Off we go to the Goliath. Looking to beat last years finishing position of 52nd from 6,500 runners. Know I will need some luck but hoping to extract some value early on, or at least that’s the plan. No crazy plays, making sure I re raise every time I have a decent hand for my narrow range and position and observing others most importantly. 

I arrive to hear I am on the feature table first 3 levels. Hopefully I will be fed back some info for later rounds by the team.

I get no hands in the first two circuits of the board, so after 20 minutes and image tight I decide to play a hand or two. Mainly to see reaction from a couple of guys I think I can pick on. They have been flatting raises and only continuing when they hit the board. 

I play J8s from mid position with a raise and my two friends oblige with a call. Flop not great for me KQ2 rainbow. I fire out a bet and they both call. Turn a 7. I fire again and they both fold with the last to act saying I had a Queen nice hand you must have had AK.

Feeling a Little please with myself and image intact I start to relax under the cameras and raise with 9Ts from the same position my two friends call again. Now I couldn’t remember the exact scenario until Matt Wood informed me later as he was watching the feed being an alternate entry number 260ish. Flop came T45. So I lead out again and they both call. Turn was an Ace and I checked (was going to fire again to rep the Ace as they both were playing any two). My plan was this is going check check and I can fire again on the river. However the first guy bets out 2/3 pot and I had seen him try and buy pots before when being called down by others. The other guy gets out of the way and I had a little tank (yes Di a tank) – I eventually folded only to be told by Matt he was screaming in his head ‘fold coops’ as they guy was playing 23 and had the straight! So image intact we move on with only a little loss. 

A few hands later I rivered a flush versus my backwards wearing baseball cap friend to my right a few hands later after chasing it versus his top pair.

Nothing much more happened after that and I left the TV table with 30k.

We go back to our original table and get underway. Having summed everyone up nicely I hope to win some pots with 1) value betting 2) aggression and 3) position. 

A few hands in I call baseball cap boy’s raise with 76s in position and we go heads up. Flop the most beautiful 777. I am hoping he has a big pair but he has mainly only showed down broadway cards. He checks and I check back to let him catch up. After rivering a flush against him earlier and getting paid off a value bet I am thinking a can get some value here. Now I probably could of snd should have got more but I always fear losing my fish. It’s not a good poker trait of mine as I know I have to get tonnes of chips to win tournaments and afterwards I always look back on these hands and wished I had played them differently. All part of the learning process except I am getting to old to learn! Anyway back to the hand. Turn is a Ten and he leads into me for 2k. Blinds were 200/400, I had 30k and he had 25k. Pot was 3k. I decided to flat then extract some value in the river and the board was double suited now and he could put me on a flush draw and he might had a full house already. I was hoping for a flush card to come and shove on any 3 flush card river. It came a blank and he bet out 4K into 7k with 18k behind. So I now put him on a ten or JJ+. I should have shoved and I am sure he would have called but I only raise to 10k thinking just get some thin value. That’s the trouble with playing my 1990’s poker!

He calls of course with AT after giving me chat about a busted flush draw. Felt I should have been more aggressive. 

A few hands later I get AA UTG +2 with 40k blinds 400/800

Baseball cap boy raises to 1,800. 
I can see short stack female (friend of Katie Swift with a WSOP T Shirt on) itching to get her last 5k in 3 seats from me, so I flat and she jams 5k. Button calls (25k stack and one of my two targeted bad players from earlier) and baseball cap boy folds.

My play was a bit 90’s again and I re jammed and my fishy friend folds. I should have dragged him along. He had been playing any two and had managed to get his stack back up to 25k after playing too loose. So I should have thought a little longer and narrowed his range to JJ+ and KQs+. Our lady friend turns over AQs (spades) and I show my bullets. Fishy declares to the table he had his fav hand KTs.

Flop comes K73 rainbow no spades. Ace on the turn and I forget the river as my foe was drawing dead now. Hindsight is wonderful but can’t help feeling I would have got my friend all in on the flop as I would have shoved and he would find it hard not to call his last 20k into an 18k pot. 

The mental side of this game can really hurt you and I was cursing myself a little for not trying to get a decent stack early by playing a keep it small ball less riskier approach. This then meant I was set for a fall as a few hands later my heater continues when I get KK UTG and go 3k again. Mr Fish calls and an aggressive player I have stayed away from re pops from the SB to 12k leaving himself 20k behind. This time I decide to flat to pull our friend along. He duly calls and we have a 37k pot. I have them both covered with 32k behind. I pray for no Ace on the flop and it duly comes Ten high. SB shoves we both call. Fish all in too. Horribly I was up against the bullets and JTs and the aces hold. 

Can you fold Kings there? Difficult but probably a better player than me could have. I think as it played out it was inevitable and just one of those spots.

I was now down to a shoving stack and yoyoed to the dinner break with a stack between 12k and 29k. Raising and folding to re raises with 33 UTG and A5s where I should have known better to wait for better hands in those positions. 

I then later bluffed a three way pot on the river after we all checked flop and turn and finally got it all in bad with 15 bigs after calling from the big blind with JTs with a plan on shoving if I hit. Another bad play as normally only called if you are losing. Flop came KT2. I shove and the new player tanked and openly showed his near neighbours his cards as if in a dilemma. Must be queens I thought. I remained still and I swear I heard someone I would call with that. He did and I missed my 5 outs. 

Back for another bullet in the week? Not sure I am playing well enough!

On a brighter note. Matt Wood was 260+ on the alternate list. Sat down with 25k at 600/1200 and was up to 125k in half an hour. O to be like Matt. 

Mark Cooper

Author Mark Cooper

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