Just so you know

5/31/2009 12:31:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I feel fucking awful as we speak. Never again will I drink rose or any other wines.


I think I shall get drunk this evening.

5/30/2009 04:35:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

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MotoGP update

5/30/2009 01:37:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

While I'm kicking my heels at home waiting to shop for tables and sandwiches I've had occasion to watch the qualifying for tomorrows MotoGP. I do so love MotoGP, but this race in particular. It's one of those old school tracks that separates the great riders from the good riders.

By my way of thinking anyone can pelt down a straight at 200mph, but not everyone can take a left-hander at 130mph with their knee on the tarmac and haul the bike over for a 100mph right-hander before he's even had time to move his head in the direction he wants to go.

Actually I say everyone can go fast in a straight line; back in my motorcycling days I bought a TT600 and thought I'd see how fast it would go so I went missilling my way down the A40 at 155mph, but after about two miles I was absolutely knackered even though it was a straight line.

Anyway, I digress. So yes it's a riders track. From the circuit diagram it looks like Mugello has lots of chicanes but they're just really fast corners so there's no breaking it's just down the gears and corner speed. Valentino Rossi is the best at this, all the silly computers in the world can't compensate for a lack ability on tracks like this one and the straight line speed advantage the Ducati's have is neutralised by the twisty parts of the track.

Erm..obviously as I type this Casey Stoner has just some how put in a fastest lap beating Rossi's effort by something like 0.20 of a second with about 8 minutes to go in the session..but though people, but it ain't over yet and wooooooooahh arghhhhhh ooohhhh Valentino has nicked pole position back off him.

What I'm getting at anyway, is I'm even more confident than I was yesterday about this race and even more happy at getting on at odds against with Vale looking so jolly fast. Qualifying is always just a means to an end rather than an end for him. Any position in the top four is fine. Some riders seem to want to rack up poles without every really having a shot at winner the actual race.

This looks to me like the podium positions are locked up. A tri-cast of Rossi, Lorenzo and Stoner. As a possible dark horse Colin Edwards and Loris Capirossi also look fast. The Honda's look lost and Nicky Hayden on the other Ducati might as well go back to dirt bike racing.

** Erm..Capirossi has some how just put in the fastest lap with about a minute to go. The commentators are silent. He is trading at 32 on betfair to win the race!

No wait - Now it's Lorenzo on pole! Stoner second!! Capirossi third!!! Rossi fourth!!!!

Qualifying over. All very interesting. I don't think Valentino Rossi has finished off the top row in qualifying for this race ever. Can't wait for the race - 2pm our time, well worth getting up early for.

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Nasty stuff

5/30/2009 11:35:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I won't be shopping for tables any time soon. The roads are blocked by my house as we speak by fire engines putting out a car fire. I heard loud bangs and pops and looked outside to see huge black plumes of smoke wafting across the sky and feared someones house was on fire. It's actually a car that was in a garage. The garage has now disintegrated and the car is now twisted metal and not much else. The loud bangs were the tyres popping. Everyone is mooching about watching it. No one hurt thankfully.


WSOP and stuff

5/30/2009 09:46:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

See, I told you - Vanessa Rousso is the one to watch in this year's WSOP. She's the one to watch in all WSOP's in my opinion and most other situations too, but especially this years WSOP. Cashed already in the $40,000 finishing 27th - click on her picture for details of the event.

In other news I've just read on young Paul's blog, which I'm glad is still going, that the Greyhound Derby is today so I haven't missed it therefore my Dog whatever it was called, is bound to win. See previous post on weekend wagers for details.

Later on today I might buy a table. Until then I'm going to eat some grapes and shop for cars on't internets. I have to get a new car soon. I know more about greyhounds than cars though. I quite like the look of this Focus Coupe Cabriolet thing. Why do we use French names for everything? Pourquoi pourquoi?

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Thank crunchy it's Friday

5/29/2009 03:14:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Let me give you a nickel's worth of free advice; if there's any possibility that you might be delayed in an un-air conditioned Post-Office do make sure you're not wearing thermal underwear, the consequences could be devastating.

I don't really know where I'm at at the moment by way of sleep. I think I stayed up last night, but I think I slept most of the day yesterday. It's entirely possible I'll be asleep soon and won't wake until Saturday so I better discuss my weekend's sports wagers before it's too late.

I made an error with the tennis selection in my Yankee. I thought it ended tomorrow, it appears it has another week to run. It's because it's in France and they do everything they can to make my life a misery. The consequences for this little miscalculation are that I must ask Valentino Rossi to win the Italian MotoGP on Sunday.

I'm more confident about this than I was earlier in the week though. I've just watched the first practice session and he's only 0.5 of a second behind little Jorge who posted the fastest lap of 1.49.870. In real terms 0.5 of a second is a fair enough distance at 200mph with 1.50-2.00 minute laps, but Valentino Rossi very rarely sets the fastest times in practice and qualifying - to be only 0.5 behind is very encouraging. The weather is lovely, no chance of rain so I'm happy to have him at odds against and if little Jorge happens to have a dodgy piece of cheese tonight to upset his botty for the weekend then all's the better.

I bet on a greyhound too this weekend for reasons which really ought to remain between me and my conscience. Farloe Reason is my selection. It's very important we understand that I know nothing about Greyhound racing. I bet on it because I had some monies in my Skybet account and while perusing the updates on Blonde Poker for the DTD £1000 main event I came across a quote from Barry Neville about this dog - "Get the fookin' wagers in it, it can't lose." That was good enough for me at the time and good enough for me now. I'm not entirely sure when the race is though to be fair, so if it's been run already it lost as my balance is 0.00 as we speak.

I fully except Chelsea to win the FA Cup tomorrow. They play a similar sort of game to Everton only a little more efficiently. It looks like Gus Hiddink has a decent relationship with that mercenary bunch of mobile phone arse pushers so they ought to be motivated to give him a winning send off. Also Everton's manager has less charisma than Gordon Brown - he's high on my list of Jocks I'd fast-track repatriate if it were within my powers.

My final wager will be on Pittsburgh to beat Detroit in game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals tomorrow @ 6/4. Detroit are really banged up cause they're so old and luck-boxing their way past Chicago has taken it's toll.

