Thursday, November 3, 2016, 4:14 PM
For the past couple of years I have read the Birthday Bash forum posts, never daring to think I could possibly go. This year I followed the posts and did not think I would be up to playing live. I mean who wants to go out first? Or to be caught making stupid calls, or checking or even calling out of turn?
Well almost at the last minute, I decided after being encouraged by some of the forum members that it would be a great time to play live, and where better to play live than with friendly forum players?
I added my name to the list and having googled where the casino was and where I could stay, which was the closest place, I opted for the Travelodge. On the Friday I managed to leave work early and managed to arrive at 6.30, having agreed to make our way to the Hilton to meet up with some of the other forum members. I was greeted immediately by WKD, who gave me a massive hug and welcomed me to the bash. It did feel daunting approaching a group of strangers with only forum names known!
Soon though we were chatiing and drinking, although I still not feel totally at ease. Members started to head off to eat and we decided just to find a local place to have a steak. We wandered down the town, which was full of happy laughing people in fancy drees enjoying a friday night out for Halloween. Heading into a local pub I quickly looked up, and just for a split second wondered how on earth the poor girl could work with a slash across her neck! Great makeup and of course she actually was dressed for Halloween!
The following morning we headed towards the Casino, and found a few members sat outside enjoying coffee and chatting waiting for the casino to open.
Here goes, I thought as the casino opened for play. I actually felt nervous, excited and could not beleive I was just about to play my first live poker game ever.
Sean and the MODs were really welcoming and soon the first game of the day commenced. Lambone's tea pot challenge. I went out just before making the final table. My pair of 10's to Dee's KK.
Dinner and a free bar had been provided, another great showing of hospitality, and I was actually looking forward to the Knockout game. 888 had added prize money to this, and I was just hopeful that I would survive, and not be first out!
The forum players were really helpful and I did not actually feel like this was to be my second only live game. I soon settled in and to my amazement found myself on the final table. The banter was friendly and finally I felt I had known some of the members for a long time! I now know why they are a community and go the the Bash every year.
The lovely Bill took me out 7th with his pair of 9's against my AQ suited. There we go my two cards I struggle to fold, and usually end up going out with! I had actually won £40. I felt proud of myself. Having consumed a fair few glasses of wine, we finally headed of to bed around 1.00am, and I could'nt wait for the main event on Sunday.
Now this was a breeze meeting the lovely members for brunch on Sunday and could not wait to start the poker. I was hoping that it would not be a really late evening, as I would be leaving in the evening, unfortunately I had work monday morning.
Sean, Dee and Bill were on my table, and I could feel myself inwardly groaning, all great players. My first hand dealt was AJ of clubs and was reraised by Sean. Flop fell with 2 clubs on the table, with Sean betting. I missed my club flush, and Sean revealed his pair of Kings. I got a few small pairs but actually went card dead for the rest of the game, but still managed to go down to the last two tables.
It was actually one of the most enjoyable weekends I have ever had. The company was fantastic, and the atmosphere was friendly. The bar again was free for part of the day, and despite this there was no trouble.
Wkd looked fantastic in her costume and red sparkly shoes, and I am not sure where she parked her broomstick!
Those that I had not seen pictures of, did not look anything like I expected them to. Sorry Slim, I expected a really old guy, although I am not sure why as he had mentioned a young son! Grumpy, I did actually see you smile. Sylvia again another one I expected to be doddery, and she to turned out far younger than I expected, also a lovley person.
I want to say a huge massive thank you to everyone that turned up, and for all the hard work that went into organising the weekend. I can honestly say you are a great bunch of people and cannot wait to meet you at another event.
THE only issue now is I have the bug for playing live. Thank you to Jon and Pam for keeping an eye on me.
So what are we waiting for, when is our next live meet up?
And for those of you reading and have never been to a birthday bash, you really don't know what you are missing! A really friendly game of poker with great banter which is what poker should always be about.