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Nick Wealthall

Nick Wealthall is one of the best known poker broadcasters in the UK. Many years ago he ran away from his proper job in the city to live in Vegas and earn a living as a poker player. Since then he has combined his career as a writer/performer with his love of the game. He is currently hosts and commentates on a number of poker projects including the European Poker Tour and other TV poker content. He also writes columns for two of the biggest poker magazines in the U K and hosts "on the rail" the country's leading poker podcast. When not working in poker he has a successful career as a comedy writer with many TV credits to his name including Have I Got News For You and The Friday Night Project. In his spare time he enjoys film, relaxing with friends, taking long walks in the country, staring at the rain and writing short paragraphs about his career.

bubblin dubblin

Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Monday, 19 October 2009 at 10:26 pm

What is up and so forth….

Just got back from a really fun weekend in Dublin at the Boyles Irish Poker Open.

These weekends are awesome – like the Virgin Poker Festival and APAT events they’re the present and future … we need more.

Mass participation tournaments with affordable buy ins and a good prize that can change a casual players bankroll are great for poker. And if they have a top atmosphere around them like this one they make an awesome weekend.

This tournament is huge and if you weren’t there this year you need to get involved next time. I think there were 1300 plus runners which meant that for jus a $250 buy in you could win a $60k plus first prize.

Obviously I came really close but got bad beated near the big money….. That or I lasted a grand total of 28 minutes. Which is … you know….. shit but wahddayagonnado

My Kings ran into Aces and that was me all done. I did this in a Teddy KGB accent ‘Eiy Feel So UnSchatisfied’

I retired to my room to play online before the cash games and fun started in the evening where I watched my beloved LFC lose to a goal scored by a beach ball…that’s proper running bad!

Actually I ran bad all weekend live and made up for it online. My friends – a lot of the on the rail bloggers…you know who they are – also ran bad. However that did very little to dampen the weekend. We had a good ‘craic’ – which I’m told is a real thing.

Dublin was a lot of fun but weekends like this one remind me it’s really who you’re with that’s important we could have been in a 5 star exclusive beach club or a caravan park in a rainy Paignton it wouldn’t have mattered.

I’ve eaten and drunk a bit too much of good stuff lately (ie things that are bad for you) – so I’m going on a health kick until December and the Christmas onslaught. It’s actually fun doing this after a lot of abuse – also good for your poker! At least that’s what I’m telling myself…. Got to have some compensation for giving up the good stuff.

for more of Nick's writing and to download the UK's favourite podcast visit www.ontherail.co.uk

Out at the top

Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Thursday, 15 October 2009 at 01:23 am

So I want to update my blog but I can’t think of anything I want to write about….so this is going to be riveting. Built it up haven’t I…can’t wait to read more can you…. 

Okay so my new theory is that when someone is completely magnificently brilliant at something we need to wait until their powers ever so slightly then have them killed. I mean nicely and quietly and in a manner of their choosing but basically they’re not allowed to continue living and tarnish the beautiful image of them we have in our heads. Maybe that’s harsh maybe there’s a get out – they can do a Bobby Fischer the maverick genius chess player that became a hermit near the height of his powers.

I’ve just hear Michael Jackson’s “new” song and it’s utter rubbish. Not that that’s a surprise I mean he only produced rubbish for about 15 odd years. Around 1989 he should have been quietly ushered off the scene and we wouldn’t have to had endure any of the um…..tricky stuff…..

Same applies to pudge ball Maradonna, Woody Allen and on and on – the great ones need to be frozen in time.

It’s because of this that I’ve decided to retire from poker at the peak of my powers……or not – though maybe if Hellmuth or Johnny Chan had in 1990 it would have been good

I’ve just finished a really busy period of work and I’m mercifully quieter over the next two months. So I’m gonna work on some stuff I love like writing my book and so on but also setting some goals for poker play in terms of number of hands to play and so on. I’ll blog them and fill you in on my progress.

