Clacton live donkament trip report (10-12 November)
(Some of the specific details such as times/chronology of events and especially hand details may be off. Some things are not detailed enough, simply because I don't remember the details. Put this down to a lack of sleep and generally crap memory on my part)
As some of you may or may not know, a bunch of us went to Clacton (on the south east coast of England, about an hour's drive from London for the uninitiated) last weekend to play some live donkaments. The party consisted of:
I'd like to make excuses, but the truth is I'm a week delayed writing up this report because I'm a lazy git.
Having booked Friday and Monday off work, I left home at 6:30am (about an hour before I'd even have to get up if I was going to work), to get into Birmingham City Centre to get a train at 7:20am, or thereabouts. The first donkament was at 2:00pm and I had arranged to meet Liam and Tracy beforehand at 11:00am at Stansted (London), easier for me as I could get a train directly there, and they were both staying nearby, so it wasn't too much hassle for them.
Anyway, trains suck. I mean they really
suck. Especially Central Trains. If you're planning on getting a train around here, don't get a Central Train anywhere, because, well, they suck. The train I'm on ends up terminating at Cambridge (an hour from Stansted), because, well, it sucked. Pretty much just as I'm getting off the sucky train, Liam calls asking where I am (it's round about 11am at this point), and I let him know the news about the train sucking, after taking about 15 minutes to try and get used to his very Irish accent.
I end up meeting Liam and Tracy at just past midday at Stansted, having hopped on another Central Train (which also sucked but at least got to its destination) from Cambridge. We rush off in the vague direction of the car rental parks, a little worried about the time as it's about an hour and a half's drive to Clacton, not accounting for what we referred to as 'getting lost time'.
The journey ends up taking less time than expected, and we find the snooker club where all the poker is going on with no hassle (mainly because of my uber-navigating skills, I must say). Having been delayed by an hour or so, we still end up getting there before Colin and Jon.
At one point we have a little laugh about how many idiots will turn up in the whole baseball cap and sunglasses garb. As we're discussing this, someone in a baseball cap walks by, much to my amusement as I feel the need to point out 'there's a donk in a baseball cap' and have a little giggle at him.
That donk in the baseball cap was Colin, who'd just arrived with Jon. Chortle chortle.
So anyways, moving swiftly on, we have a chat and a drink for about 10 minutes before the first donkament starts. It's a £20 freezeout, and there are about 60 entrants.
We all sucked. I was sat with Jon to start with, and he lasted a total of about 4 hands, deciding to bluff-raise with rags against a calling station's KQ on a AAQ board. Obviously he wasn't to know villain was a calling station after 4 hands, but, umm, yeah. I end up doing very little until the break before busting shortish stacked in a race, my AQ vs TT, all in preflop, board bricked. Nobody else in our party fared much better.
So we all go back to the drawing board. Liam in particular devises an infallible strategy - which I shall name the 'The more alcohol I consume the better I will be at poker' tactic. We hang around for a while and have a couple more drinks before popping out for some food (Chinese restaurant, I forget the name but the food was pretty nice), and heading back refreshed for the second donkament - a £40 one rebuy or addon event which started at 8:30pm. About 80 entrants this time.
As a group we fared a little better in this one - as far as I remember everyone made it past the first break. I must plead ignorance as to exactly how everyone did, but
I think there was a spell about an hour after the break in which we started dropping. I ended up about back where I started at 2500 chips at the break, having dropped a little having to fold a CO steal with A9 to a SB reraise, but having won a nice pot in the hand before the break where I open-push JJ, and some guy declares "I'm bored" before calling with 76o. Board bricks and I bust him. I add-on, having not had to rebuy before the break, giving myself a 5k stack (we weren't allowed to rebuy unless our stack was <1250, otherwise I'd have rebought immediately of course). Surprisingly, I'd guestimate only half of the people who had the option of adding on actually added on.
Shortly after the break, it starts getting fun. JTo in the big blind, 4 limpers. I check, and we see a AKQr flop. Check-check, button bets, and I, in my infinite wisdom, elect to slowplay and just call. Everyone else folds. Turn K and I throw up a little inside, but then take the time to think about it and realise that only KQ is likely in button's limping range and beats me. Considering he's calling with any K and maybe with some Ax hands, I push for about 1.5x pot. Villain calls, says "I'm gonna be pissed if he's got the King", and shows A9o. I try not to giggle, river blanks and I take down a nice pot.
Fast forward a few hours because I can't remember anything interesting. Jon, Colin and Liam are busto, Tracy did well but followed not too long after. I'm in decent shape despite having not been involved in any major hands for a while. Two absolutely key hands for me at this point, both with AKo.
1) AKo in the SB, drunk button minraises, I tank for a while and elect to just call. BB folds, flop KK9. I check - I called preflop because I know by checking to him I can get teh drunk guy to push on any flop. Obviously he pushes, I beat him into the pot, he shows T3o and I don't even notice I made quads on the river because he was drawing dead on the turn.
