I've dropped over $1k online already this month so decided to take a break and play the Stanley £50 + £500 added on the first Tuesday of the month.
Bitterly disappointed in finishing 15/120 where they paid 11 of a frankly very, very poor field.
9k starting chips on 25/50 allowed for plenty of early maneuverability, although I folded the first orbit to try and put some players into groups in my head. One guy directly opposite me looked to be the most active and had heard he plays cash quite high online. I was not in the greatest position to beat up on him though. I picked up KK on the next orbit and the active player limped utg. I raised it up so just me and him heads up to a 744 flop where he folds to my cbet. After a while I had figured out that I had very tight straightforward players to my left, and a few passive limpers to my right. Ship the free chips! So I start raising limpers when I'm around the button and chip up nicely to around 15k. One older guy had been showing his hands a lot which was awesome as he was raising 99+ AJ+ and limping anything else playable. I can obviously exploit this all day long and the other active player clearly knew I was doing this. This sets up a later hand nicely.
After the break I'm dealing and it's also ante time. I ask the player opposite me to take care of the antes and I can handle the rest. I'm not to bad at moving the cards around but my experience when dealing has been undoubtedly horrible previously. I'm sure dealing myself crap can't continue for this long though and on this table it doesn't really matter anyway.
A few levels later I isolate a limper to 4.5x with A4o in the cutoff. The small blind flats and the limper also comes along. I like isolating larger especially with a big stack. I think the SB would re-raise AK here and possibly flat AJ AQ and 77+. When in reality he should be raising with anything. I had seen this player flat an early raise in the BB already, and lead an insignificant flop for 30% of the pot. Then check the turn and check fold the river. So obviously a weak stab. Back to my hand though and the we are 3-way to a KQT flop. This sucks for my hand if checked to me. So many one pair & straight draw hands check/call here so if it's checked to me I need a miracle to win this pot. I also get check raised a fair bit but I'm not putting any sets in either players range. This flop however is awesome if I can raise a bettor. The SB obliges and weak leads again, the limper goes away and I insta ship it all in and he folds relatively quickly. I elect not to show. A few "must be nice to flop the nuts with AJ" calls come from across the table. I smile.
I do the same again later with the mighty 83s but the same player ships it all in preflop this time. I need to do the pot odds sums and this takes a lot longer live than when you have nice figures to look at on your computer screen. Eventually I figure I'm getting 2.4-1 which is sooo borderline. If I had 5k more I think I'd have made this call as I was sure he didn't have a pair. He tended to act quite confident when he did, something along the notion of "knowing he's ahead" in those tiny marginal coin flip situations. I decide to fold and get a bit of jip from a couple of players for Hollywooding. I am never Hollywooding in a live tourney. These things are soo fucking slow anyway and me of all people are dying to see more hands. Someone says "If you're going to call you're going to call" which I'm fairly sure makes no sense at all, but arguing back is definitely -EV.
I win another decent pot when the button min-raises, the SB completes and I also complete with 94s. The flop comes K94 and I'm obviously loving the flop, as I put the button on AK preflop and had planned to take most flops away from him. No need to now though and the SB actually leads for pot. I flat call hoping for a magical shove from the button who duly obliges, the SB folds and I obviously call to see AK hoping to fade overcards counterfeiting me on the turn. Another nice 9 on the turn and he misses his K on the river for a nice win. He is pretty disgusted with me actually, saying "9-4?!?" in that condescending angry tone. Again saying anything back is -EV.
A level later and the old guy who'd been showing his hands limps, so I do the standard isolation raise this time with QQ. One of the sit tight younger players flats me on the button, and the active cash player comes along in the SB. Limper folds. Flop is KQ5, I make my standard cbet, tight play folds and active player ships it all in. I call and take him out and am now sitting pretty on ~30k when the average is 11k. He had K2hh for top pair and backdoor flush draw which got a bit of berating from a few players, but I don't hate his play, especially against me!
