The Purple Lounge/FHM poker tour got off to a great start on Thursday 24th August with a large turn-out to the first tournament in Oslo at Klub Kamikaze. As well as the players that had qualified through the freerolls, Purple Lounge was inundated with requests to play from people that had heard about the beautiful Scandinavian croupiers that had arrived in town. Poker players came from as far as Sweden, a testament to the fact the tournament so far has been a hit not just with Norwegian players but their Scandinavian counterparts as well (not to mention the odd interloper from the UK!).
The evening kicked off with 40 players, all seated in the very exclusive and luxurious Klub Kamikaze in the very centre of town. The FHM girls have all received professional training over the past few weeks; however this was the first time they would be dealing in a real live environment, under pressure. Bearing this in mind, they all performed exceedingly well and definitely seemed to enjoy themselves!
The final table of the tournament was extremely competitive with players competing for a place in the final on September 22nd and the chance to win a week-long trip to Las Vegas, as well as $1,000 spending money.
To achieve qualification, each player would need a top three finish here and eventually those three were determined. They went by the names of Christian Magnus Fredheim, Jimmy Anderson and Hans Petter Secker. The latter was soon to finish third when his meagre hole cards of 10 6 failed to improve on a King high board. Heads up was eventually settled when both Fredheim and Anderson turned over a King. Sadly for Anderson, his 5 kicker was no match for Fredheim’s Jack. A raggy board helped neither man improve and Fredheim won the right to a live interview. No matter, all three return for Oslo!
By the end of the tournament, the club had already filled throughout the evening so the crowd were ready for something slightly more lively than poker! To follow the theme of stunning girls turning their skills to more unusual activities, the Norwegian cheerleading team took the centre stage and laid on an impressive series of routines. Aylar, top Norwegian model and the new face of Purple Lounge performed her massive hit ‘Boys, Boys, Boys’ and to round the evening off, a well-known Norwegian comedian, Espen Thorensen left the audience with a smile on their faces. Some people chose to party on into the night but the FHM/Purple Lounge team had another two dates to do over the weekend!
On the following day the team travelled to Fredrikstad in the FHM Tour bus, fully decked out to ferry pop stars about with plasma screens and also a circular sofa at the back, which was inevitably used as the setting for more poker! The girls really do love poker and the journey seemed to be the perfect place to show how much they’ve learnt about the game. Aylar even managed to beat Simon Trumper as well as everyone else proving poker is a game of skill AND luck! The Fredrikstad tournament had a slightly different atmosphere, the 40 players being able to enjoy a more subdued environment than the evening before but the party picked up soon after the tournament ended! Once again, there was intense competition for the top three slots. Unfortunately, details of the winner have eluded us at this point – lost somewhere in the drunken midst but the other two qualifiers were Henning Kristiansen and Ole-Henrik Romyr.
On the final table here was Simon Trumper no less, who rescued his position with a couple of late pots holding J J and making the set both times. However, he found himself short-stacked after folding a pair of tens on an ace high flop when faced with ultra-aggression by two other players. It transpired they held K 3 and K 5 respectively with one of the players clearly well-oiled and admitting to a desire to knock out the pro!! Now, with just 8 4 in the hole, Simon was pot-committed and went all-in on a 9 10 8 flop. One opponent holding 9 J called and that was it for Simon.
The beer-drinker crashed and burned on the bubble leaving the successful three to qualify for Oslo. Romyr exited next when his K 8 was no match for Q 4 on a Q high board. The queens worked again for the winner holding Q J up against A K. Two more queens face up put paid to big slick.
The next day saw the Purple Lounge Poker / FHM team travel to the 1994 winter Olympic town of Lillehammer – an extremely picturesque town just a couple of hours or more outside Oslo. The anticipation of the FHM tour was too much for the students and locals that reside there, with a human road block forming way before the doors had even opened.
The venue was full with 50 players taking part in this tournament, the busiest to date. The rest had to be content with a space in the audience or next to the bar. Again, the standard of play was high with it taking quite a while to get the tournament whittled down to the final table of players.
At this event, your UK Poker News correspondent who was along for the reporting ride but who had genuinely qualified for the Lillehammer tournament via the Purple Lounge Poker freerolls, found himself at the final table having recovered a sorry looking stack with a run of four large pots in quick succession.
The biggest pot in this run was a fascinating one on several levels and is hereafter described from “my” viewpoint. Having taken the chip lead, I was dealt 8c 7c and called pre-flop. The flop came Qh 9h 6. With an open-ended straight draw and first to act, I decided to try for the pot straight away on a semi-bluff. My big bet was called by a player who was sitting immediately to the left of the dealer. A later player was considering his options when the dealer “burned” the next card and started to deal the turn card. She was stopped from doing so by the tournament director as someone was yet to act but the player who had already called said he saw the card (neither myself nor the other player could see it from our positions).
The third player decided he would fold regardless, so I was shown the exposed card (a black 9) and asked by the TD if I was happy to continue with a replacement card. I was of course, needing a 5 or 10 ideally. The new card came a black 5! There were two hearts on the flop but I felt the player had called with a Queen. I decided I would bet enough to put my man all-in anyway as he was really pot-committed with what he had left. He considered but called and turned up two hearts for an ace high flush draw. I was in business if I could avoid a heart on the river. It was black and I was chipped up.
Is there a moral to this? The opponent saw the exposed 9 and was happy to lose it for another chance of a heart. Had he not admitted to seeing it, I may have been toast. Maybe I just got lucky!
The blinds were punishing at the final table. A chip lead is no lead after one pot but I managed to scrape into the top three and look forward to Oslo.
We have the only the first names of the other two qualifiers, the winner Magnus and second-placed Martin. In third I also won two Tom Cruise DVD’s but would have preferred the Godfather Trilogy that went to Martin! Some other goodies were won by Magnus, and we all received Purple Lounge caps.
What this tour proves is that poker is more than just money; it is also a great vehicle for fun and entertainment and a superb catalyst for bringing people together whether or not they actually play. Great stuff.
The tour continues again this weekend with the Team travelling to Kristiansand, Sandefjord and Tonsberg to meet and greet more players and revellers. All the latest news from the tour will be brought to you by UK Poker News as it happens!
Ed note: Poker with a smile on its face is yours when you download Purple Lounge Poker with a $1,000 bonus thrown in.