Tuesday, March 18, 2008

£5k guaranteed at Equal Chance

This was a £50 buy in with an optional top up costing £25. 5000 chips for each so effectively a 10000 chip £75 freezeout.

Over 80 runners for this, what a good turnout for a Monday night comp.

I must admit, I love the place and is now my new poker home.

The comp itself went very well, it was only a 20 minute clock but I found the chips/structure ok. There was still room to play some "proper poker".

I found myself on the final table again in good shape, was playing very well again and felt I had it in the bag. It was my Final Table and I was running over it with some considerable ease, then 5 handed the poker gods popped up and said "not tonight sunny!".

UTG raised to 45k which I flat called on the button with Kings. At this point I was 2nd in chips and they were 1st in chips (although not by much) Circa 200k each from the 800k in play.
The flop comes 6 7 9 rainbow. They continuation bet out of 50k and I instantly moved all in for 100k more. I had made this play a few times before and taken down pots without contention so I was just waiting for this exact situation in the hope they got boored of me doing it.

In the end they decide to call. On their backs, they have AK. I turn over KK to the table amazement lol.

The turn card comes an Ace - Marvelous! lol

So a 5th place finish for just over £500 not a bad nights work. Very gutted as I thought that comp was mine for the taking. I still lost with dignity though as always.

I will return again on Friday for a similar comp, this time its a £6k guaranteed comp for £60 with an optional £30 top up for 6000 chips a time!

3 final tables in a row? I think so :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Equal Chance

Never been here before, but after seeing a £20k guaranteed 2 day comp with a £200 buyin and a slow 45 minute clock - one £100 add on - total of 20k chips - I thought i'd give it a go.

Unusually, the comp starts on a Friday night, so with the postcode locked into the Sat Nav I was on my way.

On arrival, it did not look much from the outside and I was half expecting small round table tbh, but boy how wrong I was! Inside I was greeted to a sight of 14 full size tables (good ones), comfortable chairs and well layed out.

Now onto the comp itself. As I have said, it was a 45 minute clock with an exceptional blind structure - yes it started at 50 100 but the increments were small with no missing levels and running ante's kicking in.

You could take your optional one rebuy anytime you wanted for the first 2 levels giving you an extra 10k chips. I had already decided that I would see how the table plays, and if some of the people took it early on or managed to accumulate 20k in chips then I was going to have mine as soon as possible.

So with it being sold out (max 120 runners) and an alternate list of at least 15, it was "shuffle up and deal". There was a good Blonde/Luton turnout, including TK, Maria, Jim McBride, Vinny, Claire and I was drawn in seat 3 with Jim McBride to my right.

No one on our table took the add on straight away so I decided to wait. One guy did take his add on quickly though, but this was after busting most of his initial 10k. Things started very well and I was soon in control of the table - this was helped by some nice cards and hitting some flops really well - it is so much easier to make people believe you have what you are representing when then have seen you only bet with the goods (including the nut flush, and hitting 3 sets). One hand occured when I thought I was going to stack some por guy. I had 77 in EP and limped in. MP raised (he had been quite solid but aggressive with it) re raised to 300. I flat called. Flop 2 7 9 with one diamond. I checked and he bet out 600. I flat called. The turn came the Ace of diamonds. This time I lead out for 600 and he re pops it to 1600. Again I flat call, at this point I am representing the ace or a flush draw. I am not worried about them being on a FD now as I cannot see this guy re raising me from EP with
Kx diamonds. I am praying for a non diamond river at which point I was going to overbet the pot (probably all in) pretty certain this guy would see it as a busted flush draw and pay me off. But alas the river was a diamond - but it was the 7 diamonds! QUADS! How the hell was I going to get paid now? I fired out 1600 and he quickly calls. "Just Quads" I replied as he quickly mucks his cards. So a missed oppotunity to double up but still a nice tidy pot.

