Friday, December 27, 2013

In Notts (part two)

In my last blog, I described the first two allins I was involved in on the bubble of the UKIPT Nottingham main event. These were both pretty straightforward (in my opinion at least), as in the first one I was pretty sure I didn't have enough chips to fold through the bubble so I had to go with a hand I felt was marginally ahead of a button opener's range. And in the second allin, I had aces, simply too strong to fold, bubble or no bubble.

My third and final all in was not quite so clearcut a spot, as I had enough chips now to get through the bubble in most universes, and I didn't have aces (I had kings, or djangoes in Firm parlance). Furthermore, by the time action came to me in the big blind, there had already been an open (by big stack Rob Sherwood who was pounding the bubble) and a call (David Jones, similarly stacked, and the only one fighting back with a stack big enough to hurt Rob). Once I realised I had kings, I took a little while to decide what I'm supposed to do. Firstly, I'm obviously miles ahead of both their ranges. Secondly, if I shove and it gets through, I add almost 50% to my stack. However, while I might have enough chips to get through the bubble, if I did get called and lose, it would be a pretty catastrophic loss in equity, which at that point wasn't much more than the value of the min cash. If I got called by the most likely hand to call me, Ax, this would happen in about 30% of universes. The equity gained from doubling up at this point would be a lot less than this equity lost. However, three things tipped me towards the shove:
(1) The chance to add 50% to my stack without risk of elimination if everyone folded, which I thought would happen a lot given not only that I had aces last time I shoved but that I had also told the Pokerstars blogger (within earshot of both players in this hand) that aces was the only hand I was sure I could profitably shove on the exact bubble
(2) If I did get called and doubled, I would have a competitive stack for the first time since early day 2, and be in a position to move on as we got toward the business end
(3) Kings is just so far ahead of their almost any two card ranges. Getting called by Ax would be bad (and running into aces would be worse), but a lot of the time both players just had random spanners with very little equity against my kings

As it happened, Rob passed but David called. Since we were still hand for hand on the bubble, we couldn't just turn our hands over. He asked me if I'd found the aces again, and I replied "one lower", and asked him if he had an aces. He said "Sadly not". When the cards did eventually get turned over, he had sevens, and my kings held.

The bubble burst shortly afterwards, and after a few quickfire eliminations, I found tens in the cutoff. With a 15 big blind stack and three aggro players behind, there is almost no scenario where I'm folding this hand preflop (unless maybe it goes, raise, 3 bet, 4 bet, cold 5 bet shove), so the question is how best to proceed to get as many chips in as possible preflop. I elected to min raise, hoping to induce action behind. Rob Sherwood obliged, raised and calling my shove. Unfortunately he had aces and that was the end of my tournament.

While I'm never happy after a bustout and always feel I could have gone farther, I could at least console myself that it was my fifth UKIPT main event cash of the year (which may be a record). The fact that it puts me quite high up this list (and also this one) indicates, I think, that while I'm primarily an online player, I am pretty consistent when I do leave the house in terms of cashing and going deep.

Shoutout to my roommate for the trip, Daragh Davey, who moved to the top of the UKIPT leaderboard with a final table in the Nottingham Cup. My cash sees me knocking on the top ten on that list too, so I might have to start playing side events again. With David Lappin also in the top 20, there's a pretty good chance at least one of us will be in contention towards the end of the season.

More shoutouts: while we were away in Nottingham, Nick Newport chopped the Fitz EOM for the second time in the past few months. That's impressive, but what is far more impressive is how Nick has struggled manfully through a really horrible downswing for 6 months or so. I just read a great piece by Alex "Assassinato" Fitzgerald where he talks about how important it is that players you stake are able to tough it out through the downswings and not just go missing or hunting the home run that will get them out of makeup in one shot. It's not easy to keep grinding small nightly games when you are deep in makeup, and it's to Nick's credit that he just kept showing up every day. So it's great to see him get his reward this past month when he has also been crushing online (and had us all excited at the weekend with his deep run in the Milly). Kevin Killeen continues to crush online (chopping the Big 50 from his hotel room in Prague, and final tabling the 888 Major at the weekend), so we were all in pretty good spirits at the "Firm office party" in town last Friday. I'm closing on on my best ever year online (as well as trying to grind out the remaining vpps to secure supernova status on Stars), and as I chopped the bill with Messrs Lappin and Davey, I remarked that hopefully we have a few years left in poker good enough we will be able to afford these get togethers :)

Massive well done also to Richie Lawlor who was seventh in UKIPT Nottingham. I ran into Richie on the plane over and was delighted to see him back in action not having seen him in a while. Class player, class guy, the kind it's easy to root for.


Can almost feel you breathing down the back of my neck in that Ireland Cashes list. Slow down Slowdoke ffs.

You, Lappin and Davey buying drink? Must make sure to be in Dublin next year.


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