Hey guys and gals, ladies and gents,


 My last post was about a UKIPT London satellite i played, which sadly although i tried my best, i didn't quite make one of the 7 seats that were up for grabs. So when the  https://www.pokerschoolonline.com/articles/Poker-Blog-Championship-2014 competition came up i had to have another go at a decent score and a true happy ending.

 In general i play the micro stakes and the biggest game i regularly play is the hot 5.50, which is on every night. I would really love to take down this game as first place consistently pays over $2.5K and not only would that be by my biggest online score but would be a great bankroll booster for me (i have managed not to have to deposit this year, small mercies lol).

 So Wednesday night i got involved and had a really deep run when this hand came up with 11 out of 3108 players left: 

I feel that the shove is a no brainer with 7 big blinds on the button in a normal spot, however being 2 away from the final table, with decent money jumps, i didn't take ICM (independent chip model) enough into account, long story short, i think i should have waited for a better spot.

 So that was my attempt at a big score and the happy ending we all love, just sadly not to be this time .

                                                             THE END


p.s. .....





  No way was i going to leave it there, With such a deep run still fresh in my mind i would have to regroup and muster up the will to take my nemesis down. The next night i tripled my stack early, but then overplayed jacks vs queens and busted well before the money. If there is one attribute i have that is good for poker, besides my patience, it's perseverence, when i set my mind on a realistic goal i don't give up easily. After the 11th place finish and the $99 cash previously, my bankroll could take the $5.50 hit, so friday night i late regged at the 50/100 level.

  I didn't have to wait long til i was dealt QQ in the BB, there is a late position limper so i bump it up to 4x the big blind, happy to get it in if he decides to shove. He flats my bet and i take it down with a c-bet on a king high board.

I don't love my bet there incase he has a king but i'm up 700 so it can't be too bad.

My next spot is shortly after when i get TT utg+1 and i open to my usual don't want to play out of position(oop) 2.5x to 375, the player behind does that funny min 3 bet (99.9937642% of the time they do this in the micros they have aces) and i am tempted to set mine getting over 6-1 immediate odds, and his stack likely if i hit it, this plan is scuppered by the small blind's shove for most of my stack so i sit back grab the popcorn and watch the trainwreck that i have dodged unfold. 


 Down a little below starting now and the blinds going up every 5 minutes i'm happy to see AK in early position, utg folds to me and i ship for around 14BBs. Shoving is the only play here and i know i can get called by a wide range of hands in this game a lot of which i am dominating, i'm not disappointed to get called by KJ and get the obligatory sweat, as poker players i know you are all accustomed to.

Over 30 BBs now a decent stack to work with.

The first hand that really gives me a leg up i have QQ in the cutoff, the shortstack utg gos all in for 10BBs then the player in front of me reshoves really quickly for 10BBs, which i take to be a sign of weakness, so i call my 16 BBs all in, i'm not folding queens in this spot to this action ever, specially not a turbo, in a great spot for pretty much a triple up.

I didn't get many playable hands for the next hour, which in a turbo structure can be disasterous, but managed to limp into the money and a guaranteed profit. Now i am short stacked with under 7BBs and i am in the small blind with 67 suited, it has jokingly been christened my favourite hand by a friend because i once missed flopping a straight flush with it and almost certainly stacking off 3 people with it in one of my first live games. (pro tip: whenever someone says they have their favourite hand it;s usually a lot less than premium ). there is a 3x raise for half my stack from middle position but i am too short imo to not take a chance with this one, i shove and he calls when it folds to him with one of the hands i didnt want to see A6 to have me dominated. The flop gives me hope with an oen ender but it's the less obvious draw that ships me the 30K pot.

For the next little while i played a few more hands to stack up a decent amount and was just looking to play snug until blinds dictated otherwise.

 Now they say to win any tournment you are going to have to get lucky at least once and the next big hand i played proved it BIG time, We were at the 7/14K blind level and i have 168K which my seem like a lot but it is only 12BBs. I'm dealt KQo utg and figure it's a good hand to steal the blinds with, as everyone was starting to tighten up a bit as we were down to 4 or 5  tables at this point and the money jumps were starting to get bigger. So i go all in and get action from 2 players behind, i know this can't be good news for me and when they flip over AA and AK i know i'm gonna need a lot of help (and my one time). I basically flop dead.....

......BUT there isn't the term "runner runner" for no reason.

 BAM! ONE TIME!!  I'm really in with a good chance now, i just have to remain focused, play my best and don't think about the money up top too much.

 I pick off a short stack with tens. 

 30 minutes later and with the blinds at 20/40K i am in the big blind with 5BBs and AJo, a big stack shoves and there's no way i can fold here so i make the call, he has tens and the flop is the stuff of nightmares, i flop top pair but he flops a set, leaving me needing a lot of help, the jack on the turn is a glimmer of hope and the river keeps me in the game. Did somebody say two time? lol.

