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Unibet Open Copenhagen

14 Jun

Following a sunny few days in Barcelona, I was on my way to Copenhagen for more sunshine and poker.

It was my first time visiting this Scandinavian city which I had heard so many good things about and I was looking forward to seeing if it lived up to the hype almost as much as participating in another Unibet Open stop!

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I arrived at the Radisson Blu Copenhagen on Monday afternoon which was to be my home for the next week and the site of a whole load of poker and drinks before the week was out.

It was located very centrally with great views across the city. After settling in I headed for dinner with my fellow Unibet Ambassadors and spent the evening catching up on the least few weeks with everyone.

The following day after some media stuff, we headed out into the immediate area to explore the city and film some content for upcoming videos.

With a beautiful lake and trees juxtaposed to the city we weren’t short of locations to film in, and we began to imbue some of the easy going Danish lifestyle strolling in the sunshine.

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The streets were full of cyclists everywhere you looked and people just strolling about in the sunshine.  An astonishing 50% of commuters in Copenhagen cycle to work and back. It seemed the roads were quiet and calm, without the usual noise of a busy capital city.

It some ways it felt like a town, but it offers most of what you could wish for in a big city. We walked down the inlet canals to the main harbour area and settled at the huge street food market inside an old dockside warehouse called Papirøen.

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There were tons of stalls inside and loads of seating outside next to the waterside with views across the city. We bought a few different foods from around the world and settled into the deckchairs outside to relax in the sunshine.

With an outdoor DJ and an ice cold cider, there wasn’t anything not to like!

After a couple more days of work and exploring the city with repeat visits to Papirøen, it was swiftly Thursday and time for day 1a of the Unibet Open main event.

After breakfast  I returned to my room to find a lovely surprise waiting for me from the Unibet Poker Events Team. A box jammed full with cool branded ‘Ambassador’s’ attire and goodies. With a big smile on my face I changed into my new branded ‘run good’ hoodie and headed down for day 1a.

I decided to play this as I had many friends from the women’s poker community for Unibet that I run online playing that day too. I was excited to see them and  hanging out on breaks.

I had a reasonable start to the tournament, calling down a player with with mid pair on a Q,6,3, 10, Q board who had barrelled 3 streets with A high. My stack remained healthy until taking a dent from a bit of a cooler with AQ v KK on a queen high flop.

I spent the rest of the day on 20bb-30bb with mainly junk and a few ups and downs; In the home country of Hans Christian Andersen however, there was to be no fairytale ending to the day for me 😦

After a big pot missing the flush, I lost my first flip for the rest of my stack, busting just before the end of the first day.

 

 

 

As always though, busting the main is bitter sweet. The welcome drinks party for players was already in full swing, I had a good time chatting with Kenny Hallaert about his great run to the final table of last year’s WSOP Main Event final table.

It is always interesting to get the perspective and advice from a player going so deep in the flagship event. I also got to spend a lot of time with Romanian cash game player Ioana Apostol and Norwegian poker player & blogger Fiona Sand (in the picture above).

It was fascinating to find out more about their background and their future plans. After yet another trip to the all-night petrol station next to the casino for late night munchies at 3am, it was time to get some sleep.

Friday being a free day, a public holiday in Copenhagen and 27 degrees there was only one place I wanted to head. A group of the day 1a players and ambassadors headed back to Papirøen to sit outside, eat loads of food and enjoy cocktails and wine.

The atmosphere was great and I was surrounded by cool and fun loving Danes and great chill out tunes. Regardless to say we stayed all day and didn’t head back to the hotel and casino to the evening.

After trying a very cool game of VR poker against my husband John in the specially set up VR room from Unibet, we headed to the bar to catch up with players and friends.

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Saturday was another beautiful day, and we had planned some video content on boats, but everyone else had got there first so they were all booked out. I headed to have a coffee and film an interview in the sunshine.

Oh, btw I stumbled across this little gem round the corner from the hotel where I had the best coffee ever called – Roast Coffee -which you must try next time you are in the city!

With media work wrapped up, John, me and Dara headed over to Tivoli in the centre of Copenhagen.

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Tivoli Amusement Park

Denmark has won the happiest country in the world award a number of times. I can’t think of another country that has a giant amusement park in the middle of the city, THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY! Now if that isn’t a correlation to making people the happiest on earth then I’ll be surprised!

Enjoying some rides, performances on stage from local children choirs and drinks in the sunshine, I headed for filming with Espen and John and Dara shot off to watch the FA Cup final.

Work done I headed back to see the players in the main who had made the money which included my friend Davis Rinkevicius who was still going strong.

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At Tivoli gardens with Espen

Having skipped the Saturday side event, next up was the Unibet community event which is always a ton of fun. With staff and players from Unibet and occasional wild card it is full of banter, drinks and bluffs!

John’s tactic of hyper aggression to get knocked out so he could dash off to watch the Kell Brook v Errol Spence fight really wasn’t going to plan.

With ever more chips and the ring walk imminent his hand starting range mirrored that of a punch-drunk boxer.

Eventually busting in 3rd and sprinting to the nearest Irish bar, it was down to heads up.

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Final table of the Unibet Community side event 🙂

 

I’m happy to say we ended up with the first female winner of the community event, in her first ever game- so congrats to Julia Griffin 🙂

After that it was time to head to the Unibet players party in a cool nightclub in Copenhagen.

As always it was a mixture of shots, chatting, dancing, shots, new friends, old friends and shots. By the time it was 4.30am it was time to head out for the obligatory sausage in a roll and ketchup from the convenient van outside.

I was now beginning to understand how Danes eat an average of 42 sausages a year- temptation is everywhere!

Sunday came with the standard slightly hurting head and a trip to the commentary booth to cover the final table of the main event.

There was a wide selection of nationalities represented from Denmark to the lesser known Faroe Islands. I was rooting for my Lithuanian friend Deivis and the last female player standing.

Next up was the progressive bounty KO event which was short and sweet for me at least. After securing a bounty, I ended up running 99 into KK in late position looking for another bounty and short stacked; following that a bounty hunter quickly gobbled up my remaining chips.

Congrats to my friend Dehlia de Jong who went deep and finished 10th in the end to get a Danish flag!

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With Dehlia 🙂

Also well played and huge congrats to Estonian player Kaarel Lepik who took down the Unibet open main event for a $84,980 first place prize after coming back from a nearly 12:1 chip deficit.

After a trip for a tasty lunch to Geist ( recommended by Ferran Adrià no less) in Copenhagen centre on Monday, it was time to leave this great city which it also seemed the sunshine had finally decided to do also.

 

 

 

It had been another fun leg. Any Unibet Open stop is the perfect combination of discovering, exploring and enjoying a new city (or returning to an old favourite) and playing poker with some of the friendliest people you’ll meet at the tables. Roll on the next one and a super special stop 🙂

Before that, next blog will be about the UK Poker Tour in Glasgow…

Easter in Lithuania and the Millions

9 May

I try to go and see my family for Easter every year as we have so many beautiful traditions back home celebrating it and it is also a good excuse as any to spend some quality time with the loved ones.

