Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The story of the Keys and The Pies

Note that the title of this item is nothing to do with poker, and at times, that reflected the mood of the recent weekend at the latest APAT event in Edinburgh. Usually I return home from these events feeling fulfilled, and eager to write about my experiences - this weekend just wasn't a "normal" APAT weekend though, and was in truth ultimately disappointing.

The usual build up of tension and excitement from a few days out were there alright, and the journey to Scotland was filled with the now familiar butterflies and nervous energy. However, by the time we had arrived at the casino and found the card room, the crappy attitude of the card room staff partially quelled the excitement.

The tournament itself for me was an uneventful affair, mixed with frustrations at the inexperienced dealer (we had the same dealer for 4 hours straight!), the poor quality chipset, the split card room, and the absolutely terrible food. As far as the cards go, I didn't get anything of note, other than making a huge preflop laydown of QQ and feeling ecstatic when two other players reached showdown with KK and AA!!

Dinner break was incredible (incredibly bad that is). I filled my plate at the buffet with two sausage rolls, a "scotch pie", and a number of brown things that looked like something my dog produces when he has a bad belly. The brown things were ok and tasted vaguely of some sort of curry spice, the sausage rolls were ok, but the pies? OMG the pies!!!! I took a huge bite, then spent the next couple of minutes trying to swallow, but the instant film of grease on the roof of my mouth was making me gag. Whilst standing chatting with Brian, trying not to be sick, I tipped the pie up and watched a huge stream of liquid grease run out on to the plate. Brian's untouched pie promptly went in the bin.

My tournament exit hand just about summed up the whole day for me - a push on the button with A2, snap called by KK in the blinds..... flop was AJA (elation), turn was 4, river was...... K (gutted). My only other hand of note was when I doubled up against the eventual winner who called my all in open shove for 15xBB - he held 10 10....... I had the monster that is 2c4c.

As for the dealer - I was on tilt from the third hand or so...... caused by his constant odd remarks when betting had finished for a round, and he would say "any more players? no more bets". Clearly he thought he was at a roulette table rather than in the card room.

My travelling companion, Brian Yates, and I were sharing a room at a small B&B about a mile from the casino. We had one set of keys which opened the front door and the bedroom door. Brian who wasn't feeling so good left the casino early evening, and suggested I call him when I arrived back at the B&B so he could let me in. At around 11.30, feeling dead tired, I trudged the mile walk along the Glasgow Road and rang Brian's mobile....... the conversation was along the lines of:

Brian "Hello"
Steve "It's me. Let me in please"
Brian "I'll throw the keys out of the window"
Steve "Don't be a twat - just come and let me in the door"
Skylight window opens and Brian appears...
Brian "Here you go - catch"
Steve "Make sure you throw them far enough - mind the gutter"
Brian "Oops, they landed in the gutter"
Steve "Daft twat"
Brian "Sorry mate"
Steve "It's raining, cold, and I can't get in"

A mile in the rain to get back to the casino to find Paul (he was staying in the same B&B). Waited til 2am for close of play and walked back with Paul. Another mile!

It was an interesting conversation next morning when Brian had to ask the old boy who owned the B&B for a ladder to get on his roof!!

So, breakfasted and raring to go, it was off to the snooker hall for the rest of breakfast - several pints of Stella, followed by a trip to a different Edinburgh casino to take the locals on in a £40 tourney.

Well, there was I thinking I would outplay the locals - but it seems that they don't understand "poker", and after several moves that ran into very ropey calls, I was out. At that point an old geezer asked me if I would like to start a cash table with him and two others. hmmmmmm thinks I - if the standard is anything like the tourney play, this could be lucrative....... and it didn't disappoint. Four hours of £1/£1 NLH, and I had won enough to cover all costs from the weekend - £100 became £375 with ease. For Paul, £200 became over £800!!

I flew home on Monday and logged into the APAT forum to post my updates and thanks, and saw some pretty interesting recollections of drunken aggression, cheating, crap food, crap dealers, and crap casino. Just about summed it up nicely.

The next round of the APAT tour is at DuskTillDawn ("Europe's Premier Cardroom") in Nottingham. Having played there a few times, I know that the dealers and other staff are top notch, that the facilities are second to none, the food is awesome, and loud drunken and aggressive behaviour is pounced on and penalised. I can't wait - normal APAT service will be resumed.

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