Palm Beach Casino, London
I played 2 tourneys in 3 days at the Palm Beach Casino in London recently and I was in the money in both of them. I came in 5th in one and 2nd in the other. The thing here is that I was playing in the poker club that has the highest limits, the biggest cash games and the most talented and seasoned pros in London so the competition is quite tough. Here there are no internet whiz kids, at least not that I could see them or recognized them as such, because no hoodies or sun glasses are allowed.
The audience here is way more mature and it is a good mix between wealthy businessmen; retired, super wealthy guys; and tough pros that circle the tables and look to catch some prey. The cash games start at pounds sterling 5/10. They also have a 10/20 game always running and sometimes there is a 25/50 game as well. This is tough stuff and one needs deep pockets and lots of skills to survive in those games not to mention to beat them!
However, I played the tourneys, since that’s my domain anyways, and I only play cash when I bust out, but for that I guess I would have then moved to the Vic Casino in order to play my regular 2/5 limits. There I feel I can survive and beat that game. But fortunately there was no need to move on because I played long and made the money after lots of poker playing. Those higher buy ins give you more chips and a slow clock so the game goes on for what seems like forever.
It was a great experience though. I had an Austrian guy on my left who final tabled at the WSOP in Las Vegas in the year 2001 and came in 7th (that was when Carlos Mortensen won the title) and otherwise bullets were flying left and right around me. I did manage to dodge them all and learned to be more patient and avoid all the tricky pitfalls they were trying to lay for me.
It was a completely different playing style than on the EPT tour or the other bigger events I was playing in where brute aggression is predominant and one is confronted almost in every other hand with a situation that can (and will) end its tournament life.
Here it was more like a ‘Let’s see a flop and then decide the right move” type of a thing which requires good post flop play, since they play tricky. I learned so much here and got payed at the same time so all is extremely fine. I also moved up a step on the poker ladder in terms of stakes and quality of play. All in all this was a fantastic learning and playing experience!