Loving the grind
Looking back at the final table of this year's EPT Grand Final, I'm firmly in the camp declaring it the strongest EPT final ever. I was surrounded by incredible players: Johnny Lodden, Noah Schwartz, Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Grant Levy, Andrew Pantling, and Steve O'Dwyer, who ended up winning the whole thing. Interestingly enough, on the last two tables I had my first-ever experience playing with Daniel. It was really exciting for me because he's one of the players I always watched on TV and looked up to when I was younger.
I was not one of the top chip stacks but I was well above average for most of the tournament. Then, with 19 players remaining, I got my chips in with Q-Q against Noah Schwartz's 8-8. Noah managed to hit an eight on the turn and it turned out to be a one-outer because Jason Mercier told us afterward that he folded an eight! That hand left me short stacked and I came back the next day 16th in chips out of 16 players. I had only 260,000 while the chip leader had over 2 million, and I told myself I was freerolling if I did anything better than busting out within the first few hands.
I was fortunate enough to pick up pocket kings early on and managed to cooler Victor Ramdin. We got it in on a K-3-5-4 board and Victor was unlucky to have turned two pair with K-4 against my top set. I doubled to about 775,000 on that hand, won a few more pots, and was one of the chip leaders with 1.8 million by the time we re-drew to one table. The final table was full of players I hadn't had much experience with until this tournament (well, besides what I'd seen of Daniel and Jason on television). I really had to rely on the information I'd picked up from the last few tables of play. It was a lot of fun playing with those guys and it would have been so huge to win. Still, I'll take the fifth place.
After the Grand Final, I managed to be in England for less than 24 hours. I flew to Manchester, saw my mum for half a day, then went home to Leeds, packed a bag, and went to London to catch a flight to Vegas. I went straight to the Bellagio to play the WPT $25k event, but sadly didn't end up making the money. Once I was out of the tournament, I knew I had to find a place to play the SCOOP and thankfully one of my good friends, Chris Moorman, was staying in Playa del Carmen. So I decided to take my first trip to Mexico. It was such a beautiful country. The beaches were just gorgeous and the food was delicious... and so cheap!
I had a great time in Mexico and finished the SCOOP a small winner. I cashed a couple of the 1k events and went deep in the 10k Main Event. I was actually one of the chip leaders in the 10k going into the bubble, but got K-K in against Mike "MunchenHB" Telker's J-J. Needless to say, it didn't end well for me and I had only four big blinds left after the hand. I managed to scrape into the money, but MunchenHB went on to make the final table and take fourth place!
Along with the WSOP, it's been pretty hectic couple of months with a lot of traveling, but I can't complain. I'm loving the grind.
Jake Cody is a member of Team PokerStars Pro