swampy on parkinson (aug 2010.)
Thought I would tell you about my time on the world famous chat show Parkinson, but more about that later.
Ever since February of this year poker at Teesside has been very rewarding. A record of 24 finals out of 33 on my only night of play a Monday and the occasional Friday has been very pleasing.
Everything that has happened poker wise at Teesside has come up smelling of roses however this run could not continue and August was the complete opposite. Not one final table. One bubble and a few 12TH places and that's been about it. Towards the end of the month I did win a seat in the Teesside leg of the corals masters poker tour main event to be held at Teesside in early September.
Online I did win a £1000.00 main event seat which I am using for Blackpool in November.
The more observant of the regular followers will realize this is being written in September but for clarity the topic is August.
I did not manage the dusk till dawn £300.00 in August but sadly did manage the £1000.00 main event at Luton.
I played the same event last year almost to the day and busted out with pocket kings on a king 5 5 board, my opponent the legendary Dave Smith holding pocket fives.
This year I went out holding pocket Aces on a QUEEN 5 5 board my opponent holding pocket fives. Spooky.
Have you improved as a poker player?.
Are you a better player than this time last year?.
What aspect of your game have you intended to improve?.
Have you maintained the best part of your game or improved that aspect?.
Have you ironed out the small flaws and habits that have crept into your game?.
Have you realized what impression players in your regular game have of you?.
What have you learnt poker wise recently?.
A endless list of questions that could take a week to write if not longer.
However the one question that will end the pre mentioned list is ...
What have you done about any of the above?.
In my case the answer to all of the above is a resounding no and what have I done about the answer at best is very little.
I wonder if anyone even asks themselves these questions.
In 2005 -2008 I was on top of my game. My results nationally were ok or slightly better than average, at local level second to none and I say that with out fear of contradiction.
2oo9 was a really bad year poker wise both at home here in the north east and on my travels.
I had many deep conversations with people in poker who's opinions I really value regarding the lack of success, the change in my game etc.
Eventually between friends and more importantly myself the tweaks were made, the little issues identified and ironed out and with that the results this year have returned.
So that's that sorted one would think, a little blip, identified and fixed easy, one would think.
But it is not. Today I am a better player than I was in 2009 but not better than I was in 2008. That is a fact and true at that.
Every poker player has a skill and the more elite among us have several.
I have one.
I am not a gambler I actually dislike gambling which for a poker player you would think it is a contradiction, but it is not.
If anyone has seen me play roulette form a orderly queue.
If anyone has seen me play blackjack in the last 5 years form a orderly queue.
When i said every poker player has a skill here is mine.
I can read people to level that some people will never get to in there life's.
Mix that with a brain that holds tells on people with a recall system second to non and that's me. That's why I am slightly better than average no other reason.
So when someone points out to you that you are not at the level you were at previously and that is what you have been thinking for a while you have to take notice.
You have to ask yourself why?.
To me it is pretty apparent. For the want of a better saying I have become to nice.
At a recent competition which I entered on level two it took me another two levels to get over the niceties with my fellow players.
Did you hear about so and so...
Are you going there next weekend?
How did you do in Vegas?
Then a few hellos and hand shakes from the table behind you and by the time that all over it is level 4.
I than start playing poker and within a few levels have the run of the table, therefore giving myself a chance of progressing.
Wind back to 3 or 4 years ago I wanted to beat everyone in the room. I still do but 3or 4 years ago my mentality was I wanted the opposition to raise the white flag or call there mum asking for help.
I wanted to kill them psychologically.
I don't think I am doing this at the moment.
I AM NOT MAXIMISING MY STRENGTHS ARE YOU?.
In 2007 I broke one of the best readers of players on the circuit, and this is when he was on top of his game.
Like I said every player has a skill Nick Slades is reading people and he is a master.
The only other poker player I seen read people better than Nick is a local lad called Ian Bradley who no longer plays poker.
A hand occurred in Blackpool where Nick went for his read to my all in re raise and Nick passed.
Sounds so trivial written like that doesn't it but let me tell you as far as poker playing goes it was the severest test I have ever faced. I passed the test.
