Poker Cruise 2006

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I Recently went on the Ladbrokes poker cruise from Miami around the Caribbean, and this page is were i'm gunna bore you shitless with details all about it, (unless of course u are one of my poker addict m8's who actually wanna read all about it).

Fri 13th/Sat 14th January Bradford-Miami
Sun 15th
Mon 16th
Tue 17th Tortola, British Virgin Isles
Wed 18th St Johns, Antigua
Thu 19th St Maarten
Fri 20th
Sat 21st Labadee
Sun 22nd
Mon 23rd/Tue 24th Miami-Bradford

Friday 13th/Sat 14th January

My trip started at 3.15pm today when I caught the train from Bradford interchange to Blackpool to meet my buddy Paul3763, a guy who invited me to be his roomie sometime mid-November during a 3-way MSN conversation with laddies regular pokerkaz. Paul and his wife Tracy picked me up from the station, then back to there place in Fleetwood for the obligatory beer or 10 and game of poker till around 2am, which was gr8 fun, but seeing as we had to be on the road by 5am for the drive to Heathrow, this left us a bit tired before we even started, and then spending 1½ hours on the tarmac due to BA ‘computer problems’ before the 9 ½ hour flight left us a tad peed off, but still in good spirits as we looked forward to the coming 10 days. We cleared immigration in Miami without delay and eventually boarded the Zenith around 9pm local time, which is 5hrs behind the UK, and didn’t know it then, but a cpl of hours sleep every 24 would be the norm over the duration of the cruise.

After a few beers in the first bar we came to, we decided to explore a bit, and then found the Rendezvous bar, where the first person I noticed was skalie, and after a quick chat, Paul and myself perched ourselves at the bar, and within a few mins we were chatting to such well known faces as Devilfish, Roy, Jesse and even pinching a quick kiss from Leilani and her m8 Jamelia, before chatting to JonBoyRebel, who had entered the $275 supersat to the main event with $200 rebuys, due to start around midnight.

We walked to the Fleet Bar with Jon to give him a bit of support, and although we didn’t stay till the end (around 4.30am I think) were surprised to find that this event had around 120 runners and generated 10 places, but the story of the tourny seemed to be the number of players and dealers who were seasick, with one Dealer even throwing his guts up over a woman player (pmsl). A few commented later, that by the end they were going all-in with crap just to get outta there, with dealers changing tables faster than Lawrence Llwelyn Bowen on speed, but wp to Jon who held his nerve and onto the contents of his stomach to get a place. Im lucky coz I don’t suffer from motion sickness and found it hilarious as I staggered from side to side, but I do that after a few beers anyway, so my condition was well disguised.

Eventually Paul and myself retired to our cabin, dog tired, but buzzing and looking forward to the first proper day aboard.

Sun 15th January

My first job this morning was to finish a little article I wrote for Laddies about the cruise to be published in the daily on-board newsletter, so tracked down Kirsty who let me use a PC in the operations room, and after I finished, got together with my cyber m8 Craig (chansennb01) and his roomie Joe (Jadeno1), then along with a few others, we made our way to the library to find out the score regarding STT’s, where I seeked out a very busy and hasseled Greg Amolis, (the head honcho) to find out more. Now I luv laddies as everyone knows, but have to comment on what was a less than satisfactory response, as basically the low-limit players were just NOT catered for, with the smallest STT being $60, with laddies taking a 20% rake, and no amount of arguing, pleading, saying we would self-deal, or pointing out that a large percentage of players were leaderboard FR qualifiers altered the fact that this wasn’t going to change, but Greg agreed that if we set up our own game and didn’t have more than $20 buy-in per person then he would turn a blind eye (more to get rid of us than anything IMO), and if we got grief from the Zenith crew, to get them to direct any queries to him personally, so we hunted round the ship looking for a quiet spot with tables big enough to seat us all. Eventually we discovered the ‘Windsurfer café’ on deck 11 next to the pool’s, and I had a chat with the restaurant manager who was happy to accommodate us, So here we started our poker games, and in the end this turned out to be a blessing, and we played rake-free for the duration of the cruise, and had some gr8 action with some gr8 guys, top names and reasonable prize pools, but more on that later….

e were also fortunate that Craig (chansennb01) and Joe (Jadeno1) bought a cpl of cases of cheap poker chips in Miami, as laddies wouldn’t let us borrow any of there chips (for security reasons, which although irksome to us made sense I suppose), but the fact that we seemed to be dismissed as unimportant made us all the more determined to make it work, which we did with a vengeance. I also gotta say thanks to Sandy, who happily supplied us with a few packs of laddies cards when we needed them.

