Paul Jackson's Genting Poker Series Newcastle

Paul Jackson's Genting Poker Series Newcastle

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Off to Newcastle upon Tyne for leg 2 of this year’s Genting Poker Series.

Off to Newcastle upon Tyne for leg 2 of this year’s Genting Poker Series. It was quite difficult to get a hotel for the weekend as so many people go there to do their birds at the weekend. From what I heard from the younger lads who went out, the nightclubs are very much like an assault course in that you have to make your way through ridiculous amounts of hot women whilst avoiding every local male who is hoping a fight will break out and doing everything reasonable and unreasonable to induce it.

I personally find that the further north you go the more straightforward the people are, so despite the cold I like it, as there is an awful lot less bullshit going on than when you go south.

My first table was quite tough with several very good players to my left so I decided that a spot of creativity was in order (that’s usually a euphemism for “playing like a monkey”) and I expected to get away with it for some time as I have a generally tight image.

In keeping with my temporary creative style, I raise under the gun with 3-7 (same colour) and get two callers. The flop is a very nice 3-7-8, so I bet, and again get two callers, both holding an eight. The turn is a less-than-pleasurable eight, so it’s back to my normal check-fold style with a feeling that I had been the recipient of nit karma for raising with 3-7 in the first place.

I had done really well in the early stages of most GPS main events (only to die a slow death after a few levels) and this seemed to be starting in a similarly promising way. After three-betting from the cut-off holding J-J, I got three-callers, which normally isn’t ideal, although the flop of QhJh7s made the number of players in the pot less of an issue.

I bet 1,500 and the small blind check-raised me to 3,500. I could have just called here but I was concerned that if he had a made hand (most specifically bottom set) I did not want a scare card to come and slow the action down. I wanted to give him the chance to get it in. At this point I'm not much worried about Q-Q as he flatted pre-flop. I’m also pretty sure he won’t flat now in the extremely unlikely event he has me beat. He calls, which pretty much means to me that, at this point, I effectively have the nuts. The turn is a safe 3?. He checks, I bet 7k and he shoves all-in for a total of 25K with K-K. I hold and go into first break with 50k.

The two levels after the first break, however, could hardly have been more tilting. After the dealer had independently decided to aggravate me about playing Chinese poker with my friend Claudio (with a brown deck of cards supplied to me by the floor) and arbitrarily called the floor for a ruling – the same floor that gave me the cards in front of him five minutes earlier – I then get K-K and I raise. I get four callers and then a short stack shoves. I call and he has A-A which holds.

Two hands later I get K-K again. I raise and get two callers. The flop is 3-4-6 with two hearts. I bet 500, Ben Jenkins three-bets to 1,400 and I call. It goes check, check on a horrible 2h turn and the river is another three. I check and Ben bets 2,150.

I know that he knows I probably had a flush draw or over-pair when I bet-call on the flop, so his river bet either has me beat or, at worst, he is turning 6-7 into a bluff. I decide I prefer to make a bad fold than a bad call and I think I am most likely beat and fold.

Literally three hands later I get K-K again. Karl raises to 300 (holding an ace, he says afterwards) and gets called by A-6 and A-T. I three-bet to 1,100 and everyone calls. The case ace flops, so I lose with K-K three times in ten minutes, which is less than ideal. I still had a nice stack but it felt a little warmer so I missed out a few hands.

Shortly after, it’s folded to me on button and the dealer taps the table in front of me to indicate it is my turn to act. At this point my phone goes off and, as I pick it up, the small blind folds out if turn, at which point the dealer asks the player to be careful not to fold out of turn. With just the big blind to get past I am mostly raising any two cards here but I stop to look at my cards which are a very genuine J-Q and so I say “raise”. The nice dealer now decides to mention to me that another player has already moved all-in in front of me so I now have to re-raise that bet. I actually flopped the best hand but lost anyway, although I guess it could have been worse if the big blind had woken up with a good hand or decided to kick me while I was down with any two cards. After that it was just painful and I was generally completely card dead, but it was a slow downward slide, at least. Some days you can just feel like you are destined to be a contributor to the poker community. After getting to the next break slightly sore, I soon found myself in a spot where, on a board of 2-3-T-3-J, the pre-flop raiser’s river bet made no sense unless he specifically had T-T. I say to him, “Normally I would call here (with 9-9), but I am running so bad that if I do I think you will show me tens-full,” so I fold and he shows tens-full.

This is one of those hidden poker luck things. I was actually lucky to be running bad as that altered my decision to my benefit, so you could say, at least sometimes, that running bad can be +EV, although in this case it is a bit results-orientated.

After dinner the next few levels went well and I moved up to about 70k, and then, about the last level of the day, I lost a 120k pot (average was 60k) with AcKc versus Q-Q. I then played my very short stack like a monkey, trying to get it to 50k or so, or zero, and succeeded in the latter.

I used my second bullet the next day and, after starting well, flopped a flush and lost, and then flopped top set on a 9-6-2 flop and lost. After that, things started to improve for a while and it was onto the feature table, where I suffered a slow, painful, frustrating and uneventful downward slide.

Eventually, when it was folded to me in the small blind, I suggested to Wadey (who was enjoying as fruitless a run as me) that we should put it all in blind and see who wins as it would at least put one of us out of our misery. He agreed, and I turned over a predictably unpromising 2-7 off suit (I'm not making this up) which became even less promising as Wadey showed a dominating Q-7 off, which became less promising still as the first flop card was a queen. Good game, me.

Wadey managed an amazing feat from there. We had a less than half average stack between us and he and eventually finished seventh, behind the eventual winner Ellie Biessek who gave several boys on the final table a good lesson in discipline.

Tags: Paul Jackson, strategy, Genting Poker Series