Make no mistake, Goliath is huge in every way.
Looking to pick your way through a field of 6385 – or maybe more this year – is daunting to say the least if you look at the task as a whole, but nobody said winning a GTD £100k for a £125 investment would be easy…it’s not called Goliath for nothing.
But, just like David, the shepherd boy who took on the mighty Philistine warrior in the biblical tale, you can upset the odds and slay Goliath, so long as you go into battle with the right mindset, tactics and tunnel vision to victory.
Exploit your opponents
There will only be a maximum of nine direct opponents at any one time, so take a look around your table, try and work out how each and every player is tackling the task and what weaknesses in their games you can prey on.
Are they splashy, playing too many hands? Playing a lot of suited cards and pushing their draws? Does it look like they’re ready to gamble to get a stack, in the knowledge that they can reenter if things go wrong? Maybe they’ve joined your table after busting at another and are already pretty tilted and prone to mistakes?
Are they opening too many pots, or peeling 3bets too wide? Are they playing too many hands out of position? Do they push draws or just call with them, and if it’s the latter, do they just give up when missing, or try and bluff their way into winning pots? Do they bet differently when bluffing, maybe a rounder number, or announce their bet rather than sliding it ?
How do they play their big hands, do they raise flopped sets, straights or flushes, or slow play? How about preflop, are they playing ABC and 3betting only monster hands, or are they mixing it up?
While profiling opponents starts the moment they sit down, how they stack their chips, how they put them into pots, whether they’re played with antes before, whether they make are other basic mistakes like string better or betting out of turn, most of the questions above will take a bit of observation to answer.
That’s the great thing about Goliath. Not only is it a chance to win a GTD £100k for a £125 buy-in, it’s got a great structure that gives ample time to sit and watch what’s happening around you, profile opponents and decide who you want to get involved with and also who you don’t.
Don’t miss a hand
A couple of years back I sat for the very first hand and witnessed a hand where it was 4bet preflop and big bets went in on the flop, turn and river.
I was convinced it was aces against kings, but while the guy doing the calling on every street did indeed have pocket kings, the lady who 4bet pre and bet every street on a low run out had just AK, and did in more than half of her 25k starting stack! At 25/50 she had plenty of time to recover even with 10k left, but I think she realised halfway through the car crash this wasn’t how she intended things to go, barrelling away with ace high.
While you can late reg for six levels (plus the break), I really feel that if there’s only one comp you turn up on time for, then Goliath is the one, not only to witness plays like that AK and hopefully benefit from them but to take in all the information available in what is the friendliest, most chatty and welcoming comp you’ll ever play.
Bring plenty of ammunition
Of course, before heading into battle you have plenty of decisions to make about your own tactics too. Reentries are unlimited for those six levels, so are you intending to have one, more, or playing as a freezeout? Maybe you’ll intend to play as a freezeout but will have another shot if you get coolered or a bad beat. Remember to rack up your online Goliath satellite tickets prior, they never expire so you can always use them the following year. There’s a huge number of GTD satellite tokens being given away, check the satellite schedule here.
A couple of years ago I went out first hand, so know it can happen. I had registered a bit late after a particularly busy evening the night before (busily taking advantage of the drinks promotions on buckets of Sol in the bar) so sat down at 150/300 and just called on the button when it had been raised a rather lumpy 4x to 1200 and called in one spot. I had pocket tens and thought I could 3bet here but I don’t really want to get involved in a huge pot first up without knowing any players. The flop came 10 high with two spades and it was c-bet and raised before it got to me, holding the nuts! It was 7k to call and with the action in front I decided shoving my near 24k stack was best as I could look like I was on a draw. The first guy thought forever and passed what must have been an overpair, the guy who raised the flop had AQ of spades, called and hit a spade. Good game everyone!
So it maybe that you hold another bullet back just in case, or that you just shrug if you take a beat like that and move onto the next one. The Goliath is a fabulous tournament, one I’ve often described as like the UK’s answer to the World Series of Poker.
Entering the Grosvenor Casino at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry is breathtaking, waterfalls, palm trees, it’s beautiful.
You’ll see cash games spilling out of the poker room into the main casino, 30+ different games at times during the week. And then there’s the tournaments. The main poker room is as big as the Amazon Room at the Rio Hotel in Vegas, with tournament tables stretching as far as the eye can see with EPT standard dealers and floor staff running things smoothly.
There’s not just the Goliath either, with a full week of great events including the super-sized 25/50 and of course the exceptional value “Jokers Wild” tournament featuring the #TeamGrosvenor pros as bounties (register online and don’t pay any reg fees). This fun event has a cap, so ensure you pre-register to take advantage of the huge £2,000 added by www.grosvenorpoker.com.
The Main Event is great fun, fantastic value and will make someone’s dream come true, a six-figure score from a three-figure buy in.
Come and join me in taking on Goliath this July…if I don’t win it I hope you do!