A few hands later the old guy this time decides to raise in EP and I flat in the hijack with AJo, again planning to move on a lot of flops as he is so straightforward. Flop comes T42 which is perfect for me to monkey lots of chips into as he whiffs overcards so often here. He sighs loudly and gives a long, loud "Cchheecckk" in a deep sad voice. This is obvious weakness so I decide to bet......woah woah woah! Wait a minute! Remember what Mike Caro taught you Andy! So yeah I check behind. The turn brings another T to which he curses under his breath and then lets out the loudest, saddest "Cccchhhheeeeeeeecccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk" ever. Honestly it must have lasted about five seconds! I think he has a minumum of KK here, a full house is unlikely as he limps 44,22 and I actually wouldn't be surprised if he had quads. I am now in pretty uncontrollable laughter at the table and again check behind. He min bets 600 into me on the river, I laugh some more and fold to which he is clearly massively unhappy considering how active I have been and also that he did infact have quads. I giggle uncontrollably in between hands for the remainder of the evening.
Despite being sat on Table Number 3 we are broken up and I cry a little inside. Also because I am now card dead for about 3 hours. I see more plays which makes me happy I made the trip though. Like 88 check calling an all in on the turn on JJK9 board where the all inner spiked a Q on the river to win with AQ. 88 guy goes ballistic but bless him he probably doesn't realise it was a coinflip. Also the structure is now increasing one heck of a lot and it's fast becoming a shove fest.
I get moved again and I am down to just above average now after my extended card dead period and not ever, ever being able to steal. I eventually do get a few steals through and am above average with ~20 players left.
I gained a significant amount of chips in one hand on this table. The cutoff opens for 2.5BBs and the button flats. Both cover me with 14BBs. Now it's a little interesting as I think they were mates and had soft played each other in the blinds a few times already. I look down at KQ do a few rough sums and decide that I do have enough fold equity and I have a really snug image. And given positions and I don't think the button would flat call a hand that dominates me I decide to shove. Cutoff insta mucks, button goes into the tank. I'm obviously happy with a fold here but my preflop read and the fact that he's tanking now means I'm sure it's a flip if he calls. He eventually calls with 99, we see a flop of AJ4 giving me billions of outs and I catch a T on the river for the nuts. I wasn't 100% on this move preflop but ending up with the nuts obviously makes it the correct play ;-) He again is massively unhappy with losing, especially to a straight on the river! LOL! I guess it's only me that ever loses races then!
I am seated next to Dom's brother from NPF and I had raised a couple of his limps legitimately with KK and AJ. he was very tight and straightforward. After the second one he tells me he's not limping anymore! I then told him my hands in the break so I think he'll be playing me honestly.
Then the next orbit it's passed to his SB and me in the BB. I just have him covered for 65k on 400/800/300 which is also an indication of how short everyone is. He makes it 28k total and I look at 77 in the BB. I honestly think this is the single worst hand to have here. 66 I can fold. 88 I ship. A9+ I ship. With my stack size I elect to fold as I can effectively re-steal against mid stacks and still apply pressure in position. He told me he had A8 and I believe him, it's just these type of decisions that I lack practice in, not being a regular tournament player.
I then am forced to fold a lot until I pick up 55 in the hijack. I have the cutoff and button covered and the blinds cover me but I make up ~70% of their stacks. So I shove. I think folding is too weak here. The button insta shoves behind and I lose the race to AK. I now have about 5BBs. I fold 43 and 72 and then it's my BB. With me having paid antes the previous hands I have another 1.5BBs after I pay the blind and it's going in no matter what. The button minraises, I put the rest in blind. He flips over KK and I have 73hh. The flop is an absolute no hoper K58sss the turn gives a tiny bit of help with the 4h but I miss my straight on the river and exit in 15th for no money. Proper bastard.
The prize structure was massively top heavy, I really think they should pay 20 from 120 runners. And if the field is of this standard I'd expect to cash 80% of the time. I'll definitely be playing this game again. There was an eventual five way chop for £1k each but I left before the final table and drove home in record time with Spin Doctors - Two Princes on the radio :-D.
Got in at just before 5am and couldn't sleep for another hour. Struggled in the gym today and not looking forward to getting up and going for a run in the morning. Has to be done though. I did two miles cross county in my footy boots yesterday and was dead after two miles. I had no breath and my legs were knackered too. It's normally one or the other, not both at the same time! Have really let the fitness slip but as long as I'm hard on myself and keep it up I normally see massive improvements after about five runs. The knee hurts too but this blog is already too long! No poker today, am off for a nap now!
Bonus funny poker video