Vegas 2012 NPF Crazy Golf Championships

Sitting playing at Genting last night and Dan Trett says to me nice post on Vegas Dave but you didnt mention naything about the crazy golf day. OMG was my reaction, how the fook did I forget about that so here goes with what happened.

As a group we tried as much as possible to mix stuff up rather than just playing poker so when Dan Trett suggested a game of crazy golf everyone soon agreed lets get it on and headed off down to Circus Circus where they had an indoor course which is part of the huge indoor fun fair complex. !st time Ive actually been into Circus Circus as had heard nothing but bad reports about it and its condition of being somewhat a dump but was very pleasantly surprised when I entered as to the facilities and ammenities that the hotel offered. A huge place with a huge choice of stuff to do especially geared towards family groups.

Everyone met up at the entrance to the Fun Fair complex and we soon found the crazy golf course and paid our $5 entry fee. We were provided with state of the art putters and a handful of multi coloured golf balls and decided that we would make it a doubles competition with best score from the pairing being the team score. Teams were chosen by simply blindly throwing the balls down the 1st hole and whichever balls were closest to each other then that was your partner. Pairings worked out as such:

Teamdobb & Dan Trett
Juicey Oranges & Knerrad
Stumpy & Mrs Stumpy

Good even mix I thought on seeing how the teams had paired and the contest got off to a flyer when Knerrad holed in one at the 1st hole then proceeded to basically keep his partner off the score card as he consistently holed for 2 and at the 1st 9 holes had a very impressive looking score card of nothing below a 2. Myself and Dan dovetailed well and stayed in touch by simply complimenting each other by coming in when the other struggled. On the Stumpy team well Mrs Stumpy was certainly holding her own and probably just nudging the best score between her and Peter.

If crazy golf courses were marked for how tough they were then this one was way up there with lots of tricky holes and each hole had the potential of wrecking your card and after a quick team chat myself and Dan agreed to now go for the jugular and try and apply the pressure as we knew Knerrad wouldnt be able to cope with it. Sure enough as I sunk a hole in one at the 12th we could see the change in Knerrad and he was obviously visibly shaken which got even worse as Dan expertly read the line on the 13th to make it back to back hole in ones for the Dobba Trett combo. With weak knees and nervous hands Knerrad then had a nightmare 5 on the 14th to open the floodgates as Juicey was unable to come in with a helpful score and we knew then that we had nudged ahead and had no intentions of letting the lead slip. As had previously proceeded we kept dovetailing our scores with nothing less than a 2 and coming to the 18th we just had to hold our nerve.

The last hole featured a rather strange up hill thin strip which you had to putt your ball into a non retreavable cup BUT if you missed either left or right then you also lost your ball down the side channel. As such it was decided that if you missed the main lijne and went down the side then you would be allocated with a 5 on your card. Game over basically as with being 1st up I nailed my putt down the middle for an ace but fair do to the other teams as between them each team carded a hole in one. High fives from me and Dan Trett as when the scores were totted up we had taken down the NPF Vegas World Crazy Golf Championship by one shot from Juicey & Knerrad with The Stumpys a further shot behind.

As long as we can keep the Hetton Mob out of this next year then me & Dan could easily hold onto to our crowns for years to come!!!

Vegas 2012

7th visit to Vegas but 1st visit without Mrs with me. She decided she didn’t fancy it which is rather understandable as a lot of the time Im playing poker and shes filling in time and theres only so much shopping and sun bathing you can do.
Travelled across with Knerrard29 from the NPF, the 10th best online poker player from Newcastle apparently as published by pocket fives and as his pennies could manage it we travelled British Airways World Economy which is equivalent to Virgin Premium Economy. Darren only agreed to this extravagance as we did get an unreal cheap deal at Ballys which basically cost us only £20 per night each for a very good quality room. Darren gives a new meaning to conservative which proves handy when calculating restaurant bills as he has a built in running total calculator obviously brought on from his multi table ability he has built up over the years.

Travel got off to a bad start as our flight from Newcastle to Heathrow was over an hour late which meant our connection to Vegas was very tight and ended up us being the last 2 passengers to get on plane. My doubts as to our cases being on the plane were soon realised on landing as they were still back in London and didn’t arrive till the following day. Being a smelly tramp for a day or 2 didn’t bother me although the wiff from my socks did start to come through after the 2nd day.

