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Old 06-07-2018, 12:05 PM   #201
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Been lurking the blog since its inception and it's my favor PGC thread of all time. You are a very talented writer and generally just all around smart dude. With a straight mental game you're sure to succeed in a lot of areas in life. GL
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Old 06-08-2018, 04:21 AM   #202
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

**** mannnnnn. That one broke my heart

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Old 06-09-2018, 10:07 AM   #203
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

I hope you find your path in life brother. Life is a biter sweet symphony you have to keep that in mind. Things do get better . You just have to try. If you think your best inst enough then try harder. In some point from outta nowhere you will start to feel better and actually having a better time.

Gl out there its been nice to read your blog. Gonna miss it
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:50 AM   #204
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

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Old 06-28-2018, 06:05 PM   #205
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Originally Posted by BigAisaOK View Post

So I guess as I sign this blog off Iíd just like to say thanks to all those who have read my posts and have in turn offered advice, or compliments or strategies for moving forward. It really is appreciated and if Iíd be happy to return the favour and help out anyone whoís struggling and wants to reach out to me on here whenever theyíre going through a rough stretch.

Finally, a special shout out to Marginal, Sol_Reader and Gazzy who are 3 guys Iíve become close with in real life and 3 just really warm hearted and good people who seem to have my back a lot of the time.

Cheers & Adios; I fly to Vegas tomorrow morning and will be a blast to see a bunch of yíall out there.

Read a decent bit of your blog but wasn't aware of anywhere near your full story til the post wrapping up your blog. I can relate to a lot of it, though I've never been backed. Being out of action due to the fault of own degeneracy and stupidity is difficult to live with, I know cause I'm there right now.

GL with your future, try to enjoy and play responsibly in Vegas
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:28 AM   #206
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

This probably won’t be a revival of the blog, however, on this, my first pure day off in Vegas since arriving on June 7th I have decided to give my blog the independence of a new post. A vegas recap I suppose, albeit for now, Vegas goes on.

This will be long, but to those who do read it all, my many thanks.

Marginal Backing, it was not.

So a few know, others do not but for the majority of this blog a lot of my play and in particular higher stakes play was done under a backing deal with a good friend of mine. The backing deal had it’s highs and lows but I guess essentially it has ended poorly. The backing deal in some ways was the poker equivalent of having a sugar daddy. My backer believed heavily in me but I guess sometimes our friendship led to him giving me deals that were amazing for me and not so amazing for him. Examples would be letting me play high stakes online, battle tough regs, played 100/200+ 5card, giving me freerolls in tournaments like the SCOOP Main and so on. My backer was undoubtedly a generous man, I played hard for him and tried my best, I believe he knows this and has acknowledged it. Once after our high stakes adventures I had ended up £80k in make up and grinding out of it in Vic games, I would believe it’s been a fair few years since someone has cleared make up like that in London.

Under the backing I achieved an amazingly strong hourly in London games but in tournaments and high stakes online cash we had lost a bunch. This had led to us arguing more and Vegas was kind of a last hurrah, he had informed me that after Vegas there would be no deal. I was £30k or so in make up. Now it’s a strange situation to be in that, in make up and firing out to Vegas where expenses would be high (albeit we agreed to split the expenses 50/50, which was kind of him). However, I came out here primed and ready for a big Vegas. We started ok, however a week or so in I had lost $40,000 playing a high stakes game that decimated our Vegas float and that was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. It was a really hard and troubling time, my backer was a good friend, someone I didn’t want to lose from my life. We argued, as was to be expected and we made some preliminary plans for the remaining dollars we had together out here. Time is a healer and after a few rough days we were back on speaking terms and we were friends again.

I’m sad that my friend ended the deal and lost money during it, I’m sad that the deal is over and that it ended with me in make up but we’ve forgotten about it now, the deal is done and currently I’ll most likely be playing on using my own funds.

