Saturday, October 10, 2009


World Poker Open V (Contains Spoilers)

I'm playing in the first heat of the WPO V tomorrow (Sunday) at the Palm Beach. Anyone's welcome to come along and rail, if you really haven't got anything better to do :-). Having said that, it's a relatively strong line-up. More to the point, my heat sounds tougher than any TV table I've played before. I'm up against James Akenhead, Luke Schwartz and Yevgeny Timoshenko ; these guys are not just excellent all-round players, they also know the fundamentals as well as I do. James and Yevgeny are running hotter than the sun right now, mbn [1]. Ian Frazer's in the mix too, and I expect online qualifiers to be stronger than usual as they came through $700 satellites. Mind you, on Party. But I know Rob Sherwood, who's a very good player, has qualified online (he's not in my heat) and I'd expect a few more. Luckily I know how to do what so many people have failed to do against me in these ; suck it up and gamble against better players in the right spots.

This is still good value for me to play but without the Boyle sponsorship (and the lucky patch of course) it would be marginal. On top of that, I think this might be the "last hurrah" for TV 6-maxes, at least at the level below Poker Million and so on. Paradoxically, as fields become tougher, it makes for worse TV. When three guys in every heat, and five in every semi, realise that there are three basic stages :

1) Fold
2) Reshove
3) Shove

then it's not going to make for exciting TV. I think Matchroom realise this, and I fully understand why they're trying to branch out into Heads Up and stuff like that. This one is "triple stack" but all that means is two more levels of stage 1 on the front. We'll see how it goes. I'm glad I'm playing this as my contribution to the poker world coming to London - it's way the best value in terms of exposure and sponsorship for me. But after this I'm probably going into lockdown during the winter, and just cracking on online, brief trips (freebies in fact yay) to Dublin and Amsterdam excepted.

While I'm here, great interview with Neil here on the 2+2 Pokercast. He's very candid about his ups and downs and, of course, amusing as ever in his anecdotes. It starts about half an hour in I think, somewhere like that.

[1] Which of course gives them no inherent advantage but they'll both be super confident and free of doubt when it comes to their game.

Results : Well I'm here flicking my plums and trying to get out of it in the Sunday donkaments while the heat's still going on, which is result enough. Playing deep stacked against people who are better than me certainly wasn't as much fun as torturing donks with re-shoves starting at level 2. I could have saved a hero call or two but even with 50K more I'd still have 4-bet jammed AQs on Timoshenko's open and a qualifier's 3-bet with the same result (qualifier calls with 99 and I unaccountably miss). And now I've just passed AQ to a re-shove and a call in the Warm-Up to find they both have 88. Sometimes it's just not your day.

Apart from that I won't spoil too much, although there was one amusing hand where Timoshenko and Akenhead got it in on a coinflip. Even when the universe didn't explode as a result of this immovable object vs irresistible force of rungood, it somehow didn't come out as a split pot. They both hit the flop though obv.

Best of luck from malta!
Best of luck from your oldest mate.

If you win, can we have a quiet word somewhere...?
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