What’s the first thing you do when you fly home from five weeks in Vegas playing poker every day?
Get up and find another tournament!
After sleeping most of the return flight I felt ready to get back on the bike, and jumped on a train to Cardiff to play the GUKPT.
People thought I was mad, but I love the GUKPT, and love Cardiff as a city, so couldn’t resist the chance to go see some old friends and get into the tournament.
I started badly, losing half my stack and being three betted with 45 and finding the A23Ax board which I thought fitted my AQ pretty well.
After losing the other half before the second break in a race, it felt like the trip was wasted, but I was determined and knuckled right down after rebuying, with a goal of making day two and giving myself a chance of glory.
I was completely card dead the rest of the day but felt there was plenty of value (both with the standard of play plus the overlay) that it was more important to do a Hellmuth, and just not get knocked out and wait for a situation.
I made day two with just under £22k, not much over starting stack, but I was in!
I knew I needed to get going early on day two, and I did exactly that, doubling up twice with pocket eights, and by the first break I was well over average with £105k, now this was more like it.
As the bubble approached I lost a key pot to eventual winner Vadas Sirionas, who I’d played with a bit on day one and knew to be hyper aggressive. I was left with around 12bb, which should have been enough to make the money and then make a run at the final, but the bubble dragged on for ages.
I definitely wasn’t passing monsters, but I wanted to make the money before getting my chips in
Having paid £550 (twice) to play, I may as well get a reward for my two days of work. The problem was, the lady to my left had just less than me and was desperately folding and making it obvious she was going to crawl into the money at all costs.
Playing seven handed the blinds come round quick, and to be honest I was halfway between getting in the money, but also mindful I wanted to win, and the shorted I got the less chance I had of getting a stack to win this thing.
Eventually I got down to 7bb, the lady to my left had 5bb, and Vadas opened again, as he should do with his big stack.
I had AK and knew I was 99% to have the best hand.
I just hoped I had a dominating hand, as he would have to call me three bet all in
Unfortunately, Vadas had two live cards, J9, and as soon as I saw that I had a bad feeling.
The board ran out in his favour and fair play to him, he went on to turn that luck into a lovely £24k pay day.
For my part, I bolted out of the casino and back to the hotel, straight to bed like a naughty school boy. Still being on Vegas time meant I was up and out of there at 7am, though that did give me a chance to rail my mate Javed Abrahams heads up in the $10k PLO Championship event at the WSOP.
As I skulked back to London, having already written in my head the great story of the returning hero travelling from Vegas to London to Cardiff to win a second GUKPT, I only had one thought….when and where can I play next?