25k High Roller PLO

A high and a low point of the trip for me was participating in the $25k PLO high roller. A tournament I was eager to battle in prior to the series. I was able to win a seat through a satellite and this year you had to take the seat, you weren’t allowed to use the lammers for anything else. Therefore the day after the satellite I took my seat amongst some of the best (and worst) in the $25k 8 handed event.

My day 1 table was pretty bad. To say the least. I mean you’d expect the field to be tough in a $25k regardless but in reality a lot of the tables in the field were really soft. On the table next to me they were all ordering rounds of tequila and ‘All in’ and ‘Call’ were heard frequently. My table started obscenely tough with good online regs like Kjunia and a flurry of europeans who seemed to have a good idea what they were doing. Fortunately a few seat changes saw them replaced by American regs and the truth is most American regs are behind us when it comes to PLO. (Writer takes cover as I’ve seen Gazzy take some flack for American comments but I have to stay true to my guns and give my honest opinion). The new regs at my table were a lot weaker and more passive and I was able to navigate my stack nicely and I end the day with about 270k from 125k starting.

Day 2 in short was an extreme low for me on the trip. I don’t really know how to describe what happened but I know my mind set on the day is why I’m a good player but not an elite one. I let the size of the tournament and the pressure get to me and I was never really able to get into a flow. That said, I lost the majority of my chips to Mercier where I’ve made a call with a good bluff catcher that others have said they liked (I won’t go deep into HH’s as this blog will be long as it is) and then I got it in flipping vs Charder with the nuts on a flop vs his two pair and re draws and snap got turned dead. The last one chips went in vs a fishy Bulgarian where I just had the right side of the flip but alas was flopped stone dead, not many sweats there. I was definitely disappointed though after the 25k, I hadn’t performed as I’d hoped on the big stage and I had lost it a little mentally. All a learning curve but at 31 and having played for so many years I would have hoped to have learnt it all by now.

10k PLO

The 10k PLO was a disaster, my mindset was in the gutter after the backing break and the 25k fiasco and although I started really strong and doubled my stack my mind went and with it my stack and before the end of day 1 I was out the door. About all I can say about that but it was a crying shame because the field was literally incredible and I can’t imagine many softer 10ks ever running again.


I only made a few tournament cashes in the series. I cashed a Venetian 1.6k ($3m gtd) where I wasn’t able to return to my chip stack as day2 was on the same day as the 25k. At the time I played day 1 I hadn’t envisaged satelliting into the 25k Plo. After 5 hours in the 25k on day 2 I busted and charged over to the Venetian as quickly as I could in a taxi to see what was left of my stack. I had jumped 7 pay jumps and was left with 11 big blinds. I hung on to go through the 8th pay jump but then busted to Joseph Cheong jamming sb with JJ for 10bb and losing to A8. Pretty annoying day but bagged $4.6k or something for a reasonable cash.

I cashed the $3k NL 6max too. I registered for it at 8:30pm (reg closed at 8:45pm after it had started at 11am) and ended day 1 like 3rd in chips. Quite insane. On day 2 I had a really tough table full of European pro’s and lost a huge pot jamming a big combo draw vs 2pair, I lost the ‘flip’ and I was out shortly after in 97th for like $5k. Pretty disappointing I guess after starting day 2 3rd but a good learning process nonetheless.

Cash Games

Cash games have had a simple formula so far. When I’ve played really big I’ve been crushed and in my bread and butter 5/10/25 I’ve absolutely slaughtered. I know my ex backer will be reading this and shaking his fists and head angrily as 5/10/25 was what he would have wanted me to be camped out at. That’s my level, that’s where I destroy and it’s where I’m certainly amongst the best of the regs. I did most of my grinding in the Kings Room and the games I think were pretty good. The room is ran really well, less dodgy list stuff happens than Aria/Belllagio and the chairs are comfy, with chargers in the tables and they had coffee on tap and run a really good buffet in the evening, I’ll be back here next year I’m sure.

