Sunday my PCA Main Event started and I didn’t get very lucky with my table draw. I was in Seat 1 myself and in Seat 2 I had a very good 20 year old Norwegian kid. In seat 3 there was a guy who I actually knew from the WSOP 2009, since I played some limit cashgames with him. Seat 4 was Ryan ‘g0lfa’ D’Angelo who came in 5th last year at the PCA Main Event. Seat 5 had Tom ‘kingsofcards’ Marchese, a well known tournament regular who also played the $100k event earlier. Seat 6 was an unknown czech and seat 7 another tournament pro. Seat 8 might have been the “weak” spot and seat 9 was definitely the weak spot, a crazy russian. To top it off seat 10 was Michael Martin who shipped the EPT London in 2008 and came in 2nd at the MCOP in 2007.
The very first hand I open to 125, not very smart as the blinds are 50/100 so it’s a call. I did sort of the same thing at the WSOP, where I raised to 1050 in the very first hand in stead of 250 because I took 2, 500 chips in stead of 100 chips. At least my image is set 😉 I’m wasn’t as nervous as I was at the WSOP and at least I had position on 2 weaker players this time. I played a couple of hands at the start but didn’t flop anything interesting. All hands but one never got past the flop. Some time later I 3betted QQ and didn’t get a call on a low flop, I opened 99 and Marchese called but didn’t get creative this time (he was most of the time) when I flopped my set. The first hand that got past the flop was after I 3betted seat 8 with AKs and on a KJ9 board, I bet and he calls. The turn is a T which didn’t make me very happy but I continued betting as I assumed that he would only continue with a Q or a set and didn’t want to be put in the position to call a river bet if I checked. He folded and that was the only hand where I actually saw the turn during the whole tournament.
Marchese busted first at the table after a rollercoaster, Martin busted and D’Angelo as well. Seat 3 also busted and got replaced by another tournament pro and Marchese got replaced by a scottish 200fpp qualifier. We continued 9 handed since Martin didn’t get replaced and I had a better spot on the 2 weaker players at my left. I flop another set of nines but nobody pays me and then seat 7 busts and get replaced by Isildur1 (Viktor Blom), why not 🙂 He looked very grumpy and a bit clumsy with his cards and chips. Just before he sat down the crazy russian donks his stack off and I see my buddy Robbertjan walking over to my table. I ask him if he’s busted but he shows me the Table 33 Seat 9 card. How bizarre to be at the same table with basically the only guy I really know in a big tournament like this.
At that moment we are in the 500/1.000/100 level and we both have a 20k stack. Robbertjan starts as BB and when he is on the button he shoves his remaining 18k to the middle. I’m in the SB, look at my TT and make the call with 18.3k….. All-in for the first time this tournament but why did it really had to be versus RJ? The dealer takes 3 cards from the deck and I see 2 halfway when he turns them over, no Ace! The third card however is an ace. The Q turn is not important but the T river makes the hand even more crazy! I bust my best mate, double up and just can’t really believe it had to go this way. We both know it’s poker and know it can happen but it would have been nice if it would have been a little later in the tournament, I’ll just have to win it now to make up for it.
Isildur creates even more action on the table then I’ve seen earlier (when all the pro’s were still at my table) and 5bet shoves KJ0 and shows. From that moment he looked a lot happier and chatted with the table about the fact he never folds a K, loved RJ’s replacement in seat 9 because he 3betted 25o and won vs AA and a little later we are ready to play the last level of the day. The seat 9 likes to play a lot of hands and I 3bet him with KK, a K flops and I bet small and hope that he comes over the top for all of his stack (which was about my stack), he tanks for like 4/5minutes and folds. Half hour later an announcement is made that we play 8 more hands and Isildur opens again the 2nd last hand of the day. The “crazy” seat 9 had won some stack and played all of the last 8 hands and 3bets and the Norwegian kid shoves all-in. Nobody really believed Isildur and seat9 would have a playable hand but the guy in seat 9 calls with KK and the Norwegian kid shows AK and loses. The last hand of the day Seat 9 opens again and I 3bet 88, he calls. The flop comes TT8 and I bet small again but again he folds. Argh, but at least I made it to day 2 with 44.200.
