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Friday, September 28, 2007

Wiener Neustadt - the Poker Royale Card Casino

About 50 km south of Vienna is the location of the Austria's newest cardroom. And if you liked the Concord ... then you will love the Poker Royale Card Casino. Located in an industrial area it doesn't look very appealing from the outside. But once you've passed the door there's only one word to describe it: Wow! 60 Tables in a spacious and nice atmosphere. It's that kind of room were you feel comfortable from the beginning. They also have a nice restaurant with quite good food (including a €9.90 buffet). Beside cash games and their daily tournaments they offer a variation of Sit'n'Gos the whole evening.

Tonight I played the €30+5 tournament. A total of 123 players showed up. One thing I really like is that they play the tournament 9-handed. But the chip values are somewhat unusual. You start with 8,000 and 50/50 blinds. The start stack consists of chips with values of 50, 250 and 1,000. As always the 50's confuse me somewhat in the beginning but you get used to it. Blindlvels of 25 minutes create a decent structure [PF=6.99].

Not many hands to play for me and I found myself shortstacked in the 4th level. A lucky 4 hit the felt with my all-in with A4 vs. AJ. From there I had a great run that pushed my stack from 5,000 to almost 40,000 till the end of that level. That made me the chipleader at our table fo some time. Unfortunately after a table broke I got the tournament chip leader with about 60,000 chips seated left of me. With about 32,000 chips left I had not much to play for the next two levels as he not only answered every action with huge aggression but also was a big luckbox. Short after level 7 had started I finally received a hand. Usually JJ would have been a hand to push with 26,000 chips left and 1,000/2,000 (250 ante). But being UTG and having a very thight image I decided for a raise to 5,000. Mr. Chipleader called and everybody else folded. I was willing to push on the flop regardless of the texture (except if an Ace showed up). The K-K-8 flop wasn't exactly what I liked here. But as he had just called pre-flop I was sure that he most probably wasn't playing a big pocket pair. Most probably Ax or a low pair. Therefore the flop should scare him as well. I pushed ... he instantly called and showed the only hand that scared me on that flop: AK for a flopped set. My tournament life was reduced to two outs. But neither of the Jacks appeared and I was out on 25th of 123 after 4 hours (12 getting paid). Looks like AK is my nemesis this week as I lost a big pot holding AK yesterday and lost my tournament against AK yesterday too.

After a short break I sat down at a cash game table. They have €1/1 NL game (buy-in €20-100) wich is quite interesting. Due to the flat blind structure you get a lot of post-flop play especially playing short-handed to less than full-ring. So if you are a good post-flop player this game offers some great opportunities to outplay your opponents. My impression from the first day is that you find less maniacs at the Royale. So the play in general (tournaments and cash game) is a little more passive but most people lack in post-flop knowledge (pot-size manipulation etc.). I played the €1/1 game for about 2 hours and was able to triple my initial €50 buy-in.

The Royale reccomends some hotels at their website and I decided for the Orange Wings. It's a simple but clean hotel that costs €46 / night plus €7 for the breakfast. If you mention the Royale upon your reservation you get a 15% discount. With free W-LAN this hotel room is all I need for a good poker trip and is another advantage of the Royale over his opponent in Vienna. The hotel is located in an industrial area. By car it's just a few minutes to the Royale. Without a car you can take the bus or a 20 minute hike.

I decided to stay another night in Wiener Neustadt and skipped the Austrian Classics event (€80 w/rb) at the Concord in favor of the €20+5 at the Royale. As they have a team tournament on Saturday/Sunday I expect a good field tonight.


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