Christmas Special Big Game, Lucky Noodles & 14k Profit

After a very unsuccessful poker weekend in Sheffield, where for the very first time in the GPS 2012- I didn’t make day 2 in the Main Event & bricked all the side events, I was putting my hopes towards the Genting Poker Big Game to finish my year in style.

Bar area at the Genting Club Sheffield
Bar area at the Genting Club Sheffield

Despite not cashing, I had a truly great time in Sheffield.

I was enjoying the lush surroundings & cocktails of the newly opened Genting club whilst catching up with friends.

Also, I was making the most of the club’s superb location and doing some shopping for Christmas gifts, but as usual ended up shopping for myself!

Once back in London, I had a week to re-focus and prepare for the Christmas special Big Game. I was very excited about this as I was host to an event which was raising money for charity.

Half of tournament registration fees (£40 pp) + Christmas presents donated by players were going to be delivered to Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, because of such a great cause I was eager to do my upmost to promote this event and attract as many players as possible.

Here’s a big thank you to everyone who made it to the Big Game and helped us to raise a healthy £2,000 for the charity:))

With Michael Caselli (Bluff Europe), Santa Charlotte & Barny Boatman of the Hendon Mob
With Michael Caselli (Bluff Europe),
Santa Charlotte & Barny Boatman of the
‘Hendon Mob’

December’s Big Game attracted 45 runners including 4 satellite winners earlier that day.

I nearly qualified myself for the second month in a row before my AA were cracked by 10,10 on a 4,6,6 board!

Anyhow, with a £1,000 bounty on my head it would have been rude not to play the main event and I was really enjoying the game and my starting table.

There was a feeling of early Christmas spirit in the Fox, with mince pies being offered to the players and Charlotte making her Santa appearance;)

I had a good start too and increased my starting stack of 18k to 30k after only 4 levels in. I had Charles Chatta to my left which is always dangerous, but I was winning majority of my chips without going to showdowns.

Good job too as I was flipping terribly against Charles, but fortunately wasn’t dented too severely…yet.

Somehow having a bounty on my head had worked pretty well for me, I kept on accumulating chips towards the final table where I was sitting on the 3rd biggest stack;)

There were only 5 places paid and with a few short/medium stacks there was still lots of work to be done!

Two hands in and I opened on the button with AQ suited. Just to see my nemesis of the night – Charles Chatta – deciding it was the right spot to defend his blind and re-shoving over the top for 40% of my stack. I couldn’t call quick enough of course but unfortunately was no good versus his A,8 off. Grrrrr…

Luxury Harrods Christmas hamper + Liv Boeree:)
Luxury Harrods Christmas hamper
+ Liv Boeree🙂

I made a couple of tight (but worked out to be right) folds before getting it all in for my tournament life with QQ with 7 players remaining.

I was racing versus Ac Kc. The first card on the flop was a King followed by J & 10. I gulped… but the turn brought a 9 and I couldn’t believe my luck! weeeee!

I was the chip leader on the bubble! I think it was only fair if I was going to bully a little until it burst.

Guy Bowles ended up being unlucky one to bust in 6th but lucky enough to be walking away with a luxury Harrods hamper worth £350!

I think the biggest highlight of the day for me so far was having good friends Barny Boatman & Lee Taylor making the money too.

We had dinner together prior the Big Game, just round the corner from the Fox Poker club, in a Vietnamese Restaurant and joked later making the final table must have been down to the lucky noodles!

Victor Ilyukhin 3rd place finisher
Victor Ilyukhin 3rd place finisher

With Barny busting in 4th there was a very long & intense battle between three of us – me, Lee Taylor & Victor Ilyukhin.

Victor was seated to my right and with his uber-aggressive playing style & decent live poker experience- he was always going to be a tough opponent.

He was shipping more or less every time from the small blind and I was just waiting for a decent calling hand to catch him out. I won an important hand with A,2 suited v his 8,10 and then took the majority of his stack with QQ v A,5.

The very next hand Victor pushed remaining of his chips in the middle with K,J and had to settle for a 3rd place when Lee has called him with K,Q.

It was 7.30 in the morning and we were finally heads up and it was Lee & me!

We had a very similar amounts in chips and being good mates it was a no brainer to chop the prize pool two ways – £14,000 each & play to defend my bounty, although I thought that Lee has deserved it anyway, being the last man standing.

With the winner Lee Taylor
With the winner Lee Taylor

Only 10 minutes in the heads up fight & Lee has claimed his victory & the bounty when his flopped top pair held versus my second pair & a double gutshot.

It was a good ending to a good night/morning and I was off to jump on a tube home (who needs rush hour traffic!).

I felt just like any ordinary person going to work, apart from being £14k richer and having not slept for 24 hours:)

The joys of being a poker player!!