Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Walsall Gukpt Part B...

Wednesday was the day i had decided i would use to qualify for the main event. A self dealt 50 quid rebuy drew about 50 runners. The general standard was very poor and by the first break and the end of the rebuys i had a generous stack with no rebuys. Unfortunately a couple of players were unaware of certain ways of conducting themselves around a poker table-which meant numerous arguments and the limited clock being drained without play often-for once the arguments didn't involve me! The tournament staff also had forgotten the tournament was going on, or just didn't care one bit. Eventually with 15 odd left i realised one 20 minute level had gone on for 45 minutes or something. Whether or not this really affected me im not sure, either way i made the final table. With 9 left and 7 seats going out in 9th left a bitter taste in the mouth.
But i managed to win my entry fee soon after in the casino, which paid for the main event and more. So onto the main event.
I drew a fairly passive first table bar one player Simon zach. Knowing him from reputation i wasn't surprised to find him by far my most aggressive early opponent. Within minutes i felt like my tournament was on the line. I think that i played this early hand too aggressively preflop, building it up, out of position needlessly. Zach had raised from mid/late position and i found ak of diamonds in the small blind. I decided id define my hand and reraised him. He immediately called,the flop coming aq5 with two hearts. I bet out 2/3rds of the pot, he made it 3500. Now this would be with my preflop bet of 700, almost half my stack in the middle within 5 minutes. But i knew that he most likely knew this. Eventually after a lengthy dwell i folded it face up and he commented it was obviously no good. I actually feel he was telling the truth here and soon forgot the hand. I used position well for the next couple of hours building up my stack to around 14k by the first break. Soon after this though i was moved table, something i feel had a big impact on my tournament. Whereas on the previous table i had felt extremely comfortable, now i sensed a very aggressive table with only 1 or 2 weak players. I mananged to bluff off quite a few chips in frustration at going card dead on a somewhat unbluffable table. Something i always vow never allow to happen happened and i became so low stacked that by the time the table was broken at about 11pm i had one move, allin push. This occured on my first hand on the new table, pushing with king ten and running into aces. Not a great performance but perhaps a new lesson to learn. I went out thursday night to forget the whole thing and the alcohol had a soothing effect.

Friday brought a 100 pound freezeout which i didn't exactly take too seriously. I raised almost every hand and was almost glad to depart after an hour or two, my head just wasn't right. I was still thinking of my main event demise and how i had effectively been almost blinded out. I genuinely think after being knocked out of the main event in the gukpt the best thing for me to do is probably leave the poker for a few days as i am still analysing plays days after. No matter friday night meant more beers and a good laugh.

Saturday i had planned to go home. However i genuinely didnt feel like the journey home and decided id play the 300 f/o in the evening-and this time play it 100%. I did such and actually played very well. Despite one hand when i sucked out after fishing a couple of draws on the flop-something i'll still defend to the hilt against those -ev stattos:)
With two tables left i had a medium stack before i tangled with the mad turk. I felt i had a read on him in one particular hand. In the end i called him on the river with 3rd pair after he had talked non stop and called the clock on me-he mucked. This made me a relatively big stack and i could sense the final table looming. Unfortunately i managed to donk off a few chips in a few little pots and before long my stack was small again. I finally lost a race with tens against ak and departed again shy of the money. But this time i was happy with how i'd played, very happy and as soon as i win a race again i'll be fine.

Since i've been back online has been up and down. The swings have started to affect my bankroll a bit too seriously for my liking and i'll be happy to take a break soon. Im off to lanzarote soon and cannot wait to take some time off. But come march i'll be tearing up the gukpt in london. I can sense a big result just round the corner-deffo. Laters.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Walsall Gukpt. part A

I really must update this blog more regularly, so much to report and so little time....ok thats's a lie...i've always got lots of time. :)

I have just returned from sunny Walsall, where i have spent most of the last week. I departed last tuesday afternoon, somewhat naively it has to be said. Leaving Greenwich at 3pm i should hav smelt a rat when the british rail worker initially declared after much frowning that it would cost me about £140 return!! Obviously this was a joke as i could probably fly abroad and back for cheaper than that...i was travelling to the midlands not Monte Carlo. He finally decided 43 squid was enough and i jumped on my train. Unfortunately this was far from the end of the matter, i still had two more connections to make, via Euston and Birmingham New Street. As soon as my feet touched the platform at Euston i realised why i had felt uneasy since the price mix up. Yep my ticket was not valid at peak times-which on virgin is between 3 and 5, so that my 410pm train which would get me in time to walsall and checked into the 8pm tournie, was not available to me. In fact the next train i could get would seriously mean id probbaly miss the tournament, so i made a decision. I got on the train and prayed for no ticket inspector-something i havent done since University. 2 and a half hours later my wishes were answered and i was ready to play poka!

