After a few drinks with Richard Gryko I turned up for the main event hoping to put in a good performance. Starting chips were 8000 and the clock was 45 minutes. I’m not sure if it was the drinking but I started off very aggressively and was up to 11000 chips very quickly after tangling with Jac Arama. Jac then got his own back on me when he called a decent sized raise in Level 2 with 48 suited and hit trip 8’s against my AQ. By the time Level 3 had arrived I had around 10000 chips. I enjoyed the following hand. Early position raised to 800 and there were two callers before it got to me. I decided this was a good opportunity to pick up the pot with a complete bluff so I raised to 4000 with KT. They all passed…..
Soon the table broke and I was moved upstairs and lingered around the 15000 mark for the next few levels. I lost a few thousand chips when I called a bet on the flop and turn with a flush draw and a Gutshot and missed… then I had AA and KK but didn’t make anything but the blinds. I had 14000 chips when I raised to 1200 to play in early position with JJ. The button called and it I flopped quad Jacks on a JJ5 flop. I checked and the button checked. Next card a T and I bet 1000 and he called. Last card a rag and I bet 3700 hoping that he would put me on a bluff and call if he had something. He moved all in and I had him covered. He had TT so had made a full house on the turn. That put me up to 22000 chips and the Jacks that had been so good to me then turned on me as I lost reasonable pots twice with them. Once calling a reasonable raise and losing a race v AK and the second time I layed them down on a K high flop. I lost a few more pots when I passed medium pairs to reraises and was down to 12000 chips when I picked up QQ and got doubled up by an opponent holding AQ.
The blinds were now 500/1000 and we were down to 3 tables. I was about average in chips with 30000. There were a few very aggressive players at the table including Jimmy Alp. In one amazing hand he called a raise to 3000 from the big blind with 23 suited. It flopped 267 and Jimmy then called a bet of 5000. Turn a 2 and Jimmy got doubled up by an opponent with AA. Management decided to play down to 20 as it was getting late and by the time the blinds reached 1000/2000 I had been treading water for a while. Most pre flop raises were now winning the pot. I picked up a decent pot when I reraised what I thought was a button blind steal with AsTs and the button called. It flopped K34 and I figured that if I bet large if he doesn’t have a K he would pass so I bet 10000. He passed after a dwell… phew.
The last hand of day 1 soon happened which involved me. Jimmy raised to 7000 with the blinds at 1500/3000 and I looked down at AK. I knew that he could literally have anything so I pushed my stack of 30000 into the middle. The small blind then thought for eternity before eventually going all in for 15000. Jimmy passed. Whilst the blind was thinking of calling I put him on TT, JJ or QQ. So I was delighted when he turned over QK and missed his Q and I finished the Day 5th in chips with 51000.
It was nice to return for Day 2 without being short stacked for a change. Hopefully it meant I could play my real game and not a short stacked strategy. Soon I was back amongst the pack when I lost with JJ v AK against a short stack which put me back down to 35000 which was about average. I then raised something like four out of seven hands preflop without a caller which put me up to 60000 ish again. The small stacks were gradually getting knocked out and the two chip leaders also had been knocked out. The blinds had gone up to a massive 3000/6000 which meant the average stack had only 10 big blinds. It became a game of timing and hoping that if you did raise that nobody found a monster behind you.
I then got lucky when I picked up A4 in late position and raised to 11000 to play and the button went all in for 23000. I didn’t like it at all but the pot odds meant I had to call. He had JJ. No help on the flop but an A on the turn and I was now chip leader with about 120000. Fellow blogger Rob Sherwood was then unfortunate to go out on the bubble and we were down to the final table.
I was slightly concerned entering the final table that the blinds were about to go up to 4500/9000 which meant that even though I had the chip lead I only had 12 big blinds. On with the game…. We played 9 handed for about 30 minutes before two players were taken out by Mick Cook’s rockets and I had kept my chips at around the 100000 mark. With blinds at 4500/9000 I raised Jimmy Alp’s big blind from the small blind to 24000 with 55. Flop 88A with two clubs. I then bet out 25000 hoping he hadn’t seen a favourable flop. He called…. Hmmmm I now have him on a flush draw. Turn bring the flush and I now know I can’t be winning. He has to have either an A, 8 or a flush… so I pass to his small bet and am down to 50000. Jimmy then took out the 5th place player when he called an all in bet with bottom pair and the flush draw and made his flush. I then got very lucky and doubled up when I called my last 50000 from the big blind with TQ and Mick had JQ and I rivered a straight. I then had 66 in the big blind and called and all in raise from the short stacked player who held TK and I hit a set and we were down to three. We then swapped percentages in each other so I was guaranteed at least £10000. I decided to take Jimmy on with 5s6s and it flopped 36K. He bet out as I expected but I figured as he plays so loose he was highly likely to be bluffing but on this occasion he held AK and it stood up for me to finish 3rd.
I feel i played my A game throughout the tournament. I felt much more on the ball than i had done for the Vic main event a week earlier. The only time I was all in with the worst hand and survived was when we were down to 4 players and I got lucky with TQ v JQ. Mick was a deserved winner and was definitely the most dangerous opponent at the final table.
I think I will head up to Luton to play in the £150 Pot Limit Holdem Rebuys tonight. I’ve even been to the gym already today. I love not having to go to work on a Monday morning……