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WSOP 2017 Adventures – Ladies Event

16 Aug

The morning of the WSOP Ladies Event I was full of excitement and anticipation. I’d had a good night’s sleep, healthy breakfast and  I was wearing a new (lucky:) top I bought especially for this event- it was time to play my favourite tournament of the year and hang out with my female poker friends.

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The plan was to get to Rio a couple of hours early to register for the game and have enough time to enjoy Starbucks coffee not only with familiar faces from back home but also all the ladies from the female poker community I’m running on Facebook (Ladies at Unibet Poker).

Big shout out to Muskan, Camilla, Sonia and Diana who I met for the first time!

Having such a big group of us at the WSOP Ladies Championship supporting each other added to the buzzing atmosphere at the Rio and also converted into being an extra motivational drive, at least for me personally, to try even harder to succeed for the team.

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It felt like I was having the perfect start when I looked at my registration ticket. My favourite number is 7 and my seat draw for the tournament read table 77, seat 7 and it was 07.07.2017. It must have been a sign, right!? 🙂 I Just smiled and cheerfully headed to my starting table to represent Unibet Poker.

I didn’t recognise anyone (always a good sign) there apart from Sin Melin, who was sitting to my immediate right and who was not only playing well but was also contributing considerably to the table banter.

I quickly got to know the rest of the girls too and it turned out to be a fun & friendly table. One girl brought in a big tray of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to share with everyone including the bloggers :)) and a Canadian lady decided it was a good idea to get the shots in for the table after 2 hours of play:))

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Poker action at my table was rather loose and quick; players were risking it all regardless of there being 1 hour clock. Myself, I didn’t play many hands but still managed to chip up my 5k starting stack to nearly 8k going into the first break.

The atmosphere in the Amazon room was electrifying. There were around 700 ladies playing & chit chatting away; all different ages, backgrounds and poker skills.

It felt like being a part of one big female community but sharing one thing in common  – the love for the game. That’s one of the reasons why I enjoy this event so much.

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Things were going smoothly at the table and I was up to a healthy stack that I continued to build after a capable player Julie Anna Cornelius got sat opposite me. She had a big stack of chips and was pretty active with it. Naturally we ended up playing a few significant pots against each other.

In one of the hands Julie opened from mid position just over 2.5bb. I defended my BB with pocket sixes. Flop came Js9c6s and I ck called when she bet around 60% of the pot.

I considered ck raising but felt that ck calling was a more optimal option with my set versus this player. By ck calling I could keep her back draws & semi-bluffs in & hopefully get some extra chips on the turn.  Also if I ck raised the flop I knew she was good enough to lay down 1 pair hands  which may continue barrelling on the turn otherwise especially if/when improved.

Julie Anna Cornelius

Lovely Julie Anna Cornelius finished in 77th place

 

 

Although the turn came 7s and I had no spade in my hand, I still felt it was a good card for my range particularly taking into account her facial reaction to the card and her quick check back. At this point I put her on a medium strength show down hand and possibly an over pair played cautiously wary of sets and two pairs in my range which would be trying to control the size of the pot rather than a drawing hand which most likely bets again.

River was a 10c, which I thought was a very good card for me; backdoor flush draw missed and although some of the drawing hands such as 7,8 and K,Q got there I didn’t think she had them as she would have prob bet the turn with those.

I was pretty sure she was not going to bet the river as 10c is pretty bad card for her range and considering I still put her on an overpair or a Jackx hand, I decided to lead myself and went for around 40% thin value bet, which got paid and I scooped a decent pot with my set of sixes.

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Then however not long after that I went on a bad run; I lost some chips when I ran my top pair into a set and lost another chunky pot in a BB v Btn situation. I defended with KQ n ck called on K58 rainbow flop, turn 10 ck ck, river 10. I bet in order to get paid by under pairs to K or even Ace highs & got min raised.

I didn’t love my hand anymore but had to make a crying call considering the odds and plus I didn’t have enough reads on this specific player to make a big fold. She had A10. Grrrrr….

Before I knew it I had slipped down to 20bb and fortunately there was a dinner break round the corner. I needed some fresh air, some food and a glass of wine in the company my lovely girlies in order to clear my head.

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From the left – with Sonia, Deborah, Charlie & Katie x

 

 

Kelly Saxby (who unfortunately busted just before the break) kindly sorted the table for the group and 6 of us headed to All American Bar & Grill for a hearty meal & a catch up. I was glad to see that most of the girls were still in and doing very well.

Deborah Worley-Roberts had the most chips and from what I could hear she was bossing the table 🙂 and Charlie Godwin was one of the chip leaders on her table.

The break was just the tonic I needed and I got back to the table full & refreshed and ready to do some damage.

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Although I managed to increase my stack to 30bb with some successful shoving and 3-betting action, still poker gods had some other ideas for me this time. It seems that 77 was an omen, just not the type I was looking for… I ran 77 from the button into Big blind’s pocket 99’s  for half my stack and then a few orbits later I picked up pocket 99’s myself and couldn’t hold v 77’s for my tournament life in 150th/718 😦

I have to admit I was extremely disappointed, after having such a great start, having a good read of the players at my starting table and being so close to the pay outs (108 players cashed).

Oh well, It was another fun & valuable experience and I’m already looking forward to WSOP Ladies event 2018 🙂  I had to root for one of my friends to take it down instead.

Deborah Worley-Roberts

Deborah Worley Roberts

Very well done to our group members Sonia Padovani & Diana Svensk who cashed in the Ladies event and came 55th & 48th respectively.

And huge congratulations to Deborah for getting as close to winning a bracelet as anyone can and finishing in 2nd place for $83,459. What an amazing performance and fantastic achievement!

