16 December 2005

London Poker Day I: Meeting Poker Bloggers and Porn Stars

Meeting a poker blogger for the first time can be high risk. When I told my wife I was going to meet pokersweethome and his wife, she told me to be sure they didn't kidnap me. I mean, who is a poker blogger? First, they have to at the least be in the same neighborhood as the degeneratzia of the world. They are possibly either a geek, a loser, or gay. They could be criminals, even a cello-playing Baptist bank robber. They often smoke alot, drink alot, search for pocket change in friend's sofas. They're obsessed with getting sucked out on the river, can't believe people call raises with 58o in the big blind, on and on and on. And they are either vergins, divorced seven times, or frequenters of prostitutes or stip clubs.

So I get an email from pokersweethome saying that he and his wife live near my hotel, they're flying out of town Saturday, and do we want to hook up? Now, mrspokersweethome has recently been contemplating a part-time career in the fast growing porn industry, so I don't know if pokersweethome means that they'd like to meet or if they are some sort of swinger couple looking for someone to film them or join them. Well, we meet at a Christmas concert in Trafalgar Square, which was great, then head to the local Maida Vale pub. Well, one data point does not a trend make, but these two bloggers were great to meet. I can't speak to their poker skills, but pokersweethome is a great guy (although he is a Canadian), and his wife, well, I think she knows everyone in London (or at least in Maida Vale) and is just great. The only really strange part of the evening was the oboe d'amour player, who was a cross between the Star Wars band oboe player and either Anita Baker or Joe Cocker swaying back and forth. I guess oboists need some love too. Thanks for giving up an evening, pokersweethome and mrspokersweethome, and it's great to have a couple of new friends across the pond.

Watching EdTV, which I had forgotten about. Very good flick.

Anyways, back to poker. I'm now an official member of two London card rooms, the Gutshot Poker Club and Grovesnor Victoria Casino. Gutshot is the famed club of Tiffany Williamson, who finished in 15th place as the last lady standing in this year's WSOP Main Event--turning twenty pounds into $400,000. Tiffany has been bashed heavily for bad play, although I think her reputation is more due to ESPN editing than anything. Anyway, Gutshot is a hard core dive, with a small room of eight or so computers with online players in front of them, as well as a few other players adjacent to the bar. It is a bit surreal to see railbirds watching, commenting, and coaching a player during a SNG. The basement has about ten or twelve round poker tables, each with the name of some poker legend in the middle. Tourneys seem to be what Gutshot is all about, with self-dealt play in the twenty-pound freezeout that was going on. Pot limit ring games break out later in the night, although I'll have to see it. Grosvenor Victoria (sorry about the spelling above) is a nicer, more elegant setting. It has a sharp casual attire (no sweats, tattered jeans, etc.). I went past the roulette and blackjack tables (half a dozen blackjack tables and three or four roulette tables). The poker room seemed similar to the smaller rooms, with maybe six-eight tables. Again, tourneys seem to rule the day, with PL Omaha and Hold Em also being spread later in the day. Early in the day and not a player in sight.

I'll try to hit one of the tourneys tomorrow, either the 80 pound freezeout at the Grosvenor Victoria or the 100 pound freezeout at the Gutshot.


Blogger kurokitty said...

Totally cool!

Re: Amsterdam, Mark has a brief comment on his blog at http://surlypokergnome.blogspot.com/2005/12/back-in-business.html. You can also find his email on the blog, send him a msg for a more detailed reply. Basically there were tourneys and two cash tables at the Holland Casino...

10:00 PM  

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