Tyne Poker Festival May 4 to May 7
Location: Aspers Casino Newcastle
Game: £200+20 Freezeout. 10,000 starting stack. No guarantee
So, here I am at Aspers Casino in Newcastle (very close to where I grew up) and one of the places where I’ve spent a lot of time honing my game. I’ve had a few small stakes tournament wins here and it’s a nice place to start my Sole Survivor career.
If you’re reading this and thinking about playing poker professionally I would recommend Newcastle as one of your destinations if the buy in is worth travelling for. Newcastle is a great city to visit, with lots of cultural heritage and fantastic nightlife.
On my way in here I saw no less than seven Smurfs and a man dressed as Snow White (no dwarfs present).
Not only that but the casinos here in Newcastle have a really nice atmosphere particularly the Grosvenor casino which I intend to visit as often as they have a big game available. I would only make the trip however if there has been plenty of advertising, something like a GUKPT, as Aspers seemed to want to keep this game a secret and didn’t do much advertising.
The £200 game today is a small buy in, but since it’s so close to where I live there’s almost no invisible rake to worry about. Let’s see how I get on.
I call a small raise with 10-8 in the blinds and the flop comes K-8-6 with two diamonds. There’s a bet and I call. The turn is a 7 and we both check it. The river is the 5 of diamonds putting 4 to the straight on and a possible flush. My opponent checks.
I figure if I am behind it’s to a hand like 9-9 to Q-Q and this river is a scary one. I decide to fire a bet at it but I’m snap called. He turns Q-Q and it’s a rocky start for me. I later realise this guy’s here to play a lot of hands and is throwing his chips around pretty recklessly. Hopefully he will pay me off later.
On my big blind I call a raise that’s already got one caller and the board comes 10-4-4. First to act I check, like an idiot, and let the other guys A-K get there. I make some stupid excuse in my head to call on the river and donk off some more chips.
Thomas Dunwoodie (Tommy) has just moved to my table (third place Irish Open 2008) and just shipped all in blind under-the-gun with the intention of doubling up or re-entering again.
His blind all in turned out to be A-Q and he doubles up against a poor fella with A-9.
My stack is hurting because of my earlier poor play but fortunately I hit a set and win my donked off chips back, let’s start playing properly shall we?
Apparently I’m not in the mood to play properly. That was just stupid. I’m dealt 10-7, the blinds are 150/300, I button raise to 900 and the big blind calls. The flop comes J-7-2 and he checks. I bet 1,100 and he makes it 3,000 to go with 6,000 behind.
I figure he doesn’t put me on much and I’ve seen him check-raise with a flush draw before. So I ship it thinking that he thinks I don’t have much and he calls me with top pair AND the flush draw with his J-8 suited. Suffice to say he took it down. I shake his hand and walk away feeling like a Muppet. If I’m honest with myself my head wasn’t in this game, and I probably should have just stayed at home and saved the buy in for another day. Never mind, I got myself into a taxi and went to see the end of the girlfriends gig. Let’s see how many players show up for the £500 game tomorrow.