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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

London - Nottingham - APAT WCOAP

Writing this while in the train to London on the way back home from Nottingham. Went there for the APAT WCOAP (World Championship Of Amateur Poker). Including a trip to London with my girlfirend - this was a very exciting, interesting and partially dissapointing trip.

As I read some time ago that the APAT will be back to the Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham it was clear that I wanted to be there too. I love the Dusk Till Dawn and all APAT events I attended so far had been well organised. To add some value they offered some cool side events this year (e.g. heads-up and six-max).

As it turned out my girlfriend has a former schoolmate living not far from Nottingham. So we decided to vist her and add some days in London as well (which allowed me to visit a very good friend I hadn't seen for many years too). London was great (also it was raining a few times). The city changed a lot since I was there about nine years ago. Lot's of construction work and in general the city looks much cleaner. We missed to get on the "London Eye" due the long lines there but had a nice sightseeing tour and a cool boat trip on the river Thames. Beside that we also went to see  "Wicked" which turned out to be one of the most wonderful musicals I've ever seen. If you liked "The Wizard of Oz" you will most certainly love the twist that the original movie gets by the musical ;-)

My first poker event in Nottingham was the heads-up which started quite well. I had control over my first opponent and was never in real danger to lose that match. My second opponent was much tougher. At the end it all came down to a coinflip. I went in as a favorite but lost. The guy later made 4th place in that event, cashed deep in another one and won a WSOPE side event entry as best player of the weekend. Sometimes a flip can become a very important flip!

It was nice to meet Stephan Kalhamer, Jürgen Bachmann, Mike König and some other germans from Berlin here. Mike made 2nd place in the heads-up shortly after.

The next day I had no APAT tournament scheduled and decided to play a small regular DTD tournament. Bad idea! I never really came into the game and finally lost with a small boat vs. a bigger boat. While this can happen and is most often just unfortunate I can't claim that here. I really should have seen this coming. There was enough time to stop the hand early enough and get out with little damage. I just played this really bad and deserved to bust here!

So I tried to be more focused as the next day was day 1A of the main-event. And indeed I was much more pleased with my game on that day. Unfortunately the result wasn't much better and I went out shortly after the dinner break. If people call down or bet every small hit it's quite tough if you get good starting hands (and raise a lot) but miss almost all boards.

The 6-max (my favorite event) went a lot better. Right in the beginning I was able to leave a mark with a set of 7s against an overaggressive opponent that allowed for a lot of strong raises afterwards. It was amazing that almost all players at my table weren't able to see the differences between a 6-max. and a 9-handed tournament. Unfortunately our table was broken and I was moved to a seat with one of the chipleaders to my direct left. Didn't get ahead from there and finally choose the wrong spot to push - out in 24th of 86.

That evening I watched Casino Royle on TV (first time I saw it in english). While there's really nothing to learn from the poker game there was a line from Eva Greene that came to my mind the very next day when playing the "25XXL" DTD tournament: When playing poker "you better leave your ego at home".

The "25XXL" was a strange event. 10k startchips, 30 min. levels sounded good, but due to the fact that it was a Bank Holiday Monday and it was only a £25+7 Buy-in this one really assembled some of the worst poker players on earth in a single room.

Imagine this: I was about 5 minutes little late (but had a reserved seat) and approached my table just in time to still play my cards from that round. While sorting my stuff I peeked under the cards and found JJ. Of course I raised and (of course) got callers. Flop was all low cards with no flushdraw and no real straight danger. Still betting a bit more than half the pot (just to see how the table reacts). One caller left. Turn comes a 10. Betting again and he calls. River is a 9. I'm betting again, he calls and shows T9o.

"Leaving your ego at home" - quite hard if you know you are by far the best player on that table. But you have to realize that playing in a traditional way will be the road to desaster as eight bad players combined have by far better odds to bust a single good player.

Fortunately I was able to adapt my game very fast and took a good portion of pots from them. For them I must have looked like a complete donkey - but in fact I just took advantage of a lot of weak betting that allowed for chasing draws. Unfortunately I got rivered in three of the most important pots and finally lost a coinflip with 55 vs AJo. In that type of game you are chipeader very fast or you are out even faster. Unfortunately it was the later for me.

So I am coming back from a great week in London, some wonderfull organised tournaments by APAT & Dusk Till Dawn and no In-the-Money result. Happy or sad? Hard to tell. Of course I wished to cash that weekend. But in general (with one exception) I was very satisfied with my game and in addition had a great holiday. Oh, and by the way: "Leaving your ego at home" certainly eases the pain of getting rivered, trust me!

More poker to come at the upcoming weekend with the grand opening of the new tournament space at the Poker Royale in Kufstein. If you haven't reserved your seat for the tournaments there you better do so either by phone or online as I expect it to be very crowded! If you need a ride from Munich I also suggest you check out their new implemented shuttle service.

Here's the full gallery of my Dusk Till Dawn pictures:


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