I've had a majorly hectic and tiring weekend, but a thoroughly enjoyable one at that. So much so that this is the first time I have saved a blog draft and come back to it to add more. This could be a biggie...
Thursday I went out Student style with Rogers and the footy lads, ending up in Digital till chucking out time. Then moving onto Circus for some some early morning donking after an absolute skinful of beer. I dump £. Friday I am mostly hungover all day at Ben's, but play some HU cash later for a nice £.
Saturday saw the start of the nd Annual Newcastle Poker Forum Championships at Circus again, which I knew would be a good event, but I really underestimated what a great structure it was, how awesomely ran it was, and how much great craic everyone would have. On the Thursday after Ben had got us both registered, I had visions of running awesomely in a live tournament for once. I'd cooler the hell out of everyone early on, and win every flip and / late game and finally take something down worth winning. So in my sweep stake choice for final table I proudly had myself as the # pick, along with TeamDobbs and a few other solid players I knew about, but omitting Ben as a bit of a rib at him. Mistake.
I've not much to talk about my tournament really. Peaked at k from k starting stack. TD mentions on his blog but I don't remember, a hand where I win with o from the BB vs his AK. Must have made pair in a multi way pot or something, because I know I wouldn't play TD heads up out of position with such a weak holding. They'd have to be at least suited ;-)
I remember flatting an EP raise MP call with AJdd, flop QxTdTx and it being checked to me. I fire half pot and only the BB comes along. I'm weighting him here to % weak Ts and occasionally a weak Q, hadn't quite figured him out yet. Turn is d giving me gillions of outs. I decide to fire again half pot knowing that I am unlikely to be x raised and priced off my draw if he does have a T, fold out a Q, and I have a very disguised hand should I hit the river. I am min-raised :-) So I make the trivial into k call. Another diamond hits the river and I value bet nicely and get paid off by T.
My opening table really did play very well. I was seated with Ben, TD and Jimmy Chipmunk who I already knew about, but also sat next to Rachel and had Scotty & Steve Brennan other side of table all of whom didn't take me long to figure out were capable players. Infact it was a hand with Scotty that decided my tournament.
He'd been quite active for the last two orbits and open raised the button on my BB. I flat with cc and see a JxJcx flop. A fairly obvious way ahead/way behind flop, but I think I'm way ahead and can win a bet here. I check, he checks. Turn is a Kc which although giving me outs, isn't a card I wanted to fire as I didn't feel I could rep much. He checks behind. River is c giving me the backdoor flush. I act really strong and bang out a k bet hoping to get called by whatever pair he may have, or induce a raise from air. He makes a healthy raise and I umm and ahh and decide to call, as I'd kind of levelled myself into it how I played the hand. He really does have to have here and the rest are bluffs. Yup he has . Had a lengthy discussion with Ben on this hand, specifically my turn play. Agreed with him later that a turn bet is best, and that I'm too used to playing bb+ deep. I later found out about an aggressive re-shove by Scotty with KJ vs TeamDobbs which made me happier about my call. That would have put me double average which is where I want to be and would have put my net worth on me making the final from there. Instead I'm short and the worst thing to happen when you're short is get moved. With no image I raise in LP, there's a flat out the blinds and see a K high flop where I cbet and am check raised, so I fold leaving myself only a shove. Orbit later I shove ss from LP but find AKo in the SB and lose the /. GG.
Railing was tons of fun, especially as I now could have a few beers and crack on with a few of the people I know, and say hello to more that I didn't. I played some Blackjack for a nice £ profit before following the final few tables in earnest. DreamDobb made a comedy appearance as Mr Flushy. Only pictures can do that justice! Phlmc drunkenly crashed off his chair, but managed to save his beer from what seemed like certain ruin.
Ben cruised it really, and retired for an early night leaving me to play some cash. Was a fun table with Rob who I met earlier (don't know his forum name) Roscopiko and Chipmunk who I already knew, and a couple of other crisps and recognisable forum contributors. My stack yoyos all over the place, losing a big pot to Rosco with trips to a bigger trips, winning it back in a bet pot with cc, losing more with AK, winning it back with a flopped wheel with getting paid off streets by what I assume was a sole top pair :-) Moved onto the main casino floor with my large stack but lost most of it with on JJ vs AJ for the board to run out Q, Q. Won a large but strange pot with AK, where I had bet massive preflop after a bet and two calls, flopped nothing but was committed with a cbet versus his stack. I flop nothing (can't remember exactly, think it was flop) and bet £ into the huge pot (around £) He tanks for minutes with £ behind then eventually folds KQ face up. LOL. I then lose a hefty one with AK vs QQ all in pre, and finish the night £ up :-/
Next day I follow Ben's progress at the final table, then enter the £ bounty game last minute. I had held off as guessed it would be a bb shove fest, but turns out there was a decent amount of play. I also really wanted to follow Ben as a) I have a share and b) I was his only supporter. I was seated with Stumpy who knew my name from TD and Soap at the CPC, and was a pleasure to meet. I think he told everyone I knew what I was doing though! Also had a chat with Pads who seemed like a very good player. I lost my first pot with AKss after flopping a royal flush draw but gave up the river. Thankfully I managed to double up shortly after otherwise I would have given up this game pretty quickly. Pot is opened from MP, two flats, I flat the button with 53dd. Flop is dJxx. It's checked round to Buzz (from Walker's Sensations) next to me who fires at the pot. I decide to float for a couple of combined reasons. Firstly, the 4d is out there! Secondly, he's in a team and I've seen him deal really well, so I assume he's decent and will play me fairly well. Also by flatting I think I can rep any hand on the turn, any turned straight card, any small card I can rep protect a Q etc etc. Unfortunately he checks the turn to me but fortunately it's the 2d. I fire a little over half the pot planning to bet value-ish if I miss and bomb it if I hit. River is an offsuit giving me the nd nuts, he checks again and I insta ship in that Mike Caro "he's weak" way and I do get looked up by a sole J. He called pretty quickly so I guess maybe my turn thinking was bad about folding him out on the river should I miss, but hey it worked out.
