It all started so well. I was placed on a table with 6 American Online qualifiers 3 of which had never played live. The only decent one was to my left and I think he went on to win it........
Starting chips were 10000 and I picked up a number of pots early on with some well timed bluffs as I was hardly seeing a hand. I think because they traveled so far to play they were very reluctant to call and sort of raise on the early levels. I was up to 20000 chips and called a raise from the only French player at the table who had slightly less chips than me with 88. I flopped a full house on a board of 8TT. I decided to lead out aggressively as I knew he would be less inclined to believe I had a made hand. I raised 1500 and he reraise me 3000.. :-) The tactic had worked. Turn brings a 4 and he bets 3500. I call after a short dwell and the last card is a 2. He bet 3500 again and I moved all in. He though for about two minutes and called and flipped over 44. What a nice turn that made him his losing full house. I was up to 40000 chips which at that early stage can't have been too far short of the chip lead. Then I had a terrible level when I lost with QQ twice and JJ twice... which set me back to about 30000 chips.
A young Scandinavian player then moved to the table and started raising alot of pots and he had about 27000 chips in front of him. After a few battles between me and him I limped under the gun. Blinds were 200/400. I am not going to say what hand I had as I want anyone who reads this to decide whether I played this hand badly or whether he did. I had not limped before this hand under the gun all night before this hand. He limped as well and the small blind passed leaving three of us in the pot. Flop KJ4 with two diamonds on the board. It’s checked to him and he bets 1000. I check raised him another 2500 and he then reraised me another 4000. I called immediately. There were now about 15000 chips in the middle. Turn is a T and I moved all in for nearly 20000 chips...... he thought for about 2 minutes before calling and flipping over KT for two pairs which held up on the river leaving me crippled and I was out about 5 minutes later. Considering my limp and check raise on the flop I could easily have held KK, JJ, KJ all of which would have him drawing dead.... but maybe I read too much into these things. I definitely wouldn't have called a reraise on the flop with top pair T kicker. I also know had the turn brought anything but a T or a K that he had decided to muck his hand if I moved all in (he told me that later). Incidentally he was 5th chip leader going into the second day and he was out after about an hour.
Time for a moan
My tournament form is seriously out at the moment. In the last 5 live tournaments I have played I have not once had AA or KK once which accumulating the hours played is probably 25-30 hours. I know that getting those hands is not the making of a tournament but it would help sometimes. In Deauville I had QQ no less than 6 times. I didn't win with them once. My favorite moment which sums up my form at the moment was during the 1000 Euro tournament. I had built my chips up from 5000 to just over 12000 chips and I was against a player with about 5000 chips. I had QQ in the big blind and reraised him all in after his initial raise. He flips over AK and hits an A on the flop. Fair enough it was a coin flip so no bad beat there. Very next hand I pick up AK suited. It’s folded round to me in the small blind and I raise a small amount and the big blind moves in for 7000 chips. I call and he shows QQ. First card out on the flop a Q and I am out. AK is another of my big moans at the moment. In France and Luton I have not once hit a single A or K when I have committed any chips with it preflop.
Place and People
The tournament was very well run and there was a giant cinema screen so you could see how many players were left, the prize pool, blinds and any other useful information whilst you were involved in a tournament. I finally met fellow blogger Mike Lacey who had a very good result in the main event. I'm sure he will write a full report on his blog soon. I think the people that travel around and play on the tournament circuit are far nicer than those you meet in the card rooms in the UK. Deauville is a nice venue for a poker tournament as well. It’s kind of like the Cannes of the north with lots of designer shops and nice restaurants. I think the EPT will grow and grow and before long the main events will be attracting 300-500 runners.
Oh and before I forget. French poker players are miserable gits.
Highlight of the week
After finishing 3rd in 3 250 Euro Sit n Go's I played in a 30 Euro Hi Low Stud Sit n Go with Julian Thew, Bad Girl, Steve Vladar and Mike Lacey and after studying High Low Split Poker for Advanced Players by Ray Zee on the way over I can say that I decimated the field and picked up a whopping 270 Euros for my troubles. lol. It was great fun and I am definitely going to be able to utilise my new found knowledge in that game when I play in the Dealers Choice at the Vic.
Talking of the Vic. I am going to have to play a few cash games before the end of February if I am going to turn around my figures for February which are not looking great at the moment. Online and Live are +$$$ but bad tournaments in Luton and Deauville mean that I am looking at a slightly negative month as things stand.