Landed in Paris: It’s all about the poker

Published by trickyrock on

When you look at the poker calendar and see that the next event is at the Aviation Club in Paris, you face a decision that feels similar to the shock of dropping a five pound note into a toilet. You know what the right thing is to do financially, but to do so will be a pretty grim experience.

One of the things I love about poker is the opportunity to visit new places, but there is just one exception to that. I have just spent an hour at the only casino that could make you wait so long to buy-in, contemplating the irony that it is the only casino that charges an entrance fee. One hundred Euros is a sickening price to pay for being made to feel apologetic for  wanting to buy-in for their poker tournament.

I have always said that success in poker is all about attitude, so maybe it is only right that the worst players in Europe play at the most unpleasant casino. None of the English contingent is here, and it’s a pokey casino whose only consolation is to remind you of the good our smoking ban has done. The trip really is all about the poker.

I’m here for two days, to take in the 1k Euro and 2k Euro events at the Euro Finals of Poker. I’m very excited to try to play some decent stuff, and make a good start to the year. After all, if I play anything like I did in Galway,  I could find myself leaning over to get my fiver and dropping my phone in as well!

1k side event, Day 1

Wow. For all that the surroundings are not pleasant, the poker yesterday most definitely was. I had a rare day, where things went well and luck fell in my favour, and turned my 10k stack into 140,400. Not able to write much at the moment, as I’m going back for the re-start soon. I’ve got everything crossed, it would be wonderful timing to get a good result here. There was a roller-coaster of emotions in the middle of the day, here is how one 20 minute period unfolded:

I’m playing 22k, and raise on the cut-off to 2,400 with Kd10d. The small blind goes all-in for 11,200, and I decide I just about have the odds to call. He shows 77, and the flop comes an encouraging QQ9, but the turn and river brick to knock me down to 10,800. The French guy says “thankyou” sarcastically, and we have the bizarre situation not only of me correcting the manners of someone two generations older than me, but trying to do so in French.

Down to 8k, I pick up QQ second to speak, and the player under the gun raises to 3,200. I put my chips in, and he snap calls with kings. Flop J32 Ah, what am I doing in this miserable city? I’ve had to leave my girlfriend for two days, I should never have come. This is the same old luck story all over again……………

Turn queen. Wow, that wasn’t meant to happen! Back in it a little with 18k.

Just two hands later, I find AsQs on the big blind, and the hijack raises to 3,400. He has made some speculative calls, so I push it all-in, and he thinks for a while before calling with Ac10c.

First card Qs, next two 5c, 4c. Ahhhhhh! I see, they’re going to do it to me this way. But the turn and river somehow blank, and I suddenly have 38k.

Things went well from there, but not enough time to write now, dashing back over there.

2nd day update

It finished for me in Paris a couple of hours ago. I had a good run in the early part of the day, that enabled me to take 200k to the final table. On about the third orbit, I was a victim of the structure, as a spot came up where one player raised to 28k, two other players called, and with AQ I saw no option but to push in my 215k stack. The French player called with JJ, and we would be racing for a 460k pot. The board came out a devastantingly low 326710, and I was down to an almost comical 9,000 chips. This was gone within two hands, and I had finished 8th.

Poker is such an challenge of emotions, not just for the bad beats and bust outs just before the money, but for these scenarios. It was a day when the poker Gods had flirted enough to convince me that I might just be in favour. However, they disappeared when most needed. It’s just so important not to be disappointed on these occasions. I take a more balanced approach to realise that I had rode my luck and had a lot of fun, and am really happy with the finish. It’s good to get a score on the ranking points board at the start of the year, and that was a really exciting tournament for the best part of two days.

However, I do find travelling tough especially when I’m on my own, and now just can’t wait to get home, and to my girlfriend.  I’ll be writing the mistakes up soon, but it’s nice with the last hand at least to be able to think “nothing I could do.”



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Categories: 32Red Poker News


JamesAtkin · January 14, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Hey man,

You deserved the bit of luck you got with those hands. “Thank You” has to be the most irritating thing ppl say. You can get it all in on a flop with AA vs 9T on A83, but be sure that they will say “thank you” when it comes 6 turn, 7 river!!!

Anyways, best of luck with this man

(is €100 the entrance fee to Aviation, or did you mean the rake on the 1k event??)

trickyrock · January 14, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Hey James,

Good to hear from you. How are things going? When are we going to see you again on the live tournament circuit?

