Easter Bank Holiday weekend and Sussex Masters

16 May

I really enjoy travelling, and I was looking forward to getting out of London for the Easter bank holiday weekend and having a few days of from Poker.  We were quite lucky with the weather and being hot as it was I didn’t need to travel far as Brighton seemed like a perfect location for some relaxation and drinks on the beachJ

I really have a soft spot for this city as I used to live there whilst doing my degree at the Brighton uni, and there are lots of fun memories because of this.  I am still in touch with a few people I met during my uni days so I was looking forward to catching up with them too.

We ended up spending one of the days at the Marina; with a nice meal and tasting wine, whereas on Saturday we were having a mini BBQ on the beach whilst listening to the live band performing outside one of the seafront’s most popular bars – Gemini. It was a really nice atmosphere there, with thousands of people happily enjoying a day off in the sun.

I spent the Easter morning with my sister. We went to church for the Easter mass and then had a lovely lunch outdoors. We even had a chocolate Easter egg eating competition as to embrace Lithuanian tradition of eating at least one boiled egg on the Easter morning…

I was in good spirits and with not much else planned for the day I have decided to play the Sussex Masters event held at the Rendezvous casino. The tourney started at 4pm and with late registration in place the event attracted 85 runners and a prize pool of over 25k.

Baltic BlondeI was really excited about playing this event, as with 20k starting stack and 1 hour clock there was always going to be an opportunity to play some proper poker including good bluffs, big folds and hero calls!

As a result of the deep structure there wasn’t much happening in the first couple of levels or so, and as I didn’t recognise anyone on my table, I took this opportunity to observe my fellow players.

I was soon to find out that there was a mix of good and clueless poker players on my table. This was strange considering the buy in of £330!

There was one of the older ladies who kept on limping in every hand and calling raises regardless of her cards or a size of the raise; then there was a guy sitting on my right who came across as being a rich business man who enjoys gambling .

Another opponent was the tightest and the most passive player I came across in my poker career as he hasn’t played a hand in like 6 levels! And of course as always there were a couple of online grinders to complete the mix.

The first big pot I got involved in was with KJ when raising in late position. I received two calls, as both blinds decided to see a flop. The flop came K 7 5 with two spades and both guys checked to me.  I led out and sb got out of the way whereas the bb re-raised x 2.3

I called. The turn brought a Q of hearts and bb quickly checked to me. It seemed to me that he is either on a flush draw or has a K with a weak kicker and is checking for pot control.

I decided to bet and make him pay if he was on a draw. He quickly called my bet and we were off to see the river card – a Q of spades. After the third spade showed up, he tanked for a bit and made a big bet.

Most of the time I would be inclined to fold in this kind of situation, but the fact that he was one of the better players on the table and previously showed that he is capable of bluffing in the right spots got me thinking. He was either representing the nut flush or he was having a go at it. I called and he showed A 9 of spades. Grrrr.

A few orbits later I made a successful squeeze play when on the small blind to take down the big pot and get some of my chips back.

Just before the second break I looked down at my hand to find A10 suited and hence raised 3 limpers with an intention to take it down. I received one call from a new guy at the table. I didn’t have much information on him, so put him on any broadway cards, suited connectors or a low pocket pair. The flop came J 8 5 rainbow and he checked to me.  I led out and got a quick call from him.

The next card was a 2 of hearts to bring a flush draw and he checked to me once again. I went ahead and led out once again in order to represent a J or a pair. He just smooth called once again. The next card was a 7 of hearts and he quickly led into me.

I was in a similar spot as before, but this time it was an easy fold for me. I put a guy on a set, or a semi –bluff, whichever it was I sure I was beat.

I made the fold and managed to talk him into showing his hand -pocket 3’s! I thought his play was pretty aggressive considering that he had no prior reads/info on me and my style of play…or maybe that was the reason of his bluff?!

Although I have played for 9 hours I didn’t run very well and kept on running into better hands/ completed draws and never got an opportunity to increase my stack above average.

My exit hand was pretty standard when losing a race 66 < AK and I went out in 37th, just on the last level before the game was breaking down for the day 2.

There was the small consolation the next day of a sunny beach to laze on and reflect on my days play with a nice glass of rose.

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