Stoke Anniversary Cup 2011

16 Aug

Having spent a week feeling & acting like a tourist in London (you know, wandering around shops and buying overpriced coffee) my family departed back to Lithuania and I had some time to myself once again, rather than acting as translator in Top-Shop! I was keen to get back into my normal daily routine focused around poker.

A couple of warm up online games and it was time to head to Stoke for the world (for world substitute midlands) famous Stoke Anniversary Cup.

This tourney had a juicy £5000 added to the prize pool as well as offered a £1500 Palm Beach seat package for the longest lasting online qualifier; however what I was the most excited about was the tasty looking trophy for the winner:

Poker trophy

Stoke Circus Anniversary Cup Trophies

It was a lovely start on Sunday morning for me; the sun was shining, I had received my poker magazine through the door ready for the train journey and I was feeling positive!

I have arrived at the casino just in time for the complimentary buffet and to have a quick catch up with my burgeoning group of poker friends before the game was due to commence.

I had only 282 players to get through in order to get my hands on the trophy and it seemed that the field was going to be pretty tough; including UK regulars and pro’s such as Kev Bloor, Mark McCluskey, Paul Jackson, Helen Brett and Andrew Bradshaw.

I didn’t have the best start at my table and only 4 levels in my starting stack of 15k was down to 11.5k, when running QQ in to KK and then after paying off to a set when I flopped top pair with AK.

Still, I think I lost the minimum then given the circumstances at the time and was hoping for a better luck after the break. One can of Red Bull and a wave of fresh air and I was back to the battlefield:)

Things really didn’t seem to be picking up though – I had to give up a substantial pot on the river when missing the nut flush draw and then not long after I folded JJ on a 10h 9h 2d 5s – with tons of action and 3 players in the pot. I was down to 9k.

But I was not going to give up and was looking for spots to 3-bet shove as well as chucking in some small ball in position in order to chip up.  My grinding skills were working better for me and without any showdowns my chip stack was back up to 15k, despite being dealt Kings twice in the meantime and getting no action with them.

After the second break I came back to the table to find Ac Qs in UTG, so I raised x 2.2. The player on my left just called and I was immediately suspicious by this, as previously he just flatted in early position with AA and KK.

My plan if folded back to me was basically to give up unless I flopped something big.  However I did not need to worry about my post flop play much as the BB shoved all in for 20bb. It was an easy fold for me and a snap call from the guy on my left with 66. The BB showed 79 off-suit for a steal.

Flop 5 9 9, turn 6, river 2. Standard poker run out…!

Daiva Barauskaite


The blinds have gone up to 400/800 and I was down to 12k and in a shoving mode once again.  I was seriously getting no picture cards, small pairs or suited connectors for an hour or so. I remained patient whilst waiting for my opportunity to hopefully double up.

Finally, I found 9 10 in the cut-off position and was more than happy to push my remaining 10bb in the middle. I got called by AK but managed to hit a set for survival:) After this hand I was up to 21k, with the average being 29k and still in the race for the first prize of £18,550 and the trophy!

Unfortunately my happiness didn’t last for long and a couple of hands later I was down to 5bb when losing a coin flip 10s < AK. Grrrrrrrrrr

I was down to the felt and thinking maybe it was not my game after all. I really needed some cards and luck to come back from this!

The very next hand I shoved with 7 8….no action.

Then I shoved again with K 6 and got a call from A J just to hit K on the flop and double up to 18k with the blinds being 1,200/2,400 at that point.

Shoved on the button with 10 5….no action.

I folded 3 7 and J2 and then shoved again with QQ just to receive zero action. Noooooo!

Luckily, a few hands later I was able to get a double up I was looking for: UTG raised x 3.2 and I quickly 3 -bet all in with my JJ. He got the right odds to make the call, so he did and I held against his Ac 10c. I was up to 45k, avg 59k.

We were down to 70 players and I was starting to feel good again:) however, with only 30 places paid, there was still a long way to go.

I didn’t play a hand for couple of orbits or so, before the following hand occurred:

I was on the BB and it was folded down to SB (pretty decent yet aggressive player) who instantly shipped all in for half my stack. I looked down at my cards to find K9 off-suit. I thought about it and decided to make the call as I felt that my K9 was ahead of his shoving range in that spot. It was a tough decision though because if I was wrong and lost that pot, it would have crippled my stack significantly.

I called and he flipped over K3 offsuit. I was happy….till the board showed A 5 Q 10 5 and it was a split pot! Sigh!

We were down to 35 players and approaching the bubble now.  I didn’t play many hands in this level, but made a couple of brave moves instead (3-betting light) which enabled me to increase my chip stack further and slide into to the money.

I was totally card dead and then I picked up aces on the BB just to see everyone folding round to me. I was really not getting any action with my big hands! I was half the average with 22 players left and just waiting for a chance double up, it had worked thus far!

This time it never happened though and I ended up shipping all-in to steal the blinds and antes with K,3 suited and ran into 77. No help on board for me and I was out in 16th for £450.

So close yet so far from the trophy! Happy with my play & overall performance considering the cards and spots I got. It felt good to grind out a result.

It was a great event, very well organized and the staff was superb! I will definitely be playing next year and hopefully will be taking it down and picking up the trophy then:)

Congrats to Andy Bradshaw who won it – he is a very good player -especially when chipped up and his win was well deserved.


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