Charlie also showed that busting could have its benefits, jumping into the ladies game at the Aria the following morning and ultimately finishing 2nd for $9,032- another great performance.

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Charlie Godwin

It was definitely one of the highlight’s of this trip for me- having an increased number of female friends to hang out with. There was 10 of us from the UK supporting, railing each other and playing the WSOP Ladies Championship together and I really enjoyed hanging out with such a talented & friendly bunch of ladies. I’m hoping that next year there is going to be even bigger group of us out there 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WSOP 2017 Adventures (part 1)

1 Aug

I’m sat in a bar in San Jose watching Scott Blumstein catch a 2 on the river and win the WSOP Main Event for $8,150,000 and officially closing the proceedings at the Rio for 2017. Like pretty much every poker player around the world, you imagine this moment with you as the main protagonist, but accept that this year wasn’t your year to win the main.

2017 World Series of Poker

Scott Blumstein – WSOP Main Event 2017 Winner

Let’s jump back to late June though, when I arrived in Vegas with a schedule and a dream…

After one year, it was great to be back in Vegas with a whole host of games before me. The plan was to play 2 bracelet events (WSOP Ladies & the ME) and lots of smaller tournaments at various casinos.

I would be here for the next 18 days or so and couldn’t wait to get to the tables.

I’ve stayed at a ton of different places in Vegas over the years, mainly for pleasure and each have their own benefits vs. cost and convenience.

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The Wynn 

After leaving it later than I planned and weighing up options I booked any initial 10 days at the Wynn at a super good rate. I’d worry about the week after that further down the line.

It was a good choice, the Wynn was the nicest place I’ve stayed on the strip; it has a measured balance of class, never being too busy and good service. Also the standard rooms are very spacious, beautifully decorated and very quiet, which is important when getting good nights sleep between the poker sessions.

 

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With Dara & Traian at a beautiful buffet room @Wynn 

But most importantly it had the Wynn Summer Classic running with some great structured games and decent fields you love to play against.

As always I spent my first couple of days sleeping off Jetlag ( I hate playing and being tired) and catching up with friends already there.

After a couple of fun lunches and dinners with Unibet team I ended up (against my better judgement) taking a helicopter ride across the strip with my friend Dara who had this included in a package he had won playing online and kindly invited me to join him.

I’m not great with heights, but a flight across the strip is a fascinating overview of all that Vegas is famous for and definitely an experience to recommend, even if I was glad to get my feet back on the ground.

Anyhow, onto poker and my initial few games. With the Wynn catering to my penchant to getting up late and then jumping into well structured games- it made sense to start there.

My first game was a $600 $250k GTD Wynn Summer Classic event with over 900 runners. I was comfortable with my starting table -also finally I was running better than the proceeding months leading up to Vegas. Like all players you play your way through these patches knowing that if you keep doing things right, things will fall into place a little more over time.

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Happy face after first cash of the trip 🙂

I won a couple of flips and had a full double up with Q10ss when flopping trips v AA.

I comfortably made day 2 with a decent stack and was eyeing the payouts on my return; there was over $80k for first place!

Unfortunately day 2 didn’t go to plan and I bust in a cooler spot when running my sub 20bb stack into QQ for a min cash. Nevertheless I was feeling very positive and happy about a great start to the trip and I was looking forward to the next game.

The next day I was back downstairs in the Wynn for the tasty buffet with Marc & Dara and then we decided to head to Nataly’s room for a friendly poker game 🙂

 

It was a fun day off before another session at theWynn. This time $400, $50k GTD one day event where Marc Convey & I both made it to the money. We had a great time playing at the Wynn poker room; the venue is spacious, clean and modern and it’s always great atmosphere there.  They provide prompt and efficient table service including drinks such as hot chocolate, smoothies and Fiji water and they have very competent TD’s.

After locking the second cash of the trip, It was time for some late night dinner with friends and some rest. Next day I played another game at the Wynn and grinded may way to 16th place & another cash. I was in the zone and warming up for the WSOP events 🙂

After my husband John arrived Sunday we enjoyed dinner with Kenny Halleart, Nataly & Marc at one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas –  LAVO. It was good catching up with Kenny and hearing all about his intense WSOP schedule & a very successful summer so far over tasty Italian food & wine. Well done to Kenny who ended up having another impressive run in the Main Event finishing 64th/7221 for over $100k.

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Dinner at LAVO

Monday it was time for a change of scenery and over to Planet Hollywood for the $250k guaranteed which was probably going to end up more like $500k and with a field you really want to play against. I started pretty well , but then ended up card dead and losing two flips to bust early in the evening. It was frustrating, but also you don’t mind running not so well in the smaller tournaments, especially when you have fun playing and meeting interesting people & making new friends 🙂

Tuesday it was back for another bullet at Planet Hollywood to no avail and a trip to Nobu with John and Dara + his lovely wife Mireille to drink cocktails and have a fun evening of quality sushi and chat. It was 4th of July (Independance Day in the US) and although it was crazy busy on the strip we managed to get a sneaky view of some beautiful fireworks for a perfect ending to a fun night.

Next morning I was off to play the Helix Ladies event. They had for reasons that only they could explain decided to hold it at Harrah’s which has a massive 7 poker tables in the room.

When you have 50 alternates, you realise you are wasting your time and hopefully the Helix ladies game will have a more suitable location for 2018, as myself and friends would loved to have played, but ultimately couldn’t.

Jumping into another game at Planet Hollywood with my lovely friends Charlie & Natalia took care of the rest of the day. I really enjoyed hanging out with the girls & it’s a shame we didn’t get much luck in this game and bust late on short of the money.  I headed back to the Wynn for some sleep prior to the upcoming Ladies WSOP event, one of my favourites of the year…..TBC

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.

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