 There's no time to rest on my laurels as the very next hand i get dealt KJ of hearts in the small blind, it folds around to the button who opens with a minraise, now there is no way i can fold a hand this strong here, we are too shallow stacked to just call and against a button open the only real move is to shove here, there is fold equity there and our hand plays well post flop, so i do go all in, the BB gets out of the way and the button makes the call with AQ of hearts, not exactly ideal but honestly i'm starting to think i can't lose a flip in this game now lol.

 That puts me just over a million and makes me the biggest stack with 18 left, i can see the final furlong now and am wondering how can i actually lose this, maybe i will find out...

 I get the privelege of picking off another shorty blind v blind, where i know my A5d will be the best hand most of the time in this situation, what with the short stacks getting desperate to build a stack for the upcoming final table.

 This next hand was pretty important A9s short handed is a very standard open especially with the added pressure of being close to the final table, i am called by the chip leader and get a very favourable flop, he folds and i do show the 9 to try and cement my TAG image which hopefully i can take advantage of later, and i am the chip leader once again, but only just.

 If there is one point in a tournament that you would call decisive or crucial in how the resulting action plays out, then for me it was definately this hand on the final table bubble. Aces in the big blind is great at the best of times, but being the chip leader in a tournament and getting action from the 2nd biggest stack in the small blind is as much as you could probably ever hope for (unless they suck out of course lol).

 I 3 bet his open preflop because obviously i would be happy to get all in pre, but also he could think i was trying to use my tight image to push him around and get a bit stubborn. The flop was ideal for me and i was happy to put him all in when he committed himself with his donk bet. Wow what a spot, this is more than i could have hoped for, starting the Final Table of a $5 tournment that started with over 3300 runners and being the chip leader with over 3 million, which happens to be double the next biggest stacks' size, with a top prize of over $2600, the min cash was now $140.

 Not more than a few minutes later and we have our first casualty at the FT.

and everyone is at least another $83 richer.

 Down to 5 players and each with $717 locked up, still the big stack, i complete the blinds for a chance to knock out the short stack with the monster that is 92o lol. 

 It wasn't long before we were down to 3 and we all flicked the deal switch and we looked at the numbers, i was pretty dead set on getting 2K and my number came up at $1979.25, the next biggest stack $1916.42 and the other player $1831.76 with $200 left to play for. This is by far my biggest online cash so i wasn't going to argue too much over $20, when my previous biggest online cash is ten times less than this. So we did the deal and played on for the extra $200(which is more than my bankroll before i started this tourny).

I was very sure i was ahead here and felt strongly like he was drawing, so i checked the river to give him a chance to bet.

  Giving him the rope......


 Floating FTW lol

 I got a bit short and had to shove A3o blind on blind. Standard! He hits his straight precisely as i hit my flush, easy game .

 An interesting spot came up, i was getting a great price to defend from the big blind in a 3 way pot with JTo a pretty good speculative hand short handed for sure. When the flop comes down ace high and the SB checks it feels like a good time for a stab at the pot as i think i am the most likely player that can reasonably represent an ace, and if they don't have an ace, or at least a strong draw then they can't really continue here.

 The hunch pays off and i am back in a dominant position.

 A few minutes later and one of my opponents is stacked down to 2.5 big blinds, and when he shoves and i wake up with 9s in the big blind. I pretty much flop him dead except the turn brings the inevitable sweat card(as usual lol) making him open ended, fade-aments when the river pairs the board to knock him out 3rd and to leave me heads up with around 5 million each and $200 left to play for.

 The blinds are now 125/250K, so the average stack is now 20BBs. We trade blows for a little while, until i have the slight chip lead and i am dealt K5 of clubs in the BB, a pretty strong hand heads up, my opponent min raises from the button and i 3 bet, with the view that if they shove i'm willing to get it in. They oblige and though i think this is a pretty tight player i make the call as i am likely to have good equity against a lot of hands here. He has KJ and i'm dominated but will still win this 1 in 4 times.


Luckily (not for the first time lol) i bink the 5 on the flop and it holds to give me the win, a fitting luckbox finish to a total luckbox game. My final tally is $2149.25 a great ROI on 5 dollars and by far my biggest cash online. I'm not planning to move up to any bigger games straight away but i will treat myself to $20 towards satellites for the sunday million lol(a guys gotta dream), and withdraw most of it and leave a modest bankroll online and put a bit towards a couple of live games for sure.

 It has taken me quite a few attempts at that tournament, but to take it down for my first 4 figure cash feels unreal, and if nothing else goes to show that persistence and discipline really pay off in the long run in poker.

 Thankyou for sharing a part of my journey in poker and good luck in yours.

  Regards and run good,


p.s. If u enjoyed readiing this, please vote for me in the pso blog chmpionship 2014