Before going back to my hotel room I do an interview with the guys from Pokernews NL. They host a radio show every Sunday at 21:00 which I normally listen to so it’s fun to actually be in one of the shows myself this time. You can listen to the show by clicking here: http://nl.pokernews.com/nieuws/2011/01/pokernews-radio-luister-de-uitzending-terug-van-9-januari-6065.htm
I get some sleep and get ready for day 2. My table draw looks okay with no real outstanding names but I really have to get some more chips. I fold the first 2 orbits and play my firs hand, 66 UTG but get 3bet by the UTG+1 player. Since this is my first hand I doubt I’m getting 3bet lite and I decide to wait a little bit longer to get it all-in. Then 1 orbit later the inevitable happens: A loose player UTG opens, another loose player UTG+2 3bets, I find myself AQs in the SB and shove hoping for 2 folds (I shove 32K over a 3.200 preflop raise and a call), a flip or just get lucky. To my surprise the BB actually calls and the UTG raiser folds after tanking for some time and the other caller does as well. This can’t be good news and the BB turns over AKo, K on the flop no redraws on the turn and it’s game over.
This was only my 2nd all-in after the first being against RJ and I’m dissapointed I couldn’t really do anything during the tournament. I folded a lot and never got paid when I had a hand, which make sense since player probably see me as a tight player but some more luck would have been nice of course. I doubt I made any big mistakes but that’s easy if you don’t play a lot of hands. On the other hand I wasn’t the dangerous player for sure so I didn’t create a lot of opportunities myself to build a decent stack. It was pretty boring for a long time since all I did was fold but it was also fun to watch players like D’Angelo, Marchese and Isildur as they create interesting pots and especially Isildur puts the pressure on people with remarkable hands. No big score, no cash but it was sunny outside, so I changed my jeans for some shorts and it was time to hit the pool.
The last couple of days I didn’t do anything else then lying in the pool and I even got a small tan. The water slides are fun and the weather was pretty good except yesterday. We railed Wesley Wiemus for some time who busted as the last dutchie in 31st. I didn’t know him before but chatted with him for about 20minutes before the start of day 4 and he really only cared about reaching the top 3. He was very active on the table to get more chips so at least it was a fun rail with a lot of all-ins. There are multiple side events each day but I don’t want to play to much poker after promising my girlfriend I would only play the Main Event. She did however agree that I can play a small side event tonight which should maybe last a max of 4/5 hours which is the 270+100+30 bounty turbo at 20:00. Nothing big, nothing special but at least I can get some more poker in and I’ve never played a bounty tournament so I’m hoping to bust some people 🙂
I don’t know yet what I’m exactly going to do when I’m at home. I get home on Monday and start to work again on Wednesday so I hope to get a year schedule out on Tuesday. A lot of things crossed my mind, even getting SNE again but I really don’t know it yet. I do want to play some more live events so might go to the Venlo Series and see if I can get something going there. I still have to decide if I’m going to get the $10k cash, play the WSOP or EPT Final (Monte Carlo?) and maybe after playing some more live events this choice will be easier. Currently I’m thinking about taking the $10k cash but I would really love to get another shot at winning big. My friends managed to register for the Amstel Gold Cycling Race so I’m really looking forward to start training for that again as I feel pretty “fat”. I’m planning on hitting the gym 2/3 times a week and cycle at least 2 times a week as well so should drop some weight again and get back into shape.
I’m currently checking out the new “Home Games” feature. This really looks like good fun where you can play your friends in private games so you don’t have to worry about other people joining. Also you can create your own private tournaments and have a leader board and player statistics and as you know I’m a big stats fan so this should be interesting 🙂 You can read some more about it (and see a small video) here: http://www.pokernews.com/news/2011/01/pokerstars-launch-home-games-online-9632.htm Remko (@happyfreaked) was at the press conference and looking at the current options and the possibilities for the future this thing could become really big. Currently the maximum is set to have 50 people in your private club but the idea is that larger clubs will be allowed in the future as well so you could think about a pokernews, 2+2 or any other community club and get automated leader boards. I’ll play a bit more with it when I get home, might try and play some mixed games, which is probably more fun with 7 noobs I actually know 😉
It’s time for me to get some breakfast now and hope the sun comes out. My next blog will probably be about my plans for 2011 so I can update my website so it’s ready for 2011!