In the meantime I’m off to Dublin this weekend for the IPO – should be fun hope to see some of you there.

For more of Nick's writing and to download the UK's favourite poker podcast visit www.ontherail.co.uk

Word Champs Everywhere

Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Monday, 28 September 2009 at 04:42 pm

So it’s the WSOPE – which sadly I’m not playing in. It’s a great event but I’d be an underdog in it as the field is really strong. Or at least it certainly seems this way as only the best come over from America and only the best Europeans can manage the buy in. It’s definitely one of the big ones all the pros are desperate to win in the calendar and hopefully it will get a great champ as it has in previous years.

Apparently Phil Hellmuth rode a chariot round Leicester square and came in as a centurion or prefect or whatever that ludicrous garb is supposed to be. So … um… why did this happen exactly? This is the same ‘entrance’ he ‘performed’ at the WSOP in Vegas – so obviously it was such a hit that we needed to see it again. Clearly Phil is hoping that the continued and increasingly preposterous entrances will mask his obviously dwindling abilities and the incontrovertible fact that he enters these non-big field WSOP events as a huge underdog to the field. It’s a bit like the Burnley team turning up at Anfield dressed as super heroes and being choppered in to the centre circle with accompanying fireworks only to be beaten 6-0. I guess it’s too much to ask when he gets knocked out this time if he’ll fall on his sword?

In other news I was making the short walk from my flat to my local Waitrose when I spotted someone coming the other way and had that ‘I know him who is it’ feeling. It was one of those situations where it was so unlikely I’d see this person I couldn’t place him. He was looking at me similarly. Anyway we were almost past each other when I blurted ‘you’re peter eastgate’ (I suspect he already knew that) he replied ‘you do the commentary’ …. We had a nice chat mainly about the docklands light railway and that it transpires he lives about 5 minutes walk from me. As I left the conversation with a smile on my face I slowly realised the creeping truth of it all – I was no longer the best poker player in Canary Wharf. In fact he lives so close that I’m now only the best player in my block of flats. That is until I find out Cole South is renting the penthouse two floors up.

I will – of course – be moving

For more of Nick's writing and to download the UK's favourite poker podcast visit www.ontherail.co.uk

Talking about poker.... a lot

Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Sunday, 20 September 2009 at 03:59 pm

..Right so all he did next was make people in Britain stay on their sofas….not the biggest achievement ever is it?!

Since last writing I’ve been sucked into a world of poker commentaries – never to return. I’ve done cash games and online final tables til it’s starting to blur into one. After writing this I’m off to do commentary on the 8 game mix final table for the wccoop – that should wake me up.

Two things about doing commentaries worth mentioning. It definitely makes you a better player. Not only watching good players (and bad ones) teaches you but also verbalising your thoughts and hearing good players and top pros either agreeing or disagreeing with your analysis. You might feel a bit crazy doing it but I’d definitely advocate verbalising what you’re doing (online not live!!) – it makes you think things through and understand where you have an edge on people.

The other things that’s really apparent is how the standard and awareness of players has risen. Good No Limit Holdem players really are sensationally good.

Due to all this I haven’t played too much recently – I was going to play a few more tournaments this month but that hasn’t happened and due to other work stuff probably won’t at any of the big festivals in London sadly. I’ve played some PLO cash this month and I’m having an okay month after a dodgy August. I’m very aware that my game isn’t going to make the next jump forward until I spend some proper time working on it which just isn’t going to happen until next month.

Okay this blog is summing up my mood – not funny….bit sleepy….Just seen Michael Owen score the winner in the Manchester derby – as a liverpool fan and someone that clings on to some kind of team loyalty ideas that’s a little bit sad…

For more of Nick's writing and to download the UKs most popular podcast visit www.ontherail.co.uk

PLO Tourneys and Derren

Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Monday, 14 September 2009 at 02:11 am

This is a bit rushed as things have got busy as I thought they would

First up the PLO tourney went pretty well.

