table, with so many short-stacks around, it doesn’t make sense for those with middle stacks to take risks that might cost thousands of pounds when the chip leader David Gassian is raising most hands.  that said, someone has to stand up to Gassian and take a chunk off him, and the Team Duffy pro has done just that.

Raising to 110,000 in late position, Gassian shoved from the big blind to pile the pressure on Chaz.

“I thought you’d do that.” conceded Chaz with a wrinkle of his nose, a think and a scowl.  He looked at the pot, his opponent and eventually called, turning over .  Gassian and Chattha were racing as the chip leader peeled 700k off his mountain to match Chaz’s stack and it was in the hands of the dealer.  the flop cam – not a bad flop for Chaz at all, but hardly locked up. The turn came the , so any ten, queen or ace spelled the end for the man in the mirrored shades.  but the hopped onto the river, and Chaz can breathe again.  He’s up to 1.4 million, 10% of the chips in play, but a start on his climb up the counts:


David Gassian 5.3 million

Arvin Ravindran 2.3 million

Bobbie Brummitt 1.8 million

Gareth Hotl 1.7 million

Chaz Chattha 1.4 million

Laurence Houghton 1.3 million

Steve Owens 600,000

Level 25 – Blinds 25,000/50,000/ante 5,000

The Final Nine 


With 7 players left, and a top prize of £27,500, everyone at the final table (above) is desperate to get heads-up for the win!

Edjis Cergars OUT in 8th (£3,680)

Edjis waited for the right time to move here at the final table of the WPT-National UK London event….but sadly for him, fold equity was beyond him and he got called and busted by Arvin big stack.  Edjis’ move with was a fine one, but he was only in for 240,000 and that was small change to Arvin Ravindran with .

When the board came out that spelled doom for Edjis, but the partypoker qualifier takes home £3,680 for his weekend’s efforts – a great reward for some top poker throughout the four accumulator days.

James Mitchell OUT in 9th (£2,760)

James Mitchell needed to double to get himself back into a seat of power here at the final table of the Aspers Accumulator format WPT-National event…but instead he is heading home.  The former Irish Open champion was involved in a thrilling three-way all-in as the final table has burst into sudden life!

Steve Owens shoved his small pile of chips (250,000) into the middle in early position.  Mitchell made the move to isolate by re-shipping in the next seat round, and it was folded by Chattha, Ravindran, Houghton and Gassian.  But Gareth Holt called it off, covering Mitchell by just 100,000.

Steve Owens

James Mitchell

Gareth Holt

The flop was fanned fast from the dealer, and it was a dramatic one.   – Mitchell looked doomed as Holt took the lead.  But Owens wasn’t dead – a three would give him the ‘wheel’ straight. The turn came a , totally insignificant apart from ending James’ chances, and he stood, ready to squeeze through the massed fans and friends on the ‘rail’, pressed to the velvet rope, straining for a glimpse of the river…which was the !

A jubilant roar from Owens’ fans at his back, and he sighs with relief.  He trebles his stack to 750,000, while Holt jumps to over a million chips.  The pro, James Mitchell, slinks to the cash desk, a warm clap of applause from Chaz Chattha alone as his fellow professional collects £2,760 for his weekend’s work.

But what’s this? Another all-in and call just a couple of hands later…!

Early Nerves


Everyone seems to be settling down again after their meal at Clary’s post-dinner as the final table kicks off, withn the possible exception of the runaway chip leader, David Gassian.  He’s been the only person to make a big move, re-raising over Chaz’s open to 85k and Arvin’s raise to 185k to a bumper 425k, which got rid of Chattha and Ravindran pretty quickly.

Gareth Holt has got a shove through, as has Edjis Cergars (pictured), but the very same managed to find a fold pre-flop having committed half of his eight big blind stack and he is super-short.

Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/40,000/ante 5,000

Our current level will kick off the final table, with 30 minutes now left on the clock until we enter Level 25.

Final Table Chip-counts

We’ve reached the most crucial stage of the WPT-National London, the final table.  With nine players remaining and around £100,000 still up for grabs, there’s a reason why it’s called the ‘business end’ of the competition.  Aspers have laid on a meal in the stunning Clary’s restaurant here within the casino itself, so while they relax and enjoy 45 minutes away from the intensity of the poker felt, let’s tell you how they stack up and introduce each of our finalists to you.

Seat 1 – Arvin Ravindran – 2,150,000 chips


Arvin is well-known to players on the London circuit in recent months, but having only grabbed two live tournament cashes, he’s in line for his greatest cash to date even if he busts first at the final table.  That looks unlikely, with Arvin currently sitting second in chips with over two million.  He’s played some brilliant, pressurising poker this week and is extremely focused on the win.

