John Abernethy won one of our private online leagues and the chance to play a GUKPT Main Event, instead we stuck some extra in the kitty and gave John the chance to play 1 tournament a Month throughout the Year and cover Hotels and such like . These are mainly gukpt side events which he began playing in November 2009 in Sunny Blackpool.
January is here, and John picked the £220 2 day event at Bolton, here is how he got on:
Running good & playing good – Bingo!
John Abernethy Sponsored UK Poker Player
Having not played seriously since Leg 9 in Blackpool last year, I was a little short on table time and went into this tournament a little low on self-confidence. The original plan was satellite in to the Main Event on-line over the Xmas period. However, like all good plans my best intentions were scuppered by endless piss-ups and parties and I never once managed to log on to any poker websites. Consequently, I plumped for the £200 2-day side event .
The Main Event had commenced the day earlier so I thought the cream of that particular crop would still be embroiled in Day 2 of their tournament, thus leaving the eliminated also-rans for me to contend with.
A field of 87 eventually sat down for Day 1 and it seemed almost of them had a tale of woe about their exits the previous day. That left me in no doubt that most of them knew their stuff. Tournament regulars Andy Bradshaw and Howard Plant were holding court on their respective tables.
A starting stack of 7,500 and 40-minute blinds starting at 25/50 meant there was plenty of play for even the most frivolous of amateurs. That said, after about ½ an hour of play, I had somehow managed to spunk off 2,500 of chips and had to tighten up sharpish. My opponents included a few familiar faces – one of whom I had watched take down about £4k last time I was in Blackpool, a guy whose name escapes me that I had seen a couple of times on TV, and a truly obnoxious fella to my right who took it upon himself to systematically abuse every dealer that sat at our table. He was reading his newspaper for the first couple of hours and paying little attention to the table action unless he picked up a hand. His paper was covering his chips at one point and the dealer asked him to make sure his stack was on display – he took exception to this. Later a dealer changed another players 100 chip for four of his 25s – again he saw his arse. He justified his actions by stating he takes all manner of abuse from customers in his daily job so the dealers should be prepared to suffer likewise. What a complete arsehole! In my limited casino experience, all the dealers have been polite and efficient and always do their best. They certainly shouldn’t have to tolerate abuse from dickheads like him.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. After being card-dead for a couple of hours I was down to 5k and pick up a pair of black 4s in mid position with the blinds at 100/200. There had been no action so I pop it up to 500 and would be happy to take down the blinds there and then. It folds around to the BB and he calls. I don’t mind that – I’ve got position and you never know, I could flop a set. The flop comes A K 9 – all spades. He checks and I fire a continuation bet of 650, he calls making the pot 2400. A red 5 on the turn changes nothing and we both slow down and are happy to see a river card for free. The river brings the 8 of spades giving me a flush. A shit flush, but a flush nonetheless. I tickle the pot with a 900 bet. He raises it to 3000 and the de-ja-vu kicks in. Once again I have a decision for my tournament with an easily beatable hand. He could have called me with any pair or any half decent ace, either of which could very well have contained a spade. I tried to do what every poker bible I’ve ever read says to do – do the maths. I failed miserably due to the 10 sets of eyes burning in to me and plumped for a hero-call. Fuck it – he either has me by the balls or I virtually double up. I call and he turns over A 10, both red. I flip my flush and I’m the King Of The World!
That, as they say, was the turning point. My confidence boosted, I set about mauling the table. A raise with a suited 6 8 flops a straight and an ace on the turn guarantees I’m paid of handsomely. Later, pocket 8s flops 6 8 9. The turn brings a scary 5 but a river 9 is the bonanza card and again I fleece two players holding straights with an overbet on the river. The break comes too soon and my stack is over 20k. This put me in bully-boy territory so I was up to 30k within 30 mins of the re-start after a few enjoyable river bluffs. I saw off half of the table before we were joined by consummate professional Paul Parker and the unmistakeable Gerald David – aka Skullman. God knows what powers that skull-shaped card protector has but he started hitting 2-outers left, right and centre to decimate the table.
I found myself in a strange hand with Paul Parker when I raised from the cut-off holding AQ suited and he called. An 8-high board saw me raise to try and nick it there but he pushed his last 8k in meaning I needed to stick 5k to call. I called figuring I might have two overs or even have him dominated. He turns over pocket 9s leaving me about a 20% underdog. Not the end of the world I thought seeing as I could eliminate a player who has amassed the best part of £1m in tournament winnings. He doubled up and I take a hit but gain a reputation as a loose cannon. I used this to my advantage as players were reluctant to tangle with me. My chipstack peaked at about 50k putting me amongst the chip-leaders for the majority of the night. We played 10 levels ending at about 3am. Four hands from the end of the night I got involved in a hand with a guy who had been needling me all night saying I was lucky – which was bollocks. He just couldn’t figure me out as I hadn’t shown any cards all night. He has just doubled up giving him a stack bigger than mine and I foolishly called his all-in holding AK. Not my style to call off my money with ace high but I was getting tired and wanted to stick it to him. He had kings and the poker gods had long since retired for the evening. I busted in 21st place.
I might not have made the money this time but I gained an awful lot of self-confidence. I know for a fact that I can hold my own with these guys. I may not talk the talk, but I can definitely walk the walk. Roll on next month!