There are two oft-repeated truisms about poker in Britain that don't get any less true the more oft they are repeated. One: the Vic is the spiritual home of the game in the country, and two: "Late Night Poker" really was a brilliant television show.
This week's EPT in London means the collision of these two, with the venerable establishment playing host to many of the faces who first came blinking into the limelight in the much-missed Channel Four programme. And just now, there was a real sight for the connosseurs when Barny Boatman and Liam Flood, both of whom were "Late Night Poker" regulars, clashed in a hand that had the railbirds crying out for "those famous under-the-table cameras," as Jesse May might have said.
Liam raised from the button and Barny called from the big blind. ("Explain that dealer button, Barny.") The flop brought rags - jack-seven-eight - but Barny bet and Liam called. They saw the turn - a deuce - and Barny bet, Liam raised and Barny moved all in.
"He's just moved all in!" we could practically hear Jesse screeching from his commentator's perch. But without those cameras, we were never see the cards.
Liam shrugged, nodded, frowned and folded. One that will never be screened, more's the pity.
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Moments later, another "Late Night Poker" stalwart, and arguably the first poker superstar Britain produced thanks to his victory in the first series, made his way out of the door. It was fitting in some way that Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot (for it was he) was eliminated by Chris Moneymaker, whose story also has something to do with the start of the poker boom.
Chris Moneymaker: looming large in London
There was a raise from early position and Devilfish bumped it up to about 8,000. Chris Moneymaker, on the button, asked Ulliot how much he had, and was shown about another 20,000. The PokerStars player and former World Champ moved in and had the fish covered, in more ways than one.
After the initial raiser got out the way, Ulliot checked the clock (15 minutes until the end of the day), recounted his stack and said: "You're a lucky boy." He called.
Devilfish flipped jacks, but Moneymaker had aces and may have taken the chip lead with this huge pot late on on day 1A.