Blatch Scam and British Masters Final

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been poker wise, an upper followed by a real downer. 

British Masters Final Table
I really should chirp more about these things after having such a baron period in live poker last year, but I made my second live final table in a row last weekend. After the UKIPT side event I went to Leeds for the British Masters Poker Tour main event. It was a tale of two weekends, everything that happened to me on the table turned to gold and everything I did away from it turned to shit.

I have never driven to Leeds before but I know how bad it is in the City centre to drive around. This was proven to me when I arrived 1 hour early and Sat Nav telling me I was 3 minutes away. 1 hour later I had had enough of getting sent the wrong way for the final 3 minutes and decided to park my car and get a taxi the rest of the way (Turns out I pretty much drove past the place 6 times anyway). I also had to pay a taxi driver to let me follow him to my hotel at the end of the night, I was that tilted with the combination of the Leeds one way system and a suspect Sat Nav.

I didn’t sleep a wink at the hotel, I’m a bad sleeper at the best of times and the combination of 10 hours play and two hours watching England draw with the Yanks was enough to ensure I wouldn’t relax at all in the hotel. I was rough as a dog the next day and pretty ill (Reckon I ate something dodgy) but then I discovered the joys of Lucozade Alert Plus, a little concentrated burst of caffeine in a bottle. Wow, I have drunk redbull before and once took Pro Plus when I was doing exams, but this was the most effective energy drink I have ever had. Not only was I not tired anymore, I reckon I could have run home from Leeds. 7 hours it lasted, which was long enough for me to play and drive home. I probably wont have one again, I cant imagine they are good for you.

I also had toothache, my phone broke, I forgot to pack half the things I needed and a bunch of other FML moments throughout the weekend.

Onto the actual game and day 1 was a dream for me, I ran like god. I would love to say I played well but I think a trained monkey could have got to day 2 with the cards I had. I actually went card dead a bit towards the end of day 1 which meant I went back with an average stack, and then day 2 wasn’t much better, but I cant complain because I ran so well for the first day it would seem ungrateful. The final table didn’t go particularly well, it wasn’t a fishy final but for the most part it was very straightforward, you could raise and take it most of the time, unfortunately all the times someone seemed to have a reraising hand would be when I was at it.

7th for £1,380 was fine, but I really wanted to win it and for that matter, I just didn’t want to stop playing. The banter at the final and over the 2 days was great, we had all played each other quite a lot by the time the final rolled round and there were a lot of good natured in-jokes abound. The eventual winner, Ross Johnson, was a top bloke and we had played each other from the start of day 1 and got in some funny hands together. I think he probably deserved to win it too, he had a good solid aggressive game which I think was right for that level of competition.

I certainly will play a few more legs of the British Masters Poker Tour because the structure was very good and the atmosphere was just fun. I love the other tours and events we have but sometimes you find yourself stuck at tables full of dousches taking themselves too seriously, it was nice to be playing a tournament that was a lot more relaxed while still having something meaningful to win.

Christ, what do you say about this? If you haven't seen it already, check out the car crash that is the Neil Blatchly staking thread on Blondepoker. To summarise it briefly, a very well respected and well liked member of the Blonde forum that many of us know on the circuit has been conning a bunch of us for about a year, taking a total of between £120,000 off us in a sports trading staking scams.

It really reads like a stereotypical soap opera conman storyline, on reflection we all look really naïve for ever trusting him but believe me, he was very convincing on and off the forum. The guy we thought was a 'balla' is actually someone who was broke, close to bankrupt, claiming jobseekers allowance and stealing from us to fund his lifestyle. I wont even bother going any further on the facts than that because it is such a complicated, scary, sociopathic string of twists and lies I would never do it justice, deffo worth reading the thread if you ever have the time to cycle through over 140 pages.

I don’t expect to see my money back, more than anything I do not want to deal with him any more. I was very uneasy about writing the story up on Pokernews because it was quite close to home and also, if he is in fact someone with mental issues, I would hate for the publicity to send him over the top and he harm himself. However the eyes of all the online gambling world in the UK are on this and I couldn’t ignore it as a story, I actually think it would have been irresponsible not to  post the story as a warning to others and finally he does need to be exposed for this, unlike a lot of very angry people on the forums I don’t want to see him get his head kicked in, but he does need to be made an example of either in court and/or at least a shunning from the gambling community.

One thing that has probably come of this is I will probably never stake anyone again. I never really won a great deal staking but it’s a fun sweat while it lasts and you never know one day it might culminate in a big win. But after this I am not sure how I can ever trust a poker player fully again after this. Blatch was such a shock, he would have been in my list of least likely grimmers, so it has really damaged my view on this for a long time.

Edit: Daleroxxu sums up the story quite well in his excellent Blog here. 

Oh well, sod him. On to other things, the GUKPT is coming to Sheffield, twice, next month and I am pretty excited about that, although unlikely to put up a staking thread for it now :). 


Anonymous said...

Well done on the FT Sir.

Anonymous said...

Even though I'm from Leeds I still think the one-way system sucks a fat one.

I still can't believe the cheek of Blatch or the nieveness (is that a word) of those who invested in him.

Live and learn I guess

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Is this possible?

Carl Ashfield said...

Blatch you w"nker. nice read, i will have a browse in the forum.

Anonymous said...

Just popping in to say nice site.

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