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Professional Recreational Poker

Dusk till Dawn Deepstack
January 5th had me off to Nottingham for the monthly deepstack and given the queues and guarantee smash many were glad of the return of the £336 buy in. Had qualified online, where there weren’t the overlays you often see, so a very popular weekend and glad to be there. Nothing too interesting to report. Can remember only losing 12bb in a QQ<AA potential cooler, but spidey senses were strong. And bluff catching with a pair of sixes. So played fine. Ended up shipping with the mighty 6,7 in Level 14 and not winning the race against 44.


Was on same table as Rupinder ‘George’ Bedi for most of day, so suffered a few three bets as he had position. Notable as was sat next to him in my first tournament at dusk till dawn back in 2010. Back in the day when I limped AK UTG and would fold AQ to an early position raise

Also Natasha Sandhu joined our table late, her of Sam Trickett fiancé fame. Can claim to playing with both Sam and Natasha live, first poker couple checked off the list. She was getting smacked with the deck, was fun to watch.

The February deepstack has an online day 1, which is awesome for those like me who are 4-5 hours away from Nottingham. Unfortunately no online sessions to qualify in the week preceding.

UKIPT Edinburgh
Qualified again. Third UKIPT in a row, including online. Glad that played day 1b on the Thursday as had probably softest starting table I can recall of a $300+ tourney. One decent player and he was making the age old mistake of trying to take all the fish chips asap and not being able to get idiots off of 10 high flushes with potential boats on board  Funniest hand was a limp with suited connectors and less than 10bb and then a check raise shove with nothing  Later in day I gained some with K7>QQ and 99>97s. Also glad to have played day 1a as a guy I know was delayed for 5 hours because of snow on Friday. On Friday got to explore lots in Edinburgh, fantastic city + snow in the evening

Day 2 came back with 20bb and not great expectations. A big stack shoved with any two from SB and QJs was more than enough in BB. Held versus 5,7 and had a safe stack. This was on Chaz Chattha’s table – excellent UK grinder. Won a strange hand versus he where thought rivered two pair was miles ahead, but was actually behind til then, so could have got value. Later in the day was on David Vamplew’s table and he had a lot of chips, although Wojtek Barzantny was doing most of the bullying. Won a big 3 bet and called hand with TT on there and after a table change won another big 3 bet hand with AQ where took a different line with top pair to try and extract the max and actually led folk to put me on the nuts or second nuts . The bubble burst late in day 2 and was either going to cash and reach a goal or not and avoid catching the plague that the players to my right had on table Vamplew. I cashed + havent died of anything bubonic since.

Although I was comfortable around bubble time, I was still back on day 3 with a little more than 20bb. The 100k up top looked nice, but in the end relative cooler situation when extremely wide opening table chipleader opened, I shoved TT with 12bb and guy on left woke up with JJ. No miracle so busted out on final three tables. Would have taken that at the beginning of any of the days, so ought not complain. What was more pleased about was the result given that about 1 hour of the ~19 I played was above average so was grinding away and only all in and called 3 times. Also Edinburgh was fantastic, beautiful city and ate really well

Betfair Live London
I recall with fondness Betfair London 2012, amazing bad starting table and bubbling the final table for a decent score. I was going to stump up the $650 for this one, but qualified in one of the first sats. 2013 at the marvellous Aspers Casino (little bit of Vegas in London) was different. On starting table had only a couple of spots and ended up playing two early hands with Sam Grafton who was to my left. Ill advised but won them. Fortunately for me Sam did not last too long. But a couple of aggro Danes were hoovering chips. Day 1 was highlighted by a guy who played 75% of hands and bluffed at any orphan pots. I was 98% certain this was one of the worst players I have encountered, but he lasted a long time so it seemed to work (a little). I suspect on most days he crashes and burns and on one day he hit cards and won something to fund this wreckless style.

First notable day 1 hand was at 200/400:
UTG raise 1300
Cut off calls
Dealer raises 2800
Hero in SB looks down at and had the decision between big shove or click back, raise 6200
UTG shoves 25000
Cut off folds
Dealer agony tank folds what he says was
UTG fish shows
Board is low and win a monster pot, that could have been bigger. The KK fold makes it interesting. By the time it is 5 bet shoved with a player behind I think KK is a crying fold. If I didn’t have AA I would have expected UTG to have it, what with the >3x open, that he had done once before and showed QQ.

The other was against an Aggro Dane who ‘projects well’, ie young, aggressive, beats headphones, hoodie, actively thinks and looks for tells. ‘Projects well’ is a phrase I heard for the first time yesterday, meaning someone who you can tell from their table manner is gonna be good. I found out that those who project well aint always good!
I 3 bet with aces OOP to his mid position raise with AK, he flats. flop and he shoves probably 3x pot effective over my c-bet. I sigh call hoping for a flush draw and am confused at TPTK. He moans about me always having aces, which is a lie, plus is more reason to not shove top pair on the flop.

With two hands left on day 1a I raise QQ early, get three callers and then chip leader shoves. Expecting this to be a bullying squeeze, I happily call only to see AKs. Fortunately win race and end day second in chips.

After a theatre day on Saturday, day 2 on Sunday sees rare position of big stack and the need to balance big stack potential versus the reality of only having 5% of chips in play and needing 100% to win.

Day 1b gave 1a bustouts the chance to re-enter, so was expecting a slightly tougher day 2 than previous year. Anyways first table had the re-entries of Jon Tabatabai to my right and the same aggro Dane as day 1 opposite end of the table. After staying quiet for most of the opening hour, aggro Dane raises mid position. I 3 bet and what ensues is funny/sickening. He wants to know how much I am playing, even though I clearly have him covered, I reply about 175k. He asks the dealer for an exact count. Snap calls after the count and we see a flop, with me thinking that he couldn’t look more weak if he tried. Wonderful flop for JJ of 22d6d, he shoves over my bet and I pretty quickly call just hoping it wasn’t an over-elaborate act with AA or KK that is looking to get it in on any non-ace flop. With cards on their backs beautiful situation of only having to fade 3 outs as  is the weak hand to match the weakness of the ask for count, call, shove play. A queen on the river and he fist pumps and I laugh. He mutters something about thinking he had diamonds. Down to 15bb from 95bb still not in the money and considering the stark difference between a AQ>KK standard 3 outer all in pre and a Q9>JJ all in on a blank flop. The hand has haunted me ever since.

After the table was broken I was moved to the left of Chaz Chattha, we briefly spoke about Edinburgh and then I kindly gave him my remaining chips when shoving A8 with 10bb from button over his cut off raise. No fold equity but I think there he would be calling off with a lot worse and presumably opening with the same. Unfortunately I find no miracle vs AA and out with no cash.

But guess I cant complain with up $1k live so far this year and also cashed a $1k with UKIPT at £770, so already a goal checked off! Still though I will continue to complain about that Q9 hand against the guy who I thought projected well .

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