Roadtripping Belgium!

So for the past week, I have been staying with fellow ambassador and Twitch streamer David Vanderheyden and his girlfriend Satu in Belgium. David’s house is located in Leuven, which is 15-20 minutes east of Brussels. From there we made day trips to see Brussels, Brugge, and Gent – all of which were beautiful cities. We filmed a lot of stuff from Brussels and Brugge, so expect that to show up in a vlog, pretty soon!

The iconic Grand Place in the middle of Brussels.

Leuven nightlife

Having played the Unibet UK Poker Tour in Brighton the week before, me, David and Satu took the Eurostar train from London to Brussels. After arriving that evening, we grabbed some food before heading out to check out Leuven. Satu was in a dancing mood and we went to a Salsa-place in the middle of Leuven’s bar district. It’s not a place I would ever go to by myself, so it was cool to see something else than the typical beer bars I usually frequent. We went from there to a couple of more bars, before calling it a night, seeing how we were all fairly tired after traveling.

Beer for me and chocolate milk for David.

Duo-streams with DaVitsche

The day after we woke up pretty late, and went straight to the gym. I knew the week was gonna be filled with Belgian beers, waffles, chocolate and so on, so it felt good to get in a gym session straight off the bat. After our gym session, we decided to do a duo-stream on David’s Twitch channel (go follow!). We hooked up a couple of webcams, put the microphone between us, and used the share screen feature on Skype, to include tables from both of us. Shortly after beginning the session, eSports legends Craig “onscreenlol” Shannon and Alan “hotted89” Widmann showed up in chat. Onscreen said something about “I’m gonna hop in the NL800 game with Uhlen soon”, and hotted asked “really?”. I thought he was just joking as well, but a few moments later he was sitting in my NL800 game, with his awesome custom made avatar. It didn’t take long before hotted decided to hop in there as well, and suddenly we had 3 custom avatars on the same NL800 table (prob a history first right there)! We had some pretty interesting spots during our session, and we ended up profiting around €3000 in the end. I’ll post a couple of video clips at the end of this blog post, showing two of the more fun/interesting hands we played.

Battling it out with the eSports boys!

Visiting 3 Fonteinen

Being a huge beer geek, I had two big goals for my week in Belgium. Visiting “3 Fonteinen” and “Cantillon”, two of most infamous breweries in the world. People (huge beer geeks like myself) travel from all across the globe to visit these two breweries. Being good hosts, David and Satu took me to see both of these breweries, even though none of them are big beer drinkers themselves (David doesn’t drink alcohol at all). Our first trip was to 3 Fonteinen. 3 Fonteinen is located right south of Brussels, out on the countryside. They have two facilities, one being the brewery and the other one being the barrel aging facility and visitors center.

Pretty epic barreling facility at 3 Fonteinen.

We visited the latter, where we got a tour of the barreling room, blending facility and bottling plant, before buying some drinks and relaxing in their cafe/tasting room. There was one more group there, and they were from the US, probably traveling to Belgium for the sole purpose of visiting 3 Fonteinen and Cantillon. They had a bunch of board games there, and we stayed for 4-5 hours playing “Settlers of Catan”, a very strategical GTO resource management game. David of course out-GTO’ed me, despite me having a decent lead, and took home the victory. After the devastating loss, I got myself a fanboy t-shirt, a few semi-rare beers and we headed home.

Visiting Cantillon

A couple of days later we decided to make the trip to Cantillon as well. Cantillon is located in a pretty worn down neighborhood in the middle of Brussels. A place you would never expect to find one of the world’s most renowned breweries.

The entrance at Cantillon brewery.

We spent a good 30 minutes or so touring the brewing facilities. Cantillon (as well as 3 Fonteinen) makes so-called “sour beers”, of the styles Lambic, Gueuze, Kriek and Faro. These are beers that are fermented using natural bioflora from the environment, meaning no laboratory propagated yeast strains are added to the beers. They simply put the wort (soon to be beer) in a so-called “koelschip” to cool down over night, and let yeast and bacteria from the air enter the beers and ferment them naturally. Cantillon has been using this method since 1900, and the brewery looks pretty much the same today as it did back then. Alright… Enough geeking out over beer, this is a poker blog, goddamnit!