Seat 2 – Laurence Houghton – 1,420,000 chips 


Laurence (left) is one of the top 250 players in English poker history, with a consistent run of live cashes.  That said, he’s only had live results three times over the last two years, so this definitely marks a return to form – or appearance – on the live felt.  The last time Laurence reached a live final table it was in The Bahamas, so we’re guessing he might ask for the cocktail menu at Clary’s!







Seat 3 – David Gassian – 5,790,000 chips 


Our massive chip leader, David (right) has 40% of the chips in play with eight men between him and the trophy.  An awesome power at the live felt, David has already won the Winter Classic this year for  £12,500…and is looking to win more than double that later tonight.  Can anyone stop the runaway train that is our final table chip leader?

Seat 4 – Gareth Holt – 685,000 chips 


Gareth (left) has cashed three times on the live felt, and this will be his biggest live cash wherever he finishes.  With 685k, he sounds short, but is actually 6th in chips – will he climb the ladder or go for the win?  We’ll find out when play resumes…


Seat 5 – Bobbie Brummitt – 1,845,000 chips 


Bobbie has been involved in drama right the way through this WPT National event.  He’s given us some classic moments already, and with a decent stack, he still has plenty of time to give us some more in this fabulous finale!




Seat 6 – Steve Owens – 370,000 chips 


With less than ten big blinds, Steve has a wing and a prayer at present, but he’s shown admirable courage thus far and with a great temperament, should he double early, he will be right back in the battle.  Two huge hands on this final day went marginally against him to cost him huge pots…but a chip and a chair is all you need to win!

Seat 7 – James Mitchell – 635,000 chips 


With over $1.5 million in live tournament winnings alone, James Mitchell is one of the most dangerous players you could ever meet at the felt.  Having won the Irish Open in 2010 for over $800,000, James is not fazed by anything at this level, and his fearless nature and locked-down table image could be a brick wall for players to overcome… if he can chip up.  James only has 13 big blinds, so he’ll need to make a move sooner rather than later…but there aren’t many out there better at moves than him.



Seat 8 – Chaz Chattha – 1,070,000 chips 


What more can be said about the Team Duffy pro right now?  Having final tabled just last week, Chaz is feeling in fine form and has over $300k in cashes over the last two years alone.  With titles right across Europe and deeper runs than Luis Suarez, ‘The Chatthabox’ will be talking his way to victory if he can.  He adapted brilliantly last night to switch modes just at the perfect time which earned his place in Day 3…now he’s going all out for the win.  Can he do it?  You’d better believe he wants to…

Seat 9 – Edjis Cergars – 480,000 chips 


Ten big blinds and the ultimate desire to win from being one of the short-stacks, Edjis has played some terrific poker this week, flying under the radar to grind his way through the field.  There’s no doubting he needs help with less than ten big blinds, but the quiet man of the final table has nothing to lose…and everything to win!

Play will resume at approximately 7.30pm.



Goodbye, Mr. Bond!


Yilfer Sheveet is known as ‘Mr. James Bond’ to most of the players here.  He wears a hat that displays the legend ‘Bond’s Poker Club’, and for three days, any table he’s played at has felt his presence.  He has busted to one of the only players who could do it to him, the irrepressible David Gassian.  Gassian, already a huge chip leader here at the WPT National Event in London, is now sitting behind the kind of stack that could obscure ceiling fans.

Yilfer Sheveet (our Bondian hero) and Gassian had built the pot to around 500k by the time the money went in on the turn, by which time the board read .  It was Yilfer who shoved, but he was called instantly by Gassian, and got the bad news when he turned over his cards…

