So I was ready for what was sure to be a tough game. I had arranged to travel down with Graham (Mono on NPF) but after several failed attempts to get in contact I ended up making the drive down by myself. I get to Coventry in good time and get changed in the car park before making my way into the casino. For those of you that do not know the G casino in Coventry is actually part of the Rioch Arena (Coventry’s home stadium). I must say I was really impressed with the casino. Once inside you go down a couple of flights on escalators leading onto the casino floor. The card room was also very impressive. Due to the huge field the card room was full and they had some extra tables opened up at the back of the casino to accommodate the big field.
I have a little catch up with fellow NPFers and Newcastle locals Jon Lundy and Milo McKenzie, both sick players who are overdue a live win to compliment there online success. Anyway I don’t remember the table number but I’m drawn on a table in the middle of the card room. I have a quick scan around the table but don’t recognize anybody familiar. So far I’m been pretty disappointed with my performances in my sponsored games and my game in general this year. In the Bolton GUKPT I blew up with Q4o, in the Manchester UKIPT I couldn’t fold AKs to a 4BET pre and at the DTD deep stack I bluffed off my entire stack with AQ so I was determined to right a few wrongs and put in a respectable performance.
So anyway, I’m not at the table for long, maybe 30 minutes and I hear the call ‘player down’ I turn around and see no other that Vicki Coran standing up and leaving the card room. Sorry no hand details but the first player bust was PokerStars pro Vicki Coran.
So anyway, back to business. I move through the first few levels without playing any big pots. I flop a set of 5’s out of the BB. Check call a flop bet then check the turn looking to set up a check raise. The villain doesn’t oblige and checks behind. I value bet the river and surprisingly I’m paid off by KQ high. I also flop a couple of flush draws with Qc9c and As4s but brick everything and by the end of level 2 I’m down to 13,250 from the 15,000 starting stack. Level 3 was a quiet level but I did win one nice pot vs Mr KQ high when I called a raise on the BTN with my favorite hand 7h9h. The flop falls 9 high and villain C-bets. I flat and I’m pleased to see another 9 on the turn. Villain checks and I bet. He quickly calls and a King falls on the river. He again checks to me. I know he’s a bit of a station and will call me light so I put in a juicy value bet and sure enough he beats me into the pot. I turn my hand over and he insti mucks asking if I could fold AK in that spot. So by the end of level 3 I’m up to 19,475.
The next couple of levels are very quiet for me and I don’t get involved in any big pots until the very last hand of level 5 (150/300). I make it 750 pre with 99 and get looked up in two spots. The flop is 9TQ with 2 diamonds and with such a draw heavy board I attempt to close things down straight away and fire 2,200 into the 2,700 pot. The villain then min bets me to 4,400. Action is passed back round to me and I shove all in for another 9,000 more. Villain tank calls me with 6d7d. The turn bricks and then sure enough the 2d hits the river to send me to the rail. With the chip average at 20,400 I was comfortable but lose a 29,500 pot as a marginal favorite to send me to the rail.
So another disappointing finish as I exit the MTT in 131/178 but I walk out of the casino feeling very philosophical. I mean at least I felt I was playing a lot better and I got my money in good this time around and really felt like I gave myself a chance. The rest, well that’s up to the poker gods I suppose.
The eventual winner was Gilles Augustus taking home £46,000 for his efforts;
Next stop is the GUKPT in Manchester which has already come and gone. Trip report to follow.
As always thanks for reading and feel free to comment.