Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Farlowe live on Berlin


For years I have felt slightly old at any music concert I have attended but last week I had the pleaseant surprise of appearing to be one of the youngest at the gig.

I went to see Chris Farlowe who I had been introduced to (musically not personally) by a friend in Leeds who had gone through an Atomic Rooster phase.

I decided to go once I heard the band had a Hammond organ player and watched a few clips of Farlowe on Youtube. Was half expecting it to be half empty but was pleased to see it was close to a sell-out as I wondered into the cellar bar a few minutes before the scheduled start.

I made/pushed my way past some people after getting a drink and stood waiting near the front of the stage. I then experienced something, I'd not had happen to me for years. I had a 'leaner'!

A 'leaner' is a man (women don't lean) who, at a social function where space is at a premium, (though not always) will lean their back into you with the aim of forcing you to move or provoke a fight.

Considering I have not had the slightest trouble in Germany I was quite shocked at he leaner and at first thought it might have been someone who was pissed. However it continued as we waited for the band to appear. he managed to push me into people walking past with drink so I turned around and asked what his problem was.

"Oh, English," he said and his friend mumbled something. The 'leaning' stopped and was shocked to see the guitar player was Paul Thompson (Tommo) who seed to work at Teamtalk. OK, it wasn't Tommo but I spent the first few songs imagining it was and how good he was on guitar.

At half-time it was a refreshing site to see nearly as many people outside smoking as was left inside. Got chatting to a German and an annoying black bloke who dominated the conversation. I hate conversation dominators especially when the other two people are too polite to tell the idiot to shut up. I think these type of people know that.

Anyway, Farlowe was good value though his band were better -the Hamburg Blues Band...though not enough Hammond organ. Decided to smoke during the second half of the gig...no-one complained and no-one leaned into me.

Came home drunk and for the first time in my life played poker drunk. Obviously I lost. Good night though.

Here's a clip of Chris Farlowe from Berlin - not much hammond organ though...well nice break in the middle.

Monday, November 10, 2008

And then there were two


The poker world has been waiting for 117 days for the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event to get underway and for the players, I am sure every one of them has had thoughts of taking home the gold bracelet and the huge pot of $9.1m.


So for those that have fallen by the wayside as the ‘November Nine’ has been whittled down to the final two, to speak of their disappointment would be a massive understatement.

Most observers would have expected Kelly Kim to bust out first, given the fact he started play as the short stack by some margin, but it was Craig Marquis who was the first to go, despite flopping a set.

“When you flop a set, you expect to win the hand,” said Marquis afterwards. “That was certainly unfortunate for me, but that’s why we play this game.”
Unfortunately for Marquis, Scott Montgomery hit a runner-runner straight to knock him out with nothing to show for the delay, while Kim managed to hang around long enough to boost his pay-off by a further $388,000 or so.
He had to make his move sooner rather than later but he was next to go when his pocket 4s ran into a pair of 9s, although he received a standing ovation for his perseverance.
David ‘Chino’ Rheem was arguably the most disappointed after dominating Darus Suharto pre-flop. Chino moved all-in with A-K and would have been pleased to see the Canadian turn over A-Q.

However, that joy would prove to be short-lived as a Q landed on the flop and there was no help for Rheem on the turn or river, sending him home in seventh place, with the consolation of $1.7m.

“How do you think I feel right now? Seriously, not to be rude, I put my heart into it,” Rheem said when asked to describe his mood. “My heart is broken right now. I feel like shit. You can quote me on that. I feel like shit.”
The pair of Canadians were the next to be sent to the rail with Montgomery (AQ) knocking out compatriot Suharto (A8) who was sad to depart the arena, saying: “I can’t lie. I feel pretty disappointed.”

Montgomery though was next to go and to a one-outer as well. He hit an ace on the flop to put him ahead of Peter Eastgate’s pocket 6s and after the tournament director announced Dennis Phillips had mucked a six, he must have been devastated to see a 6 come on the river – although he hid his emotions pretty well to be fair.

“I was behind when I got it all-in, so I don’t consider that a bad beat,” Montgomery said. “I certainly wanted to finish better that fifth.”
Ylon Schwartz did not hang around for long after Eastgate’s pocket 5’s beat his A10 – maybe he wanted to get a jump on his tequila binge with his $3.7m winnings – and Dennis Phillips, who had started play as the big stack, was the last man to go, collecting $4.5m, leaving the two Europeans to fight it out for the bracelet – Ivan Demidov and Peter Eastgate.

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