The koelschip at Cantillon brewery.

I’ll wrap up this post talking a bit about what’s up going forward. I left Belgium the day before yesterday, and I now find myself in Dublin, at the lovely Citywest hotel. I am here in Dublin to play a bunch of events at the festival going on at the hotel. It’s a pretty cool poker festival, where they have combined the Irish Open with the Norwegian Championships, as well as some Party Poker Millions stuff. I’ll probably be playing around 8-10 tournaments in total there, with the highlights being the €1150 Irish Open Main Event, the €800 Norwegian Championship Main Event and the €1100 Norwegian Championship HU event. I’m sure it’s gonna be an amazing festval, and I’m super looking forward! I’m gonna stay in Dublin for two weeks, so feel free to hit me up if you are in Dublin and want to grab a beer. Cheers!

Unibet UK Poker Tour Brighton

Last week was spent in Brighton, surrounded by Unibet poker players, ambassadors, and employees. I arrived in Brighton early on the monday, a few hours before check-in at the hotel opened. We were staying at the Malmaison Brighton, which was located in the middle of the Brighton Marina. The interior was beautiful and the room’s view was also decent.

Decent view from the hotel balcony.

Content creation

I got picked up at the hotel by Marc and James, and we went sightseeing a bit in Brighton. Amazing city, with a super chill vibe! The first few days were mostly filled with content creation. We took a ton of pictures, filmed some strategy video content and we recorded a podcast. You would think I would be comfortable with all these things now, having streamed on Twitch for half a year. That was however not the case. Especially filming the strategy video content I was out of my comfort zone. It was very different sitting in a studio with professional lighting set up, camera right in front of you and a bunch of people watching and analyzing every word you say. It was good to get that training however, and it’s just a thing I will have to do as much as possible going forward to get comfortable with it.

Being uncomfortable in the strategy video shoot.

The tournament

The poker event was super fun, despite firing 3 bullets without cashing the event. It was a £220 buyin event, with two starting days. You were allowed to reenter the tournament once each day so four bullets in total. First bullet we busted with KK in a 3-way allin vs AA and JJ. It was a pretty huge pot at that point, and it would be nice to be on the other side of the setup obv. Next bullet we managed to build a decent stack, as we had a very soft table. There was 3-4 people who did nothing but limp-call preflop, and you could grind up a stack with very low variance. There was so much going on this week, so my memory has failed me on most hands. I remember two hands we played in our second bullet though, so I will go through those. The first one I think we played well, and the second one I think we butchered pretty hard. It might not be super-bad in a vacuum or in chip EV terms, but it is wayyy to high variance for a table this soft, where I could just comfortably grind up a stack.

Hand #1:

Elderly man limps from the CO at 200/400 pre ante, and I isolate to 1500 with A5ss on the button. BB (young guy in hoodie) calls and the limper comes along aswell. Flop 45Tdd and they both check. I cbet for 1250 into 4700 and the BB check raises to 3500. At this point I figure his value-raising range is like 44/55/45s/maybe AT. There is 3 combos of 44 left, 1 combo of 55, 2 combos of 45s and 9 combos of AT. Let’s say he only check raises half of his AT’s, and leave him with 4 combos of those. In total that leaves us with 10 value combos in total. Compared to the amount of bluffs he can have on this board, and we obviously have a very easy flop call. I was already planning to call check raises when I bet the flop, so we follow our plan and call. Turn is the 4 of hearts, removing even more of his value range. He bets 4600 and again we make the call. At this point I am thinking “this is a really bad spot for him to bluff, so he probably is not bluffing THAT much.” However, you never know what level people are thinking at, and given how many bluffs vs value combos he has here, I think it’s still a super easy call. River is an offsuit queen, and he bets 9k after some deliberation. Still same logic applies as on the turn. Bad spot for him to bluff (but does he know that?), and his value range is very thin. I call and he mucks. He told me after he had A9cc for a backdoor flushdraw on the flop, and just didn’t feel like giving up.