In the evening, Paul and I ate in the best restaurant on the ship, seated with UnknownPro (Greg) and his m8 Jay, however we just missed the devilfish doing an impromptu performance on his guitar, which I was told was good fun, but we couldn’t wait till his next ‘spot’ coz more poker beckoned, so we wolfed down the fancy grub and back to the windsurfer for more action till 5am.

We heard a bit before we left about how much the booze would cost on the boat, and I suppose it was a tad more than a northerner like myself was used to, with each drink also attracting a 15% service charge. For example a bottle of Beer (Becks/Corona) totalled $5.42 (£3.14), a can of coke $2.24 (£1.29), a RichLizard Daiqouri or Pina Colada $6.84 (£4), and a bottle of Evian $2.80 (£1.66). I was told a story later on in the week that the organizers stocked up with 8x the amount of booze compared to when the boat was full of yanks, and as some brands were running short by the end, they obviously didn’t have a problem shifting it.

The casino wouldn't be empty for long. Neither Would The Fleet bar !!
Matt (higgi17) and Vicky (v_higgi17) relaxing before commencing battle at the tables. We all had to do lifeboat drill.
The cabins look cramped, but actually were ok, and we didn't spend much time there anyway. Paul sits at the head of the table waiting for the $5,500 Buy-in main event to start. spectators couldn't stay & watch on the first day, as it would have been too crowded.
Craig (chansennb01), Paul (toots m8), Daz (toot81), and Matt (higgi17) mull around the casino waiting till we got some action going.

Mon 16th January

As word of our games in the Windsurfer got around, we had to start accommodating more players, so now most games were 2 table $20 multi’s, and I found myself in the position of unofficial “tournament director” LOL, but one of the best games of the day was a 9-seater $10 rebuy, and after I returned from the toilet, found the guys swapped seats to leave Alan (NakedFlame) on the button when I was in the BB (grrrrr), and along with such other aggressive players as Bjorn (Fatal1ty), Joe (Jadeno1) and UnknownPro (Greg) at the table, it was obvious that there was gunna be a lot of action, and the muffing would abound (usually between Joe, NF and Fatal1ty), and we built up a nice prize pool of $280. The hand of the game had to be when NF raised with 23 soooooted, and on an ace high flop got a flush and str8 draw, eventually scooping a huge pot by making a str8 flush wheel on the river. At one time he had about 50% of the chips in play, but unfortunately couldn’t keep it going to bubble 4th, (nothing changes hehe), with Joe taking his first win of the week and a respectable $140.

A nice part of the day was when Phil “the_power” Taylor came and sat with paul and myself as we were having a coffee. Wot a really nice down to earth bloke he is. Of course we invited him to play, and i'm sure he wanted to, but it was awkward for him as he was onboard with the wife and in-laws, so got the impression that he had family duties as well as poker, (let that be a lesson to all u married poker junkies - don’t take the wife lol). Phil was first casualty in the main event, and took it well by saying he didn’t play his best (not his exact words lol) but he enjoyed himself all the same.

Paul went out of the main event after 5 hrs or so in a SB v BB confrontation when in the BB he found himself holding QQ facing a SB raise. As he was short stacked Paul pushed in, to find the SB holding bullets and he didn’t improve (ouch). I think paul was impressed that later in the week pokergirl1 remembered this and said to him “aint u that guy…..”, even tho he wasn’t sat on the same table !.

