Annie RKH
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UK's Five Best Poker Bloggers

This year's British Poker Awards nominees in the Best Blogger category are: @Jake Cody @Samuel Grafton @Padraig Parkinson @Tony Kendall @Dale PhilipHere are some samples of their poker writing in anticipation of the ceremony tonight at @The Hippodrome Casino London!

Last year's Best Blogger @Neil Channing 

Sam Grafton sharing thoughts (and reservations) about the poker industry in his last column for pokerplayer365.com:

Sam Grafton: It’s time to say goodbye…

February 2014

I hope you have a box of tissues close at hand because I’m sad to inform you this will be my last monthly column for PokerPlayer. The time has come to part ways and, like any break-up, it will be hard on both of us. I expect I’ll be sending the editor late night drunken texts for weeks to come, and I must thank you all for the opportunity to convey a little of my poker world to the wider public.

This won’t be the last you will be hearing from me though. I think it’s really important that fans and players continue to be vocal about the direction they want poker to move in and I will continue to weigh in on all manner of topics, both in articles and on Twitter.

The poker community, and the industry that surrounds it, have numerous challenges to face in the months ahead. These challenges can only be overcome by working together for solutions that serve both parties’ interests. I certainly feel that if the game is to continue to grow then the big companies that dominate the poker landscape will need to give a little back to their players. 

Full article: http://www.pokerplayer365.com/blogs/sam-grafton/sam-grafton-time-say-goodbye/

Sam Grafton: It's time to say goodbye... - PokerPlayerRead Sam Grafton's latest blog and blogs from some of the world's most entertaining players at PokerPlayer, home of the internet's biggest strategy archivewww.pokerplayer365.com

Irish Open ambassador Padraig Parkinson on Europe's oldest Hold'em tournament:


May 2014

...Then Terry [@Terry Rogers pulled a master stroke. He persuaded the best players in the world to come to Dublin’s Killiney Castle to play poker for a week. They all came. Doyle, Chip, Stuey, Slim… they were all there. The Irish media lapped it up. In a week, Terry had changed completely the Irish publics perception of the game. For that, we owe Terry and the Americans who put the game on the map here a lot. Ireland being Ireland, the wheels had to come off at some stage. One evening, the guys who were looking after the cash went on a dinner break. As a precaution, they took the cash with them for safekeeping. As an extra precaution, they never came back. Everyone thought it was very funny. Except Terry maybe.

Over the years, Americans have been great and enthusiastic supporters of The Irish Open. Mike Sexton always speaks very highly of the event and Irish poker in general. Dan Harrington is a regular visitor. Phil Helmuth has said some really nice things about it. Negreanu came all over Dublin with me to meet the smaller players. They loved it. And Doyle came back after 25 years and had an incredible rapport with the fans and the players.

Its NOT just another tournament. It’s a way of life. I haven’t won it yet but I’m never going to quit trying. You’re only beaten when you quit.

Full article: http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-blogs/19-padraig-parkinson/entries/561766-brunson-reese-ungar-pioneers-of-irish-poker

BRUNSON, REESE, UNGAR, PIONEERS OF IRISH POKER - Padraig Parkinson BlogEurope’s oldest Holdem tournament, The Irish Open, took place last month. It may not be top of every player’s must play list any more, but it’s top of mine. The economy, a saturated calendar and lack of TV coverage may explain a lot, but for me it’s all about the history. When I walk in to play this event, I can almost see the ghosts of the great characters who’ve played and lost and would rather have lost than not tried. Because they knew this was our tournament. A celebration of being Irish, either by birth or at heart. If you haven’t figured that out you’re missing the point. It all kicked off when eccentric Irish bookmaker Terry Rogers wandered into Binion’s in the middle of the WSOP (it was probably in 81) and couldn’t believe his eyes. Terry was one smart cookie and figured that tournament holdem would go down pretty good with Irish gamblers. He was right there! He took a bit of advice from his new best friend Benny Binion, returned to Ireland and opened the Eccentric’s ...www.cardplayer.com

Jake Cody, thinking about transition and transience a few weeks before the birth of his daughter Arianna:


March 2014

This year in July i turn 26 years old, i will have officially moved into the second half of my twenties and this year in particular will be a year of change. I have been playing Poker professionally for 7-8 years now i wouldn’t call myself old school but i don’t think i fit into the new school category now either.