Hand #2:

We open QTcc UTG on 600/1200/200 level. Normally I hand I would just pitch UTG, but we had a pretty big stack (60k) and the table was very soft. UTG+1, who is a drunk and very talkative guy calls. I was at his table earlier aswell and I know he likes to battle for pots. He has like 55k and I figure his range is fairly wide here aswell, given the fact that practically noone 3bets at this table. Flop comes Q98 with 98 of spades. I checked the flop. Reasoning being we are gonna be check folding this board quite a bit, as it hits his range very well. Therefore we also need to have some pretty strong hands in our checking range, so we don’t always fold when we face bets after checking. I think QT makes a perfect hand to do it with, as it is less vurnerable than AQ for example, given that we also have the gutshot. He quickly bets 4000 into the pot of 6500. We make a very standard call, and the turn brings another 8. I check again and he quickly throws in 3 yellow chips for a 15k bet into the pot of 14,500. At this point I am getting worried, but I am having trouble assigning him a value range. I did not believe he would do this with a full house, as we only have like 34k left behind. I did not think he would do this for value with a weaker hand than KQ, but then again who knows, right? I ended up calling though, planning to call all rivers that did not contain a spade or a ten. River comes an offsuit ten. Awful card for me, as it makes a fourstraight on the board and all he needs now is a jack. I check and he quickly moves it in. I had previously decided I was gonna fold ten rivers, but now I started doubting. I figured he would rarely have a full house with his sizing, and that he would only valuejam full houses or Jx on the river. So I started to think about what Jx he could have. I found it reasonably likely he would take a line like this with KJs/JTs/AJ, and pot control his QJs. Worse Qx I believe he would just fold pre. This in total amounts to 22 combos with AJ being 16 of them. I also found it likely he would take this line with alot of his missed flushdraws and straightdraws (76s, KTs, ATs). If we assume that he takes this line with 50% of his missed fd/sd’s, that amounts to 9 combos in total. This is ofcourse alot of guesstimation, and it’s hard to know if any of these assumptions are true. Bottom line is I think this would be an OK thought process in a cash game setting, but that in a tournament it’s pretty much just spewing. Reasoning being that our tournament life is valuable, and especially on a soft table like this. He ended up having QJss for flopped top pair + straightflush draw. Weird hand for him to bet huge on the turn IMO, but seems like it worked out well for him! Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Seems I got rekt.

I think that will be it for the trip report from Brighton. There will probably be some vlog coming up in the near future, once I have gathered all the content we filmed etc.

Next blog post

This week I am in Belgium, visiting fellow Unibet ambassador and streamer David Vanderheyden. Belgium has not disappointed on any fronts, and Davids hospitality is exceptional. So far we have visited two of my favourite breweries (3 Fonteinen and Cantillon), streamed some poker and had a couple of nice workout sessions at the gym. Tomorrow (Saturday) we are having a meetup with some guys from the Unibet Community forums, so feel free to join that if you find yourself nearby (it will likely go down in Gent). Next blog will be a trip report from here, so stay tuned for that! (Also check out this hilarious clip from our first stream here in Belgium:

Streaming from David Vanderheyden’s crib in Belgium.

Unibet Open London 2017 (Part 2)

In my previous post I recapped some interesting hands from the ambassadors SNG at Unibet Open in London. In this post I’ll wrap up the London trip, discussing the main event, the deepstack event and the community freeroll. As I am still very new to blogging I’ll appreciate any tips/feedback, so feel free to leave any comments here in the blog or reach me through social media!

The main event

In the first hand of the tournament UTG limps for 100 and it folds to the SB who minraises to 200. I fold my J3o in the BB and somehow the UTG limper manages to find a fold as well, only having to call 100 more… This looks like a fun table, I thought to myself. Two hands later, HJ opens to 300, I flat the button with Ad8d and both blinds come along. We see a flop of KJ5 with two spades, and SB decides to lead out for 10000 (yes, four zeros) into the pot of 1200. This was the same player who limped UTG and folded to the minraise btw. BB folds and the HJ opener announces “good luck” and puts in his whole starting stack of 30k. SB snapcalls and flips over… ace… queen… offsuit. Everyone at the table kinda looks at each other and noone knows really how to react. Opener shows pocket jacks for middle set, and miraculously he holds against the AQ gutshot. The guy who busts looks kinda flustered and announces “I really thought I was good”. I have no clue if he was just trolling hard, or if he really thought ace high would be good there… It should be mentioned that he was a semi celebrity, and it could be that he just had some other stuff to attend. Oh well, decent start for the guy holding jacks atleast!

