May 12, 2011
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 12-05-2011

I like to be ahead of the curve where technology and trends are concerned and as such I’ve signed up for twitter. It’s an interesting social media application that may or may not catch on but I like to be on the cutting edge of things so I’m giving it a go. Apparently I’m the 277.667,323rd person to give it a go.

If you’d like to follow me please do I’m @nickwealthall (www.twitter.com/nickwealthall)

In the meantime I’ve been trying to handle UKIPT withdrawal syndrome. There was no tour event in April which is very distressing. However Cork is just a couple of weeks away so the shaking should stop soon.

I’m writing this from Edinbugh one of my favourite towns on the planet. Recording a live poker magazine show following the SCOOP with the very funny Joe Stapleton. If you want to watch our nightly ‘who can put each other off better with funny stuff and not follow the actual script’ athon do it here http://www.pokerstars.tv/poker-video-9110-inside-scoop-daily-web-show.html

I’m filling my freetime with NBA playoff goodness. It’s one of the better sporting series I’ve seen – surpises, quality play, real drama it’s got it all. Also there’s a villain; it’s really hard to watch the Miami Heat without wanting them to lose! Anyway I’ve had a rare sports bet on Oklahoma to come out of the west and to win it all. They have a shot and were a huge price with English bookies…. You’ve got to have an interest right!

Hope to see many of you in Cork

 

 



March 12, 2011
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 12-03-2011

We’re gonna need a bigger boat

So it turns out I can’t get a little bit pregnant. I seem to be incapable of having a passing interest in anything.

I’m binary….I’m bi-winning  (the Charlie Sheen meltdown is the best news story of the last 10 years btw)

If I like something I can’t just read the odd article about it or watch a TV show occasionally … I need to know everything about it, constantly be receiving news about it and basically distil whatever it is into liquid form and slam it into a major artery.

The latest thing is the NBA….basketball …from Amercia.  I’m not the only one the NBA is on the up and up with a ‘golden generation’ of stars and teams coming together this year and for some years to come. I’m a Boston Celtics fan but not set in stone yet as I have soft spots for other great players and teams. Tragically I’m on the ‘I hate the Miami heat’ bandwagon – you’ve got to have heroes and villains haven’t you and they fit the bill. I think they should embrace it and play up to it but they don’t seem capable of that they seem a bit like spoiled kids who have been indulged all their lives and are suddenly disliked and can’t adjust. Anyway I’m spending a lot of time trying to understand why Lebron doesn’t go to the rim more……however they other day I did learn the difference between pick and pop and a pick and roll so I’m all over it

I’m writing this from UKIPT Manchester which is another sell out and another ‘cap buster’. I swear this tour will eat itself –despite both the last events being sold out I think they could have been even bigger….they’re going to have to start building bigger UK card rooms!

 



January 04, 2011
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 04-01-2011

Merry New Year!!!

Okay Trading Places is about 20 years old but me and my sisters still shout Merry New Year at each other so you’re getting it too

Hope you’re festive period was one full of presents, fun and copious food and drink that out weighed the inevitable family tension and ‘what in God’s name am I doing with my life’ introspection that it can also bring.

I spent the holiday season conducting a one man experiment to establish whether or not After Eight mints contain the requisite nutrients and minerals to sustain life. Almost 4 boxes done – solo – and I’m still here so I’m going with yes and intend to make them my food of choice from now on. I’m sorry but those waifer thin minty bastards kick the arse of porridge and all the other ‘breakfast’ foods – hard.

For those that care I’m having a quite January. I’m going to try not to travel too much and try not to take on too much new work stuff. Don’t really go fo this ‘hit the new year ground running’ mullarkey. As far as I’m concerned this is the hibernation point in the year where time is best spent inside with the football or poker or the playstation…optimism and productivity can wait for the spring …or any point where it isn’t constantly drizzling 5 degrees and dark just after lunch.

Deeper into the blog now and I feel the overwhelming pressure to reveal my goals and resolutions for 2011.

Or at least to have some

First up I’d like to resolve whether it’s ‘twenty – eleven’ or ‘two thousand and eleven’. This should take until mid- March I reckon. I’ll look for some new goals after that.