Yilfer Sheveet

David Gassian

Gassian had turned the full house and faded the King-sweat on the river to bust ‘Mr. Bond’ for £2,015.  We’re sure that he will return…but for now, Gassian has more power at the now-forming final table than Goldfinger himself.

~~~~~~~~Final Table Bubble!~~~~~~~~

Finigan’s Wake

James Finigan has left in 11th after losing to Bobbie Brummitt’s Broadway earlier.  His micro-stack went over the line with but couldn’t catch up with and he leaves in eleventh for £2,015 also.

Elsewhere around the two tables, Chaz Chattha doubled from 240k to around 520k when his held against Steve Owens’ , the flop coming to see him safely back in the game although still short.  Owens had previously lost a cold deck hand when his looked good on the turn against Laurence Houghton’s but was rivered as it came – is that the sweatiest flop ever? – then turn – Flush! – and river … where Owens’ hopes came crashing down to Laurence Houghton’s full house. Incredible.

Level 24 – Blinds 20,000/40,000/ante 5,000

Sandra ‘Jaz’ Reid OUT in 12th (£2,015)

Sandra ‘Jaz’ Reid has enjoyed a tremendous time this weekend, and that won’t have been spoiled by her exit hand, which was when she shoved on the turn with after the board came out .  David Gassian called with and the river of saw Jaz go out, the longest lasting lady in the tournament by far.

We spoke to her immediately afterwards in an exclusive interview to ask her about her experience and find out what it feels like to win £2,015 from a sole $1.65 buy-in to the original satellite!

Brummitt Hits Broadway

Bobbie Brummitt has been involved in some terrific hands this week at the WPT-National UK Event in Aspers Casino in Stratford, and that shows no signs of letting up.  He and James Finigan were involved in a raised pot pre-flop that saw the three cards come out . More action, more chips.  The turn card increased the stakes even more after it fell the , but the money went in on the [9d[ river.  When the cards were turned over, James Finigan had for a flopped set, but Bobbie Brummitt showed for Broadway, and that leaves Finigan on fresh air.

Nash Crashes, Diep Departs, Badecker Beaten


Stuart Nash (pictured) William Diep and Andrew Badecker have all crashed out in just five minutes here at the WPT-National London after running a little short.

Will Diep was first to bust of the pair in 15th, when he shoved his pre-flop.  Yilfer Sheveet called it off with and ace-high was enough to boost ‘Mr. Bond’ and his stack in this competition at Aspers in Stratford.

Stuart Nash left in an unfortunate run-in with James Mitchell.  Nash shoved for just 300,000 or so, and with , but   Mitchell peeled some pinks from his chip mountain with [A] and that held to eliminate the overall short-stack.

Andrew Badecker got it in better against James Mitchell. But it didn’t help him one bit.  His last 400k was in the middle with and well ahead of James’ .  The board ran out an agonising to bust Badecker in an ironic 13th position.  All three recent bustees earn £1,645 for their hard work.

Blinds go up again in just five minutes time…

Two Tables Left

There are just fifteen players left in thenhunt for the title now here at Aspers…here are the tables remaining and all the chip-counts:

Table 1 

Arvin Ravindran – 1.5 million

James Mitchell – 1.14 million

David Gassian – 3.05 million

Edjis Cergars – 460,000

Stuart Nash – 352,000

Sandra Reid – 1 million

Andrew Badecker 342,000


Table 2 

Gareth Holt – 1.15 million

James Finigan – 1.13  million

Bobbie Brummitt 1.23 million

Yilfer Sheveet 483,000

Laurence Houghton 586,000

Chaz Chattha 382,000

Steve Owens 955,000

Will Diep 639,000

Pot Of The Tournament


While the remaining 16 players were dividing themselves into the appropriate seats, one hand was still going on.  As it happened, it turned into the biggest hand of the tournament so far, and one that has changed the direction of the competition in stunning fashion.  Alex Tsiroudis was fairly chipped up when he made the move pre-flop, and meeting strong resistance in Daivid Gassian, the two attacking players got the whole lot – 2 million plus in chips – into the middle pre-flop.

Daivid Gassian

Alex Tsiroudis

A huge flip, then, and the flop was devastating to Gassian.   gave Tsiroudis trips and he was huge favourite to take the pot and the lead.  The turn of changed nothing…but the river of the flipped it on its head and gave Gassian a two-outer full house to shift the monster pile of chips his way.  Tsiroudis was one card from the chip lead and instead is OUT of the WPT National Event.  Gassian has three million and an overwhelming chip lead.  Players are taking their seats stunned by that miraculous/disastrous river depending on who you were rooting for!

Triple Threat


In little over an orbit of the three remaining tables, we’ve lost three more players as we move down to just two tables of eight here at the WPT National Event in London’s stunning Aspers Poker Room.

Herve Decker’s comeback crashed on the rocks as he finally bowed out after making a great run at spinning his way back into the game from just one big blind earlier on today.  His was all-in pre-flop against Onise Daneliya’s and couldn’t hit to leave him looking for the cash desk for his £1,235 pay day.