The more and more i play, the younger my opponents seems to get. Its a transition period and it has made me think about longevity in Poker and how impressive it is to be on top of the game or even continue to beat the game for numerous generations. I often look around and think who will pass the ultimate test in Poker; the test of time.

Who will even be around in 5 years?

I know for a fact if you are not still consistently working hard on your game regardless of previous success you will get eaten alive.

Here is a quote from Stu Ungar -
‘It’s hard work, gambling. Playing poker. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Think about what its like sitting at a poker table with people whose only goal is to cut your throat, take your money and leave you out the back talking to yourself about what went wrong inside. That probably sounds harsh. But thats the way it is at the poker table. If you don’t believe me, then you’re the lamb thats going off to the slaughter’
I think those words are just as true today as they were back then.

BUT, this is why I LOVE poker, the competition. The dog eat dog ruthlessness.

Full article: http://www.jake-cody.com/transition/


Transition. - Jake CodyJake Codywww.jake-cody.com

Dale Phillip about his frustrating attempt to return to Scotland from Thailand:

Living in Thailand

July 2014

..It was kind of sad that I'd been away for two years and there was nobody to greet me at the airport, but that's what happens when you don't keep in touch with anyone. Instead I was greeted by a blizzard and a ride in a taxi that was 10x the price of the same length of journey in Thailand. Welcome home Dale.

I had been back in Scotland for less than half an hour and was already experiencing a massive culture shock, as if I was a foreigner visiting for the first time. I love my country but the term 'rip-off Britain' didn't come from nowhere and it's just not a place to be when the weather is awful. Problem is that the weather is awful most of the time.

The great comedian Billy Connolly once said that there are two seasons in Scotland - winter and July. The big yin also said that there's no such thing as "bad" weather, there's only the wrong clothes. And there I was, in the middle of a Scottish winter with a suitcase full of shorts, T-shirts and not much else.

I never did go shopping for the right clothes. I just ended up basically hibernating for a few months. After living in Thailand for two years I found it just too difficult to adjust to being back home in Scotland. I went from being happy, social and healthy to the polar opposite. In Thailand I was outside jogging almost every day - followed by a massage, eating healthy delicious food, and dating very attractive girls. Back in Scotland it was too cold for jogging, healthy eating was more of a struggle and even unattractive girls looked at me like I was dirt.

I could have made a better effort of dealing with the situation like actually going out and buying winter clothes, trying to get in touch with old friends, making new friends and joining a gym but the misery I felt was so overwhelmingly crippling that all I could do was sleep all day and stay up all night eating junk food and playing online poker.

Full article: http://www.daleroxxu.co.uk/2014/07/living-in-thailand.html#more

Tony Kendall's overview of 2014:

Table Talk With Tikay

January 2015

Ambassador, You Are Spoiling Us!

In another skilled move, Neil Channing became Sky Poker’s new ambassador. A proper coup, but there’s no way I’m addressing him as “Your Excellency”, no matter how much he asks.

Meanwhile, Queen Victoria (Coren-Mitchell) exited PokerStars, but did you see her abdication statement? Typically Vicky, no brickbats were thrown and no digs were made. She was kind, polite and deferential. If she doesn’t win Poker Personality of the Year at the British Poker Awards, I’ll eat my poker hat.

The UKIPT Ambassadors & Red Pros also disappeared from Full Tilt Poker in 2014, which was a bit sad I thought. But life moves on, the game is changing, and change is good. There will be opportunities galore for young poker professionals who are prepared to work hard to promote a site. In many ways, it was a momentous year for online poker. We’ll all be just fine and, in my opinion, a breath of fresh air was needed.

Full article: http://www.bluffeurope.com/PokerMagazine/Table-Talk-With-Tikay_398.aspx

Table Talk With Tikay Tony Kendall looks back at an eventful 2014.www.bluffeurope.com

In a few hours we'll know who will succeed 'the Gent of Poker' as the winner of the Best Blogger award. Stay tuned for #BritishPokerAwards news later tonight!

Neil Channing - the 'Gent of Poker' - Ranking HeroNeil Channing is best known as the winner of the 2008 Irish Open but he has since accumulated live winnings of nearly $3,300,000. He’s also come to be called Neil ‘Bad Beat’ Channing and has two notable second places at @World Series of Poker events in 2010 and 2012. A beautifully written account by Nolan Dalla of the 2012 WSOP heads-up  is a must read and draws a great portrait of the man and the player.www.rankinghero.com

 we want pictures from the party :) !