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Aussie Millions - Speed Poker Day, By Peter Costa

Sponsored by Poker Plex
Aussie Millions - Speed Poker DayEven though I have only played a few of the events here in Melbourne, my trip so far has not been very productive. The last event I played, the AUD$1,000 NLH with one re-buy, was a clear indication that I was not running very well. Having lost with A-A against 7-2 (my opponent had flopped a deuce and a flush draw), I didn’t even bother to re-buy and decided on an early night. I also missed the next couple of events and waited in anticipation for what would be my first attempt at Speed Poker.

The field of 208 players was split into two groups of 104 and with six players to a table. I was to be in the first group with the object of making the last eighteen and to the televised portion of the event. This would consist of six tables of six in a shoot-out format (one winner from each table going through to six-handed final table). The one problem we all faced? All chip stacks were to be carried forward from this first round to round two. It was therefore not just a simple a case of playing to hang on - we all needed to accumulate chips for the shoot-out.

With starting stacks of 4,000 and 40-minute rounds beginning with 25-50 blinds - I decided on a patient approach. Little did I know that I would have very little choice in the matter. By the time the blinds had reached 100-200, I waited for my first serious confrontation. On the SB with A-K, I decided to just limp. The BB raised a further 500 and I moved all-in with a total of 3,000. It was the classic showdown of Q-Q v A-K. I was lucky to flop the Ace and to double up for the first time in the event. With 6,000 in chips - I felt very comfortable for the first time in the event. But as the blinds increased to 200-400, I was down to 4,000 and desperate to find a hand. I finally got my wish and won another coin toss with A-J v 99.

As the field dwindled down to 24 (just six from the money and the next round) - I was still waiting for my third showdown. It was therefore a bit of a surprise that I decided to muck 9-9 to an UTG raiser. With just over 7,000 chips, blinds of 300-600 and needing to double up again, it was looking like a bad decision not to play the hand. And to make matters worse, the raiser was called and we saw a flop of T-9-3. It seemed that I missed my chance to more than double up. However, a Jack on the river made a straight for the K-Q and I would have been busted.

Three hands later, faced with a button raise of 2,200, I decided to make a stand by going all-in with 8-8 on the SB. Imagine my horror as the BB called. Yes, you guessed it, I had run into pocket Aces. I had been lucky to have won both coin flips, but this was very different. For some strange reason, my opponent turned away in disgust when he saw my 8-8. Why? As he later explained to me - he plays a lot of online poker and he always seems to lose with A-A to 8-8. Well, real live poker can be just as cruel. The flop of 6-6-8 made sure of that! It also made sure that I made the next stage of Speed Poker. It was good to get lucky!

My heat takes place later today and I start as 2nd lowest stack. With the chip leader holding over 75,000 - it will not be easy to win this shoot-out. But hey, I feel very lucky just to be there with a shot.
Watch this space for the update.
Until then, play well, get lucky and enjoy life!

Peter "The Poet" Costa


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