The pool area. I cud'v sworn i saw Greenpeace trying to get some of 'em back into the water. Phil 'The Power' Taylor stopped and had a chat with us after escaping from his carver. As i'm a darts fan, and having watched all his 13 world championship wins on TV, it was gr8 to meet him, and nice to know he's just a regular guy.
The first game in the 'Windsurfer cafe'. by the end of the week it would be a lot busier. Alan (NakedFlame) has a mountain of chips in the $10 rebuy. (the Greens are 500, blues 25 and reds 100), but by the end of the game he wud'v gambled 'em all away, in the way only he know how LOL.
Bjorn (Fatal1ty) laughing as Craig (chansennb01) looks on, wondering why his 52 offsuit didnt 'stand up' lol. Greg (UnknownPro) leaves the table.
My m8 Paul3763 looks on as toot's roomie Paul (The Man with no alias) casually moves his can of Bud All-In. (He'll get the hang of it eventually). ken0007 volunteered to deal for us, but unfortunately not even Ken's presence could calm his m8 NakedFlames's gambling addiction.
Joe (jadeno1) gets h2h with Greg (UnknownPro) in the $10 rebuy, but soon after.... We had a winner, with Joe (jadeno1) proudly taking the cash after finding yet another premium hand (hahaha). n1 Joe, u little card-rack !!!

Tue 17th January

This morning we landed at the British Virgin Islands, and had to take tenders to get ashore, a bit of a PIA, but worth the effort, with Craig and Joe wearing full scots ceremonial dress (kilts, sporrans, dirks etc), and almost every one we met commented how smart they looked, (and they did !!!, almost made me wish I was a cross dressing jock lol). We managed to purchase some local ‘produce’ within 10 mins of landing, before having a walk around, then retiring to pussers bar where we met others from the ship to have a few beers and kill a bit of time before heading back to the windsurfer to play more poker around teatime.

s a few players who started our private ‘pokerclub’ I aint mentioned yet, namely Hazel (RIVERMAID, Tim T8MML’s wife), Daz (toot81), Paul (toots roomie), Alan (jack-al) and his son Mark (BFA74) who had'nt played much live poker before, and as the trip went on, you could see these players improving by the day, but this evening I played my one and only official MTT on the ship the $200 double chance event. I bumped into an online buddy christer (cvendel) from stockholm, and his girlfriend in the (rather long) que, and was glad to meet him face to face after many chats online. Queing to register was the bane of many players all week, so hopefully this will be addressed for future events.

made it through the first day of the $200, only to finish 37th in the end I think it was, losing with 77 to a call from 99, with 30 paid outta 347 starters. Although I was fairly pleased, the format left a lot to be desired, with almost everyone I spoke to complaining of the 1500 starting chips, 30 min levels and antes kicking in too soon, turning it into a craphoot, more akin to ‘thelodgers’ all-in or fold tourny than a decent game. Not what we wanted at all, and with over $100k in the prize pool, I reckon top 50 should have been paid (well I would say that lol - btw 30th won $770). This ‘get it outta the way’ format prevented myself and numerous others from entering, (or they de-registered from the $500 events and also from the joke omaha $200 rebuy). Mebbe a less ambitious schedule with better structures next time Laddies !!.

Geordieneil in his natural pose.
Paul and I met a lovely couple Eileen and her boyfriend Simon firstly on the plane out. We kept Eileen company for a bit while Simon got his priorities right and played poker. Eileen didn't mind, coz she was chilled after a 4 hour beauty treatment.
GeordieNeil explains to Bjorn (Fatal1ty), the problems you can encounter when playing 'Any 2 sooted' in a live game.
Land Ahoy for the first time since leaving Miami, as we approach Tortola in the British Virgin Isles.
Who's that Guy gatecrashing Joe and Craig's photo?, buggered if i know lol. Pussser's bar where we had a few bevvies.
Inside the bar the lads slip a few cold ones down.

Wed 18th January

Today we landed in Antigua, and after securing a ‘souvenier’ from a local rastaman bumped into mr and mrs Crapper, and after the obligatory poker chat, (I think Wendy was a tad bemused lol), we made our way through the tourist area and onto the vibrant streets of St. Johns. Which wasn’t what I really expected, as it’s little more that a shanty town in places, but full of characters, eventually settling in a nice open air bar to sample a few brews. I tried a Caribbean dish of spicy fish and rice, but thought the price of $18 looked a tad expensive until I came to pay, and was pleasantly surprised when I got $10 change, not realising it was Antiguan dollars – doh !!. We also chatted to a nice couple from one of my favourite hiking places, Coniston in the Lake district (Mylord and wife) who had bought onto the cruise, before making our merry way back onto the boat for a shower, then down to the business of some more poker.

