Sunday, January 24, 2010

Allez les Fronks.....

Well, day 2 of the Main event didn't exactly go to plan, unless the plan was to provide a perfect demonstration of Murphy's Law. I got set over setted for half my stack almost straight away. When you lose a big hand, you always wonder if you could do better. After talking through the hand with a few players I respect and getting opinions ranging from "You should have gone broke" to "You might have folded the river", I'm reasonably ok with the line I took. To be honest I can't ever see myself folding the second nuts to anyone other than a nit, which this guy most certainly was not.

After that it was downhill all the way. None of my preflop raises or cbets were getting through, and that set over set cooler was the only flop I hit all day. Eventually I found myself back to starting stack, which was now a reshipping stack, and I reshipped JJ over a loose mid position raiser, he called with AJ, and hit the ace. Shane Schleger (shaniac on Stars) was sitting to my immediate right before my exit, very nice guy and great player. I've played quite a bit in him in the 3x turbos on Stars which he plays perfectly as you'd expect. He went very deep (26th), I was rooting for him to win after my exit.

I was obviously pretty gutted after my exit after starting the day with such high hopes. However, I firmly believe that a big part of this job is to cope with the constant disappointments and recover emotionally to be able to play your best again as soon as possible. I went for a run to clear my head and then played a bit online. To add to the disappointment, I was third in an EPT Berlin 3x for the second night running (QT no match for Q3 for 70% of the chips) and went out on the cash bubble of the Manchester 3x (AK < J9).

I arrived in the casino just after the €2K event had started, which meant getting a table of death with a bunch of pros who had just busted from the main and bought in late too. 10K starting stack, and I did 3K first hand with TT versus a very well disguised JJ on an 8 high board. Second hand I found myself all in, not a spot Doke often finds himself in. The table loon raised the button to 200, I made it 700 from the SB with QQ, he called. I led at the J high flop, he raised, and after studying him for a while I decided I was good so I went with it and shoved. After a bit of a sweat, he folded. A few hands later, I raised his utg limp with QQ again, a Scandi kid repopped, I flatted. We both checked the ATT flop. I hit gin on the turn, Q, and led into him. He reraised and after a lot of thought I flatted for the simple reason that a ship folds out all his bluffs and only gets called by AA/TT or AT. I checked the river blank and after a lot of thought he shipped. I didn't snap as he can clearly have AA here, so I gave myself time to study him a while. He didn't look as comfortable as you'd expect someone with AA to look, and given that it's a Scandi I have to call, but I was far from certain I was good until he announced "Good call, king high". When I turned over the queens, an American wagon at the far side of the table accused me of slowrolling. Given that at least one good player I know would have considered folding the second nuts to someone in the blinds in my big hand earlier in the main, I don't think the third nuts is a snap call there by any means when everything about the way the guy played the hand represents the second nuts, so it certainly wasn't a slowroll. I figured there was no point arguing with her though: one of the advantages of being in France is you can just smile and pretend you don't understand someone irregardless of what language they're talking while muttering "wagon wagon wagon" under your breath.

My second table wasn't really any easier, illustrated by the fact that 4 of us ended up cashing (3 from my first table). Greg "Fossilman" Raymer was moved to the table late in the day: impressive table presence and interesting guy (obviously). Looking at my Bruce logo, he commented that every time he comes to Europe there's a new site he hasn't heard of before. We also chatted about the rather horrifying thud thud thud of club music that was leaking into the poker room through the walls. Greg reckons that if you have to put up with musical leaks of the sort, classic rock would be the nuts.

I held steady around 30K until I received another donation late in the evening. My raises were getting repopped but I kept my discipline and eventually one of the local donks (or fronks) decided to 5 bet ship QJo into my queens.

That left me in good shape going into day 2, and after a slow start I found myself on the right side of a cooler against Jens Kyllonen. He shipped over a fronk utg raise, I woke up with QQ in the BB and reshipped. Jens had JJ and I held while the Fronk beat himself for folding his ace rag (both hit). Bit of satisfying revenge for me over Jens after what he did to me in San Remo last year (even if it's just a cooler for him, his jacks were a standard ship with his stack).

I held steady around 60K for most of the day until I lost a 65K flip twenty from the bubble (88 < QJo). That left me short with 30K instead of having a perfect stack size to attack the bubble. No point crying over spilt milk or lost races though: time to readjust to my new stack size and try and navigate it through the bubble. If there's one thing I've learned from playing online turbos it's how to play push/fold optimally.

It got a bit hairy at times but my ships all got through and I was able to hang around without doubling up. I was still shortest by some margin on the bubble. The second shortest (who had over twice my stack) smiled in that peculiarly charming French way, asked in English where I was from and (more importantly) how much I had. When I told him he immediately switched to colluding in French with the French big stacks at the table. Three of them agreed to help their "compatriot" (a word you hear a lot here) by calling my eventual ship with any two and check it down. I pretended not to understand but decided if and when I did ship I was going to say in French "Go ahead and call, quadruple me up, I have aces" to let them know I knew the score. Collusion in French among the French was an unsavoury fact of life throughout the tournaments here in Deauville.

As it was, this proved unnecessary as the very next hand a young Russian abusing the bubble by raising every hand did so again, the Fronk decided he'd had enough and reshipped his A8o, and to my secret glee the Russian snapped and flipped over the big lads. Pas de suckout au revoir monsieur et merci pour le poisson. I managed to restrain myself from doing a dance or fistpump, instead smiling and shaking his hand politely and saying (in French) "Unlucky sir, well played, you must be devastated to go out on the bubble just after getting your compatriots to agree to help bubble me".

When we got down to two tables, I finally won a race getting the double up that threatened to make me a real force in the tournament. The Russian commented that in his opinion there were only 4 of us who could actually win the tournament (him, me and two others) and I felt that another double up to near average and I was in with a great shout as the Fronks were imploding left right and centre, reshipping their underpairs and one overs and runner runner draws left right and centre. Unfortunately it wasn't to be: a standard suited king shove on the button ran into AJ to bust me out in 18th for €4100. Second last table is a horrible place to exit: you can taste the big one (there was €163K for the win) as they hand you less than twice your buyin back. But at the end of the day I think I went as far if not farther than I destined to, played as well as I could, and it was satisfying to maintain my 100% record of cashing in EPT festivals. All you can do is believe the big one will eventually come if you keep knocking on the door and putting yourself in position.

There are two tourneys left for me here, a 550 two day event starting in a few hours and (if I don't get through day one of that), a 330 turbo tomorrow. Time to go for a run and get ready for another go on the poker merry go round.


"I managed to restrain myself from doing a dance or fistpump, instead smiling and shaking his hand politely and saying (in French) "Unlucky sir, well played, you must be devastated to go out on the bubble just after getting your compatriots to agree to help bubble me"."
LOL Brilliant Congrats on the cash

Whilst the cash was nowhere near the first prize, surely doing the cheating frogs was entirely priceless?!


a worthy addition to the poker lexicon, wp!


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