A few weeks ago a was given all of the details for play off. The date had been arranged for Thursday 19th November and was to be held at A World Of Poker HQ in Blackpool. I’m surprised to read that the clock for the SnG is only 25 minutes long. I felt this maybe could have been a little longer (maybe 40-45minues) to prevent the SnG from becoming to much of a shove fest. Over the last few weeks I gave the structure and my strategy some thought and tried to mentally prepare myself for the day. I made arrangements with Daniel to travel down on the Thursday afternoon. We left Newcastle midday and arrived at AWOP HQ at about 4pm.We are the last to arrive and walked into a very relaxed atmosphere and everyone was having refreshments and getting to know each other. Once we’d all arrived and were settled AWOP got things started was a few pre game photos and interviews. There is a group photo taken at the table and the seating positions were drawn. Coral had also opened a book for the play off. The seating position and Coral’s opening odds were as follows :-
British Masters Poker Tour Final Table
Seat One - Chris Brammer - Winner in Nottingham - 3/1
Seat Two - Jim O'Connell - Winner in Edinburgh - 6/1
Seat Three - Tom McDonald - Winner in Leeds - 5/1
Seat Four - Richard Lewis - Top Money Winner - 6/1
Seat Five - John Gardener - Winner in Bristol - 8/1
Seat six - Steve Holden - Winner in Liverpool - 4/1
Seat Seven - John Littler - Winner of the Online League - 10/1
Seat Eight - Mark Trett - Winner in Teesside - 7/1
Interestingly, previous to Coral opening a book well respected UK pro James Keys posted him own book on the A World of poker forum. His opening odds were as follows :-
Leg 4 :- Chris Brammer 11/4F
Leg 1 :- Jim O’Connell 8/1
Leg 2 :- Tom McDonald 7/2
Money Winners League:- Richard Lewis 8/1
Leg 6 :- John Gardner 12/1
Leg 5 :- Steve Holden 6/1
Online League :- John Littler 14/1
Leg 3 :- Mark Trett 10/1
He ran the book via Pokerstars and capped the maximum bet at $30.00. Not wanting to miss out on what looked like a bit of value Daniel stuck the max bet of $30 down and secured his price at 10/1. I also stuck a cheeky $30.00 down but by the time I got my money on my price had dropped to 9/1.
So the cards are in the air and I’m pretty happy with my seating position. I have position on Chris Brammer and Tom McDonald, two of the most aggressive players at the table and both very accomplished players. I’m not to happy to see Steve Holden two seats to my right but you can’t have everything and overall I was happy. The first few levels were very slow. I sat back and watched the action unfold and barely played a hand for the first three levels. The first player to hit the rail was Leeds champion Tom McDonald. After getting involved in a big pot with Chris Brammer, Tom flops two pair only to be out drawn by Chris’s bigger two pair on the turn as all the money goes in. It’s a bitter sweet taste for me as in one hand I see a dangerous player exit the table, on the other the player sitting with his chips in the pre tournament favourite Chris Brammer. By mid way through level 4 (200/400) I had chipped up to about 12,000 from my 10,000 starting stack. Chris Brammer was moving his chips around a little picking up lots of little pots. He opened one pot on my BB and I made the call with KQ. The flop comes QJ high and I lose about 3,000 chips of my stack here when we go to showdown and Chris tables AA for a bigger pair. Not long before the end of level 4 and we lose Edinburgh champion Jim O’Donnell. Jim opened UTG to 1,800 and the table folds round to Chris Brammer in the BB. Chris was the only person who could bust Jim at this point and was sitting on just over 20,000 to Jim’s 16,000. Chris moves all in and Jim tanks. Jim eventually calls and tables QQ to Chris’ AK. The board runs out xxxxA and Jim hit’s the rail. Were down to six players now and Chris has almost half the chips in play. Level 5 (300/600) and the next player to fall was Steve Holden. The table folded round to Richard Lewis who limed on the button. John Gardner in the SB makes a small raise to 1,600 total. Steve Holden in the BB makes the call as does Richard Lewis. The flop comes T,6,4r. Steve makes a bet and Richard Lewis moves AI over the top. Steve goes into the tank and eventually calls tabling Qd10d for top pair. Richard Lewis shows 6s4s for bottom two. Richard’s two pair hold and Liverpool champion Steve Holden hit’s the rail. 5 handed now and having not been involved in any big pots I was just trying to keep my stack as healthy