It was today when the spiders (Tony and Dawn), and the WHITEHUNTER’s (Paul and Sara) played there first game with us, and after that they were all to be regulars at the ‘Windsurfer card room’ for the duration of the trip, all picking up prizes somewhere (even Tony lol), and he was to comment later that he had more fun with us than in any of the big MTT’s he played, a testament to the quality, spirit and good sportsmanship shown by every single player where even the worst bad beats were met with a handshake and a ‘GL m8’.

Today was also the ladies FR, where Sara and Dawn had no luck, but my m8 Vicky (v_higgi17) got a creditable 6th, scooping $400, vwp indeed

We didn’t have too late a night this evening, as lack of sleep was catching up on us, so wrapped it up at the unusually early time of 1.30am

We bumped into Barry (BENNYTHEDIP2) outside the fleet bar. A relieved PatJennings in his usual relaxed mood around 4am after we both made it through the first day of the $200 double chance.
Portside in St.Johns, Antigua
The boys at the portside in the tourist area.
Crapper takes a break from talking poker to pose with his wife Wendy. MyLord and his wife enjoying some rum cocktails in the bar where we had lunch.
chansennb01 and Paul3763 charge there glasses (while fully charged themselves lol).

Thu 19th January

We Docked in St. Maarten, a pretty island, where half is run by Dutch and the other half by the french, and hired 4 scooters to go touring, but ended up with only 3, as Joe didn’t seem that confident once astride his steed, almost crashing before he left the yard, so he jumped on the back of craigs and later pauls. I didn’t feel confident to take my turn, as we didn’t opt for insurance lol. Our first stop was on the French side at a posh restaraunt, where the currency was Euro’s (seemed weird) and as we were leaving, the wind caught the parasol sending beer and glasses flying all over, oh oh, brits on tour. We later met a Yank who seemed to know a lot about English soccer, and quite liked my team Leeds united, so obviously didn’t know that much hehe. We had lunch at a creole place in French cul-de-sac, run by a nice guy called Hercule, who’s bar was covered in graffiti from visitors, so Paul signed all our Alias and ‘Ladbrokes Poker Cruise 2006’ for a laff. Next stop was a ride up to the viewpoint at Pic Paradis, 424m above sea level up a really rough track, before a beer in the French capital Marigot, returning to port just as it was getting dark, then after a quick shower resumed the poker at 7pm, where spider was unlucky losing with his favourite hand 55 to a str8 from a player holding K4 lol, but he did have his share of Fortune later after raising with 32, and catching bottom pair on an ace high flop, then calling an all-in announcing “I gotta muff someone this holiday”, before the river brought anuther 3, FAF. Roy’s Ma Jackie (OMAY1) and his pa (Roy senior) had became regulars with us by this time, and kept us up till 4.45am, With Jackie playing some strong poker, and Roy constantly pretending he didn’t know what he was doing, and he almost convinced me before trap checking and taking all my chips hehe, so anuther late but enjoyable night was had. We asked em to get Roy to come along for a game, but Jackie was a tad unhappy that Roy had to work so much and didn’t have any time, but i'm sure he would have made the effort had it been possible.

I think this was the night when Geordieneil had to be wheelchaired outta one of the bars after drinking copious amounts of Jack daniels, then getting into a Vodka drinking contest with a few scandi’s. By all accounts he was given a glucose injection and a bill of $189 for ‘Medical attention’ (which he later got back). Even though he cudn't remember it. When I asked him about it he said ‘I was p1ssed that’s all, done it many times’, and ‘I didn’t ask for treatment’, but never said if he won the contest, mebbe we’ll find out later lol.

Tony (spider99) and paul3736.
Our first View of St.Maarten from the ship.
U cant move for cruise ships in this part of the world, and we thought ours was a biggun until we saw some of the others.
The view of the marina from the French Restaurant during our first beer break of the day.
We parked the scooters to take sum piccys and met a nice American couple. he wanted to talk soccer, and she had no choice but to let him. It's a nice part of the world this !!
I ate curry goat at Hercules place, it tasted just as good as it sounds And this was our host Hercule.
The viewpoint at the top of pic paradis, i thoroughly recommend off-road scooter riding up and down steep hills for all u adrenalin junkies.
Portside in the French capital Marigot.
What else were we gonna do in the evening !!