What I am saying here is not that I am a better player than Nick slade as I am not, what I am saying that moment was a deciding factor in how far I could go in the game.
That was the acid test to what slight advantage I have.
So going forward no more Mr nice guy.
I used to box badly but I done it. Every now and again you would square up to someone who would have "fire in his belly".
You did,nt know what it was but there was fire there and you were in for a tough time.
There are poker players out there who have fire in there belly. Chris Brammer has it now, Sam tricket had it and may still have. When I first met Sunny Chatta he had it , Priyan de Mel has it from the first time I met him.
Locally Mark Trett has it , Dave Hudson has it , Tom Middleton has it , Chris Woods has it.
Mark Goodwin had it
and I could go on.
I had it but don't have it now, but it will come back.
So have you improved as a poker player from this time last week, last month , last year?
With all that heavy stuff guess now is a good time to tell you about my Parkinson experience.
Years ago I used to go every so often to the Vic in London.Play a few comps but primarily grind out the cash games with the weekend tourists.
It proved very profitable. A lonely journey, a bit of a grind but rewarding never the less.
Once I got to know Dave Maudlin he regularly accompanied me down to London and both him & I done very well.
Every Friday that we went we had the same routine.
Enter the Friday night competition, and once both of us were out we would head to a Local Greek restaurant for a decent meal before grinding the cash game.
This particular night Dave finished 7TH and we were late getting to the restaurant.
However as we had got to know the staff they fitted us in, on a little 2 seater table right at the front of the restaurant.
I grabbed the seat facing the restaurant with Dave sitting with his back to everyone.
We ordered our usual and chatted about our plan of attack foot the forth coming cash game.
As Dave waffled on about percentages in this hand and that hand(yawn) I started to look round the restaurant and paid close attention to the noisy table right at the back. I could not make out who they were as the restaurant was quite busy.
However as people made there way home and a clearer view was secured I couldn't believe who was making all that noise.
Non other than...
The world famous Des who had major hits with dic a dum dum and I believe.
Now at this point Dave had not even bothered to look round and had no idea the world famous Des was sat behind him.
I so wanted to say something to Dave but then my mind started thinking.
MMM a cunning plan.
About 10 minutes later off goes Des to the loo.
"Just nipping to the loo" I tell Dave.
Once in the said little boys room there stands Des at the urinals with his dic a dum dum in is hands.
I sensibly wait.
Des goes to the sink and starts washing his hands.
"Des I exclaim, wow how brill it is to meet you, can I have your autograph. My mum is your greatest fan etc etc.
He pulls a pre written autographed photo from his inside pocket and hands it over.
Then I said...
Des your game for a laugh, I want to wind my mate up who I'm sat with.
After promising to donate a healthy sum to the variety club I hand me cash over and Des agrees to my request.
All I have asked him to do is come over to out table when we are eating and say...
Hi Paul, how's the poker going.
Simple really, I did tell him the answer would make him laugh.
Heading back to the table I sat down with Dave and our meal dually arrived.
About 10 minutes later up gets Des and heads toward our table.
He arrives and blurts out "hi Paul hows the poker going"
At this point Dave's mouth just opens and for once he is totally speechless
But after my reply his jaw drops to his plate , as I reply......
Hi Des nice to meet you again but do me a favour and fuck off as I,m eating my tea".
Des moves behind Dave and is pissing himself laughing.
Dave is staring at me as if I have just insulted the queen.
Question after question follow off Dave and I make some story up about advising on a celebrity t.v poker programme with Des on it.
He believes every word.!!!!
On his way out Des pops a bottle of wine on our table and as he goes out says
"I will give you a ring Paul tomorrow"
Many months later I was watching Parkinson with the golfer Sam Torrance as the main guest and lo and behold Des O'Connor was also on.
Sam Torrance was going on about how he hates fame and the intrusion on his private life etc and says he hates being disturbed when eating out with his family etc.
Des pipes up...
"Your not gonna believe what happened to me."
I went to this restaurant in London a while back when I was approached in the gents....
Until next time.