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Author Topic: The Perils of Paulie - An Irregular Blog  (Read 69234 times)
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Paulie_D
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« on: September 28, 2010, 15:39:27 PM »

I"ve decided to start one of these things...it"s not going to get a huge amount of use but it"s more to document my experiences of playing the APAT live events and other gambling trips . I"ve maintained one of these on my "home" forum for a while and these will mirror each other to a large extent.

We"ll start by copying the first few posts I made concerning APAT Dublin 2010 and follow it up with the way it ended.

Luton in October, Vegas in November and Coventry to follow.




APAT Dublin....the day before. Pt I

Friday 24th September 2010

The day dawned...but as usual I was up before that...(when did it stop getting light before I am awake?)..but no time to dawdle around with a cup of coffee and a bacon sarnie this morning. Oh no..I"m off to Dublin today.

Having found this (supposedly) simple relaxing train/ferry option for c.£65 I kind of had to try it out.

Silly me....I should have known that any journey relying on the much vaunted London public transportation system was not going to be easy.

No problem getting the bus to Upminster station...oddly quiet this morning...It"s been a few years since I"ve been a regular commuter but recall the buses and trains being fuller. It"s not as though I"ve gotten any smaller!

So...District Line to London with a quick change to the Hammersmith and CIty Line to roll into Euston Square around 8.30 or so for a 9.10 departure to Holyhead.

All started well but when I try to make the change to the H&C line I encounter my first problem. After going just one stop we"re told that the service is being suspended due to signalling difficulties. Sigh.

OK, backup plan..back on the District Line to Tower Hill, change to the Circle Line. Get to Tower Hill. swap platforms...stairs, bane of my existence.

Excellent..Circle Line train rolls in 1 minute later. I board.

Nope...announcement. "Circle Line is suspended".

FECK!

OK, I check the time...and continued travel by train just isn"t going to cut it. I hoof it to Fenchurch Street and finally manage to flag down a cab about 8.35.

We seem to crawl through town taking some back-doubles that have me thinking I"m being long-hauled. I deliberately don"t check the time all the way.

Either I make it..or I don"t.

T.B.C.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 21:35:19 PM by Paulie_D » Logged

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Paulie_D
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2010, 15:42:58 PM »

APAT Dublin....the day before. Pt II

Friday 24th September 2010

...so, we roll up to Euston and I get out of the cab and pay the man his money...and it"s 9.03am. I just handed him a £20 note and didn"t have time for change...decent tip for him!

I race...OK, waddle as fast as I can..up the stairs and immediately see the electronic board showing my train is on platform 4.

9.05am...I make it down the ramp and on to the first carriage I"m ticketed for, which turns out to be the last but one carriage at the rear of the train. I plunk myself down in the first non-reserved seat and all is right.

9.08 am Plug in the laptop, grab the free wifi and I"m good to go.

OR AT LEAST I THINK I AM!

T.B.C.
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Paulie_D
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2010, 15:43:20 PM »

APAT Dublin....the day before. Pt III

Friday 24th September 2010

Having had a pretty fraught journey so far, I"m very happy to be relaxing in a nice seat, with a table with all of the electronic access I need to make the rest of the trip an enjoyable one.

BUT

About 90 minutes in, I think, we pull into Chester and I"m busy typing away when there"s a tap on my shoulder and the train attendant asks me where I"m going.

"Holyhead", I reply.

"Oh. You have to be in the first 6 carriages for that, the train is splitting here."

Whatever...I thank him, quickly grab my stuff and try to disembark...but the doors won"t open. I grab another attendant and she explains that until the train has split the doors remain locked.

FFS..a couple of minutes go by while I quietly fume, the train splits and my half moves a hundred yards down the platform.

The doors unlock and I"m off. I see the fellow who told me about the train splitting, which is the first I"ve heard of it...and we exchange waves.

Now my wave meant.."Yes it"s me, I coming to get back on the train"...but apparently we were not speaking in the same wave language because he turns to the train guard and says something...AND THE TRAIN PULLS OUT!

I DO NOT BELIEVE THE DAY I"M HAVING!

I harangue the guy for a couple of minutes and he just looks at me blankly and says "I"m not responsible for holding trains".

I give up...apparently his red Virgin waistcoat is cutting of the oxygen to his brain.

I just ask when is the next train to Holyhead and apparently there is one is 10 minutes from the next platform over.

I heave my ageing carcase over the bridge to the next platform and the train is waiting for me. I clamber aboard and settle into my new seat. No luxuries here, no power point, no wifi.