Fri 20th January

e Started the poker again at 11am, as our regulars and some new ones milled around our usual spot, and just had a fun day, with RichLizard drinking his usual copious amounts of Strawberry Daiquiri and pina colada’s, and after initial name calling (“U poofter”), he’d persuaded a few of us to try them, so from then on both Daz (Toot81) and myself did our share. Phil (The_Power) sat with us for a while but didn’t play, but Mr_Gus (a scandi from Denmark would u believe) had become a regular and played some gr8 poker to take his share of the loot.

At this point I wanna comment on all the Scandi’s that sat with us, especially Fatal1ty and mr_gus. ok, there mad, there aggressive, they have more money than sense, but what a fantastic fun set of guys they were, and we all looked forward to a game with them, and learn’t what power poker (muffing) was all about, but having said that, even the scandi’s feared Joe, coz he’s impossible to make a move on, and if u see him on ur table be careful, coz he should have a warning tattoo’d to his forehead saying “This man can damage ur wealth”. The only guy who dared regularly to take him on was Craig (chansennb01) who knows him better than anyone, and want afraid to reraise AI with his Fav hand – 52 offsuit, commonly know as “the nuts”. (well it is in his own mind lol)

Today was the $1000 event, and as players from our games were eliminated, we took it in turns to pop into the Fleet Bar to watch some of the action, and Spider made The FT (as did devilfish), but Tony got unlucky when AI with AK v QQ, hitting his Ace on the flop but losing to a Queen on the river finishing 9th, still he picked up over 4k which was a nice consolation. Decision walked by soon after, and after a change of shirt joined us for some real action, and boy did he get it the first hand he played. Joe (jadeno1) limped UTG and Dec checked in the BB, betting out on a flop of 456. Joe smooth called, and when the turn was a Q, dec believed his 2 pair with Q5 was good and pushed, but wait… joe called, flipping over 37 offsuit, having flopped an insta-str8 with total crap. All Dec said was “nice hand sir” before taking up his double chance option and avoiding Joe for a while, but the happiest person in the game was Alan (Jack-al) who made his nut flush on the river and moved in to win a decent big pot against him, but after Dec passed (It was written all over Alans face) I said “u shudv bet smaller and milked some more”, but he said he got carried away and was just was glad he won, with a story to tell of how he took down a decent pot against one of the top Laddies players

We played once again till the wee small hours, with Jackie and Roy once again there till the bitter end and although no-one wants to leave when ur having so much fun, some sort of sense had to prevail, coz tomorrows anuther busy day

We still couldn't persuade Phil to have a game, but at least he got as far as the table this time. Alan (jack-al) was in a perpetual jovial mood.
Geordieniel has to explain to anuther scandi (this time mr_gus) that you can't outdraw his All-in with King-5 sooted and expect to escape unpunished. But mr_gus takes it in good spirit...
RoyTheMum (Jackie, alias OMAY1) and RoyTheDad (errr Roy wud u believe) were regulars, and kept us up way past our bedtime lol.

Sat 21st January

Today we docked in Labadee (im still not sure if its in the Dominican republic or Haiti), and had to take tenders to the shore, then after a beer, and a hunt for some more local produce, Paul, Matt (Higgi17) and myself decided to go jetskiing, and didn’t pay too much attention when the instructor said “it’s a bit choppy today” but after leaving the quiet waters near the beach we were thrust into a 6’ swell, and if uve never done it before, u soon learn what blind terror is, and “a bit choppy” means, but it was good fun, and on the way back got my 600cc machine upto 81kph on a calmer stretch, which was a real buzz.

We boarded back 4pm and having bumped into Leilani a cpl of times during the course of the day, saw her again as we waited for the poker junkies to congregate, and I had to ask her to stop stalking us, but she insisted in sitting down for a few photo’s and we were happy to oblige, with Richlizard, Toot81, the 2 Pauls, and myself making sure she got enough lol

Tonights game saw Richard Orford (TheOtherSide) sit down with us (thought i'd seen him somewhere before lol), and also we had a newbie called Menash (THE_PRO) join our 2 table tourny. What a really nice guy he is, and although he’s got a lot to learn, played a reasonable game and even managed to scrape into the money 4th getting $20 back at his first attempt, so wd m8 !!!. S7EVE (Steve) was 3rd, BFA74 (Mark) 2nd, with RichLizard scooping 1st.

