I'm the luckiest idiot on the planet

Last night I returned from Stevenage and my friends wedding. It was a cracking little affair and I was very proud to be the best man. It nearly turned out to be the worst weekend of the year though and let me tell you, there is no greater feeling than breathing a massive sigh of relief.

I went to be measured at my local Suits You about 2 weeks ago and went to pick up my suit last Wednesday. I then headed down to Stevenage and it wasn't until 11.00pm on Friday night that I glanced at the suit I'd picked up.

It was 2 sizes too small.

The look on my girlfriends face instantly told me there was no way I could wear these garments as I struggled to put them on and indeed take them off. I was close to tears and started swearing and punching some of the fixtures in my hotel room. What followed was a pretty sleepless night as I lie awake thinking I had ruined my best mates wedding.

I came to the conclusion that maybe one of the ushers had it and they had got mixed up. So at 8 in the morning, unable to reach them by mobile, I went down to my reception and got the poor girl working there to ring up every hotel in a 5 mile radius to see if they were there. I eventually discovered that all their suits fitted perfectly.

So sounding a complex mixture of angry and desperate I contacted Suits You at their head office. I explained the situation and told them I essentially had 4 hours for them to rectify their mistake.

"The only way you can get a replacement is if you were able to get to our main warehouse" the young guy told me over the phone.

Shit, I thought, that could be anywhere. "Where is it?" I asked.

"Boreham Wood"

Shit, that sounds miles away. Not knowing where that was punched the postcode into my TomTom. I stared in fear as it calculated the route for me.......

7 minutes it said.

The bloody main warehouse, the only place I could get a suit in time for my friends wedding, was just over 1 mile away. If I had stood on the roof of my hotel I could have seen it no problem.

So 10 minutes later I was trying my new suit on kissing the ground the bloke working there walked on. By 9.45 I had a new suit and got back to my hotel in time for breakfast.

My girlfriend saw how I was upset the night before and was a total star. She kept reassuring me, telling me it wasnt my fault, hugging me, telling me it would be ok etc. As soon as we got the suit she let rip "you bloody idiot how can you not try the suit on before last night! etc etc.

When I got back to the hotel I kept breaking into either dance or laughter. I can honestly say I experienced my lowest and highest point of the year in a 12 hour period. I was so elated by the remarkable good luck I experienced that I had no nerves at all about my speech, which went very well indeed and included a few jokes at my expense for the earlier suit shenanigans.

Words cannot express how lucky I got, of all the places to find out I had the wrong suit hours before a wedding I managed to pick the hotel nearest the only place in the world that could rescue me.

No complaining about bad beat stories from me for a while.

UK Pokernews and Danny from Hear'say

Had a lot going on of late (besides the fact that I have barely left the house) - the big news is that I have just been appointed by pokernews to be their senior staff writer for the UK.

I write freelance for them anyway and have a genuine love for the website, having seen it grow from a tiny little site a few years ago into arguably the biggest online poker resource in the world. The live updates are also superb and becoming the most user friendly and attractive ones in the business (Theres a good chance I'll be on the other side of that during the WSOPE in September).

The rest of today I will be spending writing my best mans speech, which is due in on Saturday when I go to Stevenage to send my friend into holy matrimony. I've left it a bit late hoping that my brief (unsuccessful) venture into stand up comedy will carry me through.

The best part about the upcoming weekend is that Danny from hear@say (remember them?) is a friend of the bride and I get a chance to recreate this picture of me harrasing him from my clubbing days about 5 years ago.

PKR - Bridging the Gap between live and online? Nope


When it first came out I said that I would never ever play on PKR. Online poker gets enough of a hard time from live players that I thought an online poker room where you can ‘give off tells’ and wear virtual sunglasses at the table would be one cyber step too far. But last night I went to see the new Die Hard film (surprisingly good by the way) and saw an advert for PKR on the big screen, I decided maybe I should have a look to see if I was missing out on something.

When I play online poker all I care about is the money in front of a player and my notes on them. I have no interest in their hairstyle, the 600pkr point sunglasses or whether they have done a virtual chip riffle in front of me. However I actually spent a good hour last night kitting out my virtual me and developing some trademark taunts for my table.

When I was at the table I must say it was a lot of fun, however, the furthest thing from my mind was playing poker. I wanted to play every hand, just so I could show a bluff and do my trademark dance, I would call bets I never would normally and favour going all-in just because you can ‘stand up’ for the showdown. I also found myself leaving a juicy table because I wanted to change my ‘voice’.

The only thing that ever tempted me to play PKR previously was because I envisaged very fishy cash games with newbie players who are attracted to the video game element of the site. I was right, but regrettably I was one of the biggest fish. A game like that has so much going on unrelated to the hand in question that you cannot help but be drawn into acting, showboating and general tomfoolery. Game selection isn’t all that great either, another sign of PKR as the recreational players hideout.

I’m not going to lie, it was fun and I will play again, but purely to let off steam than to make money. I’m sure that there is money to be made on PKR but I’m more than happy just to save up enough PKR points to give my little man a Stetson hat.

Gay Rag and Bone Men


It’s Wednesday and I’m only just recovering from the weekend, a stag party in the nation’s capital. I was the best man and let everyone down by being the first person to turn in on the Saturday night session, which was pretty grueling, not in the drunken sense but physically.

After a previously sleepless night we made our way into Kings Cross to do a pub crawl of the central line; one pub per stop on the 27 stop tube line. The icing on the cake was that we all had to buy one top and one hat from a charity shop for less than a fiver and randomly assign these clothes to each other.

The session was grueling not because of the fact we were drunk, or hungover, but because after no sleep the night before we found ourselves doing a lot of walking trying to find pubs that were open. A lot of the stops on the central line were in the Business and Commerce districts and nothing was open on a Saturday, which meant that we were often wandering round aimlessly trying to find a backstreet pub. I think we must have covered a good 7 miles at least and it didn’t help that we were all dressed like Gay Rag and Bone men.

I’ve never been one for dressing up like a plonker for a night out and was a bit hesitant. It didn’t help matters that I was given the bright boobtune top and pope hat but when there is a large group of you it takes the sting out of it. The truth is, in any other city you’d feel a berk and put on obligatory Geordie accents (an easy way of communicating “we are on a stag do”), but in London nobody batted an eye lid, in fact half the people in the pubs looked like they were with us anyway.

Still a good time was had by all, especially as it looked like it was set to be a disaster when we were stuck on the M25 in the pissing rain listening to reports of severe weather and terrorist attacks on the radio. Now I have a month to prepare for the best mans speech.
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