Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Fresh (well, as fresh as you can be after hitting the sack at 8am) off my final table finish at the Broadway, I headed into Monday’s opening Event of the Midland Masters with a newfound confidence, but simultaneously aware that the £100 rebuy wasn’t really my cup of tea.

I’d given myself a maximum expenditure of £300, including the top-up (which I’m delighted to report I was disciplined enough to resist), but secretly I knew that this wasn’t really enough, especially with the likes of Marc Goodwin and Dave Smith on my table. However, this week is about having fun and improving my game, anything else is just a bonus, so hopefully I could get an early double up and enjoy a decent stint in the comp.

Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Although I managed to increase my 2k starting stack to 3.2k, that soon went south when I was Dave Smithed. Marc raised to 300, Dave flatcalled, and I made it 1,500 with Pocket Tens. Marc called all-in and Dave smooth called again. J-J-x Flop, Dave checked, I bet my remaining 1,400 and Dave called, like lightening, with J-9s. Chips! 3k gone and £100 down the swanny, ah well. I think I made a mistake here though. I was happy to play the hand heads up against Marc, and considering Dave likes to gamble, I probably should have just moved all-in to force him to fold (even 2.9k pre-flop for Dave would have been too much).

If I’d won that hand I would have been on around 8k and looking good, but as it was, I was back down to 2k and never rose above that. I took another buy-in when I ran 8-7s into T-T on an 8 high flop and then just petered out miserably before finally running 6-7s into A-K, no help. A bit of a dismal performance overall and somewhat of a comedown from the night before.

But, as I said, this comp really isn’t for me as I like to have at least 3 or 4 buy-ins behind me, but I’m not willing to spend 4-500 squid on a comp with such a restrictive structure. As a result, I couldn’t play as freely as I would have liked and was reliant on doubling up early, an early Christmas gift that failed to arrive.

I’ve noticed that due to his golf escapades with Phil Ivey and his recent appearance on High Stakes Poker, that Marc ‘MrCool’ Goodwin has become somewhat of a celebrity of late. People are always keen to talk to him and he was constantly the main attraction on our table. Speaking of Marc, I don’t belive he thinks much of my game. With the blinds at 25/50, he raised to 200 from late position and I called from the Big Blind with 6-4o, intending to outplay him come the Flop. I checked the 9-6-2 Flop, he bet 100 (due to being called up for a string bet) and I moved all-in for around 2k. I didn’t think he had much and would probably fold most hands to someone like me. Anyhow, he did fold and said he had a pair bigger than some of the cards on the Flop, so I’m guessing he had Sevens or Eights. Interestingly, as I scooped the pot, he also added, “Yeah, you go ahead and flat call with your Pocket Nines, good luck to you.” Boy, he must think I’m the rock of Gibraltar, if I’d have had Nines then I would have shoved it in pre-flop faster than a sheep in Robert HM’s garden, and also, why would I re-raise all-in with a set of Nines knowing that he thinks I’m a nuts only player? Ah well, he’d only just got off the plane from Singapore (literally a few hours ago) and had yet to sleep, so I’ll forgive him the sarcastic ‘good luck’ comment. Also, he’s a top fella who is always smiling, which makes Marc a very hard man to dislike. He’s also very honest. His reply to my “Why did you go on High Stakes Poker?” question brought a rye smile to my face when he answered, “Because I have a big ego.” Fair dos to the man!

Whilst I embrace the presence of a fellow 10% swapper, the drawback of festivalling (have I invented a new verb there?) with a mate is that if you exit the comp before nightfall (which is what I embarrassingly did), you have the rather discomforting prospect of hanging around, twiddling your thumbs and listening to endless bad beat stories. And as someone who was resisting the live cash games, the roulette wheel and the bright lights of the bar, this was a painful few hours. I must have read Poker Europa about 10 times and have now become fluent in 5 different languages as a result. I also encounted the horror of looking at tikay’s mug every time I picked up a magazine, boy, the ol’ fella gets about! I got so bored at one point that I even recall trying to bite off a couple of short chin hairs that I had missed from shaving. Crikey, that was a frustrating mission, but at least it gave me something to do while I watched the wheel of death spin around and around and around and around and around…

Eventually, I finally cracked and played a £50 STT for the £500 Freezeout on Thursday, which, to my delight, ended up being a smart decision as I took away 250 spondoolies after splitting it down the middle with an alluring Iranian woman. So, £115 down for the night rather than £310 and suddenly life’s not so shite anymore.

Also, it was jolly good fun and the banter was right up there, mainly due to Ian Woodley who I always love to have at my table – predominantly because he is a fish, but also because he’s a good laugh.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Ian (left) became the UK’s first ever televised million pound winner when he won a quiz show on TFI Friday. And if the million squid wasn’t enough, he’s also in the Guinness Book of Records right next to tikay, who is in fact the oldest living man on Earth. Thankfully, neither has their mug pictured.

It was around this point that Stu hobbled (he’s on a crutch due to football injury – I jokingly call him Con Cronin the younger) around the corner reporting of his demise in the comp, totally card dead before running Jacks into Greek Jack’s Aces. That’s three Jacks, surely! Anyhow, that was the signal to exit stage left and we briskly left the arena, pockets lightened, but just £225 down between us.

My journey home always feels a lot swifter than the one there, and I always wonder if this is because I am thinking about my exit from the comp, various hands I played, and whether I made the correct decisions throughout the night. I remember asking RED-DOG once if he felt a bad beat made his journey home quicker or slower, and he amusingly replied, “Faster, because I go at 150 miles per hour after a bad beat.”

Stu and I were discussing hands so much that after reaching the end of the roadworks on the M6, we forgot to pick up the speed again, and I’m sure we did a 10-minute stretch plodding along at 40 miles per hour before we realised that milk floats and three wheelers were overtaking us.

A game of backgammon, which I lost… again, and a few hours of blonde work later and it was time to hit the sack. Down, but not out and ready to ambush the following day’s £200 Freezeout, a comp which I think I have a good chance of winning.

The updated line-up of snoopy’s week of fun is as follows (incredibly, I’m still in profit!):

Sunday - £20 NLH R/B @ Broadway (7th +£161.60) = +£161.60
Monday - £100 NLH R/B @ Walsall (-£310) = -£148,40
Monday - £50 STT SAT @ Walsall (+195) = +46.60

Tuesday - £25 NLH R/B S-SAT @ Walsall (£125)
Tuesday - £200 NLH F/O @ Walsall (£200)
Wednesday - £300 NLH D-C F/O @ Walsall (£300)
Thursday - £500 NLH F/O @ Walsall (£500)
Friday - £250 NLH S/O @ Walsall (£250)

Friday - £20 NLH R/B @ Broadway (£120)


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