The series with Chicago only ended on Wednesday, they've only had two days to prepare while Pittsburgh have had an extra day. Also Marian Hossa is jinxed, given a girl's name and cursed with one of those beards that's more ginger than brown, he was the only Eastern European NHL player not to get a blowie off Anna Kournakova.

He was on the Penguins roster last season when they lost to the Red Wings in the 2008 Stanley Cup finals - now he's traded to the Red Wings I expect the Penguins to win - serve him right too for what he did to my chaps.

I grow tired. I must go.

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WSOP under way

5/29/2009 11:48:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

The WSOP has begun. I'd forgotten about it. I wish I'd have waited a few weeks and played in this instead. Chris Moneymaker is second in chips after Day 1 of the $40,000 NLHE event - 120,000 starting chips but blinds of one hour start at 200 - 400 with a 50 ante. They must want this thing over with quick.

I'd like to see him win bless him. He always seems a nice enough chap, one of those rare southerners with a three figure IQ without using a decimal point and who doesn't spend all his time watching NASCAR and eating mayonnaise sammiches and he did start this poker boom after all so he's due another payment.

My tip for one of the famous dudes to do well this series is a dudette; Vanessa Rousso. She's had an amazing year so far and she makes me feel funny in my tummy. I'll be shocked if she doesn't win a bracelet, shocked I'll be.


The irony

5/28/2009 10:13:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I was just having a look through a few Champions League reports and having another chuckle to myself that some people think Michael Carrick is a good player, when I came across this picture of Ronaldo not scoring. From behind it looks remarkably like he's sporting Real Madrid's kit don't you think? I can see many more pictures of this nature being taken next season when Barcelona play Madrid in the Primera Liga. I can you know.

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Both on the same message really

5/28/2009 08:29:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)


Justitia omnibus

5/27/2009 09:53:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

If anyone still wants to make an argument that a Manchester United team comprising Ji-Sung Park, Michael Carrick, Patrice Evra, Edwin Van der Sar, John O'Shea, Anderson, Tomasz Kuszczak (!??), Nani and Rio fucking Ferdinand are the greatest combination of awesomeness the game of football has ever seen, I suggest you do yourselves a favour and ask your six biggest mates to stove your head in with their boots, bricks and other heavy blunt objects because you're afflicted with a lunacy that can have far reaching and devasting consequences later in life. Better to put yourself out of your misery now.

That was an appalling performance from Manchester United. Ferguson was definately born under a lucky star. Any other manager under those same circumstances, employing those same absurd and baffling illogical tactics, would have seen his team on the end of at least a four goal thrashing. Only Ferguson's Faustian like pact with the devil himself has saved him from a humiliating defeat and a massive cardiac arrest.

I've seen people on fire with more composure than Manchester United's players tonight. The charge of the Light Brigade was a better thought out campaign than Ferguson's master plan to stop Messi and Iniesta. Charging down Russian artillery with swords and horses seems almost erudite brilliance compared to whatever was going through Ferguson's mind this afternoon when he decided that Ji-Sung Park was the key to United winning this contest.

Arrogant fucker probably thought he just needed to show up and the football Gods would take care of the result. Well you were in Rome tonight Ferguson and unfortunately for you Themis the Roman Goddess of Justice must have had a ticket and she is blind to whatever it is everyone else sees in you and your poxy squad of spud faced chancers. Justice for all.

The end.


Man of the match prediction

5/27/2009 07:40:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Massimo Busacca


Champions Schampions

5/27/2009 02:56:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

A rule of thumb for big games like tonight's Champions League Final is the bigger the hype the shitter the game. Judging by the nonsense on Sky Sports so far this one promises to be a god awful affair. When Arsenal were in the final against Barcelona it was billed as Henry v Ronaldinho and both were completely anonymous so expect Lionel Messi and Ronaldo to play like Sunday league footballers.

Once the commentators have got all their clichés about gladiators and Colosseums out of the way I expect to see a technically poor game but with lots of goals. I refuse to accept that this Manchester United team is the best team Manchester United have ever had let alone the best team England has ever seen as some sycophantic Fergie-ophiles have opined.

Ferguson: Cunt

By my way of thinking a crappy game with lots of goals would corroborate my theory and expose this Manchester United team as the charlatans they are and I don't want to hear any more about it. By way of wagering I'm backing Barcelona to win both halves at 8.8 and overs 3.5 at 4.0. If I'm wrong I'm still right so there.

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The end of a mystery

5/26/2009 08:30:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

The bike in my garden belongs to my father. Phew elsewise that was just too weird.


A cornucopia of wagers

5/26/2009 03:37:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I'm just having some hot chocolate before I go to bed and I thought while it was cooling instead of having a wank I'd place a wager on something instead. So after doing some minimal research and still being slightly tilted up from a frustrating evening trying to negotiate my way through a £30 freeze-out and a baffling PLO cash game, I have invested £55 in a Yankee that pays something like £1,600 if all goes to plan.

It's the standard Yankee. Leg one involves Barcelona beating Manchester United in 90 minutes @ 17/10; Leg two is a women's tennis effort - I've never bet on women's tennis before but someone said this Kuznetsova woman has a decent chance and that was good enough for me @ 7/1; Selection three requires Chelsea to beat Everton in 90 minutes and finally I should need Valentino Rossi to win the Eye-talian MotoGP this weekend pwiced at 6/5.

This last selection is a funny one. Vale has won this race every year since 2002. There's really no reason to suggest he won't win it this weekend either, but I've got something stirring in my water which makes me fear his series of wins at his home grand prix is going to come to an end on Sunday.

It may be an irrational assumption that after seven successive victories he's just due a loss, but there's no more logic with that train of thought than strolling up to a Roulette wheel and backing Black because the last seven numbers were Red. One could argue that the competition gets stiffer as each year passes, but the word stiff makes me laugh when I'm tired so I'm dismissing that arguement.

But though, but anyway though but, he's 6/5 to win, so if the other three selections are winners we can lay Rossi at such a short price and sit around in our pajamas and enjoy the race. I'm happier laying a 6/5 shot than the 5/2 for Stoner or 10/3 for Jorge Lorenzo who are the only other riders I can see winning this race as we're obviously having to give up a lot less. And that's all I've got to say about that.

The end.

