Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Virgin Poker Festival 2008

Virgin Poker Festival at Aspers Casino Newcastle April 12th and 13th 2008.

Well as you know I qualified for this tournament via a freeroll out of the PokerPlayer magazine. So off I trot to Newcastle to try and win my biggest prize to date. I had played very little poker prior to this tournament (I will explain why in a later post) but did play a couple of 10 man SnG, and won both the day before so felt great.

The general atmosphere on arrival at the tournament was buzzing. Plenty of drinkers and obviously card players all ready to do battle on the felt. There were quite a few people who knew each other from the forums, so I felt like a real "no mates" and just sat and observed for about 1/2 hour before the tourney was due to start.

So sitting down and being dealt my first cards in the 10,000 chip, 45 minute blinds 230 man £28,000 guaranteed tournament was very exciting ... but that was where the excitement stopped for the first hour and a half. I managed to see 3 hands in this time ... some rubbish in the BB, a called SB with 89s and a raised AQos on the button.

None of the hands won with the latter AQ seeing my continuation bet on the flop of 6 high called by a very tight player (he'd played as many hands as myself at this stage) checked on the turn and my calling of a 2/3 pot bet on an A river to lose to his A6.

Then I was moved table ... with about 6500 of my starting stack in tact ... to win my first hand in the BB with K3os as I neared 2 hours of play.

The table I was moved to was called the table of death as it saw about 5 all ins in 6 hands at one point. The MC regularly visited the table to call out the all in action over the PA for all to hear.

From here on in I basically played short stack poker ... over the topping any position "weak" raise all in (provided I could get heads up) and 1/3 raising my stack in position with anything promising. I had to fold a few strong hands in the face of raise and re raise, but thats poker and I stand by my decisions.

I managed to keep my stack level constant for about the next 4 levels when I hit upon AA in the BB to double up to around about average stack with approx 140 players left.

Now I was very happy with the way I was playing ... I was getting very little resistance to my raises and my flop bets were being respected ... so what happens ... yep I get moved to another table.

On this table I just couldn't get a position to get in and my stack dwindled to about 5BB. Then it was folded to me on the button. So I went all in and got reraised by the SB. The BB folded and the cards were tabled. I held K6os ... the SB had 99.

The flop was a glorious K63 ... ohh joy!! hang on whats that !! theyre all diamonds ... I don't have a diamond ... he has the 9 of diamonds ...

I just knew what was going to happen and had to wait for the river card for my exit. So shaking hands with my opponenet and wishing him and the rest of the table good luck I leave the table about 1/2 an hour before the end of day ones play.

So in my first deep stack tournament I came 60th. The prizes paid to 25 but I was happy with the way I played. I really should have been out at about level 5 but I managed to nurse the short stack through 5 more levels than that, and if only some cards had come at the right time may have done better.

What did I learn. Firstly how triring it is to play the short stack for about 5 hours. Watching people, looking for that moment to put your stack up for grabs or hopefully take it down there and then. I must say by the end of the day I felt physically unfit. Secondly that there are other factors that can affect the result of a tournament .. ie being moved to another table after getting a good table image. You have to basically start again. Finally patience, patience and patience.

So there we have it!

I will try to qualify again for the next one which is supposedly going to be at Dusk Till Dawn. You can only qualify on line through Virgin Poker but it is worth a punt just for the fun.

For now

Keep it tight!

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