Off the rails
June 24, 2011, Posted by Ali.Masterman
It's a well documented fact that the Brits are taking over this year's WSOP. With 3 bracelets and numerous final tables it's been an incredible series so far. So what's the secret? Well, besides unrelenting aggression, thousands of hours of study and oodles of inherent natural ability, there is one other secret weapon; a weapon so powerful that it can tear apart final tables, reducing poker giants to mere children.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the railbirds. A mysterious mismatch of youthful British poker enthusiasts. Poker philosophers if you may. The barmy army has been out in full force this series, willing their comrades on with an intensity never seen before at the World Cup, let alone the World Series of Poker.
Jake Cody's rail at the final of the $25k HU championship was electric. The final was so tense that us Brit fans were compelled to drink beer to numb the anxiety. People were ejected, beer was spilled, chants were reeled off. It was like a Liverpool home game with a Kop full of home fans and nobody else. The Americans didn't quite know what had hit them, and it was clear there was only going to be one winner.
Recent British final tables have included Matt Perrins, Chris Moorman, Alex Martin and Richard Trigg. Each and every rail has been a frenzy of banter, fuelled by lager and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. If Carlsberg did Railbirds, then this would be them.
The most recent British invasion on a WSOP final table is Thomas ‘Middy’ Middleton, a high stakes online tournament player from Leeds and close pal to many of the Brits in Vegas. Middy sits on top of the chipcounts overnight in event 36, the $2500 NL holdem, with only 5 players remaining. It would be fair to say that Middleton’s rail has been the loudest most vociferous riot to ever hit a poker final table.
The latest railbird trend which emerged this morning was the shoebomb. Fear not, this isn’t an explosive device named after infamous plotter of evil Richard Reid, it’s the practise of filling one’s shoe with lager/cocktail and necking it on the spot. Matt Perrins does it very well I hear. The shoebombs are evidently working, as Middy has one hand on the bracelet. We wish him well, and can only wonder what madcap celebrations will erupt should he go on to win. Rule Britannia, I say.