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5/25/2009 07:36:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I've often posted about the odd items that show up in my garden. In the past I've found cigarette lighters, a poor man's Winnie the Pooh, some pants, a trail of 10 pence pieces and a set of bicycle handlebars, but today I found a whole bicycle! Look see..

It's a Viper Outrage - is that an expensive one? It doesn't look it.

No shit, I go into my kitchen to make a microwaved curry snack and there outside against the wall is a mountain bike! Who the fuck has put a bike in my garden and more importantly people, why? This offers up a head scratching dilemma for me. I'm supposed to be going out after I've eaten my nuked repast, but I like to lock my gate cause you can't trust anyone these days.

I'm wondering if a chum of my upstairs neighbour may have put his bike in my garden accidentally which is possible given the bizarre lay-out of this property, so if I lock my gate he won't be able to retrieve it, but no one is answering his door. If that's not the case and someone's just put it in there for a joke, perhaps they're hiding a chums bike, I don't want complete strangers mooching about in my garden so I'd like to put it out in the alleyway.

What if it does belong to my neighbour or one of his chums and some one steals it when I relocate it? I can't get my around the fact that I have lock my property up to stop people putting stuff in it rather than take things from it. I've decided to put it outside my garden.



5/25/2009 07:33:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I've bet on a horse today; Redcar 2:10 Oondiri. I tell you for why too; C'mere - Horseys with four vowels in their name always win maiden races on Bank Holidays, plus I was bored.

Also, later on today after this horse has won I'll be wagering on some other shit. Can you tell I haven't had much sleep?

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Redwings sir, thousands of them

5/24/2009 10:18:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Well now people the Blackhawks have run into a Rorke's Drift type ambush this evening, but I can't see any miraculous rearguard actions tonight. Down 5-1 with one period to go in game four, 2-1 down in the series and back to the Joe in two days time it looks all but over for my boys. Perhaps it all came a year too early for them. This has been men against boys literally and metaphorically.

Maybe next year when they're all a year older and wiser and little Kaner has progressed through puberty my boys will have become men and it'll be a different story. For now though for all intents and purposes we appear to have come to the end of the road.

We will now commemorate the passing of our play-off dreams with a few minutes R&B. Please bow your heads or stare forlornly off into the distance.

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What makes Britain Great

5/24/2009 10:58:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)


To Hull and back

5/24/2009 02:08:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (1)

By way of wagering tomorrow, I just can't have Hull getting anything from their game with Manchester United. No no no no. There must be at least a few United players playing for their place in the Champions League final and that small group of players ought to be good enough to see off Hull shoooowarly?

If I'm right that means a bet on Villa to beat Newcastle is the same as a bet on Newcastle to go down as Newcastle only need a point if Hull do as they're told and lose handsomely.

Therefore, you can back Villa at 2.38 to beat the Magpies and lay Newcastle to get relegated at 1.64 for an instant profit. Easy peasy Japanesey.....If Hull lose. Good job this isn't a tipping blog.

Even if Hull do somehow manage to escape relegation and ruin my year, surely for his scandalous part in the attempt to ruin poor Cesc's reputation should see him crucified in public before the Cup Final or something.

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Earth to Hudler

5/24/2009 12:37:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)


One hit wonder

5/23/2009 11:59:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (2)

I've watched this video many times and one must admit to finding the five minute major and game misconduct Niklas Kronwall was levied for his blitzing of Martin Havlat a little baffling. I desperately want to wave my fist at the man and surround his home with a lynch mob and call for his head, but you wonder what the officials were thinking, it really was a clean hit and as things transpired I think the penalties dished out for the hit actually ended up hurting the Hawks.

Possibly maybe, it's interference as Martin Havlat doesn't actually touch the puck at any time, but I'm not sure that matters when it's between his legs the whole time and if you scratch around for the puck with your head down like that you're really asking for a shalacking. It's not a charge either as he doesn't leave his feet until after the hit, even if it was it's two minutes max.

The officials I think realised they'd made an error and more than made up for it during the Hawks' five minute power-play and the second period with some utter nonsense "make-up" calls. All things said and done though, the Hawks got the win. They made hard work of it, and it cost them Havlat and Khabibulin, but it's a proper series again. They haven't played 60 minutes yet.

So far in each of the three games the Hawks have stayed in the locker room for one of the three periods. They need three periods from everyone on Sunday including little Kaner whose contributions so far have been as diminutive as his stature.


Back handed compliment

5/22/2009 08:46:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (1)

I'm not suggesting the Blackhawks are finished, but if Detroit do happen to progress to the Finals and meet Pittsburgh again, I foresee a different outcome to last year if Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Lakin continue to make the sorts of plays usually only possible on the Nintendo.


Spitting image

5/22/2009 05:07:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I'm just now seeing Cesc Fabregas has been cleared of the bullshit spitting charge levelled at him by that no mark Brian Horton and soon to be wine bar proprietor Phil Brown. Not surprisingly there's not been too much about this in the news.

Had it been Arsene Wenger making these accusations Sky Sports News would be labelling him a garlic eating French lying bastard as we speak. Essentially what this means is you can accuse anyone of anything and if you happen to have made it up or had fake tan cream in your eyes at the time and didn't indeed see what you thought you'd saw, then it's OK..so long as the accusations are aimed in the direction of one of them 'orrible Jonny foreigners.

I'm emailing in to the FA as we speak. I'm requesting that Horton and Phil Brown's respective families be lashed to a tree and a pyre built around them ignited using Brown's tan creams as a deterent to all other future cry-wolf accusers. It'll be hard for even Brian Horton to accuse anyone of anything while he's frantically trying to extinguish the flames on his childrens backs. Harsh, but it'll serve them right for over-reacting. That's what I always say.

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5/21/2009 05:09:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Here's what I learned about Lion Bars today. They're chewy aren't they so although you want them refrigerated, if you leave them in the fridge too long they snap when you bite into them and bits fly everywhere. My advice is to take them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before consumption. That's my advice.



5/21/2009 02:52:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Have a look at this blog Sexy People. See if you can look at the 60's portraits without suffering the most appalling nightmares.


Last day of the season wagering

5/21/2009 02:19:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (2)

It's clear that actually knowing stuff about a sport doesn't really increase ones chances of success from a betting point of view so I'm experimenting with a new betting technique developed over hours of eating fudge.