I then raise quite a bit picking up some blinds and win a couple of 60/40s. With my big stack I continue the raising game in this massively aggressive structure hoping to accumulate. At this point K turns up (Ben's GF) and Ben has about 30% of chips in play at the final table, and I have similar in the bounty tournament. As we are the only two people she knows in the whole casino, she sits with him and then me when he's on a break. She gets a bit of ribbing about sitting with blokes with big chip stacks, all in good fun :-) My raising doesn't work out as I lose about five 60/40s on the bounce with my stack at an all time low of ~bbs.
Fortunately I win a key three way all in for once in my life with JJ vs AT and AQ and never look back. I double again in another strange hand. There's a shove, Pads flats in the SB and I flat Acc in the BB. Flop , check check. Turn and Pads bets, I shove. He tanks. CGK on the mic announces that Ben is all in so I stand up and half go over. My table asks in amazement if I'm going to leave the table, I double check with the dealer that I am all in and it stands, and ask if she can manage the pot while I'm gone. I'd won a few bounties at this stage so I just had to go over. Ben wins the all in and I return to see a much larger stack next to my seat. Turns out Pads had trapped with and made a strong fold on the turn, and I dodged a four flush for the side pot also.
I then start raising pretty much every hand. With two tables left I was sat with Pads, Koyte and Mrs CGK where I had basically the best stealing seat in the world ever, and Pads definitely knew this! I raised four hands on the bouce and was obviously priced in to call shoves by marginally better hands. I showed down such monsters as K4o, and Q6ss but the image was obviously a bit shot. I did laugh next hand as I was UTG and before the deal announced I must have a monster if I raise this hand. Sure enough I have JQcc and do raise to groans from the entire table, them all thinking who is this total monkey?!?! I get a couple of flats and check fold a KKx flop. I continue my aggression especially in LP and accumulate more, eventually taking out Mrs CGK all in pre with ss vs KJo. Only a 60/40 but ran out in sick fashion as she pairs her J, but I backdoor the straight. There are then a few comedy gold moments with Koyte all in a lot and seemingly the whole place on his back, he takes it so well though and was another character who it was a pleasure to meet.
Three players left (Pads, Koyte, myself) and I enter God mode. I am the bigstack so I'm looking to bully. I shove KT in the SB into Koyte's AK in the BB. He flops broadway QJT, but it runs out Q, T and I backdoor the house. Heads up Pads is at a huge disadvantage, but shows his nouse keeping things small. He traps me with Kx on KxxT for me to shove the turn with T, he snaps but I find a outer on the river for the game. Nice to run well. The hand against Koyte was the worst I ever got it in in the whole tourney, and I still win that one a quarter of the time. I think a few people think I luckboxed the whole thing but it's just that I was so aggressive (which is key in such a structure) and made correct pot odds calls with marginal holdings and got there a few times. Hope there's no hard feelings! :-) Myself and Ben are 33% shares in each other for tournaments, and 50% cash tables, so I know I owe him some money at this stage but hope that is about to turn as he's going really well at the final table.
Ben does awesomely well and gets to HU vs TD at a huge chip disadvantage. If he could double though he certainly has the ability to take it from there. He would however have been the most unwanted winner of anything, ever. TeamDobbs has done so much for the Poker scene in Newcastle, let alone the running of the forum and connected events. Everyone wanted him to win. I even half wanted him to win. I wished him well at the start of HU, which I hope didn't come across as sarky, I truly meant it. Ask me at the start of day one who you'd like to see win and he'd have been my answer, and 99% of everyone else's. A true gent and a great poker player.
TD takes it down with his KJ spiking a J vs Ben's A, and I think I feel worse than Ben about it. Weird how I think I am more emotionally involved in poker with a friend playing, than I would be had I actually been playing myself. There has never been a more deserving winner than TeamDobbs though, well done mate :-) Was nice to support Ben going deep into a tourney, even if his fan club was rather small. I've since received a few comments and PMs (you know who you are) about how good looking I am though, sorry K ;-)
Overall an absolutely fantastic weekend. Very well ran, but taking nothing away from Circus (who were awesome poker-wise, valet-wise and craic-wise) you could have had a year old officiate the thing. The spirit everyone played the game in was truly exemplary. I'd be surprised if there's ever been a better atmosphere in any poker room anywhere. Sc obviously did another quietly brilliant job behind the scenes. CardGuard was simply amazing as our compere for the weekend. The guy has talent. Also I didn't meet him, but Looseman made a great contribution with the cup, bracelet and final table medals. A big three cheers from me for that one, very classy. Was great to meet people and put some faces to names. I've also since learnt that UKGatsby of blogging fame was there on the Sunday, and I didn't say hello. Next time :-)
October for me finished really well, I'm looking at just shy of £k profit, and that's (correctly) not including (Ben) my winnings from NOVEMBER at the weekend. I've also won over £ HU already this month, so I'm looking at nearly £k already for November, more if I do a Ben and botch my figures so I can include my Blackjack winnings ;-)
Fantastic weekend guys, thanks to everyone involved :-)