Gala £100 (+£10) w/£1000 Added (Saturday 17th April)
Circus £20 (+£2) ‘Staff Bounty’ (Monday 26th April)
So yeah the Gala is 1/3 of my only scheduled live monthly games so despite being ill & jet-lagged from my trip I couldn’t ignore the value & took the 50 minute drive south. I had a very entertaining table with a host of Teesside names including Lee Danaher, John Cairns, Phil Dales, Terry “The Tiger”, & Kris Lawrence. I never really got going & after nursing a half chip average stack for much of the tournament I eventually got AJ on the BTN at 400/800 level & after opening 2.2x the BB pushed me AIPF which I called to be shown TT & lost the race, sigh NVM.
Moving on to Circus & story behind playing this, Circus run a league every night & the top 10 in each league qualify for the league final which is a £4,000 freeroll on Sunday 16th May 2010. So as I was surfing the new ‘Newcastle Circus Poker’ facebook group I seen Monday was the only league night I could get myself in the top 10 to qualify for the league final. Basically I’d played it twice before when it was the old £5+R & won once (20 points) + got a point per tournament just for entering so I had 22 points & was in like 17th or thereabouts & seen a win would take me comfortably into the top 10. I was drew on the same starting table as Simmy3k so managed to catch up with him & also met NPFer cornelius for the 1st time who was great company & we shared Thailand stories as I had of course just returned & he had been over during New Year. Anyway with the small field (30ish) I managed to take it down for £230 which is always nice but more importantly get the 20 points (+1 for entering) to take me to a total of 43 points & secure a place in the league final. George is currently 2nd of the Thursday league so no doubt he’ll be playing on Sunday 16th May so that’s another date in the calendar & I will of course summarize it for you guys.
So yeah ‘NPF Team Challenge 2010’ & I was of course representing my long time affiliate NPF team the Cubs, which despite going through some tough time’s & losing a large % of it’s members to Walkers Sensations we still have a strong team & a 1st class captain holding us together;
Patrick Leonard (C) 'pads1161'
Neil Barron 'H1LOYEAH?'
Aryan Virabi 'avkid'
Scotty Hocking 'Scotty'
Daniel Trett 'Full Tilit'
Ross Johnson 'roscopiko'
Chris Waugh 'GotTilt4'
Paul Hart 'kiddha'
David Gascoigne 'BO$$HOG'
Dave Heafield 'Dave59'
So my understanding is 5 of the above Patrick, Neil, Aryan, Ross, & Me were all member’s of the original Cubs team formed in July 2009 & over time we’ve drafted Scotty, Chris, & Paul in who have all become pivotal members. David has stood in for us once last year & if it wasn’t for his imminent emigration to New Zealand it’s highly likely he would have been taken on permanent. Finally Dave was suggested by NPFer Nemesis as a last minute replacement for James “BOTR” Howard who unfortunately can’t make it due to work commitments & Dave until Saturday was the only member of our team I hadn’t met. We have a couple of other Cub affiliates who unfortunately couldn’t make it for various reasons including Jon Lundy, Jonny Tingate, Stephen Laker, & Richard Whitmore (I think that’s everybody, apologies if I’ve missed anybody out). So right there you go, that’s how we come about now let’s get down to business in the long awaited NPF team game.
So Scott “s2c” Collins released the provisional seat draw on the early hours of Saturday morning & I was drew T10-S6 along with;
1) Lynne Beaumont (Northern Lights)
2) Jon Holmes (FISO.co.uk)
3) Steve Marshall (Breakers Poker Club)
4) Simon Freeman (Nelly’s Heroes)
5) Craig Foggo (Teamdobbs)
6) Daniel Trett (Cubs)
7) Marc Mulhern (s2c’s Elite)
8) Ray Ryder (Hartlepool Monkey Hangers)
9) Stuart Walsh (UK Sharks)
10) Paul Rutherford (Team Radgie)
This evidently turned out to be the official seating plan (At least my table wasn’t disrupted anyway). I was familiar with 5 of the players, 4 of which are NPFers Lynne (georgesam), Craig (MR ENTERTAINMENT), Marc (mulhuzz), & Paul (dreamdobb) & I knew Ray from playing monthly down Teesside, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect from these guys. I hadn’t heard of the remaining 4 & when I took my seat I didn’t recognize any of the face’s, so I was looking to proceed with caution with these guys until I gathered a bit of information on them.
