PokerStars Festival London: All aboard the Baytrain


Craig 'Baytrain' Bayliss

Yesterday we put out a request for you to let us know if there was anyone playing in the PokerStars Festival Main Event whose progress you'd like us to follow.

No one called that opening bet, but this morning we had three requests. All three were for the same player. Step forward then Craig 'Baytrain' Bayliss, a 28-year-old finance work from Andover. Was this a stitch up? No Sir. These friends are home game rivals of Bayliss and like him had tried to qualify for the Main Event. Bayliss was the only one who made it

"I entered a £1.10 re-buy and I rebought seven or eight times. That got me into a direct satellite and I managed to qualify through that," he says. "They've all told me that they wish they were playing too."

So Bayliss is in this £990 event for less than a tenner. He dabbles in multi-table tournaments online and plays home games both live, and on PokerStars, but this is by far the biggest tournament of his life. "This is my first big live event and my second live event in total," he begins. "The other one was in Southampton a couple of nights ago and the buy-in was about £20. It didn't go so well, but it taught me a few things that have helped me out so far today."

And the good news for Bayliss fans is that your man is in the black after three levels of play. "I've won most of the hands I've played to the end. Mostly small pots, so gradual increases really."

Great stuff. "I lost a hand where I had a full-house against quads, though." Oh, this could be bad.

Despite his relative inexperience in such tournaments Bayliss skilfully negotiated his way out of the situation. "I managed to avoid whacking it all in, though," he says. "I had king-queen suited and the guy called a raise with ace-seven. The flop was 7-7-K and he made quads on the turn. It was damage limitation at that point."


Bayliss managed to keep his house from caving in

That hand occurred early in the second level and knocked Bayliss down to about 23,000 but he's since recovered. "I've gradually managed to build it back up and I'm on about 39,000 at the moment."

The biggest difference today for Bayliss hasn't been the step up in buy-in but the step up in brain power needed to compete. "If I'm going to do well, it's going to be a long day. Adjusting to that is the biggest thing. I'm going to have to concentrate for longer and it'll be more mentally challenging than playing a tournament where there are just eight to ten people."

Finally, he has a word or two for his fans who requested we follow his progress. "Stop harassing the blog!"


Craig's chips and cards are in good hands

If you've got a friend, family member or significant other playing this event and you'd like us to track their progress then please tweet us @PokerStarsBlog.

You can follow the progress of Bayliss and the other 418 players who've entered Day 1C of the Main Event courtesy of our friends at PokerNews.

All the PokerStars Festival London schedule information is available on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS. Also make sure to follow the @PokerStarsLive Twitter account of event information and announcements.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Live Poker