Let myself get a little behind on the blogs again – and this isn’t the time of year to be doing that.

So, even though I haven’t read any of the reports yet, go hit these places.

Pauly’s Tao of indobet 88 : 2006 WSOP

Poker Prof’s 2006 WSOP

(Otis) PokerStars 2006 WSOP

(Spaceman) Bluff 2006 WSOP

I’m setting aside a bit of time to really read them, rather than skim – there’s some damn good stuff there, for sure, and I don’t want to miss a minute or word of it.


Obligatory Poker Note (OPN): Doing ok, but my shots to move up have been stymied by two bad beats on the bubble. But, it’s going ok otherwise, I’m feeling good.

I received Swimming with the Devilfish a few weeks ago and read it right away; I’ve been distracted from my blogs, however, and have been lax about writing the review. We’ll remedy that right now.

Written by Des Wilson, the book is basically a profile of the biggest names in UK poker. The first part of the book is devoted to an extensive profile (or short biography, if you prefer) of Devilfish, easily the best known of the UK players on the circuit today. Devilfish’s poker story can also describe the history of poker in England over the last 25 years. We’re treated to his background as a criminal doing time, then follow him as he makes the rounds of games all over England, and eventually, the world. Watching Devilfish at various final tables the last few years, I was under the belief that the thug-ish persona was a creation utilized for both table image and marketing purposes; after reading his story, it’s easy to see that his persona is most likely toned down as compared to the reality of his life experiences.

Following this, Wilson profiles probably two dozen players representing the spectrum of poker experiences – the marketing of the Hendon Mob, the grinders, the dreamers, and the degenerates – characters familiar in poker lore. Each has a story, and Wilson does a great job in making each one likeable despite his or her failings.

The primary reason I found this book attractive was that it didn’t tell the same old stories about the same players we’ve all read about before – no Doyle, no Chip, no Puggy, so Slim… Instead, we’re introduced to people, most of whom are anonymous in the US. Several may be recognizable from EPT reports, a couple have made limited final table appearances on the US WPT and WSOP shows, but only a small few are known with any depth on this side of the Atlantic.

It is this which makes the book appealing – it is fresh meat for the poker-literature junkie, both new and familiar at the same time.

Highly recommended!