Circus £50 (+£5) NLH F/O w/£500 Added

SUP Guys. Hope all our followers had a brilliant weekend over the Grosvenor, I know all involved at FTP (Me, Mark, & Steve) did & it for sure lived up to all the hype it received in recent months. Unfortunately though it’s been & gone now leaving us with some wonderful memories, so back to the grind & Tuesday 4th May was the flagship monthly £50 F/O over Circus which Mark, Steve & I all played. Impressive showing as everybody in Newcastle has come to expect from this tournament with 110 runners generating £6,000 (including the added £500), so cards in the air & I’m drawn T9-S7 with Mrs Fatfish (1) & Batman (8) they only recognizable faces.

Nothing exciting happening here, I have a bit crack with Mrs Fatfish about the weekend & also CGK who was on the table behind sitting adjacent to me. Mrs Fatfish deals me a couple of over pairs vs. top pair to help me gather some chips, which ensures when our table is broke I take 20,000 over to T6-S2. Here I’m joined by friends Colin Taylor (1), Phil Nelson (5), Anton (7), & Circus house dealer Ian, I manage to built my stack to 26,000 until I take an 8,000 chip hit losing a race with AQo vs. JJ to send me down to 18,000 rather than up to 34,000. Moving on & were joined by the delightful Gladys whom I have a laugh with before the table is broke & take my now deteriorated stack over to T7-S3. This has more friendly faces including Gordon Wright (4), Andy Carlin (6), & followed from T6 Phil Nelson over (7) with the red hot Celia Liu as our dealer. Blinds are now 500/1000/50 & I’ve dropped below 20BB so once I open JJ 2.1x from EP & get 3BET by Phil Nelson it’s a no brainer to dump them in, particularly as I get 3BET so wide nowadays. Phil goes into the tank & by this time I know I’m good & have narrowed his range to 88-TT & AT-AQ, five of the six hands I have crushed with one I’m flipping vs. so while he’s tanking I decided to try & talk him into the call by jokingly saying “I’m allowed to get hands aswell you know”. Immediately after this he commit’s the chips (IDK if the speech play helped) & I say “I think I’ve got you crushed but maybe were flipping”. Phil flips AQo & it’s off the races for a very playable 36,000 stack but all doesn't go to plan & when the board runs xxQAx I have zero & hit the felt in 41st, I wish the table good luck & head for home. So that was that, I lost two flips for 34,000+ stacks when average was approximately 20,000 which are imperative to win if your to prevail in this unforgiving structure. Chips went to a cool cat though, Phil’s a really nice guy & top player.

I managed to get a quick tournament report from FTPers Mark & Steve;

STEVE “I really enjoyed the tournament & felt really composed & confident if I could pick up some right cards at the right time I'd do well. Unfortunately didn't get many good cards as I saw a lot of jack rag offs. One hand in particular was a dilemma for me blinds are 100/200 & I'm on BB with 4/5 hearts with about 6k, there’s a raise from mid position to 1.6k & 1 caller so I guess I was priced in to call. I ended up folding cause I thought the raise was a bit steep for me as it was for a 3rd of my stack. Anyway flop would have given me a flush & gut shot draw. The betting ended after the flop. Other than that as I say didn't have much of a run of cards. Really enjoyed the tournament although I didn't have much of a run with cards. Eventually picked up K2 spades just before the break in late position, everyone folded to Ray Chan on my right who raised 750 with blinds at 150/300, I called & Joe Peel called. Flop was an ace of spades, another spade & something else giving me a nut flush draw. I check Joe bets 400, ray folds & I call. Turn is a spade happy days I check & Joe bets 1000, I call & another spade hits the river. Joe is 1st to act & goes all in & I instant call winning a pot of 17k, I win small pots to keep me going until last 3 tables blinds are 8k/16k I have ace/2 clubs on small blind folded around to me with 1 caller so I push all in with about 17k left, BB wakes up with AK & I'm history.”

Thanks Steve, well done on another deep run & just unfortunate SB found a hand to call I guess. Over to you Mark;

MARK "Well I was very disappointed in my performance in this game. After playing so well recently I made a few bad plays and calls in both the team game and particularly the Circus £50 & having had several deep runs in the event this year I was a little mad at myself. I made at least half a dozen mistakes which given the stacks sizes and structure it was a miracle I was still in the MTT.

Things started really well as I quickly chipped up to about 15,000 after making a straight with 7sTs and top two with AsJs. I missed out on a bit of value with these hands as I over bet the rivers. Anyway, that’s as big as my stack got & like I previously mentioned went on to make a series of mistakes. I think in hindsight I was to conscious of the fact that I need to gather chips and got a bit too creative too early & value betting to thin etc.

It started when I called a raise from Ian ‘2cats’ Woods on the BTN with Ad4d. BB joins the party and the flop is A35. Action checks to me and I check back for pot control and to induce bluffs. Turn card is the 6h putting a heart draw out there and giving me top pair and an open ended straight draw. 2cats bets the turn, I flat, BB passes. The king hearts hit the river and 2cats checks to me. I should of just check back in this spot but make my first mistake when I decide to VB and fire out 1,500 into the 3,000 pot. Woody check raises all in and after breaking down the hand I let it go. I just don’t think 2cats is ever bluffing in that spot and narrow his range to a small flush, set or big two pair. I can’t beat anything. He kindly shows me KK for a rivered set.

Never mind, I was 3,000 down but still had 12,000 going into the break. Anyway, first level after the break I make my second mistake when I open from mid with 6s7s. I’m looked up by ‘Sugar’ who sitting to my immediate left. The flop is AXX with a club draw and despite knowing it’s hit Sugars range huge I still decide to get a bet through knowing if he has TT-QQ he’ll let them go. He flat calls and the turn gives me a gutter ball. Despite knowing 100% I have no FE I bet again, this was my second mistake. I’m called and the river goes check check. I fold face down after spewing about 6,000 and Sugar shows AcQc.

