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Mad Marty's Wild Card

by 'Mad Marty' Wilson |  Published: Sep 01, 2005


My World Series of Poker Itch
As I am writing this, the World Series of Poker is well under way, and the Brits have notched a respectable number of final-table finishes already. If we thought that the dramatic increase in entrants shook the poker world last year, that will prove to be just a tremor compared to this year's explosion. For the first time in 15 years, I'm not going to be there. Needless to say, there must be a profitable reason why. I'm working on a live poker show on Challenge TV every Friday at 10 p.m., which is called The Poker Den.

So, I'm not there, as much as I wish I were. Thank goodness, then, for and Jesse May and Padraig's program, The Poker Show. I don't know the etiquette for praising the European bureau chief's ventures, but it can't do any harm!

My daily routine has completely changed. Instead of finding out the time of the first horse race the moment I wake up, I'm now logging on to, finding out the results, and hoping for a new poker show. Now that I've done some praising, I'm entitled to point out how disappointed I was not to win the caption competition of the second program. Especially when I saw that Barny was a guest, I was convinced I'd won.

I'm looking forward to some more exciting news from Las Vegas, and hopefully, a European bracelet. I'd just like to point out what great friends I have in the poker world. A few days into the WSOP, friends began to ring, asking when I was coming over. Some took my no-show as ano-cash-flow, and offered to put me in. Cheers, guys!

For 15 years, I had an illegal bookmaker's pitch on Derby day at Epsom. With my field book and tickets, I set up my pitch alongside the others at Tattenham Corner. Six of us would buy an old touring caravan for about £100, drive it onto the downs, and leave it there at the end of the meeting. We could make £7,000 on a good day's laying at Epsom. It was never going to be life-changing, but the money came in handy for the European Championships in London the following month.

Phil Hellmuth (left) and David "Devilfish" Ulliott exchange greetings at the World Series of Poker.

This year, I watched the races from a different seat. I'd been invited to the Queens Stand on Derby day with sports presenter Helen Chamberlain. I figured no one would recognize me in my top hat and tails, and I was right. I hadn't even made it out of the car park when someone did a double take and said, "I've seen you on the TV, Martyn … I always thought your name was Brian!"

"Mad Marty" Wilson is a professional poker player from Wolverhampton. He is a poker consultant for Matchroom Sports and is sponsored by Noble Poker. Marty tutors players through his website,