Lord Miros and other animals

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Brighton Rock

I knew religion had its uses. It being some sort of Jesus festival this week, Lady Miros gets a 5-day weekend. This fits in rather nicely with my perpetual 7-day weekend, so to celebrate Our Saviour popping his clogs we're off to Brighton to... er... play poker. Hopefully I'll redeem myself from the last time I was there, when I played like a drunken schmuck.

I did have rather a good beat at one point though. During the 100 rebuy NLHE, I found myself in the BB facing a raise and a reraise. The reraise was from one Piers Whyman, against whom the Gent and I harbour some ingrained resentment. Staring down at a rather pretty-looking pair of tens, I came over the top all-in. Surprise surprise, they both called! AK v AA (Piers) v TT. Marv.

As I was in ridiculously good form, I somehow conjured up a diamond flush to scoop the lot. Uncharacteristically, I gave it a mighty 'ei ei!!' at the riverly diamond, while Piers sat brooding, nursing the handful of chips from the side pot. I'm not usually one for obnoxious rubdowns, but as I say I was drunk (and it was Piers). Two hands later Piers found himself all-in, and of course some eejit, hoping justice would prevail, piped up: "good luck Piers!" "Fuck Piers", I thought to myself, and then realised with no small sense of shame that I'd said it out loud. I got some strange looks after that one, especially as Piers doubled up.

Feeling a little contrite, and sitting with a veritable mountain of chips in front of me, I suggested to Piers that he and I swap 5%. I know poker is a mercenary game and gamblers are inevitably all bastards, but it seemed like a sportsmanlike thing to do. Piers of course snapped it up, in fact he was thanking me profusely. Perhaps he didn't hear me saying "fuck Piers". Anyway, I felt much better with myself after that.

A while later, I found myself check-raising the 2nd chip leader on a board of 6889 with 74. He called and flipped over 89. Doh. I mucked and told everyone I had 57 (nearly true). Before I could catch my breath I busted out with KQ v 99, and that was that. Lady Miros and I sloped off to watch Meet the Fockers (crap).

Obviously when I came in the next day, Piers came up to me with a big dopey grin, and thrust 200 quid in my face. Turns out he'd somehow parlayed his way to a chop - nice one Piers! I can't really remember why I disliked Piers in the first place (he's nearly as smug as Gryko, perhaps that explains it), but anyway, all is forgiven now.

I never knew being nice to people could be so rewarding. Spiritually, which is great, as well as financially, which is better. I really must try it more often.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


With impeccable timing, karma has reared up and tugged on my scrotum once again. As you all know, it's Cheltenham week; the biggest and best racing festival of the year, with literally dozens of mouthwatering ultra-competitive races for me to smash into. So on Monday I wake up in a cold sweat and find I can hardly move. Really. I spent less than one hour out of bed on Monday, either shivering uncontrollably or sweating buckets. On Tuesday I developed the most unpleasant, lung-busting cough I've ever had, and on Wednesday this developed into a more niggly, tickly perma-cough, with added sore throat. Sleep has been virtually impossible.

Joyfully, I'm over it. Today I woke up after 9 blissful hours of kip feeling reborn. I'm such a pussy; I really can't cope with being ill. My mind starts to occupy itself with the most horrific thoughts - torture, death, visions of hell, all sorts of nastiness. I can't control it. It probably didn't help that I was reading Brighton Rock at the time; that is one nasty book. If only I'd known, I'd have carried on with my other book - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. That's much nicer. Except for that little prick Edmund, what a git he is.

So anyway, life now has a new glow about it. I've been feeling so sorry for myself the past few days I convinced myself I was never going to get better. Now I feel ready to conquer the world! Or at least the place market in the Jewson Novices Handicap Chase. Which I suppose is a start.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Viennese whirl (part 2)

It's fair to say I played badly in Vienna. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I made some good moves and some good decisions, but it wasn't enough. I still cocked it up.

I'm not one for trip reports, but I'll give it my best shot. I was amused to see that the Concord now has a policy of offering players either smoking or non-smoking tables. Simon Hennessy's theory is that all the sick gamblers are likely to be smokers, so that's where you should go; he clearly wasn't the only one with this idea. On my table I counted just 3 of us who were actually smokers. I found it quite satisfying to know that I was being victimised because of my addiction. Unfortunately I proved them all right.

