Tony Kendall

Tony Kendall

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Tikay heads to Vegas.


Nothing stirs the poker player's heart more than Vegas. It's a proper "x sleeps to go" affair, and I'm like a kid awaiting Christmas morning or a seaside holiday.

Once again, I managed to get there this year. As I write this piece, I'm sitting in the WSOP Media Centre, Media Pass round my neck, wandering in and out of the Rio Cardrooms and looking at all the faces and names gathered together. What a life. Truly, I love every moment of it.

I gawp at Phil Ivey one minute, Phil Hellmuth the next, Little Danny with his hair makeover. I can't help staring, even though my Dad always told me it's rude to stare. If you've not done Vegas yet, please, try your best to get here in 2015. You won't regret it... it's the best thing ever.

Best Sponsored Poker Pro in the world?

Well, what does a sponsored poker pro have to do? Let's list a few things.
Play the game to a very high standard.

Set an example with their demeanour on and off the table to poker players generally.

Try and raise the profile of the game via social media.

Make themselves available to the hordes of media for interviews and the like.

Keep their nose clean. (And I don't mean with a hanky.)

Understand, more than anything else, "Message" – a commodity which almost nobody in poker seems able to grasp.

Be easy on the eye and ear.

"Easy on the eye" disqualifies my special mate Julian Thew, who otherwise does a great job at Sky Poker. You seen the way he dresses?

Queen Vicky so nearly gets the nod. She seems to me to be the best in Europe by those criteria, and by a goodly way.

Worldwide, though, there can only be one winner. I know many will disagree, but I suspect they have not met the man, or watched him do his thing at close quarters.

So my nomination for the best sponsored pro in the world is... Daniel Negreanu.

Ticks every box for me.

TK July 1

Spam Alert
Not sure if this will get through the Bluff Europe Spam Filter, but next month, August, sees the first ever 6-Max Festival in the UK: the Sky Poker UKPC 6-Max.

It's a 10 day jobbie, and Guarantees exceed £1 milly. It's at Dusk Till Dawn, so we know it will run like clockwork, and the atmo will be special. I promise no more spam, if you promise to be there. Deal?

World Series Chat

One noticeable difference in Vegas is that people seem to feel more inclined to chat at the table. As most of us - in excess of 98% I'd say - are 'recreationals' to a greater or lesser degree, why would we not want to have a little banter at the table?

Again and again we hear it said, "Everyone at the table was a missog". But come on, it just takes a little effort. And if eight or nine don't respond, well, then you are doing it wrong. Just get one to respond, and soon the rest, like good little sheep, will all join in.

Just ask them where they come from, or how long they have been playing poker for. People LOVE to be asked questions about themselves.

Give them an affectionate nickname, too: if you say, "come on Mr Wisconsin, you to act," they will reply in a flash. Mostly because nobody (and I mean NOBODY) admits to hailing from Wisconsin. It is the Cornwall of the USA.

I know I bang on about putting the fun in poker, but unless we are a pro, and we play poker for a living, why would we not try to enjoy every game?
So I shall keep banging on about it non-stop until I become very old indeed, as we all know that nobody listens to old people.

Oh, wait…..

Tony G did WHAT?
Yup, as you should already know, he's now an MEP.

Good thing, bad thing?

Well, for starters, it cant be bad for poker's image that one of our lads has become an MEP.

He could be Lithuania's answer to Boris Johnson, he really could.
A few years back now, a then famous politician, Norman Tebbit (who now rejoices in the thoroughly splendid moniker of The Lord Tebbit), coined the phrase "on yer bike", which, as it happens, Tony G uses too. Whether we like The Lord Tebbit or not, if Tony does half as well, he'll not do so bad.

If you know Tony, he's not at all what he seems when he is ranting and raving at the poker table – he's a decent bloke deep down. Though I do mean deep down, because on the surface he is a bit of a wrong 'un. Look a little deeper, see the real man.

Can you remember a top level poker pro becoming elected to a serious (ish...) Parliament previously? I can't. Might just be a first, that.
Good luck to him.

Razzling Dazzling Danzer

As I pen this (pen?), news comes in that George Danzer has won the $10,000 WSOP Razz Event, for a few cents shy of $300,000.

More good news for poker, it just keeps coming.

I doubt any sane person dislikes George, and few poker players dress so cool as him. I suspect he may even have pioneered the wearing of scarves at the poker table. He's most certainly the first to have a scarf-Mohican haircut combo. Might just get me a mohican haircut, think it'd suit me.
George's bink - and his scarves (we'll pass on the barnet) - has to be good for poker. Less hoodies and more scarves, I say. Next up, poker players will be wearing ties. They will, trust me.

Might just be the first WSOP Bracelet this Series that has not gone to the USA, too. I don't mind Germany winning more WSOP bangles than the Brits this year if England can win the World Cup in Brazil.

As dear old Alex Pope once famously prosed, (he's a poet bloke for those that don't do that stuff), 'Hope springs eternal.’

TK July 2

Crushing the game

My Vegas results so far this trip are....
6 Tourneys.
Spent so far, $2,825.
Returned so far, after five blanks and a min-cash, $384.
It's variance. Honest. Send more money, I'll be fine.

King for a day

I love this bit.
I shall decree that....
We moan less.
We talk more.

We respect each other a bit more – old or young, male or female, online or live, respect is a wonderful trait. Exemptions may be made for old people, who prattle on.

We all get mohican hair cuts and cool scarves. Has to be better than hoodies and shades, right?

If you read this far, you deserve a medal. And a mohican.


Tags: Tony Kendall, Tikay, WSOP 2014, George Danzer, Tony G,