August 2006
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Gutshot £100 Freezeout

The last time I played at Gutshot I did remarkably well, despite not playing a hand for the first hour and a half. Then I hit pocket aces and shortly afterwards doubled up with AK. Last night, it almost felt like the same story. I’d played a few hands and not really got anywhere. I found it very difficult to spot opportunities in the early levels, and once I’d lost almost half my stack to blinds and a few speculative hands there wasn’t any room left for manouvre.

One hand troubled me a bit, although I think I made the right decision. With Q4o in the big blind and a free play, the flop comes KK4. I check out of position, with four more players to speak and knowing that most of them are capable of making a move if I lead out here. It’s checked round, the turn brings up a third K and this time I bet the pot but get immediately reraised the minimum. I could have made this bet with any two cards, so the fact that I actually have something – albeit a pretty weak something – makes it a tough decision. Does he realise that I would take a pop here anyway (I haven’t given much away yet at all) or does he want me to get carried away with a worse hand? He almost certainly didn’t have the K – quads doesn’t need to narrow the field here, and a free card absolutely doesn’t hurt him – but against any pocket pair 5s or bigger and I’m screwed. I can’t improve (but my hand can be killed by a K or 4, and really only a 2 or 3 is a “safe” river card if I do think I’m good) plus I know I’ll have to pay to see a showdown not knowing where the hell I am at. Good laydown or weak laydown?

Dwindling away I got moved to a new table with only player who had seen how tight I’d gotten. When I found AA under the gun I managed to get all my remaining chips in preflop against a player who was also holding … AA. That doesn’t happen very often. I’ve seen it only once before, and actually it was myself against Claire in one of our home games. Small blind vs big blind. And we both tried to play it cute, to much amusement. Then there was the race to see whether Steve could find the odds of it being dealt in Super System before I could work it out in my head 🙂 I can’t remember the answer, and this time I didn’t care. It’s one of those things that just tells you it’s not your night.

I actually managed to work my measly 2k up to about 7k before the “last orders” break at 11pm, and got lucky with T7 against A9 along the way. Then I have to take a coinflip with AK against QQ and it doesn’t work out. My miracle comeback from 600 chips is not forthcoming and the hunt for a kebab shop begins.

Tonight it’s the Gutshot Series of Poker Main Event. This four day marathon uses the same structure as the World Series main event. With a two hour clock and 200 runners it’ll be just like the WSOP used to be, before that Moneymaker fellow fluked his way to first place, leading millions of wannabes to believe it was their turn next.

There’s even a couple of bookmakers taking bets on the winner ( and, although don’t expect those links to last long).

But as I’m neither a regular down here, nor have an amusing nickname, I’m not on the list…