Seriously, if theres one thing that newcomers can learn from some of the top players that sat with us during our trip, it’s how to conduct yourself at a card table, and no matter how good they are, or how much they have won in the past, the best know that it’s a GAME and on any given day anyone can win, so these guys keep a level head and play coz they luv poker, truly a lesson to us all.

The ‘Square’ family (John with wife and 2 kids also played a few games with us) with John’s daughter Rebecca agreeing to deal when she got heads up, start ‘em young I say lol, and I think she was slightly underestimated by RichLizard after she check raised him to scoop a big pot along the way

One of the most improved players during the trip was Mark (BFA74), who started playing more aggressively to win a tourny and grab a decent slice of today's loot with several other places, and he was Once again one of the hardcore that Played till 4am, with Roy giving it his usual ‘suppose i better put 'em in then’ but still managing to trap me with a sigh and top 2 pr lol – c'mon m8 u can think of a better one !!

muirspud99 seems to be concentrating on what he's doing for once, just before he gets back in character with that rag ace. Normally a 73 offsuit muffing by Joe reduces people to tears, but all Decision says is "nice hand sir"
The FT of the $1000 just before Tony's (Spider99) Exit. Devilfish is on the left of the table
Sara (WHITEHUNTER) and Dawn (spiders-wife) looking more like sharks than fish
The Zenith from the beach at Labadee. The Haitian market. U dont know what a 'hard sell' is till u've been there
Paul and I found a fish on the beach, so couldn't resist a photo And paul asked Leilani (TheVixen) to give him one as well
RichLizard looks like the cat that got the cream, while his Mrs gambles away the money in the casino
I had to get in on Richie's act lol, only seemed fair...
But toot81 (Daz) had drunk a few too many Strawberry Daiquiris, I don't think he even realised Leilani was there The sea was a tad rough leaving Labadee as u can see from the movement of the water in the pools. it got worse than this but i couldn't quite time the huge splashes, however u get the idea
These are a few other guys that had a game with us, from left to right: Catmc5 (Chris), Zuma1 (Tom), Russer (Morten), J-C (Jeppe) and Mazelucky13 (Mikkel)

Sun 22nd January

think today was the omaha $200 rebuy final, by all accounts a mental affair with some players having upto $3k in rebuys, and we were all dead chuffed when anuther of our regular players muirspud99 walked away over 21k richer for 2nd place, a fantastic result for him, and his dad (who unfortunately learned his poker from his son) picked up a few dollars in the Windsufer too, the last thing we need is anuther muff on laddies, but we’ll forgive him coz he doesn’t know any better lol.

So, today was our last day, and also the FT of the main event with the 'voice of poker' Jesse May giving it the build-up in only the way he can, and as skalie walked on last as chip leader, Toot was already spending the £10 he had on him at 50/1, but a few hands later, a 3-way AI ensued with A9 v QQ v Kal’s KK, and in true laddies fashion the ace-9 flopped 2 pr, but the QQ made a backdoor flush to leave skalie 600k poorer and in last place. On day 2 Kal took down AA with 99 when AI v pkrbt after rivering a 9 so its swings and roundabouts I suppose, but he was happy with 170k for an eventual 3rd place, and thoroughly deserved his money as he played his usual strong game all week.

It goes without saying that we played a lot more poker today, but also watched the closing ceremony where prizes were presented and numerous laddies players showed a lot of bottle and did themselves proud by doing a turn. Us Windsurfers were surprised to see one of our players s7eve up there (he never said beforehand) who although looked a tad nervous at first was gr8. Norman Pace showed he still has it, Elvis-Senior got ‘em singing, Lucy Porter had ‘em laughing, and of course Devilfish did his usual spot on the guitar (good, but don’t give up the day job fella lol).

We also had what was probably a first at a poker presentation, when a streaker took to the stage, I can’t remember what his name was but know he was a geordie, it was FAF to see him cartwheeling across the stage, bits flapping as did his thing, before sliding down the bannister in playboy pose. We left just before the end to get just a few more games in before bedtime at 2am.