Met up with Mr & Mrs Stumpy and played the 7.00 Aria game. Standard stuff trying to maintain a certain BB level which I achieved until I pick up AA and get nice double up at crucial stage of game. Sitting pretty comfy now and close to the cash I pick up AA again in the BB. Russian guy limps in and I put a decent raise in which he calls. Flop comes K high which I lead quite strong into and he jams his rather large stack all in which I happily call and he flips over KJ. The board pairs on turn to block his 2 pair chance but the case K comes on river to take me out for what would have been a chip leader pot with 18 left and 15 paid

Following day is the 1st of our main games and myself Stumpy and Knerrard take in the Binnions Classic series $1000 Main event. Im expecting a not too difficult field tbh but am shocked when 75 of the 95 runners are well known pros and online wiz kids. Tournie ends up being probably the toughest field Ive ever played in with every pot entered being totally tested with by some top quality poker players. Get myself into a decent position mid way by turning the nut straight and getting fully paid then getting trapped by AA guy when I jam over his re raise when Im holding the nut flush draw with AJ hearts to get there on the river for a very nice pot. Get 3 bet a lot out of pots which is the norm with these type of guys and dribble chips before busting out 28th with a re shove holding 2nd pair and flush draw which was probably a mistake considering my stack size at time and guy made a good tank call with rag Ace which held. Knerrard bust just short of money but Stumpy made final table which was great achievement in this quality field but got desperately unlucky 8 left when guy decided his Ace 10 to Stumpys 4 bet jam was good and proceeded to make quad tens against Stumpys AK for chip leader pot. Don’t normally see the little fella too disappointed in any poker beat he takes but knew from his reactions this one hurt more than most with him being so close to a very nice top prize of over 30k. Few coronas later and we soon had him back smiling again.
WSOP Seniors Event next up for me and a new world record set here with over 4000 runners. Pretty aggressive starting table for me and with a 3000 stack theres not much room for error especially with people making open raises to 250 and 450 with blinds at 25/25. My Seniors lasted for the total of 70 minutes after losing with 10 10, AK twice on K high boards, KQ on K high board and killer hand KK v AJ which smashed the flop. Wasn’t too disappointed tbh as not a lot I could do or avoid and moved onto the following day with the Golden Nugget Seniors Event.

Just short of 500 runners in this and a decent stack to start with and 40 min blind levels. Built my stack very nicely and found some great spots so moved along at nice pace and never in any trouble whatsoever. Field whittled down nicely as we moved through the levels and before long we were down to only 100 runners and Im nicely placed with just above average stack and feeling very confident when our table breaks to go to 10 tables and 1st hand on new table Im straight into the BB looking down at K2.  Guy in pos 2 limps in and everyone else folds to me and we see a flop of K 10 2. I check and he fires ¾ pot and I jam all in which he snaps me off with KQ. Looking good to go twice average here at great time of game. My hand looks even better when turn brings the case King to give me house with Kings & twos but this is short lived when the river brings a killer Queen to give him a bigger house and Im out feeling pretty gutted and sorry for myself.
Caesars Seniors is next on the agenda and not really in the mood for the long haul past over 700 runners which is made even worse with a horrible table draw. Table is full of very aggressive and capable players which is pretty unusual in Seniors Events as you do normally get lots of positions and good situations to pick up easy chips but this table was totally different to the norm. Although the starting stack is good the 30 min levels soon fly by and this game plays likes a turbo event with big jumps in the blind levels and a very aggressive ante structure. Cant remember my exit hand but sure it was pretty standard stuff although must admit the Canadian guy on my left basically owned my arse in several pots and consistently damaged my stack as I tried to stay in touch.

Play another Aria 7.00 game with no luck then we return downtown to Binnions to take in another of their series games and go deep in that without cash but Dan Trett makes final table and at one stage with 8 left had over ½ the chips in play before getting very unlucky twice when holding QQ to shorter stack shoves which got there. He eventually went out 4th place after being the only player it seemed there not content to ladder and went totally for the win.