Leaping up the ladder in 18th was Darren Mapley, who was very unlucky to exit in 18th.  His was massive favourite against Arvin Ravindran’s but an ace came to send Mapley’s head spinning.  He cashed for £1,410 but lost that 1.2 million chip pot to give Ravindran what we think is the lead (full chip-counts coming in a few minutes as the two tables are confirmed). Mapley played some top stuff all week, so that bad beat will no doubt sting for some time.  1.2 million chips to nothing in one card hurts.

Finally, Onise Daniyela (pictured above) raised to 78,000 pre-flop, Will Diep re-popped to over 200,000 but then sensationally, Gareth Holt shoved all-in for 446,000.  Only Onise made the call with Diep tank-folding.  He was right to get out of the way, as Holt had and that was miles ahead of Daniyela’s .  The board ran out to bust the man who was chip leader after Day 2 for £1,410.  16 left in the race for the title, and full chip-counts and table positions are coming right up.

Abdul Miah Makes An Exit

Sandra Reid was  the only player not here for the very player-friendly start-time of 3pm, so when she arrived, her plan was probably to settle into her seat and work out who was sat at her table, and how to combat their strengths while exploiting their weaknesses.  Of course, poker doesn’t work like that, and Sandra was involved almost straight away in a massive, million chip-pot that has given her chances a massive boost.

Abdul Miah has played some great stuff this week, and running deep yet again, the Londoner has showed once again his class at the tournament felt.  We joined the action after his all-in raise over Sandra’s bet of 200k on the turn was called.  The board showed and Sandra turned over just . Incredibly, her pocket pair was actually ahead, but Abdul could hardly be more live with , having both the open straight and flush draws.  Sandra faded the whole lot of them on the river, however, to leave Abdul with spare change, which he lost with in the next hand.  Bobbie Brummitt called it off with and a dry board meant ace-high was good enough to send Abdul home in 20th place for £1,235.

Level 23 – Blinds 15,000/30,000/ante5,000



Florian Duta (above) has departed, as have three others.  We have twenty players left from the incredible 700+ field here at Aspers this weekend in the WPT National.  But who will take it down?

Green With Envy


Philip Green and Herve Decker were both looking down at micro stacks on Table 3 – and with 22nd-place meaning that they earn a minimum of £1,235, the momentum was with them both to try and double their way back into the game.

Herve Decker has doubled an astonishing four times since going down to not even one big blind, and now has 250,000 chips (ten big blinds for a few more minutes) after getting there with the worst of it a good few times!

Philip Green was not so fortunate, especially when his couldn’t hold against to bust.  He earns that £1,235 pay day, however, and he’s not going to be the only one departing in the next few minutes as stacks have started looking either very strong or very short.  blinds are going up….

Three Uneasy

Three players have busted in as many hands here at Aspers as Level 22 has started like a train.

Thang Nguyen departed in 24th when his shove with was called by Yilfer ‘Mr. Bond’ Sheveet ‘s .  A jack on the flop did for Thang, who can count himself mighty unlucky.  Sheveet punched the air and yelled ‘Yes!’ as the board ran out with him knocking out Nguyen.

Florian Duta’s tournament came to an end in 23rd place when he lost a ‘coin-flip’ of A-T against Bobbie Brummitt’s jacks and got the rest of it in pre-flop with Q-4 against Sheveet’s J-4 – another jack coming to eliminate the mild-mannered player in Seat 1.

And finally, Rahim Tadj-Saadat (pictured above on Day 2) saw his dreams of the title die as he shoved for 200,000 into a re-shove by Andrew Badecker with . A double-paired board saw Badecker’s ace play and bust the jovial Rahim.  Each of the players leaving us between 22nd-24th place win £1,100.

Early Action For Green


Philip Green – down but not out…yet!

It’s been non-stop since we sat down here at Aspers in the WPT National London.  24 players are left, but no-one wants the next pay-out of just over a thousand pounds – they want the £27,500 top prize.

Philip Green has taken a huge hit to his stack and his chances after being all-in pre-flop against Steve Owens.  Owens had and was racing green’s .  The board played out [Qs to decimate the older gentleman’s stack and boost Owens to around 750,000 – an early double.  Green has since doubled his 88,000 remaining chips with spiking against James Finigan’s but he still has massive work to do with only 8 big blinds to his name.

Level 22 – Blinds 12,000/24,000/ante 4,000

Table Draw

Here are how your finalists line up as Day 3 begins:

Table 1

Arvin Ravindran 909,000

Charles Chattha 674,000

David Gassian 1,182,000

Rahim Tadj-Saadat 473,000

Stuart Nash 524,000

Darren Mapley 905,000

Andrew Badecker 468,000

Alexandros Tsiroudis 765,000


Table 2

Florian Duta 534,000

Bobbie Brummitt 341,000

Thang Nguyen 330,000

Edijs Cergars 283,000

Yilfer Sheveet 496,000

Sandra Jaz Reid 657,000

Laurence Houghton 721,000

James Mitchell 843,000


Table 3

Gareth Holt 400,000

James Finigan 576,000

Herve Decker 439,000

Abdul Miah 517,000

Onise Daneliya 564,000

Phil Green 748,000

Steve Owens 365,000

Anh Will Diep 889,000


The Final Countdown


We are getting ready for the kick-off of the partypoker WPT National UK Event here in London, England as 24 players will beging their assault on the title from 3pm. 