In Lithuania (and many other countries I’m sure) it is a custom to hard boil some white shelled eggs and then we make them look pretty by painting and decorating them with the beeswax and onion shells.

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The following morning on Easter Sunday you bash your personally painted eggs against other peoples and the one which doesn’t break after the round, wins!

Think a strange conker based Easter contest, and you are pretty much there 🙂 It is believed that the person with the strongest egg will have the best health for the year.

Easter morning we woke up to snow, which was a nice surprise. It was the first time in years it had snowed at Easter, and it added an extra romance to the traditional visit to church, where they had a fantastic tree decorated with 7500 eggs outside the venue!

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Easter Tree 🙂

 

We spent the rest of the day celebrating with friends and family, plenty of food and drinks and also I had my God-Daughter staying for the evening with us which was lovely.

Even at Easter there is time for poker, and Sunday evening I played day 1 of the Party Poker Millions online. It was a tough, late night game with Lithuania being 2 hours ahead, but happily I made it through to the live day 2 and before I knew it, I was saying goodbye to the family and heading back home and on to Nottingham.

I was feeling confident and excited about going to Nottingham as lots of my poker mates I had not seen for a while were going to be there and also because I was heading with the dream of being the player that walks out of Dusk till Dawn poker room with £1million pounds for shipping the tournament.

As it turns out, another woman got to experience that amazing feeling instead.

When I arrived at my starting table for day 2 of the main event I seriously couldn’t believe the table draw.

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Pretty sure Martin Jacobson was looking to min cash 🙂

I have a feeling it was one of the toughest starting tables in the room which included just the 3 ‘November Niners’ –  James Akenhead, Martin Jacobson and Sylvain Loosli, plus some other capable players as expected.

As anticipated it was rather aggressive table with higher than average opening and 3betting frequency from the very start. This worked well for me as I was playing 25bb stack and was looking for spots to exploit this.

I made some chips when getting a light 3bet through and then won a decent pot when defending BB and calling two streets with a bluff catcher.

It was all going to plan till I picked up AhKc and decided to slow play- calling a raise in order to induce a squeeze from the very active players to my left. Unfortunately for me after a little deliberation, the squeeze wasn’t forthcoming and regardless of flopping top pair and top kicker I ended up busting to QJ who turned a flush and I could not hit any of my 11 outs on the river for survival.

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I was rather disappointed I didnt have a deeper run but I was happy with my play and was playing with some of the best players in the world.

I spent the rest of the day catching up with mates over some food and compulsory wine whilst also enjoying a very entertaining football match between Man United v Anderlecht as my friends Gary and Lee are big fans and United is my default team 🙂

Next day I discovered one of the nicest coffee shops/restaurants in Nottingham called Delilah which Gary had recommended to me.

It was set in an old Victorian building serving all the fine foods and local produce. It was good to see a different part of Nottingham, and it is exciting I’ll be back to explore more as Unibet have made this a stop on their UK Poker Tour later this year!

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Delilah Fine Foods

After a healthy & tasty brunch at Delilah I decided to head back to DTD for the 8-Max side event which had a 1 million guaranteed prizepool and was likely to have an overlay.

We swapped some action with my friend Lee Atherton and off we went to chase dreams again!

I had a cheerful table with lots of banter and fun play. I also had an early double up with flopped 2 pair v turned 2 pair and since then never looked back and ended up cruising to day 2 with a healthy stack.

Chips bagged and sealed I headed to the players party to join the rest and get some exercise in whilst dancing the night away 🙂

It was a beautiful day on Saturday and I had an easy morning doing some yoga, window shopping and enjoying some great coffee and pastries outside in the sunshine. I went back to DTD feeling positive and confident with the hopes for a great day.

I had a decent starting table and was ticking along ok till I lost 22bb with AQss v 78ss aipf and then I was hovering around 35bb stack before getting moved to a new table.

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Philipp Gruissem focused!

Philipp Gruissem was sitting two to my left and was no doubt the most experienced player there with over $10mil in Hendon Mob cashes under his belt.

It was cool watching him being totally composed and in control when grinding his short stack. He made an awesome hero call for his tournament life to get back in contention and start bossing the table just before I got moved again.

The atmosphere in the room was getting a bit tighter and more intense and the play was slowing down as we were approaching the bubble. We were 5 away from the money when I picked up KK and got it all in pre-flop. The other guy had AQ; Ace on the flop and gg for me 😦

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I was gutted…. Not with Kings again! Sigh… I seem to be on this curse where I either run into KK or get them cracked for an exit.

Luckily for me the bar was still open and I had lots of friends around to cheer me up…. Also my friend Lee cashed so it wasn’t all bad.

Sunday was my last day in Nottingham and all about the Ladies event which I was very much looking forward to.

Plus there was a final table of the Millions Main even running at the same time and it was amazing to see two great female players still in the mix including my friend Katie Swift representing the UK female poker community 🙂

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Katie Swift

 

 

Although I lost a flip to bubble the Ladies final table, I had a great time catching up with friends and seeing Maria pick up the biggest trophy and the biggest pay out outside the highroller buy in events in Europe.

It was a superb week for women in poker with Katie finishing in 7th for £100k, Maria Lampropoulou winning the Main Event for a whooping one Million and Sylvia Hewitt coming 5th in the 6-max side event for £20k.

Everyone should know by now that I’m passionate on getting more women into the game and this was a tremendous advertisement for what women can achieve!

Hopefully more female players will return to the felt or make the first steps into the live arena.

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I will be heading to Barcelona in a few days for a friend’s wedding and then the Unibet Open in Copenhagen at the end of May. I look forward to seeing some of you there 🙂

Brighton

10 Apr

I flew back in from Cape Town on Saturday morning and after a couple of hours kip at home & a frantic luggage re-pack I was on my way to Brighton for the kick off of the Unibet UK Poker Tour 2017. I was determined to last longer in the tournament than the flight, so I needed to make day 2 as a minimum 🙂

Brighton is a place that holds many fond memories for me and I was both excited and feeling rather nostalgic going back to the city where it all started for me.

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Brighton

I lived in Brighton for 5 years after originally moving to the UK in 2001.  I worked there before and during going to university completing my degree in Business whilst very much enjoying a student life in this vibrant & bohemian city.

Brighton is also the place where I met my husband and where I played a game of poker for the first time. I used to make some extra cash by hanging out at the local casinos playing £5- £20 tournament games and dreaming of a future as a poker pro.

