Thursday, December 23, 2010


Headed off to Normandy on Friday night last for a Saturday start to the Forges Les Eaux French poker series 1.1k, really wasnt up for this trip, with the impending weather warnings and it being so close to christmas. Think i would have tried for a T$ refund on my ticket but for the fact that my amigo Mark, also managed to bink a seat. So we landed in beauvais around 11pm and made our way through snowcovered Normandy backroads to get to the hotel by 2a.m

My starting table was relativily tough compared to the field, the pstarsblog naming it "la table de la mort", it contained Ept champ, pokerstars pro and alround gobshite Arnaud Mattern, seated to my left, Elkys girlfriend to his left and some guy who was points leader in the series to her left, on my right was Alain Roy, a Partouche pro who shipped 1 million in their main event a couple of years back. So ya, there were softer spots out there to be had. The structure was for a 2day event, with 25k starting stax and 40 min levels, i had a poor first couple of lvls and hit a low of 14k b4 i ground it up to 40k. At this point Alian Roy had been replaced by a big staxed
Constant Rijkenburg, the Dutch lad, who looks a bit like Steve Coogan, he's well known for shipping the ept San Remo in 09.

So now im sandwiched between two Epts winners and we are all pretty deep, Arnaud had me covered by about 10k and Constant had over 90k, so at 250/500 we're effectivly over 80bbs deep. Constant is raising every other pot+calling most 3bets. Arnaud is raising alot utg, in late position and seems to enjoy defending his bbs. So Mattern raises his usual 2.2x utg, he gets two callers who both have me covered, so i complete from the bb with my heartbreaker of a hand 25dd....

I flop the flush, comes out k8x all diamonds, i lead out a chunky 3.8k into 5kish, Mattern makes it 10k, i ship he calls with k8, i hold...boom 80k+ he begins to lambast me for playing the 25. I held my peace, happy to be dragging in his chips.

A couple of hands later Constant raises the c/o, i flat the button with ajo, cause both Mattern and elkys gal had reshoving stax, also wanted to keep pots small with Constant until i firgured him a bit more and was happy to play a disguised strong hand in position vs him.

Mattern reshipped what i taught was around 10k, whilst Ryjkenburg was folding i noticed it was a bit more as he had a heap of green 25 ante chips, im not the best at getting stax sizes right and was slightly paranoid about getting everything confirmed in English before i made moves at the table. So I asked for a count and as the dealer was counting it out and it was clear it was closer to 12k, i naturally used this time to comtemplate the call, calling off 25bbs with ajo isnt a standard call for me, but since it was a late position sqeeze over a super laggy open and a deep staxed flat, and considering he was still steaming over the 25 hand and probably plays these regional events with a more cavelier attitude, i make the call.

When i turn over the aj, he accuses me of slowrolling him and procedes to insult me in French to the entire table. I flop my ace and he goes runner runner for a straight with his 78o, banging the table, he tells me that this was karma for my slowroll. Once again, i held my peace, my only comment being that it wasnt a slowroll for me. Staring straight ahead, my eyes meet his glaring down at me from a massive pokerstars promotional photo of him placed directly behing the dealer.

So the game continues,I kept my opens tighter then usual for a big stax at this stage of the tornie because i had 3/4 reshoving stax to my left,concentrating instead on getting in a few 3 bets on Constant which was proving quite profitable. On one such occasion from the sb, Arnaud taught for a while b4 mucking from the bb, Constant also mucked and Mattern luaghed and joked with Constant that he was considering doing something stupid like calling with 25. And that was it, i'd had enough.....

So i turn to Mattern, and tell him in a polite matter of fact tone that he was a professional representing pokerstars in his own country, and that as both a pokerstars player and a vistor to his country, i was very dissapointed with his unprofessional conduct and manner at the table. He goes off again about my slowroll, and this time is joined by Elky's lady. The whole room is looking over at this point, i again explained how it wasnt a slowroll, how i was using the time to consider whether to call or not and i again made the point that i was shocked by such behaviour coming from a professional who really should know better. At this stage the media appear, Ryjkenburg makes attempts to ease the tension and Mattern is wise enough to quieten down before any more of a scene is made.

Mark moves to my table with over 100k, taking the seat of Elkys gal. By this stage ive won a few nice pots, mainly off Constant and am up to round 120/130k, constant is still playing bizarre stuff but it seems to be working for him. In one particualr pot the table nit raises the button into Constants bb, he min repops it to 6k and nit boy makes it 22k. playing 80k, Ryjkenberg makes the call, flop was 102x, goes chk/chk, brick on turn, chk then nit boy makes it 20k into 40. Constant calls, rvr chk chk, constant flips over k2 for bottom pair and yer man shows aqss, Constant ships the pot telling me his plan was to chk/reship any low board

So anyways i naturally bust Mattern up when he reships 12bbs with antes over my k9ss with kq and of course his own karma dictates i send him packing with a 9 ball on the flop. The table became effectivly 3 handed with myself, mark and constant, chatting away to each other whilst we went at it, hammer and tongue. In one big pot, Mark 3 bets from the sb to 10kish over Constants open and my flat, when constant flats were deep enough to justify my call with 10jss.

