So some of this stuff is old news (2 months?) but I’ve finally gotten around to writing about the last few very exciting months.
Melissa and I went to Edinburgh, Scotland with my friend and workmate, Max Silver, to play in the £500 UKIPT poker tournament. We also met up with friends, David Vamplew and Andrew Ferguson, both of which I met in Nottingham. We all played Day 1B and I ended up as chip leader for the day. It was a really fun day — I had the beautiful Liv Boeree to my direct right and famous poker announcer, Jesse May, to her direct right. Both of them were a blast to play with and sensing that they both had respect for my game gave me a real confidence boost for the rest of the tourney. One particularly fun hand that I played that day involved getting someone to fold KK (second best possible hand) to me face-up preflop! He limp-reraised me from early position and folded after I turned AJo into a bluff (we were both the deepest stacks at the table).
Day 2 also went quite well, I ended around 3 of 11 in chips (with over 1 mirrrrrion chips) and Max made it onto the final day as well. I won a giant cooler right before we combined for the final table with AA vs KK on an AKQxx board and entered as the FT chip leader. The whole tournament, I was playing very loose and aggressively, making tons of raises, 3bets, and a few successful 4bet bluffs (only one cold-4bet from the BB with 94o didn’t work). However, at the final table, I had to tighten up a bit at one point as Luke Marsh, one of the other big stacks, was a complete sicko and running over me and the rest of the table. Luckily I won a big pot where he raised OTB and I reshipped A6s from the BB, he tank-called with KJo and I held. Six-handed lasted for quite a long time before Max busted (I believe 5th place was the 5-figure payout threshold). After that, we quickly got down to 3-handed and I flopped huge (flush + OESFD) in a hand where Luke limped the SB and I checked the BB w 86cc. I believe he bet/called the flop and check/shoved the turn with middle pair + a Jack-high flush draw. Luckily I faded the river and got heads-up with the chip lead against Mantas.
I was quite happy getting HU against Mantas as he was one of the tightest players at the final table and even raise/4bet/folded QQ face-up against Luke… The very first hand, I bet/3bet bluff/folded a J66r board. I was a little pissed at the time as Max was sitting with David and Andrew on the sidelines and, unknowingly, said quite loudly that “Nick always has air here” right before Mantas shipped it in. I believe that was the last hand Mantas won as I continued the uber aggression with frequent raises and 3bets over the next 9 hands. Finally, I raised J6o on the button, Mantas 3bet from the BB. I felt based on both the flow of the match and a live read that he wasn’t very strong so I decided to 4bet ship it in. He thought for a little while (so he obviously wasn’t 3betting to induce) and, frustrated, called with K9s. Luckily the flop gave me two pair and a full house on the turn. The win was worth £50,000 and a £5000 entry to the EPT London.
I didn’t run very well in this tourney and ended up busted with AA vs 99 on a 976hh board in a 3bet pot after I had been very active. However, I swapped 5% with Max (as we did in Edinburgh) and he ended up winning it for something like €72,000 along with an EPT London seat. It was a lot of fun to rail and since it was based in Dublin, a bunch of people from work got to show up.
I played Day 1B along with Max, David, Andrew, and LeBruce. My table started out pretty decent with a mix of good and bad players. I had a nice double-up after the first few levels in a handed where I flatted JJ in LP against a strong young player’s MP raise. The aggro BB squeezed and we both called. Flop comes J54hh giving me the nuts, he cbets 3k into like a 6k pot, the strong kid folds and I raise to ~7575. He thinks for a bit and calls. The turn is a blank and he check/tank-calls my turn bet of 7500 (after asking how much I have left, 12k). The river is a king and he checks and calls my shove for 12k and flips over AKo! I won a few quite a few more hands (cracked AA in a pot where I flatted KQ and hit top two). I was feeling pretty good about my play and built my stack up to 79k or so at its peak (from 30k starting stack). Unfortunately, at this point the great Phil Ivey was moved to my table.
For any non-poker players reading this, Phil Ivey is considered by most as the best poker player in the world. He’s the all-time money leader for poker tournaments (~$12M), the all-time money leader for tracked high-stakes cash games online (up $19M+ in the last few years), and most likely one of the top money-makers in live cash games. He’s the best and he’s definitely my favourite player. It was both a curse and a blessing, I guess you could say, that he was moved to my table. On one hand, it’s a chance in a lifetime to sit and play with your idol and the best in the world. On the other hand, him being at the table definitely affects your ability to accumulate (or even maintain, for that matter) chips. I won a few pots from Ivey and [unsuccessfully] tried to bluff him at least once. I never really got anything going as Ivey had position on me. It was truly amazing to watch him though, he’s got a deadly stare and a sick intimidation factor. He picks up sooooo many pots because of it, he just flats a ton in late position and bets when people check-fold to him (instead of a standard c-bet).
However, I had 6% of David Vamplew (bought 5%, swapped 1%) in the main event. If you haven’t heard, he ended up taking it down after a grueling 5-hour heads-up match against John Juanda for ~£800,000 after the deal. Juanda said it was the first time he’d ever made a deal in a tournament which I think says a lot about his respect for David’s play. Vampy played really really well and had a ton of confidence. Max, Andrew, and I (along with some of David’s other friends) railed the whole thing from noon till very late at night. It was such a fun, yet intense, atmosphere! We went out for lots of celebratory drinks that night even though we had to be up early the next morning for the Champion of Champions event.
UKIPT Champion of Champions:
All of the UKIPT champions (including David as London counted as both UKIPT and EPT) were invited to this winner-take-all event. The winner would get entries for all of the UKIPT Season 2 tourneys. It will eventually be televised so we got to play with the hole-cams which was pretty cool. I’m not too happy with several of my plays that day but whatever. There was a pretty crazy hand where someone raised from EP, Max misclick 3bet to something like 4200 instead of 2200, Femi cold-4bet to like 10k on the button, and I wake up with QQ in the BB 250bb deep… I ended up mucking as Femi was playing pretty snug up until that point. It turns out that his playing style is anything but snug. Even still, I think folding there is fine when we’re so deep. It’s just a shitty spot. I ended up eventually getting it in with AKo after I believe Femi raised and David shipped. Joeri, who was a shorter stack, overcalled in the BB with QQ and David had AJ. Unfortunately, I didn’t beat either hand and was eliminated in something like 7th out of 9. David ended up winning the whole thing to add to his huge victory the night before :). He deserved it, he played really well!
- After my win, I had a short interview with CBC radio (link to interview and other media stuff here).
- At least 4 or 5 poker magazines have articles about the UKIPT victory.
- TheBryce did 3 really fun leakfinder videos with me for Cardrunners (links found on media page as well).
- I had my biggest online cash in a $22 1R1A tourney for a little over $10k for third place.
- I had a pretty deep run in one of the SCOOP tourneys on Stars (was chip leader with 70 or 80 left) but ended up losing a ton of chips with AA < JJ preflop and busted in 49th or so.
- I started playing a little bit of mixed games (mostly tourneys) and actually like them. I’m going to start reading up on non-Hold’em games and watch videos.
- I’m really close to my goal of getting Supernova status on Stars (100k VPPs)
I’d like to give a big thanks to Mickey May (Jesse May’s wife) for pictures from the recent tournaments: