29/03/2006

I Finally Made a Final

Neil Channing 'Bad Beat'

People often talk about setting-up plays for the future in poker tournaments. I set up my demise from Monday's 750 comp on day 3 of the 2005 World Series. As soon as Barry ("from Sheffield") began "palling me up" that day I decided to terrorise him. He must have hated me as I raised and re-raised him. I eventually ruined his whole tournament by calling a very large brave bluff he tried on the turn and river with not much of a hand.

I knew when I sat next to him this week that we'd be playing a big pot, and that if I could find a hand he'd pay me. The hand I found to re-raise with was 88 and his hand was AJ. That sent him onto the final and me to the cash.

With my tickets to the £1000 PLO and the £1500 Main Event secured through super-satellites I was hoping for a fairly cheap week tournament wise. I was, however, looking forward to playing some one-table satellites as these are always fun and often lucrative. Monday and Tuesday looked the best times to do this, and with only 80 people playing the Hi-Lo tournament it seemed obvious that others would have this idea. Unfortunately it wasn't so obvious to the Vic, who couldn't provide enough dealers to meet demand. Long waits for a seat became the order of the day. I did end up playing a few, but got no luck.

To be fair to the management, they realised their mistake and by Wednesday the satellites had become much more organised. With no super-satellites to the 750 though and a nice brochure advertising one-tables it can't really have been a surprise that players would turn-up. The 24-hr conveyor-belt satellites in Vegas seem so far away.

I spent the rest of Tuesday avoiding Hi-Lo bad beats...

"So I had the A2, trips and the queen high flush draw while he's got a gutshot and backdoor nut flush. What do you think comes?"

Whoops I wasn't listening

"Bridge score card?"

Wednesday was Omaha. I don't often play these events as I feel they always get won by specialists. The Vic have improved the structure of this one though, and I won a seat in a satellite which had added money. Jeff Duval tells me it's a great value tournament and one I should never miss. He says it's full of idiots who can't play.

I take my seat on a table with Jeff, Phillip Marmorstein, Barny Boatman and Shah Koumi. I manage to get short stacked and then moved to play with Robin Keston, Surindar and Murray Brown.

Luckily I find an idiot who can't play and he knocks me out hitting a two-outer.

The cash game which followed was very lively. One individual was happily doubling up all comers. He decided to wait until he was down to his case bit of scratch before finding me with a full house. Still, lovely to see all the normal grumpy bastards looking so happy.

The main event began and ended on Friday for me. I saw a few hands including aces on the very 1st hand and queens three times. (I lost all three after the ace came each time). I was just getting into it and had moved above average for the first time when I was knocked out. I had the aces and it was just one of those impossible to escape ones. I felt like I played Ok and I wasn't too disappointed.

On Saturday I had a nice free night to play cash, which was lucky as Father Christmas came to play. I must have been much more of a good little boy than the others though as I received all the biggest presents.

Sunday was very annoying and frustrating. I knew the 300 competition would be very fast and I decided I'd have to get chips early. I ended up playing like an idiot though and lasted less than 10 minutes, in which time I managed to totally misplay four hands. I think I was more frustrated by realising another festival was soon to be over and yet again I'd failed to cash in any event. When I look in my diary it reports a fairly profitable week but it just doesn't seem like a success.

I went in to the Vic as normal on Monday. Compared to the previous week the place was empty. Quite a few people had gone to The Sportsman and many will probably be having a few days off. I was determined to support the Vic's new Monday night £250 Double Chance NLH Freeze-out. I am delighted to report that Sarah (officially World's 68th best poker player) won her 1st tournament. Although there were only 14 players it included some tough ones, and she did very well. It had all looked a bit dodgy when "The Clock" was huge chip leader three handed.

I obviously managed to finish out of the money in 4th. Three places got paid.

Neil Channing is sponsored by BetUK.com and BetUSA.com.