Main event 30,000 starting stack.

I basically didn’t play any big hands for the whole day, as I was absolutely card dead. During the first 5 hours of play we picked up AQ once and 99 once. I lost a small pot with the 9’s and won a small pot with the AQ. I picked up some small pots with button steals, cbets etc, but played no sizable pots all day. In lack of interesting hands to discuss, I’ll jump straight to the bustout hand. We are playing 300/600/50 and we are in the big blind with a stack of 19500. Button, who is capable and aggressive opens to 1200 and I look down at 99. We have a pretty decent re-shove spot, but I like inducing with a 3bet better. Especially against someone aggressive, who probably assumes that I have a pretty polarized 3b-call range here. So I 3bet to 3600, and he takes a minute or so before he jams. I snap call and he sheepishly turns over A5s. I don’t mind his play, and he has one of the best bluffing hands in this spot. He has an ace blocker, which makes it less likely I have AK/AQ, and his hand has decent equity against even the tightest of value-ranges (31.5% against 99+ and AQ+). Anyways, board runs out Axxxx and we are finito. Some days there is just not too much you can do.

Deepstack side event

Next day we decide to hop into the deepstack side event. It was a £330 buyin, with a re-entry for the first 6 levels. We have a pretty cool first table, including a bunch of ambassadors and familiar faces. David Lappin, Daiva Barauskaite, Dara O’Kearney and Dan Murariu. I definitely got some ambassador SNG flashbacks.

Not the softest table in the room, with Dara O’Kearney, Daiva Barauskaite and David Lappin to my left.

So in the first interesting hand we play, it folds around to the button who opens for a minraise. I’m in the SB and I look down at ace-ten, playing effectively for 25bb with the button, with me covering him. I already had a note that he was very aggro/spazzy after a hand early in the tournament, where he jammed JJ for alooot of BBs and got two people to fold queens. I’m sure that hand will get mentioned in David or Daiva’s blog, as they were the two who (claimed) to fold QQ. So I decide that since he probably opens 70-80% of his range here, and has shown the propensity to jam light pre, that I would 3bet and call it off. So I 3bet small-ish and he takes a few seconds before jamming. I snap call and he flips over AJs to have me notched. He holds, so we are now down to 20 bigs approximately. A few hands later the same guy opens to 3,2x from the HJ and I look down at AJo with my 20 bigs in the CO. Pretty easy decision and I wager all of my betting discs. It folds to our friend Dara O’Kearney who looks down at AQ in the BB. He rejams and busts me. Confirmed bad friend.

I decide to buy in for another bullet, as the field seems pretty soft overall. I get a new table, and this one is a lot better than the previous one (better meaning easier in this context). I was playing very tight, as the table was super splashy and I was not picking up any hands. There was a lot of limping and calling in general, so I did not want to “force the action” with my weak hands. Also when I reentered the tournament the blinds were at 300/600/50, so the starting stack of 20k only gave me 31 bigs to work with. I did play one interesting hand though, which is the one following. I open for 2,4x with Ah8h UTG+2. Button (who is a very straight forward Asian middle-aged woman) flatcalls and the BB (who is a super splashy recreational player) also calls. Flop comes QT6ss and the big blind checks. I decide that the flop hits the button range too hard so I also check, preparing to just check/fold if she bets. She decides to check behind though, and the turn brings the Jx. Big blind checks quickly again, and he looks pretty uninterested in the pot/hand. Since I am basically the only one in the hand that can hold AK at this point, I decide I will try to take it down. I also felt that since I had been playing so tight, my solid image would get me more folds. So I bet pretty big (like 70% of the pot) and the Asian woman calls after a little hesitation. BB quickly folds. River is another Q and after thinking for a bit, I put in the rest of my stack for approx. a pot sized shove. Since she was playing very straight forward, I did not think she would have too many Q’s in her range at this point, as I think she would bet most Qx on the flop. The woman tanks for like 1 minute before she calls it off with K9s for a straight, and says “I thought you had ace king”… I was not sure about my play as I was making it, but if she considers folding a hand as strong as a straight here, then it’s probably pretty good. Feel free however to berate me in the comments below if you disagree! This was after the re-entry period had ended, so we did not get the option to punt off another stack.