You can follow all the live updates, photography, interviews and much more right here, and if you want to know what happened on Day 2 , then check out the full report here.

With players such as Daivid Gassian, Abdul Miah and Chaz Chattha gathered to fight for the £27,500 prize, the poker is expected to be of the highest standard when play begins in around half an hour.

Who’s YOUR winner?

Take On Pokerfest!

Now take all of above and go crush it at Pokerfest! Yes that’s right it’s back, bigger and better than ever before!  Running from the 2nd-16th March, 2014 Pokerfest is a 15-day online poker series packed with 67 events!  And with more than $1 million in guaranteed prize pools this could be your one time!


1 Comment

  1. rod macdermott on

    The WPT story

    Kicking off on Thursday 27th
    February, 2014, we had the WPT Party Poker Tour at Aspers Casino in West
    Stratford, London. First prize, just under £28,000; bubble on 55th
    place with 54th getting the starting payout at £750 and increasing
    thereafter. There’s three flights of qualification, (or separate tournaments),
    with over 900 runners in total before the final few go through to the last two
    days on Saturday and Sunday.

    So it’s absolutely packed when I
    get there: TV cameras are hovering, celebrity poker players are flirting; the
    champagne is flowing and the gorgeous glamour models are all pouting for the
    punters. I sit at my first table of the tournament with old Barny Boatman from
    the Hendon Mob, three seats to my right. Oh good, some healthy competition I
    think; swimming with the big fish: I like it. There’s the usual serious-faced
    guys with shades, headphones and hoodies; the old grey-haired veterans with
    strange dress sense; and of course the cool dudes, like me. My first bit of
    action arises in the shape of AK, which I raise to x3. Blinds are only at the
    second level, 100-200, and with a starting stack of 20,000 I don’t want to get
    in too deep just yet: keep it small is my strategy at this point. The flop
    comes down a rainbow of Q, 10, 6, and the other two players in the hand are
    Boatman and a serious young dude from the blinds with immaculately groomed,
    floppy, coiffed hair. They both check to me. The thought of a c-bet here did
    raise my mind, but I decided against it. Dangerous, I hear you cry? Maybe so,
    but the King then came on the turn to make it even more dangerous, as well as
    giving me a good hand. ‘Ah Ace King is good now,’ mused Boatman looking over at
    me. He then checked after the other player, expecting me to bet out. I checked.
    ‘Mm, maybe not then,’ he said, turning to look at the river card that had just
    come down: an 8. Young floppy head who’s first to act, decides to bet out just
    under 6,000. Oh man. Really? Boatman folds, and I’m not happy about this spot.
    But hold on, I think; that bet is way too big to entice someone if he has indeed
    caught the straight or the two pair. After all, I didn’t show any strength on
    any of the cards that came down. He can’t think I’d call it. In fact, he doesn’t
    want me to call it does he? A bluff maybe? I call, and I was right – he was
    bluffing: The young cad. He looks down miserably at his stack that has now been
    decimated by his loose play against me and a few others before, while I, with
    renewed confidence, go on to win the next few hands, building up my stack to
    about 30,000. I may have played the hand wrong, but then I did induce a large
    bet from an opponent on the end. Also Boatman complimented me on checking the
    flop, because he had a queen and expected me to bet, so he could come over the
    top. And that, ladies and gentlemen, would have really pissed me off.

    Now, I have a question for you –
    or rather two questions. Picture the scene: You have QQ on the button. The guy
    two to your right raises x3 to 600. Instead of raising him, (probably the
    correct move), you elect to call, maybe thinking of getting more money from him
    after the flop. The flop comes down A, A, 6. He bets out 2,000. You call. The
    turn brings a 10. There’s no flush draw. He checks. Thinking now that he can’t
    have the third ace, you bet 600. He then re-raises to 3,000. Firstly, what hand
    does he have? Secondly, what do you do? This was the situation that I found
    myself in very shortly after my confident streak and it really put a cooler on
    me. Why? Because I folded didn’t I. And that really bugged me for about an hour
    after. Did he really have the ace? Why check-raise when the 10 came on the
    turn? It’s an unusual play in that spot, and if you would like to email me your
    thoughts I look forward to reading them. Inevitably I played the hand wrong
    from start to finish, and on hindsight, I guess I should have called his
    re-raise as he may have had K, 10. But, truth is, I don’t know.

    Anyway, shortly after, I had to
    move seat to the feature table no less, right on show for all the public, with
    all the banners, backdrops and busybodies flitting around, getting involved
    with the cameras and what not – everyone looking important in the open VIP
    lounge behind me, with their Apple laptops and free buckets of champagne. And
    what was worse, in terms of my concentration levels, wasn’t so much the
