Thursday, September 15, 2005

Game Report: Cincinnati Club Limited Rebuy

Ahh, the restorative powers of a toasted wholemeal bagel with hot sausage, washed down with mediocre coffee. Suddenly leg two of the trip to work seemed bearable.

I was languishing in Glasgow Central train station on Friday morning, after an unsuccessful, but enjoyable, foray to the Cincinnati Club the previous evening.

The night had started quietly. With an early start time, it made more sense for me to stay in town, rather than heading home for dinner.

I met up with my brother close to his workplace for a traditional Scottish feast of curry washed down with lager. Poker isn't his game so, fed and watered, we parted company and I ambled across the Clyde en route to the club.

With time to kill, I stopped for a few moments to savour the tranquility of the river. Somewhat more relaxing than the other type of river we are accustomed to.

River Clyde
I was really looking forward to the game, as it promised something different.

Most tournaments in Glasgow are of the rebuy variety. From my limited experience of them, I'd come to the conclusion there were a lot more gamblers than card players, some of whom only have eyes for building as big a prize pool as possible.

The low buy-in games are justifiably referred to as 'bingo night', due to the propensity of some players to call with any two cards.

Tonight was intended to be different. As previously advertised on this site, the aim was to go for a structure with more play that would favour skill over deep pockets.

So, there was an initial buy-in of £15 for 3000 chips, with blinds at 50/100 for the first 60 minutes. Only one rebuy or top-up was allowed.

Personally I'd rather just pay £30 and head straight into a freezout with 6000 chips, but it was still a huge step in the right direction.

The driving force behind the new structure was fellow home gamer Rod Paradise, who had persuaded the club management to give the new structure a try, and who I had been assisting in pimping the event across a variety of local forums.

We were delighted to find the club much busier than on previous rebuy nights, as our pimping seemed to have got the message across.

The tourney kicked off at 8.30pm with 54 runners, and a few latecomers missed out. A really good turnout which I hope suitably impressed the management.

Busy night at The Cincinnati Club, Glasgow

After drawing for seats I found myself on a mixed table, with a few players going to war early, whilst the remainder, myself included, sat back and observed the action.

The only notable hand I got in the first hour was QQ, which I made a standard raise with. One caller from the blinds took a flop with me. Checked, and folded to my bet.

There were no obvious draws on the board, and I could probably have risked giving a free card, but I wanted to rake a pot early and give myself time to see how the table developed.

As it happened, that pot paid for my blinds through the rest of the first hour, as I was dealt a succession of trash, and I made it to the break with just my original 3000 chips to show for my endeavours. Taking the top up was a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, the rest of the table had got involved in some big hands.

The loudest player at the table had got exceedingly lucky. Having taken down a big pot with an outrageous bluff, which he showed, just a few hands later he found himself holding AA, and facing an unbeliever. All the chips went in, and the Aces held up.

Post rebuy period, my cards didn't get any better. With a lot of loose limpers, stealing the escalating blinds to stay afloat isn't so easy, and I was gradually sliding down the chip ladder, having missed every flop that I saw.

The situation was not yet critical, but it was getting close, when our table broke and I was moved to sit immediately to the right of 'Whispering' Tommy. A good friend who was there at my suggestion.

Tommy had arrived with a seriously sore throat, and was communicating with croaks and grunts when I last saw him.

It was soon apparent his throat was now in worse shape than my chipstack, as he was conversing in hand signals. Throwing some chips in the pot and pointing skywards to signify a raise.

It hadn't stopped him building a healthy pile of chips.

As the shortstack at the table, I wasn't in a position to push anyone around, so I decided it was time to gamble.

Finding A8s in the small blind, I hoped to get a chance to steal, but an early limper put paid to that plan. I figured a limp in the hope of catching a draw was in order.

Unfortunately, from the big blind a chunk of Tommy's chips went in and his finger gestured towards the ceiling. I could have folded to his raise, but wasn't in a position to surrender the chips easily, so I made the call for around a third of my stack.

The flop brought me a gutshot straight, no flush draw. I pondered for a second, before pushing all in. Pretty much a pot sized bet.

My hope was that I was up against overcards, and might induce a fold.

At best I could be ahead of KQ, at the very worst I'd be behind to an overpair but with the gutshot draw, and perhaps three Aces to save me.

The insta-call told me I was in trouble. Confirmed when Tommy flipped pocket Jacks.

Still, I had seven outs...none of which arrived. I was out in a mediocre position, somewhere around the low 30s of 54.

Time for some socialising, and several pints of reasonably priced beer, served up by the Polish barstaff. A very polite guy who taught me the proper way to pronounce the name of Maciej Zurawski, Celtic's latest goalscoring hero, and a very cute girl who didn't have to do much to make me smile.

I had intended to head home at a reasonable hour but Dave, one of our crew, made the final table, so we stayed to sweat him. Which led to more beers, and a later night, and a very delicate journey to the Glasgow Central next morning.

That's also the reason my description of the play is a bit sketchy. Few notes and many beers equals hazy recollection!

The night went really well and several cash games and SitNGos kicked off as players were eliminated quite early in the evening. The take at the bar must have been good too, so overall I'm presuming it was a good night for the owners.

Let's hope the progress continues and we can move on from the mass of rebuy tourneys and get more variety introduced to the Glasgow poker scene.

No comments: