Posts Tagged ‘Coral British Masters Poker Tour’

Summer of Shove

June 24, 2009

In the summertime when the weather is high, you can stretch right up and touch the sky. When the weather’s fine – you got poker, you got poker on your mind….

While the worlds attention maybe focused on some small town poker tournament called the World Poker Series or something held in the depths of the Nevada desert (it’ll never catch on if you ask me…) there is still plenty of poker out there in the UK for you discerning poker junkies to sate your urges.

Both Grosvenor Casinos and Coral are keeping Britain as the land of poker hope and glory with their GUKPT Summer Series and the Coral British Masters Poker Tour for those of you not flush enough to pony up $10,000 or just plain not lucky enough to win a WSOP seat online.

With the events ranging from £100 freeze-outs (at the CBMPT), £200 Freeze-outs (GUKPT & CBMPT), £300 freeze-outs (GUKPT) and the £500 main events (both the GUKPT & CBMPT) this summer is a pretty good one for you British poker players.

British Master Class

After being fortunate enough to win myself a seat online at www.eurobetpoker.net for the princely sum of $75+5 (well, technically nothing as this was just a small fraction of my online profit this month after a successful assault on the Pot-Limit Omaha tables courtesy of Rolf Slotboom’s short-stack PLO strategy ;)) I was in sunny Leeds last weekend (19–21 June) for the Coral British Masters.

While I was unable to convert my online success into a cash – I busted in 50th out of the main event when my short-stacked shove for 6,500 at the 300/600 level with Pocket Kings ran into the mighty Ace-Jack with all the money in the middle pre-flop (guess the first card out…) – another Welshman in the form of Carl Williams managed to cash.

Admittedly it was only for £250, but being as Carl had qualified online for next-to-nothing (around $10 I believe) this was still a pretty decent ROI, and being as I had 10% of him I managed to earn myself £25 as well. Granted that’s not quite as impressive as winning a World Series bracelet, but money won is still twice as sweet as money earned.

CBMPT Leeds Champion Tom MacDonald. Image courtesy of A World of Poker.

CBMPT Leeds Champion Tom MacDonald. Image courtesy of A World of Poker.

Congratulations go to 18-year-old Tom MacDonald who saw off 93 other players to reach heads-up with over a 3–1 chip lead. After seeing off a spirited challenge from runner-up Jamie Sykes he bagged a bankroll boosting £15,400 for his troubles, with Mr Sykes earning himself a cool £10,000 in the process for second place.

My disastrous run of tournament form continued in the £100 freeze-out and after getting down to the final 20 with around 35k in chips at the 800/1,600 level the wheels fell off…

I managed to lose two massive back-to-back pots, both while holding Ace Queen; the first was pretty standard, a guy with around 20k shoved my blind from the button and being as he had looked eager to get his chips in the middle for a while, when I looked down to see Ace Queen of spades in the Big Blind I was pretty sure I was in front.
Sure enough after making the call my big chick was dominating the gentleman’s Ace Four of diamonds, until he flopped a Four…
Running Ten’s and Seven’s saw me chop the pot (apparently I’m the lucky bastard here…) so one 72% v 23% (the other 5% is a chop) down, one more to go…

Just a scant two hands later I find myself on the Button with… Ace Queen. I raise to 4,000 the Big Blind glances at his cards and instantly moves all-in. Now personally, I don’t think that he’s doing this with a hand here, maybe a rag Ace or small pocket pair at best so it doesn’t take long for me to make the call.

‘Fucking hell, I’m in bad shape’ mumbles the gent in question as I call and he’s sees my Ace Queen, and he turns over Ace Nine off…
Blank, blank, blank, blank… Nine on the river sees me left with just one Big Blind and a bad taste in my mouth and I’m out in 19th on the next hand when my bag of spanners fails to connect with the flop.

But then, that’s tournament poker for you…
You can read all about the action and adventure at uk.pokernews.com as I’ve just submitted a feature for their website.

On the plus side I managed to come away with a £500 profit from my escapades on the cash tables (£350 of which I made in 10 minutes at one table…) so life’s not all bad.

The atmosphere surrounding the Tour is as friendly as the Gala Tour, and with a lot of the same faces and the fact that you can play in all three tournaments and pay for your hotel for the price of just one GUKPT, it is a pretty good value poker weekend.

The next leg is 24–26 July in Teeside, followed by the Nottingham leg on 14–16 August. Qualify online at www.coralpoker.com, www.galapoker.co.uk and www.eurobetpoker.net for as little as nothing as they are running a series of freerolls from 6pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or visit www.britishmasterspokertour.co.uk for more details.

GUKPT Summer Series

GUKPT Aberdeen Summer Series Champion John Angus. Image courtesy of BlueSquare/GUKPT

GUKPT Aberdeen Summer Series Champion John Angus. Image courtesy of BlueSquare/GUKPT

Not to be outdone, Grosvenor Casino’s are also running their Summer Series. Their second event was held up in Aberdeen last weekend (yes, an unfortunate schedule clash with the CBMPT which probably explained the low number of runners) where retired accountant John Angus (insert Burger King joke here…) saw off the 41 other runners to win himself £7,870. Congratulations to Black Belt Poker blue belt and Poker Player Strategy Editor Nick Wright on his third place finish for £3,780. It’s always nice to see a fellow poker journo win some glory, and Nick is an all round nice guy anyway.