Action packed saturday

The next day was saturday, and it was full of activities and options. There was a £2000 highroller side event, a Unibet community freeroll, a dinnerparty with the Norwegians and the Unibet players party. I had to prioritize, as I was concerned that if I played and went deep in the highroller, I would miss out on both the dinner and the players party. I decided to skip the highroller and just play the community freeroll instead, to make sure I would make it to the dinner+party. Preben Stokkan, a Norwegian tournament end boss and friend of mine ended up shipping the highroller. Crushers gonna crush.

The freeroll had a really good atmosphere. It had an open bar, bounties on some people (including myself) and €500 worth of Unibet Open qualifier tickets for the top 3 spots. I actually ended up taking it down, after god-moding pretty hard, getting alot of good spots and not really losing flips. I’m sure glad we saved up all that rungood during the main event/deepstack, Kappa. By shipping it we collected some Unibet tourney tickets and a poo-hat for eliminating MoreTBC, aaaawh yeeeeah! I’m sure that poo-hat will make it’s appearance on the stream some time in the future.

Wonder how much a poo-hat goes for on eBay.
Unibet Open players party (photo by Tambet Kask).

I am currently spending some time with family and friends back in Norway. I’ll be traveling from Norway to Brighton in a week or so, to play the Unibet UK tour over there. It’s gonna be my first Unibet UK tour stop and my first time visiting Brighton. I’m sure it’ll be a blast!

Will I see you there?

Unibet Open London 2017 (Part 1)

What’s up, good people of the internets!

I just came home from a pretty insane week in London, playing the first Unibet Open event of 2017. It was action packed from start to finish, but the clear highlight of the trip was getting signed as one of the new (insert drum roll)… Unibet brand ambassadors! I’ve been playing almost exclusively at Unibet for over a year, and now getting signed as one of their ambassadors feels pretty unreal! I absolutely love what Unibet is doing and they have some absolutely crazy cool stuff planned for 2017. Can’t wait to be part of it, and to share it with you guys! More on that later, now let’s get into the trip!

The whole week in London was super fun, and I got to know a lot of interesting people. First and foremost I got to know the other Unibet ambassadors, as well as the good people working for Unibet. We have a really awesome team there, and I am truly looking forward to building those relationships into stronger ones! We also got to hang out with some legends from the eSports world which was cool, being a old school video game nerd myself. Especially getting to know Forsen and Thijs was awesome, having watched shitloads of their Twitch streams back when I was playing Hearthstone. The eSports guys (picture below) was invited there to play an invitation only eSports SNG, which had £10k prizepool.

From top left to bottom right: Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey, Scott “Sco” McMillan, “Craig “onscreen” Shannon, Sebastian “Forsen” Fors, Thijs “Thijs” Molendijk, James “JZFB” Bardolph, Alan “Hotted89” Widmann, Sophia “Djarii” White and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (Unibet Open London 2017 photo by Tambet Kask).

The eSports SNG was won by Alan “Hotted89” Widmann, with Craig “Onscreen” Shannon taking 2nd and Sebastian “Forsen” Fors taking 3rd, for £5k, £3k and £2k respectively. Onscreen also scored some extra dough by eliminating Viktor “Isildur1” Blom for the £1k bounty. Overall some impressive plays from these guys, considering they are all pretty new to the game of poker. No doubt that some of the logical problemsolving skills they have aquired playing video games are transferrable to poker.

There was also a second invitational SNG, and this was the ambassadors SNG. It had the same prizepool and structure as the eSports SNG, so £5k, £3k and £2k for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I played a few interesting hands in it, and I will discuss some of them below this lovely picture.