I got off to a sticky start. With tiny blinds and a conspicuous absence of lunatics, we struggled to get a pot going early. I decided to take advantage of this by raising someone on a board of 9956 with KJ. He looked ill for a while and then called. Marvellous. The river was a 6 and he led out. Inwardly fuming, I gave it a full Hollywood dwell-up before mucking.

Ok, so I had 4200 left from my 5000 starting stack; no worries. I yawned my way through the next hour or so. Finally I picked up a hand - JdJc in the small blind. The cut-off seat made a standard raise. He was a young narcissistic twat with wraparound shades (Gryko mould); last time he raised he'd got himself in a mess with T3 suited, and sucked out. I know a lot of people hate JJ, but I'm completely the opposite - I love it. I find decisions very easy with JJ. In this situation the blinds were too small to merit a reraise, so I flat-called, and we saw a flop.

Inevitably, I now got myself in a spot of bother. The flop of K75 (2 diamonds) was not exactly the answer to my prayers. I could have led out here, but I bottled it. Wunderkind bet 250, an extremely gay bet (about 2/5 of the pot). Being a filthy non-believer, I called. The turn was the troublesome 3 of diamonds.

After checking again, yer man now bet 550. Usually once called on the flop he had tended to switch off, so now I figured he had a piece of it. However, it seemed likely he had little more than a king, probably with a not-so-wonderful kicker. I moved all-in for another 3000.

He certainly gave me a good sweat-up, so eventually I had to resort to sitting back in my chair swigging my gin and tonic, generally making it look as if I couldn't give a tinker's what he did. Finally he passed. Marv. Somehow I had clambered my way back up to 5000.

It didn't last long. Two hands later I was dealt QQ. As ever, there was a flurry of limpers for 50 in front of me. In true David Young style, I decided not to do what any sane person would do (raise), and instead went for the canny round-the-back limp. Now it was on the BB, and I was readying myself to not look too smug when the inevitable Q27 flop arrived. But no, wait... the BB has raised 300!

One by one the limpers dropped out, and it was round to me. Hmm... what to do? Ok, time to let the cat out of the bag and put it among the pigeons and then swing it around a bit... or whatever. Time to raise. Fearlessly I made it 1300. Take that, you wienerschnitzel-munching surrender monkey! Predictably it took yer man all of about 0.13 picoseconds to go all-in. Oh, goody. I mucked my hand face-up and he reciprocated by showing me KK. Very nice hand sir, very well played.

It baffles me how poorly people play KK sometimes. Going all-in is not the only option you fucking losers! If he had any nous he would have looked miserable for a while and just called. He could have split me open on a rag flop. But ohhhhh no, his feeble little brain replies, 'MUST GET ALL-IN BEFORE FLOP IN CASE ACE COMES'. Your loss, moron.

I won a few insignificant pots over the next few minutes. At one point I had consecutive hands where I was dealt exactly the same cards (QJ clubs), called exactly the same raise from the same player, and won it on the flop by betting my gutshot straight draw both times. Just call me Johnny Chan.

Obviously after the break I pissed my chips away in about 90 seconds. In the first hand, I somehow decided to call an under-the-gun raise with 97 of hearts. The SB also called, and we inspected a flop of Q84. Both the blind and the raiser checked to me. Normally I would simply take a stab at it right away, but I was feeling particularly tricky, so I decided to dwell for a while before checking.

The turn was an offsuit 5. Gutshot fun for me. Now the SB decided to take off, betting 800 into the 1400 pot. Obviously the raiser passed like a shot. Now my instincts were telling me that the geezer was weak, probably betting an 8 or worse. Like a bullet I raised him, 1800 more.

Following the table tradition, he gave me a right old sweat-up. As soon as he started looking at his cards and fiddling with them, I knew he was passing; at one point I even thought he had passed. Without a care in the world, I crunched on some ice from my umpteenth gin and tonic. Then he announced all-in. Triffic.

Ho-hum, give it the standard dwell-up (surely no-one was falling for this shit by now?), muck with a sigh, go back to nursing my decimated stack. Next hand could be fun though, it's my old chum AK. Ok, if I raise it up here everyone will think I'm steaming and maybe they'll play back at me. Woohoo, sure enough someone reraised! YBA sir, don't you know I've got a monster down here? I proudly table my AK, and he flips over AA. Arrivederci Lord Miros, come back soon.