Since it's the last day of the football season on Sunday I thought I'd make an attempt to guess the outcome of each Premiership game. Win lose Draw for all ten fixtures. This pays just shy of £8,000 from a £5 stake. I see no flaws in this plan.

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I can see Cleary now the rain has gone

5/20/2009 08:30:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

A sunny day in Detroit, but a dark cloud over the Blackhawks' play-off future. Dan Clearly's a vindictive fucker ain't he? Drafted by the Hawks but spending about a week with the club he's making a point of showing the Blackhawk's front office what a mistake it was to trade him to Edmonton.

Clearly aside the Blackhawks did everything but win last night. Giving the puck away is killing them, but the OT goal that won the game for Detroit last night was not something ginger Brian Campbell could really do anything about.

Bad ice after a long game, the puck bobbles up, it's pounced on by several bearded Swedes and two seconds after Cam Barker and Campbell were passing the puck around on Detroit's blue line looking for a shot, it's suddenly in the net behind Khabibulin and the game is over.

It's a long series though and there's many a slip twixt the cup and lip. Back to Chicago on Friday. I'm preparing for a seven games series, I've bought Doritos and many many doughnuts. One has to keep the faith.

* * *

I made the mistake of being awake at midday today and a second mistake in switching on my TV when Prime Ministers Questions was on. I tell you what it's very difficult to keep ones breakfast down when watching that charade. It was a good 15% more offensive than usual too. For one thing, tributes to that thief Michael Martin from every side of the house seemed to me more sincere than the tributes paid to the Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan last week.

It's this election business that irritates me. I don't want one, but not because of the chaos it would cause as Gordon Brown so bizarrely argued today. My polling station is about 100 yards from my front door, but I feel that's still too far out of my way for me to bother voting. In a perfect world I'd like to see the entire Palace of Westminster go up in flames. I won't walk to my polling station but I'd walk to London to witness that. Then some brutal dictator can take over and we can start again.

Failing that I just want to see Gordon Brown out on his ear - but not if Cameron is his replacement. I fail to see how David Cameron offers a brighter and more prosperous future for Britain. He's been the leader of the Conservative Party for nearly four years and I still have no idea what he stands for. I asked him once - he didn't write back. Just whatever's dominating the front pages of the newspapers probably.

He belongs in an episode of the Apprentice, only one as he wouldn't last the entire series as he can't make decisions. The last place the country needs him is in Number 10.

There's something seriously wrong with our democracy when we have an unelected Prime Minister who is in fact Scottish (surrounded by a cabinet full of other Jocks, meanwhile English MPs can't vote in the Scottish Parliament) who is untouchable until he himself decides otherwise.

They opined on the Daily Politics whether this whole expenses furore might ignite another 1832 moment where huge reforms are abound and British Politics is never the same again. If the proles of this country could just remind themselves that there's more of them than there are MPs and the MPs are supposed to work for them, we could have a much more satisfactory and literal 1834 ignition and we could all drink cocao and toast marsh mallows while we sat and watched the whole place burn to the ground.

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First game never counts

5/19/2009 05:28:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (2)

You know what people, the thing about being a fan of North Mercan sports is that you can't talk about it in pubs with chums or strangers for that matter who just happen to have an opinion worth listening to. One has to either to talk to oneself and I'm trying to cut down on that, or just be satisfied with what they write in the US sports media.

I'm not from the US of States though so when I read stuff and it's something I don't necessarily agree with I've no real way of knowing if the dude who wrote it is the US equivalent of someone like Oliver Holt who I quite like and whose opinion should be respected, or Tim Lovejoy who of course, is an utter twat.

They all have the same tendencies as our journo's and pundits of course. They cling to very convenient narratives and find a way of slotting all developments into such narratives. The Blackhawks and Red Wings for example will always be a youth v experience series; the Penguins and Capitals was Crosby v Ovie.

So anywho, it's hard to learn anything new just by reading the sports media and I'm loathe to enter intraweb messageboards so I'm having to back my own judgement on this Western Conference series.

The first game never counts - that's a rule of thumb I've carried with me since I started playing games. My brain is not an analytical one therefore learning games for me can be like pulling teeth so I needed a buffer, some latitude if you will to prevent people from laughing at me. First game never counts serves this purpose.

I still think my chaps will win this series. They're now 4.4 to win the series and although I've just freed my credit card from it's Vegas debts and money is not abundant I must have my share of this. I must. I may be cutting my own throat, but one has to do what one has to do. Fortunately this isn't a tipping blog so I don't have to advice taking this price. Phew.

On a completely different note; I just went to the shops to buy stuff I can eat while my game is on. It felt as if someone was following me around really closely. I looked behind me a couple of times and thought someone was there but eventually realised it was the hood of my sweater. I laughed at my foolishness, but I was stood in the cake isle next to a fat woman making some selections. I think she thought I was laughing at her. Fun times.

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Promising starts poor finishes

5/18/2009 04:08:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

As Sunday's go yesterday was a disappointing one. Poor little Doviziso was mugged on the last third of the last lap by even littler Dani Pedrosa. A podium finish seemed a certainty in a bizarre race which started wet and finished dry. I should know better than to bet on a race held in France. France hates me, always has.

Behind you. Dovi about to get mugged by a Spanish midget.

After taking down an unofficial Pigeons game (only 6 runners) I was hoping to come home and watch the Blackhawks take down game 1 of the Western Conference Final series at the Joe. I Sky Plussed it see and used all of my will power not to look up the score. I was teased into thinking we might win as it was 2-2 with 15 minutes to go in the third period.

They were getting out-shot but they always do. Once those 15 minutes had elapsed it had finished 5-2 to the Red Wings - 4-2 really as the 5th was an empty-netter, but one has to accept that the score didn't really flatter Detroit.

After the first period which was fairly even, Detroit seemed to always have one more skater than my chaps. Too many odd man rushes - twos against ones, threes against twos. I feared to watch yet could not turn away.

This is OK though, DON'T PANIC!! My chaps were nervous and it showed. Little Kaner did not have a single shot. But it's a big game, last time the Hawks were in a game this big Jonathon Toews and Patrick Kane were 6 years old. They will have to grow up fast mind, but I will be keeping the faith.


