I was really proud to represent Essex Home Game at the recent APAT Team Event in Blackpool. I was aware that the selected players were all of a very good standard and we had a great chance of securing the gold medal. The team included fellow Blue Blood members, Dawn Cooke and Gary Lipman. 

Prior to attending, I observed my table draw. I was really pleased to see that I was sat next to Bluff magazine writer, Kat Arnsby. I’m a huge fan of hers and I look forward to reading her article every month. The tournament commenced with 35 teams and a total of 280 players. There was the usual friendly atmosphere of an APAT tournament and everyone was in good spirits.  It took a while to start building my stack. I maintained the original starting stack size for the first few levels. The aim of the day was to make Day Two as this was the stage where players started to score points for their team.  Towards the end of Day One, I picked up pocket queens in late position. Everyone folded round to me. I made a standard raise of 2.5x the blinds. Blinds were 500/1000. It was folded round to Kat Arnsby in the big blind. She re-raised my raise to 8,000. My stack size was 25,000. Kat was asking me to call off a third of my stack. Her range with a bet like this could easily be Aces, Kings, Ace King. It was a good bet. With survival being the aim of the day, I laid down my pocket queens and moved on to the next hand. I was edging closer and closer to the end of Day One. My stack started to dwindle and I was card dead for the last two levels. However, my slice of luck was about to arrive. My stack went down to 12 blinds.  I was UTG and I saw my first card was the Ace of Spades. I had already decided to shove before looking at the second card. This was the 6 of clubs. I had one caller who called with pocket queens. The flop was 9s, 5s, 10s giving me the nut flush draw. The turn was the 8h which now gave me the inside straight draw. The river was the 7d and I doubled up and proceeded to make Day Two. 

At the conclusion of Day One, our team had five players through and we were sitting at the top of the league. Only one other team had five players through. We stood a great chance of winning the event. Our team met up prior to the start of Day Two, to discuss team strategy and tactics. We all had a plan and we stuck to it. 

The seat draw for Day Two was made and I was sat next to Kat Arnsby again. She was extremely short stacked and it wasn’t much longer before I eliminated her from the tournament. My fellow team member, Steve Day then took her seat. I was still nursing a short stack myself but I could hear all around me that players were being eliminated very quickly. Dawn and Gary were continuously keeping the team updated about our overall position in the tournament – This was invaluable!  I refrained from shoving all in as we still had five players in and we were racking up points. Then the news started to trickle through. We had secured the bronze medal. A few moments later, we had secured the silver medal. It wasn’t much longer before it was confirmed that we had secured the gold medal and had won the event. Once this had been announced, we all started to play as individuals. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of an expert at nursing a short stack. I managed to steer my short stack into tenth place. I just fell short of making the final table. What a top weekend. A gold medal with the Essex Home Game Team, a cash prize for being the last man standing out of my fellow Blue Blood members and a great weekend spent with many friends. Can’t wait for next year. 


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