Sunday, 14 October 2007

The Fickle Finger and Bouncers Poker

The Fickle Finger and Bouncers Poker
By Mick McCloskey

The Fickle Finger

I’ve written before in this column about how fate may affect the outcome of events in your life, including your poker life. Most of the previous articles related to good outcomes. My latest brush with fate did not turn out so good.
I set off from home to drive to Dublin for the last Irish EPT event. On the way, I had to pass through a toll plaza on the motorway, something I have done many times before. One of the lanes led to a coin basket, with no cashier on duty. You throw your money in and carry on through the barrier. At least that is what’s supposed to happen. I had exactly the right change; I threw it into the basket and waited for the barrier to open. Nothing! I tried to get out of the car to check if one of the coins had stuck in the basket. I was too close to the wall so I could not get the car door open. I then had to manoeuvre the car to a position where I could open the door to get out. No joy. The basket was empty, having eaten all my money. A quick look on the ground for stray coins produced nothing. By this time a line of impatient motorists had built up behind me and now they were stuck as well! I now had to start searching the car for more coins so that I could get out the metal cage I now found myself in. Coins found, I fed a couple more to the basket so I could make my escape. Thankfully, it let me through this time.
I drove on to Dublin with a bad feeling in my heart. Needless to say, every thing I touched that weekend turned to dust.

Another story on the subject of fate. This time the outcome is open to some conjecture. On a recent visit to the Northern Lights poker tournament in Blackpool, I ran into my old friend “Mad” Marty Wilson. We had both been knocked out of that day’s tournament so we were having a drink at the casino bar with a guy called Billy, a part time stand up comedian and panto performer. It had gone 11 pm when another casualty from the tournament joined us. This was none other than The Devilfish himself, making a rare appearance on the UK poker scene. Dave suggested that we all head into town for a drink and, as we had no other plans, it was all agreed. As we picked ourselves up and headed for the exit, who should walk into the casino but Dave’s girlfriend, who he obviously hadn’t included in his plans. A quick about turn and the whole outing was abandoned.
I have often wondered since what could have been that night. Not only was Billy a stand up comic, but Marty and Dave could have held their own in that department as well. What sort of night would we have had? Where would we have gone? What would have happened? What sort of joint would we have ended up in? Answers on a postcard to Poker Europa please!

Bouncers Poker

I played recently in Barcelona in a tournament that started online and finished with the last 45 playing it out live. Players from various parts of the world qualified and I met some interesting people. One, who had probably travelled the furthest, was a young man called Jimmy, who had come all the way from New Zealand. Jimmy was telling me of an interesting form of poker which exists in his neck of the woods. It is called Bouncers Poker and is played as normal except for the novel rule that, if someone puts a bad beat on you, you are entitled to put a beat on him, literally! Yes, if he cracks your Aces, you can take out your frustration by physically attacking him! All part of the game. Jimmy tells me that he has been on both sides of the beating many times. Mind you, I would not fancy putting a bad beat on Jimmy in this game. He is a big strong lad and would not look out of place in a rugby scrum. It’s an interesting concept though!

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