The last event of the Summer Series will be running this coming weekend (25–18 June) in Walsall so you can still get your Summer of Shove tournament fix here.

Needless to say I and several other members of Cardiff’s poker mafia (the Tafia ;)) will be attending and will be writing an article on it for Poker News.

The quality of play and the value at these tournaments is immense, so while the majority of the poker world focuses on Las Vegas, don’t forget there is still poker to be played and money to be made on this side of the pond as well.

Visit http://www.grosvenorukpokertour.com/summer_series.shtml
for more info or qualify online at BlueSquare.com.

Micro-stakes madness…

Unfortunately as my focus both online and live has been on the above I have not had a chance to play any poker relating to my Micro-stakes Mission, but as this is a work in progress, rest assured I will be grinding it out at the lower levels in an attempt to win fortune and glory in the coming weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Well I’ve got me a few features to write before the weekend so I’ll sign off until Monday where I’ll let you know all about the GUKPT Summer Series in Walsall and probably bitch about my bad beats 😉

Keep it real folks, and if all else fails… try Wales.

Tidy.

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Swings and Roundabouts

June 15, 2009

Well we’re off and running with the micro-stakes challenge. Check out my progress by selecting Back to the Future: The Micro-stakes Mission in the side bar.

After grinding all week with my free time I have made around a 36% increase to my roll.

Amusingly though in an attempt to blow off some steam after playing ‘proper’ bankroll management all week, I sat down on Saturday for a good old fashioned spin-up rampage on Eurobet’s PLO tables.

Having just recently finished reading Rolf Slotboom’s Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha I was intrigued by his short-stack approach to the game, which I decided to try out as part of my spin-up.

The tactic involves sitting in for to a game with the minimum buy-in (yes, I’ve joined the irritating hit-and-run short-stackers society), preferably with a strong aggressive player to your left (yes, you want them to have position on you).

Patience is the key here, you are waiting for a fairly decent hand like double-suited Aces or Kings where all four cards work well together.
Double-suited run-down hands are also good here.

You usually want to just call knowing the aggressive player will usually raise and get called in a couple of spots so you can re-raise all-in. Obviously you need to mix this up with some Button raises and re-raises when you have the goods as well so you don’t become too predictable.

Hopefully the obliging LAG should re-raise giving you some protection and taking the hand heads-up so you are getting around 3-1 on your money while being around a 60/40 favourite in the hand.

Obviously this is not an exact science and the key to success is picking your spots carefully. Occasionally you’ll be against two other players in the pot and while your win percentage may drop here you are still getting a pretty good return on your money for taking a favourable gamble.

The trick is not to get too greedy, as soon as you have doubled up and have enough to buy in for the minimum for the next level you leave the table and jump up stakes.

You can experiment with this strategy a little if you find a level you are comfortable playing at and I did just that at the $1/$1 tables running my $20 into around $160 in about half an hour before I hit-and-ran to buy into the $2/$2 game for $40.

The best part about this approach is the fact you are risking a little to win a lot in a short space of time, while still using some semblance of bankroll management: While you are effectively playing higher than your roll allows you should still only be risking around 5% of your total net worth.

The best way to ensure success is to give yourself a total you are happy reaching and then calling it quits and banking the money.

Poker is a game of swings and roundabouts - sometimes I spin around so fast I get dizzy...

Poker is a game of swings and roundabouts - sometimes I spin around so fast I get dizzy...

I pulled the plug after working my way up to the $5/$5 level where I had a quick double-up and finished $390 in profit for around three and a half hours work.

So effectively I managed to spin $10 into $400 – not bad work if you can get it. Kind of the anti-thesis to my micro-stakes approach, but then I had to play a game where I was free of the stringent constraints I had been playing under all week. I think that it’s important to mix it up online to stop you from going stir crazy, burning out and driving yourself insane grinding it out at the lower levels.

Going Live

While I have been enjoying moderate success online this month, my live game on the other hand has been a disaster.

While I enjoyed a fairly sizable win at Bristol’s £1/£2 ROE (round of each Pot-Limit Texas and Pot-Limit Omaha) I have had several back to back losing sessions where my sets have been outdrawn by gutshots, or people have just plain been refusing to fold for all their chips when the draw card fails to materialise on the turn, calling off and then pinging the river… Sick.

I’m enjoying (not sure if this is quite the right word…) my first losing month since January and only my third ever losing month since I’ve been keeping records. Unfortunately it’s also my biggest losing month to date as well. Not so good.

I’m off to Leeds on Friday to cover and play in the Coral British Masters Poker Tour so I can only pray for a reversal in fortune and an end to my losing live streak. Time will tell.

It’s odd, whenever I win online I seem to break even or lose live and when I am winning live my online game suffers. I will have to work to fix this strange correlation between cyber-space and bricks-and-mortar. Fingers crossed…

Being as I seem to be running ok on the old intermaweb I will also be attempting to satellite in to the Coral Tour £500+50 main event via the freerolls, $5 re-buy and $10 freeze-out. I’ll keep you posted.

As I will be working and gambling with reckless abandon on Friday and over the weekend I probably won’t be posting until next Monday where I will also be updating my micro-stakes challenge results as well.

Until that day folks…