Ok the big day had arrived, and I made my way to Manchester for the GUKPT Leg 4 Main Event. It promised to be a reasonable pot and with 123 runners on day 1a, which historically has less runners than Day 1b, the prize pool was already sitting in excess of $350k, and was expected to approach $500k, with many registrations still to be taken for Day 1b.
I sat at my table and surveyed the scene. Seat 1 Unknown, Seat 2 Tony Caygill, a player from up my way, solid enough player, Seat 3 Caroline Cove, a lovely girl but she can talk for England, note to self to use i-pod should the talking get too much, Seat 4 Jeff Kimber, winner of World Heads up champs in 2007 and Tournament earnings in excess of $1m, beware, Seat 5 Simon Wolf Unknown, Seat 6 Chris Brammer Unkown, Seat 7 George McDonald fellow Scot and solid player, Seat 8 Maurice McCarthy Unkown, Seat 9 Me. Not too bad a table and fairly happy with it. Early on Brammer and McDonald emerge as the table aggressors and I am just looking to catch them with a big hand. I get a few small pairs but each time flop comes AKQ so have to let them go. Wolf knocks out McCarthy early on after seeing a 7 4 2 flop Wolf with 777 and McCarthy with underset 222, sicko.
Still early I get AQ in early pos and decide to limp in, folds to Jeff Kimber in BB who raises up to 150 (Blinds 25/50) both Wolf and Brammer call, so i decide to see a flop. The flop comes 2sQh4s, wolf checks, brammer raises to 300, this could be the hand i was looking for to get some chips, but with such a draw dangerous board i decide to see a turn card and call, Kimber calls, I know i am ahead of them both, then Wolf bangs in a reraise to 1400. Now I dont have a clue where I am and decide to let it go. Next level I get 10 10 and put in a raise Caroline calls from button. Flop comes an uninviting 2JQ, i bet she flats, I have her on J, Turn A. I decide she doesnt like this and look to check raise, but she checks behind, river is J. I put out a stopper bet which she quickly reraises, confirming my J theory, I let it go.
Table gets split and i get moved briefly onto another table, only hand of note, guy raises, I get JJ on button and reraise, he reluctantly folds showing AQ.
This table gets split and i get moved again. New table players of note Seat 3 James browning, many cashes and Poker broadcasting groundbreaker having hosted PNL in UK, Seat 5 Me, Seat 6 Andreas Hoivold, Former EPT winner and $1.5m+ in tournament winnings, Seat 8 Tim Flanders, $300k+ tournament winnings, Seat 9 Lynne Beaumont, one of leading UK Women players with $100k+ winnings. This table has a much better feel to it, and there are some big pots being played out. Hoivold knocks out an opponent after getting it in preflop with AK vs KK, Andreas hits A on river to knock out opponent, maybe thats how you win EPT titles?! No major hands of note until nearly end of level 3, when I get KK, I put in a raise to 525 and get 2 callers, Tim Flanders on button and the BB. First card out is Ac, and having put Tim on an A decide i am finished with hand, except the next 2 cards are 9c 5c and I have Kc. Anyway I check, Tim bets i call, we both check blank on turn, and river comes another A, maybe I was wrong and he didnt have A after all, so I bet and he flat calls with AK. 3 cards in deck and he hits 2 of them, sigh. This leaves me pretty short and I limp my way to the dinner break with only 1875 in chips. With blinds 150/300, I know i need to pick up a hand pretty quick after the break. I let one set of blinds pass me and next round it folds to me in SB, I look at first card which is an A and push, Hoivold in BB, says I dont need to look and calls. I tell him i only saw A so he turns over his first card to show Ad and 2nd card 9d, jeez i think, but my 2nd card is K!!! To the flop which comes a very scary 10d8s7d, but the turn and river are blank and i double up. I steal a couple of blinds and manage to get a push through with 77 and get my stack back up to above 4k. I know one double up and I am back in the race. Unfortunately it was not to be, as I find JJ in the cutoff, I put in a big raise only for the BB to wake up with KK, and with no help from the board I hit the rail.
So many thanks to my backers, I know i didnt manage a return on this occasion, but with a bit better luck, i.e. KK holding against AK, things could have been so so different, but then thats poker.
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