Las Vegas Team Challenge II Live Final

22 Jun

The weekend of the 28th May all eyes were on Wembley and the Champions League final, but for a dedicated pool of players from Genting and Encore Poker, the focus lay elsewhere.

183 players qualified for the final event in Birmingham. So this would mean that 45 odd teams including the “Baltic Blonde & The Boys” were fighting for the $24,000 Las Vegas Package.

Daiva Barauskaite

My Team - John, Me, Matt & James

In terms of the points accumulated whilst playing online my team has managed to accrue 5665 which converted into an average starting stack for the live game.

NitsGoNuts team was leading the way whilst taking mega 33640 points into live final, meaning their players started with 13425 chips each!  Thanks to this team’s star member “Daddymuff” who won 4 and managed to come 3rd and 5th respectively out of 20 tournaments played.

Somehow it’s no surprise that he ended up taking down the Las Vegas team challenge live final and also recently won the UKIPT Newcastle too!

Anyhow, I was confident in my team, who ranked in 29th place out of initial 80 teams registered online. Not a bad result considering the amount of games we played and we were looking forward to doing some damage live now, our strongest arena.

The winning team was going to be the team that won the most points during the Live Final – the higher a team member finished in the game or the longer she/he lasted the more points they gained for the team.

45 min clock and a good blind structure in place ensured that there was still lots of play left.

Our longest lasting team member - John

There was a really good atmosphere in the casino and tons of banter at the tables. Players were trying to put faces to the screen nicknames and discussing previous experiences with each other online.

My table draw was pretty average, majority of the players were playing pretty tight and just trying to move up the points ladder, apart from one guy –  a maniac – who was sitting 2 seats away on my right and was playing any two cards, making hero calls on the river and raising in the dark.

I was really hoping to catching him out!

Unfortunately, it was one of those games for me, there you don’t get many playable hands and then you get them, someone has better. I ended up folding a few times on the turn when it was obvious that I was beat and then had to fold to a couple of 4bets when I didn’t have much…basically things were not going my way… my stack had took a number of early hits.

And to make matters worse, I ended up getting knocked out by the maniac too!! Grrrr

So he opened mid position, as he did 75% of the time, a new player on the table seated to my immediate right just flatted, and action was on me. I was down to 15bb and had a pocket 4s in my hand sitting in the cut off.

I didn’t really need to think much before deciding to ship my remaining stack in the middle. I wasn’t worried about the maniac, as his opening range was so wide, and the player to my right just flatting suggested he wouldn’t have a good enough hand to call my all in. However if I got called I was hoping for a race and was happy to take a gamble in this spot.

Unfortunately maniac woke up with a hand – QQ – and took me out! I was gutted to be the first out from my team and kind of felt that I let them downL

Oh well…I went for a wander round the casino and was consoled by the fact that the rest of my team members were still going strong. James was well above average at the time whereas Matt & John were ticking along not far behind. I turned my concentration to 3 card poker and the roulette table- making a dent into a bottle of wine whilst fitting in a bit of railing too.

Matt & his mega stack!

I also had enough time to catch up with everyone I know who also had suffered an early exit as well as make new poker buddies.

Anyhow, back to my team! Matt got knocked out in around 30th place when losing a massive pot with 77 < QQ. Matt has flopped a set whereas his opponent hit another Q on the river. Ouch!

I remember James being all in at the same time, so I was rushing like mad between the two tables, trying to support both players.  James was a short stack at the time, so he jammed in late position with A6 and lost to KJ.

Although we couldn’t win the first prize any longer, all hopes were on John for making the final table and if he did, hopefully having a shot at the second place – a European package worth $12,000 which equates to $3,000 per player.

John was playing really well, and although he didn’t get any premium hands he managed to reach the final two tables and all the tired players remaining would head back to Day 2.

After catching up on sleep and a nice breakfast at the hotel, we were in good spirits coming back to day 2. John was hoping to spin up his  short stack to make the final table, but ended up going out in  a well respected 16th place when losing a race 77 < AK.

My team had performed really well, and with a bit more luck we could have sneaked 2nd. We finished 4th out of 40 odd teams! A strong result, considering that I was out early doors and didn’t gain any points for my team.

The Top 5 Teams in the live final and their points were:

1. FourFrickinFish 334
2. Allsorts 265
3. Nits-Go-Nuts 244
4. Baltic Blonde & The Boys 226
5. Puppy Petters 208

So once our final team member was out of the main event, we had just enough time to enter a freeroll which was open to all Las Vegas team challenge live event participants. The first prize – a £1,500 package to the Palm Beach Big game in London – was well worth a try!

I came 4th for £100. We were 4 handed and I was playing pretty aggressive – stealing blinds a lot, and defending my blinds.  For my exit hand, I raised it up on the button and the big blind quickly shoved over the top…I had AQ, so it was a snap call from me. My opponent showed A10 and managed to flop a set!!! Played in a good spirit, it was a fun game.

All in all, it was a great event – very well organised and fun to participate in – with the very good prize pool. I am already looking forward to the Las Vegas Team Challenge 3!


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