Decent week at Poker

10 Mar

I’d spent most of the week taking bad beats online and putting together my team ready for the Las Vegas Team Challenge on Genting Poker. I decided to take a break on Saturday, explore Knightsbridge a little and enjoy a day off poker.

This lasted until around 8.30 pm, when I realised I was just too close to the Mint Casino in South Kensington to pass up the 40 freezeout there! With a mega starting stack of 25k, and decent blind structure, it was time to get some practice in for the big week of poker ahead.

Armed with a Malibu and cranberry and no small amount of insouciance that comes with an unplanned game – I was ready to mix it up with the 45 runners.

The action on my table was fast and furious, with the starting blinds of 25/50 and the first pot involving one player 3betting with Q10 and the other calling a 4bet with A10 pre-flop and taking down a 7k pot with Ace high. Hence, no surprise that after 20 minutes we had our first player out – A9 >K6! hmmm, I better tighten up I guess!

Mint Casino South Kensington

I got my stack up to 30k when I opened on the button with KQ offsuit.

Big blind called, and we were off to see a flop of A Q 10 rainbow. Check, check and the turn brings a 5- big blind checks again, and I know at this point that he doesn’t have an ace and I can only get more chips from him if I check again and let him bluff the river. The final card is harmless 7, and the big blind bets half the pot. I instantly call, and he quickly mucks his hand.

The first key hand was a bluff, increasing my stack to 40k. I was playing on my tight image and the third raise from the cut off in a row meant my button call set up a chance to play position.

The flop brings Ad 5d 9d and he quickly c-bets the pot. I call. The turn is 7d and this time he checks. When he slows down I know it is unlikely that he has a diamond in his hand, and even if he does, it will be very difficult for him to call a sizeable bet on the turn if he has not got a J,Q or K of diamonds in his hand. With this in mind I proceed to bet a decent chunk and he folds. My Qs3c takes down the pot:)

With a number of 15 minute levels passing without incidence and 5 places paid we were down to 12 players left in the game.

This was a good period to step up my aggression and get well set for a final table. I had an average chip stack when I looked down to find pocket 5’s UTG. With 5 players on my table and the blinds meaty I decide to shove all in.

Unfortunately I get called by KK. I felt like it was a game over for me and stood up to leave, when a lucky 5 showed up on the flop to double me up to close to the chip lead:)

I didn’t look back from there and continued being aggressive and took out a couple more players. We were down to the final 6 – bubble time – when I found sweet cowboys UTG.

I decide to change my strategy and just limp whilst giving somebody an opportunity to raise me. Sure enough the guy in the mid position makes it x 3 to continue. I shove over the top and somehow manage to talk him into a call. His AJ is no good and I’m in the money with a good chip lead.

Not long after I found KK again! This time in position and I was looking for some action once again. One of the most passive players raises it up x4 so figuring he’s strong I re-pop. He goes into the tank but eventually calls my min raise and we see the flop of A 4 5 rainbow. He checks and I check behind. The turn is 9 and he checks once again.

Now I am thinking, it is unlikely that he is checking an Ace for the second time, and unless he’s trapping with a set I think I am ahead of his likely holdings such as QQ, JJ and maybe 10s. I shove, and he tanks but eventually folds…- JJ or QQ it was then!

The final table had been fun, with a car salesman providing the banter, and with 3 left his sales patter talked the other remaining player into a blind on blind call with A,9 versus his A,K. Patter or not, the guy ended up with a an old banger of an outdraw as the 9 came on the turn.

Heads up battle was easy as it has never took place:) I was holding 60% of the chips and the guy was eager to favourably chop for me rather than play it seemed. I was fine with that as needed to get some rest for the £100 monthly- 2k added tourney in Stoke the next day or to be more precise, in 13 hours.

So we chopped and I signed for first and went to hail a cab home.

Suitably refreshed after a lie in on Sunday, it was time to add a little make up, grab a poker magazine and jump on the train to Stoke. There’s nothing like aimlessly staring out of a window, watching sheep eating grass ( do they ever stop eating?) to put you into a poker daydream.

