It’s been a strange couple of weeks. Strange in that there has been an enormous abundance (comparative to recent times) for me of live poker, no limit hold’em and tournament poker and contrasty a stark lack of online poker, cash games and pot limit omaha. The second bit of strangeness comes from the fact that I have actually enjoyed the change in direction, something past-Roy never would have said. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I went semi-deep in a few events or because of something else but hey, live NLHE tournaments are fun again. Who woulda thunk it?
After the ANZPT Snowfest in Queenstown I had a short break before playing in the National Poker League (NPL) 500 two Saturdays ago. I made day two and went moderately deep albeit without cashing. Still a great tourney with good value in it.
Next up was an eventful week for the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Season 6 event in Melbourne. I played the 7-game, PLO and Main Event. Nothing fantastic happened for me in the 7-game and I bubbled the PLO event but the real story for me was the ME. Some 250 players entered the $5k buyin NLHE tournament making this the largest NLHE tournament I have entered since the WSOP ME last year. I had an interesting ride.
Day 1a was on Thursday and I had to play this day due to a wedding I had to attend back in Sydney the next day. I had planned it out so that my flight out of Melbourne was early Friday morning. If I busted day 1 I would simply come home, attend the wedding, and that would be the end of my series. Lady luck couldn’t allow that as I made it through to day 2 with a healthy average stack. I don’t recall anything especially exciting happening until we bagged up at around 2am.
I mustered about 3 hours sleep before having to head to the airport to catch my flight. I left all my stuff in Melbourne and was literally flying with just the clothes on my back – a very liberating way to fly I must saw. I walked on, took my seat, closed my eyes and the next thing I know we’ve landed. I walk off and head home to get ready for the wedding. The ceremony was in the afternoon and reception was at night so once I left the house at midday I didn’t return until passed midnight. It was an awesome wedding with good food, drinks, great company and of course song & dance. I don’t regret returning for it. That being said I essentially repeated my experience from the previous night getting a short few hours sleep before heading to the airport, sleeping on the plane and rushing to crown to take my seat for day 2.
Day 2 was a fun day. I has enough chips to be able to splash around a bit and though none of my tables were particularly soft, I at least managed to hold my own. Lots of small pots going back and forth along with a couple of key big pots going my way saw me make it through to day 3 once again with an average stack. Play finished at around 11pm and this time I went straight to the hotel room and slept for a solid 12 hours. Boy that felt good.
Rested and rejuvenated I went into day 3 feeling great. I lost a flip early and was short stacked for the rest of my tournament life, eventually busting in 25th place in a relatively standard spot. The top 28th got paid so this was the first tourney during my recent escapades that I actually made money from – a welcoming feeling no doubt.
My NLHE game is still lacklustre and at no point did I ever feel like there weren’t at least 2-4 better players than me at the tables. That being said I definitely plan to refresh my skills and continue to throw my hat into the ring that is tournament poker. The WCOOP starting on Stars couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ll be making another post shortly with my intended schedule for the series as well as with the tournaments that I will be hosting the final tables for.
Final note: It has been said a lot of times by a lot of very smart people over the years that learning a new poker game will improve your skills at your other games. While NLHE is by no means a new game for me, the way it is played now compared to 4 years ago when I was playing regularly is definitely new and improved. When I sat down to play my first online PLO cash session after my main event run I was definitely seeing certain things in a new light: finding new spots to bluff, value betting thinly in spots I wouldn’t have before and overall being more aware of the actions at hand. I’ll probably turn this thought into a proper article later down the line, I just wanted to get it down now while it is fresh and so I don’t forget it.
Best of luck in the WCOOP to all.