DOWN UNDER

Hi Again,

In the first article I promised to keep you informed of how the 2004 schedule was going for me. So we will give the lessons a break this week, and give you a little more opportunity to break even in the 50c/$1 game. (No, you can’t move up to 20/40 game yet. And stop playing that off-suit A7 after a raise. You know it keeps getting you into trouble.)

It’s been a hard life since giving up my 70 hours a week as an IT Consultant. I really miss getting up at 7:30, working late, long weekends, meaningless meetings and dead important deadlines. This particularly weighed heavy on my mind at the start of the year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get totally hammered on New Years Eve, because I had a flight to catch on New Years Day. Well three actually. Birmingham to Dubai to Singapore to Melbourne. Ho hum, the sacrifices we have to make.

When we finally arrived in Melbourne, we settled into bed about 4am Aussie time for some much needed sleep. Only for the phone to go 2 hours later. Channel 9 breakfast TV wanted me to do a live interview, errr, in 45 minutes time. No kiddin. Fair dinkum mate. So dragging myself out of bed and down to the riverside, I got asked some pretty banal questions via a sat link hook up, apparently by some absolute babe, who I couldn’t see. Not ideal for sparkling repartee… As it happens the interview lasted about 3 minutes before the Aussie Deus himself, walked out at the SCG to inspect the pitch for his final test. Surprisingly, Channel 9 abruptly cut off from me and Bendigo Sloan (Billy the Croc hadn’t managed to get outta bed), and went straight over to watch some Waugh twin geezer poke about in the dirt. There’s just no accounting for taste.

Down under, my poker year started less successfully then I would have liked. One lowlight was murdering a mountain of chips in one Omaha comp. to Howard 'the baseball bat' Plant from… Blackpool, Lancashire. My excuse being I just had to get to the toilet fast. Food poisoning at it’s finest kept me on the (marble) floor of my Crown bathroom suite for the next half day or so.

I did manage to squeeze my way through to a couple of Final Tables, which prevented the trip from being a complete financial disaster. Again I got carried away playing too many hands (the greatest poker mistake of them all) in the Omaha final and crashed out in the consolation prize money. I did a little better in the PLH but unfortunately didn’t get the rub of the green and had to settle for a fourth spot. But a whole three weeks without a podium finish doesn’t put food in the fridge!

The trip was worthwhile for one reason alone though: the aussies themselves. Jason Grey, The Croc, Bendigo, The Kouiss brothers, all great fun. The best nickname I’ve ever come across: Dog Meat George. Yes, they do call him that. The biggest personality of them all though, was Mick Stanton: the greatest plethora of chat up lines you will ever hear uttered by a 56 year old anywhere in the world. Every two hours or so, he would bring along a couple of sheila’s, and introduce them to the world’s poker players. The rumour was, that Crown had to install a revolving door in his room to reduce the door banging and save the hinges.

But as they say, having fun doesn’t put food in the fridge. And as you should be able to see from the accounts, I had to go without towards the end of Jan.

 

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