I got a horrible first table, the aggressive Ali Mallu (who is now sporting a beard and looks like Osman Bin Laden ) and John Law both had position on me and with Steve Bovis, Joe Grech and Howard "The Magician" Plant on the table it was sure to be lively. I played one real hand smooth calling with pocket Jacks and on a Jack - Nine - Seven Padooki flop check raised Ali Mallu and fully expected him to have eight - ten off suit. However he passed and my talk with the seagulls on Blackpool Beach had been put on hold!
I thought the best thing that could happen was a table break. But when this happened I moved to table E between Willie Tann the aggressive European player of the year and to my left Julian Gardner who is one of the best No Limit Holdem competition players on the circuit in my opinion. Lovely!
Just when you think things can't get any worse the absent seat to my right is taken by a really timid lady player. Lucy Rokach! As the great Jesse May might say "Cash me in!"
Julian and Lucy got it on and Lucy managed to get all her chips in with Jack - Ten off against Julian's pocket eights and spiked a ten. Game on!
I knew Julian and Lucy wouldn't hang around and Lucy made a stand with Ace - Jack against Willie Tann and walked into his pocket rockets! Goodnight Lucy! Jules wasn't long and I was getting short stacked with the blinds now 2400 a round I knew I had to double up quickly. Pocket nines just behind the button was enough for me to push all in only to find on the small blind pocket Kings! Goodnight The Nugget!
24 players came back for the second day and a titanic fight took place with the unluckiest Keith "The Camel" Hawkins getting a horrible beat when his aces were busted when John Law's king - Queen caught two running kings. It must of given Keith a third hump! Unlucky mate 7th place for 5 large.
Next to go Robert Binelli - The Italian Stallion great player Robert shame about his moustache! 5th place to Luton pro Jeff Buffenbarger - 8 large. Next out my old pal "Pretty Boy" Carlo Citrone - film star in the making or even soap star in the making! Carlo didn't make us suffer too many of his slow dwell ups! Carlo is so slow - on his way to the casino he was mugged by a snail and a tortoise when the police asked him what happened Carlo proclaimed " I don't know - it all happened so quickly!"
3rd to Teesside's very own John Law - a real gent is John a classy guy and 15 large the richer.
It was really great to see two local boys first and second with Mick Fletcher and Alistair Findlay collecting £44,000 and £24,700 respectively. Hearty congratulations to them both.
It was a tremendous week at the festival - good job I had a good first few days in the cash games as I was buying in like Riaz Mulla and only got a place in the Omaha - finishing a couple of places off the 11 way chip count!
We had a few stars here this week - Team Blonde (Dave Colclough and Tony "Tikay" Kendall) and their entourage, IPN Pokers' Andrea Sterling, Dave Eastwood Latif and a good few of my Teesside buddies. The London Boys were here Bushy, Barnsey and Bambos (Congratulations to Bambos who has secured a sponsorship deal with Imperial Poker) Paul "the mouth" Parker from Brighton and The Worm - Mickey Wernick back in form and his pals from Walsall creaming some easy Blackpool money back to the Midlands. Even Korosh and Jac Arama have turned up for the main event - A truly glittering line up.
It was nice to see the blonde poker team, they do a splendid job of tournament updates etc and Blackpool once again received glowing compliments from many many players.
Constructive criticism - I don't want to be regarded as a Southern Softie and always been complimentary about everything - Willie Tann agreed with me when I applauded with the Poker Room Supervisors to have a list for the satellites instead of a mass free for all when a satellite was spread. An orderly list is a much better way of doing it but the casino wouldn't take my advice - perhaps they will now.
All in all another great festival and Blackpool is truly on the map. Management please note - from all you income this last week please provide a cash game dealer on a daily basis for all your Blackpool customers.
Don't miss the Mini Festival Weekends leading up to the next big festival - The Northern Lights in November and after 3 years of persuasion the casino have made sure it doesn't clash with the Master Classics in Amsterdam. Happy Days!