After looking forward to the GSOP (Gut Shot Series of Poker) Main Event all week, I am more than disappointed to report that I failed to last more than two levels.
As Mr Barry Martin correctly announced at the start of the tournament, “Where else in Europe can you find a four day event with 10,000 starting chips and a 2 hour clock for just £300?” Well, I don’t have an answer and therefore can only applaud Gutshot’s realisation that these more affordable freezeouts are what the majority has been crying out for.
Unfortunately for me, this 4 Day Event transpired into a rather brisk 1 Day affair.
With tikay, RED-DOG, Wardonkey, Yoyo, Chili, Djinn, AlrightJack and my good self present, Team blonde was in full force and raring to take the Gutshot by storm. But alas, by the first break, the news was sour, with none of our mob anywhere near the chip lead.
On a personal note, I was embarrassed to confess to being on a paltry 2k, quite a demise from the generous 10,000 starting chips. However, for once, I can’t focus my blame on my supposedly lucky chip, instead being left to rue the poor decisions I made at the felt.
It really was one of those nights, I rarely made anything, and when I did, I seemed to run into a neverending line of monsters. I did hit one flop, however…
I limped with 5-4 and checked a flop of 5s-5d-Tc, certain that one of the many limpers would bet a Ten. Mateyboy duly obliged and the blinds folded. I also check called the Ace of diamonds turn, confident that it was a safe card. The Eight of diamonds fell on the River, and I opted for a bet of 500 into a pot of around 1,300, somewhat of a stop-bet in case he’d runner-runnered a flush. Also, assuming that he’d check the Ten, I felt this was a bet that he would be obliged to call.
After huffing and panting, he made the call. I confidently showed my trips, but was disappointed to see that he had hit the flush with Jd-Td. I was curious to why he’d given it such a dwell-up with a flush, but simultaneously happy that I’d made a good read on the Flop and Turn. True, perhaps I played this hand unnecessarily slowly, but I think I was unlucky to lose out to a runner-runner flush when my read had previously been so accurate.
Anyhow, the real blow came when I was dealt Pocket Kings. Now if you want to know how to play Cowboys poorly, then listen up, as I am about to give you a masterclass in bad poker.
There was a raise and a reraise preflop. I called from the small blind and the initial raiser folded, just as I had hoped. We both checked a 2-3-T flop before Mateyboy bet 2k on the 6 Turn. I called and then flatcalled another 2.5k on the 4 river. He turned over Pocket Fives for the straight and took the pot, leaving me with just 2k.
Admittedly, I played this terribly, possibly the worst hand I have played in a long time, and yet I’m still not sure what the hell I was doing. My guess is that I’ve been playing too much cash recently, perhaps not quite realising that once my chips have gone, I can’t just refill back up, thereby making overly cute play a very risky strategy indeed.
When I play online, I try to put people on a small number of hands, once I narrow them down to a specific holding, I play accordingly. Mostly I am correct and win the pot (or avoid losing a big one), but sometimes I am completely wrong. When I am mistaken, I simply refill back up and carry on. Luckily, as I am right more often than I am wrong, I tend to make a decent overall profit.
Due to the cut-throat nature of multitable play, this does not work in tournaments. If I am wrong, that’s it, game over – no refill, no second chance, no nothing. In the hand above, I was convinced that he had Queens or Jacks and was sure that he’d fire on the Turn and River. I decided that as long as a Jack or Queen didn’t fall, I’d simply smooth call, thereby feigning weakness.
Ultimately, this was a stupid move and quite rightly resulted in a subsequent outdraw – one that I totally deserved for my bad play. However, it’s all part of the learning curve and lightening won’t be striking twice again.
What my short stint at the Gutshot does remind me of, however, is that my live performances are nothing more than woeful. Whilst I seem to be profiting more online, my live game seems to have gone down the kazi. I can’t remember the last time I had a decent cash.
I’m not disheartened though, it took me a while to find my footing in ring games, so I expect the same applies to tournament poker. I shall continue to experiment until I find my niche and, when I do, I’m sure the wins will start piling up.
But enough about me – we may still be on Day 2, but I feel obliged to put my hands together in appreciation for the Gutshot’s efforts this week. Sound dealing, top notch facilities, a friendly atmosphere and, of course, one of the best tournaments I have ever come across – apart from a longer stay, I couldn’t have asked for much more.
For now though, I guess it’s back to the lappie and the glory-lacking grind of online play. A bit of a depressing blog today, so I’ll do my utmost to make sure I’m in more jovial spirits next time I put pen to paper.
Perhaps my next entry will be reporting a live win, I can only hope so…