My resolution is to give up smoking. In order to achieve this I will have to start smoking and maintain it for a long enough period of time for it to be an achievement giving up – so look for my celebratory I finally quit blog around July

My prediction for 2011 is that it will be a bit ‘meh’ for the world

Prove me wrong twenty eleven you magnificent new shiny fool.

I hope it’s your best year yet.

 

 



December 16, 2010
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 16-12-2010

We’re nearly at the end of the year. For most people that’s 31st December – for everyone in ‘media’ it appears to be something closer to the 14th as that’s when it all grinds to a halt!

 I’m in ‘just get things done then we can have holiday’ mode – it’s a magnificent tick box, standard slipping state which probably partly made this country great

 Season 2 of UKIPT has already started we’ve had the first event in Galway. The presence of TV cameras made it all the more exciting; as did the presence of ludicrous amounts of snow in England and Ireland. A lot of players couldn’t make it on time so we delayed the start and all spent the time having snowball fights, drinking hot chocolate (it was Guiness) and playing online. Environmental problems aside a lot of players still made it, more than last year and enough to give the event it’s great atmosphere. We got some great stories too, nearly getting our first female winner and actually getting our first two time winner. Next stop is Nottingham and time to dust of my Robin Hood tights…its nice to be able to wear them with non-arrestable excuse

 It took me ages to get a sky plus box (other hard drive recording boxes devices are available) but now I have I love it to the point of a deep sexual longing. It means I’ve missed less episodes of good stuff like the Daily Show and American sport. The Apprentice gets my nomination as best show on telly ever. Just get some people that take themselves very seriously, make them do stupid stuff, point the camera and let them make themselves look ridiculous. The few minutes of tv in the penultimate episode where ‘the brand’ was brutally fired and then Jo magnificently validated was as good as telly gets.

 If I don’t speak to you before have a lovely festive season

 



November 10, 2010
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 10-11-2010

So my blog has become a bit like the door handle that goes into my living room that barely works and come out it’s socket in your hand 20% of the times you use it.

It’s needed writing for ages like my handle needs fixing and there’s nothing stopping me writing it but the longer it goes the more of a chore it feels.

There’s a scene in friends where Rachel meets a doctor whose a gynecologist and shes put off him because he expresses that what he sees all day at work he doesn’t want to see in his free time… I think blog writing is like that for me – I write all time so it’s more writing….

Anyway let’s jump off the introspection band wagon….

We’re between UKIPT seasons and I feel a bit naked without it. Season 1 ended in London and I won’t do the commercial bit about how well it all went but .um…it really did go very well. I loved the whole season; ukipt events have their own atmosphere and they really do kick other poker events ass….royally…from above. Season 2 will be on us soon (first one in Galway first week in December) and I have a sneaking suspicion it’ll be bigger and better and sexier than season 1…just you see if it’s not.

Things are going great away from the tour thanks for asking. It’s weird when you’re freelance and there’s no structure or plan but after a period of some frustration earlier in the year things are happening on lots of different writing and performing projects. I’ll ‘blog’ about them when they’re certain but it’s a fun exciting time. …which is nice.

In other news here are things I like at the moment….

 

-        the Apprentice…christ it’s good. I like to take a drink everytime someone says ‘skill set’ – mullered by 9.35. Last week someone actually said to a person’s face ‘I look forward to dialoging with you later’….genius

-        the NFL. Loved it years ago and I’m right back into it this season. Helps that it’s one of the most competitive seasons in years and that my childhood team the Raiders have their first decent outfit for ages

-        Red wine. Have started to frickin love the stuff. Think it’s a sign of being old but who cares. I know a tiny bit about it and want to keep it that way – I think knowing more about it would spoil it for me. Currently working with Malbecs….tremendous!

-        Sky + HD recorder (other HD recorders are available)…was very late to this party but it really is the shizzle. Espcecially when you’re into watching North American sport

 

Not much else really – you’d think after a couple of months break I’d have more to say but to be honest deep down I’m a very shallow person.

I guarantee the next time we speak the door handle won’t be fixed because where as I can type if I try to do anything DIY related ever not only will the initial problem not be fixed but 14 more will be created.