All week we kept hearing about a character called ‘The flying Fin’, and although I don’t play cash tables and never saw it myself, kept hearing similar stories about how he would move in amounts like $300 UTG on the $1/$2 cash tables to win $3. the story goes he was drunk as a lord most of the time, and didn’t seem to care wether he won or lost, and I heard of players turning a few hundred dollars into a few thousand in minutes coz of his generosity. I even heard a rumour that his account was suspended after he lost $100k, but u know what rumours are like… mebbe we will find out more later. I don’t think the cash tables had a limit on the maximum u could bring in, which doesn't sound like a good idea to me, and i'm sure it spoiled the game (and bankroll’s) of a few players unlucky enough to be caught in his wake on the odd time he hit his cards.

muirspud99 the elder - his son gave him some advice beforehand, which he correctly forgot as soon as he sat down. The 'Square' family. Rich soon learned the humiliation of being check-raised by a schoolgirl.
John (square). I'm not sure if this is BB-BAZ or the Yorkshire ripper.
Richard Orford more than held his own at the table.
THE_PRO (Menash). he did really well for a newbie.
That's Sandy and Kirsty on the left, (I think sandy slept in the office), and I apologise coz i cant remember the names of the other 2, but all Ladbrokes staff deserve a huge pat on the back for there hard work. That's Fiona and Joanne from sherrings, always smiling and happy to help.
were down to 4 on the final table of the main event. Geordieneil, Kal and myself. I felt quite slim standing next to these poker heavyweights lol.
ELVIS-SENIOR (bruce) gets em singing.
Mr Ulliot entertains us as well. He asked a question when he finished, and the first to answer got his guitar. I wonder if 'Mad Marty' Wilson can actually play the thing...

Mon 23rd/Tue 24th January

e had to be up at 6.30 to collect our passports and go through immigration (which was held on the ship) to disembark around 10am, and as Geordieneil, Joe (jadeno1), Craig (chansennb01), Paul and myself waited for a shuttle bus to take us into miami, I bumped into my m8 Snorre (alias bicycle, a Norski I met in cardiff on a laddies Video shoot last August) with his girlfriend. After the handshake and synchronized “I didn’t know u was on the ship” we asked if they wanted to spend the day with us, so all 7 of us traveled to south beach together and had a gr8 day drinking, shopping and sightseeing, and wud u believe a game of poker in the hotel room? No, didn’t think u would lol.

I wont bore u with the details of the flight/tube/train journey home, apart from we had to laff when the tube stopped for 5 mins because 'the sun was shining on the monitors', which is even better than the 'leaves on the line' or the 'wrong kind of snow' excuse pmsl, needless to say it was a chit journey, but I got back into Bradford at 5pm on The 24th, Tired but with a head full of memories on what was one of (if not the best) holiday i've ever had.

A few other things I wanna mention are the hard work and dedication shown by the Sherrings and Ladbrokes team’s, who never stopped, (not much of a holiday for them), and although I could could give a few names, it would be unfair to pick anyone out in particular. It’s easy to criticize those that are on the front line, and we all do it from time to time, but having had a taste of what its like trying to organise just 20 players on 2 tables, it sure gives u a different perspective on what it takes to make an event like this happen.

The trip also reinforced my already strong view that the Laddies community is by far the best and friendliest bunch of people anywhere in any sport or game i've ever played, so hats off to every single one of ya for making the past 10 days a real blast, And I apologise if i've missed anyone out, but my final thanks goes to Paul3763, a guy who upto November, I had only chatted to at the tables, but who was generous enough to invite me as his guest to make all this possible.

Snorre (alias bicycle) on the left, g/f (Ingar i think) and the boys having a beer or 5 in Miami. Joe left his keys in Ft Lauderdale on the way down, so spent a good hour making phone calls, and $100 on a taxi to bring 'em back. South Beach Miami, concrete covered in sand. lovely....

That's it, I hope u enjoyed my little tale, so cheers, hope to cya all again soon, and the question everyone's asked me back home was 'Did u win?', well the truth is that i came back with just a little more money than I left with, which is nice, but if I came home skint, would still have enjoyed it just the same

Cheers :)


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