as I could. As we move into level 6 (400/800) my stack is sitting around 9,000. I don’t really like to raise fold in this spot and with the winner take all structure it’s a bit spewy with my stack size. So I decide I have to try and move my stack about and take a gamble or two to gather some chips to try and give myself a chance for the win. It’s passes round to me and I find Jd10d and ship it all in. Richard Lewis makes the call from the SB and shows AQ. For the first time during the SnG I’m all in and called and at risk. The board fell xxJ-10-J and I found the double up and just like that I was back in the race. During level 7 (500/1000) and I’d been pretty active with my bigger stack picking up lots of small pots. I opened another pot for 2,500 with 44 and Richard Lewis moved AI over the top for about 7,000 total. John Gardner tank folds and I make the call & Richard tables 9c10c. The board falls in my favour and top money winner Richard Lewis was eliminated. After a bit of 4 handed action there was a short break & my stack was now a healthy 32,000. I was about level in chips Chris who had about 34,000 and John Gardner and John Littler had about 6,000 and 8,000 respectively.
Over the next few levels both myself and Chris Brammer take shots at taking out the shorter stacks. Our push and call ranges are pretty light as we try to pick them off before they do to much damage to either of our stacks. I eventually was able to eliminate online league winner John Little when he pushed K5 from the SB into my BB and I make the call with 44. For the second time today my baby pair holds and Loopy hit’s the rail in 4th. So 3 handed now and not long after eliminating John Littler I doubled up Chris Brammer when I pushed 44 AIPF again. I’d been moving my stack about a bit so wasn’t surprised to see Chris call with A9o. The flop brought a straight draw for Chris and he made it on the river for a big double through. Soon after my luck returned. I’d been on the right side of all of the important flips all night but never sucked out versus a dominant hand until I pushed AIPF from the SB with Ac8c and Chris snaps from the BB with AdQd. For the second time tonight and I’ll in and called and the board runs out 998-9-X and I find a huge and very important double through. Chris’ bad luck continued as he doubled up John Gardner a couple of times then finally went bust when he pushed 99 into John Gardner’s AA AIPF. No help from the board and we lost Nottingham champion and pre SnG favourite Chris Brammer. So I found myself heads up with Bristol champion John Gardner. We break briefly before beginning the heads up match and get a quick chip count.
Heads up counts :-
I sat down with the intension of just playing a lot of positional small pots with John. I figured I could slowly chip up without any big in all confrontations. This strategy worked to a point and I was able to slowly chip up. John then changed gears. IDK if this was doing to the momentum of the HU match or a deliberate change in tact but he became very agro and began calling with ATC and shoving on any flop. John was changing the momentum in his favour. I open raise the button with Ah2h and John makes the call. The flop comes 26Q and we both check. Another queen hit’s the turn and John bets. I flat call thinking my paired 2’s are probably still good. An Ace hit’s the river and John over bets the pot. I’ve hit my gin card but don’t feel good about John’s big bet on the river. I tank fold and John flashes a queen for trips. At this point John now had a 3-1 chip lead on me. A few hands later and with the blinds now at 1,500/3,000 John shoves AIPF into my BB. I have Ad4d and tank it for a little while. John’s played so solid I could be miles behind with A4. In the end I just think there so much of his shoving range I’m still beating and call it off. I’m pleased to see John table K10. For the 3rd and last time I was all in and called & I flop a pair and river the nut flush to secure a timely double. A few hands later I raise with 66 on the button and John flat calls my raise. The flop comes down 2c 3x Tc and John moves AI. It’s a good flop for my hand and there’s no way he’s shoving with TP so I make the call and he tables 5c7c for a FD. Brick, brick and it’s all over.
A £10,000 sponsorship wrapped up for Full Trett Poker ready for 2010. As my brother said as we left ‘Job done’. I feel really excited and ready to give the UK tour a real crack next year and thanks to Coral I now have the perfect platform to make 2010 a year to remember.
Roll on 2010.