So here I was, going back to my old home town in my new role as Ambassador for Unibet which has led me to reminisce about all the random jobs, crazy times & hard work I had to put up with whilst striving towards my dreams and I got thinking about how these related to poker…

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Waitress in a very popular seafood restaurant: Like a turbo tournament in a smaller Vegas casino- way too busy for my liking, too many people shouting and of course- being surrounded by fish…

Bar Tender in a popular cocktail bar : Pretty much like busting the Unibet Open– having loads of fun standing at the bar chatting to people, doing shots, drinking wine and getting to bed at 4am before being back up for work early once again the next morning 🙂

Modelling – catwalk +editorial shoots: When you get the most unfriendly table in a tournament. Surrounded by rude and pretentious people for hours on end, waiting around playing only a few hands before min-cashing and realising it wasn’t worth it anyway.

Sales person in a shoe shop: Convincing people that they are looking good with their choices and then paying you off at the end of it as you talk them into a call when you hold the nuts.

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Cashier at a late-night bar:  Pretty much like playing online poker in 2007. Taking money off drunk people, working into the early hours of the morning, drinking coffee to stay awake and counting the money at the end of the evening.

Selling double glazing windows door-to-door – the worst job i did! – Like your first live game of poker- no training, not being sure what exactly you are meant to be doing, getting berated by people for your mistakes and making nothing at the end of it. I lasted one day in this job which ended with this classic interchange with my manager:

Manager:”how is it going?”

Me: “well”.

Manager: “whereabouts are you?”

Me: “the beach:)))”

Thankfully poker came to the rescue! As I started to be successful online and then do better in live tournaments I got an insight into what it was like to do a job you enjoyed and be well recompensed at the end of it. This certainly helped as I finished my degree and left Brighton to move to London and the next part of my adventures in life.

Anyhow this trip down memory lane completed I was obviously really pleased Unibet had picked Brighton as one of their stops for the UK Poker Tour 2017 (not just once but twice) and I was looking forward going back to my roots & maybe even seeing a few familiar faces at the tables from the old days.

Brighton is also know as “Little London by the sea” famous for it’s beaches, culture and an amazing night life. I was excited for the players who were coming to this place for the first time.

There was so much on offer with tons of fun activities alongside poker. I find that busting a tournament is never as bad if you can stroll down a pier afterwards and tuck into some of the most delicious fish and chips in the country.

Find out what Unibet Ambassadors did get up to in the video below:)

 

Unsurprisingly the event was a huge success and the £220 Main Event has attracted 261 players which smashed the £40k guarantee by creating a £52,200 prize pool.

My poker journey this time, regardless of home ground edge, didn’t go to plan 😦 I did make day 2 but then lost a big flip for most chips & then ran AJ into KK for the rest.

It was a great final table though, with a perfect mix of online qualifiers, recreational players & some pros. I was especially delighted to see 3 female players still in fighting for the title, trophy & £14,090 cash!

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Final table baby!

Local hero Deborah Worley-Roberts seemed to have the biggest rail but unfortunately bust in 3rd for a decent £6,140 payday.

Well done to eventual winner Mateusz Krzyzewski from Poland who secured his trip to Brighton for only €25 at Unibet Poker. It shows how you can spin up the smallest amount, to a barrel of cash and get to visit some great places and meet fun people whilst doing it!

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The champ Mateusz Krzyzewski with the runner up Renata Jack

It was great to have a professional photographer (Tambet Kask) & a hard working content team on board so everyone who is interested in this tournament could follow fun & accurate updates online whilst supporting & railing their favorites.

This does not usually happen in smaller buy-in events & it was great to see Unibet being the pioneers of this!

I look forward to returning in October for some poker, fun and hopefully an even bigger turn out!

Unibet Open London (Part 2)

28 Mar

Post my exit from the Main Event, the next stop was a bar obviously:) I was rather disappointed at that point but a glass of wine and 10 hugs later I was feeling myself again.

I think that one of my favourite aspects about Unibet Open events is that you are always surrounded by friendly and approachable people and there is always someone on the bench happy to interact and have a chat including organisers and players alike.

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Happy dealers 🙂

Another glass of wine & a few bad beat stories out of the way (not by me:), we decided to head out for some food. I was the only Londoner in the group and felt compelled to take my poker mates somewhere cool and easy.

Busaba – (my most frequently visited Thai restaurant chain in London) seemed like a perfect option for this and I’m glad it was a big hit with the guests too.

Some fresh air, tasty food in a  great company and I ultimately ended up back in action in the £300 Deepstack side event that night:)

We had a pretty insane table draw. It felt like a re-run of the Ambassadors Sit&Go! Unibet sponsored pros Dara and Espen were seated to my right, David K Lappin and Dan Murariu to my left and a very good Scottish player Stuart McNally in between.

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Side Event, sandwiched between Dara & David

Although it was tough competition, it was a fun table at the same time too. We were having plenty of banter and enjoying some top class lines delivered by David who is a comedian at heart (and a very skilled poker player too). He managed to bluff me off QQ in a 5bet pot whilst telling a joke, so well played David:))

That cheeky bugger eventually took the rest of my chips when my KK couldn’t hold versus his JJ all in pre. Unfortunately it was one of those “run bad”days for me…

I joined the rail and watched David, Dara and Stuart making they way to day 2 before heading home at 3.30am…

Saturday morning I met up with the Unibet Digital team for some filming regarding the upcoming Unibet UK Poker Tour leg in Brighton. It was great experience getting involved in some promotion work & getting to meet the team behind the scenes:)

Official work out of the way, I was excited about catching up with my beautiful Dutch friend Dehlia for a coffee and some Snapchat antics of course (Dehlia is the queen of selfies:)

Not long after, I headed back to the Vic to rail my friends who made day 2 of the ME and the £300 side event.

I was especially excited for my friend Kelly Saxby handling a big stack whilst appearing very comfortable at her table. I was hoping for a deep run and it would have been lovely to see a local female player at the final table.

Unfortunately it was not to be for Kelly and a few hours and a couple of coolers later she was out 4 spots away from the money 😦

Here’s a great interview with Kelly post her exit:

Strangely my friends Dara & Andy Hills busted their tourney’s at a very similar time and 4 of us decided to head out for some food and post hand analysis. That’s what happens when you hang out with poker players, you end up living and breathing poker.

I really enjoy discussing key hands and pots with my mates tho and I truly believe it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to train & improve your thinking which helps to stay ahead of the fast advancing perpetual poker curve.

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Some Lebanese tapas and mint tea later we were back to the casino to rail David Lappin & Stuart Mcnally in the side event.

Well done to David  who eventually finished 11th & super well played Stuart who unfortunately missed out on a trophy but pocketed a healthy £ 7,365 for his efforts;)

It was nearly 7pm and everyone was getting very excited for the Unibet Player’s Party later that night.

We decided to skip the side event for the joys of the big night out in London. My hubby John had a few mates visiting him from Manchester and  was having a few drinks at home. So I invited a few friends of my own and had a mini house party to warm up before heading out 🙂

We got to the The Loop Bar at around 12 and the place was buzzing with groovy 70’s tunes and moves to match. It was a swanky 3 floor venue with disco style main dancing floor.