 

 



August 31, 2010
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 31-08-2010





Summer is over and I ended it with a bang…well a binge to be more accurate.

I spent 10 or so days in Edinburgh and re-discovered the student within me.

Not sure how many reading this will have been to the Edinburgh festival or to Edinburgh full stop but if you haven’t then do! I haven’t been everywhere but of the towns/cities I’ve visited in the UK and Ireland it’s by far my favourite  - if we could move it a couple of hundred miles south I’d be there in a shot.

I was there for the latest leg of the UKIPT and then for some quality comedy festival time. The tournament went very well especially considering it was a brand new event for Scotland – next year I think it’ll be even bigger.

The festival was great except for deciding to torture my liver by drinking every night. I’m a complete lightweight and never really ‘drank’ when I was the age you’re supposed to drink so it was all a bit silly but a lot of fun. The comedy was very mixed – there are a lot of comics around these days who clearly belong in rock bands (as in they just want to be famous) and don’t actually have any material. But then there are also geniuses like Emo Phillips and the God that is Tim Vine. When Tim was told he’d won the best joke at the festival award he replied ‘I’m so excited I’m going to Sooty’s barbecue to have a sweep stake’…genius.

I have ‘a lot on’ at the moment. Lots of big poker tournaments are coming to London this month and the WCOOP is happening on line so there’s plenty of poker work . Also I’m working on some comedy projects and probably a couple of TV shows so it’s all a bit full. With all of that there isn’t much time for poker at the moment and I’ve reached a plateau with Omaha so I’m taking a break until I have time to focus on it properly. Will be playing a couple of live events in the next 6 weeks so I’ll let you know how those go.

Think that’s about it…..hope summer isn’t over for you and you can cling onto it for a few weeks to come!






July 31, 2010
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 31-07-2010





Apparently it takes a day for every time zone you travel through to recover from jet lag. Well I must have popped around the world a couple of times because this trip back from Vegas kicked my butt. I don’t think it helped I went straight to the UKIPT in Brighton and managed not to sleep for more than about  5 hours for 2 weeks but still….. Several times I’ve been up before 830 and that just wont do!!

Brighton was great – the Rendezvous is a great place to play and did the tour proud. It’s also a cool place to be generally although it’s many times cooler during the week than the weekend when the hordes from London descend.

-

Final WSOP fantasy game standings….Kara 45pts / Matt 37 pts / Nick 17 pts

I suck. I’ve been let down. Kathy Liebert needs to have a serious word with herself frankly it’s the last time she lets me down…

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I’ve had a shocking month on the playing poker side of things. It involved a couple of weeks of barely winning a significant pot and then some time where variance kicked my arse. The last few days I’ve been playing well though and my PLO game is looking better so we’ll see. Still running horribly on the year making  small profit online when it should be a decent one; thank goodness for live tourneys…never thought I’d say that.

-

Did you see Inception yet? It’s basically a very well done heist thriller covering up a story about the lead character’s love and loss and it demands to be seen it’s just so well done. Amazing Nolan isn’t lauded here – we’ve produced a Steve Spielberg equivalent and you barely see anything on him.

That’s all my bits for now…later skater






July 07, 2010
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 07-07-2010

This time tomorrow I’ll be playing the main event of the World Series of Poker. As a poker fan and player it simply doesn’t get any better than this. The anticipation is amazing and every single player of the 7000+ feels the same thing that maybe just maybe it could be them this year.






I need to point out it’s thanks to the lovely people at pokerstars. I’m super super lucky to be put in to the event and I’ll try and do it justice. I have to be honest in future years if I don’t have a sponsor I’ll be spending money to play; it’s that much fun!

Last year I was so excited after a 15 year wait to play it and ridiculously the reality didn’t let me down. Day 2 when I quickly cashed out was disappointing but day 1 was unreal. The buzz in the room is unique in poker and I won’t try and do it justice by writing about it – you just have to do it once in your life some how some way. Suffice to say it’s the only time I’ve been nervous at a poker table – or at least for 15 years!