Main Event

He’s a shy man and he’ll probably be annoyed at me for this but my ex backer deserves great compliments for his generosity. We had $$ left over from the end of the deal and he asked if I wanted to play the Main Event on a 50% freeroll, no make up implications. Just quite simply an incredibly kind offer and one that I obviously couldn’t refuse. So I extended my trip and alas played day 1b of the Main Event.

It took me two hours to register, the lines were insanely long and took an eternity to get through. I hadn’t eaten and decided to go for food prior to taking my seat and if anything over ate. I have been battling illness in the form of stuffed nose, nosebleeds, sore throat and lack of energy all trip. Well bar the nosebleeds the other 3 hit me in one go as I took my seat in the Main yesterday. I played only for about 40 minutes and we were about to be on dinner break. I lost with trips vs a rivered flush for a big pot and I saw my starting stack of 50k sawn in half. By the time the break came I was spent. I felt tired, weak and ill and I was just about done with Vegas and was thinking of what flight I would get home. I was fully aware though that this was still and amazing chance and that 25k at 200/400 or whatever is still a hell of a lot of chips. I went back to my hotel on break, had a bath and tried to mentally decompress and soften.

After I returned from dinner break I was a different man. I got to work, made some hands, absolutely rekt one dude all evening and eventually was able to bag 157k from a 50k starting going into day 2. To put that into perspective thats over 200bb. I’ll be working hard on my mental state tomorrow morning when we return for day 2 and will be looking to build on the 25k experience and avoiding the errors and mental traps I fell into there. The good thing about the main is that your stack doesn’t matter a huge deal, it’s such a long marathon that you just have to focus on each hand at a time and just hope it clicks, that you can make hands, and avoid multiple land minds. If that happens then who knows, perhaps a deep run can happen.


Because of the way it’s worked out I was able to book a small win on the trip for myself but currently am down about $45k or so total results. Not the worst series I’ve ever had and not the best but I’m still in the Main Event heading into day 2.

Rest of Vegas

I’m sure most have switched off by now but I just want to end by saying, it’s been a really trying Vegas at times. I’ve felt exceptionally down on occasions and my health really seems to have been suffering as a result. However, it’s still been a great Vegas.

I’ve seen so many old friends out here, some who read this blog, some who I just haven’t seen since we’ve played together 3/4 + years ago. Everyone has been incredibly friendly and fun to catch up with to the point London players have asked me ‘how many f’ing people do you know in the poker world’. It’s really been a joy and pleasure to see old faces and it’s reminded me how many really great people we can meet in this profession.

I’ve had countless stories I could tell and if this post is received well I’ll type some out. Let’s just say you don’t play a $600 HORSE tournament at Binion’s, make a day2 and walk away with no stories to tell.

Shout out to SolReader, a good PLO partner in crime, a calm head, a beautiful mind and a solver savant. Always keeps me going even though he thinks I suck.

Shout out to my buddy Colin and his Canadians friends. Colin is one of the best mates, one fo the actual best guys I’ve ever met in poker and his American and Canadian buddies out here have taken me in as one of their own this trip and we’ve have some good laughs, I’ve also realised how incredibly good everyone is at bowling over here. Also shout out to Colin for coming 14th in the Monster Stack for a great score. I was railing the whole way and way prepared to sweat it out hard on the final table. I didn’t even have any action in him but just to see a good mate get that deep and that sweat was awesome and I was hoping with all my heart he’d get the huge score his hard work deserves.

Final shout out to the main man and 2p2 end boss in my eyes, the revered GazzyB. I know Gazzy a bit from London, from playing footy and from on here a little. However, I’d say in Vegas we’ve really become friends. He’s a great guy, really funny and has a great attitude. He’s the sort of guy who makes me enjoy poker again with enthusiasm. I sort of see him like a little brother but the ****er is about 2x as taller as me. It’s been really fun to shoot the sh** with him and we even entered the tag team $1k together but alas the poker gods wouldn’t give us the run good we required. Gazzy is definitely someone I find it really easy too root for and I wish him all the best (particularly in this Main Event).

