Monday, June 5, 2017

Confused Danes in Copenhagen


"Hvem Helvede er den fyr?" 
"Og hvorfor I alverden er der et filmhold som filmer ham?" *

So we are in Copenhagen waiting for the film crew to shoot our ambassador interviews. They showed up and I disappeared off with them to a suitably picturesque location to film my ambassadorial interview. It was a little distracting and a lot funny to keep seeing confused Danish faces looking at me thinking "Who the Hell is that guy and why on Earth is a film crew filming him".

After that I headed back to the hotel with David, Saron and their infant son Hunter Sebastian Kilmartin Lappin Harford. David and I jumped into the commentary booth to relief the A team of David Vanderheyden and Marc Convey so they could go to dinner.  It's always a good laugh with David and even if most of the content was Ian Simpson trolling we did do a little analysis too. You can watch it on replay here.
(We come in around the 4 hour 48 minute mark)

Day 2

I was the only ambassador back for day 2, but with my sub twenty big blind stack I was hoping to get going early. I lingered around for a couple of hours surviving on uncalled shoves. Before I knew it I was down to ten big blinds and couldn't get a decent spot to get my chips in. As the blinds escalated about 25 places from the bubble, my stack dwindled to five big blinds. With little or no fold equity it was now a case of waiting for a spot where I was either priced in or better yet ahead. I found one shoving queen ten from the small blind over a button limp, but wasn't able to hold against nine four. Suited.

Once my bustout blues had cleared we went to Tivoli, one of the few (I imagine) city centre entertainment parks in the world. Espen and Chris showed up to do some filming and I told them the story of my unlikely victory over Firaldo in a drinking contest in Prague two years ago (relived in the latest episode of The Chip Race).

American inhibitions

That out of the way, John and I scooted off to find a sports bar to watch the FA Cup final. We gained admittance to the downstairs part of The Southern Cross. The formidable lady in charge of admissions made such a point of how we could under no circumstance access the upstairs portion (for which people were backed down the stairs) that I started to worry that the downstairs part might be a bit of a dungeon. But it was perfectly fine and thankfully not overcrowded.

Most of the people in the pub were Arsenal fans (myself included: as a United fan John was there as a neutral observer), including one very vocal young American. I quickly got the feeling that a big part of the appeal of watching English football for him was it is one of the few milieus in which it is socially acceptable to throw off the American norms on swearing and cuss words, and he didn't restrict himself to swearing at opposition players ("CLEAR IT, YOU SHITHEAD").

My speculations on the psychological and cultural reasons underpinning his love of the Gooners only grew when John asked him what brought him to Copenhagen, and he admitted rather sheepishly that he was on a cruise with his Mom. As John remarked later, if that's the truth of the matter, maybe you should be making up a lie.

Late night dining Lappin style

After another brief stint in the commentary booth (we come in around the 8 hour 15 minute mark), it was time for the players party. But first,  Lappin was hungry.

Inside the club the first person we ran into was the wonderfully warm Viktor Blom. Lappin and I followed him out to the smoking area where we chatted for a while about everything and anything, including Viktor's latest protege five time World of Warcraft champion Alan "Hotted" Widmann. Alan is already a formidable poker player (he won the Esports sit n go in London), and Viktor was fulsome in his praise of his natural talent and potential.

Chip Race and six five sooted

Another late night before another early morning to do some Chip Race interviews. David and I agreed the rough script over breakfast, and then went in search of our first victim Nick O'Hara. He was followed by another tournament director, one of the last ever November Niners, Kenny Hallaert. I don't want to give away spoilers before the interviews appear, but it was fascinating to hear Kenny talk about his preparation with Fedor Holz for the final table.  We were also hoping to interview Alan Widmann but he was either too under the weather after the party (my view) or he just big timed us (Lappin's). I'm still very hopeful we will get him in future as I think his is a fascinating story.

Next up was the only side event I found time for in Copenhagen, the progressive KO. I chipped up a little early on. It's fair to say the tournament had a refreshingly fast structure so even having chipped up I found myself with just under twenty big blinds pretty quickly. I thought I'd found a great spot calling a 20 bb shove under the gun with Kings. I was in good shape against the shovers ace eight off, but the small blind woke up with 65s behind us to claim a double KO when he rivered a gut shot. I went for a run to clear my head and then arranged to go for food with Timmy, and then did some commentary. 

(I come in around the 4 hour 48 minute mark)

I spent the rest of the day socialising after deciding that the legal situation in Denmark made an online Sunday grind a little dicey, but was glad of that in the end with some interesting chats in the bar with the usual crew, Fredrick Bergmann who has a very interesting background and Gerry and Louise.
The company whittled down to a few diehards before I headed to bed around 4.30. Another early rise for breakfast and some more filming (me running in the park). I hope and pray they speed up the footage because as effective as my running style was for winning 60 mile races and breaking national 24 hour records, it isn't exactly poetry in motion, or even impressive viewing.

After that it was time for goodbyes, which were a little bittersweet as I won't see most of these wonderful people for quite a while again (proximity to my departure for Vegas forced me to skip the next event in Glasgow). A massive thank you to all the staff and players too many to name individually who made the event the most fun one where I didn't cash a tourney.

In the cab to the airport the cab driver asked me which airline. When I said Ryanair, he chuckled:
"This cab is gonna cost more than your flight".

Turns out that dry Danish wit isn't confined to petrol stations at 3 pm.

* Thanks to my Danish friend Niels for providing this translation of what I imagined I heard the locals saying


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