This year I’ll be excited but not nervous and I don’t think I’ll have any problem playing well from the start. The key to day 1 is table draw. The series is so random because the field is so huge – you can get 2 tough players to your left and have an impossible day or get a field of first time casual players and have lots of lovely free money to pick up…I’ll know how well I’m running from the line up just a few days into tomorrow!

Anyway I know how lucky I am and for one of the few times in life tomorrow there really won’t be anywhere else on earth I’d rather be.

There won’t be much sleep tonight!








June 15, 2010
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 15-06-2010

I’ve been watching two amazing sporting events this week – the NBA finals and the World Cup and I’ve been startled by how similar the sports are starting to look.




The level of skill in the NBA games has staggered me. Also the evenness of the teams – the Lakers and Celtics – and their long standing hatred of each other has made it an awesome series. I’ve loved watching Kobe Bryant who, in ability terms (although not accomplishment yet), might be the best player of all time. And Rondo of the Celtics a new superstar whose smoooootttthhhhhh! The games have been close, exciting and beautiful to watch.

Watching the world cup has been a different experience. The occasion is amazing, as is the atmosphere but the football (whisper is quietly) is absolutely dire.

Hopefully it will pick up but I’m worried for ‘the beautiful game’. The problem is two fold – first the athleticism of the players has massively improved in the last 20 years and secondly the tactical awareness of teams has come on enormously. Coaches have discovered that if you have two rows of 4 (or one of 4 and one of 5) that fall back without the ball and the players are athletic and disciplined it’s possible to make it incredibly hard for the opposing team to break you down.

This is why football is starting to look like basketball with teams immediately withdrawing when they don’t have the ball and relying on fast break counter attacks and set plays for their goals.

The only antidote to this seems to be the fast ball movement of exceptionally gifted teams like Barcelona and Spain. But as Inter showed this season and Chelsea last – athleticism and organization nullifies it.

I think a new innovation is needed. People want to watch skill, attacking play and goals. If the trend to athleticism and organization continues football will become less popular. It may need a rule change – something radical like 10 men a team or bigger pitches – I don’t know. But watching well drilled long distance runners restricting space is not why football became the world’s favourite game.






May 26, 2010
Filed Under (General) by Nick on 26-05-2010





 So two live tournaments this year and I have one win (did I mention that?) and now a 9th. Which is the definition of running hot. I should probably quit for the year claiming the most awesome ROI in tourney history.

Played the GUKPT Coventry this weekend – courtesy of Stars; I looked on it as a UKIPT raid on their territory! It was my first event on the tour and the structure is similar to the UKIPT. You get plenty of chips and an hour clock which is pretty cool. As an aside I don’t think I’d recommend playing a live tournament seriously (for fun is a different story) with less than an hour clock. You’re probably still only getting 30 hands per hour – in this case per level – which really isn’t huge.

I ended up having a really weird tournament. I below the average after 2 hours and never at any point got back to the average until busting 2 days later in 9th. Which just goes to show that in a tournament although plan A is to accumulate chips and aim for the top 3 positions you really have to focus on stacks and blinds and not worry about the tourney overall.

Having said that being short for that long is bizarre and stressful. All day 2 I was waiting for a hand that would double up or bust me and it never came. I must have been all in close to 15 times and was never called (sometimes I wanted it sometimes not!) so effectively survived almost entirely on antes and blinds. Obviously I was pretty lucky to survive however it was good practice and reminder never to quit on a tournament.

The final table was fun and decent practice of a final of a big live event. Although the miracles I wanted didn’t come 9th and just under 3k was a good result.

I also have to mention the tourney contained one of the funnier hands I’ve played recently. On day 1 I was ground down to just under 10 bbs. On the button with tight blinds I’d decided I was shoving if it was folded to me with any two. That’s what happened and I pretended to look at my cards before pushing. Small blind folds and the big blind announces ‘I’m calling you with 8s or better Ak or AQ’ (did I mention he was tight?). He looks down and instantly calls! So I have to turn over my two random cards against a guy who is only calling me with big hands. He flips up 99 and I turn over Ace King suited?!?!?!? King on the flop and I double up. How does that happen? Dunno I found it pretty funny – apologies to the big blind who almost certainly didn’t!