Liv Boeree's fun times in Los Angeles
I'm currently sitting in the airport looking forward to the eleven-hour flight from LAX to London Heathrow that leaves shortly. I say looking forward because it's true, I actually enjoy the transAtlantic flights as you get to catch up on all the movies, sleep, get fed, sleep some more and have no contact with the outside world which can be quite blissful nowadays.
I've just spent ten days in Los Angeles for the NAPT - this was the first one I'd been to and was pretty excited as I'd heard great things about these tournaments. I won my seat to it on the PokerStars Steps route and as such played day 1A with most of the qualifiers, again something I was excited about when I saw my table only had one person I recognised.
After winning a few pots here and there, I reached the dizzying heights of 32,000 from a 30,000 starting stack. And that was the peak of my lofty stack - from then on it got chipped away at, particularly by a couple of very frustrating hands - for example when I opened red A-Q middle position, a lady who plays a very strange game of poker calls out the small blind and the board comes A♦K♣5♣. She now leads out (she has a weak ace, yay) and I call. Turn is 8♣ and she now looks at her cards and check-calls my near pot bet. River is a fourth club and she announces all-in proudly for double the pot. So that hand took a chunk of chips and a few more whiffs with A-K/A-Q dwindled me down to 13,500.
So then there's an open to 750, a raise in mid-position to 2000 and a flat by a big stack on the button. I'm in the small blind with Jacks and shove. First guy folds A-x, second guy calls with A-K and the third guy folds and shows A-K. Good shape, no? No. Bye bye NAPT main event.
However, there was more poker in store for me, in the form of the $3000 side event and most excitingly, a shootout in Compton. Yup, that's right, a 81 person bounty shootout invitational televised for ESPN $5000 that was held in the Crystal casino in the heart of South Central. I found myself at the feature table with Phil Hellmuth, Kevin Macphee, Shaun Deeb, Nick Binger, Jean-Robert Bellande, Chris Moneymaker and Jonathan Little.
I doubled fairly early on by check-calling Little's bluffs on all three streets with top set (which filled up on river), but then had a small blind vs. big blind confrontation against Macphee with my sevens versus his A-10 all-in pre-flop, which he duly won by making quads (the photo below captures our facial expressions as the board ran out perfectly...).
So after that there was no more poker for me - just three free days to enjoy the fun LA had to offer, including messing around on the beach (more photos below) and rocking out with one of my favourite bands who happened to be playing LA that week, too.
A metal end to a pokery trip, what more could I ask for?