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Dave B impresses the table with his chipmunk impersonation...


Sunday 13th November was sunny, clear and bloody taters, and Chewie and I arrived at The Walrus early, so rather than stand around outside freezing our knackers off we decided to interrupt Tony’s breakfast and get early access to the room to set up. Just as well we did, as we were soon to discover there had been a lesbian’s birthday bash in the function room the night before (hence the ‘Trailer Trash this way' greeting you as you mounted the stairs) and there was quite a bit to do before we could get down to the serious business of taking people’s money (least of all taking down all the effing pink balloons and bunting). Dave B and Chewie got busy stacking up 400K in chips into 54 nice little even piles (ta lads), Christine was fully occupied opening, counting and shuffling 12 decks of cards (thanks Christine!) and I did my best to look busy and important by shuffling papers, looking cross, and doodling. It was an absolute frenzy of activity, and a quick glance out the window revealed a veritable throng of chilly-looking poker junkies gathering outside clamouring for Tony to let them in out of the cold.

Lynott.... Here! Oldfield..... Here! Simons.....Simons.....

Has anyone seen Simons?

At 11:15am a deluge of players exploded through the doors waving tenners, shrapnel and assorted (clearly home made) IDs, and we got busy signing them up and getting them seated while Camille did her best to cater for the numerous demands for teas and coffees coming from every quarter (you’ll be pleased to learn that bacon butties may well be on the cards for next time!) The initial flood then slowed to a trickle as stragglers started to arrive and the inevitable texts and calls started to filter through from the usual quarters - “Not going to make today. Got drunk. Short story. Have fun and do a 72o limp re-raise for me” - and similar offerings, and I started putting lines through players’ names. By the time the clock ticked round to noon with latecomers we were down to 50 of the promised 54 runners (exactly the same number as at BHO I) over 6 tables and a little after the scheduled midday start the customary ‘Shuffle Up and Deal!’ was announced (after a little prompting!) and we were off and running. Or perhaps off and ‘sprinting’ might have been a better term…

Start time: 12:22hrs Runners: 50 Prizepool: £1000 Chips in Play: 375K


As it was The Beer Hand Open we were offering an exclusive (Chewie-designed) 7-2 offsuit T-shirt to the first successful ‘7-2offing’ of the day, and we didn’t have to wait long, with Cameron (who made the final table in August) shouting “BEER HAND!” within the first 5 minutes and showing his Hammer to general acclaim. It proved to be a curse, however, as in the early minutes of level 2 (with blinds still at 50/100) he was the first player to bust, when his set of 9s ran into a made flush and failed to improve. His departure heralded the opening of the floodgates, as one by one players started to fall like ninepins. A few surprises among them too - Vincent Boon went out in level 2 and Des D (2nd in BHO I) and Jay (1st last time) both went out midway through level 3. As the tournament progressed and 6 tables quickly became 5, and then 4, it became clear that fast play was the order of the day and the tourney was being characterized by some very aggressive play.


I was watching table 1 to see Woody go out midway through level 7. With blinds at 250/500 with a 50 ante Scotty (who had amassed a huge stack of chips throughout the early levels) made it 2000 to go from UTG. Woody re-raised AI (to 7,500) from MP. A short-stacked Duncan (on something like T2000) with QT had already posted the BB so his was a more or less automatic value call, and Scott also called. Woody showed AA. The QT made a straight but Woody’s hand was good unimproved against Scotty and he took the side pot, some 12000. He moved AI again UTG on the very next hand with 87s and unfortunately ran into KK (from Duncan, I think) to go out in 22nd spot.

At the last Beer Hand Open we lost very few players before the first break [level 8], but by the time the clock struck 4pm on Sunday (only the end of level 7) we were already down to our last 19 runners – over 60% of the field eliminated including a whole raft of the more fancied players (Woody, Andy Coates, Rick Hawkins, Ashley Pugh, Mark Oldfield (Chewie) and Renier to name but a few), so we broke for lunch early and merged down to just two tables. Here was the draw:

Table 1

Scott D
Richard S
Christine S
Rachel B
Tim I
Jim L
Mike S
Cathy D
Rory G

Table 2

Ray M
‘Doc’ Jon B
Ray L
Duncan L
Dave B
James B
Mike G
Matt C
John M


Women make better poker players than men. I can offer no better testament to this other than the fact that of the 4 women who competed at BHO II (8% of the field), as can be evidenced above no less than 3 of them made the final two tables. They were kicking our arses. From what I had seen Cathy very rarely got her money in unless she had the best of it and she was making it very expensive for anyone wanting to draw against her, always putting her opponents to difficult decisions. Rachel was making great reads, playing very aggressive poker and I saw her picking up a lot of pots pre-flop when there were multiple limpers and no-one seemed to be showing any real strength - was her stack really that volatile? She always seemed to be hovering around par when I saw her. Christine seemed to be playing a quiet, careful game but picking her spots, and when she decided to move at a pot she very rarely backed down. I pitied the guys on table 1, who had all 3 of them at their table! They had their hands full, and the general observation from the rail was that not one, but ALL THREE of the ladies would be making their presence felt at the final table…