    distraction caused by all the interested public as they stopped to gawp at our
    table, but the multitude of top glamour models milling all around me. With
    their low-cut grey Party Poker dresses and bulging cleavage, I couldn’t really
    focus much with what was happening on our table, as much as what was going on
    around it. My neck was aching as I kept turning to look at the pair that wasn’t
    the two cards in front of me. An on going and major distraction for the next
    two hours ensued. At the very end of my time at this very difficult table to
    focus upon, I get every poker player’s dream starting hand: the AA. Opposite me
    was a greasy lank-haired individual, who was the type of player that finds it
    impossible not to be involved in most hands. He was a bit of a slob, and after
    his customary pre-flop raise, I decided that I was going to do the old
    two-stage all in; praying that he wouldn’t hit the lucky trips or two pair. I
    had position on him so I called his raise, and the flop came down J, 9, 2, and
    a possible flush draw with two of the cards being spades. He raised, as he
    always did, and I shoved, certain that he’d call my all-in. He agonisingly did
    all the pot-odds working out before showing everyone that he wasn’t really
    happy to make the call, but he was going to do it anyway. He turned over a 9,
    7, and I held my breath, hoping that the next two cards to come wouldn’t be the
    dreaded 7, (or the 9 for that matter, but I didn’t think about that one).
    Fortunately he didn’t hit that 20 percenter, and I moved table again to the
    quiet corner of the venue, which suited me just fine after all that bustling

    As soon as I sat down I felt
    relief, as this was the kind of table I enjoyed most: one where there are no
    loose cannons raising every hand, or calling my every raise. So for the next
    three hours I played probably the most enjoyable poker of my tournament
    experience. This table was to be my final one for the day. I played some good
    poker, but whatever chips I won, was nicked off me by some Chinese dude who
    kept stealing my blinds from the button. Eager as I was, unfortunately I didn’t
    find a situation where I was able to play back at him. One time I did get
    pocket twos and would’ve gone for it, but there was an all in I think from the
    small blind. Then, before I knew it, it was past midnight and the announcer
    informed everyone that it was the final few hands for the day. Hooray. I had
    made it through the flight and into the penultimate day of the tournament,
    although I wasn’t too happy about my chip count – a little over 30, 000.
    Immediately a situation occurred when I called from early position with K,Q,
    off suit, and this guy on a short stack with a terrible hair cut and an even
    more ridiculous moustache pushed all in: he must’ve had about 20,000, and the
    pot was already nice as there were a few other callers after him. All the other
    players folded and it was left to me. Now, normally in this spot I would fold,
    figuring that he was definitely ahead. However there was one factor that made
    me call: the following day I had tickets booked to see a show, and I knew if I
    was to come back here to the casino and let my friend down, I really needed
    more chips to make it worthwhile, (I’d double booked myself, don’t ask). It was
    a case of ‘go big or go home.’ If I got lucky and won, I’d come back; if I
    lost, I’d go to the show with my friend and forget about the last 10K that I’d
    have had left. It wouldn’t have lasted long with the blinds at 600/ 1200
    anyway. So call I did, and when he turned over pocket tens my coin flip KQ
    wasn’t in all that bad shape. Catching the Queen on the river, I increased my
    stack to a healthy 60K and sent the poor guy home. ‘Serves you right for having
    such a ridiculous moustache,’ said one guy opposite me as the poor guy left.
    ‘Well at least you won’t have to see it tomorrow now,’ said another laughing.
    Talk about kick a man when he’s down.

    So we broke for the day and I
    left with about as many chips as everyone else had on my table. It felt like it
    had been a long session, but knowing that the next day resumed at 2pm, it was
    going to be nothing in comparison, so I’d better get a good night’s sleep.

    Walking out through the deserted
    Westfield shopping mall at quarter past one in the morning, trying to find my
    way out of the damn place with all the locked exit doors, I had a feeling of
    real excitement knowing that tomorrow I stood a good chance in the tournament.
    I would just have to give my friend a bell in the morning and let him down

    Saturday morning was really
    beautiful. With all the rain we’ve had since Christmas it was so refreshing to
    see a bright sunny day, the bluest of skies, and this sense of Spring in the
    air filled me with Optimism as I headed back to Westfield. It was surprising
    when I got there as there wasn’t half the commotion of the night before. I’d
    have thought that the hype would be greater as the tournament progressed not
    less so. I arrived ten minutes late and you could feel that the atmosphere was
    very subdued; it was a lot quieter, no one shouting, just the clicking of chips