It was so much fun; great dj & atmosphere all-round and I was glad to see so many poker players who seemed very focused at the tables earlier letting their hair down ( some quite literally!) and having a ball on the dance floor.

I was enjoying the cocktails and the music and no surprise ended up dancing non stop till the lights in the club came on…

You can check out the highlights of the Players Party in the video below:)

Next day was all about chilling & resting my achy feet whilst watching the live stream of the day 3 of the Main Event from a comfort of my home. Ever informative and with the usual accompanying witty and insightful commentary it helped pass a day on the sofa quite nicely.

My friend Tamer Kamel was still in with 13 players left but unfortunately bust in 12th.

I was also rooting for a recreational player called Rauno Tahvonen AKA “Estonian Jesus” who was a fun character to have on the UO London final table and follow on the live stream. He was great for table banter and played his heart out to finish in 6th for £13,650. Not a bad payday for a weekends work for a skateboarding instructor 😉

Very well done to a Belgian Gerret Van Lancker the last man standing and the eventual winner of the Record-Breaking 2017 Unibet Open London leg for £ 71,950.

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And there it was – an end to yet another fantastic & a very successful Unibet Open leg. Well done to all the lovely people involved and I very much look forward to seeing you all in Copenhagen next.

Unibet Open London (Part 1)

7 Mar

I was very excited about the Unibet Open London Leg and had been looking forward to it since my return from their smashing stop in Bucharest last November.

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I was glad to learn that the festival was going to be hosted at the Grosvenor Casino better known as “The Vic” which is my favourite casino in London and my local poker room I visit on almost a weekly basis.

I am fond of this venue for a number of reasons; it is usually very well run and has a great floor staff , the vibe at the tables are friendly & welcoming.

The casino itself is placed in a very central location on Edgware Road surrounded by a vast number of restaurants & coffee shops, and only 10 minutes walk away from all the hustle & bustle of the world famous Bond & Oxford Streets.

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The poker room at The Vic

I had no doubt The Vic was going to be a big hit with the new visitors to London for the Unibet Open.

My own Unibet Open London experience started by me heading to the Hilton Hotel where everyone I know & previously met in Bucharest was staying.

It was a great night catching up with friends and meeting new people too but I was the most excited about seeing Dara, Dave and Ian and having a celebratory drink together to toast their success on officially becoming the new Unibet Ambassadors.

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Ian Simpson (left), Dara O’Kearney & David K Lappin

Congrats once again guys; all 3 of you are very kind, friendly and fun characters as well as very skilled poker players and I believe you are going to be the perfect representatives for Unibet brand.

I headed to the Vic on Wednesday. The place was buzzing on my arrival; there were satellites to the main event and cash games running, also there were last minute prep work being done for the invitational eSports & The Ambassadors Sit&Go’s.

It was truly great atmosphere all around and I enjoyed being a social butterfly once again:)

I ended up meeting a few professional online gamers including the European Hearthstone Champion Thijs Molendijk and the eventual winner of the eSports Battle Royale – Alan Widmann.

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Alan Widmann

All the guys were friendly and approachable regardless of their huge fame in the complex world of gaming (admission here- my knowledge of the world of eSports was zero prior to this evening), so it was interesting getting some insight into their world and understanding some of the parallels with online poker.

Then I got approached by Marc Convey to join him in the commentary booth for the Ambassadors Sit&Go which I happily agreed to.

Marc is always a fun person to hang around with and I was excited about bringing different perspective; female charm and some technical analysis to the table;)

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Enjoying commentary stint with Marc:)

The line up for this event was pretty incredible with many very talented & experienced players with staggering live results under their belts.

The Swedish online sensation Viktor Blom , Romanian superstar Dan Murariu and the Irish legend Dara O’Kearney to name a few. I was looking forward to watching them play some great poker.

My bet for the win was on my close friend Dara; he had the most final table experience and is one of the best ICM specialists in the world. I knew he was likely to play a mistake free session.

There was a £10,000 prizepool with top 3 places getting paid 5k,3k & 2k effectively.

Unibet was also offering some great odds on the players to win or bust first, and I placed a couple of bets on my favourites in each category.

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Unibet Ambassadors Sit&Go

I had a great time and some good banter with Marc in the booth; we even had some Sambucas and managed to send a round of tequila shots to all participants on the feature table:))

The shots were kindly accepted and I was pleased to see the players interacting with each other and having fun (drinking beer, eating bananas and sharing a box of Ferrero:):)

Congrats to Charlotte who eventually outlasted all the storied competitors at the table to take the tournament down.

Here’s the link to replay, the Ambassadors Sit&Go and guest commentary by me starts at 6 hours or so in the stream

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Ian & banana action (left), Charlotte and Espen

It ended up being another late night for me with lots of poker chat, laughter and drinks with both old friends and new.

I took Thursday off to catch up on my sleep, do some yoga and prepare myself a little for the Main Event day 1b the following day. I wanted my head to be clear and feel in the zone for the big game although I have to admit it was very had to reject all the invites to head out.

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Hanging out with my new friends:)

Friday – the Main Event. The Unibet Open always attracts a diverse and international player field which usually leads to a fun atmosphere at the tables and all around the festival. This stop was no exception and there were players from Sweden, Holland, Russia and even Singapore on my starting table.

This event has a superb blind structure; with a 30k starting stack and 1 hour clock I was looking to take my time to settle in and profile the players.

Unfortunately poker didn’t go to plan for me and from the very start I was chipping down rather than chipping up:(

I lost a chunky pot with AQcc when flopping top pair +backdoor flush & straight draws, actually turning a nut flush draw and annoyingly bricking the river. I’m pretty sure the had me outflopped so it was an easy fold on a paired river.

Then I picked up KK in the cutoff and elected to open x2.2, the btn called and a very friendly but super aggro Russian player in the BB decided to squeeze 3bet.

I was 70bb deep at that point and my options were to either call or 4bet with the intention to get it in. The only time I would ever consider flatting in this spot if the player who re-raised was very tight & would only be ever doing this for value only with the very top of his range (the same hand or aces).

However noting that my Russian opponent had proved happy to get AKoff all in pre-flop for for 150bb earlier, he was certainly the kind of player I would be looking to play for stacks with a pair of kings.

So I 4bet, he 5bet shipped, I snapped and to my horror he rolled over a pair of Aces…sigh..

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GG Main Event

It was a very disappointing exit from the tournament I was looking forward for so long but I knew there was more fun to be had and was looking forward to playing some side events and attending the players party next 🙂 TBC…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unibet Open Bucharest

20 Dec

Unibet Open Bucharest was the best poker trip of 2016 for me & yes, just in case you are wondering, that includes the WSOP run too 🙂

Here’s why I enjoyed the whole Unibet Open experience so much:

Destination:

I’d been to Romania previously, but never to Bucharest and I can say honestly it surprised me! It was a cool city with lots to offer.

