Monday, June 4, 2007

I Love The Vic

So my girlfriend and baby went away for the last few days and what else is a guy with time on his hands to do but spend all that time down the Vic? The room is now all upstairs, but otherwise it's business as usual. There were some new dealers, but the core staff were still there - Joe, Caroline, Brian. Many familiar faces were there - Fred Carle ("Sweet"), Declan, Michael Arnold ("One seat here!"), Willie Tann, Trevor Cole, Ashley Alterman, Panni, Lawrence Windish, Lou K, The Champ (of course, it's now her second home basically), Andrew Georgiou (who wasn't wearing a scarf - it must be summer!), Pedro, The Bish, Costas, Martin Baader, Mick "The Clock" Cook, John Kabbaj, Janis and her mother, Peter Benson, David Binstock, Mr. Chu, Alan Abrahams, JQ, Rick Gladding, Mike Wilner, John Duthie and DY to name a few.

I assume they all asked where I have been because they all miss my brilliant repartee and company at the table rather than the ease with which they can win pots off me. There are also a few new stars who I won't name out of politeness and discretion. As usual everyone was bitching and moaning about their favourite cardroom. There are at least two new waitresses since I last paid a visit. The games are as good and as tough as ever. They seem to have a regular £100 no limit holdem game going which has a maximum sit down of £600. Why there is a cap on this and not one on the pot limit game I don't really understand. Yes yes I know that management don't want the punters to do their money too quickly, but if you think it can't go fast in the pot limit game then you better take up scrabble or something.

Everything is Holdem now - I briefly played in the pot limit Omaha game, but it kept fluctuating between full and five or four players with no real list. Twice I saw Murray Brown and Ray the Taxi Driver sitting around forlornly waiting for the Dealer's Choice game to start up, but that's another game that seems to have died. It's a shame really as at one time those were good games. It seems all the Omaha/DC players like Sirhan, Ali, Celim, the other Ali, Mason and Hyder and a few others have all been gobbled up by the Western. I hear that Hyder is barred which could be the reason that the Dealer's game isn't running at the moment. One of the dealers told me how much he hated dealing the Omaha because all the players were such "miserable bastards". Hold on, I resemble that comment. Joking aside, he might have had a point. You know the Omaha game is dead when even a stalwart Omaha player like Mike Wilner says that you just have to play Holdem now. Having said all that there was a blinding Omaha game on monday night that was still going strong when I left around 4am.

I witnessed an interesting incident between a pro and a star in the £250 plh game. On the turn the pro bet £500 and the star, who was quite vocal and animated, called. As he was calling it looked like he may have flashed his cards. I was standing nearby and saw nothing. I'm trying to say it looked accidental to me, but I could be wrong. The pro now protested that the star had exposed his hand to the player next to him and asked for a ruling which he got in his favour. The pro gave the star back his monkey, but took the rest of the pot. The star was quite upset and nearly left the game. I think it was poor form and bad for the game by the pro to get this ruling. I guess the pro could not have had much of a hand as he was unhappy at the star calling (for starters, why is the pro trying to bluff a star? Obviously a bad play against a known non-believer). The pro should have taken his lumps and not made a fuss. Plenty of opportunities to get the money back plus more from the star during the rest of the game.

Here's a hand I played from the £100 plh game. I limp utg with pocket 6s. The next player raises the pot and a load of us call. £75 in the pot. Flop comes Kc 6d Qc. The blinds check and I lead out for £50. Folded around to Alan Abrahams on the small blind who now raises up to £200. Sweet. Unusually I had Alan covered - I had about a Grand and he had £340 left. I raised again to £400. He called. Turn is the 4c. Great. I bet out of turn by mistake (basically I knew his last £140 was going in no matter what - there was about £900 out there) and he called. Last card was another rag club that didn't pair up the board and he wins with 8c 7c. Nice hand Alan. Oh well, I guess I was looking for action with my hand and I got it.

A great new development is that they now give comps for the restaurant to regular players. JQ and I had dinner at the pleasure of the Vic. I couldn't believe it. Also on sunday at around 5pm the waitresses bought around a load of free finger food, spring rolls and stuff like that, for all the players in the card room. WTF?!? The Vic are being nice to the poker players, wow. If they're really on the ball they'll introduce player's cards like in the States (I know they're doing this at the new Empire Casino in Leicester Square). I wonder how long it will take management to go in that direction? At least ten years after every other casino in the country no doubt. I can already hear Jeff Leigh's response.

I love the Vic and it's regulars. It's still the only cardroom in the British Isles where you are guaranteed a (legal) cash game from 2pm every day. Everybody moans constantly about how badly the room is run, but I don't see them going anywhere else. The Vic should count themselves lucky that all the new rooms springing up around London are run by people that don't understand poker - they all think it's about tournaments. Deano who was an excellent dealer at the Vic now runs the new room at the Empire. If anybody can give the Vic a run for it's money it should be him.

1 comment:

Shortbet said...

I totally agree with your comments. My other half also went away, with her sister, and so I decided to take a week off work and play as much poker as possible. I stick to the 80 NL and usually buy-in with £200. The Vic has a great friendly feel and I have got to know a few of the regulars and the various choice of free sandwiches. 5 days in and I'm throughly enjoying playing about 12 hrs of poker a day. Lost a bit then won a bit, the usual ups and downs. I'll be ther tonight and can't wait. It's one of the best poker rooms around.