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'It was a choice of either trying my luck or spending the night with Jonathan Ross' DERBY DAY POKER.

Byline: IanWilkerson

The first of five Racing Post poker experts writes about how he got involved with the game as we build up to Saturday's tournament in which they will have a $50 bounty on their head LIKE all great love affairs, I suppose it all happened by accident. An in-house poker tournament at the Racing Post was organised at the Loose Cannon club in London and all my regular Friday night drinking partners were going to play.

It was a choice of either trying my luck or spending the night with Jonathan Ross.

That was two years ago and it's been a passionate relationship ever since.

Sometimes, though, it feels a bit one-sided and the game can be a cruel mistress. One bad beat recently resulted in a broken laptop screen, but I'm no Phil Hellmuth, so I promise there will be no abuse in the chat box. From tadlossin.

I tend to concentrate on tournament games and mostly the multi-table versions.

I have just never really got the hang of cash games - probably because I am mindful about all the experts saying that bankroll management is the most difficult aspect of the game to master.

Consequently, I give them a wide berth and I try to follow the theory that the ends justify the means.

I have read plenty of poker books, but recognise there is a danger in following their advice religiously. Isn't that what everybody does? Someone once said that the place to prove you are the best player is at the final table and you have got to get there first. That is my primary concern and the approach has brought a modicum of success at low stakes.

So I'll be trying to mix it up a bit, be mindful of my position and, most importantly, try not to do anything stupid. Oh, and panic only when there is no other option.

How people play against me when there is money on my head is probably the most interesting aspect, and I will be interested in seeing how my game adapts. Hopefully I will be in for enough minutes to form an opinion.

And let's face it, there are worse things to be doing on a Saturday night.

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Jonathan Ross: not a big draw
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 3, 2009
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