It's been a while, so before I get a rocket from the boss (Mr Dale) me thinks that I had best put pen to paper - or in today's modern world, fingers to keyboard (well even that's not entirely correct, "finger" would be more accurate!) and bring you up to date on Team Trotter's efforts so far in 2008.
GUKPT leg 2 saw Dan and I take a pleasant journey up to Walsall in the heart of the Black Country, where the question "how are you?" is met with a reply of "Yam alright"..
I travelled up on Monday to play a warm up event in the form of a ?200 F/O. With a 146 runner field and over ?29,000 in prize money on offer it looked a pretty smart move. That was until I managed to donk off over half of my 6,000 starting stack in the first level! Come buffet time I had regained my lovely lost chips, my composure, and sat down to enjoy what turned out to be a 7.30pm "Breakfast"... Ugh? Eggs, bacon, fried bread, tomatoes etc (don't ask!... only in Walsall!)
Suitably refreshed, with my weeks fat intake boosted to the brim, the nice run of cards that followed including a set of sevens, a flopped straight and a couple of big pairs ...no Vicky Coren Jokes please ;) Add to that some confident and well timed steals, and all of a sudden we are down to twenty players and I, for once, have a decent stack. Making the second day on 120,000 I feel full of confidence and feel sure I can take this down... for a nice opener.
Arriving at the final table and quickly building up to around 150,000 seemed to add further fuel to my confident feelings but, as with all dreams, things can turn around very quickly. Six left when the wheels start to come off. Running my big hands slap bang into monsters, and well timed steals getting "looked up". My confidence remains but my stack is in tatters. Two more heroes depart and then we are four. Things are starting to reach desperation point; the chip leader and eventual winner can do no wrong and I can do no right.
With hindsight my all in push with J-8 from the button did seem a little rash but desperate men do desperate things. My move was immediately called by the chip leader from the small blind with A-2, but the flop was kind with a 9-8-2. The turn was a beautiful 10 and my path to glory once again seemed set - did I say set? Well, guess what that dastardly river card was? That`s right, an ugly duck; 2, giving my opponent a set and me ?2,650 and fourth place. Justice?....don`t speak to me about justice!
After a day off I was all set for the main event and the date? The 14th February, how apt! Remember the St Valentines day massacre?
120 odd entries for day 1a (Dan played on day 1b so you can check out his efforts on his blog). The numbers incidentally were way down on last year. Maybe the lack of TV coverage is putting some people off or maybe poker players are just soft-hearted romantics... I`ll let you decide.
I started off very badly, more or less a case of deja-vu. Perhaps I have taken my mission of trying to accumulate chips early on a step too far! I'll have to take a look at this possible problem. Improvement in my chip stack came courtesy of a move to another table, a set, and several well-timed plays including an all-in push (after six players had limped in)...crush the pussies.
Not wishing to take too many liberties as the players at the table now included "Skalie", "Jaffacake" and Simon Zac, who would be sure to punish errant plays. Unfortunately my next big play would be my last. I manage to push pocket sixes slap bang into a concealed pair of pocket kings, and eight hours on the poker rollercoaster comes to an abrupt halt.
I spent the next couple of days playing in what could only be described as the very lucrative side-action cash games and, despite not being able to post a major result, Walsall proved financially beneficial.
GUKPT Leg 3
Next up, what was always going to be a very well attended leg of the GUKPT tour the "Vic" in London. Team trotter on this occasion consisted of captain "Delboy Dale", Dan and myself, so some result was assured (surely!)
Our first effort was Monday's ?300 F/O ( 170 runners) which, with its short clock and fast blinds proved that not all crap shoots occur on the internet. No cards, no hope, and I`m gone, swiftly followed by Matt and finally Dan. Once again my salvation on the day proved to be a very juicy ?250 Omaha cash game.
Event 2 was the ?500 F/O. Again Matt, Dan and myself were in the line up, along with 152 other hopefuls including a rare appearance by none other than my old mate the "Devilfish" himself..."Only passing through you understand" were his comments.
Once again, try as I might, I couldn`t make anything happen and eventually succumbed to a death by a thousand cuts. Meanwhile Dan had accumulated a huge stack and was cruising, Matt too was going great guns. I caught up with Dan an hour or so later as he walked past rejectedly. "Don't ask" was his only comment - I feel his blog may reveal more. So by some sort of miracle, or the grace of god, all our hopes lay on Matt. Well, maybe it was all the pressure, or some other outside interference but a while later he too joined Dan and myself in Sideline City. Nevertheless a top performance by" Donk Dale". I think he must be getting sneak previews of Dan's "How to Play" videos. Speaking of which, don`t forget to check 'em out yourselves on the Poker.co.uk website.
So on to the GUKPT main event.
Max entries both days with at least twenty alternates on the waiting list for each day... wow! My game plan: to come out firing from the off and try to accumulate a decent chip stack early on (even if it meant I take an early bath). The result of my L.A.G approach was exactly that... an early bath. I Played over 25% of the hands dealt, playing aggressively from all positions, no open limping; but ultimately it just wasn`t meant to be as you will see shortly.
My final exit hand was the Ah-8h, with which I made an all-in push behind an aggressive player who had been playing very L.A.G. Unfortunately on this occasion he had found a real hand in pocket Queens but, a miracle flop of As-8s-2h rocketed me into the lead. unfortunately a 9s on the turn followed by the 4s on the river meant that his Qs played giving him a flush!
I suppose you could argue that I was unlucky, but we must also remember how lucky I got to hit such a good flop. Now I see why A-8 is the "Dead mans" hand. Dan fared little better and also exited late on day one.
Overall I was pleased enough with the way I played and, looking at the players and chipstacks that made day two, I think I chose the correct game plan. Having said that I perhaps pushed it a little too hard, so I will reign it back a little for the next leg (Manchester in April).
It was by no means a disastrous week for me, as once again the cash action proved my saviour, and courtesy of some very loose players in both the ?250 sit down N/L Hold-em and the ?250 Omaha game, I managed to book wins totalling just over 2K for the week. Rent paid until next month...Phew!
So there we are. All up-to-date with Team Trotter's adventures. Oh I almost forgot, one other minor result came my way at the Sussex Masters in Brighton over Easter weekend. I had hoped to play in the Irish Open but circumstances just wouldn`t allow so I settled for my second choice. I played two events: Friday's ?200 F/O and Sunday's ?500 main event.
Fridays event was something of a first for me, as for the first time in over twenty years of playing I went out on the very first hand I played - namely pocket aces - cruelly beaten by a Ac-5c making yet another flush! Small compensation came my way with a 5th place finish in the main event. Small beans but better than nowt... as they say.
I will be taking it easy poker-wise until Manchester, apart from my relentless online practice sessions and weekend cash games at the "Vic", though I have pencilled in a trip to DTD for their monthly ?300 F/O, so I will be kinda taking things easy-ish.
Until next time,
Stay safe, play well and ........avoid those damn Flushes.