From top left to bottom right: David Lappin, Ian Simpson, Dara O’Kearney, Dan Murariu, Charlotte Van Brabander, Me, David Shallow, David Vanderheyden and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (Unibet Open London 2017 photo by Tambet Kask).

First up is hand #3 of the SNG. Charlotte opens UTG to 300 at BB100. I’m sitting UTG+1 and look down at KQs and I make the call. David Shallow sits UTG+2 and 3-bets to 1300 from a starting stack of 25k. Everyone folds back to Charlotte who makes the call, and we naturally have a pretty easy call as well with the KQs, even though it’s a hand that’s gonna be dominated quite a bit in that spot. Flop comes Kc9h2c and both I an Charlotte check to Shallow, who puts out a cbet of 1525 into a pot of 4050. Charlotte folds and there is only one play for me here I think, which is to call. I did not have any prior experience playing with Shallow, but he was chatting a lot and from what I could gather he would not be nitting it up in this SNG. Turn comes the 6h which brings a second flushdraw on board. I have KQ of spades so no FD for me. I check again and he makes a pretty big bet of 5250 into the pot of 7100. After calling preflop and the flop here, I imagine my range looks something like: KJs, KQs, AK, 22, 99, TT, JJ and maybe 89s/9Ts. Holding a K however, we block a lot of his value-range, which I estimated to be pretty narrow, like AK/KK/AA. I did not think he would 3-bets 99/22/K9s preflop. Given that we block a big portion of his value range, and that there are two flushdraws on board, I think we have a pretty straight forward call on the turn as well. Also his sizing on the turn made me suspicious. River is 7d, meaning both flushdraws missed. Shallow reaches for his chips after a few seconds, holding slightly less than a pot sized bet behind. He collects his chips, stacks them neatly and prepares to move them in. He then fumbles, drops them, changes his mind and checks behind with his A3hh for missed flushdraw. I show my hand and rake in a pretty nice pot.

Next interesting hand is against Charlotte. We are playing 150/300/50 and I raise JTdd to 700 UTG. Charlotte calls in the BB and we see a flop of T98 with one diamond. At this point I feel like we have a fairly easy cbet. On a board like this I feel we should be checking back a lot of strong hands, since our opponent can check-raise us with a lot of semi-bluffs etc. But considering we have an OESD to go with our top pair (and we block the nuts) I prefer cbetting this over AA/KK for example. I cbet 625 into a 1775 pot, and Charlotte check raises to 2000. Super easy call and we see a turn of 3h. Charlotte bets 3100 into 5775 and again I feel like we have a pretty easy call. She could be bluffing here with pretty much any draw, and if she has a hand like 9T/98 we have soo much equity. Even if she has 76 we are drawing to 7 outs. Only hand we are truly worried about is QJ. So we call and the river brings an off suit ace, and she bets 5000. Considering how she had been playing, I did not feel like she was barreling off some missed draw here, and I decided to lay it down. I commented to her that it felt like she had a hand like 76, in which she replied “something like that”. Felt good seeing on stream after that she had exactly 76, for a flopped straight.

Next up we have a hand at 200/400/50 where David Lappin opens in the HJ to 900. I’m in the SB and I look down at 65 of clubs. I think the hand is a bit too weak to flatcall from the SB here, so I elect to 3bet. I make it 3100 with 24000 behind and Lappin covers me. He flats and we take a flop of Q83 with two spades. Three things makes me not want to cbet here. First of all, Lappin is fairly tight/solid, so he is not gonna be flatcalling 3bets with a very wide range here I think. Second of all, the flop texture hits his 3bet-flatcalling range fairly well. Third, we don’t have as much as a gutshot/backdoor flushdraw here, so basically bricked it as hard as we could. Turn is a offsuit 10, and this is also a card that is gonna improve his range more than mine, so I continue with my plan of check-folding. River is an offsuit jack, so the board is now Q83TJ. It felt like David had some showdown value, since he was not bluffing at the pot. However, since I should have way more AK in my range than him (I would expect him to 4bet AK a fair bit pre in these positions), I decided to take a stab. Not sure how much I like this bet, but in the moment, I felt like I could fold out some pretty strong hands, since I can rep AK pretty well here. He raises however, at this point he pretty much always just has AK, and we fold our 6 high…