2) AKo in MP, I raise, folds to SB who pushes a short but reasonable stack. I don't know the exact numbers but basically I call and win, I cruise to the final table. I call and lose, and I'm right back in the middle of the pack with 3 tables left. Against most players I'd call this relatively quickly, but SB had been very quiet - since I'd been moved to the table I don't remember him having played a hand. After about 5 minutes of my thought processes being "ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap", they turn to "screw it, let's gamble", and I call. Villain shows KQo and I'm happy because I know this isn't PokerStars
and so the Q isn't going to hit. It doesn't, and the hand propels me to chip leader status.
Not a lot happens before we get down to the final table - I steal successfully from LP a couple of times and have to lay a steal attempt down to a reraise, and I get offered about 43768 drinks from the other guys (43767 of which I politely reject because I'm knackered enough as it is). Usually, online, I'd use the bigstack aggressively and open up, but something stops me from doing so here, and I can't really explain it or justify it. I ultimately stuck to a generally TAG game throughout.
Anyway, there are quite a few short stacks at the final table (I was 2nd or 3rd in chips), and they start getting unceremoniously dumped out. I pick a perfect time to be relatively card dead - one guy in particular opposite me is LAGging it up with a big stack. A couple of SB steals from the uber-tight guy to my left keep me tiding over, until I pick up AA in MP. Guy to my right raises for about half my stack, I have no option but to push, all folds to the original raiser who for some reason thinks his AT isn't any good . Regardless, it's a nice pot to pick up.
We have a phase 5-6 handed where two very short stacks keep pushing, and myself and the guy to my right keep calling with our bigstacks and checking it down (I knew he would check hands like this down with me after the first occasion because of some comments he made). Let me tell you, if online poker is rigged against the short stacks, live poker is obviously the opposite! One particular hand where my 88 and other bigstack's AK both lost to a shortstack's J9 sticks in the mind, though there were half a dozen more similar hands.
Around about this time, Liam comes up to me to give me a good luck message. It was something along the lines of "haaacccclugggguuuuuuchhggg", which is either some kind of mystical gaelic blessing, or some kind of random crap blurted out as the result of extreme drunkenness. I'll let you decide. Liam and Tracy retire to the B&B not long after this
Anyway, long story short, I wind up finishing second for £896.80, which was nice. My shortstacked A4 loses to 66 all in preflop HU, but to be honest it was 4:30am at the time and I just wanted some sleep. The guy who won was a really nice guy who I'd been chatting to a bit (he'd been sat next to me from about 3 tables left through to the end), and I'm glad that if I couldn't win, he did. 8 hours of playing poker, 4:30am, having got up at 6:00am the previous moning, well, you can guess what sort of condition I was in.
We had a deal whereby we split all profits between the four of us (Tracy didn't want in on the deal obviously because she thinks she was better than us all - more fool her!). Considering we're all of roughly equal ability, it seemed like a good idea - in fact I have to admit I thought I was getting the good end of the bargain at the time because the others had more MTT experience and more live experience. Regardless, I'm happy enough with bragging rights for the weekend!
Astonishingly, we don't get up in time for breakfast at the B&B, or indeed for the midday event on Saturday, though the sense in playing in a £30 rebuy after the day we'd had yesterday was probably debatable.
We do play the £100 freezeout in the evening though. I don't particularly want to talk about that one, and I don't think the others do either. All I will say is I find it infinitely more frustrating going out because of poor play on my part then taking a 'bad beat', and I hate TT. I really hate it, it sucks nearly as much as Central Trains. We were all out by the first break bar Colin, and he bust on the first hand after the break.
We spend the rest of the evening (and morning, up until some ridiculous time like 6am) playing doss-about £5 donk n gos between the five of us. I think we all ultimately agreed this was the most fun we'd had all weekend. Nobody ended up or down more than a couple of buyins, but then again nobody was really taking it all that seriously anyway, disregarding Jon and Colin who for some reason started actually playing properly when HU with each other - big personal rivalry? ^^
Anyway, we ended up getting to sleep at about 6:30am on Sunday morning, and getting rudely awoken at about 10:00am because the cleaner had to sort the rooms out. I think we were all a little subdued and zombified on the Sunday - we went into Colchester to get some food before going our separate ways.
Everyone was awesome. I'm not just saying that, I really mean it. I even managed to forgive Colin for the baseball cap by the end of the weekend, Jon was hilarious especially on the Saturday night/Sunday morning donk n go-athon, and you couldn't wish to meet two nicer people than Liam and Tracy, a couple who the romance just oozes off (he gets incredibly drunk and she drags him home and doesn't even moan about it the next morning - it's obviously true love)
I get a Central Train back home on the Sunday afternoon. It sucked. I was also very glad I'd booked the Monday off work, as I slept through most of it.