23October2017

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Winning my first offline tournament

Winning an internet tournament is something that should happen quite a lot if you grind online. Therefore, it takes some of the excitement out of winning a MTT, even though your balance is sure to put a smile on your face. However, there is nothing quite like the feeling of winning live.

I had played several small offline events in the past before I won my first one. While I would not consider myself a huge offline player, I would casually play from time to time, probably five times a year. I started playing at a casino and moved to a poker room where the standard was much higher.

However, this is where I would win my first tournament. I had become accustomed to playing the £50 freeze for a number of reasons; it was in my bankroll, it usually had a good number of runners, and it was on a Friday night.

The standard of this tournament was generally good. However, when I sat down at the first table, I only realised a couple of the people and also noticed that there were quite a few young players with drinks (or as I like to call them onliners). After striking up a conversation with them, I confirmed my initial thought; four of the ten players had never played live.

After picking my spots and eliminating the majority of the first table inside a few hours I was leading right the way up to the last table. However, I knew most of the player on the final table, and I knew that my aggressiveness would be wasted, so I held back a bit.

Play became a bit tight and all of a sudden the blinds where doing some damage to my stack. We were down to the last four and amazingly (given my starting stack I was in last, even though I wasn’t in a horrible position.

I stayed strong, and a few hands later I picked up pocket kings under the gun. I raised three times the big blind and somehow picked up two other runners. Flop hit king high (no draws), and I was laughing. Action checked to me, and I bet about 2/3 of the pot then I heard the magical words; raise, followed by even more exciting words, re-raise. It turns out I was up against second set and aces, and my kings held up. From that point on it was plain sailing, and I took down first place and roughly £1,100.

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