Tim I and Dave B were early casualties at the final 2 tables before this hand came up. Jim has already described it in his report but here’s the detail for those who are interested. At first glance you’d be forgiven for wondering why this was such a big action hand but when you consider the stack sizes in relation to the blinds it perhaps becomes a little more understandable. The table is now 8-handed, the average stack is a shade over 22K (less than 10xBB) and with blinds at 1K/2K with a 300 ante, each rotation is costing T5400. Three of those involved are below average stacks. IIRC this was the action:

John M (Button)
Antes posted (Total T2400)
Ray M posts SB (T1000)
Doc Jon posts BB (T2000)
Ray L (UTG) folds
Duncan L (UTG+1) moves AI (T11000)
James B (MP) moves AI behind (table big stack)
All fold to
Ray M calls AI (T20000)
Doc Jon calls AI (T17000)

On their backs:

Duncan shows Js, Jd
James B shows Ac, Jc
Ray M shows 5s, 5h
Doc shows Td, Qh

Flop 6d, 2d, 4c
Turn 3d
River Jh

Ray M makes a 6-high straight and wins a 70K+ pot, taking a substantial chip lead.

Duncan goes out in 14th, Doc in 13th, and we’re down to two tables of 6. Soon after this we lost Scott D from table 1, and Matt C’s departure at around 19:30hrs from table 2 left us with our last 10.

As predicted we had 3 women at our final table.

Final Table Chipcounts

(Average stack 37.5K, blinds at 1200/2400 with a 400 ante)

1. Rachel Bourne 32,700
2. Ray Lay 24,800
3. Ray Moore 70,900
4. Mike Stevenson 45,600
5. Cathy Diver 44,100
6. Rory Geraghty 39,000
7. Kam 29,800
8. James Buchanan 12,500
9. John Michalis 49,000
10. Christine Sherwood 26,600

I think we got action in pretty much the first hand of the final table, with John making it 10K to go from the SB and Christine responding by moving AI for another 12K behind him. John calls and shows JJ - Christine flips over AA - John fails to improve and takes a big hit, Christine making a useful double through to be 2nd in chips.


Rachel (Button)
Antes posted (Total T4000)
Ray L posts SB T1200
Ray M posts BB T2400
Kam raises to T12000
Ray L re-raises to T24400 and is AI
Ray M calls
Kam re-raises to T29800 and is AI
Ray M calls

On their backs

Ray L shows Ad, Ks
Ray M shows Qs, Qh
Kam shows Kc, Kh

Flop Kd, 5h, 9c
Turn 8h
River 6s

Kam’s top set scoops him a nice 87K pot to take the chip lead with nearly ¼ of the chips in play.

Ray L is eliminated in 10th spot. This hand made Kam a difficult proposition at the table as his now comfortable stack meant he was tempted into seeing a lot more flops and he was often able to quite simply bet people off hands. One interesting hand I witnessed Mike S came in for a SPFR from the CO and Kam flat called from the BB. The flop was all rags, and Kam came out firing with a PSB but was unable to extract any value from the hand and when Mike folded he excitedly flipped over his flopped nut straight. There was some criticism made of his lead-out bet here, but in fairness whilst most might opt for a value bet or a C/R here I think it would certainly have made for an interesting hand (and a sizeable pot) if Mike had actually held something like an overpair to the board rather than total snow. The hand may have highlighted Kam's inexperience somewhat, but it also showed his willingness to gamble, and my feeling was that the more experienced players were happy to see him taking chances in this way and now had him ‘in their sights’. As Jim has already commented on in his review I think had Kam been a little more judicious in his hand selection from this point he would have been able to coast into a higher money spot, but we all know that feeling of invincibility that comes from being on a rush – he was clearly here to enjoy himself and was doing just that.

James Buchanan, who had come to the final table with a little over 12K, was next to fall, followed a little later by Rachel. Christine and John were next to go when blinds climbed to 2K/4K, and Kam also eventually went out in 5th place at this level, a very credible showing for his first ever live game, and he seemed very happy with his £79 payout, but obviously a little disappointed not to have gone further.


Now we were down to the final 4, and with the average chipstack up around 90K, blinds still only at 2K/4K and the big payouts going to the top 3 placed finishers the table tightened up considerably. Very often the first player in would be taking down the pot uncontested pre-flop. Finally, half way through the 2.5K/5K level Ray M became our 4th place finisher and it was down to Cathy, Rory and Mike. All three had contrasting styles. Cathy had been steadily building throughout the tournament, playing a studied but aggressive game, and had maintained the chiplead more or less throughout the last few levels. Rory, like Jim has mentioned, had been playing a quiet, patient game and was able to operate ‘under the radar’ for the most part – I had not seen him involved in too many confrontations but somehow he had been steadily accruing chips (maybe he had been helping himself from Cathy’s stack when no-one was looking – Rory?) Mike was probably the most vocal of the three remaining, and had been doing his best to get inside his opponents heads. Not, I hasten to add, with a cranial saw and a rusty spoon, that would have just been messy. From what I'd seen Mike had been picking his spots well and basically playing solid, aggressive poker. I think when it got down to 3 he was the shortie but would clearly be a danger if only he could get some chips. He didn’t have to wait long, as his unimproved AA soon helped him to double up through Cathy and now it really was anyone’s game….

