Sunday, January 21, 2007

Vic Players Part 3

I must admit I'm starting to bottle it now. A couple of people have said to me about my recent posts, "Cor! You went a bit close to the bone with what you wrote about so and so". Originally I thought to myself if I couldn't say it to somebody's face then I wouldn't write it, but I forgot when you write something and put it down on paper (or on the net in this case) it becomes about ten times stronger.

I remember Neil Channing writing a piss taking comment about Dave Barnes in one of his pieces on the Hendon Mob and not understanding when Dave got the massive hump with him. If this barb of Neil's had come up in conversation Barnsey would've just laughed it off and told him to fuck off or whatever. Which I guess is the point - by the time the subject can reply everybody else has read the offending words.

Ok that's all really obvious and I knew that already, but now that I've thought about it some more I've realised I can't face the Mad Monk or Tony Bolton coming up to me and shouting at me the next time I go to the Vic, so I think my Vic portraits will have to wait a few more years.

Coincidentally, I was at work when Nils Batty rang me up. This is an old Vic player whom I hadn't seen for at least 4 or 5 years and it just so happened that I had written a little profile of him. It was nice to catch up and also ask his permission for what is going to be the last one of these for a while.

Nils Batty

Nils was an extremely good NLHE tournament player and I’m sure if he hadn’t gotten married and had kids, and thus faced all the responsibilities a “normal” life brings, he would have done very well on the whole international tournament scene. I learnt a lot about tournaments and poker in general from talking to him. He hated cash games and admitted to me he lacked the bottle to play them successfully (although I’m sure he could’ve been good at cash if he’d really wanted to).

Nils loved smoking and drinking and he and Adam Hine and Ben Chapman were always last to their seats in any of the weekly tournaments. Back then the Vic had three or four comps a week (the memory is a little hazy here, we are talking ’96/’97) and it seemed like one of those three always made it to the final table. The Vic used to have this crappy notice board (sort of like they have in old pubs, with white plastic letters) and the three of them loved seeing their names up there. Ben and Nils were very competitive with each other and they never soft-played each other like you see so many other poker friends do.

They also loved gossiping/bitching about the other regulars, which, let’s face it, is not only de rigueur when you start spending most of your time at the Vic, but also great fun. Not only was Nils very good at NLHE tournaments, he absolutely loved playing them, really thriving on the tension around the bubble. “If you go all in, it’s fuckin’ impossible for them to call unless they find a hand!”. Nils plays online these days and I heard he managed to build up a bankroll from literally nothing by winning a load of freerolls.


kenyboy9 said...

sure thing!!!! after all he is my dad i have learned a lot from him too, n hoping to go down to the vic one day soon ^^

Cheri said...

Great work.