Return downtown again the following day as to be honest the games were great value, probably just the right length of time and reasonably softish fields compared to others. Took in the Golden Nugget Series this time and a field of nearly 300 runners in the great surroundings of their Grand Hall. Anyone who hasn’t played here then it’s a must thing to do when visiting over the WSOP period.
Never really got going at all early levels but hung in and it wasn’t until about level 6 or 7 when things turned for me. Cant remember much about crucial hands but by 3 tables out I had a decent stack to play with and then had great table move alongside Mark Trett. We had about the same stacks and Mark used his excellent negotiation skills to swop 10% in each other which we then upped to 20%. Mrs Stumpy then was moved to our table and we were all sat next to each which was very nice and cosy until they moved me to another table. My 20% in Mark soon disappeared as he missed me that much he donked out soon as I moved. Blind on blind he raised A9 for guy to shove on him which he snapped off. Guys 9 10 looked proppa sick until he binked a river 10 and mark was left to rail me and his 20% investment. Last couple of tables I was picking up chips pretty easy tbh and final table went very smoothly as we soon got down to 6. Refused plenty requests for deals as I wasn’t interested in chopping with certain players left and eventually got heads up with one of only 2 people I would of chopped with. He had 4/1 chip lead so we played on as the woman who went out 3rd took ages to leave the table and hands were dealt as she dithered on before we could discuss any possible chop. I pick up A7 in BB and jam over his limp which he snaps off with 99 and holds. Just short of $3500 not too bad and freerolls me for the trip although the $5500 for 1st would have been nicer. Had to laugh at Mark Tretts comment leaving when he turns around to me and says “ You need to work on your heads up play Davey” Stumpy replies “ We havnt got to that page yet”!
Mrs Stumpy went out for a min cash around the 20 mark getting it in with 77 v AA. She flopped a 7 but oppo rivered the Ace

Played one more Aria and one more Golden Nugget after that but had had enough by then. Final game at Aria late on Phil Helmuth and a Chinese couple were given a table in the tournament area where we were and they were playing a private game of Chinese Poker. I resisted the urge and provocation from Knerrad as he wanted me to stand behind with a board saying WANKET so he could get a picture. I just didn’t fancy being ejected and barred from one of my favourite hotels and cardrooms in Las Vegas.
Great crowd of people this year with Dan & Mark Trett, Mr & Mrs Stumpy, Juicey Oranges and my room mate and butler Knerrard who without fail brought me a cup of coffee in bed every morning and made sure I took my tablets last thing at night and 1st thing in the morning. We finished the trip off nicely with a cruise and meal on a paddle boat across Lake Meade.

Favourite eating place ended up being Changs Chinese Restaurant in Planet Hollywood where we ate 3 times. Great atmosphere with great food at value prices. Interesting meal on 2nd visit when we all went and Juicey Oranges tried to pick up the tab paying on his card. After lots of objections and with $130 lying on the table it was decided as juicey wouldn’t take the cash to go for spin up on roulette and blackjack. $70 was given to Dan Trett the Blackjack Master and boom one hit was doubled to $140. I took charge of the remaining $60 for roulette and after getting some numbers off people we hit $10 on 4, 6, 8, 24, 28, 29. Booom in came Mrs Stumpys 6 and after cashing in Juicey got his meal bill refunded and we all got a free night from the proceeds.
We tried this once more at the Nugget when having $20 excess from the kitty after breakfast and I suggested putting the $20 on lucky number 6 at the 1st break of the tournament we were playing. I eventually added $5 to this and decided to hit 4,6,8,24,29. Headed over to the nearest roulette table at the break but the ball was already in motion so unable to get 5 numbers placed and as always number 6 popped in. Moved onto another table and got our bet on for the ball to pop into the slot between 24 & 29. Fun while it lasted and would have been surreal to have stuck with $20 on number 6 and to see it come in.

Bit of breakfast taking Darren to Gran Lux Café in Palazzo followed by a spot of shopping and bit of cash before we made the long journey home arriving at a chaotic Heathrow with seemingly massive customs problems before eventually sneaking under some barriers and getting through quicker than we should of to UK Connections weighed down by the bags of presents Mark Trett was carrying for his family.
Great trip with great people and roll on next year

May be next time?

