July 2006
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Watching myself from the rail (Part 4)

And it’s over. I guess we were about 560th in the end.

It all went very choppy. The table broke and before I could open up the new one I’d raised to 2400 under the gun with AQ. One player calls and the flop brings 245.

We apparently bet 3200 out of position here, leaving us with 5800 but the other player has a bit less. He moves all in for 7400.

[01:44] Fake Me: committed

Well, yeah. Easy for me to criticise when I’m somehow completely detached from the hand I know. This is one of those bets where you look like a genius when he holds AK and can lay it down, but otherwise gets you into a world of trouble. It’s a check-fold, or a move all in – there’s no half measures with these stacks. I’d often push here if there’s something to represent but on this super low board, any pocket pair is going to play, so you won’t get any worse hands to call so you’re only doing yourself a favour against AK or another AQ.

[01:44] Fake Me: arse
[01:44] Fake Me: F**K

We didn’t get any help and we’re down to 1600 with the big blind coming right now. Any two will do now with 900 already in the pot in blinds and antes, and 33 looks sweet. It’s very sweet in fact when a 3 comes on the flop and we just about stay alive.

Next hand JJ vs KQ and we double up.

Next hand TT vs KK and it’s time for bed.

[01:48] Fake Me: bollocks
[01:48] Fake Me: sorry

Hey, it’s a hell of a lot better than having me blind away because I can’t make the start. At least we had a shot…

Anyway, I’d already noticed that a lot of the Full Tilt pros were playing this, and looking at the top stacks now I can still see John Juana, Erick Lindgren and Kristy Gazes vying for a seat. We finished above Phil Gordon, by the way, for what it’s worth. It does seem a bit tight though that these players – who undoubtedly are getting their Main Event entry paid by Full Tilt – are playing this satellite. One would expect the Team Full Tilt field to have a decent success rate in these satellites (it will be interesting to see how many of them make it), and certainly you would expect better than 1-in-24 to make the top 127.

So if Full Tilt are paying their entry to the satellite, isn’t this just a stealth rake? And if they’re not, why are these guys playing it at all?

Watching myself from the rail (Part 3)

The strangest thing about having someone play for you is that I’m really not sweating it that badly at all. We’re getting in bad shape, picking up just the blinds with AA and somehow I’m not relating what’s happening on screen at all to my shot at a $10k seat and ultimately $10m and all that fame and (more) fortune malarky.

Even when this happens, I just find it … well… slightly amusing.

[01:30] Fake Me: well 5 hands to push or not
[01:30] Fake Me: all in next hand
[01:31] Fake Me: ok not this time
[01:32] Fake Me X: KJ o
[01:32] Real Me: nooooooooo
He duly moves all in, from early middle position

Fortunately the big stack big blind folded, and we’re still alive.

And try as I might to stay out of it, I can’t. But whether I’d follow my own advice here I don’t know…

[01:37] Fake Me: ok this level is going to kill us
[01:37] Fake Me: looks very dodgy now mate
[01:37] Real Me: push any 2 if folded
[01:37] Fake Me: here we go
He does as I suggest
[01:38] Real Me: gl
[01:38] Real Me: what ya got?
[01:38] Fake Me: KQ
We are called by AJ, but the flop brings a Q and we survive
[01:38] Real Me: f**k yeah
[01:38] Fake Me: rockin

An average stack is within sniffing distance once more…