With a fascinating history (like everywhere some good/ some bad) it was rich in architecture with some lovely old buildings in the old town and of course the hugely imposing Palace of the Parliament which was once the biggest private residence in the world!

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Bucharest’s Old Town

The day after the Ladies Battle Royale ( see previous blog) I spent exploring the city with with Dara O’Kearney and his lovely wife Mireille.

The vibe all around was friendly and the food in delicatessens tasty and the shopping centres pretty expansive.

When a shopping centre has a roller coaster and ice skating rink you may want to limit the food and wine.

Of course we failed at both and after some tasty Lebanese cuisine we headed to stock up on Prosecco for the hotel parties ( we knew there would be parties:) in the local supermarket.

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Enjoying Lebanese with Dara & Mireille

I must confess to a strange fascination with exploring supermarkets in foreign cities across the globe.

The array of different and tasty food, different local choices and people watching is always fun. 

Confession here- favourite supermarket from trips- ‘Kirk’s’ in Grand Cayman; least favourite Mercado 2, Havana… anyway I digress….

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Supermarket in Havana

Other highlights from the day was continual good food, cheap taxis and wine, decent city walks, great company and like any good Lithuanian appreciates readily available beetroot salads…

We were also to discover Bucharest has a fun party nightlife, but more on that later…

Hotel:

It is always nice when you turn up to your hotel and it’s a cheeky 5 star number and the tournament is also being hosted there! The Marriott Bucharest is a stunning hotel with spacious rooms and a good array of facilities.

Poker stressing you out, there’s a spa and pool. Want to keep your body agile as well as your mind, there’s a fitness centre. Hungry, 5 restaurants. Sports betting and want to watch the match- there’s a bar for that also.

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The indoor pool

All poker players know the immediate aftermath of an exit from a tournament is a depressing time, but the environment can sure help pick you up and it did ( no spoiler here) when I ultimately got knocked out.

Basically the opposite of walking out of the Amazon Room at the Rio, thirsty with no decent food nearby and the cab queues…

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One of the bars & chill out zone

Breakfast was amazing and depending on your personal time choice was available at 11am and also if you wanted a really early breakfast on the way home from a particularly big night… well the Romanian KFC one street away from the hotel did a great line of tasty dishes, complete with the next day shame of in room packaging and remaining cold chip 🙂

The Main Event:

With two starting days I decided on day 1b on the Friday. Firstly it gave me a day off to explore Bucharest prior and secondly I prefer Friday players in poker tournaments- it’s always fun with a higher proportion of recreational players playing and their table chat is usually more entertaining. 

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Feature table

Anyway, once I’d sat down to play it was obvious it was shaping up to be the biggest Unibet Open ever and with 603 entries it was!

The generous guarantee was comfortably smashed. With a €1,100 buy in and 30k starting stack, plenty of play was guaranteed with a 1 hour clock.

My starting table included 2 Israelis, 3 Romanians and Gaelle Garcia Diaz who had played in the Unibet Ladies Battle Royale. It was a fun table with plenty of banter, as a minority at the table us ladies were welcomed and somewhat of a novelty.

We were the feature table after a couple of levels, with plenty of action and also a couple of players really determined to get action whatever the cost to their stack!

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Just after busting the Main Event – wine time:)

I was card dead so grinding away, as I ended up doing the majority of the day. A,10 costing me chips vs. KJ sb/bb and a number of other shoddy run- outs for me.

With efficient friendly dealers it always seemed fun regardless and you learn not to get frustrated if spots and hands aren’t coming your way.

Later in the day I was on the feature table again, this time with Renè Dif (vocalist and writer from the band Aqua). 

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Rene Dif on the right

A lively, friendly character I was able to forgive him for the polarising smash hit Barbie Girl from the mid 90s. Polarising because my 13 year old self loved it, but my older self now isn’t so sure…sorry Renè 🙂

After a long days play my ultimate exit was pretty frustrating. I squeezed jammed from the BB with AJ and got called by the early position raiser. I was in great shape against his J8dd but the run out did not play ball and a flush sent me to the rail.

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Traian Bostan – Main Event winner

Have no fear though, the lounge area and drinks were waiting along with a number of unfortunate bust buddies (Dara, Ian Simpson, David Lappin & Kat Arnsby to mention a few) and we had a good time there chatting and drinking until around 4am.

Congrats to Traian Bostan for an awesome performance and the 100k winner’s prize. Nice to see a local lifting the trophy.

Side Events/Fun tournaments:

Busting the main didn’t mean that poker was over for the trip. There was a strong array of side events including a 6-max tournament, PLO, Turbo, Bounty and high roller event.

There were also satellites for the main event and high roller prior to these for live players in Bucharest to join those who satellited online.

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The Unibet Community side event

The side events had the continued friendly feel I’d come to expect on the trip. I especially enjoyed the Unibet Community side event.

It was free to enter as long as you were a community member and lots of fun. With drinks on offer and bounties on various people’s heads I met new interesting community regulars and Unibet staff members also.

Here’s the link to the Unibet Community  if you wish to be a part of this fun experience on the next Unibet Open stop. 

Ambience and Atmosphere:

My earlier points will mean it comes as no surprise to discover the general atmosphere across the events was  fun and friendly.

This has been lacking in recent tournaments I’ve played elsewhere and it reminded of the funner days of poker when I first started to fall in the love with the game.

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Carl & Robin having some poker fun:)

Plenty of banter and people enjoying a beverage, and a lot less Beats headphones and scowls from jaded professionals.

It was nice to be congratulated on my ladies Battle Royale win from complete strangers, and indeed make new friends.

The poker room itself was a beautiful Grand Ballroom, just outside the main lounge. It had plenty of space and places to chill and rail mates.

When busting there was always someone new who wanted to have a chat and I think the community feel has helped everyone feel more inclined to approach others.

We even got to do a Poker Mannequin Challenge featuring over 300 players, staff and media!

 

Coverage and Streams:

You don’t have to take my word for it on the Unibet Open you can stream and enjoy the banter and coverage throughout. Whether watching the live stream of one of the events, or catching up on Pokernews updates from the diligent Frank Op de Woerd, you can always get a good insight into what is happening.

Marc Convey and David Vanderheyden were responsible for the live stream and they always bring the entertainment with witty and insightful commentary and observations.

I was lucky enough to join Marc in the commentary booth along with Dara for a period of streaming for the feature table.

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Marc Convey on the left & Carl, the champ of the Unibet staff event;)

Concurrent to our comments, there is a live chat section suitable for railers, community members, hand opinions, exclusive Unibet Freerolls and even the occasional ( quickly deleted 🙂 trolls…

I enjoyed being part of the commentary albeit briefly and really appreciated how difficult it is to keep the banter and fun flowing so feel free to check Marc and David doing just this on some of the replays on the Unibet Twitch Channel.

