With 140 runner and starting chips of 10000 with a 45 minute clock this was clearly going to be a long tournament. Noticeable players as i took my seat on my table were Joe Grech and Roy Brindley. In my very first hand I found QQ. From the big blind I made it 500 to play and was immediately raised by the first limper to 2000. After a long dwell I called. It flopped 445 and i checked and he moved all in. I pass as i think he must have AA or KK. I then played aggressively for a while and managed to get back up to 11000 after dipping to 7000 at one point. Once again i found QQ and raised to 500 to play and picked up one caller. Flop 79T and i check raised 2000. Opponent calls and the next card comes a K. He only has 3000 left so i put him all in. Damn he shows QK and has hit one of his 7 outs. I was back down to 6000 and steaming a bit so called a small raise on the button with 35. Flop A45 and everyone checks. Next card comes a 9 and i call a raise of 600 chips. Last card a 3 to give me 2 pair and Roy Brindley raises 800. I raise to 3000 and he calls and I took the pot with 2 pair and am back up to over 10000 chips.
Soon after i am moved and despite not really seeing any major hands i had managed to double my chips to 20000 by picking up a number of small pots. Early on in these tournaments i play alot of hands because i think the implied odds are great at the early levels. If i don't hit a big part of the flop i can let them go. Before i knew it we were at the final level of Day 1 and the ante's were 1000/2000 and still had a stack of 20000. I decide to make a few moves determined not to return for the second day with low chips. I made a big bluff on a K24 flop holding JQ and got called by the eventual winner. I got lucky as he had correctly read my bluff but he just had A high and i hit a Q on the turn to take me to 30000. Again I went card dead and was down to 20000 when I found 89 suited and decided to try and steal the blinds by raising to 7000 to play. Rob Stevens called from the big blind and it flopped 256. He bet 13000 that would put me all in. I figure that he may have hit part of the flop but I figure a 7, 8 or 9 will be good for me to win and I don't want to return for day 2 with just 13000 chips. I call and he turns over A4 and I rivered a 7 to give me the nuts. I was up to 36000 and raised under the gun on the very next hand with QQ and the button moved all in for 28000. I call and he turns over AJ and I win a nice pot and end day one with a decent 67000 chips.
With 4 tables and 32 players returning we had to lose 14 players before we hit the prize money. I didn't see many hands early and was around the 60000 chip mark when after a couple of early limpers I found K3 of diamonds. Normally it would be a quick pass but because I was on the button I decided to call and it flopped K24. Not great but I've hit top pair. Both the blinds check, the limper checks and so do I. I figure I'm winning but want to see what happens on the turn. The turn is a J and the initial limper raises 6000 into a pot of 8000. I call and the blinds pass. Last card a magical 3 to give me two pair. He checks and I bet 20000 which would put him all in. He thinks for a few minutes and calls. I declare two pair and turn over my cards. He looks very pissed off and mucks his cards. He was still moaning on Friday about me calling with K3 before the flop. He told me he had 99 in the pocket. I was up to a high point of 87000 chips.
Then the hand that effectively ended my chances in the tournament happened. I found AK suited under the gun and raised to 12000 to play. The small blind after dwelling for a bit came back over the top for another 30000. He really didn't look comfortable when he realised that I wasn't going to muck straight away. I figured he either had a middle pair or I had him dominated if he held AQ or AJ. The problem was that he still had 20000 chips left in front of him. I could pass and I'd still have 75000 chips or put him all in and either have 152000 chips and I'd be chip leader or be left with 25000. In the past I would have mucked but decided if I wanted to win the tournament I had to gamble on this hand. I put him all in and he showed 88. First card on the flop was an 8 and I was down to 25000. I exited a few hands later in 20th when I called a raise pre flop that had me covered with JJ and my foe had AA.
Looking back I could easily have mucked my AK. I should probably have waited for a better opportunity to risk most of my chips than a coin flip. I don't really regret my decision to play as I correctly read that he wasn't very strong and I know if I'd won that hand I would have been practically assured of a top 5 finish.
On a side note I met Tony Kendall who writes the reports for the UK tournaments. He was a very nice bloke. Also my first experience of Luton was walking in on a fight when I went over the road to the garage to buy some batteries.
I won't write a report for the £250 Hold em Pot Limit Rebuys that I played on the Friday. I was doing pretty well on 22000 chips when I hit a flush on the turn only to walk into the Camel who had the nut flush. I think it set him on his way to a good finish........