EMS Team 2 Win The DTD Team Challenge!
In an effort to increase Zitty’s bed sales..here goes.
Firstly I am not very good on the memory front (cant remember why) so this is going to be lacking the precision of many of the live event reviews.
Sat down with IanUK to my left, Simon Trumper (of PNL fame and a bounty) next to him and The Chairman (Steve) two to my right. Simon didnt play the first half hour or so and it was very cagey at first with few flops and When there was some action the boards seemed to get checked/ or check called down..even a guy who raised with 1010 and then checked all the way despite no scare cards. Anyway then a test for the probability junkies. Our dealer managed to get the first all in and IanUK was dismayed to see his AA up against ..AA for a split pot. Next hand..A10 v A10..10 on the flop and another split. Amazingly next hand…Q high flop and KQ v KQ split again. I also had AK v thechairmans AK but we checked this down each not wanting to make an early error on an unhelpful board.
I had played a few hands, raising with QJ and raggy aces to test water but the few limped pots went nowhere. Did make a straight with 75o in bb and got my value bet paid off which was a good early test of my usual routine not to look back at my cards once I have seen them (which is hard sometimes with the suits). I dont know whether this makes any difference to my opponents but I find it helps me focus on the playing of the hand. Ok goes a bit vague here..I ended level 5 (the first break, with each level 24mins) with 8k which was not a great improvement on starting stack but at least it was positive.
After the break I struggled with a lack of action, cards and unable to use any marginal hands in good positions due to raises beforehand or risk of getting shoved on. I had to lay down AQ after raising in cutoff, called by Trumper and BB pushed leaving me in a spot. After Ian had unluckily gone out to a bigger ace with an Axx flop, I was joined briefly by Jeff. We didnt have many chips and someone kindly gave us some big issues to sell while we waited for what seemed inevitable doom. Jeff did go but I was still hanging in there and we were down to three tables.
I was moved for the first time onto a table with Mick, Dr Owl, two team mates (Camking & Lucas) and two DTD bounties to my right. The bounties managed to clash with a push allin with 33, called by AA, flop 3xx but turn A. Someone had folded AQ apparently so a nice 1 outer redraw.I was seriously short at this point, resigned to going out shortly and ready to push with anything. Anyway to my relief, UTG I get 88 and shove..mid position instantly raises, and there is some discussion over the amount. I am obviously thinking I am going to be well behind and out but after the delay, he flips over a surprising 77 and my hand holds for a double up. A few hands later I get KK and shove again…Camking calls with 99 but again my hand holds..I have knocked a team mate out but at least the chips stay in the family as it were.
Get moved again to a table where I have played with 3 of the players quite a bit previously in the tourney, plus Supergran and some fellow short stacks to my left. I stay patient and as the table shortened I decided to take some risks and push as frequently as possible as the blinds were crippling. I wanted to get to the final table but knew I couldnt wait and better to go down fighting and have a chance for a moan afterwards than fizzle out like a second hand firework.
So back to raggy aces and K10 to keep me afloat using image and hoping not find a caller. Managed to get to 20k this route and another break I think. I did have one moment where I was going to push with KQo and was moving chip piles behind line when the guy to my left says allin…I pause thinking I had made a mistake..but dealer clarified I was still to act.. and I of course folded. Then with my image a bit looser, pre FT I managed to get KK to hold twice, knocking two players out including a bounty, both times getting the call, once with 77 (not a good hand at DTD?) and 88 in BB for a bounty (Always worry that there is a neon sign flashing on my forehead saying ‘Big Hand Alert’).
Anyway somehow I had got to the final table with 50k+ chips which was way more than I expected, but maybe a reward for patience and being brave enough to push a lot pre FT.
I hadnt kept track of the other table (very unlucky Dr Owl) but it was nice to see Lucas my team mate chipped up and of course Mick who is a top bloke in my book. 9 to go, 7 paid but I really wanted to see an EMS team win (mainly as Ram had said he would kill me if we didnt..nothing like
motivation). Of course the team element made play a little bit trickier than if I was just playing for individual pride.
