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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trip to the APAT Amateur Worldchampionships - Day 2

Warning: This is a very long entry. If you are just interested in the poker content you can stop after the first half. If you like to know more about Nottingham then you should read the second part too!

The day of the main-event turned into real desaster for me. I had a decent start when I trapped a flush with J's that improved to a full house. But from there I went really card dead for a long time. I even went below my 10K starting stack down to 8.5K for some time. Finally I got a break as I won a classic AA vs. KK all-in situation. Now at sitting 16K our table was broken and at the new table already the first hand defined my game. With TT I made a standard raise to 1,500 at the 300/600 (50) level and got a re-raise to 3k. I decided to make a stand at least pre-flop and called. The flop was a horrible K-K-x but it obviously wasn't better for my opponent as we checked it down to the river. He showed 66 and I scooped the pot.

From there I got respect for my raises except for one guy who decided to re-raise me everytime he was in a hand with me. Fortunately I had someting everytime that justified to call the re-raise and even better I always hit or was able to represent a hit. I finally made my way up to 24k as the following hand (the last before the break) happened: I raised with KQs and my nemesis re-raised again. I called and the flop was K-9-x. He bet again and I called. I noticed that he didn't seem too happy about the call but for some reason didn't think about it any more at this time. The Turn was a Ten and I expected him to slow down now as this was a table chipleaders fight at this time. But he bet again and now it got very expensive for me if I decided to call again. So calling didn't make sense at all. It was either fold or re-raise. As he had folded to my bets so often I really was in doubt that my kicker was good in that hand. He had played the hand from the big blind so he had a wide range of possible hands. Beside AA, KK or AK even KT or K9 was a possibilty. I finally folded, showing my King to induce a reaction. He did indeed react by showing me Q8 for just a gutshot straightdraw. This was the first borderline decision that went wrong and lead into the final desaster.

I had missed on a huge hand against him with JT before that would have probably killed him as I would have hit my two pair and the only card that would have made his straight would have made me the house. Unfortunately there was a re-raise from another guy pre-flop in front of me so I (correctly) discarded that hand.

After that loss to the bluff of my nemesis I was down to 20k but still 25th in the chipcount with around 100 of 157 players left on Day 1. After the break it took me less then a full level of 45 minutes to run that decent stack into nothing and bust out in 96th position. How did that happen? Well, I first had to fold to two raises (1,500 each) vs. all-in plays. While the first one was easy, the second one was tough. After my raise I had about 15k left and the all-in demanded to put in another 5,000. With AJs I wasn't happy at all to put in a third of my stack into what would be a coinflip at best but easily could be a doomed hand too. This was one of the longest times I ever took for a decision and it was the first time somebody called the clock on me (which was o.k. as I took my time here). I finally folded but looking back I think (even so it was borderline again) I should have called here. He didn't show so nobody will ever know if it was correct or not.

Of course at my next raise another player tried to get me off the hand with a 6k all-in. But with AKo there was no way anybody would have gotten me away from that hand (in that particular situation). It was a race against 66 ... and I lost the race. Too bad as winning this hand would have put me well back into the competition. No regrets, right decision but wrong outcome ;-) Being card dead again I ran my last 6k into the K's of the guy who just a few hands before won the race and my KTs was doomed...

What a desaster! There wasn't too much I could have done different. Two hands were borderline but in both cases it was a 50/50 decision to be on the right or the wrong site. Unfortunate but not a real mistake. But I was still devasteted. Running so good and giving it all away so fast hurts very much. So I went to a bar around the corner of my hotel and had some beer. Unfortunately (or luckily) all bars close at 2am. Not enough time for me to really get drunk ;-)

The next morning it didn't hurt so much anymore. Even better my head didn't hurt (so I would say it was indeed lucky that the bars closed early) and I went on to some sightseeing today. Most people connect Nottingham immediately with Robin Hood. Nothing wrong with that ... but there's much more to know about that area. Unfortunately Sherwood-Forrest itself is about 20 miles north so this wasn't an option for me without a car. But Nottingham castle was close. I could even see it from my hotel window.

Nowadays it isn't a real castle anymore. The structure that was there during the days of Robin Hood was replaced by a mansion in the 16th century as the original castle was more or less destroyed during the civil war. But there is a nice museum in teh mansion that gives you an insight of what it has looked that days. And with a little imagination you can still "see" the original castle structure. The following pictures show: The gate of the former outer walls, the bridge (former drawbridge) of the inner wall, the mansion (were once the main part of the castle was located) and some parts of the original outer wall.

As said beside Robin Hood, Nottingham was an important city in ancient times as it was the place to be for many Kings and the area of fights that decided about the history of England. Of course Nottingham fell to the "black death" as well as many other english cities but managed to stay alive and become a nice market city in the 17th and 18th century. Unfortunately the 19th century should mark the "destruction" of the once flourishing city. The beginning industrialisation increased the citizenship by five times from 10,000 to over 50,000 in less then a century. But the company owners didn't allow to build homes on the outer fields so Nottingham became one of the worst slums in England. Unfortunately the city never really recovered from that decsion. Although there are nice buildings everywere in the city (see below) many parts still look really cramped and not very inviting.

But even without a bright skyline Nottingham is an intersting place to visit. And there are obviously a lot of great places outside of the city in Notthingamshire county. But Nottingham wouldn't be Nottingham if it still wouldn't be on top of something. The city is a very young city (citizenwise) because of the great number of students. And were students come together there are clubs and bars not far. But Nottingham put it to the extreme with the most bars per squaremile in whole Europe ... definately a good place to recover from a bad beat in poker ;-)

Hope you enjoyed that little walk through Nottingham history. I'm now off to more poker at the Dusk Till Dawn.


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