Monday, 13 December 2010

Snowy Vienna, A Few Binks and a Few Bricks


A few weeks ago I won a package to the Betfair Live tournament in Vienna which was a €250 buyin with €100,000 guaranteed. The guarantee was actually smashed almost hitting €200k making a very tasty prize pool in the end.

As part of my package I was given $500 'spending money' which pretty much all went on the hotel and flights alone. I didn't take any euros over but decided to take £800 to gamble with and spend. I wasn't too bothered about the tournament and in fact didn't even know any of the details of it before leaving England. I was mainly just going for the holiday and getting some time away from the computer..

I ran pretty hot at the start of the trip blagging myself an extra €250 after my flight with Swiss Airways was overbooked and I opted to take a later flight. This almost went horrendously tits up as shortly after my original scheduled flight took off the runway was closed due to too much snow. The thought of spending the next few days in an airport didn't sound like it was anywhere near worth €250 but fortunately for me the flights reopened later and I made my way to snowy Vienna :)

I met up with one of my good friends who's currently studying at the university of Vienna. We did the whole touristy scene, looking around the city centre, drinking lots of alcoholic fruit punch and eating Wiener Schnitzels and sausages.

I've got to say, Vienna actually has the most beautiful city centre I've seen in any European city. What's more, the food is really nice for European standards (nothing beats Asia :p) and the people were all extremely friendly regardless of who I was speaking too.

I couldn't actually recommend the city enough for a weekend break as it really is stunning especially around Christmas.

Once all the touristy mumbo-jumbo was out of the way with it was time to gambooool.

The main event was going quite well. I chipped up nicely and made a few solid laydowns and good calls making day 2 with around average stack. Story of my live poker career I know, but I busted out shortly before the money reshoving 25bb with AQs over a 12bb button shove in the small blind only for the big blind to wake up with AA. The button had AT. Rigged or what?!

From then on it was the cash tables. I've ranted before of how I find live NLHE cash to be the most boring, draining, boring, slow, boring, crap, boring thing ever. So to the PLO tables I headed.

The games were great. So much fun. It was really your stereotypical old school poker game. Everyone had huge stacks built up over the night, it was smokey, loads of action, alcohol. It was brilliant! What's more it was one of those hardcore games that never seemed to break and there really wasn't any strong players in the games.

There was a single blind of €2, but that didn't stop the pots escalating to an average of about €500 with some reaching over €3k.

I managed to get off to a good start in the games and this is a photo I took of my best stack of the trip. The blues are €10 each, red/blacks €100, greens €5 and reds €1. That was in the same session that I managed to lose the biggest pot of my life as well with AK23 vs AAxx on A459 rainbow board. I've got to say that €1700 pot been shipped to the donko after he binked a 5 on the river after we got it all on the turn kinda hurt.

I spewed back a bit in my last session playing the game but managed to leave Vienna a winner of €1000 after all my expenses so I was very happy with that. I think on this trip I managed to find a good balance between poker/tourism too. Overall it was an amazing trip and I can't wait for my next trip abroad.

Arriving back in England I put a fair bit of volume online in again getting a few binks in including a lovely €3600 score in the ladbrokes €20r 6max. I used to love that tournament about a year ago but hadn't really played it since for bankroll reasons/laziness of playing on the euro sites on just a laptop. So it was really nice to win it the first time I'd played it in a while.

This week as well I've managed binks in the OnGame $100fo/$5k gtd and the Ladbrokes €55 turbo. :)

In other news, the RCOOP is over now and I'm sad to say that it's another series I'm adding to my ever-growing list of having no success whatosever in! This seems to be somewhat of a recurring theme unfortunately.

Whatever I seem to take shots in outside of my bankroll I just do horrifically in. I'm almost certain as well that I'm not playing that bad. I mean even if I was massively -EV on the field you'd expect me to get more than 2 min-cashes in my last 50ish $200 buyin tournaments online right? I mean, I haven't had a cash in this RCOOP, the previous FTOPs, one mincash in the FTOPs before and no cashes in the majors I sold action to today! Grrr...It's more frustrating than anything else.

I guess you could put it as 'fortunately' that I am selling action for these tournaments but TBH I am getting fed up of always letting my investors down in these spots. I'm in two minds going forward about what I should do for these series.

For one, I found that the RCOOP was exceptionally tough. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the RCOOP $300 6max tournament was the toughest tournament I've ever played before in the 7000-8000 tournaments I've played before. I don't frequent the highest of stakes regularly online so I don't know how it compares to say a weekday $100r or whatever, but damn, Britain really does have some talent. There are so many excellent online players coming up and really an abundance of 'fish' especially in the higher staked games online from England. I think this series really exemplified that.

Saying that, the tournament series was ALOT of fun. It was great really being challenged and having to take my thought process to a higher level to stay afloat in the games. At the end of the day though, as is the case in tournament poker. If you can't win the flips, you won't get far!

I'm just glad I don't try to grind these games out on the regular for a living, as they are tough.

In comparison, the Sunday majors which are found on almost all sites with various satelittes, a high-buyin and a high guarantee are a lot softer. I just can't decide if I want to keep trying to sell action and playing these each Sunday or not. I feel that I'm +EV on the field, but at the same time my biggest downswing ever was mainly due to running bad in these huge field variance fests. Part of me wants to gamble, play them every week to see if I can hit a big 6-figure score. The other part of me feels like I should wait until I'm properly rolled for the games (I'd like to have a $50k bankroll to say I'm properly rolled). 

I think to compromise what I might do depending on how well I've done the week preceding is to put $50 a side for each major to try and satelitte in and play with 100% of my own action. That way I'll still be able to get the volume in at my regular stakes and have a chance each week to bink on one site or the other. It could keep things interesting until I gather the roll to play them all on my own dime.

Anyway its 3:20am and this blog post was WAY longer than I thought it would be, but I've had a lot to say. If you've managed to get this far, very well done. I don't know why you bother, but here is your reward. Enjoy:

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