I had been getting excited as this tournament came around as it’s the biggest by far that I have played in so far. I decided I was going to play my game and not too cautiously despite the entrance fee. I sold half my entry fee for this tournament so was hoping to make a few people happy with a good finish. I had “the camel” on my table but he is the only player I recognize. There are a few passive players but nobody particularly aggressive and a guy being photographed by Timeout. I’m feeling confident after my 5th placed finish on Thursday.
Starting chips were 10000 and I played extremely tight and saw very few playable hands up to the break which was at 7pm after I’d played for 4 hours. I had 12,500 chips at this point so I wasn’t short stacked but knew I had to move up a couple of gears. With blinds at 250/500 I find QQ under the gun. I raised to 2000 to play and the guy to my left re-raises me to 4000. He has raised quite a few times pre-flop and though I am slightly worried about an over pair I move all in for another 5500. After he goes into the think tank I know that I am winning. Though he takes so long I am certain he has AK. He eventually calls and I hit a Q on the flop. I have a sweat on the turn when he gets a flush draw but the last card is a blank to double me up. I didn’t get any decent cards for a few hours then and found myself short chipped when we were down to 5 tables. With only 14000 and blinds of 1000/2000 I moved all in with 77 and got extremely lucky. One of the pro players has AA behind me and I somehow manage to spike a 7 on the turn to get me up to 30000 chips. I then started to get some playable hands and reached 60000 when we got down to the final 4 tables. This is when the tournament turned for me with the blinds at 1500/3000 I find 99, TT, TT, 88. Each time though before I get chance to raise a massive raise comes in before me so all of them get laid down. Maybe I should have played one of these hands? The raise was usually 15000 or 20000 to play so I would be committing a lot of chips and these are marginal in my opinion when faced with big raises. So in the last hour after laying down these hands and getting re-raised all in when I did raise with A9 on the button by the big blind when I folded I find myself reaching day 2 with 34000.
With 34000 chips and the 19th biggest stack out of 21 I know that I need to double up pretty fast. The blinds are a massive 3000/6000 and running antes are 500. Still I am excited to have make the 2nd day of a European poker tour event. I had a restless night mainly replaying the last few hours when I should have maybe made some more moves and had allowed myself to lose half my stack. In my mind I decided that the first decent hand I had I was going to move all in. In retrospect (which is always easy) I should have passed this hand. First hand I find TJ suited and decide to lump all my chips in the middle. I know if I can pick up this hand I will be up to 50000 chips and be in a more comfortable position. Dave Colclough is to my left and is also short chipped. He thinks for 2 minutes and moves all in. The small blind also goes all in and now I know I am in deep trouble. Dave shows 88 and the small blind KK. Both make a set to send me and Dave out of the tournament. I guess I maybe shouldn’t have moved with TJ suited but I was big blind next hand and had no time to wait for a big hand. I gambled and lost. Overall I think I played very well. I look back and can only think of two mistakes I made throughout the tournament. On a general strategy note perhaps I played too tight at times and should have seen more flops.
Finishing on the bubble of the money is always nasty especially when 18th place paid £5000.