BLOG – We can has a UK poker boom?

 BLOG – We can has a UK poker boom?

Monday, 6 September 2010

The British pros have brought back five WSOP bracelets; three EPT titles and now EPT Deauville champion Jake Cody adds a WPT bracelet to that list. Factor in the poker bonanza occurring this month in London and conditions are ripe for UK poker becoming very profitable indeed.

Last week, Toby Lewis beat a record-breaking field in Vilamoura, Portugal, to claim victory over a final table including Sam Trickett and Teddy Sheringham and win Britain the third EPT title of 2010 after Liv Boeree’s San Remo win and… oh, one Jake Cody’s $1.1m victory in Deauville. Yes, the same Jake Cody who just won £275,000 for his win at the first ever WPT London Classic.

So that’s five bracelets, a WPT title and three EPTs in Britain this year. Is it just me or are we getting a lot better at poker than we are at any other form of international competition? London is reflecting our poker ability at the moment with the packed out Festival of Poker occupying a full month in the capital with dozens of events ranging from the £750 two-day deepstack events going on at Bluff Europe’s cardroom at The Mint to the £10,000 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event. Throw in the English Poker Open and the European Poker Tour London/UKIPT Finale and it’s getting pretty busy.

To sum up – this year our established pros have won millions and eight major titles AND we’re hosting some of the biggest poker events in the world over the next month. This, plus some events at Poker in the Park that reminded me just how awful some people are at poker, means I have
never wanted a poker boom more. One that is solely confined to the UK will do nicely, thanks – I don’t want those Yanks stealing our glory.

At Bluff Europe’s spectacularly fun Poker in the Park event I was at the Black Belt Tuition table (free lessons from a pro at a nine-handed table for 45 minutes playing a 100BB deep tournament mock-up) and there were some people that caught my eye. In the first hand I limped 7h-8h for 50 out of my 5,000 stack after the under the gun limper had seen three callers. Why on earth did I not raise? I always raise in those spots; I was in the cut-off. As it was the button made it 275 with Q-4o and took it down before the flop which made me realise he was decent and the under-the-gun player was awful.

The guy to the left of the under the gun player made me want to play more live poker. When we were discussing what a raise could be on a Q-7-4 board the pro (whose name I forget) made the fairly obvious statement that “it’s difficult for a pre-flop raiser in middle position to have two pair on this board. He won’t have Q-7 or 7-4 much will he?” The smartly-dressed fish (SDF) said: “Possibly, possibly… because no one thinks he has it that’s why he plays it.” People think like this. Live players are awful. I’ve said it before but I really, really need to get down to The International now that they do £0.25/£0.50 cash games. They must be softer than a down pillow who is consistently mocked by his peers for being a sissy and writing poetry.

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