Entertainment and the Players Party:

As anyone knows who regularly attends poker tournaments, there are plenty of players who enjoy socialising, a few beers and cocktails, or even just drowning their sorrows/ or indeed celebrating with friends!

With welcome drinks and cocktails as well as live music – Unibet got the ball rolling for all players.

The highlight of the weekend’s fun being the Players Party on the Saturday night with coaches laid on from the hotel to the venue- the aptly named Players Club.

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With Kat & Linnea from the Ladies Event

With drinks vouchers provided for players I had more joy spinning these up from the 2 vouchers I arrived with to a mysterious 13 vouchers remaining in my purse the next day. I’m still bemused by this as I’d had quite a few already on arrival..

The club itself was pretty spectacular with a massive luxury interior, great music and some of the sexiest dancers you could wish to see. I had a great time dancing (see no.2 in favourite past-times) and fun with the girls.

My evening was somewhat derailed after having to down a massive Absinth shot following losing a bet, but a vomit inducing trip to the toilet resolved this.

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Player Club

The club was still rocking when we left around 4am, open until 6am. I told you the Bucharest locals like to party…

Final Thoughts:

Unibet and their staff did a great job in running a successful and fun event. All the Unibet team members were approachable and interacted with the players throughout the event. 

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Unibet Team

Dealers, TD’s and support staff all did a fantastic job of making this poker festival a huge success. 2017 promises to be bigger and better for the Unibet Open. The first main event is in London at the end of February.

I look forward to seeing many of you there for another exciting & successful Unibet stop 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Poker UK Poker Championship

17 Feb

Hello!! I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve promised myself & some of you that I will be blogging more frequently in 2014, so watch the space 🙂

Since parting ways with Genting a few months ago, I spent some time catching up with my family and giving myself time-out so I could throw myself back into poker more refreshed. I’m excited about the year of poker ahead, and have a mini schedule for the first few months or so planned in my head with extra stops if I can get some run-good going.

I’ve decided to be more selective on game choice- looking for aspects such as set guarantees, extra value added to the prizepools, soft satellites & the right location for a game (not flying to Ireland and spending days in hotels for example) when choosing which tournaments to participate in.

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Next stop for me is going to be the Sky Poker UK Championships in Nottingham this week. There is no doubt this is going to be one of the biggest events on the UK Poker circuit this year, attracting huge number of players & creating a juicy prizepool.

In my opinion the £500,000 guarantee is going to be easily surpassed.

Sky Poker has been running a number of great satellites online as well as in some mainland casinos, giving players the opportunity to win a seat to the Sky Poker UK Championship satellite for as little as £5.

For all Londoner’s who still haven’t secured a seat to the Main event, tomorrow’s £50 re-buy satellite at the Mint Casino could be especially good value, as there are an unconditional 5 seats guaranteed & a decent structure for a re-buy tournament.

I’ll be heading to the Mint tomorrow myself to try and win one of those seats, if not I will see you at the DTD in Nottingham on Thursday anyway 🙂

Daiva x

European Nations Cup 2013

24 Apr

I received a call from Barny Boatman a few weeks ago informing me about upcoming European Nations Cup event in Cyprus & kindly asking me if I would be interested in joining his team. How exciting!!

European Nations Cup 2013It meant swapping rainy London for sunny Paphos for a weekend in order to play poker against some of the best poker players in the world.

I was really honoured and proud to be a part of Team UK & couldn’t wait to contribute to its success (hopefully:)

Now just a little intro into what the European Nations Cup is all about.

It is a yearly event being hosted by the International Federation of Poker (IFP) with an intention to promote poker as a skill game and a mind sport. In order to achieve the most accurate results, IFP uses the unique format of Match Poker:

– 6 players per table play 4 sessions in total (66 hands each session)

– Every player on each table receives an identical order of cards (dealt electronically to players’ smartphones and the tables’ community devices)

– Every new hand is being started with 10,000 chips

– Scoring is based on the aggregate chips won/lost by team on each hand. 14points being the max and 1 point being the min.

European Nations Cup 2013There were 14 teams from different countries participating in the European Nations Cup 2013 & competing for the first place trophy as well as the top 6 spots, which guaranteed a place in the final (Nations World Cup) in November.

I had a good feeling for the Team UK – which was led by Captain Barny Boatman and included Neil Channing, Ross Boatman, Karl Mahrenholz, Ben Roberts, Jerome Bradpiece  & me – not only because we had some of the most experienced & successful poker players in the UK, but because we had a good mix of players with different poker skills useful for the Match Poker format as well as possessing the right mindset and attitude towards teamwork.

All of us got on really well and were prepared to support each other & work our hearts out to make sure the team UK succeeded.

Hands down I was the least experienced player in my team and having not played in this kind of event before, I was very eager not to let anyone down. Once I found out I was playing a 6max 200bb deep game, I started practising online & improving my game by watching 6 handed cash game training videos online.

I felt they gave me a useful refresher into deep stack poker; more hand range knowledge and betting sizes players tend to incorporate into their game & treated it as a good warm up going into the Cyprus event.

Team Lunch

Team Lunch

After a 4.5 hour flight we have finally landed in Paphos & after checking in the beautiful Annabelle Hotel & grabbing a quick bite we were happily heading back to our rooms for some rest.

Friday was a glorious day and we took this opportunity to go for a wander by the seafront & try some local delicacies.

Ross & Jerome have decided it was a mixed seafood platter time! Cyprians seem to be extremely generous with food portions; After ordering our octopus, calamari & fish of the day combo we have also received breads, dips, olives and something pickled we couldn’t identify but what ever it was tasted great:)

We were making the most of the food & sun before heading back to the hotel for the opening ceremony, where everybody had an opportunity to try out the new technology (smartphones) to be used for the next day’s play and to officially meet the rest of the participating teams as well as check out the trophies.

Patriotism was running high even before the event was about to begin; some players were carrying their mini country flags around, the others were wearing clothing with national embroidery/branding or simply sticking to their own groups plotting the winning strategies even on an organised night out!

I think some of them were taking this too seriously- the action was yet to begin!

This did not apply to the UK team. After listening to a few of welcoming speeches by the event organisers & guests as well as fitting in even more tasty Cyprian food, our team enjoyed a fun evening by the pool taking some lessons from Jesse May how to win at Chinese Poker 🙂  They’d be plenty of time to get focused and serious the next day!

Teams competing - Day 1

Teams competing – Day 1

I started day 1, session 1 on table 6 & seat 5.

I had a Danish guy – Frederik Brink in seat 1, who was playing good aggressive poker and whom I ended up playing majority of my hands against.

Seat 2 was an Irish player Michael Graydon – who eventually won the best player of the tournament title, seat 3 was an Estonian player who was pretty quiet and only played a handful of hands in the first two sessions, seat 4 was a Spanish player who was probably the most aggressive player on the table and opened every second pot. I was in seat 5 & seat 6 was taken by a Lithuanian lady.

