So my friend and I entered the ANZPT Teams Event on Sunday. The entry was a modest $550 per team and my partner was all psyched up. I on the other hand must confess that I was a little blasé about the whole thing. After a couple of hours of treading water from our 6k starting stack, I'd played 1 hand in almost 3 blind levels and my partner had played about 8, up and down. Luckily a few spots came up to steal a few pots near the end of an orbit and we had scraped together 7100 when the blinds hit 200/400. Then everything came together ...
Jim was on the button mid-level with about 4BBs left and shoved on an unraised pot with QTo. BB wakes up with an A and calls. T hits on the river and we aren't out! A couple of hands later, he doubles up. His JJ survived an inocuous looking flop of 227r. Only problem was that opponent had 23o. Thankfully justice prevailed when the J fell on the Turn which he flat-called and then called the river AI.
Then a couple more hands and UTG he puts in a min-raise. UTG+1 goes AI with a short stack only to be followed by UTG+2 with an AI to isolate with his AK. Folds around to Jim who thinks for a nano-second before shoving with his AA. His little tap to break the inertia had set off a very lucrative snowball effect and we tripled up! Happy days, we're suddenly well above average with 30 something left out of a field of 96, I think.
Breathe deeply and go back to solid play. A few spots came up and to be honest for the rest of the evening almost all of our hands held up AK vs AJ, JJ vs TT etc. We were getting our money in good and the hands were holding. We sat on 57k for the longest time as the field went from 18 to 12 ever so slowly, maybe 2 hours. Then on my break I went for a stroll to keep fresh when I receive a Text "Better come back, sry". I then tried to practice my best false smile and trite "Don't worry about it" lines. Sure enough the final table was forming and Jim was standing up. Then I noticed, cradled securely was the 57k intact. With 600k in circulation, we were average stacked going into the final table with blinds of 2k/4k.
We were happy with our guaranteed $1k payout and then just looked to climb the ladder a couple of rungs or get lucky. Well lady luck was shining and a couple of runners fell by the wayside. With $500 increments we were up to a massive (for us) $2k payout. Now we were freerolling. The final table played out 1 orbit each. I sat down one time and shoved KQs from MP, no callers. Partner believes that wasn't in the script. Very next hand, the most active annoying stealer leads out with 17k. I look down at A9o and decided to 3-bet as he can't always have the goods, everyone folds and suddenly we're running level 2nd in chips. Then a couple more drop out and we find ourselves 4-way. As the others had doubled up, we're now shortstacked again.
With 3 equal stacks, surprisingly, we wielded the biggest threat for a couple of orbits with our potentially damaging AIs. Then before we know it, we're up in the running again without a showdown. Our hands continued to hold up until we were Heads Up with last year's ANZPT Player of the Year Runner Up, Chris Levick and his wife Danette (the TV dealer). They were undoubtedly the best team in the Event and I'll be honest, very intimidating. Chris was raising nearly every hand from the SB to 55k with 4k/8k blinds. I decided to do the same as did our partners. I was surprised at not facing a small ball approach because I thought that a coinflip suited us. Then came the crucial hand, Chris raises AI from the SB, clearly a hand that he's happy to get it in the middle with. I look at the first card, Kc. I comment "halfway there". Then squeeze out a delightful 2nd K. I CALL! Board runs out something, who cares. A $6k blank, blank, blank. And then the very surreal moment of realising that we were indeed ANZPT Teams Event Champions.
It's still a little surreal. So much so that it was almost 12 hours later that I even realised the value of the blank board. From 4th place, they were just chips, pot sized bets and a desire to come first. Even drinking beers with our friends at 3am on Monday morning in Star City, the money jumps in the top 3 places weren't considered or discussed. We had the title, the trophy and of course 75 pristine unused $100 notes each. The $40 extra was already converted into Stella Artois.
Winning feels good and tastes good!
PS Star City did an excellent job of running the entire series extremely well despite the above gorund dungeon that is the poker room these days. And a big shoutout to Pokerstars who sponser these affordable poker tours. This amateur got to play heads up with a formidable foe - thank you Pokerstars. Maybe now I can learn How to Play 8 Game Mix and How to Play Badugi too.
My final shoutout may sound corny but Mike and Adam at the 2+2 Pokercast deserve a lot of the credit for our win. We've listened to every episode including the original BigPoker.ca ones and had visualised being at a final table many times. We'd heard so many pros describe the experience of every stage so often, its like we had been there. When we got there we'd already rehearsed the future. especially the heads up combat. Thanks guys ... you're the nutz.
7 months ago