Just A Quick One (about poker)
Saturday, 14 May 2011
... to say that I’m very pleased with the way this week has gone in Madrid. Look at the post below this if you have no interest in results and simply want to see some random holiday snaps. But poker-wise, I have to be happy. As I whined (in the thread below) the main event was no good (aces cracked by Joe Hachem’s flush draw) and the heads up was cruel (on the perfect bubble, 2-1 down in the money match.) I also managed to finish on the bubble of the SCOOP heads-up, AND had a nasty beat in the €1,000 side event - just near the money - when I shoved for 19 big blinds with Qc 5c, a man inexplicable called me with 5h 6h and won.
But I finished 3rd in the ladies’ event for €4,100 and tonight I finished 4th in the EPT Champion of Champions event for €10,000 of EPT vouchers for next season. It wasn’t really about the money though, this tournament, it was about the prestige. This was an invitational tournament for EPT champions, open to everyone who’s won an EPT main event title in the seven years of the series. There were 50 of us there. I feel like I played really well; I was chip leader for most of the day. I hit some big hands early on (and you always need a bit of luck) but also my pacing was good - which it had to be in a deep-stack tournament that became a turbo. (We started with 500 big blinds each, and eleven hours later had 100 big blinds in play between 6 people). I pushed at the right times, sat back at the right times, stole some pots and won some fairly. AND survived sharing the blinds with ElkY for several hours. They do say not to defer to anyone at the poker table, but that guy really is some kind of genius; he’s won two side events at this EPT event alone.
Anyone watching it on pokerstars.tv or following my Twitter feed will know that my exit hand was very odd. With blinds at 20k-40k, Galen Hall raised to 100k and I shoved for 920k with a pair of eights. Galen somehow misunderstood my stack, thought I only had 300k and felt priced in to call with K2. Unfortunately, he hit a K on the flop and I was out. When the TV version goes out on Channel 4, you’ll see from my exit interview that I was very shocked and upset. I should have won that pot and had 2m in chips - with which I could easily have won the tournament. (I say easily. I’d have had to beatJason Mercier, who was playing very well and went on to win. But I would have had a great shot with those chips.)
Still, I’m back in my hotel room now, drinking Rioja and reflecting that I could have got unlucky early on and been knocked out for nothing. I think that exit hand is something I’ll remember for a long time, and may be my worst “bad beat” ever - not in terms of the statistics of the hand (I was only a little over 2/1 favourite) but just the way it played out. He knew he shouldn’t have called - he would have taken his chips back before the flop if he could - and it seemed cruel for my eights not to stand up under those circs. Nevertheless, I feel like I played very well in an extremely tough field - and in that light, my bad beats in the main event and €1k side event, along with the heads up bubble, actually feel encouraging. I was definitely doing something right this week.
And who knows? Maybe I’ll spin up those €10,000 EPT tickets into a fortune in season 8.
This time next year, Rodney…