So I arrive with Mark approximately 13:15 & have a bit catch up with my fellow Cubs as I collect my attire for the event which consisted of a Cubs t-shirt with my NPF forum name ‘Full Tilit’ across the back & of course the Cubs visors which we had from the previous Grosvenor £300 (+£55) Team Game last November. So upon arriving I managed to catch up with a number of guys including Chris Woods, Marc Mulhern, Sean McGuigan, Brian Ridley, & FTPer Steve Trett (Who although not playing had kindly volunteered to help out with the dealing) amongst others before heading over to have our team photo taken. I continued to mingle as we waited to be seated & they played various music to help keep us entertained including the ’Sir Bobby Robson Tribute (To the tune of I’m coming Newcastle)’ which I personally think is great & although it’s hard at times makes you proud to be a Geordie.
Then CGK introduced all 20 teams individually & they headed to their seats to various different songs, the Cubs were introduced with 'Get Ready For This' by 2 Unlimited which was pretty cheesy. Anyway it was exceptional crack & the whole casino clapped & cheered as you headed to your table, kind of made you feel like Wrestler out of the WWE on route to the ring at WrestleMania.
So I took my seat & had a tough time during the 1st level as nothing I tried worked & I couldn’t pick up a hand to get out of 1st gear, this ultimately found me down to 4,000 from my original 7,500 starting stack. Fortunately my fortunes changed & I started to gather some cards between level 2-5;
35s vs. dreamdobb JTc: 75/150 “7,000” (AIOTR 24J56 - Radgie Doon)
KK vs. Simon Freeman AJo: 150/300 “12,000” (AIOTF xTJxx - Nelly Hero Doon)
QQ vs. Lynne Beaumont JJ: “150/300/25 “16,000” (AIOTF x78xA - Northern Light Doon)
These helped send my stack up to 40,000 without having to get to tricky. We broke for dinner buffet during all these hands, if I remember correctly it was after the 150/300 level. I again caught up with a few friendly faces including Lataif Aziz & Andy Blair. I then sat down with Mark for our dinner which was nothing special, I had cheesy pasta, chips, & rice there was a bit more of a selection but nothing that tickled my taste buds. We were cornered by dreamdobb & convinced to buy the NPF DVD for £5, I’ve already seen all the scene’s through being a regular NPF news watcher so I’m unlikely to watch it but it was for a good cause so it’s all gravy.
So shortly after returning to our seats I lose a huge pot to Stuart Walsh when I open UTG+1 2.2x with 44 (Standard fold but I was getting bored) & Stuart flats behind. 23J flop & I check call a pot size bet for a 5 to hit the turn giving me an OESD, I check & Stuart jam’s for like the pot giving me 2:1 odds on the call. So I guess at this point it’s an easy fold as I’m like to 4:1 to complete vs. an over pair but I’m struggling to give him credit for an over pair & think he’s spewing with like AT+ which I’m 1:9 favourite against & make’s this a diabolical fold. Anyway after a quick calculation I think AT+ is as much in his range as JJ+ which give’s 5 hands I’m 4:1 vs. (JJ, QQ, KK, AA, & AJ) & 3 hands I’m 1:9 vs. (AT, AQ, & AK) so make the call. I’m unfortunately shown QQ & miss my 10 outs on the river which sends my stack plummeting to 25,000, FML.
Moments after this I’m moved to balance the tables & found I’m in seat 2 sandwiched between Adam “Junior Bomber” Matues (1) & Dave “teamdobb” Collins (3) with Simon “Simmy3k” Cameron also on the table over seat 9. Whilst here I 3BET Simmy3k blind (I’m familiar with the player & his AGRO style) from the BTN when he opened the hijack which got through & I evidently had Q4o. Then 3BET him again out the SB with AJo after he lost a big pot & was clearly tilting (Prepared to call a shove if necessary) but unfortunately Dave Collins spoilt the party as he 4BET out the BB, I know Dave is astute enough to know I’m playing back light at Simon & AJo is at the top end of my range in this spot so could very well be good or at least flipping. I eventually decided that although it’s his BB I don’t think he would be that inventive unnecessarily & reluctantly fold, as the table splits he told me he had KK which I’m inclined to believe but you never know.
I’m then moved to the most frustrating & slow table ever with Peter “stumpy” Newton & Colin Pearson the only recognisable face’s, I find it difficult to make any moves on this table as I have an absolute tilt monster to my left who when he loses a pot starts dumping it in with ATC & I seen him crack KQo with 93o then later on in the evening Koyte’s QQ with J2o. Anyway were joined temporarily by the beautiful Mrs CGK & eventually after an hour the table’s broke & were moved downstairs which by now is where all the action is. Here I find myself in seat 4 with Alan “Koyte” Kirton (1), Dawn “Mrs CGK” Wills (7), Sean McGuigan (8), & unfortunately the tilt monster back to my left in seat 5, FML. After having scrapped for the best part of 4 hours being completely card dead with not a single pair & AJ by far & away my best hand (Which I folded PF) just to stay around the 25,000 mark I’m really looking to gather some momentum.