Not for nothing but,...

5/17/2009 05:40:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Just a quick post for those who believe in predestination. Just so we're clear, if you're going to believe in that stuff then that means there's no such thing as an accident. So when someone dies in a car crash, spills red wine on a white carpet or has their house burned down after knocking over an ash tray, you can't call that an accident...by definition an accident is something that wasn't supposed to happen, something unintentional. Therefore you'd be contradicting yourself if you did this and of course the Christian faith can't be doing with contradictions.

The end.


MotoGP - Le Mans

5/16/2009 12:39:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

While we're waiting for the Conference Finals to begin, I thought I'd mention my only non-hockey wager this weekend will be a few shillings each-way (1/5th for a place) on Andrea Dovizioso in a rain hit Le Mans MotoGP race tomorrow.

I'm loathe to bet on men with girls names, but at 20/1 it seems silly not to. We're banking on it raining during the qualifying today and the race tomorrow. That levels the playing field as it messes with everyone's bike settings.

I can't be betting on the master at 5/4 in a wet race, same for Casey Stoner even at 5/2, little Danny Pedrosa is about 15% bionic now with all his broken limbs so we can't have him, therefore Dovi on a reliable Honda appears to be the bet. I have spoken, or at least I would have had this been a tipping blog.

Race Update: Eeek as we speak they're all coming in to change bikes, it started wet but now dry. Dovi in second before all the changes. Me having some tea. Waaargh Rossi has crashed a few seconds after changing his bike for slicks - bad as I love the chap, great for my wager though.

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Hawks play-off beard update

5/16/2009 03:17:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Bless little Kaner's cotton socks for at least trying. I know how he feels, I'm 34 and still can't grow a beard. I think you'll agree a selection of awesome facial furniture though - Stanley Cup Champions in the making if ever I saw them. Even Brian Campbell's ginger effort looks full and dignified. On anyone else a ginger beard is an arrestable offense.

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Then there were four

5/15/2009 07:14:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (1)

This has inadvertently turned into a hockey blog. It wasn't intentional, but it's fair to say that until the end of the Hockey season I've got very little interest in the wider world, so unless you happen to have an interest in the game you might want to just check back here some time in June.

In fact, even after it's all over I doubt I'll have an interest in the wider world. There's some European elections in June and I think it'll be better for all of us if we ignore those. A protest vote they're calling it in the papers. A who-gives-a-shit- vote I'm calling it.

The MPs are worried though, worried that our frustrations at the morally bankrupt House of Commons will see us all voting for the BNP - because of course the British National Party are a beacon of morality and the obvious choice for a protest voter on ethics.

Bollocks to it all though is what I always say. I'm resigning again from the world. My previous resignation must have got lost in the post as I never recevied a reply from Mr Ki-Moon. I didn't even end up shaking my fist at the telly the other night when I watched Question Time and I fucking hate that program even though I watch it every week.

There's usually no show guaranteed to make me angrier than Question Time - Margartet Beckett was on too and I can't even begin to calculate the pleasure it would have given me previously to pull her blackened heart out of her chest while she squealed in agony.

It all pales into insignificance compared to a Conference Final between the Blackhawks and the Redwings though. This is the first time this has ever happened in my hockey watching life time. This is historic stuff and far more important than anything else. This reminds me of the first time Arsenal had a legitimate shot at winning the Championship in 1989 which of course they did do eventually in the last second of the season.

It's like seeing Haley's Comet or something..I must ignore all other distractions and I'm telling you what people, if they make it to the Stanley Cup finals and a ticket came my way I'm going I tells you. I am you know, I'm going.

* * *

The Red Wings of course were lucky to make it through their series with the Ducks and our wager on a Ducks win was looking very promising until three minutes from the end of regulation when the officials - who were skating around with brown enevelopes in their back pockets - gave the Wings a goal which in any other rink in the whole world would have been called for goalie interference. Reminiscent of the Dallas Stars famous no-goal when they "won" the cup against poor Buffalo in 1999 - my poor friend Elaine Park if you're reading this, I hope you're finally over it.

Still, all things considered this was the result we wanted and the league wanted and the hockey world wanted. It's the original six match-up and I'm happy to sacrifce my wager for it to happen. The Blackhawks are favourites to win this, I don't care what the bookies say. Home ice advantage or not, paid officials or not, the Blackhawks are the better team, they're a younger team, they have better goaltending, faster skaters, and in my opinion anyway, cooler jerseys. The Wings have thicker play-off beards but that's because they have an average age of 35 while the Hawks are only just out of short trousers. Game on on Sunday, I can't bally well wait.

* * *

Boston managed to fuck it all up again in the other game seven. I think that's 21 times in a row they have failed to win after being down 3-1 in a series. I'm glad they're gone. I stood to win some monies had they won it all, but not enough to want them to progress. I'd much rather see the Blackhawks play Carolina or even the Penguins than Boston. I do so hate Boston and that horrible little kid who takes his shirt off and has some sort of seizure for the cameras.

My singing squirels and me will be researching these finals thoroughly before game one on Sunday in between eating doughnuts - at first glance though, a Blackhawks/Carolina Conference Final winners double might be a cheeky wager.

Pittsburgh will be over-priced because of the amazing series they came through against the Capitals and because they have Sidney Crosby who is the marquee NHL player. If Carolina can beat Boston they can turn the Penguins over though. Much like the Ducks, because Carolina are not located in a traditonal hockey city, people write them off. I did earlier, but they won the cup three years ago and their progress looks remarkably similar.

What an awful year if you happened to follow the Red Wings and Middlesbrough. For the Wings to get so close to repeating and lose (to the Blackhawks of all teams) and Middlesbrough relagated essentially because of a loss to Newcastle! Eww I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Current prices on Betfair:
Conference Final winners:
West: Detroit Red Wings - 1.50 Chicago Blackhawks - 2.54

East: Pittsburgh Penguins - 1.51 Carolina Hurricanes - 2.50

Stanley Cup Final winners:
Detroit Red Wings - 2.38
Pittsburgh Penguins - 4.0
Chicago Blackhawks - 5.0
Carolina Hurricanes - 6.8

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Magnificent Seven

5/14/2009 02:28:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (2)

Game sevens are 15% more awesome than any biscuit I know of. They have the potential to almost be as awesome as tits too - nearly, that's how enjoyable I find them. The Penguins and Capitals series was amazing, probably the most exciting series in recent history - game seven unfortunately was over before it really began. We got the result we wanted though as Ovechkin was starting to irritate me a bit.

