It’s been a while, but I actually managed to get knocked out of a tournament this week without winning one pot! Not one little pot, not a walk in the blinds, not even a chop!
After a seven hour journey to DTD from Newcastle, hours of which were spent sat still on the M1, swearing loudly, I managed to buy in just before dinner break.
Blinds were 200 400, but with a 25k starting stack I still had plenty of play, and after a couple of weeks spent visiting family, without poker, I was ready to play.
It was the journey from hell, but I made a conscious effort not to take it out on the cards, and passed every hand until the break.
After an hour of sitting round, like we hadn’t done enough of that already, we went back into battle.
I passed until my big blind, when an aggro player, who I’d already seen set someone in on the river, get called and instantly muck, raised my blind.
I felt like he might be a little tilty, so defended with my 78 hoping to hit a flop. I did just that, Q87, and with 20k, wanted to get the lot in.
I checked, my opponent bet 1800 and with a diamond flush draw there, felt like if I check raised I might get a light caller putting me on the draw.
I check raised all in, and my opponent shrugged and called. I was ahead, but he had the drawtastic 96 of diamonds, found a 10 on the turn and with no pair up on the river, I was out before I’d even started!
I hadn’t travelled for seven hours to turn my back on a comp where first prize would be in excess of 60 grand, so I went back into action, determined to do better!
My new table looked to be just about the toughest in the room
Tim Chung and Lee Taylor to my left, Mark McCluskey and Tommy Bingham to my right. In between were a couple of guys I didn’t know but quickly showed they could play, and all in all I was wishing I was back on the other table, even though I couldn’t win a hand there!
As often happens, I played better with the better players, and after flopping a set and getting three streets of value, I coolered Lee with a well-disguised set over set.
Lee raised in early position and I peeled from the button with two queens, hoping to induce a squeeze behind.
The squeeze never came, so the two of us saw a flop. It came 873 and Lee slowly checked. I bet 2100 with my overpair and Lee called. The turn paired the three, and Lee check called 4k. I was wondering how to get the rest of the money in, pretty sure Lee had nines or tens.
The river was a queen, giving me what I thought was a superfluous set. Lee bet out most of my stack, I threw the extra in and he quickly called with his set of eights!
I’d rivered a two outer without realising I needed to, having disguised my hand strength all the way through the hand!
Not one to complain, I stacked ‘em up and quickly went about building further.
As the last level of the night started I was up to 70k, but Lee got his own back on me, playing his hand really well and making my life tough, just as good players do.
At 600 1200, I made it 2500 in early position, and Lee three bet to 5800 in mid. Everyone else folded, and without thinking too much, I called with my two black nines.
Looking back at this hand, I probably could have made a different decision at every stage, and I certainly think four betting when we were over 50bb deep might have been better than peeling.
Peel I did, and flopped a gutshot on QT8 with two spades
I checked, planning to call a bet, but Lee checked behind.
The turn was a small spade, bringing in the flush draw, and I checked again. Lee bet, but I was pretty sure he didn’t have a flush, as he’d bet the flop. With my nine high flush draw, straight draw and pair I called.
The river was the ace of diamonds, and I checked again. Lee thought for a while and checked behind. I was pretty sure the ace hit him, and really the only hand I beat on the turn was the nut flush draw, which just became a pair of aces.
I felt a bit unlucky to be shown A6 with no spade, as Lee had two outered me. However, when you look at how the hand played out, the only reason I wasn’t facing a river bet of 15k or more was that he now had showdown value. I may well have passed to that bet on the river, even if I made the flush or straight.
If ever the problems of playing out of position against a good aggressive player were demonstrated it was in this hand.
It’s hard to beat yourself up after getting two outered
But I think it’s right to analyse hands, and while I put money in ahead and nothing in behind, I think I should play different here, even if it means folding the best hand preflop or when facing the first bet.
The other option is to four bet pre, which I quite like too, as I look super strong. There’s not many run outs that I’m not going to lose the hand on, and do about 15k in, which is not a good thing.
I crawled to day two with 36,500, and started slowly on Saturday. I waited for a spot or a hand and found neither, until 45 minutes in I played my first hand, shoving 15bb with AJ of diamonds. I was looked up by the button who showed me the dreaded aces, but somehow I got out of that one, making broadway.
Up to 30 bigs I felt I could play now, but lost the first decent pot I played down the streets, the big blind defending T6o and making two pairs.
With blinds going up I was back to 11bb with a pair of fours UTG. I stuck it in, and the small blind, who had about the same stack, decided to call it off with QJo and turned a jack.
A disappointing weekend’s poker, but as ever, a great tournament at DTD, and with a huge end to the year coming, with three GUKPTs, at Luton, Blackpool and Leeds, the UKIPT and EPT in London and plenty more, it’s time to work hard and get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.