Last Sunday saw the annual World Series of Poker Europe Satellite tournament at Manchester235. The prize was an all-expenses-paid trip to Cannes, and a chance to mix it with the big boys at WSOPE.
This represented a superb opportunity for a recreational player like myself to live out a dream.
A total of 94 players arrived at Manchester235 to compete. I took my seat at table seven, and the early action was fierce for a deep stack tournament. The Man United game provided a perfect backdrop to the lighthearted banter that unfolded early on. A combination of football, poker, and friendly players and staff, really separates this poker room from many.
I was overly tight early on, and tried to pick my moments. Being card dead this early can hamper further progress in the tournament. Picking up pocket rockets an hour in, and making them pay, certainly helped my cause.
After chatting to a few regulars, it became apparent there is a mutual desire to at least make it to the first break (buffet!). It's a minimum yardstick for many. Despite this, ten players had fallen by the wayside as the rush for the food ensued.
I returned fed and watered to our smiling dealer Kaloyan. I felt I’d settled in nicely and had an average stack. This rare feeling of comfort didn't last. The next hour I played musical chairs as tables began to break up.
Word quickly spread that the best hand of the day so far was quad 10’s with an ace kicker. You felt early on that it would take some beating. It did indeed last the day, and a delighted Michael Parmer scooped the Linen Restaurant voucher.
The second break was upon us, and already this felt like new territory. I was short stacked though and in need some serious run-good. When my pocket 8’s out flopped pocket Aces I was beginning to think it might just be my day. What then unfolded was all a bit of a blur. I quadrupled my stack inside ten minutes leaving three players in my wake.
Before I knew it, the final table was upon us. Not only was I still alive, I was in pretty good shape. I held 110k of the 1.4m chips in play. After a quick glance around the stacks it seemed no player had arrived with an insurmountable lead. With the blinds and antes at 10-20k, this was up for grabs.
First hand of the final table saw me pick up Aces for the second time in the day. The timing was impeccable. I slow-played it and prayed for action behind. Robert Bickley in seat eight woke up with Kings and allowed me to double up with no drama.
Robert and voucher winner Michael Parmer were now the short stacks and would shortly be eliminated for very respectable finishes.
I then picked the wrong time to overplay KQ on a dry looking board, and before I could say ‘fish’ I had become the short stack. My all-in the next hand with QJ ran in to Tim Pollit's AK, and I was gone in eighth place. Much like Southampton earlier in the day, I had been plucky, but came up short in injury time.
I joined the small contingent on the rail to watch the action come to a close.
As the blinds touched 20-40k the action began to accelerate and the prize on offer became the topic of conversation. Four more players would fall in quick succession and now the opportunity to win this thing began to sharpen into focus.
Kenny Eyres in seat nine had kept the valets busy all day and was now busy picking up pots too. He had a huge double up, his QJ turning a straight, against Todd Robinson’s K2. Kenny now had almost two thirds of the chips in play and it would take a huge effort to peg him back.
Out in fourth place was Andrew Raynes. Kenny casually flopped a King high flush and for Andrew, the Cannes dream lay in tatters.
Next to go was Todd who again came out the wrong side of another brutal Eyres all-in. His A7 didn’t improve against a pair of 5’s. £515 would provide Todd with a good return for his impressive play throughout the day.
The railbirds had aptly given Kenny a ‘King’ moniker, and he didn’t disappoint. Tim Pollitt was sat on a short stack and had to pick his moment. A 30-minute standoff was played out in front of intrigued cash-game regulars.
Eventually all the chips went in. Both players shook hands and nervously waited for the flop. The straight that Kenny flopped simply re-affirmed this really was his day. The whirlwind from Oldham had taken it down.
Despite being a self-confessed rookie, Kenny had demonstrated perfectly that this tournament, and indeed this game, is for everyone. We wish him all the best in Cannes.
|1.||Kenny Eyres||£2100 Cannes package|
really enjoyed the game , would have liked to be in longer but did manage over 2 hours , And happy…Read more
I really enjoyed the tournament and was a bit gutted to go out 13th, so close yet so far, heres to…Read more
great turn out and immensely enjoyed the day,well done to all organisers and the dealers!!!!Read more
june 5th is my tourney watch out the dukes about!!!!Read more