In fact it then took us nearly another hour to get down to Heads Up, with blinds climbing as high as 4K/8K with a 1K ante before Mike got involved in a big pot and busted out in 3rd place and a £125 payout.

As it turned out, the heads-up portion of the game actually lasted nearly an hour (the better part of three levels), and blinds finally climbed as high as 10K/20K (a new high for us) before we finally had a winner. Here’s some of the key hands leading up to the final showdown:


Cathy 150K approx
Rory 225K approx

Rory (Button)
Antes posted (Total T4000)
Rory posts SB T6000
Cathy posts BB T12000
Rory completes, no raise.

Flop 7h, Qs, 2s.

Cathy leads out, Rory re-raises, fireworks go off, all the money goes in the middle, “All in and called!” from Jim.

On their backs:

Cathy shows 7c, 2c.
Rory has 7s, 5c.

Egads. 7-2 sooted! I heard someone saying “unlucky Cathy” at this point, but I guess they didn’t spot she’d actually made bottom two! Ah, sweet poetry...

Turn Tc
River 7d

Cathy makes a 7-2 boat to double up and win close to a 300K pot with 72s – ‘The Imposter’!


With Cathy keen to press her 3.5:1 chip advantage, blinds at a record-breaking 10K/20K and with only 4xBB left we were bound to see some attacking play from Rory as we approached the final furlong - but would it go his way?

Rory 80K approx
Cathy 295K approx

Cathy (Button)
Antes posted (Total T4000)
Cathy posts SB T10000
Rory posts BB T20000
Cathy raises AI
Rory calls AI.

All in and called!” again from Jim.

On their backs

Cathy shows Ad, 8d.
Rory has 6d, 7c.

Flop 2c, 5c, 3d (“Where’s my four?”)
Turn 4h [Oof!]
River 5h   

Rory doubles up, around a 160K pot

The next hand they got all the money in again only to flip up the same hand – A6o – for a split pot then this rather painful outdraw turned the tide Rory’s way again. I think in Jim’s post he seemed to indicate that Cathy let Rory see the Turn for free and overtake her. All the money did in fact get in the middle on the flop.

Cathy 215K approx
Rory 160K approx

Rory (Button)
Antes posted (Total T4000)
Rory posts SB T10000
Cathy posts BB T20000
Rory completes
Cathy raises to T40000
Rory calls

Flop Qh, 6c, 5s

Rory bets 40K, Cathy re-raises AI, Rory calls

All in and called!”

On their backs

Cathy shows Jc, Jd.
Rory has 5h, 3h.

Turn 3d [Eep.]
River 7c

Rory wins 320K - FIX! 

Which brought us very quickly to....


Rory 320K approx
Cathy 55K approx

Cathy (Button)
Antes posted (Total T4000)
Cathy posts SB T10000
Rory posts BB T20000
Cathy raises to 53K and is AI
Rory calls 47K.

All in and called!” [Talk about a stuck record, Jim!]

On their backs

Cathy shows Kc, 2h
Rory has 6d, 6s.

Flop 6c 9c 2s [Runner, runner required]
Turn 3s [and it’s all over]
River 9h

We have a winner!


I think Cathy was definitely unlucky in the Heads Up section, but I don’t think she’ll be that disappointed with how she played - other than the K-2 she always seemed to be getting her money in with the best hand, the rest is just down to the cards. To take nothing away from Rory, he played a blinder of a tournament and Lady Luck just happened to be smiling down on him at the right time towards the end there. Nice job, mate!

Final Placings and Payouts (after 9 hours and 15 minutes of play)

1. Rory Geraghty £287
2. Cathy Diver £185
3. Mike Stevenson £125
4. Ray Moore £83
5. Kam £79
6. John Michalis £70
7. Christine Sherwood £61
8. Rachel Bourne £51
9. James Buchanan £42
10. Ray Lay £20 + 7-2offsuit T-shirt

Congratulations as always to ALL those who finished in the money – it was a long slog to reach that final table and with the broad mix of playing styles across the tourney there was quite a minefield to be negotiated just to make the first break. I hope to see many of you back at BHO III, which is scheduled tentatively for the early part of next year. Thanks to everyone who took part for getting their deposits to me in good time and for making the whole thing work, and special thanks as always to everyone who helped out on the day - in particular Vincent, Chewie, Dave B, Jim, Mike M and Christine (sorry if I've missed anyone) - until next time!

Dave P

                         - "Behold the power of the Beer Hand!" -