Starting chips of 7500.
I drove down to Brighton feeling pretty confident after my amazing night online the night before. I decided on a change of tactics. Normally I play like a Rock for the first couple of hours and try and hit monsters but for this event I thought I for the first two levels I would get involved in alot of flops whilst the blinds were low. I managed to bluff a lot of hands and was never called down during the first level. Everyone on my table was playing tight and there was no-one on my table except locals I think. It was very quiet as we were upstairs and the only background noise was Paul Parker chatting on the other table. I purposely showed the table AK twice and QQ when raising pre flop to try and maintain a tight image for the hand that I bluffed. A check raise when I had TT on a J34 flop got someone to lay down JQ. I was moved halfway through the second level and decided to sit back for a bit as I had progressed my stack to a healthy 13000 chips. At the start of level three with the blinds at 100/200 I have 73 on the big blind and there are two callers plus the small blind. The flop comes 732 and the small blind bets 800 and I just call. The button raises it to 2500 and the small blind passes. I reraise another 4000 chips and the button thinks for a few minutes then shows 99 and passes. That was a nice pot to pick up. Level 4 and 5 I wasn’t really involved in many big hands and managed to get my stack up to 23000 chips and am above the chips average. My table is broken up again and I’m moved to the main table that is used for the final. Hopefully I won’t be moved again now. My cards went cold for ages but I managed to maintain my chip count with a couple of moves. By the time the blinds had reached 500/1000 we were down to three tables and my chip count was about 25000.
I find 66 on the big blind and all pass round to the small blind that went all in for 6000. I call and he flops over 6A. Perfect I think till the evil A is first card down on the flop. That hand really harmed my stack as 31000 would have kept me around the chip average but instead I am down 19000. Stole a few blinds to stop me being blinded away and was on 20000 chips by the time we were down to two tables and blinds were 1000/2000. I liked one hand I played just because of the reaction it caused at the table. I am on the button and under the gun calls the 2000 blind. I think for a minute and raise all in for 20000 chips. Small blind and big blind pass. UTG caller M Latiffe who is the chip leader goes into the think tank and eventually passes and shows AT and says you got me! I turn over 25. He goes mad and I just smile away happily. Other notable hands saw me lay down 77 when I raise to 4000 and someone goes over the top for another 10000. Soon it was 3.15am and I have 20000 chips with blinds of 1500/3000. I decide that I am not coming all the way back from London with such short chips for the second day so I raise all in on 3 of the last 4 hands and manage to steal the blinds with 2K, 27 and 33. So I ended the day with just over 30000 chips. Not great but we were down last 15 runners.
Brighton management decided to give us a full 45 minute clock with blinds of 1500/3000 so at least I had a few rounds that I could watch the action pass by if I got no cards.
I started off very well winning a small pot in a small blind v big blind when I milk 6000 chips when I hit a flush on the flop. Also a few of my pre flop raises are not contested so I get up to a reasonable stack of 45000 and a few players have hit the rails. Then this hand did me some damage. With blinds of 2000/4000 I find 88 one seat of the button. I raise to 12000 and the small blind goes all in for 40000. I eventually pass after figuring that this player must either have me in a very bad position with an overpair or AK. He had been playing quite tight as well. A few round go by and I am down to about 15000 chips and find KK and a someone raises pre flop and calls my all in. I double up v AT. We were down to 12 players now and I have about 30000 chips when my tournament effectively ended. I pick up 99 and under the gun raises to 10000. I think and move all in and everyone passes. UTG says “You may have me in bad shape but I’m calling.” He shows AT. Two people say they passed Aces so I figure I’m in very good shape. Flop 25T. No help on the turn or the river and I am down to a measly 2500. However I hit two miracle flushes on the river and get back to 20000. Maybe this could be my day. I pick up JQ suited in position and go all in again. Big blind calls and shows 44. I am out in 12th.
Overall I know I played well throughout the tournament. I rarely had good hands and most of pots I picked up through bluffing. Before the last few hands I only called twice all in and both times I had my opponents dominated. However, my frustration at these big events is growing. I have been in the money in 3 of the last four big events I have entered. Each time I have gambled on a really major hand for all my chips I have lost. My AQ v AJ affectively ended my chances in the EPT in London costing me over half my chips making my position impossible for the second day. I lost with AT v KJ to go out in 5th in the £300 freezeout during the Vic festival. This time I lost two coin flips 99 v AT and the losing to 44 when I had JQ. Its just so frustrating playing for so long and in the end feeling like it was a waste of time and effort.