Next interesting hand is definitely the biggest mistake I made throughout the tournament. I have QTo in the BB, and it folds to Charlotte in the SB. She is the chipleader, while I am the shortstack sitting at like 7 bigs at 800/1600/200.. In this spot, I figured she would shove pretty much any two cards if it folded to her, but to my surprise she makes it 3400 instead. Long story short, I ended up leveling myself (basically applying my own logic to her game, which obviously is a mistake). I ended up just flatcalling, thinking that she was just inducing here, since she should be jamming soooo wide. My logic is obviously flawed though, as I saw in the replay after that she had Q3o… Anyways, flop comes 499, she cbets fairly big and I fold. Mehhhh

Next orbit I am in the BB again, and now I have 6 BB left. Dan opens from the HJ to 3500 and Charlotte flats in the SB. I end up jamming my 6 BBs, assuming Dan is gonna pretty much isolate-shove any two cards he opens in this spot. I understand there is no fold equity here, but risking 10k to win 28k seems pretty good. We only need 35% equity, and I am pretty certain we’ve got 40%+ against his opening range. So anyways, he rejams as we were hoping for and we get it HU against his AJ. A on the flop, and no runner runner to save us. Gee Gee!

In the end Charlotte ended up taking it down (props to her for winning 3 of these in a row). Viktor came second, David Lappin came third and Ian Simpson bubbled it.

Back to back to back champion, Charlotte Van Brabander (Unibet Open London 2017 photo by Tambet Kask).

Alright this post is already hella long, so I think we’ll wrap it up here! I’ll get part two up and running in a few days, where I’ll talk about the main event, the deepstack side event and the Unibet community freeroll. We won one of these events, and unfortunately it was neither the main event or the deepstack… FeelsBadMan!

Oh, and as a bonus – here is a picture of fellow ambassador Ian Simpson eating a banana:

Totally standard (Unibet Open London 2017 photo by Tambet Kask).

Time to step it up!

Todays blog is gonna be a peek into my past and my future plans as a poker player. Also gonna finish it up with a quick recap of the previous weeks results from ze online grinds.

When I first got into poker my thirst for knowledge and improvement was unquenchable. I consumed books, training video’s, articles and discussed poker hands with my friends. As my game improved over the years – poker became more of a grind for me, and that thirst disappeared. For many years I was just playing my own game, improving very little and seeing my winrates decline. It didn’t bother me too much. I was still making money playing online without having to put too much effort into it. It financed trips to cool destinations, and supplemented my student loans to pay for beer and other essentials.

In the “About” section of this blog, I described how I refound the joy of poker through Twitch streaming. I’ve also rediscovered a passion for getting better at the game (mostly because I want to win more monies, but also because I don’t want to look stupid on the stream). So, to make an effort towards getting better at this game, I’ve done what all the other cool kids are doing these days… I’ve bought and downloaded PioSOLVER! At first glance, PioSOLVER looked kinda daunting. Initially I thought the minimum price you paid was $475, but you can buy a basic version with pretty much same functions for $250. Also it seemed super complicated and I suspected that the learning curve would be very steep. I think I was right about the last part, but with focused effort each day I think it’s gonna be fine. So I’ve just begun playing around with it, and starting to learn the basics. I think in the beginning it will probably lead to me making a fair bit of mistakes, trying to implement concepts I don’t fully understand. I will probably try to make way to many “GTO” plays, something I find myself doing already before doing Pio-work. For example bluffing in spots where people never fold, just because “I should have a bluffing range here to be balanced”. SO, I’ll try to keep my eyes out for those spots. I am sure that when I get enough Pio-work under my belt, my game is overall gonna be a fair bit stronger.

Last weeks grind was not great. In total we lost €3200 – and much of that was due to wednesday, where we lost €2700 in one session. I felt my game was not up to par, and my mind was definitely not where it needed to be, which brings me to my next point… There has been some developments in my personal life and as a result I will not be streaming this week. Too much stuff that needs taking care of etc. I will come back to this later, but for now there is probably not gonna be a stream until early/mid march. I will try to be a good boy and update as much as possible from Unibet Open London though, which is in a week. So hit that follow button on the social medias if you wanna keep track of that stuff!