I finished 33rd out of almost 2800 for just under a 2k cash.

Obviously I’m pleased but it’s always a bit disappointing when you make a deep run in a tourney and don’t have a huge score.

I got off to a fast start – tripling up early with Aces vs 2 optimists. And was able to build on that to be in the top 10 for a long time

I lost a couple of big pots and then had to grind for the last couple of hours. Ended up getting it in with bad Aces fro 15 big blinds vs tw others. Only had 38% equity but if I’d have holed up I would have been right back in it – all pretty standard

This finish goes with my deep run in the FTOPs event last year and in a £500 live tourney in the Vic. I’ve also won two small PLO buy in events online.

So in my short PLO career I have a ludicrous ROI in tournament and am showing about a $10k profit.

Clearly I’ve run very hot and gotten lucky so far however I do think theres a lot of money to be made in PLO tourneys. The play is much too passive with very little non AA 3 betting. There are also a lot of players taking a shot at the game and a ton of dead money

I’m going to play more (obviously) hopefully with one of the live events at the London EPT or upcoming Vic festival.

In other news I’m sure you all saw the Derren Brown predict the lottery results programme.

I love Derren – especially his book – not only is he great at what he does he’s also funny and is clearly on a mission to expose the nonsense people believe while simultaneously taking advantage of it.

Though I wouldn’t care to guess the logistics -it’s pretty obvious the lottery prediction show was a form of past posting (knowing the result before declaring it).

However the interesting thing was the ‘explanation’ show. I thought it was pretty funny – actually hilarious.

Then on a train journey yesterday I heard a woman explaining to her friend how he’d used the ‘wisdom of crowds’ to predict the lottery. I was actually shocked anyone could view the show as credible or anything other than funny – as I’m sure it was intended. But then we live in a world where people believe in astrology, homeopathy and who knows what else so I shouldn’t be.

Like everything it relates to poker and the scores of players who refuse to approach the logic of the game and blame anything but bad decisions for their bad results.

Wisdom of crowds?! I can think of other words….

Can’t wait for what Derren has next

For more of Nick's writing and to download the UKs favourite poker podcast visit www.ontherail.co.uk

End of Summer

Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Thursday, 3 September 2009 at 11:35 pm

It’s back to school week. I’ve got my new protractor and white M & S shirt and I’m good to go.

It feels like Summer is coming to an end. Not weather wise that was in late June.

Its always a quite time for me work wise – July is spent in Vegas August is spent in limbo.

As soon as Autumn kicks in things rev up. Over the next few weeks it’s the WCCOOP, WSOPE, Barca and London EPTs and many other important collections of capital letters.

Also the TV comedy people all come back from holiday ready to sharpen their pencils on my massive script commissions

Plus I go back to the gym to shed my holiday weight (for which you can read 14 visits to the Bellagio buffet weight).

Not a huge amount to report since my last blog and I don’t feel too much like pontificating

Oh yeah went to the Ashes on what turned out to be the penultimate day of the series. I’m not the most patriotic person around but on that day I was properly INGERLUND. Giving the Aussies a proper kicking is definitely a very important thing that needs to happen often.

Anyway it was a great experience I was lucky to have – got to take my Mum too whose cricket obsessed so it was doubly great.

Poker wise I haven’t played too much in the last two weeks and when I have I appear to be running pretty horribly.

I’ll be playing the odd tourney in September for a change starting with the first PLO WCOOP so I’ll update you on that …. Get off the edge of your seats

Oh I’ve been rewatching the Sopranos box sets….how good??!?!

Right I’m off to be all productive and stop pretending its still summer…though I am wearing shorts as I write this (no really)

For more of Nick's writing and to download the UKs favourite poker podcast visit www.ontherail.co.uk

i like short shorts

Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Wednesday, 26 August 2009 at 12:38 pm

Actually I like long shorts

You know those ones that college kids wear. I’d wear them every day if I could – it gets a bit blowy when it gets under 18 degrees

I think I’m turning into a sun freak. I know this is the oldest point in the world especially if you’ve spent a lifetime in the U K but nice weather makes such a massive difference.

