Live poker seems to be going much better than my online failures at the moment though - and having just reached the finale of the 4th season on Black Country Poker Club, I secured my position as the season's champion, earning a nice little trophy, and a seat into a UKIPT £550 event.
BCPC was the brain-child of founder Brian Yates (although some might say bastard-child rather than brain-child). The concept was to allow like minded low stakes players to pool resources to pay for higher buy in tournaments, and then to play for the privilege of playing in those seats. Our season runs for 6 months with one tournament per month, where players score points dependant on their finishing position in each tournament, which in turn contribute to their overall league placing. The top places in the league then offer a seat to a higher buy in tournament ranging from £110 to £550, with the number of seats on offer being directly linked to the size of the membership.
In season 1, we ran with 8 members and produced 1 seat.... in season 4 we ran with 28 members and produced 9 seats.
The standard traverses the amateur range, with players who are relatively new to poker in any form, to those who bring many years of experience, and those who have done well on the APAT tour. We have members for whom trips to Vegas are the norm each year, members who regularly play the GUKPT, as well as several APAT champions. We claim to be the Best Home Game In The Midlands - and I think that is a more than reasonable claim. To finish atop the league for this season was something I was proud of.
I intend to use my £550 seat at the UKIPT event in Nottingham in Feb 2011, and knowing that the BCPC will be following my progress closely and rooting for success (ok, only cos all club members share 50% of any cash I make, whilst I keep the other 50% for myself) will hopefully spur me on to something huge.
The BCPC has developed a reputation within APAT over the past two years - there are very few who haven't heard of us (mainly cos Brian shouts really loud about it!), but our crowning moment came in the summer this year when we held a Deepstack one off event, and had a guest entry in the form of Paul "Action Jack" Jackson and his son, Ben. Paul is one of the UK's finest and most succesful poker pro's - to have him playing at our little event in a back street pub was a little surreal, but definitely a moment to remember. What was most amazing though was that Paul had only landed in Britain 36 hours earlier having spent several weeks in Las Vegas at the WSOP!!
Lastly, myself, Brian Yates, Tony Trippier, James Edwards, Andy Overton, and Andy Duncan have formed a team to play in a 16 match online league, culminating in a live final at Star City, the winner of which will receive a team trip to Las Vegas in 2011 worth $34,000, covering all flights and hotel expense, entry to a $1k deepstack event, spending money, and entry to a £1k event back in London on the return. Good luck to us!!!!