So not sitting on about 6,000 I play a multi way limped when I check Qs8s in the BB. The flop is QJ7 and SB fires. I call & everyone else folds. Turn bricks and SB fires again. I again call. His bets were pretty small and I don’t mind calling two streets here. An ace hits the river and he fires a 3 barrel. Now I feel for sure he has two pair minimum. I ask if he has J7 as I consider my action. I was getting like a million to one on the call and despite being dead I pay him off. This was my 3rd mistake. By the river I’m beating nothing and should be folding despite the attractive pot odds.

So now crippled and sitting on about 7 bigs at 300/600 I make a fourth mistake and shove ATC UTG so the blinds do not go through me. I’m called by AJ and I have 67. I don’t suck out but have him covered by 900 chips. I’m in the BB next hand and quadruple up with K2 when a few limpers get pushed out of the hand by a late position shove by AQ. I flop my king and quad up. I then make my final mistake when I shove my remaining stack a couple of hands later with A7 and run into AJ. I really got to impatient to early when short stacked and the 67 and A7 shoves were just totally unnecessary. I could of waited a least an orbit maybe two and looked for better spots. I’m never usually this impatient but I like I said previously I think I was a little too conscious of the structure and the need to gather chips. If I’m honest I think I was also a little tilted too.

As I left the casino Teesside local Phil Dales pulled me and said he thought I didn’t take the game seriously and he felt I had my mind on Bristol this weekend. Maybe he was right but it still wasn’t nice to hear and a stark reminder that no matter what the stakes I should be taking my A game. Never mind, lesson learnt.

Next stop is Bristol. I’m flying down there this Saturday morning. Coral have put me up in a really nice hotel & I’m feeling mega confident about this one and can feel a final table is on the cards. Wish me luck."

Cheers for that Mark & funny you should mention Phil pulling as you left the casino because as I was leaving I bumped in to Alison McAree (Mrs Fatfish) again in the foyer, who had went bust moments after me. I got talking to her & she told me something I found most fascinating, that was that she’d only been playing poker for four months which was very impressive considering her standard. Granted Tuesday was the only time I’d played with her (I think anyway) but she played solid during my time at the table, even managing to fold AKc PF vs. Batman’s AA. Not just a pretty face it would seem & if you ask me if her development continues at the rate it has in the 1st four months then come the ‘NPF 3rd Birthday’ she’ll be a sure thing for ‘Most Improved Player’. So well done Mrs Fatfish, of course not forgetting your lovable boyfriend & tutor fatfish himself.

Congratulations to our friends Ian ‘Nemesis’ Bertram (Chop - £720) & Kris Lawrence (8th - £240) who make’s the 50 minute drive North from Teesside every month, well done chaps. Another busy weekend ahead for FTP as Mark is flying down to Bristol for the opening main event of the CBMPT, whilst I’ll be supporting the local ‘£75 (+£7.50) NLH F/O w/£500 Added’ again back over Circus.

Thanks as always for reading guys.


  1. Hey Bro. My thoughts on a couple of your hands, the one vs. 2-cats I don’t think VB the river is a mistake. I’d be VB/folding huge vs. 2-cats here because he’s never check raise bluffing (ever) & although your unlikely to get called light it save’s you from showing down your hand. However I don’t like your line on the flop, I’m almost always betting when it’s checked to me especially vs. Ian who I don’t think is likely to be bluffing especially in the early stages. Obviously I don’t know who the BB was also involved in the hand so maybe you were looking at him to induce bluffs, but IMO this just creates difficult decisions on future streets. Also I think your exit hand (A7 vs. AJ) was ridic standard IMO. If you’d just had a quad up from 900 taking you to 3,600 with blinds at 300/600 (6BB), I’m jamming Ax into every unopened pot.

  2. Yeah maybe the VB was the right play. I don't mind the check OTF but maybe I should raise the turn when I turn OESD. NVM. Played like a cock tbh and got what I deserved. Fk all. A7 yeah again maybe. Tho tbh bro it was the 67 hands and the Q8 hands which really cost me my MTT. Just stuck them in as well because I felt they were also spewy plays. Fk it....always leaning bro, always.

  3. Hi lads, In the hand talked about above, I raise with my KK and check on the flop. I bet out on the turn while saying to myself even if Mark or the BB (suger)calls i do not make a continuation bet due to myself only haveing Av stack size! And i will fold to a re-raise.. I also decide to check in the dark if anyone calls which Mark did! (I dont no if Mark realized that i had checked in the dark) but when i hit the set i gamble on mark makeing another bet which he did. Now i only push due to my stack size as i only have 4.5k left after makeing up Marks 1500 raise and the fact that they is around 4000 in the middle after the turn bet. I think Mark will defo call due to the pot size now! I try my best to get mark to call with a lot of speech play but as he said at the time " You are trying to talk me into a call" Which of course i was But it did not work!.... Never mind... I did use the same speach play on another player 2min earlier when i push over 2 limps and a raise (1200)... I dont put him on a AK, AQ or any big pair after seeing the way he has been playing over the last 10min so i push my 4000 chips with 10 10. The 2 limps get out of the way then i get the bloke who rasied to put down AJ (I did not want a call as i was happy to pick up the pot as it stood)... the same guy pushed with the same cards the very next hand and he goes out!!... So speech play works sometimes and also gets players on tilt!... LOL...

    Good luck in Bristol Mark............


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