So today was the regional finals for the Redtooth Poker Tournament, and from my league position and (very lucky) performance in a play off tournament, I had won a seat here. People from pubs across Yorkshire verged upon the Alea Casino in Leeds to play, with prizes going to the top eight spots from a £1000 prize pool.
A buffet was going to be put on for us during the break, something I wasn’t really expecting but was happy as I wouldn’t have to buy any lunch. I did get a couple of drinks though, and as they were casino prices you can be sure it was only a couple (as well as the glass of water and cup of tea which were free). As I’d said in a previous post, my main objective was simply not to be the first person out. Thankfully I managed to succeed in that particular objective. We shuffled the cards and the tournament was underway.
I was sat with a pleasant group of people, except for one douche who didn’t seem to realise that no one particularly cared about his stories of past poker glorification. After a few hands very little had changed between players as far as chips go. I was up by a few hundred, but everyone was mainly waiting for the loud cheer to indicate that the first person had been knocked out; the cheer to indicate that someone had become ‘that guy’.
Once that poor gent had been identified everyone seemed to relax a little. And when someone came around offering us a complementary cup of tea, woah! It was almost magical. When it was my turn to deal, I put down the ‘lucky charm’ that I had been twiddling through my fingers (the hikikomori who came with me on the road trip across the country) and dealt. This hand had lost me a large portion of my chips, as my two-pair hand was beaten by trips (three of a kind).
The following hand saw my overall early demise. I was pushed all in pre-flop with pocket 10s, which given my short stack I went for. Unfortunately I was against pocket Aces, and before I had even finished my cup of tea my tournament was over. I headed to the registration desk to announce my defeat where I was informed that I came 178th. That’s right, I was the second person to be knocked out. Bother. I’d have rather been first! I was asked if I wanted a go on the raffle, and thought I might as well. I headed into the other room to watch some comedy on iPlayer while waiting for my still participating friend (and the upcoming free buffet).
After munching on some pizza and chips (not much of a variety in the buffet ¬_¬), I went back to the bar while my friend went back to the game room to continue playing. More comedy on iPlayer, this time a little Dara O’Briain at the Theatre Royal.
After a while I started thinking about the raffle. I hadn’t given my name or contact details to anyone, so I concluded that they would draw it at the event. But when? Surely they wouldn’t do it at the end, once many competitors had gone off home … would they? At that moment my buddy came out after having been knocked out. I asked her about the raffle and she said
“Yeah they’ve drawn it already. I think the ticket was 86 or 88, but they weren’t in so they might have drawn another ticket.”
I looked in my wallet at the single strip of raffle tickets folded between my Nectar Points card and driving licence. My numbers were 86 to 90.
I darted back into the game room, trying to remain somewhats nonchalant, and asked at the desk about the raffle. Low and behold they had drawn it, the winner (well, one of the winners, there were two prizes) wasn’t about, and the number was indeed 86.
But! They hadn’t yet drawn another ticket, and I was awarded with my prize. I won a framed print of Sir Geoff Hursts hat-trick of goals from the 1966 World Cup final, signed by the man himself.
And I had no idea that he was once player manager of Telford Utd! Bloody Hell!
Nice as it is, I’m not sure if I’ll really enjoy it as much as others. And since Christmas is coming up … eBay?