Another month drifts by and at least a few things to write about although find it very difficult these days to motivate myself to actually blog stuff. Must be turning into an old git!!!
Still playing very very limited pokers but did play couple of decent games over last few weeks. Take in the Friday night £100 game as part of the Gala May Festival weekend and travel down to Stockton. Attraction was the £10k guaranteed pot on 80 runners so obv very disappointed when the pot falls short with only 72 runners. Pretty tough starting table tbh with some very capable locals but chip along nicely until last hand before 1st break when shortie on the button ships his stack in looking for dup or a re entry and I make the call from BB with 77 v his Q8 off. He obv smashes the flop and turn and takes away my profitable chips of the 1st 2 hours.
After the break I go through 2 horrible levels and start to dribble chips in my attempt to stay in touch with my stack as the turbo element of comp starts to kick in. Eventually with about 30 players left Im shoving my last 12 bigs in with 66 from the cut off and the BB wakes up with 10s.
Driving back home I decide to make a short detour to Genting in town and play a couple of hours cash. Place is pretty busy when I arrive and although the one main cash table is full and a table Id of liked to have been sat at it but its not long before they open table 2 and some good characters sit down for a lively and interesting 1st hour. Im playing atc early doors but soon drop a buy in as lose with 3 sets an obv lower end house I shud fold and a flush over flush. Decide to top up to a max Im going to lose for the night but it aint long before I lose another decent pot leaving me very short and pick up 10 10 which gets one Chinese guy Ill play atc as well to come along. He calls my raise and Ive already decided Im jamming any flop which comes Jack high. He snap calls but I turn a set and he angrly folds his hand after obv hitting his Jack. Being in a bit of a naughty mood now and wanting to try and chip up or bust I seem to upset this Chinese lad when I 3 bet him twice which deffo is building up for car crash hand to happen. Eventually when pretty low again I limp early position with 77 and with a few others coming along the Chinese lad does his statuatory button raise and I put my last £38 into the pot which he angrily tank calls. Dealer puts 4 over cards down so Im looking pretty sick so after bit of joke with him about this the Chinese lad gets very very annoyed demanding I show my cards. I tell him one pair but he starts being really nasty to me so I give him some verbals back thrown in with a few cocks and swear words about him being a prick for the small pot antics hes displaying and put my 77 on the table. He proceeds to slam his AJ on the table calling me a fish etc as I retaliate with a few choice words as I leave the table waving my goodbyes. Fun and games but hey ho.

Next stop and game is the Genting Poker Series Leg being held at Edinburgh which Ive been looking forward to for ages. Get qualified pretty cheap enough online and travel up with fellow Dobba Xenocode who also gets in cheap. A lot of lads travelling up from Newcastle and I also see a lot of old faces from a few years back in Kev Bloor, John Loopster Littler and Dom Kay which is always nice as you do tend to lose touch.
Very good starting table taking everything into consideration which consists of a lady qualifier, couple of Balla internet wiz kids, guy I know from Newcastle, couple of local Jocks who were good crack and the well known Karl Morenholz from the famous Hit Squad. With an hour clock and 25k stack its not a sprint but as norm some people still think it is in their attempt to accumulate quick chips. Get to the break having not played many hands mainly because I had pretty much garbage and catch the convo from the 2 balla internet lads near the bar of them liking the table because all the good players are to their left and all the nits are sitting to their right. Im in their nit category which is always my aim and shortly after the break I have a fun hand where I raise 44 mid pos and find one caller. Flop comes AQQ and after caller checks he folds to my c bet and balla lad asks to see one card. Tell him to pick one and he turns over the 4 clubs and we get a convo of can I be moved into your other group of players please from your convo break which he at least found very amusing.

Works out well for me later on as Im 3 bet twice by these lads but unfortunately for them Im holding big hands and they fold to my 4 bets. Big problem I find these days is my concentration and stamina which is obviously age related so decide to have a few drinks to help me enjoy the grind more. Deffo works and makes the time pass better. We get table broken and I get moved to a totally different dynamic table and also some very nice stacks sitting around it. By now Im totally settled in with a few pints under my belt and pick up nice pots and spots to keep my stack moving along on a fairly tough table. Eventually we end the day and Im bagging 95k which is above average and Im coming back for day 2 in a healthy position.