Because of pretty active table dynamics I ended up playing more hands than initially planned and when I did, I tried incorporating not only  the most obvious starting hands but a few holdings I would usually muck  in a typical MTT.

My reasoning behind this was that it was very likely that majority of the players on the other tables are going to fold those untraditional starting hands immediately,  or at least in the earlier sessions/stages of the game and thereby not make any points for the team, where I was going to try and go for the max scoring.

4 hours in and team UK was leading the way with top points. I was thrilled to bits!! After finding out the initial results, all of us gathered together to have a mini break & team lunch. We went over some of the hands played and tried to collate more information on the specific players & teams whilst trying to figure out their approach to the format.

Team standings at the end of Day 1

Team standings at the end of Day 1

After another few hours of playing we managed to finish the day 1 in third spot, which was only 7 points behind the Irish team & half point behind France. We were really chuffed with the outcome & a night out for the team enjoying Cyprian cuisine was in order!

We had a great night out on the Island, enjoying local cuisine & delicious ice cream for dessert (yes, they were so good that even the boys couldn’t resist having a scoop or two:)!)

It was good having a proper catch up with everyone & to bond better with the team. We made plans to meet 9am the next morning in order to look at some hand histories, which were meant to be sent through to the team captains the night before.

The availability of this kind of data could have possibly given a great insight into each opponent’s play on any given table/seat and could potentially be used to UK team’s advantage.

Unfortunately, due to some technical issues the HH data did not arrive in time to be reviewed in detail & discussed in group before session 3 was due to start. Regardless, captain’s orders were to stick to the same kind of play as the day before as it had been working so far & the situation was going to be re-assessed once session 3 ended & results were out.

In addition there was some re-structuring in the team and Karl Mahrenholz was called in to take my seat, whilst I rotated into the substitution spot.

This basically meant that I was free to enjoy the morning’s sun chilling by the pool & hang around the hotel with the other substitutes, but not too far away from the poker room, in case any of my team mates needed me for smoking breaks etc

European Nations Cup 2013

Break Time!

This has given me a great opportunity to do some networking & to meet some interesting people whilst testing out a few traditional Greek cold coffees – Frappe being my favourite!;)

It was lovely meeting Irish captain – Dara O’Kearney, who was gregarious & genuinely supportive of UK team all throughout. Also I managed to sneak in a passionate debate about Match Poker & it’s future with the President of IFP of Bosnia & Herzegovina – Djordje Lovric.

Before I knew it was time to head to the restaurant and meet my team for lunch. I was quick to learn that we did not have the best session and as a result slipped down to 7th place.

This was the first & the last time I noticed a tiny glimpse of worry in our captain’s demeanour.

Although not quite where we wanted to be it was not a disaster. All of the standings were pretty close in points and they could be easily changed for better after a number of hands.

There were a number of other teams who whose chances of qualifying were pretty slim and it was only to take some drastic measures for them to win.

After some thorough discussion we decided to go for a “solid poker” approach with an intention to exploit the players from the “desperate to win” countries that will be playing too loose and trying to gamble their way into the top 6.

Also, the captain has decided that Karl will stay on my table to play session 4 and I’ll be continuing my adventures in Annabelle hotel, which in my opinion was only fair given the circumstances.

I was the least experienced +the youngest:) player in the team and it only made sense strategically to have the strongest players in action going into the final round to try and pull the team up.

All of my team members are fantastic poker players with 10+ years experience in the business and between £600k -£2mill in winnings each, there is no doubt they were going to make less mistakes and be more accurate with the live reads as well as be better at applying max pressure on the weaker players than me.

It was paramount the team qualified!

Karl Mahrenholz

Karl Mahrenholz on the feature table

As it happened, all the players from my table were being moved to the feature table upstairs for the final session. So whilst everyone was taking their seats, I was heading to the second poker room, where the feature table was being streamed live to rail Karl.

Karl played really well; he made some correct reads & has gone a couple of gutsy moves which seemed to work out just fine.

No doubt, he made some decent points for the team there. It was funny that he was getting involved with the Danish guy as much as I was in my first two sessions:)

Later I learned that the rest of the team members seemed to have had good final sessions too & the chances of the UK making it into the top 6 was looking bright again!

We were in good spirits heading for the awards ceremony & hoping for some wins and of course qualification!

I loved the ballroom; It looked stunning in white with big gold plaited chandeliers. Each team had a table for the night where drinks & lovely food were served and there was a live singer & a DJ who kept everyone entertained.

We were slightly nervous and couldn’t wait for the awards ceremony to begin… Although we didn’t know what to expect, deep down in my heart I felt that we have done enough to qualify for the finals….

European Nations Cup 2013

The joy of winning:)

I was right!! Team UK came 4th & I couldn’t have been happier for all of us:) We worked hard, we played hard and we deserved to go through.

However, the most joyful point of the night was seeing our Captain – Barny Boatman – picking up the trophy for the best seat award (seat 3)! I was so proud of our Captain, leading us to qualification by showing us how it’s done with a winning seat. It couldn’t be a better story!

Karl & I must have done something right too as we scooped a trophy  for the best player in seat 5 🙂 It was such a lovely unexpected win & I have to admit it felt great!

There were only 6 seat awards in total, for the players who scored the most points in a specific seat compared to that seat on the different tables and Team UK managed to win 2 of them!

Also massive congratulations to the Irish team, who ended up winning European Nations cup 2013 & picking up a gorgeous trophy and my sincere consolations to the Lithuanian team who didn’t make it.

Well done to the International Poker Federation of Cyprus for putting on such a great & very successful event & I look forward to seeing you all in the finals next.

The location for the Nations World Cup has not been confirmed, but the gossip around is that it’s in Rio:) Bring on Brazil!!

From The Bahamas to Birmingham

16 Feb

It’s been a great 2013 so far!

I started my new poker year by playing the Genting Big Game at the Mint casino & making the final table. After chopping the same tourney heads up in December, I was feeling confident and with alittle luck on my side I knew I could do well again.

Baltic Blonde

Unfortunately it was not meant to be! I ended up finishing in 9th when getting it all in with QQ v A,9 and not being able to fade an ace.

I still made some money that night, as me and Joe Beevers swapped a piece of each other with 2 tables left and he went on to finish in 5th for £9k.

Well played Joe and thanks again for my new handbag money:)

Next for me was a trip to Bahamas for the PCA adventure, where I played in the $1,000 Ladies event.

This tournament attracted 66 runners, including a few very well known names; such as Jan Combes who has won the EPT Ladies Event in 2011 and finished fourth in the EPT Grand Final Ladies Event in 2012 & Fatima Moreira de Melo of Team PokerStars.
My starting table was fast and furiuous and after losing a couple of key pots early doors I  never really recovered. I shipped the remaining of my stack in with Q,10s on the 10 high flop and unfortunately got called by K,10 for an exit. Sigh!

