Author Archives: david

The Mad Yank

‘The Mad Yank’ was an irritating feature of poker rooms in London about five or six years ago. He had been in the US military, he said, a submarine officer, but he said a lot of things, he seldom shut up, high-pitched, often shouting, with an opinion on everything, almost all of which I disagreed […]

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Big Fucker at the Golden Nugget

If the Empire, in Leicester Square, is the closest we get to a Vegas Strip kind of cardroom, then the Golden Nugget on Shaftesbury Avenue is strictly Vegas downtown, Fremont Street. It’s a small casino, and it feels local, almost friendly. The game I was in though was becoming serious. ‘Someone looking at me would […]

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Waiting for the marines

A friend was in the Academy Club last week. She met a nice man named Patrick O’Connor who was wildly enthusiastic about the book. Turned out he was reviewing it for the TLS. Then, a couple of days later, he died. I’m sure he was a very nice man and if I’d have known him […]

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Farewell to Argentina

In Buenos Aires there are many wild cats, which seem to lead quietly contented lives, supported by the food scraps provided by tender-hearted matrons. In Mar del Plata, wild dogs share the streets and parks and shadows. They appear to live in a parallel world, accepting food when it is offered, but I never saw […]

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All-in and Out

55 versus AQ. Opponent hits a straight on the river. Taxi to the airport, please.

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Alive but Crippled

Day 1B has just finished; there are 35 survivors from the starting field of 151. I’m one of them, but with about half the average stack. No one likes a bad beat story, but all the same this is my blog and you’re going to get one. A couple of hours ago, I was cruising […]

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Getting Ready for Day 1B

The morning goes like this: breakfast in the hotel buffet, then a walk along the seafront and back to the hotel — narrowly avoiding Jack from near Sacramento, whose blustery attempts to bolster his fragile self-esteem are becoming rather wearing — then a shit and a shower (excuse me if this is more than you […]

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Other People’s TV

There’s a rather charming game show on television here where contestants stand on a high platform in tight yellow leisure wear and endure the ordeal of holding a tray of drinks, with the aim of being the last person standing. When that’s finally over, we cut to the studio where girls in bikinis take it […]

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We’re Under Way

This being Latin America, players go for a different kind of card protector here. There were 140 entrants today, and after two-and-a-half hours, 136 were left, with the average chip stack being a little under 11,000 from the starting size of 10,000. Our Dutch friend, Patrick, in short-sleeved shirt and sunglasses below, had just under […]

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Day 1A About to Start

At the PokerStars welcome party in the Gran Provincia Hotel in Mar del Plata (tango dancers, buffet, well-stocked bar, speeches from dignitaries, or so I supposed) I fell into conversation with Jack, who’s from somewhere near Sacramento. Being surrounded by groups of vaguely autistic, testosterone-loaded, poker-playing lads is preferable when they’re doing their stuff in […]

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