Nice goal, nicer tits.

There are two more game sevens tonight which promise to be more exciting games, but which also hold some wagering significance. Boston better bally well get past Carolina finally. They're making awfully hard work of it.

It's back at the Fleet Centre tonight or whatever Boston's Arena is called these days Banknorth something. They at least started to look like the team who were the Eastern Conference's best team in the regular season. I can't be betting on them at the price though and the Hurricanes price is a little tiddly too. Boston -1.5 @ 2.44 seems about right though if you were choking to have a bet on this game.

My Stanley Cup winning book after all my interfering and tinkering looks OK to me really. I stand to win £131 if Boston wins and £146 if my boys win, but awesomely I'm only £13.74 red on the other teams. I'm not quite sure how I managed that if I'm honest, but I'll take it.

I'm scratching my head and other body parts, but even despite my huge bias towards my chaps I really can't see past Boston or the Blackhawks to win this thing, but let's not get ahead of ourselves people.

Game seven between the Redwings and Anaheim requires our full attention and we must not be distracted by biscuits, tits or dreams. I'd had this down as a home banker, but now I've had a closer look I'm not so sure people. I'm not so sure.

Detroit have some issues at their home arena and I'm not sure what's causing them. But they're significant enough that Anaheim have to be taken seriously. And their price of 3.3 must be gobbled up. They may get bushwhacked, but I still think it's the bet. It's defintiely what I'd be recommending if this was a tipping blog.

Detroit only won one of it's last ten regular season games at home in regulation time. The Joe used to be a fortress but now it is crumbling. But why? Why I ask? I'm wondering if it's not because Detroit is such a pitiful shit hole? I mean it always was, but of all the cities in the USofA Detroit is getting it in the neck the most with this current recession/depression and it can't surely be the most inspirational place to play.

It's raining there today too. Rain never makes me feel like winning a game seven I don't know about you. Meanwhile Anaheim are feeling great at the moment. People forget they won the cup two years ago. They're under the skin of Detroit. They have history on their side. They beat up Detroit's skill guys in what was kind of a cheap ambush at the end of the last game - they even attacked little Pavel Datsyuk who is a candidate to win the trophy no NHL player wants to win - the Lady Byng trophy for sportsmanship (which means girly players who never fight). But it's working, Datsyuk has yet to score a goal in this series.

I can't see this one being a 6-2 anti-climax like the Pittsburgh game 7. A very close, niggly, bad tempered 2-1 to Anaheim is what I fancy. I've been saying since the beginning there's something not quite right about this Wings team. I think I'd rather my chaps play Detroit in the Conference Finals rather than the Ducks as the Hawks struggle with the physical teams, much like Arsenal whenever they play Bolton, but any time Detroit bombs out of the play-offs we must all find cause to rejoice.

**Update: You can now get 4.6 on an Anaheim win in regulation. Just so you know.

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5/13/2009 09:58:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Oh for fucks sake Wigan. Why do Arsenal have to be the team that give Manchester United the points they need to win the league? We've been playing them or Chelsea every fucking week since February, whatever we did to upset the football Gods surely being beaten soundly every week by them should have been punishment enough?

Baawston v Carolina

5/13/2009 12:20:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

It's been nearly 20 hours or something since we discussed the NHL so without further ado;

As we speak Boston are 2-0 against Carolina in Carolina. This is good stuff as it means I can still win a teeny tiny amount of monies if Boston win the Cup somehow instead of my boys. Also though, this series has suddenly transformed from a very pleasant cordial affair to a blood and guts slug fest.

Even in hockey there are rules as to how the violence is conducted. For example, if you drop your gloves wishing to fight but the other guy doesn't, you are not supposed to slug him. This occurred in the last game when Scott Walker of the Hurricanes who claims he thought he was involved in a legitimate "altercation," twatted Aaron Ward who had not dropped his gloves.

Don't hit me I'm not ready

Now some people have tried to defend young Walker by claiming it was obvious he wanted to fight and Ward should have protected himself. If one is in a bar, Walker's apologists have argued, one doesn't stand there with ones arms at ones sides when getting pumbled just because you don't want to fight - one must protect oneself when heavy blows are anticipated.

Fair enough if you're in a bar, but this was not a bar, it was an NHL play-off game where rules on fighting written and unwritten can be assumed to be adhered to. And therefore Walker's punch was cowardly, cheap and the kind of thing you'd expect from an Italian bitch fighter.

It's unlikely any retribution will be carried out by Boston tonight, as they just can't afford to throw the series away for the sake of some revenge. But when the two meet in the regular season next year, this incident will give that otherwise meaningless game some meaning. One for the diary I'd say.



5/12/2009 11:30:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

I hate the Daily Telegraph, more so even than the Daily Mail. At least with the Daily Mail you can read the amusing Fred Basset cartoons - oh that funny little doggy and his amusing observations.

Ha ha fucking brilliant, snoring!

Did you know that last week in Afghanistan a Ghurka was shot and killed and the Home Office are considering making steps to send his family, who live here, back to Nepal? You may not have because thanks to the Daily Telegraph, instead of covering that story our news media focused almost entirely on how much our MPs claim for maintaining their gardens.

Are MPs the only group of workers who fiddle their expenses? No. I know it's tax payers money, but far more tax payers money gets wasted by wars being fought in lands that have never in their entire history been successfully invaded.

If the Daily Telegraph want to erode away the final teeny tiny chances of this Government being re-elected, I'd much rather they focused on why we're wasting so many lives and money in Afghanistan and why our Government wants to honour the memory of soldiers who have fought and died to protect our way of life by denying their family members the fruits of their sacrifice with a life here.

I'm sick of fucking hearing about how much Hazel Blears has claimed for a pair of curling tongs. If you've indulged in this pointless naval gazing and emailed in to any newspaper of TV show complaining about MPs expenses instead of complaining about how fucking pathetic our news media is and how irrelevant it all is, then you deserve these people that are running our country and those deportation letters to those Ghurkas families have your signature on them too. That my friends, is what I always say. ALWAYS.

