Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Catching up, Gala notts, manchester gukpt and more...

Well quite a bit has been going on since my last post. So a feeling this could be a long one, i'd get the pillow ready if i was you!

Two weeks back two mates and I traveled up to nottingham for the gala british poker tour. Arriving in time for a two hundred freeze the day before the main event i was pretty happy to get back to the felt. The 200 went very well and i soon was largely stacked. This was partly due to good cards, good play and some....well dubious opponent's moves. I often felt people thought they could either bluff a pot committed player, or that top pair was never, ever, ever, ummmmm.......ever beat. Well it was as i hit sets against aces twice-after getting in cheap- and i cruised down to the last couple of tables. Here is where the problems began.
All of a sudden from a half decently stacked structure i felt we were playing a crapshoot. Luckily push poker is something i am quite good at, but still it's not exactly enjoyable and kind of takes the skill out of the game....but perhaps thats my edge :)
Anyway i got so desperate with about 15 left i had to push blind from middle position as everybody was doing the same more or less and i felt all i wanted was fold equity. My queen ten was no match for the bb's aq, before the flop that is. A beautiful q1010 flop sealed the deal, was nice to get lucky one time one time PEOPLE! Of course this soon bit me in the ass as when i arrived on the final table as my aces were immediately cracked by jacks, allin pre. I built up again but my ak soon got knocked over by trip queens, the ace on the flop kinda cute, the queen on the river a sickner. All in all a good laugh had tho, and 720 for 8th better than nothing.

Day 1a in the main event is rather hazy if im honest. It all went rather slow early on i believe, although i was sat on the left of a mr cashpoint, a good mate i had travelled up with. If im honest that first table was quite weak with only 2 or 3 good players. Marco of course being one of em. I got my stack up to about 25k from a starting stack of 10k without huge incident and was quite dismayed to see the table broken. Yet my new table bar el blondie was even weaker. Stealing was easy and flop play was generally weak. That was further enforced by the legendary colclough being moved soon after my arrvival. Soon i had upped my stack to 50k before wheels started to grease a little bit on the runway of the poker table. To my left was a player who started to play back at me big style. A man who played big pot poker with fearless aggression. Id soon done half my stack and was now somewhat relieved to be moved table. After surviving a couple of scares i eased my way thru to day 2 with a just under average stack of 37k.
After going to dtd on my day off i felt relaxed entering the final day. I doubled up early through the chip leader and played good tight aggressive poker. Eventually i had 200k with 12 left and felt the final table was a certainty. Unfortunately i blew up by chronically overplaying ace 5 suited and running into aces. My bowl of rice thereafter was soon eroded and i exited for just over 2k in 11th. My friend and fellow wsope final tableist (shameless mention) james keys went on to finish second and prove what a superb player he is.

Manchester and gukpt week was soon upon me and i travelled up with the taiger fish on the wednesday to catch up with some old mates before playing the main on thursday. I ended up playing a 50 quid rebuy in stockport and narrowly missed out on the final table.
Thursday's table looked tough. Couple of online players, well known good gukpt players and the london champion ketul on my direct left, i had heard good things about this guy and wasn't too happy with him having position. I actually needn't have worried too much about him as im not sure he was 100%, and i ended up knocking him out in a very strange hand. James thought i'd shown a leak by playing the hand in the first place, but i had my reasons. May put up that hand at a latter date.
The problem i had on the table was dave smith. The guy kept putting me allin early on. On at least one occasion i felt i was ahead but if so barely, i waited for better spots-perhaps i shouldn't have. When i was moved from the table i was not exactly overjoyed to be put on a table with laurence houghton from the gutshot. A player i respect, but also an absolute nightmare with position and he duely took a few of my chips. I was again moved with 2 hours of the day left and was very averagely stacked with 20k when i sat at my new table. A hugely stacked willie tann was dominating the table and although i had position my stack and more importantly my appaulling cards meant i was folding for england.
Soon enough i found cowboys in late position. Raising it up i was called in one spot by the button. Jack, 7, 3 with two clubs was a nice enough flop for me especially with the king of clubs. I bet just under the pot-around 2/3rds and was flat called. The turn brought the ace of clubs. Going with my read of the player-a bit of a calling station- i was very worried he had aj here. I decided id either shove or check, and went with the latter. He checked behind and now i dont put him on the ace jack. The river brought a 9 of spades and i now made a terrible mistake. Here i either shove or check. But no with the pot standing at about 20k and 12.5 k back i put in a blocker bet of 2.5k????!!! Madness as he immediately pushed and i was forced to fold. I feel he either bluffed me off it with qj or kj, or he had something like the 109 of clubs, opinions welcome on the hand. It was the last hand before the last level of the day and left me playing push poker. If i win that hand things are totally different. Push poker didn't work for once and i was heading to the bar.

Played the side events and railed my mates, but nothing came to fruition. The nights out were more fun than the poker. The trip once again made me realise its time to stop boozing so much and for the next two months i will be alcohol free. Hopefully see everybody in newcastle in a couple of weeks, but for now its off to nottingham for the norweigian poker championships. Report on that will follow next week.

Speak soon peeps.

Dom aka sober dom

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