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Barny Boatman
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The Wrong Move at the Right Time

The Christmas Cracker 2003, Luton
£50 No Limit Hold'Em
Report by Barny on Monday, 15 December 2003 at 4:08 am

It’s three in the morning and I’ve just driven home from Luton with a grin on my face as wide as a six lane motorway.
After the elation of winning the main event in Helsinki, Walsall had been a bit of a struggle. I made the last couple of tables in every event and had a good shot in the big one but ended the week with just two minor final table finishes. Of course Ross and Ram did brilliantly there, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a disappointing week for me personally.
If there was a best overall player award in Luton Ram would have won it standing on his head. Not only did he win two tournaments, he made the seven card final and finished in the money in the big one. In fact he didn’t miss the last two tables all week, but it was Ross and I who started the second day of the big one with good chips and high hopes.
At the start of The Tour we were keeping track of ‘yellow on yellows’ - Mobsters knocking each other out - but when the number went over twenty we lost count. Ram knocked me out in the Pot limit Hold-em final this week and it was Ross who avenged me today, putting Ram out in 20th place. The three of us had spent the last few hours of day one on the same table and had clashed constantly. I was relieved when we re-drew for two tables and I got by far the easier of the two. Ross was wedged between Sherkhan and Gareth Jones and was obviously not in for an easy ride. Still, it was tougher for them having him at their table; he looked focused and was clearly playing well. I had played my 'A Game' on day one and now I was having a fairly trouble free time; partially because the deck had gone stone cold on me and I was hardly getting involved. I built up a bit, and when we got to the final I was joint chip leader with 170,000 and Ross was just behind with 150,000. The other big danger was Gareth ‘The Nugget’ Jones who had a big stack having made a great call against Sherkhan. He and Ross were to my left which was about as bad a draw as I could have had.

I made two serious mistakes in the final. One cost me almost half my chips and the other should have cost me the other half.
I called an early position raise from John Randal who had been playing very solidly. I had queens and was looking for a flop with no Ace or King. A king high flop arrived and he moved all in quickly for 50,000 which was about the size of the pot. Having decided to throw away if this happened, I now talked myself into calling. He didn’t have AK as I had feared, he had KK! The king should have saved me, but he didn’t play it like someone who wanted to be called. Round one to John.
My other mistake? Gareth Jones raised from the big blind and I re-raised all-in with 10 6 thinking he had something like AJ and would pass. He had me well covered and called instantly with 99. That should have been that; but I hit a ten! I had all my chips back and didn’t look back after that. Shortly after, Gareth raised and walked into Ross with a big hand behind him. An early exit was not what he deserved but I’ve been on the wrong end of the breaks many times and I know that’s part of the game.
It was a long tough final, but one by one they fell away until just three of us remained. Ross, John Randal and I all had equal chips at this point, but John was playing well and was finding some big hands too. He took a big pot from me when he paired a four on the flop and hit a second one on the turn, and he came back over Ross a few times with big hands. I lost a big pot to Ross when I hit top pair and he drew to a flush. Ross played a strong game all day but didn’t get the rub of the green in the big exchanges. Eventually he was forced to move with A6 and was unlucky to find John once again with a big hand: AQ.

I started the heads up with about 160,000 chips out of 950,000 and was soon down to 80,000.

Then I started fighting back. John had won his seat in the event from a £40 satellite and played his heart out for two long days. He played good solid poker and was delighted to find himself in at the end with a shot to win it. The whole final was played in a great spirit and I got to know John pretty well during the couple of hours that the two of us slogged it out. Experience played a part as I gradually wore him down, and by the time the last hand came the chip positions had been reversed with John holding around 200,000. He made a minimum raise from the big blind and I called with 9,10. I knew he had a big hand but wanted to catch him. The flop was 10 high, and we both checked. When the turn brought a queen he made a very small bet. I called, but didn’t want to call a big bet on the end. Or did I? The river was a nine and when he moved all-in it was an easy call. He had slow played Kings and my two pair got me the trophy.

Well done John, you played a great game and I hope you go one better next time.

For The Mob there’s a few days off and a bit of celebrating to do, before embarking on the longest and most exciting leg of the Prima Poker Tour: Melbourne and the Aussie Millions. See you there.

The Full Result £500 NLH FreezeOut 92 Entrants

1st Barmy Barny Boatman £17,220
2nd John Randal £8,200
3rd Rocky Ross Boatman £5,330
4th Boots Kohli £3,280
5th Jim 'Celtic Tiger' Britton
6th S Nowab £1,435
7th R Tomlin £1,230
8th Gateth 'The Nugget' Jones £1,025
9th Sherkhan Farnood £820
10th Dave Gardner £500
11th Michael 'One Seat' Arnold £500
12th James Browning £500
13th Tom Sambrook £500
14th A Braun £500
15th E Biber £500
16th Bruce 'Elvis Senior' Atkinson £500
17th David Wahl £500
18th C Rourke £500
19th R Somoya £250
20th Ram 'CrazyHorse' Vaswani £250

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