Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Welcome to the Circus

Monday December 10th
Circus Casino Liverpool
£250 f/o
70 runners
10000 starting chips

Today saw the opening tournament in the new Circus Casino in Liverpool.
Stanley's were adding £2000 to the prize pool and there were a lot of the Leos crowd plus a few of the Northwest pros including Ash Hussain, Nick Slade, Ali Mallu etc.

First off I would like to say that it is about time Ali Mallu was allowed back in to the Grosvenor Casinos and congratulations to him on his cash at the weekend in Luton.

The Casino is very nice and the card room upstairs, apart from the cold air conditioning was very well done. A couple of teething problems, including the restaurant running out of bread for sandwiches, but still a very nice casino.

They could do with sorting out some parking concessions at the adjoining car park and the chips were very similar to my 8 year old son's Simpsons poker chips though!

I started off badly with my head on a few other things and so I wasn't able to focus totally.

Every time I raised, a Leos regular, John, a pretty solid player was reraising me and 4 or 5 times I had to let my middle pair or AQ go as I know he doesn't play with rubbish cards. In fact I know for certain he had Aces and Kings on at least 2 of those occasions.

I then got a pair of Aces with the blinds at 100/200. I raised to 600 in middle position and was called behind.

The flop came down TT9 which wasn't a great flop as, knowing this player, he could easily be playing AT.

I bet out 1000 into the 1500 pot and he flat called.

The turn was an offsuit J and so I thought I would check and see what he did.

He bet 1000 into the 3500 pot which smelled a bit like a ten and so I flat called hoping to see a cheap river or an Ace.

The river was a Q so I checked again and he bet 5000. Convinced I was behind I folded face up and he flipped over his JJ full house.

I like to think I can get away from hands like this and I was please that I did, although I probably do sometimes throw away winning hands as you may have read in earlier posts.

It would be interesting to know how others would have played that pot.

The next hand of note, I can't quite remember but it involved me having 4 6 against John on a 7 8 J flop with 2 spades. The flop was checked and then on an ace turn John put out quite a weak bet and so I called with the intention of raising on the river.

However a 5 on the river gave me a straight and when John checked I felt that he was only calling with a better hand so I just checked and won with the straight.

I told him I didn't think he was strong and he muttered something about what I thought he was betting with when the ace came, so I left him with those thoughts for later!

A short while later (100 200)and I pick up 77 in late(ish) position so I raise to 600 and John reraises again! Another 1500 this time. He can't have aces or kings again so I say to him "Have you got Aces?" hoping that he puts me on Kings. In fact another player actually says that I must have kings which reinforces that message to John and so I minimum raise another 1500 after a think.

John thinks about it and calls.

At this point I'm thinking that he has something like JJ.
The flops comes down 852 so I check (because I am not sure if he would fold with JJ on a flop that low) and so does John.

The turn is an A and now I bet 3000 If I have it wrong then he'll raise I I'll fold, otherwise he'll fold and I win.

He did fold and I showed him my sevens and he told me he had TT.

By the break I'm up to 25000 chips but lose 5000 with JJ when a short stack goes all in for 5000 with 99 but hits a 9 on the turn.

I then dwindle down with various situations like blind on blind, putting pressure on a short stack when he check raises all in with 2 pair on a flushing board leaving me having to call the small raise with middle pair etc.

Eventually I went out pretty tamely when I only had 4000 left and the blinds were 800/1600 after someone limped on a tight player's big blind I had Q3 but with the chips in the pot I felt that one of the players behind me was going to raise so if I raised all in there was a fair chance that one of the remaining players might reraise leaving me heads up to play for a chance at more than tripling up and giving me enough to play with. Unfortunately the big blind called and even though the limper nearly folded, a queen high flop gave me some hope but the big blinds Q9 had me out kicked and I was gone.

I think in hindsight maybe I should have folded the Q3 and waited but I didn't feel I had enough chips to take the blinds down without a showdown and even if I did get a big hand, I would still be short stacked whereas I felt that the chips in the pot were good enough reason to go for it in that spot and hope for the reraise to give me a heads up chance and dramatically increasing my stack.

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