August 08, 2007

Back in the Loop

£500 Double Chance Freezeout, Luton G Casino
This was my first taste of live action since Las Vegas so it was good to be back on the circuit and catching up with the familiar faces. The new G Casino is actually pretty cool and has a nice large poker room, a big improvement on the previous casino.

It wasn't a great start to the tourney, my first big hand there was a limped pot where I had 77s and limped myself. It came down 532 with 2 spades, and being last to act I pumped a bet out but got re-raised. I didn't want to commit my first set of chips on this tricky board so I layed down.

At the 2nd blind level I made one of those calls where you know they have it but you just can't seem to lay it down. Maybe the last month of playing heads-ups and few multis contributed, as you couldn't get away from this hand heads-up, but in a multi you could. A couple of late position limpers and I'm in the small blind with T4 off and come in. It comes down TT8 with 2 clubs, so I check, 1st limper checks and the button bets 400. I flat call and first limper raises to 1000. I call, not thrilled about my hand but aware he could have some kind of draw. When it comes down a blank 5, I check, he bets 2/3 of my stack. I contemplate for a couple of minutes, I really should lay-down here but I keep thinking he could have the draw, or it's possible he is playing an 8 aggressively with this turn. I move-all in, he calls and has TJ, and I'm kicking myself for not trusting my instincts. 1 set of chips down, 1 to go.

Nearing the first break I have a mini-rush but make no cash. Two limpers to my right and I make it 4x the BB. Somehow everyone on the table manages to fold, unfortunate as I had AA. I then limp with Ac 9c and flop a flush draw. I bet out and the button calls. I hit the flush, check it, but he checks too. I make a pot-sized bet on the river and he passes.

After the break the table then got a bit more interesting with the arrival of Stuart Rutter who is a really nice guy on the circuit. Chatting to him help tighten me up which was necessary with my stack. In this level I had a tricky hand, picking up AsKc in late position. There was a raise in early position to 500 by a lady I know to be very tight. Going all-in for 5000 didn't make much sense and I didnt think I could make a standard raise with my chips so I flat called. It came and awkward JQ2 with 2 spades. She bets 500, to which alarm bells go off in my head: has she got a monster? I can't not call here but the turn is a blank 6. She bets another 500 and I comment she is "bleeding me dry" and make the pass.

Down on chips, my tournament life ended up coming down to two coin-flips. A raise in early position by a tight player and I find AQs on the button. I'm not thrilled about it but I have to move all-in. He makes the call and I'm probably in the best position I can be, he has TT. I win this one and double up to 5000 or so.

A couple of rounds later I pick up AJ. The guy 3 to my right makes his third 3x raise in a row, and I feel I have to shove in here as he could pass to the raise, and I'm probably in reasonable shape. He quickly calls me with 99, and I lose this coin-flip and bust out.

It goes to show a tournament can all come down to one decision, and mine to not lay-down trips early on turned out to be my downfall. Still it was good to get back on the circuit. Sadly I won't be playing the GUKPT main event this weekend as I promised to go to the Aston Villa vs Liverpool game with my mate Aston. I'm a Liverpool fan so I'll be sitting on my hands but it should be fun.

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