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A short recap of MPNPT Vienna

What’s up boys and gurls!

Just came back to Budapest last night, after a few days of the live pokers in Vienna. I was there with 7 friends of mine from Norway. I’ve known most of these guys since 2006 or so, and it’s for sure a fun group to travel with. I travelled there by bus, which was nice. It actually saved me time, hassle and money, compared to flying there (it took about 3 hours and cost me €28 in total). Also no waiting in line for security check etc etc. Will definitely travel by bus again to nearby live stops.

We played the €550 main event on friday. Didn’t take it too seriously in terms of preparation, and could for sure have skipped the 2-3 last beers on thursday. We felt ok going into it though, and not in bad shape/super hungover or anything. We had a really nice start of day one, and doubled up pretty early with AJhh vs 78hh on 26Khhh flop. From there I chipped up nicely, without taking too much risks or showdowns. The field was very soft, and accumulating was not very hard at all. I think I peaked at 110k or something, before losing a couple of big pots to bring us back down to 75k ish at the end of day 1. Day two I was completely card dead, tried to steal some pots, with varying degree of success. About 10-15 places before ITM I picked up JJ and utg opened for 2,5x. I had about 15-20 bigs or so, so only play was really to shove allin. BB woke up with AQ and isolated us. Board ran out AQ79Q or something, so not really too much of a sweat. Oh well.

Bustout hand

The “highroller” (€1100) event was next. Only 24 players registered the tournament, but I would classify maybe 7-8 of these as recreational players. I did not have an amazing start however, and lost a few pots early by 3 betting AK a couple of times and jacks once, and losing all 3 without getting to showdown. At 250/500/50 level I am sitting at a 11k stack, and I look down at KQo.

Generally a fairly easy shove with 22 bigs from the CO here, but I had weak players sitting both on the button and in the SB, so I decided to raise it to 1100 instead. Both btn and sb calls, before BB (who I perceive as a good player) jams all in for 11k. I think it might be a close spot with KQo here, but seeing how this is an excellent rejamming spot for BB, I will assume he is gonna jam all pairs, all Axs, all broadways and a bunch of suited connector type hands. We call and he has AJs. K on the turn and we now have about 25k. From there it was pretty much smooth sailing into the final table. Not too much interesting stuff happening at the FT until we are 5 people left (4 people gets paid). At this point I am third in chips, and the chipleader has heaps. This ofcourse makes for a tricky situation, as the chipleader can just abuse the medium stacks, since they pretty much have to fold everything to avoid bubbling. Prizes was €9k – €6,6k – €4,4k and €3k. We played the bubble for 3,5 hours, which was the longes bubble I have ever played, and the bubble bursted around 6.30 in the morning. So in the money we only get the chance to play a few hands before I pick up A7o on the button. The stacks were as follows: CO has 90k, I have 75k, SB has 120k and BB has 195k. The blinds are 2k/4k with a 500 ante. I was really unsure in the moment if to minraise and fold to a jam, or just to jam myself. As I am mostly a cash game player, these are definitely spots I need to do more research on in the future. Anyhow, I ended up jamming, feeling that A7o was right on the border of profitability. BB ended up calling with A9dd and board ran out 22Tdd, 2x, Jd giving him the nutflush and busting me out in 4th. After I came home I checked the hand in Hold’em Resources calc, which gave me the following range for shoving: 22+, A2s+, A9o+, K7s+, Kto+, Q9s+, Qjo, J9s+ and T9s… In other words, my shove is way too lose. It might not seem way too lose, but the above-mentioned range is 21% of hands. For me to include A7o in my shoving range there I need to shove 29,1% of hands. Sooo pretty big mistake there I guess. Atleast we cashed and profited on the trip as a whole.

That will be it for now, I’m gonna hit the gym and continue to progress towards being healthier and fitter in 2017 than I was in 2016. Feeling and seeing the changes already SeemsGood. After that I’ll be back streaming today, probably around 17.00. Had a bit of connection issues yesterday, so I hope we manage to stay connected throughout the whole session today!