J7 vs. Tilt Monster AKc: 400/800/100 “36,000” (AIOTF 9JAr & I just couldn’t credit him for a hand)
A7 vs. Sean McGuigan KQc: 600/1200/100 “15,000” (AIPF A44xQ & a much needed double up)
A7 vs. Unknown AT: 800/1600/100 “30,000” (I open shoved 15,000 AIPF & no help - Cub Doon)
That was that, I of course gracefully shook the whole table’s hand (New & improved 2010 version) & wished them all the best of luck as I headed towards the rail. So yeah short stacked in the penultimate level of day 1 & I just couldn’t pick up anything, on a more positive note I finished 51st which was the points bubble but on a technicality (CGK declared the bubble had burst) I secured 1 point for the Cubs which although didn’t make the blindest bit of difference as our chances went when we lost 8 players before the points bubble. However at least I can proudly say I’m 2/2 in accumulating points for the Cubs, albeit at the bottom end of the scale but every point counts.
So after I went bust I went over to play a bit Blackjack for an hour whilst I waited on Mark to grab a lift home, half hour later after I’d made a small £20 profit he came wondering over & had went bust in the final level of the day (Radgie - Doon).
I arrived home approximately 1:30am in good time to make a late supper & catch the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Shane Mosley fight which FYI was won by Floyd with an unanimous points decision, taking his impressive career record to 41-0 including 25 KO’s. Anyhow back to the team event & Mark recounts his day;
"Sup guys, well as some of you know I was 50-50 if I would be attending this game mainly due to such a busy poker calendar at the minute. With the Manchester GUKPT last week, Coral British Masters in Bristol next week and the PokerStars UKIPT in Nottingham the week after I was looking at this weekend as a spare weekend to spend time with the kids. When the dates were first announced I checked to see if they overlapped with any of my tour dates, great it didn’t. However I didn’t actually notice it was squeezed in between such a busy month.
Anyway, so pleased I did. From the moment I walked in I was greeted with loads of NPF. It was great to see so many familiar faces and everyone was in great spirits. I bumped into Cowhead on the way in spent the first 5minutes catching up with him before heading over to join my team mates The Radgies. I’m still a fairly new member and this was only my second appearance in the famous black. The Radgies are a 20 strong team & with only 10 places only half the team could represent the event. I spend a bit of time chatting with my team mates before we had our official photograph taken. The team was lined us as follows :-
Valley high (Vice Captain)
Team founder Looseman was taking a backseat for the team but ended up playing for ‘Geordie Poker’ as a stand in for a player that failed to turn up.
I’m surprised to see so many familiar faces around the card rooms representing the other teams. I knew most of the ‘Geordie Poker’ and ‘AWOP Teesside’ as most are locals on the NPS. I also bump into fellow bloggers Dave ‘No Cash’ Garden, who I know from Teesside & Dream of Vegas who I met for the first time. They were both representing the ‘Raise the River‘.
Before the action gets underway I float around the casino talking to various players before spotting Craig ‘Mr Entertainment’ Foggo & heading over to catch up with him. I have a lot of time for Craig, he’s one of the nicest guys in poker and we always get on well and have a laugh when where at the same table. I hadn’t seen him since for a few months and it was really good to catch up with him.
So anyway, proceeding an excellent audio intro by ‘Mr Entertainment’ (now I understand where the alias comes from) the team entrances began. Each team was introduced with their own entrance music follow by the individual team members. One by one all the teams made their way up the stairs into the card room and saluted the crowds below en-route. It was the cue to start what would be an entertaining evening for all.
So 200 runners and top 50 are in the points. I was drawn on the same table as fellow NPFers Dave ‘Chipmunk’ Stephenson (TeamDobbs), Gordon ‘Magoogle’ Wright (S2C Elite) and Paddy ‘Pads’ Leonard (Cubs). The banter was great from the off set and I was fortunate to find an early level 1 double up with AT v AQ on a ATx flop. In the first few levels I pick up a few cards but don’t get much action on what was a pretty solid table early on. There’s a little bit of metagame going on between me and Paddy before he’s shipped off to another table - sigh. After a few levels I’m also on the move.