Oh well, I have my mobile broadband dongle and as soon as we set off, I get set up again and start figuring out when I"ll arrive at Holyhead and whether I"ll make the ferry.

A quick check with Trainline lets me know that I should arrive before departure of the ferry..about 30 minutes...but there could be a problem as check-in will have closed 15 minutes before that...at least according to the ticket stuff I got from the ferry company.

I then have to start thinking about what will happen if I don"t make it...do I take the next ferry?...but that"s not for another 7 hours and it would mean arriving at my hotel at 2am...and it"s not 24 hour reception.

I could overnight in Holyhead and catch the fast ferry on Saturday morning...or I could just abandon the whole idea and turn around and go home.

I have so many scenarios floating around in my head, I can"t concentrate on reading my book. I just sit in my seat and watch the scenery go by...slowly.

Actually, that wasn"t to bad, it was very nice scenery and I wish I could have appreciated it more..but I had too much going on to do that.

At one point we stop at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch...but for some reason the driver doesn"t announce the stop. Heh!

Eventually, we arrive at Holyhead (2 minutes early in fact), I head off towards the Stena terminal at the end of the platform to discover my fate.

T.B.C.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 21:36:42 PM by Paulie_D » Logged

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Paulie_D
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2010, 15:43:44 PM »

APAT Dublin....the day before. Pt IV

Friday 24th September 2010

I enter the Stena terminal and...joy of joys...am greeted with the famous British invention...the queue!

Yes...I don"t know why...and at this point I don"t care why check-in it still open..but it is...at least as far as I can tell.

While I"m standing there, shuffling along every few seconds or so, I see the familiar face of Paul McGuinness and we exchange greetings, he disappears for a minute or to (honestly, the man has a bladder the size of a peanut)..during which time I make my way to the front of the check-in line.

Now I"m fully expecting to be pulled aside and told I"m too late but...all is good, I check-in my bag, get my boarding card and make my way to the shuttle bus for foot passengers. I try to wait for Paul but he misses the first bus and will have to catch the second one in a couple of minutes.

Eventually, we drive onto the ferry, I manage to find Paul and we make our way up to the restaurant & bar deck.

We grab a couple of drinks and a table and settle down to make the crossing. I fire up the laptop and log-in to the free wifi but it"s got some net-nanny filter...no gambling sites allowed...so I can"t post up what"s happening.

Regardless, Paul and I have a good old natter about APAT, Dublin, Life, how proud he is of the Welsh Team at WCOAP and a few other subjects.

We"re sitting outside Dublin harbour when the captain comes over the tannoy to advise us that our docking berth is still occupied by the other Stena ship due to someone falling ill on board and they can"t leave.

And if they can"t leave...we can"t arrive.

Over the next FOUR hours we are advised that the person suffered at heart attack which meant that they had to wait for an ambulance to arrive...the paramedics then worked on the poor soul until they had to give up. This then meant that they had to wait for the Garda to arrive and take witness statements.

So, a journey that should have taken 3.5 hours took nearly 7.5 hours...but eventually we dock and disembark. Paul and I collect our luggage and head out of the terminal to find a cab. I would have thought they would be swarming but apparently not.

Stena do put on a courtesy bus into Connelly station but Paul has already found a taxi firm who will send us a cab if we can wait 15 minutes or so. Fair enough.

As it happens, a cab pulls in after about 5 minutes, apparently for hire. We flag him down and Paul goes up to the cab and says "McGuinness?"...the driver says yes and we climb in.

Only it wasn"t the cab we called...the driver"s name WAS McGuinness!

Doesn"t matter to us...we"re on board and heading for my hotel. Paul"s booked into the same one but only for Saturday and Sunday so I offer him my floor. I can see him while I"m typing this...snoring away..poor lamb...it wasn"t a late night for us...but it was a long day.

Anyway, we arrive safely at Latchfords about 9pm and I get us checked in. Nice place, self-catering, but they lay on tea and coffee in the room. Microwave, kettle, toaster and even a full oven.

Other than the kettle I don"t see those getting a lot of use. Literally over the road from Larry Murphy"s and only 55 euro a night. GOLDEN!

After getting sorted we wander over to Larry Murphys and are greeted by the Ger contingent and a few others. Hilarity ensues.

My reputation as a "Travel Guru" is clearly in tatters but I maintain that, if everything goes right, that journey is pretty sweet. Can"t say that I would do it exactly the same as I did this time, I might allow a little more time but  sometimes stuff happens.

