Friday, 17 January 2014

A bit of heat to start off the new year

My year started out far removed from the poker world on a beach in South Goa, India. The trip was originally planned to celebrate my good friend Rishabh's wedding in Mumbai but my friend Mike and I decided it'd be wise given we both had a bit of spare time to hit the beaches after the wedding over christmas and new year. Not only is it really, really cheap in India once you're actually there, but the wedding was a whopping 7-day event so even though I wasn't anything to do with the festivities, I felt pretty shattered afterwards and in need of some rest and relaxation.

Goa itself was fantastic and I'd thoroughly recommend it to people looking for a nice holiday spot during the cold winter months. The weather is just perfect over there, in fact, I don't think I saw a cloud in the sky the whole trip. Highlights include having dinner with a Gherka Colonel, getting lost motorbiking off into the South Goa/Karnataka jungle and bumping into snakes and monstrous sized spiders, chilling on the golden beaches and of course spending lot's of good time catching up with old friends.

Financially the year's started off on a great note. On the first Sunday and my first session of the year I was fortunate enough to win the 888 "mega-deep" tournament. Mega-deep is no understatement either, the tournament lasted just over 14 hours and it took 75 minutes to drop from 8 players to 7 players. Needless to say, what with being back from India a couple of days before and being up all night grinding this tournament out til 7:30am I was definately ready for bed. No rest for the wicked though as I had to jump in my car and race down to heathrow battling rush-hour coming out of Nottingham to make my flight connection to Miami. When will it end right? Ha...I managed to arrive in the knick of time and smoothly boarded the plane with 20 minutes to spare. To tell the truth I didn't even feel that shattered at this point, I think the adrenaline rush of winning my first major Sunday tournament in a good while and the sweat to make my flight resulted in me having an in-built caffeine boost that kept me up.

I arrived in the Bahamas on Tuesday and immediately got grinding. Fortunately the trip was a good one for me. I didn't get much going in the main event busting relatively early on day 2 in a standard flip spot. However, the side events treated me much kinder. I managed to get a solid deep run in the $2k side coming in 21st/~310 players and I believe 23rd in the $2k superKO bounty turbo tournament (which actually resulted in me making a loss on the tournament but that's a different story all together).

I did however manage to get another trophy for my cabinet in the $1k triple stud event! It was a small field with only 29 runners and $10.8k for first, but still a win's a win and I'm particularly happy as although I wasn't the best player in the field, I feel that my stud game has come on a long way in the past year and I've put a fair amount of effort in at improving. I ran pretty good 3-handed vs Kuhns89 and David Bach who were probably the best players in the field overall so it was also somewhat of a confidence boost that I didn't get totally run-over by some of the better mixed game pros. So it's nice to get my first live mixed game win under my belt. Hopefully this is just a warmup for the world series in the summer in Vegas where these mixed fields actually draw decent numbers with big money up top.

Overall my PCA trip was fantastic. I had a good balance between grinding hard, enjoying the resorts facilities and spending a good amount of time catching up with friends and going out for meals. A couple of Brits, good friend Max Silver and Tom Hall got really deep runs in the main but just fell short of the ridiculously huge money coming in 9th and 10th places respectively. I expect more big things to come from the Brits this year especially in the live arena.

So what's next for me? I'm off again on Saturday jetting off to Vegas then straight onto Vancouver for a couple of weeks skiing in Whistler with some friends. The trip coincides pretty nicely with the Pokerstars TCOOP schedule and given how West coast Canada has an 8 hour time difference to UK I can actually wake up relatively early in the mornings, grind out a bit of TCOOP then ski late morning and afternoons. In theory this all sounds like it will work out pretty well, however, if I know my friends they'll be wanting to go out drinking most nights, so I'll just have to see once the jetlag leaves how realistic this idea is! 2 years ago I was in Las Vegas during TCOOP and last year I was in China (which has the worst timezone for MTTs out there) so I've not actually had a proper go at the series. I'm not sure how much volume I'll be getting in whilst in Canada but it'd be nice to keep up the early year heater with a nice quick turbo score to celebrate out there.

GL at the tables


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