Matt Perry's Poker in the Park [Editorial]

Matt Perry's Poker in the Park [Editorial]

Monday, 5 September 2011

Poker in the Park 2011 has concluded, and what a glorious weekend it was. Once again, the Gods smiled on us weather-wise and delivered some sunshine to a British September. I managed to – in this order – listen to a lecture, play in the Super 2012 freeroll at the Bluff Europe tent, listen to another lecture, get some free stuff, watch music and card tricks... oh, and I had beer. So that’s always a plus.

Remember in my last Editorial, written in the morning before Poker in the Park kicked off? I said – perhaps overconfidently – that I planned to win at least one tournament there and get my hands on a trophy. I did have my hands on a trophy, however briefly – though it was only to give it to the winner of the event, Lewis “Juggernaut” Joyce, who steamrolled the event to take it down. Hmm... too many various vehicle metaphors, there.

Lewis – a mate of mine, for my sins – and I both signed up to compete in the freeroll which was a shootout event. Five or six tables played a super-turbo STT with the top two from each table winning spot at the final. In our first table I picked up all the right cards to eliminate four of our seven opponents, while Lewis luckboxed his way from 175 chips at 100/200 up to over 5,000 in three consecutive hands. I wound up winning the first table, he came in second. Before the final our mutual friend demanded another first-and-second from us and we delivered, though not in the order I would have liked.

At the final I shoved the first hand with A-T and got no callers (blinds were 200/400 and we began with 5,000 so I wasn’t simply going crazy). I kept myself alive by stealing blinds until a big five-way pot saw Juggernaut flop the nut flush and eliminate two players to take us three-handed. Myself, Lewis and a girl who played up to female poker player stereotypes by playing far too passively and giving Lewis a walk every round were the final three. By this time, we had acquired a bit of a crowd – perhaps a couple of dozen people – and what with the announcer keeping the crowds updated via the mic on the final table, it felt more like a big televised final than any freeroll had a right to. Then the best hand ever came up.
Both my opponents limped and I checked my big blind with 8h-2h. If I caught any piece of the flop I was shoving my three big blinds behind and 9h-Tx-Jx did nicely. I moved in, our female foe moved all-in and Juggernaut snap-called. This wasn’t how it was meant to happen.
“Huge hand at the final table,” the announcer called as the crowd of thirty-odd closed in around the table. “We’ve got aces against kings against... er, eight high...” I pumped my fist in impending victory and sure enough the turn delivered a seven to give me a straight to triple up while Lewis eliminated our third-place finisher to take us heads-up. Trophy on the table, crowd thoroughly rapt... I felt a bit like I was at an EPT final.

Of course, it was not to be. It’s annoying to finish second in a tournament even when you get a prize so to do it in a winner-take-all for-glory-only event is a right pain in the ringpiece. Especially when you only lose because the time runs out and you happen to have less chips than your opponent. Not that I’m bitter, typing with a wild fury, demanding a rematch for that trophy.

That look on my face is one of a good loser who is in no way annoyed at finishing second. Yeah. Of course, that wasn’t all that happened. I also saw Alex Rousso and Nik Persuad’s excellent I’d Rather Be Lucky Than Good/LOL Braceaments lecture explaining tournament variance, with some input from Neil Channing. And I got a free Rummy Royal £10 bet and a Paysafe card from the bar. So the day wasn’t a loss by any stretch.
Except in that bastard freeroll.

Tags: Poker in the Park, Matt Perry, Editorial, Alex Rousso, Nik Persaud