    throughout the 30 tables or so that were left. It reminded me of those morning
    tournaments I used to wake up for in Vegas last year.

    Sitting down at my seat I found
    we were playing 6 handed. Another unusual situation what with 300 players still
    left. To my amazement there was a great pile of chips in the middle and 3 of
    the players were all in. ‘Has it been like this since the start,’ I joked to
    the player on my left. ‘Yeah, he replied, ‘This geezer’s been all-in every hand
    since the start,’ he replied, jerking his thumb in the direction of a
    bald-headed man to his left, ‘I think he’s got a plane to catch.’ I thought he
    was exaggerating but sure enough, for the next twenty hands the bald man
    announced ‘all-in’ every single time – even if someone had raised or gone
    all-in before him. And to my astonishment, every time someone got their stack
    in with him, they lost it with the best hand. I counted five times when he was
    behind and ended up doubling up, either sending the player home or crippling
    his stack. It was unbelievable. On one occasion he did actually have pocket
    nines which held up, but on all the other times he had complete junk: 10, 2 –
    9, 3 – Q, 4. I don’t think he was even looking at any of his cards as he
    jabbered away into his mobile phone in a language I didn’t understand. He was
    probably saying ‘yeah, don’t worry, I’m going to be about ten minutes, maximum,
    I’ll see you soon.’ Why would he go through all the rigmarole of getting
    through the first day, only to just throw it all away on the second? I couldn’t
    understand it, but I know that this was as good a spot as any to double up my
    60K. I’d only been there a short time and if he bust me out, like he did the
    other six players, then at least I’d have the whole day left to myself. I may
    still be able to catch that show…

    AQ suited came along. OK, this
    was the one. I called the blind, as I was worried that he might fold if I
    raised, (even though he hadn’t folded once so far). Sure enough, he then raised
    all in. Pulling a face I sighed, ‘well, I can’t say I’m surprised.’ Some slight
    Hollywoods going on from me, probably unnecessary, but another player with half
    my stack did then push all his chips in, so it may have been to some avail.
    Bald man’s luck finally ran out as my AQ won against his J,8, and the short
    stack’s A,6. I found myself with a monster stack for the first time this
    tournament. All of a sudden I was the chip leader and felt elated. I could
    start pushing people around, and glancing up at the screen to see that just
    over 200 players were left, I was sure that I’d now make the top 54. Just as I
    got my phone out about ten minutes later to spread my good news, another
    situation occurred when an Indian chap with about 50/60K pushed all in, and I
    look down to see QQ. I had by now around 160K and I had to think what the
    chances were of him having Kings or Aces – even the AK for a coin flip. Did I
    want to go from this superior position to a mere above average stack, before my
    throne was not yet warm? After some deliberation I surmised that he may not
    have those 3 dreaded hands, as he was under the gun, and as the blinds were now
    1000/2000 he could indeed feasibly be pushing all in with worse. So I called.
    Then, to my disgust, the player on my left goes all in – he’s the other big
    stack at the table with a little over 100K. Oh man, I was now getting better
    than four to one odds and had to call even if he has Kings or Aces, which was
    likely. He turns over AK. The fool! Perhaps he perceived my deliberation as a
    sign that my hand was weaker. I was right about the Indian chap though – he had
    A,10, and I would’ve been happy to have been just up against him. Only the King
    is the real threat I’m thinking, as their Aces together mean less outs. Then
    the fool goes and hits not one but two Kings. I can’t believe it: Hero to zero
    within the first half an hour of me being tournament King Pin. I sadly put my
    phone away: there’ll be no happy texts or tweets now by Jove.

    I once met Phil Hellmuth at this
    very same card room during the 2012 Olympics, (Westfields overlooks the Olympic
    stadium if you didn’t know). He gave me some very helpful advice. He told me that
    whenever he wins a big hand or takes a big loss, he gets up from the table and
    goes for a little walk for ten minutes. This helps him to retain an objective
    perception and makes him avoid going on tilt. I did the same; went to the bar,
    bought a Jack Daniels, then out onto the balcony for a smoke. ‘OK, I’m just
    back to where I started at the beginning of the day,’ I thought. After not
    seeing anyone familiar to unfold my bad beat story to, I returned to find 3 new
    players at the table – we had finally resumed 9 handed play.

    For the next 4 hours I remained
    the small stack, constantly in the red zone, while two of these new players
    raised and re-raised every single hand. If being the big stack and pushing
    people around is the most enjoyable part of the game, then this situation is
    the worst – having to wait for a hand in the hope of a double up. Calling is
    out of the question, as there’d be a raise. It’s a case of fold or shove. A lot
    of players would just shove it all in here with any half decent hand, hoping to
