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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Trip to the "Oceans Pokerclub" near Passau

I must admit I've never heard of this one before. The Oceans Pokerclub is located 2 km from Passau on the other side of the border in Austria. I read about them in a news message advertising the "Oceans Masters 2008". Their main-event was a €300+30 Deepstack with a PF=13.26 (10K startchips / 30 min. blinds). Well worth to give it a try.

So I drove down to Passau and was pleasantely surprised. Although the place is a little bit hidden up the hill in Haibach the indside couldn't be nicer. There are nine poker tables in a large room with wooden walls giving a warm atmosphere. Connected is a small bar with two tables for lunch or dinner.

It turned out that I know Marco (one of the guys running this place) from my early poker days in Munich. They just started this place about half a year ago but decided to try their luck with a bigger event. The day before they had a satellite for the main-event which had about 80 players. As expected the main-event with the higher buy-in drew less people. They expected about 40 to 50 but due to some late cancellations it was "only" 33 ... still creating a prize pool of €9,900 with 5 places getting paid.

And the field was much better than expected. They had people not only from Passau, Deggendorf and Regensburg but also from Linz and even Vienna. I saw a lot of decent play. Some people lacked in pot-size manipulation but in general it was a much better crowd than you will find at most other places. In addition there was none of those maniacs that make people feel uncomfortable while playing. Therefore it was a great atmosphere for a Saturday night tournament. The tournament included a buffet which was really great. Wide selection of salads, some beef and noodles.

The dealers were well trained but obviously need a little more practice. But this was only an issue in a few tricky situation wich we always resolved with no further problems. They use the chips denominations from the Poker World, Vienna (25, 50, 250, 500, 1000, 5000) which is a little weired in my opinion. But well, I'm used to the standard 25, 100, 500, 1000, 5000 scheme ... so this may be just an issue for me.

My only main issues would be that the tournament clock was used just for the time. They never updated the number of remaining players. So you had to count them and calculate the average stack by yourself. Another one was the lack of bathroom breaks. The only break was the buffet break after 4 hours of play. But I am sure those little problems will dissapear as time goes by and they get more experienced. So I can definately reccomend this place. I haven't tried their cashgame but it seems that they offer €1/1 and €1/2 No-Limit for most of the time. Sometimes even €2/5. In addition they run €10, €20 or €30 Sit and Go's.

The tournament started quite good for me as I was able to pump my stack up to 17K very soon. A little down from there but about an hour before the buffet break I was up to 30K and one of the chip leaders. Unfortunately the last level before the break was costly. Not neccessarily due to bad play ... more to just having good cards that weren't good enough. Like hitting a Ten with AT on a good flop but running into JJ. The buffet break came at the right time to refresh and restart with only 12K as a short stack with 12 people left.

With 11 people I hit an important hand. This time I was on the sunny side with AQ vs. AJ. Busted the other guy and went to the final table with 26K. Still a shorty but not on life support anymore. I got a customer for my AA when my opponent hit a Queen with AQ and was up to 47K with 8 left. Well around average. Unfortunately I had to fold a very good straight draw due to three hearts on the board when the chip leader raised me all-in. He later showed 9 of hearts for at least on pair (I had hit my Ace) but I was sure that he either had a minor flush or maybe two pair (A9).

Down to 30K with only 7 left. As we lost the 7th player I suggested that first and second place give €200 and €100 for the bubble-boy and everybody agreed. Three short stacks refused to bust in the coming thirty minutes and my stack was melted down to 21K with blinds at 2K/4K. Then I found 88 but the chipleader raised it to 12K. Of course I could have folded. But what should I wait for. As he had a wide raising range there was a good possibility that I was at least in a 50:50 situation. So I went all-in, he called (of course) and showed AJ. But a Jack on the flop destroyed my dreams of a big win and I was the bubble-boy for a mere €300 win after little over 6 hours of play.

But I wasn't too dissapointed. I made a good game. Losing this last hand was unfortunate ... but this is part of the game of poker. But in general it added to my growing confidence as it connected with my good results in the last time.

Tonight I will play the Sunday Million once again and see if I can keep up with my good run.


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