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Friday, August 28, 2009

Trip to the APAT Amateur Worldchampionships - Day 1

Finally the weekend I was looking forward for such a long time arrived. Back to Nottingham and one of the nicest Pokerclubs in Europe - the Dusk Till Dawn. But due to my incompetent travel agency I almost had to miss out on that trip. When I tried to check-in online I found out that my original flights had been cancelled and I was re-booked. Unfortunately nobody cared to tell me! Even worse: I wasn't booked on the new flights, it was just a suggestion that I had to confirm. So I was lucky that there still were free seats available. The good side was that I had to rise later in the morning, the bad side was a three hour stay in Frankfurt which made it a fairly long trip at all.

While enjoying breakfast at Starbucks at the airport in Frankfurt a guy on the other table asked me about poker (I was wearing a WSOP T-Shirt). It was kind of interesting as he was one of those people who watches poker on TV but beyond that has no clue at all. His favorite story was when he saw to guys clash in an all-in with QQ vs. JJ. Then another Queen appeared on the flop ... and two Jacks on Turn and River. He then said to me: "Can you believe that? I almost fell out of my chair as I saw that!". And my answer to that was a simple "Yeah, seen that before, shit happens" ;-) But talking to him and explaining the simplest things (from a poker players standpoint) raised the question for me how hard it really is to convince non-poker players (e.g. politicians) that poker isn't a game of chance. Too often we take things as they are without accepting that others without our background (and bad-beat experience) might look at it from a very different perspective.

I arrived in Nottingham on late afternoon and went to the Dusk Till Dawn for the regular GBP 50 tournament (24 min. blinds & 4,000 startchips). Before I was able to find Des Duffy from the APAT and say hello. Without him I wouldn't have been able to register for the main-event (due to technical difficulties) and wouldn't be here for that weekend at all.

The tournament had 100 runners creating a nice prizepool that paid ten spots and over GBP 1,700 for the winner. My start was quite rusty. With KQ I hit two Kings on the board but was faced with a very aggresive opponent who finally went all-in when the second King appeared on the board. Hard to say if I had a kicker problem, if he just overplayed his hand or just didn't believe me that I had the King. Not enough information at this stage of the tournament. So I decided to stay on the save side and folded. But my stack was now cut into half.

Just a few hands later I was back to my original stack when my suited one gapper turned to a straight and I was able to outplay a guy with QQ. Somewhat later another suited one-gapper turned into a monster when I flopped a straight flush! I got a full payout as this guy kept betting (I just reluctantly called each street) with a flopped Q-high flush. Hi finally went all-in and then went out of the game ;-)

We already reached the end of the 200/400 level and I was sitting on 10,000 chips now when my raise to 1,000 (with AKs) faced an all-in of 7,000. Wow, that was a tough decision but I descided that in a tournament with this structure I couldn't back off here. Fortunately it was a race against TT ... which I (even more fortunately) won with the classic "Ace on the River".

Now at 17k and up to my highest point of 20K as the blinds went to 600/1,200 (100) a few levels later. But from there nothing should went right anymore. First my button raise faced two all-ins from the big-blind and small-blind. I folded and KK battled against AT. A little later my one-off-the-button raise to 3,000 was faced with a sneaky raise to 7,000 from the guy who had the KK before. I decided to fold here as my hand wasn't strong enough for a call and an all-in seemed to dangerous. But with that two hands and some blinds and antes my stack was now down to 10k and I was in push-or-fold mode. I got no customers with my first all-in, just got the antes and the small-blind while holding TT in the big blind and finally ran my 55 into TT. Out in 21st position after 4 hours.

Of course it would have been great to immediately cash on arrival but again I was very happy with my overall play. No significant mistakes, care were care was needed and aggressiveness were aggressiveness was demanded.

Todays Day 1A of the APAT Amateur World Championships is my starting day. The tournament will begin at 4:30pm UK time. We will play 45 min. levels with 10,000 startingchips and 100 runners per day (Day 2B is tomorrow and the final is on Sunday).

While it is raining heavily at the moment the weather forecast for tomorrow is quite good. So I might be able to do some sightseeing on my free day. Stay tuned for more poker stories and some pictures from Nottingham.


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