My 2011 Part III – Full Tilt Trouble
Oct. 15, 2011
For the next couple of months I started grinding on Full Tilt, putting in as many hours and hands as possible since I had a Red Pro deal which had massive benefits to playing online poker. I decided against going to Madrid for the EPT Final, skipped the Irish Open, and for the first time in 3 years passed on going to Vegas – although part of this reason was because the Main Event clashed with a friend’s wedding in Israel.
Obviously the news on 29th June that Full Tilt’s licence had been suspended throughout Europe was absolutely terrible news, what with me having money locked on the site and not knowing whether I will ever see that again. Just like the general public, I have been kept out of the loop about future developments of the company. I was really hoping that the court day on July 26th would reveal some developments about the company, but instead all that happened was that the case was adjourned. So I pretty much gave up with online poker and, apart from playing the odd tournament on Poker Stars, I was not in the mood to get back onto the Euro Sites, where I made most of my poker bankroll from 2007-2010, to start grinding. However, I heard there were some good live games in London’s Palm Beach Casino so towards the end of June I started to play some 10-25 NLH action there. Apart from a couple of very strong Romanian players there was a lot of value around, as most of the UK pros were in Vegas. Over 4 or 5 sessions, I won about £20k without much risk. I also played the £1k Monthly tournament that takes place first Monday of each month and has a huge amount of value. About five spots from the money I opened the cutoff with AQ, a tight guy reships the small blind, and because of the amount of hands I had been playing I just thought AQ was too big a hand to fold. Unfortunately he had the dreaded AK and no miracle Q came. This tournament really drained me a lot as I felt I had given it my all. Although first prize was only 20k, the self-satisfaction of a final table would have revitalised me and I felt this was a sign for me to go to Israel for my friend’s wedding and enjoy the sun.
After three weeks in Israel, I felt very refreshed. I had gotten a lot of colour, had been eating very well, and in fact was beginning to grow a belly! One of my friends recently joined the David Lloyd and had a personal trainer that he recommended to me. So I went down with a guest pass, really liked the guy and thought, why not, I need to get back into shape and maybe it will in turn improve my poker game. As the saying goes, healthy body, healthy mind! So within a couple of days I signed up to the David Lloyd and began seeing a personal trainer. Since the first session I have had with him I have never looked back and feel so much healthier and positive inside. It is the best thing I’ve ever done since finding poker in my life. Getting on a strict diet is something I am finding hard as the food I was eating in Israel was on another level, but slowly I am getting better and most importantly I am beginning to find the fitness that I used to have when I used to train regularly in the gym when I was sixteen. Obviously my fitness is in no way what it was, but I am slowly building it back up and getting my body back in shape which is very satisfying.
I played my first live poker session in about a month at the Borehamwood poker club where they were playing 5-5 Omaha. Although Omaha isn’t my game I thought I would go in and say hello to some old faces, and of course they talked me into joining their game. I started off well and was up close to £2k when the last hand of the night came up. I opened the cut off with QJ84 spades and clubs, as it was a very passive table, two players called and the most active player on the table who plays under ‘gav101’ on Pokerstars three bet the big blind. I called as I knew the other two players were going to call behind as well. The flop was QJ3 and gav101 led for under a half pot bet. The other two players behind me were short stacked so I just called and the other two players folded. The turn was a four and gav101 continued his aggression with a £1500 bet. With £5300 behind I shoved and gav101 thought for about five minutes, stating aloud that he thinks he has eight outs but will gamble. He made the call with AKK5 which gave him slightly more than 8 outs, but I was still about a 60% favourite and yes, the ten came on the river. Welcome back to poker! I lost a £13k pot on the last hand of the night and ended the session £5k down.
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