Thursday, 4 September 2008

Into September

I'm back, still alive and playing again.

The last weekend in August was spent in London at the annual P&G World Cup. This was class as usual. The flight down was especially smooth for Azz, winning £20 at FL Omaha in the 40 minutes we were in the air. Six of us played 50p in, then 50p to continue after the flop. I played literally anything (pure overcards, 3 to a straight or flush) and obviously got mullered finishing a tenner down. Azz caught every card possible to win a silly amount of pots. We arrive mid afternoon and hit the beers at the hotel bar. Please see previous blog entries about me drinking in the afternoons! Anyway it all gets horribly squiffy and we eventually leave Spearmint Rhino at about 3am with one of us managing to pick up a number! How was your gym date Cranny? How much does he bench?

Next morning the coach leaves at 8am to take us to the playing fields. I manage to get on, but immediately go find a quiet corner away from the pitches, throw up and sleep till 10am. I'm injured if you've been following the knee updates, so didn't play. It was red hot on the Saturday so I had the newly acquired beer belly out getting a tan/burn. I didn't really know what was going on football wise as I was horribly hungover, and couldn't manage my pasta dinner. Anyway the last game we needed a win to be certain of progression, but a draw might not be enough. Sketchy information led to shouts of "EVERYONE UP!!" in the last five minutes, only for more information to come through that we were through as it stands. "EVERYONE GET BACK!!". More confusion followed when someone said, "We are ahead on goal difference, and on head to head record, but I don't know which one counts so I don't know if we're through." What a gem. Anyway, he shall remain nameless.

Saturday night took us to Oceania in Kingston, and the world's most poorly organised buffet. Let's try to feed 300 hungry footballers on a food trolley the size of my computer desk! So we fucked off over the road for some knock off KFC joint called Dallas Chicken. Me and Briggsy quickly polished off their biggest bucket meal, mmmmm :-) We returned for the start of the dance off which saw us enter Rogers (a very good technical dancer) and a double act of Fazz & Will who had a Ross and Monica style routine worked out. Anyway 'The Faz Dango' went down a treat with the crowd and should definitely have won. YouTube to follow hopefully. However a Croat entry had most of the European crowd cheering him and the judges were two fat chicks who were clearly total self-conscious pushovers and went with the majority.

EDIT: YouTube rejected the Vid because it's 18 minutes long. I'll edit it down and submit it asap

Drinks flowed and we explored the huge club to find a karaoke bar which we quickly took over. Rogers wowed the crowd with a perfect rendition of James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful' and Waters gave an absolutely epic performance of The Doors 'Light My Fire'. The fat DJ tried to get him booed off as he was a line behind in the first verse, but we rallied behind our all-time top own-goal scorer and once he got the timing back he pulled off some superb stunts both physically and vocally! Ager managed to coerce a hat from a local by buying him two bottles of cider. This made an excellent running prop joke for the night. The beers kept coming and each time they were celebrated "Azz one!" with a big communal 'cheers' in the middle of the dancefloor :-)

The next morning I'm ill again and miss the bus to the the games this time. Me and Ben get a taxi not long afterwards and pay £11 for a 2 minute journey. Saw us coming! We get there for the start of the first game thankfully. We are down 2-1 with 5 mins to play and we have a corner. I tell Azz I could go on cos I can still head better than most the team. I get stripped quickly but miss my header from the corner, it's only half cleared though and drops to me on the edge of the D, I shuffle it out my feet and swing a left boot at it. It looks to be heading into the bottom corner but hits the inside of the post, runs across the six yard box evading all our players and is safely cleared. Nearly an epic cameo!

We lose and now cannot win the tourney, so now begins the piss taking. Every year as soon as it's non competitive we totally take the piss. Stuff like over the top diving, over the top tackling (literally - Briggs) and generally winding the serious Europeans up makes for cracking entertainment. The knee feels good so I start the next game, and play the full 40 minutes. Awesome. Did ok, can definitely still head and link play well, but my touch has totally gone. I forget the result but remember Ager's hat celebration. We get lunch then go watch our respective ladies team play one of their games. We were there for the moral support and not because their opposition consisted of at least three 9s ;-)

An early scuffle at the sideline in front of us saw a few girls tumble and head towards us. We flinch and raise our hands as normal but John is one step ahead of us and fully extends both arms in an attempt to hug the rather attractive number 8. We roll about in laughter as he had somehow forgotten that his long standing girlfriend plays for the ladies team and was only ten feet away! :-)

Our final game saw us pitched against an aggressive Ukrainian team. What a bunch of wankers this lot were. Some early off the ball exchanges saw the ref warn a few of them, and we only wound them up further by playing the antagonistic bastard role that only the English can play so well ;-) I score a nice header after one of their players had dived looking for a foul. We carry on though and I glance a nice one in the far corner from the edge of the box. They surround the ref. From the kick off myself and Ager decide to do a 'double faint' kick off as they were clearly ready to rush into the circle. I cannot put into words how much this pissed them off. They were fuming! When we do kick off properly we are in such hysterics that we both stepover the ball, I get it caught in my feet and lose it to a cruncher from behind. I'm not having that so chase back all the way and get in a good 'tackle' on the edge of the box to deny him scoring. They didn't like this either and I get stamped on as I'm getting up. I stay down and to draw attention to this and let the ref know. So much for a work friendly! We win the game, finish 5th and get packed for the airport.

We arrive at Terminal 5 Heathrow just after midday to find out quickly that our flight has been cancelled due to bad weather. So we wait around drinking obscenely priced drinks and eating disappointingly sized portions of food. Our second flight then gets delayed and eventually cancelled at 10pm, with us being at the airport all day, and now unable to get to Kings Cross in time for a train. There had been 11 cancellations that day and the queue for re-booking/hotel compensation was immense. Plus most of us just wanted to get home, so we booked taxis. This took some sorting and we eventually got three 6 seaters to take us back to Newcastle at the princely sum of £1300. We got unlucky with our one-legged, blind, risk averse, 'scared the world might end if I go above 60mph' driver and get back at 6am, with me needing to drive the 1hour to get home too. A really shitty end to a great weekend :-(

It took me a couple of days to recover from this ordeal and have only played poker yesterday and today. I started with some NL100 yesterday and won $160 over a few hours. Today I fired up NL100, got sat down at about four tables and noticed that it was all regulars/nits playing. I quickly scoped NL200 and saw a few fish and other funny stack sizes I didn't recognise, so decided to sit there. Glad I did as I logged a $620 win today :-)

Off out to play pool tonight and maybe some play later. I'm hoping to get some shorter, more regular updates done in future! :-)

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