If the original cast of Grease reunited then I think the Devilfish would make an excellent Kenickie. He’s just sat there melting under the gentle touch of one of the massage girls with a lollypop hanging from my mouth.
“That’s my lollypop,” says Marcel Luske one seat to his right.
Sorry Marcel but there’s no part in our production of Grease for you – far too dapper for a show like that. Both men have got huge smiles on their faces. They have been playing this game long before the kids on their table were even born.
A few tables to their left and you have the charming Praz Bansi; the trademark blue baseball cap and white trainers, signatures of his two World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet wins. Bansi is not in a very good mood, but not even his mood was going to stop him from participating in this event. You hardly see him on the live tournament scene these days, but even a Bansi sabbatical can give way to a €589,000 overlay.
“Woke up in a bad mood today. Driving to Wembley to play the ISPT. Won’t be posting pictures of igloos, won’t be doing chip count updates and I won’t be talking about any hands. Good luck if you’re at my table today as you are going to need it!” Bansi stated on Facebook.
But he does have a smile on his face. Probably, brought on by the sounds of Shirley & Co screaming “Shame, Shame, Shame on You” from the extremely loud tannoy sound shuddering around this vast arena.
It’s cold in the igloo today – much colder than yesterday. But the banter is lively and there is warmth amongst the crowd. There is a strong contingent from Dusk till Dawn (DTD) intermingled by the superstars of the past and present such as Liz Lieu, Peter Eastgate, Devilfish and Luske.
As you would expect, there is a strong British feel to this tournament. JP Kelly, Tom Middleton and Jamie Sykes are forming a circle at the bar…guess there isn’t going to be a million pound day for them. Jack Ellwood is back in live action and that’s always good to see, and you can’t see the face of the cash game player Pete Linton because he is buried behind the largest chip stack in the room.
91 amateur players have squeezed into the Cruyff tent to participate in the APAT Poker Masters. The field lessened somewhat by the huge number of amateur qualifiers sitting in the oversized bouncy castle that is the Beckham tent. There are over 500-players milling in and around the poker village. It’s difficult to criticize this event once you are immersed in the center of it. When all is said and done the inaugural ISPT event will have recorded 761-entrants. I’m not a poker bibliography but I’m pretty sure only David Vamplew’s EPT London success in 2010 had a bigger field for a major UK event.
The irrepressible Tony G is standing in the center of the Beckham tent like a Lion casting an eye over his prey.
“You have to commend the guys for putting on a tournament of this magnitude. Just look at what they have achieved. Who would have thought they would have pulled it off?” Said G.
Tony G nails it. They have pulled it off and if they ever hold another tournament like this again – the ISPT does have the word ‘Tour’ in the middle of it – then the news will spread and the people will flock.
“The €1 million guarantee is amazing. All of that money is going back into the poker community. This is great, and they are talking about filling the O2 arena in Prague next. It’s exciting times.”
G made a brief appearance on Day 2A, but it wasn’t to be his day. Would he be firing his second bullet?
“Of course. I have a business meeting at dinner and then I am going to sit down and enjoy myself. All of these people want to beat me. They all want a piece of Tony G, but I am going to crush them all.”
The Devilfish looks over and winks at the G-Meister general.
“I have crushed him many times.” Said G.
Let’s hope we get to see the old stalwarts playing for pink slips at the business end of this tournament.