Thursday, August 30, 2007


With 90 minute clocks and 20k starting stacks, I’d been looking forward to the Gutshot Series of Poker for a few weeks and come the weekend, couldn’t wait to hit the felt.

At one point during the comp, I recall Ash Hussain commenting, “I like good comps, but this is too much of a grind. If it were a WPT, I’d grind all day, but not for this money.”

Yes it was a grind, but I enjoy playing live whatever’s at stake. For me, it was a challenge, a test of endurance and a battle to see who could maintain their focus for the longest, because one slip-up, and your whole stack, not to mention all those hours of hard graft, could go down the drain.

My starting table was tough. I noticed a poster on the wall reading, “GSOP: Just like WSOP, but just better value.” Being the cynical fellow I am, I asked myself, “Is it, is it actually ‘better value?’” I didn’t recognise too many on my table (Nik Persaud and Jon Hewston the only two), but there wasn’t one single player who couldn’t play. In fact, the whole 120 strong field was high on solid players – Sunny Chattha, Karl Mahrenholz, Praz Bansi, Jerome Bradpiece, Ade Bayo, James Akenhead – some really tricky customers, and even the non-familiar players knew what they were doing. This was probably one of the strongest fields I’d ever come across.

In this sense, I concluded that the GSOP wasn’t better value than WSOP at all. If anything, it was worse. Like its American counterpart, there’s no added money and a there’s a registration charge, but the World Series probably has a weaker field. What the poster should really say is, “GSOP: Just like WSOP, but just cheaper.”

Without boring you with hand details, I survived Day 1 pretty comfortably and was one of around 45 players returning for Part Deux. I was just above average with 52k, but never once rose above that figure during Day 2. I’d lose a hand, win a hand, lose a hand – basically yoyo between 52k and 22k.

This is where the grind came in; I think I must have grinded for 10 hours before finally departing at the hands of Hughey. With just 25k left and blinds at 1.2k and 2.4k with a running ante of 300, I pushed in over the top of his 6.5k pre-flop raise with T-9o. I had to make my move at some point so, considering I thought him to be weak, decided that T-9 was a worthy hand with very little chance of being dominated.

He mulled it over for a while, counted out his chips and tapped the table in a “Good move, you got me,” kind of gesture. However, perhaps eyeing up the gamble, he still called with Pocket Sixes. I Flopped a Nine, but a cruel Six hit the River and I was out in 16th, just outside the money. Boy, does this game tease!

I was admittedly devastated to have lost a coinflip after grinding patiently for 10 hours, but that’s poker, it just wasn’t my day. I was happy with the way I played though, believe I did the best with what I had. I received very few hands and hit little flops and didn’t receive Aces or Kings once over the course of the two days.

In my last 5 comps, I’ve been all in 5 times in total, and each time it has been my exit hand. So basically, I just can’t seem to win a showdown. The fewer showdowns you face, the less chance you have of being eliminated. The structure minimised this, so kudos to the Gutshot, but let’s just hope that I can start winning those few that I do face.


At 11:16 PM, Blogger M3boy's Poker Blog said...

Fewer showdowns, yes.

I too am the same m8. In late stages is the only time all my chips are on the line, and I am loosing those.

It is very frustrating to know that you are playing the best poker of your life and getting no reward for your efforts, especially tough in 2 day events.

Keep at it m8

At 9:29 AM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

Frustrating, yes, but no point in letting in get to you. Will just keep plugging away and trying to improve my game.


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