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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Vienna & Graz ... card room opening and deep stack tournament

On Friday I started my trip to Vienna for the opening of the new Montesino cardroom. Vienna already has two card rooms (the CCC and the PokerWorld) and there's also the Poker Royal in Wiener Neustadt. So does another cardroom make sense? Time will tell. But fact is that the Montesino is something special in many ways.

It's located in the "Gasometer Eventcenter". So there is public transport nearby and every kind of shops somebody may need. For foreign guests a decent priced hotel is just 200m away and parking is €3 for 24-hours. The card room itself is built in an open structure on the top level of the eventcenter. It's built in a circle that leads from the sportsbar to the tournament area, the cash game tables and the restaurant or vice versa. Entering the place on the right hand side you have to register (sportsbook and poker) while entering on the left side you can go directly to the restaurant. The tournament area includes a small stage that allows for performances and other stuff.

With a total of 42 tables it might not be the biggest card room in Vienna but the different concept might help to make it a success. I can't tell about the cashgames but I examined the tournament structures and they are very decent for the buy-ins up to €50+6. A lot of the staff is quite unexperienced at the moment (which is not unusual for a new opening) but a lot of familiar and experienced faces can be found too.

Enjoyed my time at the opening party. It was nice to meet Manfred and his friends again as well as others like Rosi from Pokefirma and Volker from the home game in Munich. At the end of the evening I played a €17+3 SnG and took it down. Weired structure: you get 100 chips and blinds start at 1/2. Takes some time to get used to it.

I must say I like the room and I wish them success. This can easily become my favorite card room in Vienna. I already changed my plans and despite making a stop in Salzburg on my way home I will head back to Vienna on Monday to play the €30+5 tournament there.

Now I am in Graz and the good news is that I survived Day 1 of the Pokertour event in Graz. The bad news is that I don't have enough chips for an easy sail into the money. A total of 183 started at 7pm and 38 had been left at 3am in the morning.

I had a good start and brought my 10K starting stack up to 14K until the first break (two levels, 45 min. each). Then this hand happend: I was dealt 77 in late position. There was a call and a raise in MP to 700 (blinds 100/200) which I had called. Then the small blind went all-in for 2,900. First caller folded and the raiser folded too. Tough decision. There were 4,500 in the pot and I had to pay 2,200 more. I would get the right odds on every coinflip but not on a overpair. I called and was behind against TT. Down to 10K and further down to 7.5K.

With the blinds now at 200/400(25) I was severly shortstacked. To make things worse I was absolutely card dead for the last 90 minutes. The 89 (offsuit of course) I received in the big blind at that time was the best hand I had seen for a long time. The SB just called and I checked. Flop was 5-6-7 with two hearts. Wow! The small blind checked and I decided to bet three quarters of the pot. I expected a fold but surprisingly got a reraise. What could he have? The flushdraw? Time to find out ... went all-in, got a call and he showed A7 for TPTK with no flushdraw (!). Up to 15K again.

Did I say I was carddead before? Then a new word has to be invented for what happend the next hours. I got dealt every possible unplayable hand that can be dealt. I could have been away from the table for three hours to take a nap it wouldn't have made any difference. I played a total of zero hands in that time ... and those who know me should know that my starting hand requirement is looser than that of many others. No wonder that I got nicknamed "Mr. Tight" ;-)

Finally I got dealt QQ, raised ... and guess what happend: Mrs. Tight (who had about 5,000 chips left) went all-in. It was folded around. She hadn't played any more hands then I had in the last hours. But she had shown in the beginning that she almost only plays premium hands. Didn't like to call here but due to my dry run I wasn't willing to pass on that hand here. She showed AK and of course an Ace came on the flop and a King completed the river. Down to 5K.

Made my way up to 9K again. Blinds now 600/1,200(100) with an average stack of 23k (77 players left). How to play AA from early position in that spot? Instead of going all-in I decided on a raise to 3,600. Remember, I was still Mr. Tight! Got a call from the blinds (damm, hoped for a re-raise) and we saw a flop with low cards. My opponent moved me all-in (holding with TPTK), I called and was up to 22K now. Another hour of no playable hands. My stack went down to 17K while the blinds went up to 800/1,600(100).

Then it was my turn to give a bad beat: Went all-in with A8s but got called from a stack who was shorter by only a few chips. She showed AK and I hit my miracle 8 on the river (had some more outs to a straight ... but lucky anyway). Up to 34K.

For the last two hours of the night I got at least some playable hands. Reached my high at 39K but ended the night with 34,600 chips.

There are now 38 players left. Next level is 1,500/3,000(300). 21st will get €300 while 1st will get €9,250. There are two bigstacks with over 100K in the field but most players are found in the 27K - 64K range. So despite being only 31st in chips my stack can still hurt a lot of people. With 17 still to go there is no way to fold into the money. Find a hand and push it hard is the only way here. My table draw for today looks quite good. Biggest stack at my table is 64K, all others are in my range or below. The first important issue of the day will be the position of the button. This will influence all action severly.

Play continues at 6pm and hopefully I will stay in the game long enough to continue with my twitter updates (twitterbox in the sidebar).


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