ESCAPING THE DOGHOUSE
Last week, after pimping myself off to a few interested investors, I decided to take a pop at the penultimate GUKPT event and stump up the 1k buy-in. After a good performance at the Gutshot, I felt my game was in good nick and so fancied myself for a score here. Also, given that I can't afford to play the 3.5k Main Event, this was my last chance to give the Tour a crack before the inaugural season came to a close. The structure is excellent and it's a very affordable buy-in, so it would have been a shame if I hadn't graced it with my presence at least once this year.
I won't bore you with my own personal hand history of the event, but it may be worth retelling my double-up. Raising it up with A-T pre-flop, I was called in two places by Lam Trinh and Paul Dobson, only for all three of us to check a dangerous Q-9-x Flop. A King on the Turn, and after they both checked again, I thought it was worth a bet to try and steal the pot. Dobson folded, but Trinh was having none of it and called. I was expecting a tricky decision on the River, but the Jack that arrived kind of made life easier, and after Trinh had check-raised me, I re-checked my cards and pushed all-in.
At this point, Trinh dipped into the think tank for what seemed an age. The bloggers gathered round, Trinh fiddled with his chips, and I chanted "call, call, call" (not out loud, obviously). Clearly not at his first dance, Trinh even feigned a call at one point by sliding his chips across the felt and grinding to a halt just before the end. Some frown upon this and label it bad sportsmanship, but I don't mind it. Psychology is a big part of the game, and if you are foolish to reveal a tell in this situation, then you probably don't deserve to be called.
I don't know whether he saw something amiss, or just didn't see how I could bet an A-T on the Turn, but Trinh called in the end and looked understandably dejected when he saw my hand. The blogs all seem to have seen different cards in front of Trinh, but no one seems to have reported what he actually had... a pocket pair of tens.
This double up was all well and good, but as alluded to in the opening paragraph, the truly crucial moment was when I near ended my relationship with one Dana Immanuel. I'm very disapproving of softplay, so when Dana pushed all-in for 5.5k and blinds of 200/400 with 7-7, I didn't hesitate to call with my Pocket Queens. No Seven arrived and I was in big big trouble.
As she offered her hand in defeat, I felt a slight twist in what was a firmer than normal handshake, and it was then that I realsied I'd be sleeping in the bath tub for the rest of the week. All I can say is, thank God it was my birthday, it gave me a little leeway in that all I wanted as a present was forgiveness.
What really unnerved me was when she said, "I don't mind you knocking me out, as long as you win some money." Gulp. At this point I knew the smiles were only temporary, and that the pressure was now double what it was before. Cash and lose the dosh, or cash and lose a testicle. Crikey, it's a lose lose situation, but I'd rather hand out some money on a platter rather than a love sphere.
Perhaps this is what spurred me on, because although I struggled to find any hands or opportunities on Day 2, I did just about enough to make it into into the last 36 for what was a 3k payday. I finished Day 1 well above average, so was a tad disappointed to have not extended on that, but still, I would be returning for Day 3 nonetheless with a shot at the 120k first prize.
Day 3 arrived, and when the dust settled and the smoke cleared, I finished in 19th place. Out of circa 430 players, 19th is pretty commendable, and at least provided proof that I was capable of going deep in these comps. Unfortunately, I just couldn't find the vital double up when I needed it, otherwise I really think I was in with a shout. However, I didn't get Aces, Kings or Queens once in those final two days, and when very few flops are being seen, you need to find a hand at some point.
Anyhow, what it has done is make me hungry for more. I'm working the Dublin EPT, but when I return I'll be playing Waterford and pencilling in a few dates on the UK calender. I like the look of the 50k GJP event, and Season 2 of the GUKPT is sure to tempt me, so hopefully I'll make a big final table in the near future. I'd better escape that doghouse first though, I can see the door, but have yet to get through it.