Then there was the guy who had his rebuy after doing most of his initial stack (alot of it in my direction) He was ultra loose and liked to gamble. Well we were in a pot where he had raised from late position and I called on the button with nothing fairly confident he didnt have much and I could take the pot away from him (the SB and BB didnt seem too interested)- he seemed to be "scared" of me. Anyway, the flop comes 2 to a suit and he bets out I flat call. Turn brings the flush and now he checks to me. I bet out and he re raises. Now he could of had the flush but my read on this guy was that he liked to bet when he didnt have it and check call when he did. So I decided to call his re raise. The river was a brick. Staring straight at him I see him counting his remaining chips (approx 8k) and he is clearly thinking how much to bet to win the pot. He glances at me , smiles then just mucks his cards!! lol saying "you are going to re raise me all in arent you?" Classic. So another nice pot, this time with no hand and not having to show.
Anyway, this same guy gets down to 600 chips but within a couple of hands he has almost 10k. At this time I have just over 30k. Then this hand occurs :

Again he raises my button to 800 from memory (2nd level) , there is a caller before me and I call with K J clubs. SB and BB again go away (they were really tight and I was robbing them left, right and center for a long time!) . So the flop comes 2 4 6 with 2 clubs, it is checked to me and I am happy to take this pot down now and bet out 2.5k. He then decided to re raise me all in! WTF? The other caller gets out of the way and I am faced with calling approx 5k into a pot of 16kish. The only hand I was worried about was the Ax clubs but with the size of the pot I took the chance here that he was just completely at it and with those pot odds and my hand probably favorite made the call. He turns over 7 4 o/s - he had check raised me all in with 2nd pair! So with 15 outs twice, I manage to miss and take a hit. Nothing much doing and I take the 10k add on at end of level 2. I could not do anything right from here and struggled for the rest of the day - no hands, running into bigger hands, no spots to make moves etc...

The only other hand worth a mention was before the above where me and Jim Mcbride clashed. He raised to 1200 from the cut off and I found AK suited on the button and repoped it to 4200. Jim flat calls me. We had similar stacks at this stage (probably around 20k mark before the add on). I hate the flat call and on a flop of 8 high rainbow flop, Jim checks to me. I know I need to win this pot here and now and have n idea what Jim has tbh, but I bite the bullet and fire out 7.5k. Jim dwells for a long time but eventually passes. Jim was pretty sure I had AK, but there was a doubt in his mind that I may also have an overpair to the board - I could see him contemplating setting me all in which obviously I couldnt call.

Anyway, with nowhere booked to stay I had origionally planned to sleep in the car (as it was a 2pm start) but with the area I decided against this and the only other option was to drive the hour home then back again! And playing the last level I only had 15k. There was talk of playing one more level as there were still 45 left in the comp. But with approx one orbit it was decided that it was indeed the last level. With blinds of 3k 6k and an ante, I was pushing it in in any unopened pot with any two cards - I did not really want to come back with such a low stack - but I found no callers and eventually finished on 26k with 34 left and 18 getting paid. So faced with the prospect of driving home, having 5 hours kip, then driving back , Vinnie offers me a bed at his gaff which I gladly accepted. Me and Vinnie had a 10% swap and he was on 80k (although he had been on 150k during the last level).

A good sleep and a cooked breakfast and it was time to head back for day 2. The traffic however was a nitemare and we were 10 minutes late. There had been a table redraw and I had missed the first two hands. Not too disasterous until I discovered that the two hands I had missed, I was the SB AND BB!!!! So by the time I get to the table, my 26k had become 12k!!! With blinds at 4k 8k!!

Well I didnt hold out much hope and had to push all in in unopened pots with any 2. First oppotunity came and I pushed it in - not even looking at my cards (but pretending to). I get a caller from the BB he flips over Q 10. I turn over J 2. Flop 6 Q 3. Im looking dead and burried. Then the turn comes a 4. So I say "Just a 5 then please dealer" and the river comes out a 5! I make a straight with the 2. Runner Runner perfect! lol

So with that double up I find myself on 25k but still in push any two cards mode, very next hand I open shove again (again with pretending to look) and the BB calls. He turns over KK. I flip the first card and its a 6, then flip the second card and its an Ace. The dealer promptly deals me an ace on the flop and I am on approx 60k. Still not comfortable but healthy. I manage to steal my way to 150k ish and then I make a squeeze play from the button - risky but worth it. Guy in mid position had raised 3xBB to 36k and it flat called from MP, it is folded to me on the button and I figure neither of them would want to play for 150k so after a dwell I move all in (I have 5 6 suited). I know if I get it through the first guy I was home and dry. And if the first guy had raised with a monster pair or AK at least I would be live! They both pass and I pick up a nice 90k pot announcing to the table I had AK.

So down to two tables and I had lost a few pots and was in danger zone again (circa 80k). I managed to find kings when Mark Banin made a standard raise from UTG with his big stack. I wish I had more chips in this spot but had no choice but to move all in thinking he was committed to the call. He passed his obvious "bag of bollox" lol.

