Well fellow countrymen, I have had a bit of time to reflect and am posting my thoughts on the team event.Day 1
The first round of STTs was an unqualified disaster with Me, George and Stu first out on our tables and JB second out on his to give us 3 points. The rubz were pretty relentless and unbearable if I'm honest but we took them with the spirit in which they were intended and were determined to do better from there on.
Best rub came from Mrs Swinebag who commented when I phoned her, "you look like one of those teams that have had points deducted for going into administration".
I played terrible in my game and whilst I was unfortunate in the 2 hands I played, if I was playing tight STT strategy, like I should have been, like we agreed in our team meeting, I shouldn't have even been in either hand.
The PLO started a comeback that really put a smile on our faces, a combintion of good spots and running very well meant that all 4 of us got to heads up. George was the only one to convert his but the 25 points we scored gave us the best return by any team in a non MTT round. I was extremely lucky to get to HU in mine so it was probably justice that Ger completely owned me HU in my game.
The heads up was a break even session with George winning both his games, JB and Stu had very tough draws against Gareth from NI and Brendan from Rep I respectively and both lost. Stu, in particular, played superbly against Brendan but ran poorly in a few spots and was eventually beaten. I managed to beat "Half Italian" Chris Martin but was completely owned by the tidy Spanish girl in the second game.
We finished the day lower mid table which was so much better considering where we were after the first round.Day 2
A great set of NLHE STTs was needed and we duly delivered. Stu was very unlucky in his match and was first out, but the rest of us all got to HU. JBs performance was particularly impressive here, because, every time I looked he seemed to be short stacked. He eventually lost to Dan Owston but George and I were able to take down our games to give us another 20 points from the session. I, of course ran superbly well in my game and was dishing out plenty of beats. I managed to beat Louis HU when my Q6 managed to hold against his KK.
This took us into the MTT where the point structure for this meant that we would need 2 to run deep in this or even better. Stu was an early casualty and I went out losing to David Ruddling-Smith in a flip just before the points kicked in. George and JB were sat either side of Beth and managed to grind their stacks into the points and onto the final 2 tables. I was playing the (non-playing –sigh!!) captains role to perfection and had Leigh’s spreadsheet on constant update and was head-counting for George and JB.
At one point we were superbly set. I remember telling George, “Wales and Portugal have 3 left and we are one of 4 teams with 2 left and Paul Mac (Wales Captain) is micro stacked.” Leigh’s spreadsheet also had us projected for the medals.
10 minutes later it turned on its head. Paul somehow got himself chipped up. George lost an 80K pot when QQ < KJ (against “Jamie Gold” from france) and went out shortly afterwards. JB lost KK < A7 (against Spain) and we were gone in a puff of smoke.
We ended up finishing 7th out of 13 which was mid table mediocrity in the end. If we run better in a few more spots, we are well in contention (but then again – Canada could say that as well
Well done to Wales who were absolutely awesome and thoroughly deserved to retain the cup. A great bunch of guys and I was genuinely pleased for all of them and certainly enjoyed a few drinks with them after the comp had finished.
Also well done to France and Portugal. I was especially pleased for Portugal as I felt they brought a lot to the competition in terms of team spirit and enthusiasm and don’t think anyone would begrudge them their success.
A massive well done to Scotland, who of course went out in unfortunate circumstances, but at least they beat the English.
Finally, a big thank you to team England and those that supported us. Whilst the final outcome was not ideal, I was very proud to captain my country and delighted with the way we came together as a team and ended up playing some great poker. We nearly pulled off a miracle but it wasn't meant to be.