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Variable Stack, Saturday 18 February 2012

Sam Kalu reports from our brand new tournament

Published on February 23rd 2012.

Variable Stack, Saturday 18 February 2012

HAVING once made the final table at a Poker Confidential tournament, I felt I had as good a chance as any when I arrived at Manchester 235 on Saturday 18 February for the first ‘variable stack’ tournament.

The biggest pot of our table so far, ending my tournament after just under an hour of play

In addition to the cash on offer (£1340 in total) there were also bounties on the heads of Confidential’s Chris ‘Dirty Cash’ Grimes, and Kelly ‘Black Widow’ Ormesher – knock either of them out and you’d be the lucky recipient of a £40 voucher for Linen, the casino’s upmarket restaurant upstairs.

The sound of a thousand chips being riffled barely paused whilst Jono gave the call to his dealers to “shuffle up and deal.”

With the blinds at 50/100, and fast approaching the third level, I picked up 66 in the big blind. A player in late position raised to 300, a standard raise, and I called, along with one other player. The flop came 6KJ, a miracle flop for me as I had hit trips.

I checked the board, looking to raise – it was likely that my opponent, Jaz Akeroyd, was holding high cards, possibly AK, and likely to make a continuation bet. He raised to 300 again. After a bit of mock-deliberation, I re-raised to 700. Jaz quickly raised to 2700 – about half of my remaining chips. I was only being beaten by a bigger set, JJ or KK, and given his betting, I had to give Jaz credit for a big hand. However, I was in a great spot, and pushed for my remaining chips, a further 2000 to Jaz.

2-P1050716We turned our cards over - I was wincing. Jaz has chips back and it’s my tournament on the line. Jaz turns over JK for two pair, weaker than my set, but he can still improve – any of the two remaining Jacks or Kings will give him a bigger full house and knock me out of the tournament.

With two cards yet to come I stood up, as is customary when a player is all-in. The turn card came an 8. Excellent, just one more card to dodge.

The whole table was watching now, and as the dealer exposed the river card, I heard the collective ‘ooh’ before I saw the final card. The Jack of spades, handing Jaz the biggest pot of our table so far, ending my tournament after just under an hour of play.

After a brief break to get some fresh air and to lick my wounds, I returned to the cardroom to see that a handful of other players had been eliminated, including Chris ‘Dirty Cash’ Grimes and Kelly “Black Widow’ Ormesher, who had both fallen before the break. Their bounties went to Steve Francis who eliminated Chris with AK vs A7, and Andy Donne, who knocked out Kelly with JJ against her AK.

After two hours of play it was time for a break, and we filed upstairs for bangers and mash, to compare notes and to share bad-beat stories.

45 minutes later, and the remaining 27 players resumed their seats. A cash game had opened up with the players who had busted early, with a minimum stake of £20, with blinds at 50p/£1.

Jamie Hines became the last player out before the final table, a valiant effort in the young lad’s casino poker debut. The last ten players took a quick break whilst Jono and the dealers counted and moved the chips, and drew seats for the final table.

Action didn’t take long, and given the disparity in chip stacks, ranging from Christian Le Feuvre who was short stacked with 6.5k, to chip leader Chris Evans with 68k. It was Wayne Marescra who made an audacious raise with A4 and was unlucky to run into Peter Kelly’s pocket aces – Wayne was unable to improve, and after a short period of confusion over who had more chips, Wayne finished in tenth place.

4-P1050700With nine players remaining, but only seven getting paid, there was still much to play for, and Christian was lucky to double up from Chun Man with K10 against 96. As blinds were becoming more expensive, the shorter stacks were forced to play shove/fold poker, and George Douse was unlucky to go out next in ninth. He shoved with AK and was called by Kristian Thornley’s AQ. Kristian’s luck was in as he flopped a queen, and sent George packing, leaving the remaining eight players facing the bubble.

Next to leave was Jaz Akeroyd, who ran his K10 into Steven Partington’s AQ to no avail. As Jaz stood, the dealer congratulated everyone for reaching the money, although with £40 for seventh place, and £510 for first, there was still a lot to play for.

With blinds at 2k/4k, it was time to make a move for Steven Partington. Raising pre-flop to 18k, he faced an all-in from Kristian Thornley. He was pot-committed and called for the last of his chips, and turned over J10 to Kristian’s AK. With a flop of J10K, Kristian was left reeling and praying to hit a queen or an ace; an ace on the river made Kristian a bigger two pair, and Steven Partington left in seventh.

In what was probably the biggest pot of the night, Stuart and Chris went head to head. Chris made a difficult call with 77 with a flop of 5K5, but Stuart’s K10 held up, and Chris went out in sixth place.

Chun Man is the next player to leave when he shoves with 76, and called by Stuart who has 99. Despite Chun hitting a 7 on the flop, Stuart rivers a straight to add insult to injury and Chun leaves in fifth place.

Shortly after Chun was Peter Kelly who had been running dry since his early demolition of Wayne at the start of the final table. As the high blinds took their toll, he was forced to move all-in with 76 of hearts and was unlucky to be called by Christian’s 78 of clubs. With two clubs on the flop, Peter’s chances looked slim, and the club on the turn sealed his fate, leaving the tournament in fourth place with £120.

13-P1050715A few hands later Christian was all in with his last 10k with J5 and Stuart had Q4. Neither player improved, and Christian fought a gutsy final table to take third place. Not bad going for the short stack.

With blinds of 5k/10k for heads-up, Kristian had about 100k to Stuarts 250k. As well as a massive chip advantage, Stuart was also lucky enough to have his wife present, who was giving him neck and shoulder rubs. After a quick discussion as to whether they should strike a deal, it was decided that they would play on. Within five minutes, we had an all-in.

With AJ in the hole, and the shorter stack, Kristian had no choice but to move all-in. Stuart had 77, and after a short deliberation, calls. The flop came QK5, giving Kristian lots of outs, but Stuart still marginally ahead with two cards to come. A 6 on the turn and another king on the river sealed Kristian’s fate who can be proud with £340 for his efforts as runner-up. Stuart Bishop looked in great shape throughout the final table, played his big stack well, and thoroughly deserved to win the tournament and the £510 prize.

Final Table Results

  1. Stuart Bishop - £510
  2. Kristian Thornley - £340
  3. Christian Le Feuvre - £200
  4. Peter Kelly - £120
  5. Chun Man - £80
  6. Chris Evans - £50
  7. Steven Partington - £40
  8. Jaz Akeroyd
  9. George Douse
  10. Wayne Marescra

Poker Blog Archive

› Tuesday 9 November 
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› Wednesday 8 December
› Friday 18 February
› Sunday 6 March
› Friday 25 March
› Sunday 17 April
› Sunday 5 June
› Sunday 21 August
› Sunday 4 September
› Sunday 16 October
› Sunday 13 November
› Sunday 18 December

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Latest Rants

Vera Wright

really enjoyed the game , would have liked to be in longer but did manage over 2 hours , And happy…

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Beverley Monks

I really enjoyed the tournament and was a bit gutted to go out 13th, so close yet so far, heres to…

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great turn out and immensely enjoyed the day,well done to all organisers and the dealers!!!!

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june 5th is my tourney watch out the dukes about!!!!

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