Ok, there’s a lot more I could ramble on about and plenty of stories from the felt I could share but that’s a pretty long recap for now. For those, if any, who reads to the end thanks and to all my brothers left in the Main Events good luck and let’s get it!


Last edited by BigAisaOK; 07-05-2018 at 01:48 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:00 AM   #207
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

as always a great read brother !
Do not give up, i think you will short things out eventually.
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Old 07-05-2018, 04:33 AM   #208
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Great read. I'm definitely rooting for you, your backer seems like a stand-up guy too.
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:52 AM   #209
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Very nice update, thanks for that. Hope you'll go deep in this Main for yourself and your backer, who looks like an absolute sweetheart.
Please don't stop updating!
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:07 AM   #210
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Another good read, sorry to hear things didnít go your way entirely in Vegas.

Best of luck day 2 and hopefully beyond.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:42 AM   #211
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Always insightful to read such transparent posts from a person of your calibre. Wishing you the best for the main alongside any other endeavours you decide to embark on.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:02 AM   #212
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Post was well received, moar banger stories required vamos glgl Main and glgl future
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:19 AM   #213
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Great update man. I'm definitely interested in those additional stories!
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:29 AM   #214
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Great post, keeping my fingers crossed for stories, post wasnít long enough !
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:47 PM   #215
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Was good to see an update, my man. Never got around to hitting you up on Skype but I will! GL in the main brother and hope you keep posting in here.
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:49 PM   #216
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

I like reading your journaling BigAisa. GL in the main!
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Old 07-05-2018, 03:54 PM   #217
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Echoing the gls and well wishes of everyone else. Hope you just chop the main with gazzy and you and your backer can ride off into the sunset together. He sounds like an absolute gem.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:13 PM   #218
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

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Old 07-06-2018, 02:28 AM   #219
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Great to see an update from you, been wondering how itīs going. Ship the main!
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:33 AM   #220
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Great update Phil! Best of luck in the main event and going forward with life/poker.
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:27 PM   #221
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Few Vegas Stories

On the night me and my backer decided to part ways I was naturally pretty down and upset because we’re really good friends and we were arguing. A buddy of mine suggests we go to Bellagio and play some blackjack and have a few beers. We get to Bellagio and go and meet Luke Schwartz who’s in Bobby’s room and Luke suggests we go and throw some Dice/Craps. It’s good morale, Luke being Luke is leading morale, chatting with the croupiers and bringing good morale to the table. We dust a bit though and Luke was playing like $500/1000 mix and said he needs to go back to the game. Our friend Chinese Allen comes downstairs and me, him and my buddy go off to play blackjack, we all run really good and I win like $14k from a $500 buy in; lol sick spin.

After the black Allen bids us farewell and me and my buddy go to grab food. We start chatting to these Scottish girls who become a lot more interested when my friend spills a bunch of flags across the counter and we start chatting to them for ages, like an hour+. Eventually we say we’ll go to a pool party with them (we didn’t and never intended to LOL) and we head our separate ways. As we’re leaving the casino security shouts over and asks me if im (insert my name here). I tell them yes what’s up, sort of weirdly nervous. They ask me to come with them to some security room and it turns out I’d left my backpack with like $35k in it my the blackjack table. They somehow when to the poker room with my players card that was in my bag and asked if anyone knew me and someone said they saw me playing BJ and gave a character description and they’ve seen me leaving. Pretty much as lucky as it gets! Also I’m a complete moron. In classic nerd fashion I’ve also had a nosebleed whilst collecting the backpack and everyone was kinda looking at me like ‘wtf is wrong with you’, being a spazz is hard .

