Genting Poker Series – Newcastle

There were two main reasons why I was really looking forward to the Leg 2 of the Genting Poker Series 2013.

Genting Casino Newcastle
Genting Casino Newcastle

Firstly I had never been to Newcastle before & was keen to cross another location of my UK City list.

Secondly, following my success & 8th place finish in the GPS Birmingham, I was eager & highly motivated to top this up by at least a couple of spots (perhaps this was a bit of a stretch, but hey ho, it’s all about a positive & winning mindset right:)

After a smooth 2 hour & 49 minute trip on the train & a prompt check in at the hotel, I had just enough time to nip out & have a little wonder around the beautiful Grainger Town (which is a historic part of the Newcastle) before heading to the Genting casino to do some work:)

I started my GPS weekend by playing in the Button Poker side event. In essence this game works just like a normal NL Holdem Tournament & the only difference is that when a player wins a pot, he/she gets to keep the button & subsequently is the last person to act in a following hand, till someone else takes the button.

I think it’s one of the most fun & entertaining tournament structures I played in. Players become very defensive and are unwilling to let their button go once they acquire it. As a result the play for majority of the participants becomes very loose aggressive with the very wide range of hands!

Anyhow, I managed to final table the button poker event, but my joy was short lived when I got it all in pre with 10,10 v A,Q of Amy Trodd and couldn’t hold. Amy was unstoppable that night- played really well & with some luck on her side too it’s no surprise she went on to win it!

Baltic Blonde
GPS Main event Day 1

Despite not cashing I had a great night & treated the game as a good warm up for the Main Event the following day.

After a good night’s sleep, a cup of yummy Latte in the morning & a lucky outfit sorted and I was feeling great heading back to the Genting casino to play day 1c.

I assumed my starting table, which included a couple of familiar faces & mainly local lads, to be rather soft and I was right. One hour in and I’ve increased my 25k starting stack to 30k without getting down to any showdowns:)

The table dynamics were straightforward & steady and we had some good banter going on and no-one was getting much out of hand.

This was until one of the busted player’s seats was swiftly taken by Albert Sapiano. I believe Albert to be one of the most unpredictable players in poker – he plays any two, so in any given hand he could have the nuts or be bluffing his life away with complete air.

As Albert was sitting two to my right and I had a position on him, I was happy to get involved in a few pots with him:

I raised UTG2 with QQ. I received 2 calls including Albert in the BB. The flop brought 6,6,6 and only Albert check called my bet. Turn was a 2 & we both checked. River was a 9 and Albert overbet the pot x2. I folded.

I couldn’t see him doing this with a showdown value hand. Hence a 6 or a complete air made the most sense.

He knew at that point that I had one of the premium hands so bluffing in this spot would be pretty crazy & definitely a losing play in the long run, plus I’ve noticed previously that he seemed to have a tendency to overbet the pot when he had a very good hand. I just went with my read when making a fold & he proudly showed me 7,6 for a winning hand!;)

Fortunately not long after Albert & I played HU again and this time I won a decent pot when calling his bluff off on the river. We were even!:)

I was ticking along okay & steadily accumulating chips before  abruptly getting a brutal beat for an exit. Here’s a bad beat story for you- I’ll keep it short I promise!

I got it all in on a 7,4,2 rainbow flop with a set of 7s for an over 60k pot (blinds 150/75) and couldn’t hold versus pocket 8s. Sigh!

I was obviously going to re-enter but needed some time away from the tables to refocus first. Fresh air & some chocolates helped a lot & I was back to the poker room with a winning mindset again!

To make it even better, I got a seat 7 on a table 7, a lucky combination of double 7s, which were surely not going to disappoint me!?

The rest of the evening went to plan & I finished day 1 on 50k, which was around 30bb going into day 2. I was happy with that & very much looking forward to next day to hopefully making back to back final tables:)

GPS Day 2.

Day 2 went off to an excellent start. I was happy with my seat draw & managed to win a race – JJ v AK – to double up early doors.

Unfortunately, not long after I got moved to a new table & had one of the chip leaders sitting two to my right, as well as another couple of players, who were pretty chipped up, to my immediate left. Not the best spot!

With blinds going up & no premium hands to be found I was playing on my image, and made a couple of timely 3bets & some steals in position to keep me going.

I was down to around 17bb when approaching the bubble and I found myself in a position where I couldn’t do much but wait for someone to bust before I made a move with my stack of course unless I found AA or KK in my hand. It’s a frustrating place to be, but you like to think you’ll pick up a hand, and I simply didn’t.

I think it was one of the longest bubbles ever, short stacks kept on doubling up and players who were getting it in behind, sucking out.

This was very frustrating, as I had no other option but just fold away. I’d never advocate doing this as a general rule as you are playing for the final table, but as you get shorter the cycle perpetuates itself downwards. Finally after nearly two levels of hand-for-hand play we were in the money and down to 42 players! weeee!

I was happy and hoping for some kind of hand with a decent equity to get the remaining of my stack in the middle. 3,9….hmmm…10,2…..7,2 nooooooooo!…..this was not going to plan!

Ellie Biessek
Ellie Biessek

In the end I picked up 7,9 utg but for some reason unknown I decided against it. Looking back, I think it was a definite mistake and I should have shipped my stack in regardless as I only had 6bb & I was going to be all in next hand anyway.

It was out of character for me and a lapse of concentration which does happen to all players at points in a long tourney.

As it happened I was lucky to pick up A,8 in the big blind next but unfortunate to run into Aces of Jeff Kimber for an exit. (40th/400)

I was happy with my performance & another GPS cash on the bounce, and although I made a couple of mistakes and questionable plays I do feel that overall I played well & I’m learning something new every time I play:)

Huge congrats to Ellie Biessek – the eventual GPS Newcastle winner – for such an amazing achievement & a win of £38,750! It is lovely seeing a female poker player picking up this trophy for once!

GPS Leg 3 in Sheffield next. Hope to see you there!