I am staying at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Sunday night 888 Poker picked me up and took me to Maidstone in Kent where we played a friendly sit and got with the locals in our hotel. Around 12 I went to bed and in the morning drove down to Maidstone Studios for the heat.
Barney Boatman was in the 2 seat, I was in the 3, and Warnie was in the 4. I knew it would end up with the three of us fighting this heat out. Barney started off taking complete charge of the heat and had over 50% of the chips when we lost the first player. I was playing terrible while Barney was playing the best I’ve ever seen him play.
I did get away from a hand that would have crushed me but at the time I didn’t know I couldn’t win it. I really thought Barney bluffed me because he said he bluffed me. I had Q-9 on a board of Q-8-8-4-5. I folded to Barney’s bet and when he said he had a flush draw at the end of the hand, I was steamed. I found out later by visiting MatchPokerRoom (MatchRoom is Barry Hearns company and does all the filming for these events) that Barney had A-8 and had me. I am very happy I was able to make that lay down.
Thinking that Barney had bluffed me gave me the kick I needed. I got very aggressive and passionate about winning, and luck is always welcome too. I started reraising Barney and got the Tony G game going. While I was doing the Tony G verbal on him, I won a close race against him and that got him very well tilted up. All the wheels were off and I took all of his chips in 20 minutes.
When that happened I was left heads-up with my hero Warnie. I was fortunate enough to win the heat and now am in the final.
Warnie is a genuinely fun, top bloke. He gave me a lift back to London in his car and I had the opportunity to really visit with him and get to know more about him. I am really impressed with how smart he is and I think he’s probably the smartest sports star in the world. He is going to be a top poker player.
I had so much fun today. I will be playing Thursday in another semi. And Warnie goes into a second chance turbo to get into the semi; I hope he wins so we can both play the semi.
It’s going to be a long run of poker, when this ends I’ll be getting ready for the Ladbroke’s Premier League.