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Click Clack

To me the sound is unmistakable.  The repeated click clack echoing around the room as hundreds of people sit around those green felted tables. Mostly in reverent silence but punctuated by the occasional groan or roar of celebration and shout from a dealer or floorperson. Thousands of clay poker chips hitting each other repeatedly as players riffle them with their hands as they play cards. The Art of the Riffle For the uninitiated – a chip riffle is when you have two stacks of poker chips, perhaps four or five in each stack if you are a skilled ‘riffler’. Then you line them up side by side beneath your hand on the poker table. Using your fingers and thumb you create a little bit of air in between each chip and in one seamless motion merge them into one stack. Then separate and repeat. Is it for concentration? A habit? Something to do in the monotony of folding? Every riffler undoubtedly has their own reasons. A good set of clay poker chips has some weight to them, so gravity assi
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Chairs missing

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Naked flush draw

I was in Austria. It was winter. The time was after midnight. I had busted the main event of a large poker festival. It had been close to the bubble in a hand where I had got it in good and been outdrawn on the river. I had invested the maximum time and emotional energy for no financial reward. I wasn't in a great frame of mind. The walk back to my accommodation took around 15 minutes. I remember it was snowing and that I had inappropriate footwear. My room was cheap and quiet, ideal for my needs. But there was a caveat to consider that I had half forgotten. When travelling for poker I often book someone's spare room instead of a whole apartment as it works out more affordable and I am hardly ever there. This time my host was a jovial guy in his 50s. He was awake when I got home and greeted me in the lounge with a friendly hello. I'd already been there three days but he took this moment to decide to ask me about life as a professional poker player. He asked all of the q

Marrakech Express

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Man wins poker tournament

I have played poker for many years and in all that time I have only managed to win one live tournament. Shockingly in the second half of 2018, despite having recently 'retired' from poker - I managed to take down two events. Warning - post contains a lot of poker. Summer Cup I went back to day two of the Berlin Summer Cup (€220 buy in, 250 runners) with just 22 big blinds, lying around 50/62, with 27 players paid. I commented to my friend that at least it would get me out of the flat for the afternoon, but I expected to be available to watch the Uruguay v Portugal match later that evening. About 15 people bought in for 8bbs at the beginning of day two to swell the prizepool and we were off. Early on average stacks were very shallow, due in part to the number of day two re-entries, so there were a lot of all ins. I didn't do very much and dwindled down to 10bbs where I had my first (and I think only) suckout, doubling with A8 vs AQ. Shortly afterwards I went on a tea

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When visiting Georgia my mum's advice was simple: " Don't cause any trouble " " But wait... What if I go to Gori, the town where Stalin was born and is still revered and worshipped like a God and somebody asks me my opinion about him? " " Say Stalin? I've never heard of him. Say you don't know who he is. " " Then how would I explain why I ended up in this smallish out of the way town in Georgia? " " Just say you are passing though. Say it is lovely place. " ----------------------------------------------------------------- Joseph Stalin was born in Gori in the Russian Empire (now Georgia) in 1878. The present day town has a population of around 50,000 people and is somewhat of a shrine and memorial to the genocidal Soviet dictator. Stalin is of course Georgia's most famous son to everybody in the world apart from Manchester City supporters. A marshrutka in action Getting to Gori from Tbilisi was to prove s