Tony 'Tikay' Kendall

Tony 'Tikay' Kendall

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Best and Worst from the WSOP.


Hello again.

Time to reflect on some past Bluff Europe musings of mine, so I can claim my rightful place as one who knows poker better than most. Off we go then.
In my June piece, I wrote that I was sure the Brits would get a bunch of WSOP Bracelets. After 61 Events, the Brits have exactly one. That’d be a very small bunch then.

I also said Chris Brammer is a lock for most British cashes. Last I heard, he had not been sighted at the WSOP. Non-runner, no bet?

I did at least suggest Ryan Spittles, my analyst colleague at Sky Poker, would be the surprise package. Three WSOP cashes so far this year, including a final table. Watch that lad, he will win a biggie, and very soon. There you go, the insta-bok is in place.

Colman’s mustard

Well what a thing that was – as you will have seen elsewhere in this magazine, Dan Colman won the One Drop for 15 milly, an astonishing performance, well done him, and then proceeded to tell us that the world of poker was a bad place. Thanks for that, Dan. We won’t discuss that though, it’ll have been done to death by the time you read this.

But the real irony was that photo of him, standing in front of $15 million, before scuttling off and refusing all interviews, which, of course, is his perfect right. Now, look closely at that photograph. In the background, there is a man who had just come 2nd, after a four-outer gutshot arguably cost him $7 million, waffling away merrily to the poker media with a smile on his face. He was, of course, Daniel Negreanu.

So far this Series, Daniel – Negreanu, not Mustard man – has 9 cashes, including 6 Top Tens, 2 runner-up spots, and about $8.5 million in cashes.
He’s made himself available to the poker media 24/7, smiles readily, & never once turned down a chance to big up poker.

I nominated him last month as arguably the best Poker Pro we have. Not a bad shout, huh?

Actually, not so fast. Watch your back Danny, watch your back.

TK August 1

By George, I think he’s got it.

Worry not, I’ve not gone all George Bernard Shaw on you, I’m thinking George Razzling Dazzling Danzer.

I mentioned him in my last piece, too, after he binked a bangle.
Now he’s gone and got another, so after 60 odd events, it is Dazzling Danzer 2, Brits 1. In fact, Germany have THREE Bracelets so far this year, and we got a bit of a pasting from the Germans there. Worry not though, we can have a Last Longer with Germany in the World Cup. Oh... wait.

As luck would have it, late in the WSOP I shared a table with George for 5 or 6 hours.

Impressed, VERY impressed. Great table presence, warm and friendly, takes his beats like a grown-up, more than enough gamble, and game to die for.
Might just be the Best Sponsored Pro we have. Sorry Danny, I’m a fickle so and so.

Really, and I mean no offence to Mr Mustard, but in my personal view, poker is best served by folks like George; people who help us all enjoy the world of poker and help us want to play more of it. Get the PR drum out, bang it loud and hard. And that includes YOU.

Tikay August 2

Best & Worst of Vegas 2014
Well there were some highs & some lows, but Vegas at WSOP time is all good really, it’d be daft to say otherwise.

Saddest News

Has to be poor Chad Brown, who eventually succumbed, but did so with such dignity and so bravely. RIP Chad.

Most Missed

The sheer number of Brits who never made the trip this year. I have no idea why that was, but they were much missed, and for all the noise and hoohah they have been known to make, Vegas was poorer for their absence. Next year, be there, right?

Best (Non-Brit) Performance

Easy, Dazzling Danzer, and it’s not even close.

Best WSOP Tourney

Has to be the Monster Stack, and the sheer miracle of getting over 7,800 players to start in a single day. Good for poker? You bet.

Best Brit Performance

Three nominees, but only one winner.

Richard Ashby tried his heart out, 6 cashes, 4 x Top Tens, including a 2nd place, and the bloke never stopped trying. But that’s OK, the man has plenty more bracelets in him, and he’s my 2015 WSOP Fantasy League banker.
John Kabbaj bagged his 2nd bracelet, I truly doubt anyone would begrudge John his moment, as he’s had a tough few years, but all is well in the Kabbaj world again. Like.

My award, though, goes to Posh Lynne (pictured).
Yes, Lynne Beaumont, (is she related to the Princess of Cambridge?) made the final table in that magnificent Monster Stack.

She collected $273,000 for 6th place, and I went googling out of curiosity to see her poker CV.

She has a quite remarkable record in Las Vegas, with no less than 43 tournament cashes there, including SEVEN tournament victories to her credit, of which, and this must be almost unprecedented for a Brit, SIX wins were at the Wynn.

She finished 11th in last year's WSOP Ladies Event for $9,805, and chopped the Seniors @ Golden Nugget last year for just north of $12,000.

I don’t know too many Brits, let alone Lady Brits, who can boast that record.

With apologies to Chufty, Kabbaj, and all the other Brits, Beaumont gets the nod in a photo-finish.

Tikay August 3

Best Vegas Touristy Thing

35 minutes drive from Las Vegas, there is a snow resort. Yes, they ski there. On proper snow.

It’s called Spring Mountain, aka Mount Charlston.

Lush vegetation, pine trees, wildlife, and a distinct feel of the Scottish Highlands. And just over half an hour, by car, from the Strip.
Go visit, you’ll be amazed.

Away from the tables, my favourite day in Las Vegas ever.

Best Razzmatazz

In the final minutes before all WSOP Events start, they play sort of rumpy-pumpy marching music over the PA to sort of rev everyone up.

Yes, it’s cheesy, and yes, it’s the USA, where they have the extraordinary notion that people should be entertained.

But my oh my, it works, it really does.

I can’t describe the tune in writing, but think of The Archers sig tune revved up, add a few bells and whistles, and you are there.

rumpy pumpy rumpy pump, rumpy pumpy rump rump.

Then comes…..Shuffle Up and Deal.

It’s the best.

Which will be the first British poker venue to try a bit of that? It’s entertainment.

King for a day

I love this part, I do this daydreaming thing every day.

- Ban summer, the World Cup, and Wimbledon. They depress online poker traffic something shocking. Roll on Autumn, cold nights and hot water bottles.

- More poker on TV. It just needs revving up a bit, more chat, more banter, it’d be the best thing ever if we could re-ignite those Late Night Poker vibes from all those years ago.

- Ban iPads at the poker table. I’m as guilty as any with this one, but it’s getting out of hand. Nine people sat there in silence, all tap-tap-tapping away, and not a bit of eye-contact. They are so good, those tablets, but there's a time and place. We could even, you know, start talking to each other, just like grown-ups do.

- More women. Thought you’d like that, but I mean in poker. I played a WSOP PLO Event, and I doubt that 1% of the field were female. Why is that? Come on Posh Lynne, show them the way.

- More fun. Yes, I keep repeating that, but I think we need to put the F-word back into poker.

That’s me done, you take care now.

Tikay August 4

Tags: Tony Kendall, Tikay, columnists, WSOP, George Danzer, Richard Ashby, John Kabbaj, Lynne Beaumont, Daniel Colman