My 10% er Vinnie had made the money but unfortunately for him busted in 17th place.

Another all in moment soon came with 12 left. I was SB . The button made it 35k to play and I had 77. I was pretty confident I was ahead but knew he was totally pot committed to call the extra 50k and thought I would be racing. But as it turns out he had 5 6 and I double again.

I continued to snap off people's raises with success until I misplayed this hand real badly which left the rest of the table seeing what I was up to and what with! I was attacking this one guys BB who was continually asking "what does the next one out get now?" and I raised from UTG with 8 9, not realising that TK was there with 20k after having just lost a big pot and was going to stick them in. So I ahd to show my 8 9 - I only lost 20k but the damage was done, the whole table now knew what I was upto and it made it very hard for me to steal another pot :(

Onto the final table I had built upto close to 300k with 5 left and limped with Q 10 suited. The table was raise pass and take the blinds mode and I decided to limp to break up the pattern. Blinds were I think 8k 16k. Well 4 of us see a flop of J 7 8. It is checked all round then the turn comes a dreamtastic 9. Jim Mcbride who has circa 300k as well bets out 40k. I say make it 100k. At this point I was pretty sure he had a 10 for the straight. Knowing he cannot fold for 60k, and figuring he would move in. Which he did. So a pot of 700k and he is drawing to a Q to split the pot. It didnt come so 4 handed I had 700k. Next hand saw the demise of the 4th place guy.

So 3 handed, the chip counts were 1.3mill to my 700k and the shortie on 500k. I had my mind firmy set on 1st place of £10k. I could of sat back and waited for the short stack to bust but wanted first so I went for it. I couldnt catch a break and the shortie was climbing ahead. Finally I found myself on 300k with blinds now 15k 30k I was really struggling.

I see a flop with the chip leader and it comes down 3 diamonds, he checks and I check behind him. Turn pairs my second card and again he checks. With enough in the pot I am taking this now, he wouldnt check a flush to me twice surely? So I announce all in. He calls with the made flush and I was totally outplayed into 3rd place.

So £4k for 3rd and I was very happy with the way I had played - even the exit hand. I was just outplayed.

The heads up battle didnt last too many hands and it was all over. 2nd place was £6k.

No talk of any deals whatsoever - which made a nice change.

One final hand I would like to share occured on the final table. The guy who had been constantly asking about the prize money shoves his stack all in (probably 100k ish) early on on the final with AQ. It is folded round to the SB and BB. The SB had not noticed this guys all in but did notice the BB tap the table - which he saw as weakness and decided to "nick" the BB and announces raise. Ooops. So now he had to committ ALL his chips. The BB folds out of the way and on their backs. The SB had 2 6 off suit and was obviously not very happy with himself at such a basic error. The flop only compounded his dismay as it came x Q 6. Onlt for another 6 to appear on the turn and he doubles up knocking the AQ guy out. Was a classic moment.

Finally I would like to say what a fantastic place the Equal Chance poker club is - I will be putting a link up soon to their website. The comp was fantastic, excellent structure and very well run. The staff were superb, very friendly and always on hand to get your drinks. They even remembered your name and what you were drinking, right down to how many sugars you wanted in your tea/coffee. A nice touch.

I for one will deffo be back to play this comp again which I believe will be a monthly comp from now on. I urge anyone reading this who enjoys good poker, with a good structure, good people and a decent prize pool to make tohe journey for the next one!

So with paying out my 10% to vinnie and 25% to the wife (its worth it trust me! lol) , some treats for the kids, some new clothes and a couple of bills, I am left with a tidy profit for the weekend of just over £2200. More than enough to start my online assault on the cash tables using bankroll management as prevously mentioned. I will update on my progress.

Apologies for the long post, but hopefully it was worth it!

Short Update

Well played the $100 freezeout on ipoker, the deepstack one and finished 4th for $1k and also played the €109 freezeout on Poker Trillion with €5k added! This is fantastic value as only 30 odd runners enter this one. I was cruising along when I trap check this guy on a A 7 2 board holding AQ - this was after raising preflop and getting one caller. I checked the flop and he fired out a big bet and I pushed. He calls with 10 10 and duly hits. This was for a pot to go 2nd in chips with 15 left - oh well always next week. Its on every Thursday.

No live comps due to Sundays at Luton being cut to 7500 chips and the wednesday comp only attracting around 35 runners.