Healthy was not how I returned as despite all good intentions me and Gaz were sidetracked by the bad influences of a few other NPF lads and we end up playing a few table games and a few more drinks we stagger outside and its daylight. Feeling proppa rough when we unbag for day 2 but very happy with my table and my position on table. Once again chip along nicely before I get my big double up.
Folded round to blind on blind and guy limps in and I raise holding Ace 9 which he snap calls. Flop comes AK9 with 2 hearts, he checks I bet and he calls. Turn brings the pay day card of 9s and he surprisingly leads strong. Happy days and after few moans about catching another 9 I make the sigh call. River rag and he announces those lovely words of ALL IN and tables Ace 4. TYVM gg wpul. Im now very comfy and very much starting to enjoy myself despite my body still suffering from the hangover shakes.
Next table break and getting to the meaty end of day 2 now I get moved onto table 2. Some very nice stacks here but also some very nice players. Within the next hour Ive got Barney Boatman as my cut off, Paul Jackson as my button, aggro Chinese lad on my right and Joe Beevers on my left so very interesting spot.

Some great table banter flowing especially from Paul Jackson and Barney Boatman as they proceeded to establish the old men always have it mentality to the others at the table. Down to the bubble of 43 players and quickest bubble ever lasts one hand as JJ runs into KK on other table. I then loose Joe Beevers on my left in massive pot to aggro Chinese lad when Joes top pair flush draw combo of K9ss is outkicked by Ace 9.
Despite the quality of the table Id been very comfy despite couple of raise folds Id had to make but then couple of mistakes which eventually I think cost me. Id 3 bet this Scottish guy at bot end of table who had earlier 3 bet me off hand and when I raise 55 to his BB I had big feeling he would jam atc and had made my mind up to call if he did. He duly obliged and bottled the call when I got the count and folded but was gutted when he proudly flips over 85 off!!!

I then flat 99 in position to aggro Scotch lad which was big mistake and we see flop of 10c3c7s. He c bets and I 3 bet to 52k. He insta jams on me and Im convinced hes playing the flush draw with something like A8 KJ type of hands but I fold again and he shows me the 8c sighhhhhhhh.
I then pick up KK utg and find a caller from the sb of Paul Jackson. The A 10 6 flop is all over his calling range but cbet his check which he quickly calls. Turn brings Q which gives me hope and I decide to still bet his check which he insta flats again. Know Im beat now unless I pick up the miracle card but rag river sees us check check it and he flips over Ace 10 for flopped top top. Puts me shortish now but try to not let the hand effect me when few hands later Paul Jackson raises into my sb and I jam AQ which he snaps JJ. I flop the Q to hold and get back to just over 20 bigs.
Exit hand isn’t far away when down to 3 tables and early position raise is flatted by Chinese guy on my right and I decide AQ is good enough in this spot unless initial raiser has a monsta my jam should get through. The raiser snap calls and Chinese guy folds as expected and Im up against AK. Flop smacks me in the face with AQ10 for happy days but its short lived as dealer puts K there on turn and Im out in 19th for £865. Very fine lines in these and my mistakes were deffo punished hard but overall quite happy with how I played.
End up watching a lot of final table on the Sunday on live stream and delighted that Paul Jackson finished top 2 as he seemed a quality bloke and his play on the final table was some the best poker Ive ever watched with hardly a wrong decision made and some superb folds and calls in really tough spots for huge pots.
Superbly ran tournament by Genting and superb venue. The efforts Genting are putting into poker within the UK is nothing short of amazing and is now being widely recognised by so many and hopefully they are getting the rewards back they rightly deserve for their efforts. Got £200 out of me on Black Jack and roulette anyway so its deffo working!!!!

Next stop is Vegas and fly out 11th June taking in 5 lovely Seniors Events and kick off my games on the 12th June with a £1000 Binnions event which Stumpy and my room mate are also playing. Full Trett poker brother Mark & Dan also hitting the bright lights as well with us, should be fun!!!!

Staking moving into the last month for the 5 lads left with some decent results from most of them although been a long haul for all of them and proves how tough it really is to make any money these days in these games. Efforts of all have been top notch though and wont be long before we see the final results.

Finally outside of Poker the next couple of weeks will see a big change at the Collins household as my son Scott takes the big step of moving out of the comforts of the family household and setting up his own place. Nice place hes moving into at the other end of the same estate and Im sure the move will see a big change in his way he handles his life and another big step in growing up although Ill now need to find a new gardener to cut the lawns, an extra job in the tea time walking of the dog and fuck knows what will happen if the TV goes wrong as I don’t even know how to work the remote!!! Im sure it’s the right move for him although I also know it will effect my Mrs more than she realises even though shes got a new couple of settees out of it.

Reet that’s it for this month and next month is hopefully full of Vegas run good news and that big pay day us poker players dream of.

Be lucky!!