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An awesome climax

5/12/2009 04:50:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

If the guy who lives above me reads my blog, I must apologise to him for the noises I've just been making. My boys have just won a classic - a true classic too; a 7-5 blow out - and are through to the conference finals for only the second time since I've been following them - the first time since 1995 when Patrick Kane who scored three amazing goals tonight, was only 6 years old.

It's only sport that can offer up a roller-coaster ride of emotions like the last two and half hours has for me you know. And winning, well if memory serves, I'd have to say in many ways it is better than sex. Sex while extremely pleasant has a predictable ending.

The conclusions of sporting events are far less predictable and therefore more exciting and less messy and I must confess to being far more vocal when I'm watching sport. I say the same sorts of words: fuck, yes, fucking yes, GET IN!...only louder and more aggressively when I'm watching the Blackhawks or Arsenal.

So anyway, yes, this has pleased me. My spirits have been as low as my vitamin count recently, but this has lifted them greatly. And assuming they meet the somewhat vulnerable Redwings who look like seeing off the Anaheim Ducks tomorrow, there comes the possibility of a classic orginal six Conference Final series and my Blackhawks doing what Arsenal have been unable to do - reach THE final. We'll discuss chances of actually winning the cup a little later on. Let's not get ahead of ourselves for now.

From a punting point of view, our initial 18.0 price for the Blackhawks to win the cup is looking a very sound investment, they are now available at 4.6. I will now do what every man does after a tremendous climax and sleep for ten hours. Good ni...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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It ain't what you do it's the way that you do it..

5/12/2009 01:46:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

Even for the Fox this hand was "creative."

Blinds at 50-100 I raise from UTG +1 with the awesome 6-7 off-suit to 225. Middle position re-raises to 1,000 - for those that play at the Fox this 3-bet as the kids say was from Mark Waites. Called on the Button (Twiz)...

My stack before hand started - 3,225
Mark's stack - 5,500 approx.
Twiz's stack - 3,500 approx.

...Expecting at least one caller, I go all-in which amounted to a 4-bet or re-re-re-raise of 2,225. In my defense I was simply bored and felt that, given my opponents, it was highly likely my cards were live.

Mark calls and so does Twiz. Mark shows Ace-Queen suited in spades. I show my six-seven off-suit accompanied by "I have live cards." Twiz informs me I do not have live cards and shows a suited six-seven of hearts!

We all laugh - Twiz and I share high-fives for throwing our chips away with utter garbage. Mark frowns - he knows.

Flop is 8-2-9 Mark really frowns. Twiz and I are giggling like school girls.

Turn is a......FIVE!! Hahaha fucking hell. Brilliant. Twiz and I high-five again, everyone laughs even harer and Mark really really frowns. Happy days.

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Kill Phil

5/11/2009 04:55:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (2)

Arsenal's season may have ended, but my crusade to crush the blackened heart of Phil Brown is only just beginning. Without Brown's involvement in the relegation battles I would very much prefer to see Middlesbrough survive, but unfortunately as things stand, in order for Phil Brown to die we must also sacrifice Middlesbrough.

I cannot see Middlesbrough beating Aston Villa and West Ham in their final two games, I must therefore hope for a Newcastle win tonight in order to ensure Hull drop into the relegation zone. Newcastle's final games are easier than Middlesbrough's therefore I must hope for a win tonight for the Geordies in the North East derby allowing them to secure the points to seal Hull's fate.

Hull have very little chance of accumulating anymore points. Bolton away and Manchester United at home ought to see them end the season with the 35 points they have as we speak. But if they were to fluke a win against Bolton we must see Newcastle win tonight and win one of the remaining two fixtures against Fulham or Aston Villa at home.

I've got three more boxes of pins and some poison I obtained from a West Indian man in exchange for a couple of virgins I secured from a Scottish chap who wanted some Cotswald stone bricks. A three way trade I hope which should see Phil Brown's career as a football manager crumble away before his lifeless eyes, his dark eyes, his black eyes, his dolls eyes.

* * *

One of the less vindictive of my personalities has allowed me to bet on a HT/FT draw at 5/1 incidentally. Neither team seem capable of stringing a series of passes together let alone scoring an actual goal - maybe 0-0 half-time and 1-1 at full-time is about as exciting as this one should get. The rest of you might want to bet on a 4-3 classic.

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Nelson's column

5/11/2009 01:30:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich / comments (0)

So then let's discuss the weekend shall we. I've just boiled the kettle if you'd like a drink. I'm on the builders tea - very little milk, seven sugars. I need to man-up see as I was lulled into almost enjoying a cartoon yesterday. I'll watch some sport and some porn later this afternoon to remind myself I do have a Y chromosome.

Saturday's £20 "deep-stack" tournament at the Isle casino - now a G-Casino - was surprisingly good fun and a proper deep-sack game. I'd expected a game of bingo with about 19 locals and Brummies, but with 56 runners, a 30 minute clock and 7,500 chips it was a proper game with lots of play and a standard rather higher than one might expect for such a low buy-in. With nearly £500 for first prize this was starting to look like one of the best value for money games I've played in in a long time.

I was able to lose half my stack in the first orbit which has become an almost obligatory tariff I pay to the poker Gods at the start of these kinds of games. After grinding my way up to 8,000 however, the poker Gods repaid my initial sacrifice.

With blinds at something like 200-400, a short-stack moved all-in for about 2,500; folded to the Button who also called, leaving himself with about 3,000 back. The small-blind also moved in with a similar amount to the first short-stack, building a pot of approximately 9,500.

I'm in the Big-Blind with Ace-King soooted. I have the Button covered by about 2,500. I decide he didn't look to have a big hand else-wise he'd have moved all-in initially in order to isolate shorty number 1. I also move my chips into the middle and Button man sighs. A very welcome sigh it was too. He reluctantly calls though and we have a total pot of about 16,000 which I very much wanted to add to the piffling 3,000 I had left.

I show my Ace-King, shorty one shows 7-7, Button shows J-J and shorty number 2 shows 9-9. Woooo. This was exactly the same situation I found myself in at an APAT national a few years ago. I lost that one when I failed to catch an Ace or a King. I won this one though when a lovely red King appeared on the flop next to two tens. The turn and river were beautifully low.