The first event i was ready to play was the amazingly great structured £300 double shootout event. It got about 145 runners and gave 45 minutes levels with 3500 chips x2. Surely now i would finally play tight aggressive in the early levels? Wrong, as usual i lost half my stack within ten minutes. My first table contained Mark goodwin-someone i had wished to play against for a while now, especially since he had correctly criticised my wsope final table performance. He lost half his stack in his first hand when a player overplayed king queen preflop, causing mark to make a very strong semi bluff move on a flop which unluckily for him contained two kings. My chip loss was due to my belief that in such a superbly structured event top pair 9 kicker early on might not be viewed as 'the nuts'. Nope my fish spent all of 1 second moving his chips in for the final call. I had raised from the cut off with ace 2 of diamonds. BB had called, flop was 10 3 7 two diamonds. He checked, i bet, he check raised me, i pushed....he insta called. In my opinion the guy had displayed all the tendancies i love to see in a fish, and i looked forward to taking his chips later when i presumed he would chronically overplay his top pair. Luckily i was not out due to the extra 3500 chips i now had due to the format. I used these chips wisely and by the time we were down to 4 tables i had 25k-just about average. Unfortunately having previously won two races, i finally lost one that crippled me. I never like to race but on some occasions there is no choice. I was down to a bowl of rice which i managed to make into a somewhat larger plateful but eventually ran into cowboys departing about 30th and shy of the money. No matter there were plenty more opportunities to play this week, next day was the sattelite....more of that later on.....

Monday, 4 February 2008

Brighton part B, Jan review, DTD....

Last time i posted i probably sounded a bit down. I feel much more upbeat now. Ill quickly conclude my brighton report before moving on to other things such as how january went overall, and how my first visit to dusk till dawn went.

After my departure from the Brighton gukpt main event i went out for a few beers with some good friends and soon felt better about my exit. The hangover wasn't too nice the next day however. I spent the next couple of days railing alex and mike, both of whom i had shares in. While alex ended up card dead and exited reasonably early, mike made it into day 2. Unfortunately the poker gods decided to lay a real bad beat on the guy with his pocket tens getting cracked by 10 9 off allin pre. The poor bloke was so cut up he left a couple of days early. I cracked on with the poker on the saturday in a 100 rebuy getting a beat of my own. Feeling quite good in the freezeout stage with all my chips in the middle with ak v aq on a k rag rag board i was soon at the bar. Two running ladies meant i certainly needed the beer bought for me by a buddy. Paul actually final tabled that event finishing 9th so well done to him. Finally the sunday 150 freezeout was a bit of an anti climax as i went from a huge stack to a bowl of rice in a matter of minutes eventually losing a race. By monday morning i was glad to go home. Next gukpt stop.....walsall.

January has been a real up and down month especially online. I have had a few 4 figure multi wins but nothing major. The sit and go's haven't been as prolific as usual and the less said about my foray's into cash the better. As mentioned in my previous post, i am retiring from cash until i learn not to bluff so much in them.
Overall the month has not been profitable financially yet in other ways i have learnt a great deal. My poker game is becoming tighter and less reckless. I feel i need to force myself into playing ABC for a while just to build up the bankroll and gain valuable experience in specific situations. It all sounds a little vague but i am currently working on particular facets within my play that i feel can turn me from a 'good winning player', to a 'very good big winning player'.

I returned back from nottingham this morning at around 7am. I had traveled up from london with Terry on saturday night. Arriving an hour late i was shocked when i arrived. The place as expected was huge and i was very impressed. However, as i had previously registered online i expected to see my name on the registration screen. Unlike Terry who raced off to his table, I found my name nowhere to be seen. I was quickly informed that-'According to the computer you were eliminated ten minutes into the tournament Mr Kay. In fairness the staff were brilliant and instantly calmed me down telling me it wasn't unusual for the computer to say this, and i was seated within a minute-i had only lost 275 chips from my 10k stack. Yet within half an hour i had lost a further 7k. My attempt to rock up more in my game soon fell by the wayside when i ran ak into quad tens. I also tried to bluff the same guy on a very low board when he held trips. The quad hand was all of my own fault though as i bet the river on a A,10,10,4,Q board having checked out of position on the flop and turn 3 handed. Despite my big hand, body language displayed by another player and his actions of checking both turn and river made me smell a rat. I felt uncomfortable with the texture of the flop especially out of position. But instead of check calling a value bet on the river i made the pot larger than needed by bet calling the river. This is an example of when i need to go with my gut instinct no matter what. Yet i battled back from these mishaps and was only eliminated at 3am after getting short stacked and running into kings. Overall my play was okay but something was certainly missing. That little something that sets aside very good players from your average joe smo was missing. I think i may have let a bit of fear creep into my game. My edge has always been my aggression preflop and playing position against weaker players. Yet in this tournament i felt i was the weaker player in a few situations. I have little doubt that this is a temporary blip however and will be rectifying this immediately. Yes im that confident.
As for Terry he had departed early when his aces were cracked by a strange play in the blinds with jack 7 off. He won his entry back in the cash games, which he felt were relatively soft. The next day i played the 100 pound freezeout and despite losing half my stack early on i made the final table with a more than healthy chip stack. Terry was card dead all evening and did well to make the final two tables before losing a race. I had played well all evening and can honestly say i felt the old confidence being restored as i won pots with well timed bluffs and maximised premium hands. Unfortunately on this occasion it was my aces that got cracked by pocket 5s and although that didn't eliminate me it left me short stacked and i was eliminated in 4th for £520. Leaving Nottingham at 4am i felt certain i'd be going back to this great venue.

This week will be spent grinding it out online, trying to qualify for the Walsall gukpt and arranging my plans for febuary. I may even have a non poker related holiday with my girlfriend this month. Wonders will never cease!