I went to the bar and proceeded to drink myself into oblivion. Alice followed shortly thereafter, having run KQ into AA on a K-high flop. As it was my birthday, I managed to cadge at least a dozen free drinks off various barflies. I can't recall much of what happened after that.

Roll on Las Vegas.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Viennese whirl (part 1)

There are definitely too many people in the world. Living in the middle of nowhere I sometimes forget this, but travelling outside the confines of sunny Binfield always acts as a stark reminder. And most of them are cunts.

At Heathrow on Friday afternoon I was confronted by inexplicable swarms of people. Does nobody work anymore for fuck's sake?? Too many people with too much time and too much money. Tossers. So after checking in, Lady Miros and I were faced with a half-mile queue through security to the departure lounge. Roll on Terminal 5.

Fortunately, Alice is even more impatient than me, and she was having none of it. Spying a gap in the rails near the front of the queue, we slipped in and squeezed ourselves in between punters, idly trying to look as if we'd been there all along. Predictably our ruse provoked outrage. Most vociferous in their ire was an ageing, pompous pair of twats who took it upon themselves to act as queue police. "Get to the back of the queue!" cried the husband, his face a contortion of thunderstruck rage. I was so taken aback by his look of apoplexy that I abandoned my apologetic instinct and told him to "make me". This failed to meet his approval.

Over the course of the next few minutes, yer man ordered us to the back of the queue at least 17 times, his face reddening progressively every time I ignored him. He seemed particularly appalled at my assertion that queue-jumping was not against the law, and that there was, in fact, nothing he could do about it. Clearly he wasn't accustomed to a position of such powerlessness. At one point he said menacingly: "Come on, get to the back... or do you want me to call someone?" I really had to bite my tongue to avoid some sort of Ghostbusters quip. Eventually he did accost a passing official, and explained in full detail the extent of our crimes. She gave him a withering look, and walked away. After that he gave up.

Later I explained to Alice that we had undoubtedly earned some really bad karma. What goes around comes around; that's a pretty solid rule. Of course, she poo-pooed me, which is fair enough. Anyway, bad karma or not, I would still do it again. It gave me a fantastic buzz.

And, of course, it merely proved my earlier assertion. Most people are just cunts.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Result... honestly

Well, the result's in and it was a good one.

1st Lawaaheb 5/1 j2f
2nd Star Welcome 20/1
3rd Sneem's Rock 16/1

Total skinner, ei ei! Super Dominion was probably a length away from fucking it all up but them's the breaks. I'm a bit confused though, 'cos I deliberately published my previous post 2 minutes BEFORE the off so any shrewdies reading this wouldn't think I was just making this shit up. For some reason though it claims I published my post at 8.46 a.m.! YBA. Anyone who knows me at all well would make it about 33-1 that I would be awake at 8.46 a.m. , unless I'd done my nuts the night before and was smashing my way out of it. There's generally only one place you'll find me at that time of day, and that's rotting in bed in a grisly mix of sweat / semen. But then you probably didn't need to know that.

What difference. £280 in the back pocket, that's all I care about. Time to get completely wasted and do it all back on Stars.

Runner runner

Today I actually found myself running into the house. It's not exactly a marathon - from the car to the front door is all of about 20 yards - but the fact that I was unconsciously sprinting says good things about the state of my mental health. I only run when I'm really on top of the world.

For the last hour or so I've been in a state of near-euphoria. It's a combination of factors - the 1st Guinness of the day is always a catalyst, plus a helping of soluble Anadin Extra. If there's one thing I can't live without, it's paracetamol. Even the thought of my liver slowly dissolving isn't enough to bring me down.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Today's wage-earner may or may not be the 5.10 at Lingfield - a 13-runner 10f handicap. YUM YUM. What's more, 12 of the 13 actually have realistic place prospects; it doesn't get any better than that.

The only problem with being on such an up is that I start to take too many chances. I've actually laid 3 horses in the win and place markets today - Super Dominion, Raheel and State of Balance - almost unthinkable for me. If they come in 1-2-3 I don't think I'll feel quite so good about myself. Wish me luck...