Confessions of a Poker Writer: Heading to the WPT500 at Dusk till Dawn

Confessions of a Poker Writer: Heading to the WPT500 at Dusk till Dawn

Confessions of a Poker Writer: Heading to the WPT500 at Dusk till Dawn

Lee Davy continues his confessions series with a trip down Dusk till Dawn memory lane ahead of a visit to play in the WPT500.

The first time I ever saw Dusk till Dawn (DTD) I was a very happy man. Paul Scholes had just scored a last minute winner to hand me a chunk of change that meant no matter what happened over the next few days I was a winner. I heard the goal go in on the radio as I stepped out of the taxi.

It’s a impressive sight for the average Joe poker player. Those four pillars representing a certain level of affluence; visions of Roman Emperors bathing in coconut milk spring to mind. But deep inside the halls of this poker palace, wealth bows down to working class.

That air of nervousness soon passes when you enter the card room. It was chocka the day that I arrived with the boys from the valley. There was no specific reason to be there other than the rumor that it was the best card room in Europe. I have since been to a lot of card rooms in Europe, and I can confirm that the rumors are actually true.

We played cash with the Northern lads. We had fun. Afterwards we had one of those experiences that rank alongside seeing a shooting star, a tiger in the wild, or a women taking her clothes off in the bedroom window as your train trundles passed at 5mph – we found out that the nearby McDonalds was open 24-hrs.

Whilst we were waiting in the queue – which itself amazed us considering that it was 5am – we struck up a conversion about bidets. My friend Steve didn’t understand how they worked, Eddie said that he used them to wash his pants in, and Terry Welsh told us that he liked them – because they made his asshole tingle – but he always felt that it was wrong to leave the shit stained towels for the maid to clean up.

The second time I went to DTD was to work. Partypoker were hosting the 24-hr cash game and I was splitting the blogging coverage with Snoopy. Back in 2011, if you worked in the UK poker industry you would know that Snoopy wasn’t a backwards-white dog who slept on top of his kennel – Snoopy was the best poker writer in the business.

I was once told, what set Snoopy apart from everyone else, was his ability to write: “Daniel Negreanu opened with a raise, Phil Hellmuth folded, and Daniel Negreanu picked up the pot,” in more ways than that Clint Eastwood movie with the monkey called Clyde.


In theory, you should be delighted to work alongside a literary genius. But I have to be honest with you. Give me a thick c**t that makes me look good anytime of the day.

When I arrived at DTD I quickly realized that I wouldn’t be setting foot in the building. For the next 12-hours my home would be the Matchroom production van. I would watch the coverage, from a small TV screen, cramped in the corner, trying to make it seem interesting for the reader. My ass hurt like hell, and I developed a strange crick in my neck.

The one time that I did venture into the building I bumped into Dusty “leatherass” Schmidt. By now I felt I had something in common with him because my ass was also feeling like leather. Schmidt was in a state. Like a fog had glossed over his eyes. He told me that he had just learned that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker had been closed down.

Schmidt followed me into the production van as I attempted to log on to both of my accounts. We were both greeted with that FBI sign that poker players tell their children about when telling horror stories by the camp fire.

“I’ve lost everything.” Said Schmidt.

All poker players will remember where they were around Black Friday, and a lot of them will have been at DTD. It felt like a safe house. A place that the bad guys couldn’t touch. I imagined bombs raining down outside and a special shield protecting us from within. They always had a great buffet, lovely folk to shoot the shit with, and a game of cards that the FBI couldn’t stick their sign on.

In a fortnight’s time I am heading back to those four pillars of strength. I am going to be playing in the WPT500. It will be the first time I have played poker since the world series, and I can’t think of a better tournament to be involved in. For people who like to slither around the grassroots of poker, this event is the equivalent of a Main Event.

The £500 buy-in means it’s a more palatable meal for the other half to swallow, and the £1m Guarantee is enough to get you dreaming of that big score. The score that will wipe out your Christmas worries in one fell swoop.

If the £500 buy-in is still a little steep, then don’t stress. There are a whole host of live and online qualifiers to choose from, and you don’t even have to spend more than a quid. If you think that’s a pipedream then consider that Leigh Wiltshire qualified for the Sky Poker UK 6-Max Poker Championships, for a quid, and walked away with the £110,000 first-prize. Where was that event held? I will let you work out the math.

The event has a £1m guarantee because players have the option of playing seven starting days (A-G), they can re-enter once a day, can play everyday irrespective of busting, and carry their biggest stack into Day 2.

Does this give the pros and moneymen the edge?

Who cares?

There’s a million guaranteed, and if this is the only way to generate the type of prize money that can help me buy a house, then give them the edge. Leigh Wiltshire was not a flash in the pan. We are all capable of riding the same wave.

So if you are heading down to Nottingham to play in the WPT500 Nov 9-16, then I will see you there. Don’t let those pillars scare you. Once you walk inside you will feel the love. And at the end of the night, there is the magical experience of the 24-hr McDonalds, and that tingling sensation that only a bidet can provide.

Just remember one thing.

Don’t use the towels to wipe your ass.