21/03/2004

Frustrations, Torture and Wages

Joe Beevers 'The Elegance'

British Open, London
£1,250 No Limit Hold'em
Report by Joe on Sunday, 21 March 2004 at 2:53 pm

Ram, Barny and Ross have all been to the final table this week during The British Open Poker Festival at the Victoria Casino here in London. Ross won the Omaha High-Lo picking up nearly £17,000 and Ram has a very good chance of another good showing having made it through to the second day of the £1250 No Limit Hold-em main event which restarts at 3pm today. Fifty eight players remain from a starting field of one hundred and seventy one. First prize is £90,000 and Ram is one of the chip leaders.

Playing poker tournaments can be very rewarding but it can also be very frustrating. In nearly every event this week I have made it down to the last two or three tables playing for several hours each time without reward. It’s been said that in tournaments you have to survive long enough to get lucky. Well the surviving I can do it’s the other bit that I’m having trouble with. In the main event that started yesterday the starting stack was 10,000 and I never got above 12,000 whilst Ross managed a double up with Aces on the first hand and Tyrone from Crazy Vegas Poker busted out with Aces on the first hand. I watched Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot double up with Kings and then again with Aces as chips were literally thrown at him. He goes into today’s final day as chip leader and it won’t be fun for the others on his table as he will no doubt put them to good use. Meanwhile following on from Barny’s Vienna diary there are no prizes for guessing the two cards he was holding in the last hand he played yesterday. (OK, e-mail Barny@thehendonmob.com and remind him and we’ll send you a 2004 PrimaPoker.com Tour T-shirt).

Just before 3am this morning with my stack of 10,000 that had rarely moved during the preceding 7 hours play I found Mel Judah on my left and Dave Barnes two to my left. Dave has won some big events at the Vic which is his ‘local’ and was sitting pretty with about 30,000. He made a re-raise with Ace, Queen setting an initial raiser in and was called by Ace, Queen of spades. A rainbow flop almost ensured a split until the turn and river brought runner, runner spades. He got the rest in with pocket tens a few minutes later with a ten on the flop but again his opponent made a runner, runner straight and knocked him out.

Almost the next hand Mel Judah raised with Aces and found an opponent to take him on with Ace, King. A flop of 2, J, 10 and turn queen meant yet another long shot had got home. The look on some players faces, after playing so well for several hours; having suffered such horrendous torture is not a pretty sight (although I will say that both took their bad beats graciously).

I gambled towards the end of the night and couldn’t get lucky leaving Ram as the sole mobster to do battle today.

So what’s the point of all this. Well Daniel Negreanu, a top American pro who I have a lot of respect for said 'I know my EV from a tourney is $50/hour, so if I play for 5 hours and bust out in a tourney, I still look at it as $250 won.' I guess that means I’ve really had quite a good week!

I also remember Julian Gardner, 2nd in the 2002 WSOP main event, once said about bad beats, ‘It’s not how you play the pot where you take a bad beat, it’s how you play the next one.’ So frustrated as I may be and tortured as I feel I intend to play as well as I possibly can during our next set of tournaments, The Bellagio Five Star Poker Classic and the 2004 World Series of Poker. We fly out to Vegas on 11th April and are there until the end of May. At $50 an hour I should earn quite a bit of wages!