Although the tournament didn’t go to plan, I had a blast exploring the Atlantis Resort & enjoying the Caribbean sun for the next couple of days. I spent majority of the time in a water park; trying out various slides & scenic river rides as well as testing out traditional Pina Coladas:) Who cares about day 2 when you can have this instead!?

Silute

My hometown – Silute!

I was taking in every sun ray I could as 48 hours I knew I was going to be in Lithuania, where the winter temperature at the time was reaching -13!

I love winter back home! My hometown was gorgeous in white and it was great being able to play with my nieces outside the house and build a snowman.

I also had a few fun trips snow sliding and driving on frozen river ice with my family & friends.

After 16 days in Lithuania with no poker, I was very much looking forward to going back and getting involved in the first leg of the Genting Poker Series 2013.

The GPS main event attracted a record field of 590 players, which created a sweet prizepool of £236,000 & nearly £60k for the winner.

I started my GPS adventure on Thursday by playing in the Button Poker side event. It was not only a good opportunity for me to catch up with some friends at the tables but also to put in some live poker practice before the main event the following day.

After busting with AA in the later stages of the game, I ended chatting to the Main Event Travel team & helping them out with the wine:))

Genting Club Star City

Genting Club Star City

Few hours later and I was back to the Star City to play in the £440 buy-in Main Event.

A fantastic structure was in place with a 25k starting stack and 1 hour clock – which  allowed even the most conservative player an opportunity to make day 2.

I had a rollecoaster day, where I peaked at 60k (avg stack at that point being 35k) and was down to 10k before baging & tagging a disappointing 26k for day 2:(

With 193 players coming back for day 2 and me being placed in the bottom 5 – it was not looking too optimistic!

I had 16bb & a dream! My strategy included looking for some decent re-shoving spots in order to keep on going and waiting for a double up opportunity.

Chaz Chattha

Chaz Chattha

Having Chaz Chattha seated 2 to my left was not ideal for this, but at least there were a couple of unknown players, which seemed to be folding a lot – so I targeted them instead.

I built my stack to 100k (half average at that point) before looking down and finding AA in my hand. I raised and then got it all in on the 8h,7h,3c flop v Jh,10h and held.

From there on I never looked back and ended the day on 500k, which was around average with 23 players left.

I recall not being able to fall asleep for ages that night as I was too excited about the next day & getting so close to the final table. It seemed that 4 hours sleep was as much as I was going to get and after a cup of tea and some good music to properly wake me up, I was heading back to Star City full of excitement:)

I had a terrible start & was down to 10 bigs, when my KK got cracked by 4,5s! I raised pre & bet the pot on the J,6,7 flop. We both checked the turn n then I paid of a bet on the river.

Daiva Barauskaite

Genting Poker Series Final Table

I couldn’t have done anything differently in that hand, and I’m happy I didn’t go broke there & had an opportunity to build my stack up afterwards.

I was down to 6bb before trippling up with KQ v QJ and another hand I was not shown. Then not long after I shipped again with JJ and got paid by A,3 to get back in the game.

From there on, I was grinding a short stack for a few levels and never seemed to get back to the average stack, before making it to the final 9.

It was a strong final table with some very experienced & capable players still in; eventual winner of the first GPS main event of 2013  – Julian Thew, Hendon Mobster – Ross Boatman, poker veteran – Barry Neville & the previous Monte Carlo at DTD winner – Alex Goulder.

I was definitely going to need some luck to spin my short stack up! Unfortunately my run-good never showed up and after re-stealing in some good spots with marginal hands, I was finally caught out by aces of Ross Boatman when shoving pre was a no-brainer.

I was really happy to finish 8th, but understandably disappointed not to hit a really big payday. Still 7k for a weekends work has been the ideal start to the new year and I’m looking forward to what promises to be an exciting March of poker in London.

Hello 2013

4 Jan

First of all Happy New Year to one and all! I hope you had a fantastic night.

Due to a couple of people being ill & last minute changes in plans, we ended up having a mini house party at our place & seeing in 2013 surrounded by some of my closest friends & family.

Baltic Blonde

With the girls on New Years Eve x

Joint efforts combined, it ended being a superb night; my friend Kady was in charge of the best Cosmopolitans in London.

My other half John was chef for the night preparing divine canapes, whilst my other close friend Rada was responsible for dessert & brought over the cutest cupcakes for the guests.

I was in charge of the music, and yes I admit it included Gangnam style;)

The party seemed to be the perfect ending to yet another good year in poker & my life in general;)

I have been feeling happy, positive & at the same time impatiently looking forward to next year’s adventures, starting with the PCA Bahamas!

December 2012 has been an especially great month for me and apart from chopping heads up in the Genting Poker  Big Game & winning a Women’s PokerStars Caribbean Package (worth $3,200) for $16, I did an interview for the biggest selling lifestyle magazine in Lithuania, called “Panele” and I was also approached & filmed  for a Lithuanian TV show. Can it get any better!??

cameragirl

Filming time!

For those of you, who are interested in reading the article; it should be out in the next few days in January’s issue and I will provide a link to it as soon as it’s available.

Unfortunately, it’s going to be in Lithuanian, but my English readers are welcome to view for the pics;)

I was a little nervous about being filmed for a documentary as this meant having a camera crew following me round London for a day & creating lots of attention as well as being asked lots of random questions by a reporter on the spot & not always being able to come up with a suitable/fun answer!

Another minor problem I experienced, was forgetting some words in Lithuanian & including English terms as a result…not least because some poker words don’t even exist in my mother tongue!

The premise for the TV programme is covering success stories and lifestyles of Lithuanian individuals with various talents who are living abroad.

It made me feel a bit sheepish, as I’m not sure I am successful or even as talented as some others they may feature on this show, I am only doing something I enjoy and what makes me happy regardless of what it brings me.

Anyhow, back to poker.

I am starting my live poker adventure of 2013 by heading to Nottingham this Saturday to play the famous DTD 300, which is a £336 buy-in NL Hold’em.

This tournament not only has a 150k guaranteed prize pool but a slow & deep structure too, which I feel is most suitable to my playing style. (30k chips and 40 min clock)

DTD 300By the way, if you are planning to play DTD 300 and have an active account on http://www.gentingpoker.com you can win a GPS 2013 Leg 1 seat for free (worth £430).

Requirements:

1. Have an active account on Genting Poker room.

2. Come and see me on the day to say hi & to collect the Genting badge to be worn throughout.

3. Simply be the longest lasting Genting Poker player left in the tournament!

Then, there is the Genting Poker Big Game on 7th January at the Cromwell Mint Casino, which will have a whooping £6,000 added to the Prizepool!

Just like the last month, I’ll be down for the satellite on the day at 4pm first. (£110+10 turbo freezeout, 6k stack, 15 min clock)

And then, I’ll be off to the Caribbean on Wednesday to play in my first PCA event ever! Bring on the Bahamas, for once getting knocked out of a tournament won’t be that bad!

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