As you read this I’ll be in Las Vegas with 8 lucky qualifiers who won a trip to the World Series of Poker on the new Grosvenor Poker site!
The move away from iPoker and to Microgaming has not gone without hitches, but Rory, Alex, Tom and the team are getting there, and the potential with this software going forward means Grosvenor Poker is really going places in the coming months and years.Talking of going places, we’re all checking into the Linq Hotel and preparing to take on Colossus, the biggest tournament of the 2016 World Series of Poker. Last year the winner spun their $565 buy-in into nearly $640k, beating over 22,000 competitors in what was the world’s biggest ever poker tournament.
Colossus must be related to the Grosvenor Goliath somewhere along the line!
Each of our package winners will enjoy flights to Las Vegas and five nights in the Linq, a hotel right in the middle of all the action. They will also receive a Welcome Party and some cash to spend in Vegas… not bad for investing a few quid in a satellite. While some of our qualifiers will be coming home after the Colossus, others have decided to stay a little longer and have put their flights back so they can enjoy more of poker heaven! I was planning on staying till the end of June, but my plans changed last week when I noticed Grosvenor were hosting a WSOP Main Event satellite.
As more players migrate over to the new Grosvenor software, and any problems they have are ironed out to allow them to play as soon as possible, there’s going to be plenty of overlays in the early days on the Microgaming Poker Network.
With one £10k package guaranteed, and the buy-in £550, the sat needed 20 runners to cover the overlay.
The £550 feeders also seemed short of runners, so I decided to throw my hat in the ring in the feeders. Rather than pay the £70 entry, I had some poker points in my account from playing cash, so used them. There were only four entries with two seats in the final, and as I joined one guy was getting knocked out! About 20 minutes later one of my two opponents dusted the rest of his chips off and I was in the final.
In all 18 of us played the main sat, so there wasn’t a huge overlay in the end, and after a slow start I gradually worked my way through the field. As we came together at a final table, I was in the middle of the pack, and while the question was asked ‘should you be playing this anyway’ when I had the temerity to win a race against someone, any people thinking Grosvenor-sponsored players get any preference when playing on their own money on the site were soon put right when the player who eventually finished second bagged a huge double up against me with five left, calling a raise and after I three-bet from the blinds and the raiser folded, four-betting all-in with AJ.
My AK had them crushed…until the jack on the turn.
I still felt good and everything ran smoothly from there, with me knocking out each of the other players in turn to give me a huge chip lead heads-up which I closed out. So, having only just booked my Vegas flights, coming back at the end of June, I’d won a package to play the $10k Main Event, with seven days hotel stay at the Vdara…time to change flights!
Am I going to Vegas in form?
Well, I’m certainly due some run good playing live! I travelled to DTD recently for their $1,000 buy-in $1million guaranteed WPT National event, and it couldn’t really have gone worse! I had two buy-ins in the Main Event, dusting off a big stack on a tough table with the first, eventually four-betting all-in with 99 against a serial re-raiser, only to get shown pocket kings. A king in the window didn’t give much of a sweat.
I re-entered and played pretty aggro to build my 30k starting stack up to 45k before I went spinning out in a bizarre cooler of a hand. A guy who had sat and watched for the 90 minutes I’d been at the table finally found a hand he wanted to play, and raised to 1200 at 250/500.
Three people called and I flicked in the extra 700 from the big blind with 52 of diamonds.
Obviously I could fold and avoid all further accidents, but I’m playing this raggy suited hand to crack a monster, and I couldn’t have asked for a much better flop, 752 with one diamond and two spades. We checked to the raiser, he continued for 1650, a guy playing every hand called on the button and I decided this deep, and with a drawy board where I could rep spades or a combo draw and hopefully get it in against a big pair, I should raise it big, and made it 6k.
The original raiser, who had about the same stack as me, quickly called, and the other guy passed, perfect.
I didn’t really want to see a spade, although I would try and rep them in case my opponent didn’t have a flush draw, and I definitely didn’t want to see the seven pair, which would counterfeit my two pairs and mean any overpair now beat me.
The turn looked perfect, the 4d, not only not a danger, but adding a flush draw to my two pairs.
I led out for 13k and the raiser thought for a while and moved all-in for his 35k. I snap called, sure I was going to see aces or kings. What I saw was….the nuts! He had sat and passed every hand before finally finding the 68 and thought ‘this is what I was waiting for!’ As it happens, it was, as the river didn’t pair the board or bring me a diamond, and I was outta there.
Either side of the Main Event I’d played a side event with no success, a £330 PLO and a £330 NLHE. The PLO had gone great, which is a good sign as I intend to play a lot of PLO tournaments and cash in Vegas. I always feel so in control and like the best player on the table, and as we whittled the field down, I was having fun. As we got down to two tables, the big stack on the table had been playing pretty aggro, opening a lot of pots, and another big stack had just sat down in between us.
At 1500/3000 he made it 8k and the other big stack called.
I was on the button with 4567 double suited and a stack of 52.5k. This seemed like a great chance to three-bet and win a pot of over 20k uncontested, and if not, a lovely hand that flops really well and has equity against everything.
I made it 35k and hoped to win it there and then. The big stack had other ideas and peeled, and the other guy passed, so we went to a flop with 72.5k in the middle and 17.5k back.
With my holding of 4567 double suited, I didn’t need to hit much of it, but KJ8 with none of my suits? My opponent set me in and I really didn’t know what to do.
I had no hand, no draw, one backdoor straight draw to the bad end of a straight…I still don’t know what’s right!
I eventually passed and got my bowl of rice in with queen-hi v jack-hi in the blinds and lost to a poxy pair of threes!
The other side event saw me reg late, raise-fold twice before getting down to 12bb in the small blind. I shoved, the first hand I’d played in 20 minutes on the table, with A5, got called by KT and my opponent flopped some kings.Not my greatest performance.
The good thing is, the Vegas poker gods are different to the UK ones, so I’m going to the Series with a clean slate! Let’s hope I return with some new jewellery….or thanks to winning the Grosvenor seat in the Main Event, a place in the November Nine! My next update will be from Vegas. It’s 42 degrees outside so I’ll be looking for an excuse to go indoors and write a blog!