Saturday, July 07, 2007

Birthday Celebrations

6th July 2007 - G Casino, Salford, Manchester
£3 No Limit Hold Em Rebuy Tournament

In the last few weeks, I've been looking for any excuse to get out of the house. My old car, a yellow Fiat Cinquecento, was becoming too much of a financial burden by constantly fixing repairs to keep on the road. I didn't enjoy driving in it during the last few years, as it felt like sitting in a small tin box with wheels on. So the time was right to purchase a new car. By a lucky twist of fate, a couple who are two of my closest friends needed to sell their top of the range Renault Clio 1.6 RSi, as it had become surplus to requirements. I knew it had been kept in immaculate condition from new and cared for lovingly. Buying it was the most logical course of action. I even sold the Fiat the very next day to another friend from work. So everything has fitted together wonderfully. After working out what all the buttons do, I just want to drive anywhere and everywhere!

I've started playing live again a couple of weeks ago, but didn't document those visits on this blog. I've decided to post more trip reports on here, as I think it will give me a positive direction to aim for, rather than playing in a happy go lucky manner. Additionally, I'm going to start recording my results as best as I can, to see whether solely playing live tournament poker can be financially sustainable.


Being a large city, Manchester has several casinos which offer poker, and I intend to try them all out, bankroll permitting. If any readers of this blog may remember, I started out playing live at The Riverside Grosvenor Casino in Salford. In it's time, it was voted best card room, and although I haven't been back there for a number of years, I suspect this honor has slipped from it's grasp. A strong contender may be the G Casino, also located in Salford, and owned by the Grosvenor chain as well. Although not the most salubrious of places to locate a casino, it does offer secure car parking, complete with machine gun posts around the perimeter.

Although I've never visited the place on a Friday night, I knew something was afoot, or more precisely 8 feet, as a pink bunny girl on stilts welcomed me in with a champagne reception. At first, I thought I had gatecrashed someones private party, so humbly accepting the glass, I made my way to a quiet part of the casino. It wasn't until the tournament had actually started, that I discovered that G Casino was celebrating it's first birthday.

I've never seen the place as full before. By midnight, there were six full tables playing cash games, although it would be stupid for a novice like myself to play on one of those tables, as the standard of play is very good. I recognised Alex "King" Kong playing on on of them, who has WSOP experience and success. I've played tournaments with him before, and gained some useful insights from those sessions, the hard way.

A buffet was provided during the night, which instantly attracted a large crowd. There were still enough food to go around by the time the tournament was on break, which was fortunate for me was it was the only time I would get a chance to grab a bite to eat. One thing which was distracting was the sixties band that was playing on stage. The volume of noise near the bar area was shattering glasses, including the ones on my face. The din was a little more tolerable over in the poker room, but still loud and manic enough for some colourful but well-natured banter at our table.

The noise distortion didn't help the new, inexperienced dealer at the table....... me. Having just busted our dealer, these being self-dealt tournaments, and being sat immediately to his left, the onus was on myself to take over after his departure. Being partially deaf, if not a little dumb, I didn't relish the prospect. But, as I keep saying to myself, the only way to improve is with practice, so I didn't object to being pushed into this position. One of the first things I noticed as I sat down in the centre swivel chair, is that the extra height of the chair and it's position, gives you a commanding position to view the rest of the table. Most of the time, sat in other positions, your view will be partially blocked from at least one or two other people. Another thing I learned from dealing, is that it is mentally a drain on your resources. Subsequently, I found my game tightening up drastically, only playing premium hands. I'm wondering if this is something to look out for in other players when it's their turn to deal. I think that it is, especially if the dealer is inexperienced like myself, or looking flustered. I think I handled dealing reasonably well, and got feedback from a couple of players after the tournament. I handled one complicated four way split pot well, insisting on sorting out the side pots before the cards were turned over and the board cards revealed, despite one player's insistence that we should just play the hand out an sort the pots out afterwards. I'm glad I stood my ground there, although I need to be more assertive, insisting that a player makes his intention clear whether they are raising and by how much, or simply calling, making a non-verbal action. However, with the constant noise emanating from the band in the corner, I was under difficult circumstances.

Overall, I felt happy with my standard of play, reaching the last two tables before busting out. The tournament plays out very fast, with the blinds increasing every 15 minutes, and only 1000 starting chips. Despite the turbo structure, I only made one re-buy and the add-on, and made some creative plays when the opportunity arose. By the time the re-buy was over, I only had 3,200 chips, but quickly improved to 17,000 once the break had elapsed. Being only a £3 re-buy tournament, it attracts new players to the game, which is a wonderful thing. I'm probably punching below my weight in these games, but they are a good way to ease myself back into live play without proving to be too expensive. I want to prove to myself that I can successfully beat these tournaments before looking for those with a higher buy-in and hopefully a slower blind structure.
Further information regarding G Casino, Salford, can be found here

Tournament: £3.00
Entry Fee: £2.00
Re-buys: £3.00
Add-on: £3.00
Drinks: £2.40
Petrol: £4.00
TOTAL: £17.40

Tournament Winnings: £0.00

Total Profit/Loss: -£17.40
Cumulative Profit/Loss: -£17.40


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