The point is I want to get up and see blue skies and sunshine. And I want to walk around in flip flops and my ruddy long shorts. I thought I wouldn’t retire overseas until at least 40 but as the Jan/Feb/Mar car crash speeds towards me with all of the promise of a massive 3 month turd pie the temptation to leave these emerald shores (emerald must be a shade of grey right?) and set up a finishing school in Mauritius for aspiring poker broadcasters grows ever larger!

Had one of the weirdest situations I’ve ever had playing poker a couple of nights ago. I was ready to finish my session as I was tired and done when this amazing situation developed. A series of big pots meant that these 2 uber fish sitting next to each other had mega stacks. One was playing almost every hand and raising, the other was playing almost every hand and calling and they were properly horrible.

Their stacks were now huge – one had 7 buyins the other had 11 buyins. And I had the god seat, sat immediately to their left with 2 buys ins and a big appetite. It would have been morally disgusting of me to go to bed and leave them with their money.

So I made a new plan. I closed down all of my other tables, moved over to the laptop, collapsed on my sofa and put on a favourite movie.

I spent the next 3 hours ‘chilling out’ and half dozing stirring to answer the ‘bink’ when I had a hand. Turned out my plan was a little bit genius. I won 6 buy ins from my two new best friends – could have even been more if one of them hadn’t sucked out in a big pot at the end and run off having escaped the inevitable clutches of bustedness.

It was an interesting session / night. There’s a fine line playing cash poker between being disciplined and quitting when you planned and not walking away from profitable spots. If I was playing for a living I’d find it a hard balance but the other night was a no brainer unless you hate money of course because this was like finding it lying in the street.

For more of Nick's writing and to download the UKs favourite poker podcast visit

Poker in the Park

Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Tuesday, 18 August 2009 at 03:28 am

Poker in the park happened in Leicester square this week. Hope you made it down – if not you missed out

I think it’s the 3rd year Bluff have run it and it was as big a success as ever. I have to hand it to them the idea of a poker festival in the centre of town free for the public is a great one. This will sound inane but I had no idea that bit in the middle of Leicester square was so big! It is though you know they had a tonne of marquees in their and still had room for general milling about.

I did a talk in the ‘lecture tent’ which was reasonably intimidating given that I’ve barely ever sat through a lecture let alone given one. I was a big fan of the plinth they gave you to lecture behind – I felt ready to stage a coup. We could have totally taken Leicester square and then together….half the west end…before everyone got a bit tired and stopped for a pint.

My talk was on ‘luck in poker’. Luck fascinates me and I’ve been writing bits and pieces on it for a long time now. It’ll be a book when I get my arse in gear – somewhere around 2013 I reckon. Anyway the talk was filmed and I hope to have it up on my site in a few days so check it out.

I finished my day by powning the special invite donkament – hey they don’t just give away 3rd place in those things you know! Given that a large part of my talk was about luck/variance in live tournaments I’m not sure I can attach much significance to it…

Speaking of variance I had my worst single session in my online career last week in terms of buy ins lost. It was totally horrific. I’ll save the details for another blog or maybe a column but I played on far far too long something I almost never do. The next day I felt horrendous about it but I’ve learned my lesson. I’ve been winning so easily that I’d got complacent and poker hates it when you do that and gave me the thrashing I deserved!

Anyway I punished myself with a few days off and I’ve been catching up on work and seeing friends. Apart from some writing commitments I’m going to try and take it as easy as I can for the rest of August and get playing again. September has a ton of poker work and other good stuff so will be flat out so I’m gonna try and enjoy whats left of summer.

Hope you get to do some of that.

Play well - run better.