Onwards...breakfast awaits...if I can wake Paul.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 21:38:26 PM by Paulie_D » Logged

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Paulie_D
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2010, 15:44:52 PM »

APAT Dublin....the day during.

Saturday 25th September 2010

Dawn broke and the crash woke me up...either that or it was the muppet who tripped over the refuse bin in the alley behind the mews house / apartment we"re in.

Didn"t seem to bother Paul though...he"s still asleep. I decide to roll back over and get some more winks..40 wasn"t enough.

Around 10am (I think) I"m fully awake, showered, shaved and I have had a decent...shampoo too! Drinking a lovely cup of tea I log-in to the free wifi and update the forum on my journey from hell while waiting for Paul to revive.

About 11am we get a call from Reception to tell us that"s Paul"s room is ready and he moves his stuff over and then we head of in search of breakfast. A short walk up Baggot Street gets us to the place that Paul remembers and we tuck in to a Full Irish Breakkie.

Well, that"s what they called it....not where I"m from it ain"t. Bacon, Sausage, Egg, Beans and Toast isn"t even a Full English Breakfast..but what the heck...it"ll fill the spot.

Just as I check the forum on my phone and tell Paul that Leigh and John Murray are stuck at the airport Paul sees them walking down the road. Oops...shoulda checked the time on that post.

Afterwards we wander back and pop into the Fitz (which was pretty deserted at mid-day) to say hello to Tighty and Co. but before long...yes you guessed it...I need a drink. Paul begs off to watch some football (and probably get some kip off the floor) while I head into Larry Murphys.

Ger Sr is, of course, seated at the bar and tells me I should have tried Doheny & Nesbitts for breakfast. Apparently, we"d walked past it...filed away for future reference.

It"s not long before it feels like we have most of the runners for the comp in Larry Murphys. About 2.15 I head over to the Fitz to get my seat and after what seems an age, the rest follow and, unusually for an APAT event...we get off, I think, about 30 minutes late.

I had the pleasure of being seated at Table 1 (Seat 1) which was the only table downstairs. The reason...they have an older regular (Paddy...I swear) who can"t get up the stairs so Table 1 is usually not broken until he goes out.

Paddy though wasn"t destined to be with us too long...although he managed a few levels. He was, I regret to say, extremely easy to read. With AA,  KK or AK..he ALWAYS min-raised pre-flop.

Post-flop, with AK he"d min-bet until he hit. He got called all the way to the river by another regular with 99 because the V knew Paddy hadn"t hit. When Paddy did hit...he"d pot bet. Fairly easy to get away from.

My play?...Oh, I made a couple of hero calls that worked and steadily started chipping up...donked off about the same amounts a couple of times (mostly to Brendan Byrne). Most of the time I was on or about the chip average but couldn"t ever get far enough ahead.

When Table 1 had broken, we moved upstairs and after another huge donk to Brendan I was down to about 50% of the chip average..and about 10 BB left. This is where I started getting some big hands, or at least they were big enough to get some chips in the middle.

I took 2K off Brendan with a LP shove with KQs, then picked up a couple of big hands that I raised with in EP that all got through or they folded to a c-bet.

Eventually, I"m back up to about perhaps 12k (I can"t recall exactly) and pick-up AQo in the Hi-jack (I think). This would have been the 4th or 5th hand in succession where I"ve raised pre-flop and I get re-raised on the button by Alex Currie.

Now Alex had already laid down a few hands to me before (and I"d made a hero-call with an 8 high flush to a raise on the river from him much earlier in the day).

This was it....I"ve put something like 2K in pre-flop (400/800/100) and I"ve got maybe 8k/9k back and he"s raised to 6k. If I double up, I"m nicely back on or above the average.

I shove and he calls...my AQo vs his JJ....OK, I"ll take that.....well, not on a J44 flop I won"t. The turn is an Ace giving me 2 outs for the real suckout but it"s not to be.

9pm. Hmmm....what do do next? I think I know.

Yep...Larry Murphys it is.

A few pints later, it"s getting late and, damn it, I forgot to eat again...must be the alcohol in my belly making me feel full...and sloshy! Whatever, it"s getting really loud in Murphys and I"m pretty knackered (and not a little lubricated).

Rather than risk over-dosing, I head off to my bed for a good nights sleep.



APAT Dublin....the day after.

Sunday 25th September 2010

Another day in Dublin...what will Sunday bring I wondered as I wandered up Baggot Street towards Doheny & Nesbitts for breakfast. Well it didn"t bring early opening that"s for sure.

