Friday, October 06, 2006


After a vomit inducing roller-coaster ride online in which my bankroll endured fluctuations that would bring a tear to Phil Ivey’s eye (okay, maybe tikay’s instead), I set myself a little challenge…

-- give the online tables a seven day rest and play the whole of the Gutshot week --

The Gutshot adopt a quite wonderful philosophy to their Festivals in that they give the players what they want – low stake, but well-structured freezeouts at affordable prices. And hey presto, this is what they came up with:

Wed 4th Oct -- £200+20 NLH F/O
Thu 5th Oct -- £100+10 NLH F/O
Fri 6th Oct -- £200 D-C PLO F/O
Sat 7th Oct -- £500+50 NLH F/O
Sun 8th Oct -- £50+5 NLH F/O
Pretty good, huh?

Armed with a fearsome (cough) blonde team made up of Jen, Floppy, RED-DOG and my good self, we arrived at the Gutshot in good time for our pre-match warm-up. I couldn’t help but catch sight of Tom’s waist, which was sporting a rather snazzy ‘REDDOG’ belt. Very flash! He offered to acquire me a belt to don my mid-region (vanity does not concern me), but after being initially keen, I suddenly realised that it would probably return with ‘sloppy’, ‘sonopy’ or ‘poonsy’ in shiny silver letters.

But belt fashion aside, we had a comp to play, and I was deadly serious about making an impact. I stopped playing online on the Sunday to ensure that I didn’t go into battle with a cash game mindset and I enjoyed a good night’s sleep the day before, even participating in the blonde comp for a bit of cheap multi-table practice.

And it got off to a cracking start when RED-DOG (right) thankfully persuaded me to give the one-card turnover satellite a bash. I’ve never played one of these before, but it seemed like good fun, and it was even more fun when my Q-7 flopped a flush. Woo!

128 players sat down in all, all keen as mustard to get their grubby mitts on that 7.5k first prize. Among the rabble were a few familiar faces; Ade Bayo, Ian Woodley, Steve Bovis, Bob Clarke and Willie Tann – the latter seated on my starting table.

In fact, Willie Tann built his 6k stack up to 15-20k in ultra-fast time, seemingly winning every pot he entered. One in particular saw Willie limp and then flat call a Mateyboy raise. Willie checked a Qs-As-7s Flop, MB raised, and Willie re-raised. MB then dipped into the think-tank, before eventually being encouraged into re-re-raising by a gleaming Willie who commented, “You can’t have the flush if you’re betting that flop.”

And of course, it was Willie who’d flopped the flush with his 8s-6s and shoved in his chips quicker than a sheep in Robert HM’s garden, finally being payed off by a pot-committed MB who held Ac-Kc. Oops.

And after just under an hour, I had my botty spanked by the wily veteran when I raised to 350 pre-flop with 6h-8h. Willie (left) and the Big Blind called and the three of us saw a Th-7c-4h - a double belly buster flush draw, crikey!

With around 1.1k in the pot, Willie bet out 1.5k and I made it 4.5k, leaving just 800 behind. I didn’t think Willie would overbet with nothing, in fact I thought he’d made a set or two pair and was hoping I had the overpair. But even though I thought he was strong, I couldn’t see how I could pass with so many outs.

After Willie checked the Turn and River, I checked behind him just in case he was trapping with the mutt’s nuts. The Tannster turned over Qh-Jh for the second nuts and I was down to the felt and left to ruminate on RED-DOG’s advice - “what would Mickey Wernick do?” Answer? Not roll up a ciggy, but regain his composure, remind himself that he’s still alive and patiently wait for an opportunity to double up. And low and behold, a round or two later I was up to 3.500 after surviving an 8-8 v A-K and a A-K vs A-J confrontation. Wallawallabingbang!

And from this position I never really looked back, gradually adding to my stack with various hands and several good calls, eventually hitting around 25k. The blinds started to creep up though, and before long (including a few chips lost here and there), I was back down to 10-15k, unable to find a hand or an opportunity. But then, with the fellow to my right raising with 8-8, I made my move with A-K and hit an Ace first card to finish the day with 26k and, most importantly, a bag! “I’m always last to bag,” moaned Tom. These oldies are never happy, even with 59k!

Although Jen suffered a late exit with Ac-6c vs Td-Th on a raggy flop with two clubs, the rest of the car made it to Day 2 with Floppy grinding like a true grinder with a degree in grinding from Grind University in Grindsville, sneaking into the final session with 12k.

But alas, it wasn’t to be for the Flopster (right), as Day 2 failed to deliver him any big cards, finally forcing him to push in with the monster that is 6-5 suited. Sure enough, he was called by Pocket Sevens and flopped the rather dismal 8-4-4. Great, drawing to running sixes or running fives, and just to entertain the crowd, Turn = 7, River = 7. Zoiks! Even an Irishman sitting on a giant rabbit’s foot wouldn’t get out of that one!

Meanwhile, RED-DOG was running steady, keeping his head above water until he made an unfortunate error with A-8, raising without realising that MB had already stuck in a raise. Forced to re-raise, RED-DOG was relieved to be up against 7-7, but failed to hit, consequently dropping down to 30k. A few rounds later and Bob Carolgies was out, running K-Q (utg) into Steve Bovis’ A-Q.

As for me, ah you’ll see, slam your body down… sorry, oops, not sure why that song’s in my head. Anyhow, as for me, I doubled up and down in quick session, first eliminating MB with A-J vs K-8 when he tried to nick my big blind, before giving 30k of it back to an all-inner with A-K vs Q-Q. Win this one and I’m flying, but I just couldn’t find my Ace or King when I needed it.

From here on, I ducked and dived my way to the final table, eventually making the last 9 with 39k. And with 8 left, it was all over. Moving all-in uncontested with rags (including the Full Wilson) on more than one occasion, the Poker Gods proved that they work in mysterious ways by actually giving me a half decent hand for my swan song, but unfortunately my K-Q suited was no match for Bovis’ A-J on an A-x-x-Q-x board.

12 hours of poker behind me and I’ve earned a rather creepy £666 for 8th position, a figure in which I decided to modify by simultaneously handing over a $5 Gutshot chip at the cashier, thereby receiving a rather more pleasant and unthreatening £771.

Yippee, a final table, but the bottom line is that I felt good about my game and was brimming with confidence. If there’s one thing that I can’t stand, it’s thinking that I can’t play, but after this performance, I am confident that when I put my mind to it, I can be mix it with the best of them.

Next stop, £100 No Limit Hold’Em Freezeout. Bring it on. In fact, I only had an hour to wait, but I guess we’re all sick poker addicts at heart…


At 5:34 AM, Blogger Alex Martin said...

Nice snoop. Well done son.


Post a Comment

<< Home