DTD Grand Prix Days 2 and 3Before I start - I've not been able to access this forum for a few days so missed the good luck messages. Thanks to all for their support.
So, this is a tricky report to write because it's going to be hard to avoid sounding somewhat full of myself. It's also going to be tricky because for a lot of the time it felt as if I was playing on some form of auto-pilot. But, here goes.
Set off from Stockton with Lucy along for the ride and to support me. We stopped at Woodall Services on the M1 for my customary 'en route to DTD Starbucks Pike Place Coffee'.
Walking back to the car I bumped into Rob Swindell and we exchanged good luck wishes, one of the good guys Rob, although tonight I'll be wishing him a lot of pain since he's a City fan and I was born in Northampton and thus support Manchester United... :-) (edit - this was written in notepad this morning, I suspect the only pain City fans will have in the nest few days will be hangovers.)
Arrived at DTD with time enough to acclimatise and be ready for the 2pm start. My table had none of the bigger stacks, and my 89000 was only covered in one spot with two or three stacks around half that.
Shortly after the start I picked up pocket queens, raised, got a shove from one of the shorties and called.
His AJ met a flop of AKJ, which felt marvellous so early in.
The K on the turn didn't help, but it ain't over till it's over and the beautiful lady on the river pushed me up to c135000 chips and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
20 minutes later, it folds to the button who shoves for not very much and I find a really easy call with AK and hold vs QJ.
AA beats A8 and AA beats QQ (A on the flop) and by around 5.30 I'm on 300k and now I get moved to Table 12 where I'll stay until we're down to 9. Unfortunately I'm in seat 1 which I've never been a fan of due to the limited view of seats 8 and 9, but I'm happy to be somewhere with no risk of having to learn another tablefull of players.
I pick up chips in a variety of pots, I'm the most active player on the table and it seems my reads and decisions are on a higher level that I'm accustomed to and which I didn't believe I had.
I win a significant pot when my raise with 88 is met by an allin and I find a call vs K10
10 on the flop looks bad
8 on the turn looks beautiful and I'm up to 1.5MM and around 50% above average stack.
Eventually I bag up 2.13MM and head for some sleep.
Sunday morning I wake earlier than is needed and decide to pull my jeans on and go in search of orange juice and a newspaper. I've taken to staying in the travelodge at Donnington Services when I play at DTD. It's significantly cheaper than the Nottingham rooms and has significantly better views (seriously - the rooms mostly look out over the rolling countryside). So, I'm in M&S paying for my OJ and a youngish lad carrying a petrol can is in conversation with one of the staff about getting a taxi or some other way to get back to his car which is on the A42 where he ran out of petrol.
I have nothing better to do at that time so I offer him a lift and refuse his proffered 'tenner for petrol' on the basis that I'd prefer the karmic rewards.
So - Lucy and I set off for Nottingham in plenty of time for a breakfast at ASDA, £4.75 for the full monty, why pay more, and arrive at DTD in good time again.
I felt utterly calm and in control of what was happening. I was in a 25 man MTT with a bonus chipstack and I know I can play through a field of 25 to a final table and better.
Hands of significance? Well, I folded JJ from the SB when utg raised and mid position 3bet with an obvious readiness to call an all in. The 3 better was Mike Wright, aka 'flushthemout' and he and I had been tangling occasionally to this point with him having 3bet me with air at least once. This time I felt he had something and that jacks could be in poor shape vs him, or the original raiser.
He had 88 which held vs AQ.
As Jacks would have too.
I sighed and moved on.
I raised the next hand with AJ and got through, showed the jack and said "It seems customary to show an ace when you make that raise and get the folds. I'm going to show the Jack"
From then on I raised often with a J. QJ, J10, J9 all raised, most won pots pre or on the flop and every time I showed the Jack. Even when I had to fold I'd make the same reveal. (there's a call back to this issue much later, probably in a seperate Final Table post).
We were down to two tables when one of the more experienced players on the table committed a major error by revealing his hand with action to come. With an allin and a call in front of him he shoves, and flips his KK into the middle of the table.
This brings a number of penalties. Firstly it gets folds from two players holding underpairs from whom he would have won a sizeable sidepot when his KK is beaten by AQ with the ace falling, Barry Greenstein like, on the river.
Secondly he gets a one orbit penalty for exposing his cards which decimates his stack. First hand back he shoves
and I call from the big blind with
and flop two pair to eliminate him.
It seemed most uncharacteristic of him but he took it all well and some time later he and his partner joined Lucy on the rail for me. (it was rumoured that he'd registered for the Super50 post exit and had proceeded to lose two big pots with AA and KK, I guess that if it's not your day...)
So - the hand that took me to St Kitts.
Blinds I think, were 50/100 I'm playing around 5MM and am UTG with AA. Happy days. I raise to 220000 keeping it consistent.
UTG+1 pushes his 2.3MM
UTG+2 folds quickly
Button folds very slowly
SB shoves his 2.1MM quickly
BB dwells long and hard. "I was going to shove if it came round to me with no action beforehand" he declares. He has less than me, but still somewhere around 4MM. He agonises and I sit as still as I can, maintaining my standard pose for such situations as best I can.
Still he dwells and I sit. My daughter is on the phone to FatCatStu who sends me a one word text "fold!" (which I don't read till later and which I'm obviously going to ignore)
Eventually he passes and I can announce my call and turn over my cards.
These were the hands dealt - live, to six players
Me - AA
UTG+1 99 - allin 2.3MM
UTG+2 72o (for balance) - folded
Button JJ - folded
SB KK - allin 2.1MM
BB QQ - folded
and the board ran out with a Jack on the flop and Queens on both turn and river...
Understandably Mike Wright having made a superb fold with QQ wasn't happy, but he overcame the pain to make the final eight regardless.
Was it to be my 'One Time' - well, that was certainly a hand that I don't think I'll ever come close to having again. To have the two pairs that would have beaten me fold and the two that I eventually beat call was perhaps the karmic return for my errand of mercy earlier. Or just pure good fortune.
Whichever it was, it took me onwards to the final table as Chip Leader with 8.5MM of the 34MM in play.
Final Eight report to follow.