Monday, October 09, 2006


This blog entry may have arrived a few days after the last, but the actual time-gap between the two Events was little over an hour.

Delighted with my performance in the £200er, but equally disappointed at failing to make the big bucks, I decided to celebrate/commiserate with even more poker – and this time my poison was Event 2’s £100 No Limit Hold’Em Freezeout.

After just four hours kip the night before and a day of non-stop poker, this probably wasn’t the best of ideas, but I still felt confident about my game and thought it would be jolly good practice for consecutive stints in more lucrative festivals.

With a 30 minute clock and a 4k starting stack, there was enough leeway to wait for a strong hand. Analysing the standard of the opposition, I soon realised that this was a strategy that would pay-off sooner or later.

And pay-off it did, as I soon amassed a pretty decent stack of 8,000, remaining patient and playing any pots I entered aggressively.

Although I appeared to be playing well, I did require a hand from the Poker Gods. The button raised to 1.5k and I moved all-in (for an extra 6k) from the small blind with K-Qs. His bet and body language seemed pretty weak, perhaps a weak Ace at best, so I was confident he’d fold. But, alas, I was wrong, and, following a lengthy stint in the think tank, he looked me up (for virtually all his chips) with A-5. Stonking call I thought, but, whilst I was questioning my poker face, I soon learned that it was merely a case of ‘Nurse! Pills, please!’ as I watched him first call for half his stack with Pocket Sixes, and then, after he’d fluked that one, call a chunky pre-flop all-in with A-8. “Loose cannon,” as one of his victims remarked.

Anyhow, suck out I did, and with a King on the flop, I was up to a rather menacing 18k and confident of progressing deep into the comp. In approximately 15 hours of play I’d never required a suck out (excluding coin-flips of course), so I refused to feel even the slightest bit guilty.

But woe is me, it just wasn’t to be, as soon after I received a nasty combination of bad beat and full rubdown. With the blinds at 500/1,000, Mateyboy made it 4,000, the Maniac smooth-called, and I moved in for my 18k with Pocket Queens, no messing. Rather unnervingly, the original raiser called, only to sooth my anxiety temporarily by revealing Pocket Nines. An extra 11k for his tournament life – as Ed Giddons commented, it was a terrible call.

And, as so often happens in this game, the nine hit the flop and I received the full fireworks display, one which that seemed to last right up until the moment he finished me off with K-2 vs my J-8s. Not a pleasant experience, but I can take it, as a regular on the online cash tables, you have to be numb to both the table talk and the outdraws.

Although I’d already cashed that day, I was absolutely gutted to exit in what was a massive pot - probably the biggest pot of the tournament and one which would have given me a huge chip-lead with just 30-40 players remaining. I was dying to make an impact at the Gutshot, and a second Day 2 appearance would surely have achieved just that.

But dwelling on the nearlys gets you nowhere in this life, so, I lifted up my head, kicked my heels together and set off back home, ready to return the next day for Event 3, the £200 Pot Limit Omaha Freezeout.


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