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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

SIAS poker tournament review

The SIAS poker tournament was held on 17 March. The event was a sell-out, despite a few late cases of flu, as 113 entrants met at Loose Cannon Club to determine which actuary had the poker face and skills (or luck) to win this tournament.

The field comprised of serious poker players to complete beginners. Everyone was given two chances, a ‘double-chance freezeout’. This meant that once players lost their initial stack of chips, these were replaced. Those who made it to dinner without losing their initial stack were given the extra chips.

The first few levels before dinner resulted in a handful of players being knocked out — a quiet concentration filling the room as players seemed unwilling to take big risks. The exception to this was Martin West from Capita, who was the unfortunate person to go out first.

After dinner, the bids increased more rapidly and the field reduced more substantially. This led to a number of exciting all-in battles. However, many of those who were knocked out retreated to the bar to watch the final table. Special mention has to go to SIAS committee member James Williamson, who reached the final table for the second year in a row.

The final table was of high quality, with many hands needed to whittle down the field. The game culminated with a heads-up battle between Peter Black of Punter Southall and Ben Carter of RBS.

Peter was crowned SIAS poker champion for 2011, and he was delighted, saying, “Last time I played, I couldn’t finish in the top four out of five!” Congratulations to Peter.

Ben took second place, after which he remarked, “Well, at least on this occasion I don’t need to strip!”

Thank you to everyone for coming, and to Loose Cannon for hosting the tournament. By Alvin Kissoon