Posts Tagged ‘WSOP’

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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The Dragon Has Landed

June 1, 2009

Welcome back poker fans, apologies for the long time no post. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in work, some poker related, some not and have been working, writing and networking like a trooper in a successful attempt clear my workload before taking a well deserved working holiday to the poker Mecca that is Las Vegas.

On a work related note I’ve got a couple of articles due for publication soon. The first is a piece for WPT magazine on 6-card Pot Limit Omaha. Yes that’s right folks, all the mischief and mayhem of its 4-card brother only harder, sicker, faster and more swingy with bigger pots… While it may sound insane it’s also loads of fun and believe it or not, there is some skill involved. Read the feature to find out more; it’s in issue 43 out this month I believe.

I’ve just sold WPT a profile on Phil ‘Unabomber’ Laak, which should be out in issue 44.
Phil is an off-the-wall kinda guy, so we have an off-the-wall kind of feature – it was a fun one to write so I hope you guys enjoy reading it.

I submitted a ‘Heads Up’ interview with Roland De Wolfe and Juha Helppi to Poker Pro Europe, which should be out soon – I’ll let you know the details just as soon as I find out when it’ll be in print.

Congratulations to Barry Carter who has just be made the new editor of the UK’s Poker News. This can only be a good thing as Barry is one of the UK poker scene’s more prolific writers and I’m sure the website will go from strength to strength. Check out his ‘Get Carter’ poker blog.

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

Vegas Baby! Vegas!

On a slightly less work related note I just got back from Vegas this week after a ‘working’ holiday, well actually that’s not strictly true, more a holiday that I intended to combine with work but the interview I had scheduled has been delayed to some other point in the (hopefully) not to distant future.

This is not such a bad thing however as it gave me ample time to indulge in second favourite pastime, playing poker (the first being writing about poker obviously).

While I’m not going to go into details about bad beats and winnings, I came back with more money than I went with and have a few interesting statistics for you:

Out of the 8 Tafia members who went on the trip only four of us were poker players, that being said we did alright for ourselves and learned that the Yanks don’t like to fold middle pair much.

Welsh Busted: 5

Yanks Busted: 34

Brazilians Busted: 1 (I met two, one of whom was a professional pool player who is friends with Maltese snooker pro Tony Drago whom I didn’t bust, the other was called Hannibal – which I thought was quite a cool name, unfortunately for him he didn’t eat me alive…)

Of course take note that ‘Busted’ means taken down to the felt, not just beaten in a pot.

Hours played: 37

So that’s nearly a Yank an hour, rest assured folks next time we’ll do better ;).

A big hello to some of the American guys I ended up playing with, they were a friendly bunch. Most specifically Casey, a Vegas DJ who looked like Seth Rogan and showed my brother and I a great time taking us to an after-hours nightclub at 6am after a 7 hour poker session and getting us in for free.

Casey, if you’re out there bud you’ve got my business card, drop me a line as I managed to lose my wallet that night with your business card in it. Any fan of Human Traffic is always welcome in Cardiff, and yes, it’s just like it is in the film…

Also thanks to Boston Dan, a guy myself and Alan ‘Wheel Warrior’ Wicks ended up playing with all night. We got the whole table gambling like crazies and drinking Jagerbombs – a truly tremendous evening, especially as Alan and myself ended up with most of the money on the table when we finished playing at around 6.30am.

It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it 🙂

One Way Poker

What goes up must come down. It took me three days to get over my jetlag but I did manage to finish third in my local deep-stack tournament (at the Grosvenor, Cardiff Bay – location of the August leg of the GUKPT) the day after getting home, which was nice.

I was in Swansea over the weekend at Aspers casino for the launch of the Romanello family’s (yes Roberto and his brothers have decided to make their mark on the world of online poker) new poker website launch.

OneWayPoker.com is an iPoker skin so not only can you play on one of the internets’ largest poker networks you can also find some of Wales’ finest butting heads over the poker tables – and yes we do have some good players…

I spent most of the night ‘networking’ (a posh word for work-related drinking) and had an entertaining evening hanging around with Jon Kalmar who is a thoroughly nice guy. He’ll be hitting up Las Vegas from next Wednesday hoping to repeat chance with another great finish in the Main Event so I wish him the best of luck.

Aside from the Romanello family (including Roberto, obviously…) also in attendance were some of Cardiff and Swansea’s finest including Rana Gurnham, Marko Clarke and Neil ‘Six-card’ Shellard, Full-Tilt sponsored red pro Andrew Feldman, Marc Goodwin, Mickey Wernick and many more who I didn’t get a chance to chat to.

To Leeds and beyond…

Unless the poker gods smile on me in the next four weeks and grant me a WSOP package I will unfortunately be UK grounded for the duration of the Series.

I will however be keeping a close eye on the action and hope that the UK contingent do us proud.

We should have a fighting chance for bracelets this year what with Mr Channing and Mr Persaud’s Blackbeltpoker.com qualifiers.

Congratulations to Cardiff (well Newport actually, but if I was from there then I’d want people to say I was from Cardiff…) player Henry Griffiths who qualified for blue belt. While he won’t be going to Vegas (that was brown belt and above) he has got himself a nice deal for playing in some of the UK poker tours fine side events so we wish him the best of luck.

On a UK poker related note I’ll be heading up to Leeds next month to cover the Coral British Masters Poker Tour where I will be hoping for a shot at fortune and glory myself.

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.

There are a whole host of other qualifiers and the main event itself is only £500+£50 for a two-day deep-stack.

There’s also a £200 and £100 side event so for those without the bankroll to hit up Sin City, try Leeds. It might not be as glamorous but for quality British poker they’ll be some good play and the chance to win some cash… Show me a downside.

I’ll either be posting next on Friday or Monday (depending on my work schedule) so stay tuned poker fans.

And if all else fails, try Wales…