Yes, would you believe it, 100 Euros is the entrance fee for the smallest, smokiest and rudest casino on the tour. Live poker is so much about having fun and enjoying some pleasant company, that I think I might not bother coming back here anymore.

See you soon mate,


JamesAtkin · January 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Hey mate,

What did you have against the Queens? Unlucky btw, not much choice but to squeeze with at least 2 of the 3 possibilities. If you had KQ, sorry! lol…

Bankroll took a huge hit last couple of months of 2008. I’m on a quest to build a bankroll from €250 just to gain confidence back etc. Nearly at the €1k mark now.

€100 is just funny, thanks for the heads up about that place, I see it on the pokerineurope schedule quite often and thought I might go there one day, but perhaps not.

Am playing the monthly at DTD in Feb, and intending to play the side events at the GUKPT Walsall as well. Any chance you’ll be in Walsall??


trickyrock · January 15, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Hey James,

Ah, cheers for noticing that! I had ace-queen for the push; I hated is as I was doing it, but I think it’s probably wrong to give away equity in what had become a pretty poor structure anyway.

Good luck with the bankroll challenge. It sounds a very admirable feat, as I imagine the hardest bit is grinding up at the start. Will be interested to hear how it goes, good luck with it mate.

Walsall sounds great, as that’s actually my local casino. Come down for as a long as you can, we’ll have to hit the town in Brum one night too!

Let’s have a look at the PokerinEurope schedule, as there are tons of interesting places to go. Paris is really the only exception to the rule! The best place I ever went to is Tallinn in Estonia. I’d love to go somewhere new and a bit random, so maybe let’s arrange a trip somewhere?

JamesAtkin · January 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Hey man,

Yeah, you have to shove AQ there with all the dead money, especially if it had become crapshootesque…

I don’t know about admirable feat lol, but it’s been a positive thing for me so far!

Ah yes forgot Walsall was your home casino! Sounds good to me man, will look forward to that!

Lol it’s funny I’ve always wanted to go to one of those random festivals in Random Europe. Alan Vinnicombe does a lot of that, might be worth having a word with him for where to go. Would be sweet to go and do this with you, def up for it, but maybe in 2-3 months time when I’ve got a bit more cash to hand?

trickyrock · January 16, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Hey James,

Great stuff. It will be great to see you soon, it’s been too long. Do come for as long as you can in that Walsall week!

Let’s do it! It sounds a great idea, we’ll have a little trip there as well. We might even be able to get Dan “lollivepoker” Carter along! So, let’s make some plans, here are my suggestions:


Prague, Sat 14th Feb, 1k Euro main event
07 Apr – 11 Apr Sarajevo Open
Coloseum Casino, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Would be a bit more daring, but would be an interesting trip!
20 Apr – 26 Apr 18th Torneo di Poker
Hotel Casino Perla, Nova Gorica, Slovenia

Main Event I think is 1k Euro on the Saturday, this is a lovely seaside place in Slovenia, which is a great country.
Excited about it already mate! Good luck with the challenge, speak soon

Numpty · January 17, 2009 at 6:47 am

hey stu/james

cant wait for walsall.. its gonna be my first GUKPT, and very up for it!

snobs wednesday when the omaha event is playing?

are u staying in birmingham james? snobs is the best club in the world, especially on wednesday nights!

wednesday til i die

tom 🙂

JamesAtkin · January 17, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Hey man,

Yeah def should get Dan in on the act. Any one else we could persuade? Rob Sherwood or Alex Scott perhaps?

I think Slovenia would be my preference of the 3 mate. Gives me more time to make some cash, and sounds like a nice place.

Sounds like good fun 🙂

trickyrock · January 17, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Hey Numpty,

Yeah, I can’t wait for Walsall, and the Broadway a week before. Will be great to have it so close to home.

I was thinking Snobs too! Not sure about the Walsall week, but we should definitely go there the Broadway week. You’ll love it James!

Come on Wednesday. Amazed by the result… how did Charlton get one?

trickyrock · January 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Hey James,

That sounds great. Yep, slovenia is a really specail place, and Nova Garica I haven’t been to, but is the lovely seaside part of it. We’ll try to get as many people as we can to go!

So, let’s make a date. Maybe Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th?

All the best, will be following the challenge with interest! Good luck,


JamesAtkin · January 18, 2009 at 12:07 am

Sorry Tom your reply wasn’t there earlier when I wrote. Have never had a night out in B’ham lol, sounds interesting. Haven’t sorted out where I’ll be staying yet!

That sounds good Stu, nice lil’ getaway and something to aim for 🙂


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