I had chips. More chips than I could ever dream of having at this level after my self-gelding manoeuver at the beginning of the tournament. I put them to use. I raised at every opportunity and re-raised the players I'd selected as baby-tea drinking cartoon watchers.

After a while there was some palpable frustration every time I announced a raise. One guy had reached over and punched me in the eye, but I shook it off.

These tournaments are generallly populated by people who just fancy trying the game, but have no real idea of how to play with a smattering of proper players. A "proper" player had had enough of me, he re-raised me.

He re-raised me people.

Fortunately I had a reasonable hand; 10-8 of hearts so I called. The flop had an 8 on it, but I checked. He bet. I called. The turn was an 8. Hooorah! I checked. He checked. The river was an 8!! Hooorah hooorah. I gave him my "oooh a stealing the pot opportunity" look. And picked up some chips. I then set them back down and checked it.

He bet 3,000. I drank some of my drink and ate some nuts. He stared at me. I had it my mind I should re-raise a lot since this bloke fancied himself as a player - one of those players who have to commentate on every sngle hand after it's over - and that would be the play that most looked like a steal. I felt he was a baby-tea drinker at heart though and wouldn't have the courage to call.

I wanted some sort of pay-off though so just doubled his bet. He folded after some diliberation. I showed him my 8 though in the hope that his respect for my raises would now be restored and he'd forget that initially I had raised with an 8 and couldn't have had a pair of 8's as the rest of them were on the board. He seemed satisfied.

From this point on nothing really too spectacular happened for some time. I small-balled my way through the levels and ate a nice cheese and ham sandwich. Earlier on in the evening I eye-balled two young lads who between them had a combined aged of about my age. They were wearing shorts and trainers for heaven's sake! I frowned upon the casino's relaxed dress code. As it turned out they were registered for the tournament and credit where credit is due, they could play a bit. More about them later.

With two tables left I finally get dealt a proper hand: Aces. The blinds at this time were 600-1,200. I have about 35,000 at this point. I raised it to 4,000 from UTG, which had become the standard bet at this level. A bearded chap in middle position - a hand commentator like the guy who bet into my quad 8's - flat called as he was quite keen on doing. A short stack on the button moved all-in for about 6,500.

I didn't want to play against bearded man. I don't trust people with beards and feared chaos. He looked very much like "The Bearded Woman" painting by Jóse Rivera. I moved all-in myself to isolate shorty. Bearded man called! Eeeek! I know I'm obviously winning, but bearded men are Satan's progeny so a bearded woman could be Satan him/herself. I felt certain I would lose.

Bearded Woman was not a short stack. It had about 25,000. It showed 10-9 hearts! Shorty showed Ace-Queen unsuited. My Aces looked some how very vulnerable against those suited connectors in Beareded Woman's hands. Everyone looked a little surprised he'd called off his tournament with such a hand. I just looked like I'd drank some sour mothers milk.

So with about 75,000 up for grabs we saw a flop. The first card out was a Jack. I didn't like that. I felt a twitch in my ball sack. I feared to look yet I could not turn away. The rest of the board was blur - of very small cards. Thank fuck for that.

* * *

The final table arrived soon after and I was seated to the left of one of the whipper snappers in shorts I had frowned upon earlier. I nicknamed him Charlie Brown as he was the only kid in shorts I could think of at the time. A far more appropriate nickname would have been Nelson. Nelson the bully from the Simpsons. The likeness is absolutely uncanny, and this little fucker was a bully too.

He bluffed me out of a big pot which still irks me. I was bluffing too, but that's beside the point. His bluff was better. I consulted with Kathryn over his play. "No doubt this boy is a virgin I said, but he can play a bit." "No" says Kathryn. "No?" I interupted. "Not a virgin you say? Hung like a race horse you think? One of those freaky kids who had hairy bollocks at 10 you think?"

I had long since lost Kathryn though. I had traveled on a completely different train of thought to hers. She just thought he looked like Cory Feldman from the Lost Boys and I should take care not to upset him as he kills vampires and with my translucent skin he might have targeted me. I spent some moments trying to erase all thoughts about this boys progression through puberty and returned to the game.

Nelson was stacking my chips. The size of his penis remained a mystery, but this column was impressive indeed. Frustration was setting in. I was able to get over it soon after however, when I flopped a King-high straight on a board of 9-Queen-King holding 10-Jack of hearts and a poor chap with an interesting hair-do shoved his huge chips stack in on the turn after we'd both checked the flop with 9-9 for bottom set. No help for him in the river and I was chip leader with about 115,000.

With 420,000 chips in play and about 6 or 7 left I felt like there was a really good opportunity for me to go on and fuck it all up instead of winning and a couple of hours later I made the most of the opportunity when it came.

As it happens, I was sort of unlucky. With five players left, a short-stack - the guy from way back when who had bet into my quad 8's on my first table - moved in for 28,000 which was nothing really at the time. I had Ace-9 and called. He showed Queen - 7. He missed the flop, but both turn and river were sevens.

The very next hand I raise UTG with King-Queen. The guy I just doubled up shoves his now 65,000 stack into the middle and I fold. He shows me Aces. I am now down to about 50,000. The very next hand I am in the big-blind with King-9.

Folded round to the small-blind who seemed reluctant, but just completes. I check. The flop if 9 high with two diamonds. Top pair for me and my King is of diamonds. The pot with just the blinds and antes which were introduced seemingly randomly some time after the final table began stood at something like 8,500.

The small-blind checks. Before I'd had time to think I announce all-in and SB calls before I've finished saying it. D'oh! He shows me Aces. Not sure why I did that, but what I did know, is I had definitely read his umming and aahhhing wrong.

I know that when some players hesitate and sigh before calling as this guy had done pre-flop it can indicate a big hand, but he seemed an habitual 'ummer and ahher.' He seemed like one of those people who just found cause to moan and complain and sigh at everything and we were in a casino located in a part of the country populated by the UK's biggest pound-for-pound moaners. So anyway, I took his apparent frustration at face value, in return he took my stack. I wished everyone good luck, they all said thank you. Nelson pointed at me and laughed.

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