Big Call leading to inevitable fall in the 25k

I mentioned in the previous blog that I fired the 25k PLO and I made day 2 with good chips and then on day 2 I kind of unravelled and it was a really poor day eventually. My main downfall came in a really big pot with Jason Mercier. Hand in question goes Jason opens HJ and I flat BTN AxJxTc7c. Now first thing I’ll say is that this is probably a little loose to defend and something I don’t usually do, I think this was the first sign of my lack of quality on the day. AJT8 would probably be close. Anyway the BB calls and we go 3 way to a flop on AcJc2x. Pretty good flop, goes check, Jason bets kinda big, I have a very easy call and BB folds. Turn is the Kc so we’re looking at AcJc2xKc.. I expect this to go check a ton but Jason surprises me betting big, it’s a weird spot now where he can have worse flushes for sure, albeit these combos shrink a lot with be block Tc and 7c and of course he can have a ton of Qcxxx stuff and some nut flushes. We’re obviously very high up in range and we go ahead and make the call planning to be basically always call down. River comes Kx and now Mercier bets big again and I eventually call. I chatted to some friends some of who believe that I should fold other who think the call is good. I think it comes down to this, my range in Jason’s eyes should basically be exclusively mid level flushes. I can occasionally have a boat but not a ton, perhaps AKK (a likely 3b candidate pre), I probably am incentivised to fold JJ on the turn due to his large sizings. I don’t think I have a ton of AK either as again this folds turn to the large sizing. So he can bet all his Q high flushes in my opinion liberally but I think Jason’s style is that he’d check this river with Q high flush, my friend Flong agreed with that who said he’d played a lot of PLO vs him in mixed and didn’t see him as a light value bettor and especially not in tournaments. It’s a weird spot and I’m almost exclusively hoping to see AxQcxx and perhaps there aren’t enough combos of this given the ones that make straights on the turn might check a big % and therefore he just randomly has turn bluffs that become boats on the river. This was the case and he had KxQcQxJx for a turn bluff turned river boat. I guess this made a lot of sense and I think perhaps I’ve been too stubborn on the river and made a bad call.

Some Main Event hands for y’all to laugh at me over

I think I should probably never bluff ever in Holdem because they’re really, really bad bluffs. This first one is my favourite for what happens at the end of the night. So day 1 of the Main I’ve ran my stack up pretty high and we’re on the last hand of the night and I open JTo in MP and this older guy who seemed to be solid throughout the day and then he seems to be losing his rag a little at the end of the day. HU to A84r and I go ahead and bet range and bet small, all very standard. He calls and I’m planning to give up on most turns. Turn comes Tx and I check and he bets 3k/7k and I check raise (what am I doing?) to 9800 and he tanks for a long time and calls with 15k back and I assume now he has enormous hand. River comes Jx and goes check check and he has AQo and I win with two pair having butchered the hand. Anyway we have to stand around for 15mins waiting for the ‘bagging process’ and this guy starts aggressively laying into me. Not completely physically but verbally and looks like he’s on the border of physically. I’m a bit scared, he’s a huge Texan dude and he starts going on saying ‘you know it’s bad etiquette to push around a under pressure stack when you’ve got a fat stack at the end of the day’. I’m sort of trying to reason with him and explain to him that ‘it’s just poker, it’s nothing personal, I’m just trying to win the hands I’m in etc’. He continues to be aggressive and I’m now trying to get the floor’s attention mainly to protect myself but alas it’s mayhem as they’re trying to bag etc. I turn into the most affable version of myself, crack a few jokes and even offer up a handshake. He calms down eventually and is exasperated and I get it, it sucks he’s played a hand well, been whaled on and bags 20bb rather than say 100bb going into day2 or whatever. Was a funny situation regardless and obviously him trying to bring it down to ethics is completely ridiculous.

Day 2 of the Main. I bagged 157k, which was a big stack and I start day 2 with like 230bb or something. I have a dream opening table and I’m able to chip up to about 220k when we get to the 500/1k level. Sadly our table is one of the first to break and I get moved to a tougher table with some larger stacks. Then the first of 2 complete car crashes happens. MP opens 2.2k and he has me covered and I call 86dd on the button. HU to a Q82r flop with bdfd for me. He bets 2.6k and I call. Turn comes 3x and he bet 7k and I raise to 23k and he calls. River is 2x so Q8232 and he checks and I overbet 65k and he calls with AQo. Laugh away boys, albeit it’s not laughing matter as it’s Main and even early these are big equity decisions.