I’m moved downstairs to another table. I share the same table as Dawn (Mrs E) Foggo and Mark ‘Sponna’ Brewis. I don’t recognise any of the other table members but it was a very friendly table. I find another double up fairly early into being seating at this table. I’m not sure what has happened previous but since I’d been seated Spoona had raised I think every single hand. He was also recently on the wrong end of a pretty big pot. As the cards where being dealt it was my BTN & having not played a hand since joining the new table I was contemplating 3betting Spoona with ATC if he opened again. Sure enough he does open and makes his standard raise of 800 (150/300). He’s flat called in two spots and action is on me. With 2,850 ITM I 3BET to 3,800 with Ks6s. Spoona tank folds and I’m called by one laggy (loose-aggressive) player and the other player folds. The flop is king high with a club draw and he check calls my flop and turn bets and then moves in on the river which is another king. I call and he has 8c9c for a busted draw.
So now sitting on about 35,000 I then go on to lose a series of big pots. The first was vs. Colin Pearson (AWOP Teesside) when we get it all in on a 9 high flop and he has me crushed with his queens vs. my tens. I made a bad call on the flop here and it kind of tilted me. I was a little mad at myself to say the least. He was comfortably the most accomplished player at the table at that time and it was just such an easy fold. The next significant pot I play is a level or two later when I double up the same laggy player who’d tried to bluff me with the 8c9c earlier on. I raised with AcJc and he makes a dubious 3BET shove from the BTN. I sniffed it out and look him up and he shows up with Ks7s. Of course he flops the king and I’m back down to about 15,000. FML.
This lad was by far the most active player at the table. He’d show a few bluffs and also showed down some pretty shit cards and it the process exactly how wide he was opening. Anyway, with the blinds at 400/800 he min raises in mid to 1,600 and I flat on the button with K9 ready for a bit of mental game. Tired Eyes in the BB is short stacked and 3bet shoves for another 3,000 more with AQ. The lad in mid position folds and shows an Ace not realising I had called his bet? WTF? So with over 5,000 already ITM I’m getting the right price if I’m not dominated. I also know an Ace was dead and make the call for another 3,000 and play for a 11,000+ pot. I flop an 9 but an Ace on the turn has me down to about 10,500 with the blinds about to increase to 500/1000. Sigh.
After waiting an orbit or two I get a quick double up when I shove UTG with QQ and win a flip vs. Camel Toe’s AK. Camel Toe lost three big flips at the table to send him packing after he’d sat down at the table with a lot of chips. IMO he played all 3 hands perfect too, the game can be cruel at times I guess.
I try to build my stack but I’m not getting much through. I’m pretty active but not really moving as I win and lose a series of small pots. I then end up losing over half my stack to Chris Waugh after I raise pre again with 22 and he 3BET shoves on me. I need to get going and try to get back in the tournament. I have him just shy of 2-1 in chips & after a quick calculation I’m getting a good price for a flip and decide to call it off hoping to see an AK type hand. Chris tables 77 & has me crushed, no miracle & I double him. Bad call on my behalf in hindsight.
So I’m kind of spewing chips a little bit and end up getting pretty low before finding yet another double up when I pick up AhKh UTG and open shove. I’m called by the lad in the BB from ‘The Breakers’ with TT. I win another flip to keep me alive. I’d been chatting to this lad for most of the night and I must say he was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever sat at the poker table with & really enjoyed his company. He was an interesting character to say the least. I felt kind of bad for busting him - well as bad as you can really feel when your winning a flip for pretty much your tournament life.
So I was back in the tournament but still had a below average stack & again I tried to keep going & get a few late position raises in to build my stack with QJ and then 22 again. I end up raise folding pre both times as I’m 3BET in consecutive hands. The first time by Dave ‘TeamDobbs’ Collins who had taken Colin Pearson‘s seat after Colin was moved to another table & the other 3BET was courtesy of Chris ‘Gottilt’ Waugh again. I kick the 22’s in this time & Chris kindly shows me QQ.
I just can’t get anything going and after a round of blinds has passed through me I’m down to about 6 or 7 BB’s. I decide to get it in with ATC if action is passed to my BTN. So the action passes round to me & I shove blind. SB passes and Chris Waugh makes the call with 77 from the BB. I sheepish table a disappointing 94. Chris’ hand holds and I hit the rail in about 42nd place, having just scraped into the points for the team.
So that was that. I had such a great time at the tables though and the atmosphere created was indescribable. It really was a case of you had to be there type of thing. Just a constant buzz around the whole casino. I really can’t say enough about the efforts of TeamDobbs, S2C, Mr E and the showman Steve ‘Mr Card guard’ Wills. What they have created is unique to poker and was very professional and slick. Absolutely faultless and done in true NPF style. CGK is an absolute natural. He was a great host and enthusiastic commentator and made the event what it was.