Eventually I was stirred from my Main Event winning revere by the announcement we were approaching Stoke-on-Trent.

Greetings exchanged with the increasing number of familiar faces, it was time to get down to business again. I was in a positive mindset and feeling full of confidence. Just 122 people standing in my way of another victory.

Circus Casino Stoke

I was happy with my table draw and majority of the players were capable with a good understanding of the game and I was looking forward to playing them.

It was a smooth start for me, as I was winning nearly all of the pots I got involved in; I managed to pick up KK in position and got paid by a small blind when he flopped his Q, then shortly after I took down a big pot when triple-barrelling my flush/gutshot draw and hitting it on the river.

I managed to increase my starting 10k stack to 15k, when I was moved to a new table. After a quick chit chat with my new fellow players and little a dry spell, I finally pick up AK when on the cut-off. There were two limpers in the pot already -UTG and mid position – when the action was on me.

I made it x 3.5 to go and received one flat call from the UTG guy. The flop comes A 3 2 rainbow and he checks. I lead out for half the pot and he quickly re-raises me x3. Limp, check & re-raise…it got my alarm bells ringing!

He looks a little too comfortable and has been relatively passive, I fold and he shows trip 2’s. Sometimes your gut feeling is better than logic!

After the quick break and a shot of chocolate energy I was back to the table feeling positive. I didn’t need to wait long for the next genuine hand when I picked up a pair of 10s in late-ish position. I made it 2,800 to play (1200/600 blinds) in an unopened pot.

Everyone folds up to the BB who goes into the tank and shoves over the top for 10k. It is very likely that he is making a move and defending his blind, as my raise looks very much like a steal and most importantly I have fold equity.

On the other note, it is possible that he has some kind of hand, maybe two overcards or a small pair and is looking to take a gamble at this stage in order to double his stack. In addition, he has been pretty active on the table so far and shoving a few times before. After some thought I decided that my 10s are too good to pass in this spot and I call. He flips over 77 and my 10s take down the pot.

I manage to knock out another short stack with JJ v 10,10 and increase my stack to an average 28k when I’m moved to a new table once again. We are down to around 35 players at this point

with 15 places paid, and the last train for London having left 30 minutes ago, I’m determined to cash now!

A few hands in to my new table and it looked like I was going to see my first flop when both the button and small blind limped and I proceeded to check my BB when holding J6 off.

The flop comes A 5 9 rainbow and all of us check. The turn brings 3 of diamonds and a flush draw, and SB checks again. I am thinking now, that probably none of the players have an A, as there was no raise pre-flop and no bet on a flop, I figured representing a flush draw was the best way to take down this pot. So I bet and received a quick call from the button, whereas SB gets out of the way.

The river brings a 10 of diamonds and completes the flush, and with the check from the button, it is a perfect card for me to continue with my bluff. So I bet 7.5k into around a 12k pot and luckily for me he folds:) This was very important hand for me which boosted my confidence and pushed my chip stack over the average.

After this bluff, I tightened up a bit and was looking to play small ball. After a couple of orbits or so with me not playing much, I proceed to join the family pot in late position with my pocket 2’s. I hit a miracle flop of 5 2 J and with loads of action in front of me I am left with no other option but to ship it in.

I get an instant call from UTG limper who has QQ and a brick on the turn and another 2 on river takes my chip stack to 70k with the average being 49k with 25 players left.

From then on I didn’t really get involved into many hands as I had the chip leader on my left and a few short stacks on my right, not the best of dynamics.

I entered the money in reasonable shape, but then had few spots to gamble and certainly no cards. As a result I entered the final table in 7th of 10, and after being re-popped on a speculative raise, my next move is a shove with KJ.

This gets through and the very next hand I get 10,10. I ship it again and get called by the chip leader with A,K. A pesky king on the turn and I’m out in 9th. No regrets as I would have took a race at this point, as I’m going for the win.

Still, two cashes in 24 hours and I feel like I’m back on track!


One Response to “Decent week at Poker”

  1. caroline March 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    well played you!! see you soon x


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