Archive for the ‘Poker’ Category

Final Tables

September 11th, 2011 No comments

Following on from my recent post about taking up live poker again, Chris and I headed to Alea last Sunday to play in a £15 freezeout tournament. The session started off with a little excitement as a colleague of mine from the AHS had just called in a panic to tell me she had missed her stop at Reading to change for Guildford and was almost in London. Now, to be fair, she hails from a land with no trains and where everyone has personal drivers so the whole public transport thing is a bit new to her, but it did mean that I started the night coming up with rail related jokes (and a little concern that she may end up travelling around the home counties for all eternity) rather than focusing on my game.

The first few hands were fairly tense affairs as a few players were in fold or shove mode despite us having relatively large starting stacks (10k with 25/50 blinds). I made some inroads early on and had trebled my starting stack by the first break by being quite aggressive and trying to force folds preflop or before the turn. I had to calm down after the break following a table move as the tournaments most aggressive player was sat to my left who was happy to shove all in with rags. Luckily for me, I managed to call his bluff when I hit my flush to his middle pair. This set me up nicely for my first live poker final table.

I started to play very defensively on the final table waiting for other players to knock each other out. Within an hour we were down to the final three, but with us all having even stacks we got bogged down in small pots and defensive plays. In the end I reraised a value bet with KQ suited and was not toally upset when they turned over A6. I flopped a straight and flush draw but they turned their Ace and it held. I was done in 3rd place for a £55 payout. Not bad for my first final table. Means my overall live career is in profit.

Back at the Table

August 30th, 2011 No comments

Over the past few weeks I have been slowly getting back into playing poker live. I played online quite a bit during my uni years and did relatively well. Not huge money, but it kept me in beer. I used to play in a regular home game in first year and most of my second year, but that petered out as people moved on. Live poker was something I wasn’t really exposed to outside of the aforementioned home games and the odd low stakes tourney at Gala Casino in Leeds.

With my flatmate Chris really getting into the game, I have been along to a few tourneys with him – first of all placing 2nd in his office game at Alea, dying on my arse at the Grosvenor freeroll (I went out in 121st place) and then finishing 4th at the Redtooth Poker League meet at the Fenton pub. Overall I am up around £50 but thats not really a fair reflection as only 2 of the games played for cash.

Live poker has a lot of advantages over the online version mainly centred around the fact you can see your opponents and get a feel of their mannerisms and hopefully get a tell. However, for me there is definitely a much greater feeling of involvement in a live game. Online I would play four or five tables at once (an advantage in some senses as you can make 5 times as much money) but I never really felt I was playing people. At the casino, or even in a home game, there is a greater social element that really brings the game alive for me.

I am hoping to play a few more Redhot Poker league matches at the Fenton over the coming weeks to see whether it is worth joining for the season, but I think that I will almost certainly me playing some tournaments at Grosvenor and Alea at weekends.

Though if my luck last night is anything to go by then I won’t be playing for long. Pushed with AJ under the gun four handed (I was all in with around 5x the big blind) got a caller with 22. Flopped the straight and then the 2s caught runner runner for quads!