on 12:24

16th Jan – Sunday
Villa were playing Blues in a mid day kick off that meant it was going to be difficult for the Mad Turk to pick me up at 11.30am as pre arranged from Birmingham New Street – so I caught the 8am train south from Telford finally arriving at the Turks station for 11am. Our chauffeur (a mate of the Turk) drives to Luton in time for our 1.35pm flight.

We arrive at 5.15pm local time (same as uk) to the sound of the Ryan Air fanfare and we are quickly through the airport, a €15 euro taxi to the hotel and after paying local taxes of €30 when we check in we are in our room for 6pm. A quick meal in the local bistro and we’re back to play online for 8pm and just chill for the evening.

17th Jan – Monday
Day off today as the festival doesn’t start till tomorrow – We chill for most of the day and decide on a walk up town later that day to see the sights that Marrakech has to offer.
A big square awaits our arrival and it seems that half of the Marrakech population of 1.1m are in this square – I am offered “Hashish” around 20 times in the 2 hours that we were walking around the square and the crowded side streets – trying to avoid getting crushed by motorcyclists or pedestrians seemed to be the order of the day. Another meal at the bistro and back in time to play the satellites on dtd – the only sites I can load up are dtd, FT and Ladbrokes – cant get on Pokerstars or the Ipoker network due to restrictions – so if you are thinking of coming out here and want to play any of these sites then you will need to download some software that will hide your ip address – you can try this website; http://www.free-hideip.com/ this will enable you to log on from any country in the world to any site as if your at home in the UK as you are able to select the country that you want to “appear” from – Ideal if your going out to Vegas later in the year and want to play on Pokerstars!!!

18th Jan – Tuesday
The Marrakech Poker Open Festival starts today at the Es Saadi gardens resort and Casino with just 74 runners turning up to play the first €500 side event – we are informed by Nadia (Casino Management) that she thinks the numbers will be down because of the economic climate in France where 90% of the field is expected to come from. So first prize is €8651 after the casino have taken their cut and hardly worth the trip – but hey ho I’m here now so lets knuckle down and see what we can do.

I make it to the second break with below average chips and talk to the Mad Turk in the break who is going along nicely with around 40k, ave at 19k. just after the break and the Turk is leaving the card room after flopping two-pair with 45 suited against an early position raise, he gets it all in against this local “Kondah Abdelhadi” who flips KK with the turn and river bringing 8 8 – This guy has Turk covered just - unlucky Turk.

I start to feel quite ill at this point getting the sweats and shaking and know that I’m coming down with something – although I feel like going back to the room I manage to struggle on.

I then get moved around 40minutes later and I am seated next to the same bloke that just knocked the Turk out – I have got myself up to around 19k with the ave at 25k, this same guy limps utg on my big blind with the blinds at 300/600 the small makes up the difference and I look down to find two black jacks, I make it an extra 2900 to come along and utg calls obviously having me covered after getting lucky against the Turk, I put him on a mid-pair when he flats me and believe that he is set mining flop comes T88 so I lead out for 4100 leaving myself 12k and this guy flats me again, Ace on the turn and the look n his face tells me he doesn’t like the card so I lead for 5100 and he eventually min raises me back, I know he aint got an ace although he could have flopped a house with TT but why min raise me here if that’s the case, he knows I’m going to lead out on the river so he bet here didn’t make sense, after a two minute think I move all in and it’s another 1800 for him to call, he asks the dealer, counts it out, looks unhappy about the situation but has a mountain of chips – he eventually calls and flips KQ off – Queen on the river and I’m back to the hotel to tell the Turk my bad beat – Kondah went on to take 2nd spot.

19th Jan – Wednesday
Today is the first day of the €1500 50k stack and a 45 minute clock 3 day event but I’m just to ill to play – Turk plays while I stop in the room. I go through a period of around 48 hours where I have no sleep or no intake of any fluids or any foods just trying to get my head down without any success. Turk busts out with just 15 minutes left of the last level to go.

20th Jan – Thursday
Turks nephew Emrah joins us after getting a flight from Holland and has come for the weekend. Both myself and Turk play the €450 super satellite into the €2700 main event starting on 22nd. Very first hand I sit down and am on the BB and find JJ (again I thought) 25/50 and there’s a raise to 275 from mid position (6 handed) small calls so I make it 1150 from my 5k starting stack – mid position calls and the small folds, flops comes TT7, believing I’m good here I lead for 1275 and again he flats me, 4 on the turn but there is now 2 flush draws out there, I jam, he snaps and flips AA – WP me!!!!!

I exit the table and turk takes a place on my table, first hand and Turk is on the BB, there’s a raise to 250 (25/50) a re-raise to 1150 from the lad who had AA against me who is now on the small and Turks jams for 5k from the big, first raiser folds and then this guy gives Turk the table talk – Turk tells him he will show if he passes and he tells him that he is behind, “Pass” says the Turk – “I will show you” this guy eventually calls and flips AdJd and is in bad shape against Turks AcKc – Jack on the flop and the Brits (well 1 Brit and 1 Turk) have donated €900 into the prize pool for just two hands FML

21st Jan - Friday
Not feeling too good again but decide to play the €225 rebuy super satellite into the main event, I get it all in pre running 9s into AT and he catches a flush with his ten.

22nd Jan – Saturday
So the main event starts today but I have no enthusiasm or motivation to play after again failing to get much sleep, don’t know if it’s a bug I’ve picked up here or the remains of the cold that I had back home, either way I feel like shit and decide to chill beside the pool.

23rd Jan – Sunday
The Mad Turk and his Nephew Emrah leave for the UK today and I elect to stay on for a further three days and just chill out before going home to reality and the cold weather. I see turk and Emrah off on their horse drawn carriage and decide to play on dtd and Ladbrokes managing to bag the €5k guaranteed.

24th Jan – Monday

Still a bit queasy so managed to type this up and will spend the day in the shade today – the sats on dtd seem favourite tonight as well as some games on Ladbrokes, must sort out that ip blocker then I can get on the other sites I want to play: ; http://www.free-hideip.com/