I had no idea, but apparently there is world class poker in Russia. And I’m not even talking about Moscow or Saint Petersburg, but a city of Sochi. Yes, that very Sochi that hosted the Winter Olympic games in 2014. There is a casino there, called Sochi Casino and Resort, and it started to host regular big name tournaments. The very last festival they had, The WSOP Circuit Sochi, that ran from 13 to the 30 of May, 2018, brought a fairly big turnout. And the big European Poker Tour Sochi that ran in March of 2018 was even televized.
I am happy to report that my preparation efforts did not go to waste. I played in the $125,000 gtd in Columbus last Saturday and Sunday, and came out with a small win. Since this was my first multi-day poker tournament, I really made it a point to make it to the second day. That definitely effected my play. At the end of the day I bagged 75,000, which put me fourth from the bottom among the remaining players. Even though it was a pretty poor performance, I considered it a win. I made it to the second day ! The prize pool grew to over $187,000, smashing the $125k guarantee, and I had a chance to get a piece of it.
Coming back in the morning, and realizing the truly terrible shape I was in, I decided to try my luck and push all in with any decent starting hand right away, to try to double up. Doubling up was essential if I wanted to make the money bubble. We were already playing at these high blinds, and I could not afford to sit around and get chipped down with the antes and the blinds. When I sat down at the table, I was the low stack. And my mind was made up. Very first hand, very first card was an Ace of clubs. I didn’t even look at the second card and just jammed it all in preflop. Fold, fold, fold… and the small blind goes all in on top of me. Everyone else folds and we flip our cards. Small blind is holding pocket Queens, and I ended up with Ace Jack off suit. Ace on the flop and ace on the river assured my double up on the first hand, and I sighed a breath of relief.
Once I doubled up, the cards just went cold. I folded and folded, and bluffed a hand once or twice. But there was nothing there. I barely made it to the money bubble, and even walked away from the table for a bit while we were hand for hand. With 64 players remaining, we played hand for hand for almost 40 minutes. No one wanted to be the bubble boy, so people were fighting for survival. Once some unfortunate contender busted, and the money bubble burst, people opened up their game a bit. I finally saw a pocket pair of Sixes and shoved all in preflop. The guy with Ace Queen offsuit called and got an ace right on the river. My four card flush draw did not materialize, and I busted out, taking 54th place and $613. That is almost double my money, so I am happy with the result.
Next up is the Jack Fall Classic Series at Cincinnati. The series will have a dozen good events including a $350 buy in $250,000 guaranteed kickoff event, and a half a million dollar guaranteed main event for a $1000 buy in. I know its not much to all you rich people, but quarter of a million dollars is a nice size of change for me, and it will definitely have my attention. Plus now I can afford the buy in. I don’t know. I did have my eye on this WPT – Bad Boys of Poker DVD for a minute now. Ohh Antonio, you are such a stud. how do you spell televised poker