Apparently, pubs in Dublin can"t legally open before 12.30pm on Sunday. That"s no frakkin" good to me at 11.am now is it! (Another factoid filed away for next year).

Whatever, I settle for the faux-Irish Breakfast at the same place as yesterday while getting up to date on the forum.

Sidebar: I get internet on my phone through T-Mobile and for a measly £10 I got 50mb of data roaming that lasted all the way through the weekend. How good is that? I remember getting stung over £100 for about 30 minutes use in Vienna a couple of years back.

Back to the story...assuming anyone cares..and if you don"t, so what?

I wander back in the direction of my hotel/the Fitz/Larry Murphys with no particular plan in mind. I buy a paper in the handy Londis next door (another factoid filed away for next year) and as I come out I see Pat the barman from Larrys opening up.

Well, if it"s fate...it"s fate. I"m first in but not the last. Soon I am joined by many others and we rail Steve Roderick via Live Update from the pub until it"s all over. Many, many hours later...OK 8 hours, I haven"t left the pub yet and it"s time for something to eat. Pat"s probably going to close up soon anyway.

Five of us head over to Chai-Yo, an Asian restaurant next door to my hotel and we get seated at the Teppanyaki table by the front door. However, we"re eating off the cheapo 18 euro for 4 courses menu but Paul McG persuades them to serve us in-situ as we"ll make the place look busy from the outside.

We"re sitting there chatting away and drinking our drink (Oh, you knew there would be drinks didn"t you?) when it turns completely surreal. Four of the waitstaff/cooks break into song with "Ticket to Ride". They then proceed to do two or three more numbers including the "Chai-Yo Song" to the tune of Neil Sedaka"s "Oh, Carol".

#Hilarity Ensued - Good Times

Replete with good food at around 10pm I wish the others good night as I have any early cab in the morning for the journey home. I"m really hoping it"s nothing like the journey over.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 16:26:21 PM by Paulie_D » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2010, 15:50:24 PM »

APAT Dublin....the day after the day after.

Monday 26th September 2010

Nope no problems. The taxi I"d booked was waiting for me when I emerged from the hotel at 7am and it was a reasonably quick trip to the ferry port.

Trip across the Irish Sea went off without a hitch and I caught up on some missed TV programmes I"d downloaded to my laptop which helped pass the time.

I wasn"t entirely sure about the train connection at Holyhead. I was under the impression I could get a train at 12.38 but would have to change at Chester. I decided to wait for the Virgin train at 2pm and I took the opportunity to re-charge the laptop at the same time from a handy wall outlet at the station.

Train to Euston took seemingly no time at all and the return trip on the Tube was uneventful...sorry, no drama this time.

I rolled into my front door about 7pm, 12 hours from leaving my Dublin hotel. In hindsight, I probably wouldn"t do it again but like I said before, if you have the time (and nothing goes wrong) it"s a lovely journey.

Roll on Luton and....Des, "When"s Dublin next year...I need to make some bookings."
« Last Edit: April 18, 2011, 16:09:00 PM by Paulie_D » Logged

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duke3016
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2010, 16:18:23 PM »

His travel plans might suck, but he is a damn fine writer. More maestro please.
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Paulie_D
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2010, 16:20:31 PM »


His travel plans might suck, but he is a damn fine writer. More maestro please.


Erm...thank you...I think.
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Chipaccrual
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2010, 16:23:13 PM »

I read the title, and thought of this.

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J31Eu1uYOdk[/youtube]
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 16:47:07 PM by Chipaccrual » Logged
Paulie_D
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2010, 16:29:28 PM »

Thanks...I remember that from a long way back, it was spin-off from Wacky Races...but even earlier than that was "The Perils of Pauline"





« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 16:31:09 PM by Paulie_D » Logged

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AMRN
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2010, 16:32:10 PM »

Great read Paulie. More please.
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Paulie_D
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2010, 16:38:09 PM »


Great read Paulie. More please.


Thanks...I do have some stuff from previous trips. I"ll have to see if I can find them.
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Quasar
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2010, 19:02:40 PM »


a great read - thanks, really enjoyed it. More please   Grin
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pables
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2010, 19:59:56 PM »

Great read Paulie. It"s reminded me I still need to finish my DTD reports

FULL English brekkie FTW

with Guinness of course
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Paulie_D
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 13:04:57 PM »

« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 15:11:19 PM by Paulie_D » Logged

“Thor has Mjolnir but I have a banhammer. I think I win”
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