For more of Nick's writing and to download the UKs favourite poker podcast visit www.ontherail.co.uk




Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Monday, 10 August 2009 at 02:24 am

I’ve been playing a lot of poker lately

It’s weird it comes and goes for me but for some reason at the moment I’m loving it.

Lately I’ve had a couple of all night sessions. Which in my ridiculous world means until 7am or later. On both occasions I’ve been winning and the games have been ridiculously good.

Omaha on the weekends is crazy.  The more solid regulars often don’t play the weekend evenings – which I think is a huge error. I understand that they probably want to have social lives or something but if I was trying to earn my living playing online poker I’d make my weekend Tuesday and Wednesday or something because there are just so many drunken gamblers on the weekend – god love em.

I’ve been running well since Vegas and playing pretty well to. My results are great – I’m beating 1/2 PLO for 11bb/100 over almost 20k hands. (for those of you not from planet poker anything over 4 is great – 11 is really killing it)

This win rate is really high and not sustainable BUT I do think it’s a realistic win rate for me in the games I’ve been playing on a weekend night.

I’m getting to the point where I’m taking shots at 2/4 games. Of course the problem with Omaha (like life) is just when you think you’ve got it licked it’ll make you look a fool. I’ll keep you posted!

I’ve been trying to regulate my sleep patterns recently and finding it a real challenge. I’ve always been a night owl which is never going to change but I have no regular sleep schedule and it definitely impacts me and how much energy I have during the day. The worst thing is when I pull an all nighter for no particular reason other than I fancy it…. Actually wait that’s not true.

I love it too much. I love the feeling when it’s so late that you’re head hurts a little and your eyes hurt a lot. First light is breeching the curtains and the sounds of traffic are just beginning. The world is still asleep but I’m playing. And I’m in flow. Too tired for proper conscious thought but my unconscious brain has long since taken over. My numbed brain only occasionally punctured by the adrenalin of a big pot. And the money is racking up because I’m running good and I may be tired but I’m still together where others are tilting or were never together in the first place. And in a few minutes I’ll get breakfast and sleep while others wake and do whatever regular people do ….

Sorry – you lost me for a moment there!

Hope you’re having fun too play well and run better.

For more of Nick's writing or to download the UK's most popular poker podcast visit www.ontherail.co.uk

can't get enough

Posted by Nick Wealthall
  • Thursday, 30 July 2009 at 10:29 pm

My plan was – come back from Vegas, sort out my life, take a break from poker and catch up with work and – you know – my career.

There’s a catch in there, the whole take a break from poker thing.

4 nights ago a solid 3 days or so into my ‘break’ I decided to log on and play a few hands. I have to guilty confess to you (which is anyone) that I’ve played every night since. In fact last night I played for 6 hours and the sun was up when I finished

Before we start throwing words around casually like ‘addiction’ ‘problem’ and ‘degeneracy’ let’s remember it’s me and I’m probably really responsible and in control of my life when it comes to the crunch?!

The thing is I know I’m about to go into a big slug or work and productivity and like a rebellious child I’m putting it off

Also the Omaha games have been great and I’m running hot. When you’re on a winning run it’s so hard not to play and so much fun to play

Anyway despite that some exciting things are happening with work stuff which I’ll update you on next time

Being back in England is always such a weird adjustment after the yearly pilgrimage to Vegas. The first thing I noticed this time is that everything is really really clammy. There is no air conditioning. I’m sure this is good for the environment or some such but seriously can we get some AC in here?

The second problem is no room service. Now I don’t want to sound like the spoilt brat I almost certainly am but it’s so easy to get used to that thing where you get hungry at 2.30 am and they bring you an entire dinner without you moving. I’ve called family, I’ve called friends, I’ve called my neighbours – no one will do it for me….no one?!!

Gotta go time to definitely not play poker.

For more of Nick's writing and to download the UKs favourite poker podcast visit www.ontherail.co.uk



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