I was proud and honoured to make my debut for Blue Blood Poker during the bank holiday weekend. I elected to play in the Grosvenor South East Summer Sizzler tournament. My plan was to play day one at The Vic and then all being well, off to Luton for Day Two.
I felt well rested and totally in the zone. I was determined to play well and put in a good performance. As the tournament commenced, I was quite surprised as to how many people were prepared to shove all in, pre-flop during the first level. It was a two day event with a decent structure and that certainly wasn’t part of my game plan.
There was a very aggressive player seated to my right who was trying really hard at speech play. He used phrases that I have previously heard Will Kassouf come out with. I was involved in a key hand with him, early in the tournament. He raised UTG and I called with my pockets sixes. One other player elected to make the call. The flop was Qc 10c 6h. I had flopped a set on a draw heavy board. The initial raiser led out and I considered raising to try and get rid of my opponents but the way the play had proceeded up to that point, I knew that they would shove all in and I wasn’t prepared to risk my tournament life at this early stage. I elected to call to see the turn. The other player also flat called. The turn was a brick. The original raiser then decided to check which I found strange. I decided to have a stab at the pot but both players called. The river was the 8s which put the straight out there. The initial raiser then led out for just over half of my stack. It was a massive bet. I tanked for a long time and I folded my set. I was conscious that there was still a player to act after me and the original raiser played the hand as though he had hit his draw. If he was bluffing then fair play to him, but I was not prepared to lose over half of my stack to find out.
From that moment on, I decided to play a patient game and extract the maximum from my opponents when I was confident that I was ahead. This strategy definitely worked and I slowly started to build my stack. I got paid off when I hit another set and then it was a case of picking my spots.
During the break, I had my first experience of being asked what Blue Blood Poker was all about. He was genuinely interested as I explained all about it.
I made another huge fold later on in the day. I had 8,9 diamonds in the BB. A player who had just joined the table raised pre-flop. Another player made the call as did I. The flop was 10h 10d 7d, giving me the straight flush draw. I checked the flop and the original raiser led out. We both made the call. The turn was 8h. Everyone elected to check the turn. The river was the 4d. The original raiser made a pot sized bet and the other player called. I was conscious that it was a paired board, so it was possible that one of them had a full house. I didn’t think the original raiser had this hand because of the way she played it. I was more concerned about the other player who had called each bet. I put him on a higher flush than me and I folded my hand. The original raiser showed pocket fours for the rivered full house and indeed the other player showed KJ diamonds.
As the levels were going by, my stack started to diminsh. When I was down to 12 blinds, I picked up pocket queens in the BB and shoved all in pre-flop, after four other players had decided to limp in. I had one caller who had 7h 4h. My queens held and I had enough chips to resume my strategy. This saw me through to Day Two at Luton.
The tubes had stopped running by the time I had left the casino. My car was at Stratford and I was stranded in Oxford Circus at 1am!! I then saw a night bus with Romford Market on the front. After a quick sprint across Oxford Circus, I had caught the bus and I was on route home!! (Things we do for the love of this game).
Day Two commenced at Luton and I was one of the short stacks. 81 players had made it through from the original 539 entries. 52 players would get paid, so I knew I had some work to do.
For the entire first level, I was completely card dead. I did not have one hand or situation that could enable me to double up. I then got moved to another table and I picked up pocket sixes with my very first hand. I shoved all in and was called by AQ. My sixes held and I started to build my stack again. Day Two was a day of good poker being played and I was able to be a lot more creative. Slowly, the players started to be eliminated and I was heading towards the cash. Eventually, the bubble burst and I was pleased that I had made the cash. I executed some timely bluffs and got a huge piece of luck when I called a pre-flop shove with pocket Jacks. My opponent turned over pocket Queens. I had him covered but was very relieved when a Jack came down on the flop and I sent him to the rail.
I eventually finished in 14th place when my A10 was not quite good enough against AQ. I had a great weekend and this tournament will definitely be on my poker calendar next year.


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