My 2011 Part IV - Luton Success

Nov. 13, 2011

Having gotten back into personal training at the gym I was feeling a lot more confident, so I decided to play GUKPT Luton which is only 25 minutes away.  I had a training session on the Friday morning and was feeling very upbeat, then drove to Luton on a lovely day with my roof down and in very positive spirits. I am a strong believer of karma, and something told me that I should dedicate some of my winnings to charity as I am in a very fortunate position that any money I win will make a much bigger difference to other peoples’ lives than my own.  And that is exactly what I did – I even broadcasted this on Twitter and Facebook before I played the event, that 50% of any winnings I make will go to charity.  This got a very positive response.  It was nice to see people write such positive comments and see that deep down I have a very warm heart.  Going as a non Full Tilt Pro for my first significant tournament since the suspension of their license, I decided to help out James Bord by supporting The Poker Farm.  I just felt that so many people wanted me to do well in this tournament and hopefully all this positive energy would help me to make it deep in a very respected UK tournament.  It was also nice to see some old faces, and of course seeing ‘The Tower’ doing his regular interviews always puts a smile on my face – he’s a top man and a genuinely nice guy, we’ve definitely had some happy memories together.


I arrived to Luton to play flight 1a, coming in on level 3.  I really wanted to prove to myself that I am a good poker player and have just been running bad, so this tournament was about proving a point to myself and of course raising money for charity. There were a couple of young strong UK players on my table, but apart from them I felt I was by far the best player and got a nice early double up with KK on a KJ9 board.  I was now beginning to believe that this could be my time to shine. I really felt good throughout the whole day.  I played perfect poker, didn’t put a foot wrong, and things were turning around. I ended flight Day 1a as joint chip leader and feeling on top of the world – even if I didn’t cash, just to have that feeling of playing great poker and building my chip stack was a feeling that I didn’t want to lose.

I came back on day 2 and again was playing some excellent poker, catching a couple of bluffs, and my stack was continually rising. I felt like the table captain and was opening a lot of hands, 3 betting at the right times and things were really looking good.  I then moved to a table where James Akenhead had position on me and it seemed like there were 4-5 decent players.  I knew it certainly wouldn’t be as easy as it had been, and it didn’t take long before I was feeling the heat.  I opened early position with KJ and a young guy with chips and a hoodie and earphones flatted me on the button. The flop came KQ4 with two spades, and I had the King Spades. I decided to check for some pot control and deception.  My opponent bet over half the pot and I just called. The turn was perhaps the most interesting card in the deck – the Jack of Spades. So I had two pair with the King high flush redraw and there was no way I was folding. I checked expecting to face a bet, but surprisingly my opponent checked it back. The river was a totally inconsequential 6 and now this was an interesting spot for me – a little bit like the Kings I lost most of my chips with in the Aussie Millions main event. It just felt like if I bet my opponent would fold so often, but when he checks the turn back it seems like he has some showdown value, most likely AQ  or maybe even AK with no spade.  But it really felt like AQ, and because I was so sure my opponent was going to check behind and I was sure I had the best hand I went for a half pot sized value bet. My opponent was getting his chips ready for a call, only to double the bet! So he min raised me and if I called there, I would have done about a third of my stack. Although I was getting about 6-1 on the call I just decided that if he’s bluffing me then it is an extremely advanced play because quite easily I could be the one with the flush.  Now I was sure he had minimum Ace Ten, more likely a flush and made the fold. He later told me he had a small flush which makes a lot of sense, although if he bets the turn and bets the river he may have won a lot more chips.

That pot dented a bit of my confidence.  We were now only about 10 away from the money and I really wanted that cash on my Hendon Mob database. To my credit I kept my head up, stole a few blinds here and there, and kept myself about average until the inevitable bubble stage happened.  There were about 7 all-ins where the short stack doubled up, and I was thinking, it can’t be me, surely not. I was the bubble boy in the EPT Copenhagen a couple of years ago and it was a sinking feeling, to say the least.  To have played such good poker for two and a half days only to be rewarded with nothing would be heartbreaking. Fortunately, one of the first hands after the break the bubble burst and I could breathe a sigh of relief!

I was beginning to get a feel for the table now and felt that I knew my opponents well.  I was slowly building my stack up to one of the top stacks, and with two tables left we were on the bubble for the final table.  Joe Grech, who incidentally took me out of GUKPT last year about ten away from the money when my jacks ran into his aces, got knocked out but our dealer still dealt a last hand on our table and to my utter delight I wake up with pocket Aces on the button.  One of the strongest players on my right who I hadn’t really tangled with too much raised the cut off, and naturally I put in the small three bet.  Music to my ears, he announced the two words that poker players dream of when they have the bullets – ALL IN.  I snap called and he had a total cooler hand in AK suited.  A few blank cards later and this left me as the joint chip leader with Toby Lewis on the final table. I was lost for words. Ecstatic to say the least, I really felt that I was being looked after and there would be only one winner on the final table.

I did some research on the final table when I got home.  Toby Lewis was always going to be my biggest threat, as he is a phenomenal tournament player whose results speak for themselves. Chaz Chattha, a very experienced player, would never be a push over but as he was the short stack I thought Toby and I would take control of the table. And that is what pretty much happened. If it wasn’t me opening a hand it would be Toby.  Chaz got a nice double with his aces and then took out a dangerous Austrian player with AQ against AT. He then took out the fourth place finisher, and to no surprise the final three players were Toby, Chaz and myself. Regardless of the result I thought it was excellent for UK poker that three UK professionals were the last 3 players, as it showed the public that skill does outweigh luck in the long run.

Three handed I probably played some of the best poker of my life.  I really took it up a gear and trebled my stack with only one showdown and not a single all-in. Then the last hand before the dinner break, Chaz opened the button, I three bet with QQ, Chaz made a small four-bet and with about 35 BBs three handed there’s no real getting away from this hand.  I shoved, he snapped with KK and then on to take the title down against Toby.  I was thrilled for Chaz and stayed a while with him for some drinks in the bar, and although I have never really properly gotten to know Chaz, anything I hear about him is always positive.  So it was the first time I ever busted out of a tournament but felt in great spirits. I raised 12.5k for charity, played my heart out for 3 days and lost to a totally deserving player that should show that UK Poker is just as strong as the other countries.

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  • Comments (3)

What Others Are Saying

3 Comments about My 2011 Part IV - Luton Success

Roger Stokes says:

20th of November 2011

Why do you keep saying 'gotten' when you mean 'got'?

chesney says:

24th of November 2011

"I am a strong believer of karma, and something told me that I should dedicate some of my winnings to charity as I am in a very fortunate position that any money I win will make a much bigger difference to other peoples’ lives than my own" ( )Understands Karma

bhuddist says:

28th of April 2012

Way to go Andrew ! Hopefully this will change the opinion of your countless haters out there. They just can't see what a great player (and person) that you are.

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