Monday, March 07, 2005

Qualifier to EPT final in Monte Carlo

I decided to have a go at Betfair's € 500 satellite last night to try and win one of the two € 14000 packages to Monte Carlo.

Starting chips were 2000 with a decent clock and 39 players with two seats available the value was pretty good.

Made a terrible start when the blinds were 10/20 holding KK on the button I raised it to 100 to play after a couple of early callers. Both limpers and the blinds called and it flopped 23Q. It checked to the last limper who made it 300 to play. I reraised it to 900 to play and then the small blind woke up and went all in for 1350. Limper passes and I smell a set but can't pass for just 450 more and he had 22 which held up. My current bogey hand KK loses yet again.

So after level one I hit a low point of about 375 and was sitting nicely at the bottom of the chip count I could see in the tournament lobby. I then found 9T in the small blind and made up the blind after a few limpers. Flop 964 with 2 diamonds. No choice here with my low stack but to push, so I go all in. Get a quick caller and he shows JdKd for overcards and a flush draw. I dodged a fair few bullets there. So I was back up to just over 1000 chips which wasn't terrible considering the blinds were still 25/50. I then managed to steal some blinds and pick up a few decent cards and get up to around 1700 chips when I pick up KK again. I made it 200 to play and pick up one caller. Flop KTT. Managed to squeeze another 500 chips out of my opponent and soon I am in a reasonable position with 3000 chips.

We were down to two tables by now and average chips were about 4000 so I wasn't in bad shape. I won a few more very small pots to put me chip count at 4000 and with the blinds at 100/200 I limped on the button with TQ and 4 players saw the flop. Flop TTK. I checked hoping it will disguise my T. Definitely a risky play but it worked out this time when a Q came on the turn to give me a house and I raised 600 and a foe reraise me all in. I called instantly and he had Q6 and was drawing dead.

That was the double up I had been seeking since we started and I was up to 9000 chips which was about the 5th most chips of the 18 players that were remaining. I then went on a rush of picking up the blinds and bullying the shorter stacks and by the time we were down to the final table I had the second most chips with 15000. On a side note I was chatting away to a regular Betfair player Ariston and he was chip leader for much of the tournament. We were on the same table all night and I told him that he would double me up at some point. He replied, "He would but only when we were down to the final two."

I did pick up AA when the blinds were at 200/400 and raised under the gun to make it 1000 to play. Two callers... It flopped K23 and I was pleased when both players passed to my 2500 bet. I can't ever remember getting any monsters but with the blinds at 400/800 and 600/1200 and running antes just picking up the pot without any callers was very worthwhile. At one point I won 5 pots on the trot raising each one and when we got down to 5 players I was a clear chip leader with 30000 chips. I then lost a few pots to Ariston who clearly got sick of me stealing his big blind and flopped the nut flush v my top pair. I raised 3000 on the turn and he reraised me to 6000. I smelt a rat and passed.

Soon we were down to four players and we must have been playing four handed for quite a while. Eventually the blinds reached 1200/2400 with running antes of 250 and with just 78000 chips in play it became more down to luck and timing than anything else. Three of us were on about 23000 and the short stack was on 9000. The short stack eventually lost to TT when making a move on the blinds and we were down to three. I had feared that i would finish third all along and with the blinds so large it was now anyone's game. Then the final hand of the tournament soon happened. I was sitting with a 29000 chips, Ariston with 35000 and the other player with 14000. I found A2 in the big blind and predictably the short stacked small blind made a raise to 6000 to play. I decided to make a stand as I also knew that even if I lost this hand I was still in with a chance so I reraised him all in. He thought for a while so I knew my A was probably winning. He called the rest of his chips and showed JK. Now it was time for a sweat. The sweat got even worse when it flopped TQ7. I now had to dodge a 9JK or an A. Yikes. Turn was a blank..... I stood up from my chair. River.... another blank. I scream YES. I think most of my neighbours must have heard me. Ariston held true to his word that he would double me up when we already both had won our seat and my A9 beat his QK.

I can rarely remember being as ecstatic as I felt for a few minutes after that. Managing to come back from such a bad start and my chips were never all in the middle with the worst hand in the whole tournament. So a week tomorrow I shall be making my way to Monte Carlo for a tournament where the buy in is greater than the WSOP. Just bring it on………….


Anonymous said...


I was watching most of the final table and you played some good poker.

Good luck in Monte Carlo.


Big Dave D said...

N1 mate go get the money!



redsimon said...

Nice work Ben. Good luck out there!

Anonymous said...

Excellent news man, was fantastic to read that!!!

I assume if you win the thing then u will hop foot over here for some sun!!!

Oh and want me to set ya up wiv J for some entertainment while ur there? :)

best of luck,


Anonymous said...

awesome result. great report. the only tournament in europe worth playing: a monster warm up for the WSOP.

Milkybarkid said...

Cheers everyone.

I never imagined i would be playing in a tournament this big so soon.

Still i have got nothing to lose so am just going to go for it.

May try and not give away a big stack if i get one so easily this time :-)

Milkybarkid said...


Good to hear from you....

Hope the travelling is going well and i would deffo join you if i scrape into the money.

bazza12 said...

Well done Benny.

Anonymous said...

Well done mate, you played really well and managed to steal my blinds at the right time when I didn't mind as I had a healthy lead. I did lay down alot of mediocre hands (AQs etc) when we were 4 handed because I didn't want to fall into the pack. Did you not think it was strange that with 18 players left I told everyone else they were playing for one seat and you happened to be the first player who asked if they could come with me? lol.Did you trade 5% with heaven by the way? See you out there next week mate, my helicopter arrives at 5 ;0)

Milkybarkid said...

Hi Ariston

For some reason i had a feeling it would have be me and you that would qualify especially when we both made the final table.

Nope i only traded 5% with you....

See you there unless you are on the same Helicopter as me?