Full Tilt Poker
Roland De Wolfe
Paris Open of Poker
11.00am, the door opens and the cleaner exhales a flabbergasted breath as she sees the state of anarchy in my hotel room. One cleaner's nightmare is my comfort zone. Having purchased some shoes, I headed to Aviation Club de France, which requires a smart-casual appearance; tolerance levels seemed to change depending on the time of day. Arriving 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the tournament, plenty of time to get a mandatory pre-game drink. I paid the tournament buy-in of €300 and selected table 21 seat 10. It was frustrating not be able to view some of my opponents on the other side of the table, but I soon perked up as the winner of the €200 event sat in seat 9, to my right.
Go. The action got underway with a great start. Misdeal. It was at a time like this when I appreciated the great aspects of online poker. Speed of game, ability to multi-table, anonymity, game choices, everything is easy and all in the comfort of one's home. Of course there are advantages to live poker, one being the social interactions. There was no talking between the players at the table, the only noise was the sharp opera music sounding from the IPod of the man on my right.
I was expecting the 200 winner to play aggressively, however he was more concerned with telling his friends behind how he won the day before. This left me to do most of the pre flop raising. This was breaking up the standard French thinking of let's all limp and see if we can hit a miracle flop. I took down most of the pots uncontested. On one of the occasions were someone defended their blind, I had raised in the cut off with T6 off suit, called by the short spiky haired lady with the pronounced jawbone in the big blind. The flop came ten high with 2 diamonds, I bet T50 into the pot of T65. She called, third diamond came on turn and she led out with a T75. The way she gently put the chips in to the middle indicated my eyes that she had made her flush. I stalled for 30 seconds just so my opponents would not think I was betting flops with no cards. In hindsight it may have been beneficial to show the mucked Ten, however they had a rule of, if you show 1 card you must show both. It would have been counter-productive to show the other considering I was raising 3 or 4 pots per round.
On the rare occasion of having a good starting hand, Ace Queen of clubs. I raised 3 bb's in mid-position, blinds at this stage were 10-20. Called by the button, no other participants. Fetch your tin foil hat, as the flop was JT clubs plus another small red card. Coincidence or conspiracy? Damn, this offline tournament poker is shady. Anyway, I set the trap with a verbal check, which my middle-aged oily French opponent duly fell in to when he over bet T200. I put him all-in and he folded after committing half of his chips. He then bellowed out a laugh, probably realizing that he should have saved the 300 for an anniversary present.
The break began at 10.30pm, I had accumulated an extra T375 on top of the T500 starting chips, and I remember this as I told Fougan on the way out. I went back to the Hotel briefly to freshen up and returned to Aviation Club de France about an hour later.
The action began with the 200 winner springing in to life with a quick double up, he had now around the original staring chip amount. After this point, it became a foldathon (folding marathon). I didn't play 1 single hand for about 2 rounds, not due to receiving bad cards, but a mixture of sudden aggression by the big Asian player in seat 4 and desperate short stacks pushing in every hand disabled the possibility of stealing some blinds. The desire to play deserted me; my concentration waned as I could not focus on the game but on everything else around the table. I had been blinded down to T725 when I picked up A9 clubs on the button. There was no previous action before my turn, which I raised to T150. The small blind who had been playing extremely tight and respectfully re-raised all-in for T600+, I folded after some false deliberating.
Blinds had now raised from 25-50 up to 35-70, in the cut off I found KT off suit. I raised to T150, folded to the chip leader in the big blind, he immediately pushed all-in. Easiest fold that I never made, I called knowing fully well that KT was dominated, in the end I lost to Ace King. The sad part of this story is that I was happy to leave, I felt there was no point of enduring such boredom. Questions about my discipline and motivation needed to be addressed before I returned to a poker table. (Continued: Paris Open of Poker Day 3)