Grosvenor Ricoh Arena

Saturday June 1st. 7:30. £35+7. 24 minute blinds. 25k starting stack. Unlimited re-entries. No top ups. £1.5k guaranteed.

Usually our BlueBlood blogs are about successes. This isn’t that!

I sit down in level 1. 3 tables, 27 players. It’s the night of champions league final and the Anthony Joshua fight. The casino is quite busy, there is a couple of people on the table I recognise as Coventry/DTD regulars.

Level 1: blinds are 100/100/0. I have 250 bbs.

Tonight’s strategy is my upcoming Vegas strategy. Play hands I can raise with. Play some positional hands, suited connectors, small pairs. Win big pots with big hands. Small pots with small hands. Avoid losing chips. So almost everyone’s Vegas strategy I imagine?

Level 2: blinds are 100/100/100. BBA. I have 250 bbs.

Liverpool have just scored from the penalty spot.

No hands played.

Level 3: blinds are 100/200/200 BBA. I have 124 bbs.

Win my first steel on the button to 6 limpers, operation punish the limpers is a go! It helps if you have AK. Lose everything I’ve gained the next hand with AQ when trying the same routine but folding to an all-in pre-flop, they shove with 50bbs??? I was tempted to call as figured it was likely a race but why am I risking chips this early (because of the rebuy period obvs).

Level 4: blinds are 100/300/300 BBA. I have 254,00, 84 bbs.

I lose the minimum with two red 10s, preflop raise to 6xbb, 4 callers! Flop 3 diamonds, I put in a continuation bet, a raise comes in and another re-raise. I fold as either the flush is there already or someone is drawing to the nut flush. Both hands shown and it’s flush over flush from the flop. You’ve got to know when to fold them apparently – Down to 19,200.

Level 5: blinds are 200/400/400 BBA, I have 23,800.

Lose 7k with AJ on a flush board when I’m forced to fold. It’s trips v full house at showdown. Down to 10,900/27bbs.

Break for 15 minutes. I have 9k.

Level 6: blinds are 300/600/600 BBA. I have 9,000/15bbs

No more re-entries. 44 entries. £1540 prize pool

Down to 9bbs after two speculative calls with hands I should fold with in this position (suited connectors). I raise all in with a9ss to two limpers who both call. Lose to a rivered flush a7hh…

So tonight I’ve raised with premium hands, not rubbish mainly. I’ve seen a few flops, won one hand at showdown, folded correctly when I’m beat, get it all in good, and get outdrawn…

Proof, not that it’s needed, that you need to win your races and be there at the end.

I look at losing as a learning exercise and the lost capital as an investment in my poker future… Some nights I delude myself.

On the way back I stop at Walsall for the cash, do £200 Ak v AQ aipf, sucked out. That’s poker!

Consider staying up for the Anthony Joshua fight but he’s 25-1 on so it’s not worth it… I’ll read about his easy win in the morning…

Vegas is now 9 days away. I’m unlikely to play any more poker before travelling.


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