I'm currently sat in Miami airport waiting for my connection to Vegas from Nassau in the Bahamas where I spent the last 9 days donating in live tournaments, relaxing by the pool and eating mediocre food! It still feels weird for me to be sat in this airport now and to not be allowed to fire up any of my poker skins and play an online session without fear of getting my account frozen. But that's a different matter. Sort it out yanks!
I've never actually been to a resort like the Atlantis, but the hotel pretty much occupies this massive island just off the main Island of the Bahamas. The Island the resort's on is called 'Paradise Island' which probably leads back to a lot of peoples criticism of the place. It is pretty artificial in the fact that this Island is custom built for the hotel and the entertainment complex that it holds. But in my opinion, it does it really well. Throughout the Island there is a huge network of pools, hidden coves and river networks all interwined and surrounded by really well kept tropical fauna and palm trees. What's more the beaches on Paradise Island are incredible. Picture white sands and clear warm waters. It really doesn't get much better. Throughout the island there is also some amazing sea-life. Not only are there the very well trained dolphins and sea-lions which do tricks on demand (artificial blah blah blah whatever a dolphin running 20 meters backwards across the water like a Jesus-style Micheal Jackson moonwalk impression is cool enough regardless!) but there are also other bad-asses like hammer-head shark pools which you can view circling below you as you clamber across swaying rope bridges. As well as a range of other sharks, starfish, tropical beasts of various shapes and sizes the animal that most impressed me was the stingrays. Some of them were literally monstorous in size about 4 meters long. I always thought they were pretty small on the whole but a few of these were absolutely massive. They were so elegant swimming past each other too and they look so alien I was pretty amazed. I guess it's the little things that count :)
Now onto the poker. I played the main and had a pretty good table draw. The only recognisable names on my table was one of Moormans horses Chronic420 (pretty aggro, spazzy) but he was to my right and Mike Leah (GoLeafsGoeh online, a very good solid TAG) but he was to my left. Other than that the table just had your typical live setting of button clicking tards and old nits. I played a solid style, picking on the weaker players on the table and chipped up relatively variance-free from the 30k starting stack to 55k.
I got a kind of lucky donation on my way though. At 75/150 a bad older guy from the States who obviously had far too much money and was being super-splashy raised in early position to 450 and I made it 1100 on the button with AKo expecting him to flat almost his entire opening range which for an old guy from his position was pretty wide as far as I had seen so far. He was talking to the guy next to him, pulled in the 250 and chucked 2 5k chips out there making a raise to 10,100. I looked at him and I was almost entirely sure he hadn't meant this which was confirmed by his face going bright red and him looking like he just shit himself really bad. I shoved and he snap folded so that was a nice little chip-up. I think if he hadn't had been chatting to the guy next to him and didn't look like he genuinely just shit himself it could be a closer spot as people definately like to fake mis-click live and everyone falls for it. I guess it's kinda douchy and angle shooting but whatever if it works it works!
My downfall started at 250/500/50. An active player opened from early position to 1500 and got a flat. I flatted behind in the cut-off with JJ. 3-bettings certainly an option but we both had over 100 big blinds and I really didn't want to get it in at that point or get 4bet bluffed so I elected to flat. It folded to the big blind who was a young kid but really wasn't that good. He was from Canada and I'd seen him mess up a few times, not value-betting when he should and just doing stupid stuff. He had 16k to start the hand and 3bet to 4300. I'd seen he was definately capable of squeezing light before and 3betting. I'd got the better of him 3/3 times so far on the day and felt he was getting frustrated being down to half stack. Still I think with that sizing out of position and given the early position of his raise I should fold my jacks if it comes back to me. As happened, it folded back to me, I thought meh he's enough of a spazz and clicked it back/called into his aces. I think for most people it's a clear fold given his sizing pre and that there's a fairly good change he just peels with a hand like 2-8s and probably sizes 9-T's more as my table was pretty hood to 3bets and I expect he wouldn't want to play a pot OOP with a hand like 9's or T's that flops pretty badly with more than a pot sized bet behind in his stack.
In the end I accumulated a little more, made it to the penultimate level of day 1 and got in kings v QTo in a 3bet pot on a TTx board with Chronic420 when I was a little too shallow to be getting away from my hand vs. him specifically.
Other than that, I played a few of the side events in the later part of the week as the weather turned a little more sour. I felt like I played well and had deep runs in 4 out of the 6 tournaments I played. Unfortunately that didn't mean a whole lot as I only cashed for $640 mincashing a $300 turbo. I came 10 off the money in the $1k side getting coolered near the bubble. I got deep runs in 2/3 of the ridiculously soft $300 turbos I played and came 9th with 5 paid in the 2p2 HORSE event. On the plus side, I played 4 live sit'n'go's on the trip. 2x$220 and 2x$430. I managed to win one of both buyins for $1k and $2k respectively and had a $400 bonus in the $430 after 5 of us got involved in a $100 last longer at the table. So it wasn't all fail :)
I'll just explain the 2p2 HORSE event now as it was honestly the funnest tournament I've probably ever played live. I would love it so much if the UKIPT could spread it on their stops. The basic rules are that every player gets dealt 3 cards face down. THe button then looks at his hand and chooses which variety of HORSE he wants to play. The games that those don't know are all limit: holdem, Omaha 8 or better, Razz, Stud Hi and Stud 8 or better. So for instance if the dealer chooses holdem, the blinds are placed and every player discards one card. Similarly if it's omaha every player gets another card. The limit games were really fun and the mix was great. Most people chose razz/omaha/holdem which are by far the funnest games in the rotation. In the stud games when they were chosen there was also the added strategy of choosing which card you want to put face-up. For instance in razz, the highest card has to bring in so based on what cards other people show affects your decision for what card you should show. Not only due to blockers but also due to your position on 3rd street betting and not wanting to bring-in if you've got a bad hand! I'm not very good at mixed games but after playing that really really wish there was more low-buyin mixed games on the poker tour. It was such a fun change to just grinding NLH full ring which can get so so boring. There was a really fun atmosphere at the tournament and everyone had a great time. Please stars, more of this at your future tournament stops!
So that was my week! I had a great time and enjoyed seeing the sun again. Now it's onto Vegas. I'm going to probably chill a few days doing the usual vegas stuff of eating out, a bit of pit gambling and just enjoying life. And then later in the week there are a few $350 side events for the WSOPc at Caesers and a $1100/$250k gtd tournament at the red rock casino which I might donate in. Should be fun!
Gl at the tables all.