I’m pretty down after that and feeling bad about myself when the dinner break comes in the nick of time. I go for dinner with a buddy away from the RIO and he calms me down and picks my morale back up. I have a laugh reading my friends messages where everyone is calling me a huge dork and saying that’s one of the worst hand histories they’ve ever read. Hurt but I can understand. I come back after dinner and run my stack back up to 220k again and then this hand happens. I limp a lot UTG (awful, awful strategy) and I limp JTcc UTG, Kristen Bicknell iso’s me to 4.2k and 2 villains call and I call. Flop comes J53r and I check, she bets 7k and this rec thing makes it 16k and I make it 29k. Kristen folds KK (she claims) and villain calls with 30k back. Turn is 2x and I jam and he sighs off AJo and I’ve donated another 80k back or so.

After that I lost heart a bit and lost a few hands and all off a sudden I’m in the danger zone. I have been conversing a ton with my tablemates, generally being funny and friendly and everyone is having a good time. The guy on my left was an absolute sweetheart and although we’d only known each other for a few hours he has a weird vested interest in my wellbeing and kept telling me that he was rooting for me and that he thought I was a great guy. He was really upset at my blowing up with the JTcc and kept asking me why I did it. Anyway I’m down to 25bb and I’m chatting to Kristen telling her stuff like I’m going to go home and drop a toaster in the bath with me. She’s involved in a collusion scandal lately after a 3handed fiasco with her bf recently. She seems like a nice enough person though and she’s like ‘don’t kill youself but if you do give me your chips first’. I inform her that ‘Kristen, be careful, that sounds an awful lot like collusion’, the table laughed a lot and she laughed too, albeit very nervously.

I dig deep and I actually play the shorter stacks quite well as a good friend and pgc guy gave me monker solutions on different stack sizes and positions. I scrap a bunch of shoves through and I get to the end of day 2 with 64k. It was bittersweet cos if I wasn’t donk I’d probably have ended the day with 250k+ and be cruising going into day3 but day3 is the furthest I’ve made it in the Main and that feels really good and 64k albeit short is still 32bb in a tournament with an amazing structure so anything could happen.

Ok guys, feel free to really bash me for those two bluffs, I can take it and nothing will be said that hasn’t been said so far but it’s all a learning process to be honest and I’ll come back a better player from these mistakes. Also I doubt there’s many people who have bluffed off 100k twice on day 2 and still gone on to make day3 so there’s always that.

Thanks for reading and gl to all of y’all still in the Main too, let’s get it.
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:03 AM   #222
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

heh yeah those two hands were pretty terrible, but everyone makes mistakes from time to time and as long as you realize they were bad and why no big deal. Can't change the past and all you can do is keep your head on right and battle forward. gl tmrw!
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Old 07-07-2018, 12:30 AM   #223
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

Originally Posted by TheTyman9 View Post
heh yeah those two hands were pretty terrible, but everyone makes mistakes from time to time and as long as you realize they were bad and why no big deal. Can't change the past and all you can do is keep your head on right and battle forward. gl tmrw!
Yeah when it comes to a game thatís not my specialty like NL the good thing about me is I wonít arhue if a good NL player tells me itís bad. Several friends who are excellent at NL told me they were awful so I was happy to take the criticism and learn from it. 32bb in the Main is certainly workable so Iím happy and confident going into tomorrow, gotta be thankful to still be in the hat.
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Old 07-07-2018, 06:52 AM   #224
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Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

The JTcc was something special

Rooting for you hard Phil!
BenaBadBeat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2018, 01:39 PM   #225
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 24
Re: BigA Live Grind to Retirement 2018

32bb and a dream, it’s coming home, me thinks
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