English poker legend Alan Vinson had a roller coaster ride in the £200 no-limit hold’em event at the Grosvenor Luton UK Open. Known as Tall Alan to his friends, he’s been a topclass tournament player for 20 years and is famous for getting his best results when under pressure. Alan’s under pressure most of the time, because he insists on being an allaround gambler rather than solely a poker player. Anyway, he was a bit under pressure in this event in Luton. With four hands to go on the first day of the event, Tall Alan had a healthy stack of 51,000. It should be mentioned that the poker room managers in Luton give the £200 players as much respect as the £1,000 players, and they should be commended for making the £200 tournament a two-day event.
So, the blinds were 3,000-6,000 with Alan in the big blind. Everyone passed to a player in late position, who stuck his 47,000 stack into the pot. Alan called him like a shot, the raiser turned over K-J, and Alan turned over A-2-Q. A deuce had come out of the middle; it had been stuck to the back of the ace or the queen in the humidity, and Alan unknowingly had been dealt three cards. Having myself played in Luton when the weather was hot, I can appreciate that the cards can get sticky. In fact, I lasted longer there than I’d normally last in a no-limit hold’em tournament, as I couldn’t go all in for ages because three of my chips were stuck to the table. Anyway, Alan was rather upset. The obvious ruling was that Alan forfeited the pot and was left with only 4,000 in chips, which was unfortunate for him. But, those are the rules.
Tall Alan was obviously a little upset, and took umbrage when the dealer at the next table got involved in the hoo-hah that followed and may have muttered something about continuing their discussion outside, which in Alan’s case looked like it might be very soon. When order was restored, Alan went all in for the final three pots of the night. Justice was done, as he won all three, and he managed to finish up the evening with just under 40,000 chips.
Tall Alan went home to a sleepless night. I heard all about this in Paris at lunchtime the following day. My informant — who wishes to remain anonymous, so we shall call him Player A — promised to keep me posted on Alan’s progress at the last two tables. Alan made it to the last table, turning his 40,000 chips into a 200,000 stack in the process. He got £13,000 for himself when business was done between the last three players, and he had managed to turn his last 4,000 in tournament chips into £13,000 in cash. That’s the stuff champions are made of.
The moral of the story is, it’s never over until it’s over. The moral is that if you don’t know how many cards you have, spread them out on the table and ask either the dealer or one of your fellow players to help you out with the count. The moral is that even if you think it’s the dealer’s fault rather than your own, and of course it always is, you should never verbally abuse the dealer who’s going to deal you the next hand. The smaller your stack is, the more important it is that the dealer who’s dealing your next hand isn’t vibing for you to get knocked out.
I agree with all the nice things my fellow columnist Keith “The Camel” Hawkins said about the friendly Napoleon Poker Online Pkv Casino in Sheffield. But I am amazed that for a guy who spends three-fourths of his life studying history — I mean, The Camel is always walking around with the Racing Form under his arm — Keith didn’t see the irony of people trying to win in a casino named after a guy who, despite his genius, managed to lose two of the three biggest pots in the history of the world. If Napoleon had had a little more luck, which is what all gamblers are funking for, The Camel would be writing his columns in French. Napoleon just lost the run of himself. He saw a guy with a small stack over in Russia, and lost his huge stack just trying to steal the blinds. We’ve all done it. But how people can go into a club named after the guy who lost the two biggest pots in history and expect to win, that is the enormity of trying to beat a name like that. «