Flop comes 448, mark leads for 15k, constant who i noticed loved to make plays at scary boards repops to 40k odd and mark jams in his 110k+, Constant insta mucks, Mark tables the a5ss to much applause and table banging from the rest of what is now effectivly an audience with chips
at the table.

300k pot

And so to the tornies biggest pot so far ...Our table is the next to break, and myself and Constant are def in the top 5 of tornie chips at this point with Mark not far behind. Average stax is around 60k and im playing 150 with Constant very closely staxed. Utg he raises, i repop utg +2 to 10.4k, he folds showing me q2o, saying how i always repopped his utg opens and he nearly 4bet me. After an orbit of the table, the td comes to table with the chip treys and spreads out the cards containing the details of our new tables just as the dealer starts dealing out the cards..

Once again Constant makes it 2.2x from utg, i look down at the auld RR(kks at a French table) and make the same sized 3bet to 10.4k, he flats...Flop comes aa3...he chks i bet 12k into 22kish, fully expecting him to repop it, he duly obliges making it 27k to go...Now at this stage i think im ahead, whilst its possible he has a suited ace or a10o+ i think he makes this play with any pp and even a fair amount of air.

Given his previous history on scary boards and our own personal battles i'm not considering folding here. I taught that flatting would look very strong from me here and he might shut down on his bluffing hands, looking to get these hands that i crush into the pot i attempt to min his raise of 15k and give him room perceived fold equity, the td whose at the table with the cards, informs me that i must double the bet to 54k, so i put it in and ryjkenburg instant jams.
I snap call, only to be shown the aq, no miracle of christmas on the turn/rvr and im left with a measly 2k....

Twas a rough spot, being the very last hand on the table versus the one guy in the tornie who can do such damage to me and the only guy who could bluff here so often . i'm always criticising my hands, but i cant see a better way to play this one given the opponent. Even if you take the complete air out of his range when he shoves and give him a range of any pp, suited a, a10+ im still a favourite here, have to call 100k to win 200k, getting 2;1 on my money i feel he easily is bluffing here over 50% of the time. Plus i felt that my mind was made up on the flop, i cant make the min repop unless im willing to call a shove because with the way he plays a shove is highly probable here.

So that was that, as the table broke, a middle aged French man who had been at our table throughout, came over to shake my hand and tell me he agreed 100% with me in relation to the Mattern situation and that i had spoken well about it.

Mark finshed up the day with 180k despite losing a few 80/20s, which left him 6th with 45 out of 278 left and 32 making the money. The following morning we woke up to a huge blizzard, the worst the area has seen in years apparently, we were told all roads out had been closed,with at least a foot of snow on the hedges and car roofs. Funnily enough the last time myself and Mark travelled away together was to Ept San Remo, where we neither cashed or made it home as scheduled cause of the Volcano , not a good omen...

Day 2

Mark built up his stax only to lose a 600k pot when he flopped trips and his opponent filled up on the river, he went out 2 off the money when his a5 lost to Elkys q9...i played a 240+30 turbo bounty and despite building a big stax up, sure enough i crashed out 2 off the money as well when my sb shove with a3o lost to the bbs k10.

Once the poker dream died down, the panic kicked in that we had a flight we didnt even know was goin early the following morning and had to travel on roads we were told were impassable..For different reasons we both needed to get home soon as... We did some inter webbing and discovered that there were no seats free from Charles De galle til tuesday and at that theyd cost a small fortune, Next ferry wasnt til tues night and it was a 14 hr job, so we had no choice but to hit the 55km of treachorus backroads at 2am and hope the flight was goin from Beauvais.

It took us half an hour just to get outta the car park and Mark had this worrying obsession with Bear Grllys survivor programme on discovery and seemed keen on proving how we'd be warmer in a snowtrench then the chevorlet rent a car. Hairy shit ... They were real small rural roads, in parts you wouldnt see any sign of life for 10km stretchs. At one point we drove into this eerily quiet town, all shutters closed, no sign of life whatsoever, obviously we concluded that it was haunted and would be a bad place to get stuck and sure enough on the hill outta town we get oursleves jammed in the snow, apparently the trick is to keep the momentum going whilst heading up snowcovered hills, so we reverse back into the haunted ville,with a fairly tense and nervous atmos in the car...Mark put his foot to the floor, i say a few quiet prayers to myself, the car takes a few too many slides but somehow we get over the hill and past the worse of it.

We made it beauvais before the airport opened at 6am and after a 3hr queue to get through security we found ourselves on the flight outta there and got into Dublin airport a couple of hours before they closed it for the day, after the rough time at the tables,think we were due that wee bit of airport luck!