Premier League: The Upshot
Monday, 1 December 2008
(This is a spoiler for anyone who wants to watch Premier League Poker next year without knowing any results. Click off if so!)
So, well, I didn’t make the final. But I made the semi-final play-offs, which has got to be a result after an official public press release which said I’d come last! I even did better than Phil Hellmuth
I honestly think I played the heads-up very well. Tony G played it great too, so totally deserved his place in the final, but definitely got better cards in those play-offs. I know it’s not really about the cards (especially heads-up) but when you’re both playing aggressively, it’s very hard to escape coups where you flop one pair and he flops a bigger one. Etc. At least I managed to delay my exit by avoiding going broke in a couple of cooler situations, and winning a few pots with no hand. Can’t do much more than that. The only real mistake I made in the heads-up was not raising with an A8, when Tony played with my head by calling in the dark.
I think the key, for me, was a mistake I made in my last heat by not raising with an AQ - a heat I needed to win, to qualify automatically for the final. I played the hand to win a very big pot or get knocked out, which was unnecessary. But there was a reason for that; it was based on some misinformation that Roland gave me about other people’s points position. He says it was an honest mistake…. But, despite driving to the studio every day past a big movie poster which said TRUST NO-ONE, DECEIVE EVERYONE, I guess I still haven’t learned my lesson…
Generally though, I’m very happy with the tournament. I’m sorry to those who bet, but 20/1 was a good price. I had a top 3 finish in my first four matches, and could easily have won at least one of them, perhaps if my KK had stood up against JC’s A6…. And I think I played well. I think I played, basically, correctly. My opponents may not have thought so (I’ll find out from the commentary, if I can bear to watch it) - but hey, the whole point is to be counter-intuitive anyway, right?
I also suspect I might have a better chance of being invited back next time if I’d jammed it in a bit more often with the old 10-5 offsuit, as some of my fellow players did… I mean, of course that’s fun to watch… but variety is the spice of poker. And I definitely didn’t make any mistakes as crazy as Nenad Medic did in his last heat - which I’m going to write about in my poker column on Thursday, it’ll be worth a read.
I did, at least, try to compensate for my boringly “correct” SNG strategy by overdressing wildly and making jokes in the interviews. Next time, I hope to see Juha Helppi employing the same strategy. I’d like to see him in a leopard-print evening gown.
I really do hope I get to play this tournament again because I’ve made the final before, I know I can do it again, and I’d go in next time planning to win it OR DIE TRYING. Either of which would, surely, make good television.