Anyway I had a short stack to my right, a decent player who I had played a good while with earlier. In fact he had managed to come back from the dead with only just over a big blind and winning a 5 handed pot with 102o and then doubling up next hand with AA mid tourney. In the big blind with 1010, it is folded round to him, he pushes and I insta call. He flips KQo and although he hits a pair on flop, I hit a lucky 10 redraw on turn to knock him out and give me some renewed confidence. Can’t remember how long the bubble lasted but Mick managed to get AA v KK and we are in the money. To be honest, until we get 4 handed I cant really remember too much detail after that. I reraised Mick preflop with AKs and he folded and raised with AA but no action and we lost 3 players including Mick. He had played a great game in my opinion and although he annoyed Ashley the dealer a few times on the FT, he brought some much needed personality to the table which would have been a bit dour and over serious without him. He is also an aspiring Jamie Gold in the chat stakes (or is it the other way round).
At four handed we were told, that our team would win if we could basically get 1st and 2nd or the player for the other contending team (OCT from now on) was knocked out in 4th. No pressure then. While Lucas is still chipped up, I am short stacked along with the OCT who was to my right. Not nervous, but tense and focused..while I like a laugh as you know..I do take poker very seriously and of course the Luke ‘twins’ had a bar bill to finance before they were nationalised.
I have a vast amount of experience at managing a short stack (if only that could count as a brag) but this was tough.
Main aim was to try and steal Lucas’big blind without getting caught by the player to my left and hoping OCT got knocked out quickly. Unfortunately it seemed to go on for ever and the longer it went on the more fearful I was going to fail at the final hurdle. Loads of tricky decisions including much agonising over 66 and KJo in BB for all my chips. I folded them but I tell you..without the team element I probably call at least one of them more often than not.
Cant remember if it was before or after those hands but a critical hand when I pushed again with Q2o on button and Lucas called with AK. At the time I was surprised but it quickly passed as a 2 and a Q fell to give me my first proper outdraw of the day. There is no point debating the merits of the hand..the result was great. I doubled up, our win when it came would carry much more respect and it sent a signal to OCT that it was going to be our day. He fell shortly after, we were team winners and when Lucas knocked out 3rd (who played a brilliant game) the dream result was sorted (and I didnt have to be killed by Ram of course).
I was well behind in chips (think Manhattan skyline v Brighton beach hut) and after folding a couple, I pushed with K2o, insta called with A8 and it was over. Lucas absolutely deserved it and remember he also won one of the online events. He also had a tremendous amount of pressure on him as well..ok he was chipped up but that doesn’t take away the fact you have to make it count and try and avoid doubling up the OCT etc. Well played Lucas aka Richard.
At the end of it I was both very happy but also absolutely knackered. I would like to think I am mentally tough but I had really concentrated hard throughout and had nothing to eat since breakfast. Managed to run around the team to thank and congratulate them before a brief ramble to Ram and his trusty microphone.
On the money front, I got £414 for 2nd (less a donation to dealers fund) and the winning team members got £390 each..so a nice payday. We were winners of the team trophy, would get individual trophies and at some point some DTD tournament vouchers on top. I also got a bounty
but it was so late and I was driving that I didnt bother with a drink..much later of course I realised I should have got champagne but I will be writing to DTD to see if they will put the value to the dealers fund. Congrats to everyone who played and railed for EMS and especially EMS team 4 who did a great job online and live.
I have been putting in a good line and length online with a lot of decent but unspectacular cashes and FTs for a good while now now..but today was more Geoff Boycott or tailender. This was my fifth live game, first this year, having played twice at the EMS weekend (13th in the EMS event – AK lost to 88) at the Broadway and two APAT regionals (which were only 18 players with a 4th (AK lost to Bas)and 6th). The Virgin Festival is going to be a lot different with a much bigger field and I guess a lot more action early doors. This has given me a lot of confidence but I am well aware I have to play much better in the first half of that if I am going to do myself justice.
Finally DTD…great place..great people and hope they continue to be a success. Eat My Stack…One time?…no..every time.
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