Sunday, March 7, 2010

Damned by Damen

Took it easy, apart from a run around the Tiergarten.

I intended to play the Turbo in the evening but you could only reg an hour before, and the sight of a San Remo-esque unorderly scrum instead of a queue in front of the desk put me off. So much for German efficiency. Instead I decided to get an early night. Hung out about with my friend Feargal who was having a similar day 1b to my day 1A, then had the planned early night.

Day 2 of the main. Interesting table draw with Christer Johannson, Juha Helppi.

Or as one of the blogs had it, Christer Johannson, Juha Helppi and Dara O'Kearney. Nice to be mentioned in such good company. Unfortunately, it didn't last very long. After working up from 33K to 45K without incident, dealer Gemma arrived, and dealt me pocket queens. After raising with them and seeing Christer dwell up for a while before deciding to defend his big blind, he check raised all in on a 7 high flop with two diamonds. After the obligatory call, he turned over the kind of hand I expected to see, Ad9d. Gemma duly blanked the turn but couldn't repeat the trick on the river, the ten of diamonds. It turned out I had slightly more chips than Christer so was left with 700 (three and a half antes). After folding 62o next hand, I was down to 500, so A6s was a monster which duly got shoved. Called by 44, which held, and that was the end of my main event. Fergal had gone out a short while before, running queens (hand of the week clearly) into kings.

I went for a run and then decided to play the 2K side event. In my previous two EPTs I've cashed in this event, but was unable to make it three in a row. In level 4 I got it in about as good as is possible, with aces v AQ and QQ, in a three way all in. The Q33 flop transformed my thinking from "great, just one out to dodge" to "crap, one out!". The case ace proved unwilling to show its face and for the second time in a day I'd been undone by the Damen.

Another run, a film in the afternoon (Alice in Wonderland, which left us both very underwhelmed), and a turbo in the evening. Decided I'd skip it unless the Germans showed some evidence of learning from experience: getting into the 2K side the previous day was another nightmare involving a 75 minute scrum that ended just before the tourney started. While I might be just about to tolerate that for a 2K event, there was no way I would for a 330 turbo. Luckily, the Germans had learned: the scrum replaced by the beautiful sight of an orderly queue, and the desk staff were faster processing people, so we were in in no time. Unfortunately I maintained my queue-to-playing time ratio by busting in level 5, running QQ (again!) on the button into KK. Damn those Damen.

Fergal was running better: his Damen cracked aces early on and he took advantage of the good fortune by going all the way to the final table, which I railed. Unfortunately he got repeatedly unlucky on the final table and a great chance for the win evaporated when he was rivered in a huge race and exitted in 6th. We went back to the room to drown our sorrows over a bottle of wine.

Having passed into wine induced slumber some time around 6 AM, getting up for another side event at 12 seemed both unwise and unappealling. Instead I was woken by the sound of my mobile, and an unusually breathless Dave Curtis asking if everything was all right. As I started to wonder if rumours how badly I was taking running bad in Berlin were being exaggerated back home to the point that my friends were putting me on suicide watch, he explained that he'd been watching the live feed of the main event when suddenly the players just got up and fled. Rumours of gunshots in the poker room were circulating. Mireille had left the room so I started to fret a bit but thankfully she re-appeared almost immediately with stories of people fleeing down the stairs in panic from the poker room and a Chinese cleaning lady screaming at her that there were guys with guns. Dave had tried unsuccessfully to ring Jude and Derek so I went down to investigate and quickly ascertained that there had been some sort of armed robbery. John Eames told me he was sitting at a table near the door when it had burst open and he dived for cover under the table with a number of other players and dealers. Stuart Ritter came over to congratulate him on his calmness: apparently John was the last person in that section of the room to leave his seat and dive for cover. In fairness, better blind stealing opportunities rarely present themselves, and no better man than John for recognising that.

I ran into Derek and Jude, neither of whom knew any more than I did about what had happened. I rang Dave back to confirm the Claregalway duo were still in one piece. I couldn't find Kasia and the area was sealed off so I left a message on her mobile. A while later she rang to say she was fine apart from being understandably shocked.

We went out to get something to eat, then met Sam (jbravado) Baneham (who lives over here) and Michael O'Sullivan for some beer and ice cream. The Augustiners were fine but apparently not as good as Sam remembered them from a golden summer in Munich. Kasia and a couple of other dealers joined us later and we got to hear their eye witness accounts of the robbery.

Another day, another turbo. Further evidence of the German ability to learn was produced not just in the form of a fast moving orderly queue but the fact that the queue was in the more secure casino itself than in the corridors of the hotel outside the poker room. The turbo kicked off after at midday. Before, I ran into Gemma, who Kasia had told us had been trampled in the stampede. Gemma showed me her hand which was badly bruised but thankfully not broken, after heartily apologising for being so unlucky for me again (she also dealt the AA v 72 hand that dealt my European Deepstack hopes a major blow this year). I'm not one of those people who holds these things against dealers or even ascribes to the "lucky/unlucky" dealer theory but if this continues I might develop a slight twitch whenever she appears at my table :)

My turbo campaign lasted no longer than my first. A few early hits, then a timely AK v AQ double up, before I doubled back down with JJ vi AA on a ten high flop. Then I shipped KTs, got called, and when we turned over our cards, the dealer who was obscuring my view of the caller said the words I expected to hear: "Damen". This time the two dames were joined by a third on the flop to end my Berlin campaign.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More