    get the awful situation over with. I however have come back from this spot to
    win so many times that I don’t think hastiness is the best approach. Patience,
    I think, becomes tested in this spot more than at any other time in the game.
    Sure enough, I eventually moved seat to a much more agreeable table where I
    managed to claw some chips back, and for the first time in over four hours
    there became a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. I looked up at the
    screen. 70 players left. Mmm, I might just be able to salvage this and make the
    cash. Then I caught the eye of a friend who had come down to play roulette with
    his girlfriend earlier, and was now walking over to say goodbye. Getting up I
    said my farewells to them, only to return and be told by some adolescent
    upstart in a suit, that I was to be penalised for the next 3 hands for leaving
    my seat before it was my turn to act. What? Not even a warning!

    So I get a penalty. A 3 handed
    penalty, where I have to sit out. Moaning to anyone who will listen the table
    breaks, and I find myself sitting next to the gorgeous Kara Scott who tells me
    in her sexy Canadian accent that I do look like a villain so she ‘totally
    understands’ why I have been penalised. I’m allowed to look at the 3 hands I
    have to muck, and the last of them is the AJ, which I would have definitely
    pushed with. I turn a slight shade of green as two other players go all in
    after my turn and I would’ve won the hand. Shortly after this, I find QQ in the
    hole, and it is poetic justice that the guy who I doubled up my monster stack
    with, 5 hours before, doubles me up with his 88. If only he could’ve given me
    back as many chips as I gave him earlier.

    There’s 65 players left. Only ten
    more to go before the cash starts. I view my chips and ruminate on the toss up
    between rocking up to make the cash, or having to make the move before being
    blinded out. At this point the beautiful Kara does a very strange move. She’s
    been waiting, waiting, waiting, and then pushes her entire stack in from the
    cut-off. Now, she still had a few chips and didn’t have to make that move, so
    I’m amazed when the blinds call her, and she turns over an unsuited Q, 5.
    Surely if you try to steal you have to have ‘something.’ That is nothing but a
    junk hand. But then, who knows? Maybe she thought she could either catch the
    plane back to Canada before it gets too late, or go big into the final day. A
    bit like my own reasoning from the night before. Anyway the unlucky vixen gets
    busted, and before I know it, we’re playing hand-to-hand with 55 players left
    in the tournament. Some guy on the table behind is going into one, and can be
    heard across the whole room. ‘You fucker!’ he screams at an old man with a woolly
    hat and a cap on over it. ‘You show me some fucking respect!’ he wails. The old
    man told him if he keeps raising a certain person’s blind then he was going to
    re-raise every time. ‘Don’t you fucking talk to me – you show me some fucking
    respect!’ he continued his tirade as he paced like a tiger up and down at the
    end of his table. ‘Don’t even look at me fuckar! I mean this guy was so loud
    and aggressive that he had the whole hall peering over, and it was a bit
    distressing, as this poor old guy seemed to be taking it without getting
    ruffled. Was it really necessary to swear at the top of your voice at someone
    in their sixties? And where was the cowardly, suited adolescent who gave me a
    warning? Why wasn’t he over there giving the loud mouth a warning? The fuckar.

    What happened next was awful. The
    play slowed down so much that we were playing one table at a time, which took
    about 15 minutes per hand. The chip leader refused to offer 55th
    place a deal so this rigmarole went on for over an hour. It was the most
    frustrating thing that I’ve ever experienced in poker. The chip levels went
    from 4000/ 8000, to 5000/ 10, 000 to 8,000/ 16,000. The antes were up to 2,000.
    Each hand was taking so long, nobody was allowed to get out of their seats: 3
    players did so and received penalties. And then, I could feel the players on
    other tables straining to see how my chips were dribbling away into nothing. They
    were like vultures, hovering around until their prey keeled over. And keel over
    I did. My fingertips slipped from the cliff after going card dead at this oh so
    crucial juncture. Being forced to go all-in with some junk, I put my jacket on
    and when I finally lost, spread my arms wide and shouted out ‘Bubbllleeee’ to
    the remaining hall. Surprisingly they all gave me such a huge round of
    applause, I felt like I’d just played Hamlet at the National Theatre or
    something. The head of poker at Aspers then came over and offered me a free
    ticket to the next WPT competition in Newcastle as a consolation: So, not all
    that much of a disaster after all. At least I’ll get a freebie on the May bank
    holiday, which is the date it takes place.

    And so my friends, watch this
    space for my next encounter up north in May, where I can drink some Newkey
    Brown Ale and have another pop at taking down that 30K. And if I can’t do that,
    then let us hope I’ll be able to at least pop that damn bubble.