Monday, 27 April 2009

Training FTW

Intended to play a GUKPT satellite last night but events conspired to prevent this happening when a simple trip into Stafford to pick my son up from the station resulted in me hanging around for hours waiting for him.

His journey back from his mother's in Warwick was delayed as a result of the discovery, in Birmingham, of a guy tied up in a car surrounded by canisters of unknown stuff which were assumed to be a bomb. As this was near the main railway line, all trains were being rerouted through the Midlands and his train was being shuffled around various back tracks in the Midlands - at one point I think his train ended up near Northampton.

Would have been easier and quicker to have told him to get off (somewhere!) and go and pick him up. Ah well, never mind. And nothing to look forward to poker-wise next weekend either, ho hum. Would LOVE to be at Dusk Till Dawn for their £300 comp with a £60k guarantee, but sadly I have allowed myself to be talked into attending (and I cant believe I'm saying this) an amateur production of South Pacific, which my girlfriend's best friend is appearing in. Deep joy.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Calling Station

Bumped into a respected local player at Walsall last night when we both played the live satellite for GUKPT Manchester - only a £30 rebuy. At the break we had our customary chat and I asked if he was busy at work – no, he said, his construction business had gone bust and he had to lay off 600+ people. Oops. He was quite philosophical about it, and his spirits seemed quite up. Well, they were up until he clashed with the famous Dave Smith on a QQx board – Dave had Q8, he had Q10, all went in on the turn which sadly for him was the 8.

I felt I played very well and was chip leader with 4 left; but only one seat was available and £590 for second, so not a huge field. At one point with about 7 players left I made a hero call having raised with AQ UTG only for a young guy to reraise all in from the button. Well, I say young, he was early 30s maybe, but a hoodie type with a manbag, who played like he thought he was a pro, which he may well be as I think I've seen him on the tour. But I had been watching him and he was always betting big in position, never getting called down, so I dwelled for an age and made the call, telling him if he had it good luck, but it looked like he didn’t want any action. He flipped 6 9, both spades, saying he thought I could have laid my hand down, faced with a reraise. I would have done, to a less blatant steal, but didn’t say so. First card out was a 6 of course, but next one was my Ace, phew. A nice double through and he was walking a few hands later.

Much later it all went horribly wrong when we were four-handed – a "cool guy" with sunglasses who has been playing like a maniac is in the BB, I’m on the SB with As2s, cutoff folds, I raise, BB calls. Flop 952, I check, he bets, I look at him, look at the flop, reckon he’s missed completely (he was a K 7 kinda guy, had played that sort of shite aggressively all night, and his stack had been up and down, with big swings) so I push all in, looking grateful for the action. He insta calls with 98, dammit, with no thoughts about overpairs, sets, or better kickers. So I’m down to about 16k with blinds at 2000/4000.

Cant play the next two hands and then have to sacrifice my BB, 3 4 off suit facing an all in from the button, then I’m up against the moron again in a SB/BB confrontation and get KK, push, he calls saying he has “an ace” and proceeds to hit it on the flop. So I imagine he’ll be at Manchester – the other two weren’t at the races, probably chopped the 2nd prize money, and he was now seriously chipped up.

Had the pleasure of playing with the be-hatted Dave Smith on my left at the final table, and he went out in 5th spot. Never played with him before, and found him to be a very nice fella, but he was also talking about his ill health and said the prospects dont seem to good. After all his GUKPT success, life seems to have turned around and kicked him in the teeth, and he said he didn’t play much during the second half of last year as a result. Here's hoping he has a turnaround in fortune and things work out well for him.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Another GUKPT League Match

Tonight was another online GUKPT National League match - a £25 freezeout on this occasion, hosted on Bluesquare. I dont play enough of these to figure in the league standings at the end of the series, but it can be fertile ground for some cash and tonight proved to be so, with another heads up battle leaving me runner up, having lost the chip lead on the second last hand. No idea who I was playing - b2988813 doesnt give me any clues - but on the penultimate hand I pushed with KdJd - as you would, probably, only to run into AQ, which doubled him up, then shoved AT into A6 off, and he turned the 6. Sods law, second again, and $120 for my trouble. Better than nowt.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Broke the Broadway Duck

Had a mad week when I played poker live for what seems like the first time in ages – both Tuesday and Thursday – and actually made final table at the Broadway on Tuesday for the first time ever; it's never been a lucky venue for me, and though I've only played there a handful of times, now I have that mental obstacle out of the way maybe I wont be so negative about the place.

Screwed it up on the final table, obviously – was probably second or third in chips and reraised all in with AQ to a standard raise UTG who called it with AK and half my stack was gone in an instant. I had some history with the original raiser and knew he was capable of laying a hand down, but he was also a gambler, so his previous laydowns may not have been as strong as I gave him credit for.

It got harder after that, with blinds getting big, and my exit hand was a SB steal that went wrong – Jh Qh, Asian lad in the BB had me covered but only just, and when I pushed he looked at his cards and his face lit up like A 10 off suit was the absolute mutts nuts, and so it proved after his insta-call. But 8th is a step in the right direction.

Had a long chat afterwards with a guy in his mid 30's who said he was an accountant, but fancied himself to one day play professionally. A good solid player, to be honest, but I had knocked him out, when I made a move from early position with pocket 3's (silly me) only to have him sitting in the small blind and unsurprising decide to look me up with pocket rockets - but a 3 on the flop sealed his fate. Better to be lucky than good.

Back to reality when some kid at Star City knocked me out of their £30 Triple Chance Freezeout on Thursday in 16th place – he felt 9 3 off suit was a playable hand and made up the SB. I was BB and just checked, after a suitably long dwell to let him infer I had something that was worth a raise. With 9 3, though, he obviously then HAD to call my push on the turn, after a 2 7 9 rainbow flop saw me bet and him just flat call. The queen on the turn, which led to my push after his check, just wasn’t a scare card for this guy, who wasn't to know if his 9 was good – “I put you on the 7”, he said, pathetically trying to justify his call when flipping his cards to the amusement of the incredulous table, many of whom, on several occasions, had already commented less than favourably when this moron made the wrong call and just got lucky – notably when his earlier 2 8 off suit caught a straight.

Now, as if I would have let myself get into trouble with middle pair, huh? How unlikely. I had 2 5 off suit of course. And a 7 came on the river, so I wished his read had been right and I had been on the 7! Shocking play all round.