Anyway I wasn’t able to get down to the Grosvenor for day 2 as I was looking after my girl & boy. I did however keep up to speed with things on the forum. Roscopiko had very kindly made the trip back for day 2 to continue his NPF updates from the day before. I’m pleased he did - they were constant & with his own stamp of Piko humour. The tournament was eventually won by pre tournament favourites ‘The Walkers Sensations’. A NPF team full of young talented players. Their player of the event was Stevie Sensation who’s 5th place finish was enough to secure victory after a lot of the team also scored points. From what I heard and read he played really well and was unlucky not go to take it down. WP Sensh and the Sensations."
So after watching the early 13:30 afternoon kick off between Liverpool/Chelsea (Which FYI was won 2-0 by Chelsea) I got ready & headed over Grosvenor to sweat the day 2 action, watch the 16:00 kick off between Man Utd/Sunderland (1-0 Utd), give the 1 remaining Cub Chris “GotTilt4” Waugh some moral support, & also to play the £10+£10 ‘Bounty’ event they had running, Mark chose not to attend day 2 & instead spend the day with his wife & children. The atmosphere was electric & every time their was an ‘all in & a call’ CGK came over with the mic & reported the hand as the railing team members cheered & booed depending on the fall of the cards. Anyway I had my lunch whilst over Grosvenor which was a prawn cocktail to start followed by a roast beef dinner, for only £6.95 you really can’t complain. Then after I was suitably fed I hit the tables for the £10+£10 ‘Bounty’ event which had an unforgiving structure (4,000 stack with 20 minute clock) so it was imperative to gather some chips to have some fire power, this prompted my loose active approach which unfortunately back fired as I bust out after 40 minutes after being on 2 tables sharing with NPFers Mrs Stumpy, KQ4EVA, herbiehackit, knerrad, & BGR1.
So after sweating the team game action for just shy of an hour I decided since I was in town I’d head over Circus for their ‘£20 (+£2) +1 Rebuy’ that has a £2,000 guarantee for 50 players which it exceeded generating £2080, bonus. Here I never got going & after sharing table’s with Joe Peel, Ross Ramsay, Craig McDowell, Andy Blair (Blackjack table), Batman, Sugar, Laura Hood & Mark Brewis (Dealer) I eventually bust around midnight;
A4o vs. AKo: 600/1200 “28,000” (I jammed 12BB AIPF from LP holding A4o only for the SB to wake up with AKo & make the easy call, GGWP)
During the tournament news filtered through that Walkers Sensations had won the team event with 127 points after their final player Steve Gibson had bust out 5th it was down to Dave Collins to win it outright to overhaul them at the top & give the 1st place crown to Teamdobbs, this however didn’t happen as Dave finished 4th ensuring Teamdobbs finished runners up with 119 points. Special round of applause to both teams for a valiant effort & especially to Steve (5th), Dave (4th), & our very own Cub Chris (6th) for making the final table of a tough 200 player tournament, give yourself a pat on the back gents.
Overall another disappointing finish for the Cubs, I can’t help but think were the England of team events & complete under achievers. We have talent in abundance but just never make any noise, it’s not as if were there or there abouts either we just fade away. I did catch up with captain Paddy & he tells me we largely got the chips in good & just couldn’t get our hands to hold, sigh welcome to poker. However not to be deterred & we all know/believe if were playing/running good we have as good a chance as any, so watch this space the Cubs will make an impact soon enough.
Now I would just like to extend a huge thank you from all at FTP to Dave/Scott Collins, Craig Foggo, & especially Steve Wills for the abundance of time & effort they all put in to making this event possible & a massive success. These boys spent several nights over Grosvenor prior to the event ironing out all the finer things to ensure on the day everything ran as smoothly as possible, & I think we’ll all agree the event went down without a glitch & was played in the spirit it was intended. Steve particularly deserves a special mention as although he is a proud member of Teamdobbs he honourably stepped down to be our tournament director/host for the weekend, this is testament to the guys character as I know he would have loved to have represented Teamdobbs but made way for no other reason than to ensure everybody else had a great weekend. Give yourself a huge pat on the back gents, be proud that all your hard work paid dividends & you gave 200 UK poker players an absolute 1st class event to compete in & a special weekend.
Finally anybody familiar with FTP & how to navigate to our Calendar will see our next event is the ‘Circus £50 (+£5) w/£500 Added’ which I unfortunately missed in April as I was away in Asia but took it down in March for £1600, so I’m looking for a repeat performance as my last outing in this event.
Thanks for reading & feel free to comment guys.