August 2006
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GSOP Main Event Day 2 – 157 down, 29 to go

I am absolutely over the moon to still be in the hunt for the GSOP championship. This is an amazing tournament, and has really just confirmed that I want to be playing more major events. I just need to either win enough this weekend to fund it, or get really good at online satellites :)

30 players remain. My chip stack is 69,900 – just above average. 18 get paid, but with the difference between 18th and first being £17,500 I’m hoping the bubble won’t really be that much of a consideration – I want to win now! I was worried about create a false bubble effect last night, when I started wishing the night would end after I’d amassed a decent stack, but a lot of other players were feeling the same way and the game slowed down nicely as the end came into sight. We’ve played 16 hours of poker now, and it was starting to show. When it took a good five minutes for both the players involved in a hand to be happy that neither they nor their opponent made a straight on a 4579T board (one had one pair with an 8, the other had two pair) it was clear that no great poker was going to happen before the restart.

I started to get ahead with an effective double up coming from one of the worst mistakes I’ve seen this tournament. I raised with AJ, and the big blind calls. The flop has an ace and he check-raises me on the flop. My bet was 1500, his raise was 5000 and I only have about 6000 left. I clench my teeth and hope I read him right, and it seems I did as he wasn’t even going to call the extra 1000 for a pot of about 14k. Getting 14-1 with two cards to come, it surely cannot ever be correct to fold. Virtually any two cards can draw out on me profitably there. Clearly I was happy to get the pot uncontested!

Then, hooray, aces held up. There was a raise to 2500 and a call ahead of me and I moved in for my 15k stack. The middle player must have thought I was trying it on, because he called with KQo. The dealer scared the shit out of me with a JTx flop and didn’t improve things when a third spade gave him a one-card flush draw on the turn. Somehow I survived and was back into the game.

The rest is a bit hazy. I’ve gathered chips up to nearly 70k without having to risk it all. I recall one monster pot where I limped with 89s, got to draw to a straight for cheap and made my draw when two players looking for different flushes both missed. QQ held up against AQ to knock out a short stack, but mostly I haven’t shown down any hands for a long, long time. There was a decent period of time where I managed to maintain through stealing almost exclusively from one player who had noted very loudly how tight I’d been playing. My raising requirements when he was on a blind were significantly lower than usual… he eventually got moved to another table though.

So it’s all good so far. I’m in decent shape with ages left to play. Blue Square now has me down at 20-1 to win, I guess based on my chip count alone as I still haven’t made a single hand review on the Gutshot site. I’ll be alright…