I stand prepared in the centre of the ring, my yellow hammer and sickle emblazoned on my red shorts giving me a source of extra mental strength, as I await my opponent.
My wife Bridget sits impassively six metres away, next to General Rimsky. Their fitted military regalia lifts them above the crudely dressed Scots on either side. We are proud of our nation.
Music starts! Rod Stewart is signing a cover of the Proclaimers.
Here comes the Baron. He is wearing a kilt and gyrating to the music, waving his tartan gloves.
“But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more”
We’re not used to this in Moscow, so I just stare open mouthed at this spectacle. The Baron doesn’t seem to be taking this seriously, as now the bagpipes kick in for the second verse. Rod Stewart is loving the limelight, and the star and the Baron high five each other at the end of the song, as the band leave the stage.
The Baron removes his sporran and we meet in the centre of the ring as the referee goes through the formalities.
I have only one thing to say to my Western opponent.
“You will lose”
Baron still seems jovial, but is taking aback by the iciness in my voice.
After a minute of pacing round the ring, General Rimsky gives the signal and I raise with QsJs and the Baron defends. The flop arrives Queen high and after my £12 bet, Baron overshoves for £100. I tank call and my Queen is good. Baron has a bloody nose already as my power is unleashed.
Baron raises in early positon and I re-raise with A5. Baron, insta ships for about £70 and I call but lose to 99. Ouch.
Trainer Fluke is in the Baron’s ear at the changeover: “He’s worried! You cut him! You hurt him! You see! You see! He’s not a machine, he’s a man!”
Baron raises and I defend with Ad3d. Flop is 3, 8, 8 with 2 hearts and no diamond.
Baron bets his standard continuation bet of £20 and I call.
Turn is 7 bringing a second flush draw.
River is a black King.
Baron insta shoves for about £75. I tank, and figure he didn’t get there on the flushes, so unless he hit the King I am probably good with bottom pair, so I call and my hand wins.
The Baron is finished.
“I can not be defeated. I beat all man. Someday, I will beat a real champion. If he dies, he dies”.
I guess what I am trying to say with the above Rocky IV nonsense, is that my blog is the equivalent of a soviet propaganda machine, as PRAVDA was in the 80’s. It is fairly widely read, and some of the most avid readers are my frequent opponents.
Interestingly, I knew my opponents would feel I would be nut peddling in the cash game after my last post, “Dogs of War”. While I genuinely felt that when I wrote it at the time, I guess it makes sense to play on it if my opponents think I am going to follow it to the letter.
The tournament was a damp squib – I lost 2k with Aces early on and didn’t recover and finally busted squeezing a raise and two callers with 99 and Dev, the original raiser, had QQ. No regrets though.
The cash game brought a solid profit of £250, and I particularly flourished when we went four handed in the early hours.
I wonder how far I can take my Soviet propaganda machine? It's clearly not as simple as just doing the opposite of what I write here - it has to be more subtle than that. I guess changeability is the key.
I think the person who put it best was that great orator Sylvester Stallone:
"During this fight, I've seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. I guess what I am trying to say, is that:
If I can change........
And.....you can change.......
everybody can change!"
P&L GBP 2009
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