Tony 'Tikay' Kendall

Tony 'Tikay' Kendall

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

HUDs, blogs and mad Norwegians.

Blog Off

Where have all the poker blogs gone?

I used to bookmark dozens of them, but these days they are conspicuous by their absence. I suppose the times they are-a-changing, and Twitter and the like is killing them. Shame really, can’t beat a good blog.

Extempore by Paul Dotcom Phillips was a cut above, he used long words and everything, but has long gone. Think he started a family and got a life. Disgraceful.

Hit Squad was James Akenhead, the Chattha Brothers, Praz Bansi, and the tall one, I can never remember his name. Karl someone? Hopeless player, as I recall, had no idea, but he was the only one who could write. James is a restaurateur these days, Praz is a bit of a sports better, and the Chatthas still play. The tall one? Training to be a poker analyst on Sky Poker TV. Good luck him, tough gig that.

The Camel Ruminates was well-named, as Keef Hawkins chewed the cud of sorts. That blog went where other blogs feared to tread. He is a Twitter Camel these days, not blogged for years.

Then there was “The Poker Bastard”. Did we ever decide who that was? Crikey, he blasted a few out of the water, me included, but it was mild compared to what we see on Twitter these days.

Milky Bar Kid. Good Lord. That man (Ben Grundy) played BIG. A typical entry would be: ”I've been sticking to a stringent $40k a day stop loss in the last month.” Not sure he is still playing poker. A great example of a lad that got the lot, and did so quietly.

Talking of which, Get It Quietly was a real gem, written by the sharp-tongued Andy Ward. Think he is also a member of the Twitterati these days.
Sleepless in Fulham was David Young’s missive. All a bit highbrow for me. A well-written and well-read blog, and its author became universally known as “DY”. I can’t abide folks who are known by their initials.

They all seem to have fallen by the wayside, so just as well we still have Lord Grumpy, aka Neil Channing (the British Poker Awards' Blogger of the Year – again!), still writing. Come on Channing, show them kids how it’s done. Clever piece of cross-sell spam, too, eh?

Six of the best?

I arrived home at 02:30 this morning after an 11 day stint at the Sky Poker 6-Max UKPC, which was, as far as I can recall, the first ever 6-Max Festival in the UK, maybe even Europe.

Live 6-Max is SO much fun!

Anyway, I hope you’ll pardon me if I mention a few memories from the UKPC. Don’t worry, I promise not to mention that it was sponsored by Sky Poker.

The Mad Norwegian

Who? His real name is Adrian Arulanandam, but I nicked him “The Mad Norwegian” and it kind of stuck. Never was a nick more richly deserved.

This young man made seasoned poker players eyes water with his relentless aggression and crazy play. He somehow finished 2nd in the £500 PLO, despite never having played PLO before. And it showed.

Here are just two of his plays in that PLO event.

He opened UTG with K-K-7-4, only to see it potted, re-potted, and called all-in before it got back to him. With 7,000 invested, and 84,000 to call, it’s the world’s easiest fold. He called without batting an eyelid, flopped top set, turned the full house, and busted three players with one Norwegian bullet. Just like that.

Later, he somehow potted every street & got to showdown with the awesome starting hand of 9-9-9-3…!

He finalled, in what was a top quality, 96 entry affair, with Ben Vinson, Mickey Petersen, Simon Trumper and Willie Tann amongst his final table opponents. And beat them all bar Ben Vinson.

How do these things happen? Love the boy, love him to bits.

Congrats to the winner, Ben Vinson, by the way, who finished 3rd in the previous UKPC Omaha back in February. The lad has game.

Tikay Trickett

Play it again, Sam

Sam Trickett turned up at the UKPC and was the 500th and final registration in the Main Event. He led the field a merry dance, had a mountain of chips, but then, unbelievably, bubbled (or “pure bubbled” as the kids say these days). No worries – the £2,000 min-cash, or even the £110,000 first prize for that matter, are loose change to Sam, who was due to head off to the €50,000 Barcelona EPT High Roller the following morning.

So what did Sam do within minutes of busting on the bubble?

He went and played a £10 Sit and Go with a bunch of recreationals. Ben Vinson joined him, and much fun was had.

Sam Trickett, superstar, playing a tenner Sit and Go? I mean, really?! Yes, really.

In my maiden article for Bluff Europe back in May, I made a plea to the “Big Boys” to play the occasional fiver or tenner Sit and Go with local lads, and maybe Sam took the hint. You have no idea, you cannot begin to imagine, what an impression Sam made on those lads. He gave them – truly – the best experience of their poker lives ever ever ever.

Now we need a few of the other Big Boys to do the same. Come on guys, it is not much to ask, and it’s good for the game.

Top marks Sam, well done. You are a credit to your sponsor, and to poker.

A PAT on the back for Leigh

Leigh Wiltshere won the Main Event, taking home £110,000 for his troubles.

Was there ever a more deserving winner of a headline event than Leigh?

In case you don’t know – shame on you – Leigh spent several years helping to run the Amateur Poker Association & Tour (APAT), and in the process, helped thousands of recreational players get a test of proper poker with grown up structures, just like the Big Boys enjoy. It was a disgrace that the little guys never had decent structure and tours, but APAT changed all that.

It’s easy to forget, but pre-APAT, if you could only afford a £50 or £100 buy-in, you got some daft structure, fast clock, and “no play”. APAT changed all that.

I bet Leigh gave up scores, maybe hundreds of weekends, helping the APAT-ers have a great time at an affordable cost.

So what? Well, what have YOU done to help poker? Exactly.
Poker has a remarkable way of engineering fairy-tale results, and this was one of them.

Many congrats to Leigh, one of the most admired men in poker. Come on Bluff Europe, nominate him for a British Poker Award. “Best Something Or Other” will do.

Tikay Wiltshire

King for a Day

OK, enough about the UKPC, let's end with my favourite indulgence...

Less HUDs: Actually, ban them. How can their use be fair, or right? And you know the weird thing about them? Those who use them get all defensive when it’s suggested that HUDs are unfair. “They don’t actually help much!” they wail in unison. So if that’s the case, why use them? Come on lads, play the game properly, you are killing that golden goose.

More 6-Max: 30 years ago, I drove a car with an automatic gearbox, and insta-knew it was the way forward. 6-Max poker gives me the same feel. More action, more buzz, more hands. It’s the future of poker.

More Cards: Fed up of trying to beat NLH? Course you are. 90% of us can’t beat NLH, them kids plays it so damn well. They all read the same books, watch the same coaching vids, belong to Skype groups, and all sorts. Well give PLO or PLO8 a whirl. More cards (you can play 4, 5 or 6 card PLO and PLO8), more action, more decisions, more outdraws, more fun. And it’s beatable. If I can beat it, I’m sure you can. Go on, give it a spin. You know you want to really. Best fun ever.

More Blogs: Where are you all? Poker blogs are part of the fabric of poker. Get writing. Yes, you.

Less bad beat stories: What a weird thing they are. Why do we all love to tell them, but loathe hearing them? Have you ever met a single person who enjoyed hearing a bad beat story?

At the UKPC, I must have had to endure a thousand of the damn things. Politely. “Really? Oh, wow,” I reply respectfully, supressing a yawn. But I must relate one of them to you, my fave ever.

Geezer with a curly lip comes up to me, and I just know what’s coming. “Blah blah blah... and on the river, he had ONE OUT, the deuce of clubs. And I bet you can’t guess what the river was?”

Err, hold up mate, let me try and guess…

Tags: Tony Kendall, Tikay, Leigh Wiltshire, APAT, Sam Trickett