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Sloggs' Travel Blog A journal of my travels in 2008 & beyond...

My last poker fix...

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 17 January 2008 | Views [1283]

On the 12th of January I went across to play in what was to be my last poker 'fix' before I travel. Driving over I really couldn't be that bothered, although because it was to be my last game, and it was an APAT game, I was still up for it, I just didn't see myself getting very deep!

The APAT is the Amateur Professional Association Tour, which gives amateurs an opportunity to play in large format tourneys similar to those like the world series, but at a price we can afford. The atmosphere is always pretty relaxed and everyone involved mucks in and has a lot of fun. Des and crew do a fantastic job organising this, I look forward to playing in them again when I return! This game was a £75 buy-in and was the Welsh Open Championships, so one of the national games (a big un).

Anyway, I won't write a fully report on my game, but near to the first break I was down to half of the original chip stack and having played very tight was thinking this was not going to be my day and I'd soon be crossing the bridge to go home... my fortunes changed after the break and I managed to get my stack up to the average (which was higher now that some people had gone out of the tourney). My starting table was on the raised floor in the casino (the game was at the Grosvenor Casino in Cardiff) and was soon broken to take us down to the main room, where I was sat on table number one, meaning I would not be moved again! When I got there the people on the table said only two players had busted, which meant that they were probably all playing tight and also that not many extra chips had been brought to the table. This wasn't great news for me, so I dug in, got comfy and readied myself for the long slog...

I had two very lucky hands on this table, one with only a 2 outer keeping me in the tourney! From here I had built a reasonable stack and later in the day a few players got knocked out which mixed our table up nicely and finally brought some chips over. With the last hour or so to go, my strategy changed to much more aggressive, in order to bust out and not come back tomorrow, or make a big stack and come back tomorrow in good shape! The later was the case, taking a couple of players out of the game and I ended up 3rd in chips for the second day with 34 players coming back from the original starting 204. Result.

Got home about 2am and then read all the online updates on the APAT site, which were really good.

Day two I was tired from the start, eleven hours of poker yesterday and not enough sleep! Had breakfast, drove over to cardiff and sunk a couple of cans of red bull. Today was nicer as everyone here felt good about making it to the second day, and it was a smaller setup meaning the atmosphere was nicely closed in too. Tikay (the APAT Chairman and English Pro) was announcing some major hands over the loud speakers, which was good as we all knew what was going on and when someone went out.

I managed to make some modest progress with mostly crap cards and when we were down to two tables and on the bubble for the final table, I just sat and waited for premium cards, wanting to make the final table.

We got there, and broke for dinner, which the finalists had together. This was cool as I'd only been playing with some of them for a limited time, and breaking the ice made me more confident going into the final table.

When we were ready to restart, the players were introduced one at a time to the nicely setup final table, I was the only one to be announced using their nickname, which was quite amusing! ;-)

From here I started out tight and waiting for hands, once a few players had been taken out by the monster stack of the 'executioner' I stepped up and started getting aggressive to go for the win. At this stage I had banked at least a £600 pay out, but by now I wanted the title! I used the bubble position well to get my stack back after a savage bad beat decimated me, from which I survived and did not tilt and blow it!

Eventually I got heads up with the executioner, Tim Magnus and made several aggressive raises to even the stacks up, I really LOVE playing heads up, was feeling confident, had a few good reads on Tim from earlier in the day, this was mine!

The final hand came after a big lay-down from me with top pair when Tim held trip jacks on the flop, most of the people I spoke to there said they would not have folded it and would have been out right then. So I was pretty pleased about that, it was a decent lay down. I was very short stacked though, and looking down at Ace 8 I made a raise for a third of my remaining chips, Tim dwelt for a few seconds and announced all-in. From my reads on him earlier I was happy that he had a low pocket pair or middle suited connectors here, so made the call for my tournament life! He had pocket sixes, so it was a classic heads up race, my two over cards giving me about 48% chance of winning the hand at this point... I didn't hit however, leaving the 6's holding up and Tim had one the tourney.

Still a good days work, and I was chuffed. Wanted the title, but it was still an excellent result. I took £2,150 and a nice big shiny silver medal for second place.

The write up is here if you want to read it, along with some pictures of the final day here.

The dosh helps out nicely as I've lost quite a few quid this year with my purchases and then changing my mind and deciding to go off traveling!

Trouble is I want to play more poker now... Lol! I was thrilled with how I played, it was probably the best poker I've ever played, I was so relaxed and confident on the final table, it was very enjoyable.

Anyway... my real last poker session is tonight, in a £10 game with some fishy mates, so it'll be nice and relaxed and I'll probably go out first! Lol ;-)

Today I am moving into storage, and going to see my dog for possibly the last time... tears today! Pah!

I can't believe I leave this sunday!! Scarey...

Tags: The Planning Phase

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