Having fun at UKIPT Edinburgh
by JP Kelly
I arrived in Edinburgh on the Thursday night having postponed my start day to 1B. I felt really bad with what must have been something like flu so I stopped multiple times on the way to the George hotel and picked up some medicine - and jelly babies. I played PLO online for a couple of hours and then managed to get a good night's sleep.
I turned up at the Corn Exchange ready to play although still rather ill. Walking around the room before hand I didn't recognise too many people but what I must comment on is the amount of young players that were there for UKIPT Edinburgh. When I first started playing I
was one of only a handful of players under the age of 26 that ever played the bigger tournaments, or any tournament come to think of it. Nowadays, I feel like more of the old guard having not played as many UK-based tournaments in recent times, as multiple teenagers and players in their early 20s with vast knowledge from the internet and a feeling of invincibility dominate their tables and really crank up the aggression in comparison to a few years ago.
Armed with my medicine and most likely superior knowledge of what it takes to navigate my way through a tournament field I sat back and let the young guns battle it out on my table whilst occasionally keeping them in line to let them know I was still around. So quietly I chipped up from the initial starting stack of 15k to 25k. I had been very active from the button but had shown down a good hand virtually every time. I then ran a huge bluff on a
very nice guy called Asif from Manchester with 74o I put him all in on the river of AK7Q6 and he made an almost instantaneous call with KQ to take me back to below starting stack. In hindsight I think I should have just let him have it and I tried too hard to win this pot which maybe he saw through.
As we were at the 200-400/50 level I decided it was time to start ruffling a few feathers and try to boost my stack back to a more healthy position as the next level of 300-600/75 is a relatively huge jump and I don't really want to be stuck on 12k. I raised more and more pots and players were getting out of my way, I kept finding myself in tricky situations debating whether to bet or check with 2nd and 3rd pair. These are the situations that
separate the good players from the best. I feel like I handled these situations OK overall but definitely nowhere near the level I would have liked to. Maybe I was being too much on the passive side worrying too much about letting myself get bluffed.
Last hand before the dinner break I was back to 20k which felt good after the mishap taking me down to 12k. I re-raised an early position short stack with A-K ready to take him on when Asif decided to 'cold 4 bet' from the blinds. There was no doubt in my mind what he had and I folded pretty quickly face up and he laughed showing me one ace - and later on he confirmed that he had both bullets.
After having a quick meal with Ash Mason and Jake Cody (11th) we came back ten minutes too late and eventually I found myself all-in with J-J v A-K. The K high flop wasn't too good but the sweet J on the river took me to my peak of the tournament. I then moved tables and after chatting away for a bit looked down at A-Q in the SB after a raise and a call. I 3 bet and then the original raisor 4 bet it to 11k total with 21k behind. He looked incredibly nervous and I had seen him talking to a couple of mutual friends who I knew were
good players. I find people tend to be over aggressive against me as they see me
wearing a Team PokerStars Pro badge and assume I'm bluffing all the time. I decided
to go with my instinct and put him all in which turned out to be a big mistake as he had K-K but luck was on my side as I rivered a club flush to take me to 65k which is what I finished the day on.
Still being relatively early and players having a few drinks at the bar we decided to go to a show called the Late Late Show. In Edinburgh they have 'Fringe Festival' which I believe is a week-long festival mainly for comedy. The city was buzzing all weekend and I really did enjoy it and what was even better was this show was taking place two minutes from the George hotel. So I went with Liv Boeree, Jake Cody, Simon Mitchell and a rather merry Ben Jenkins. The show was quite good and funny but I would have personally preferred more comedy sketches as the host Paul Zenon was very amusing and the music just didn't really do anything for me, but that is my own personal opinion.
After meeting with performance coach Steve Ward in the morning I then filmed a sit down interview with fellow Team Pros Vicky Coren, Julian Thew and Jude Ainsworth alongside the host Nick Wealthall. Back to the job at hand as I felt confident about going far in this tournament and felt like I was playing well and survived after some good fortune.
Unfortunately, I ran Kings into Aces and that was the end of that adventure. Debating between the Stars party and playing the £300 side event I decided it would be more fun
to play poker, have a few drinks (not too many though as still not feeling 100%) and maybe go afterwards to the party. I was sat with Neil Channing who is always entertaining and he wanted to crossbook with me which means if one person wins money then the other player has to payout the same on top. So if I came 6th for £1,000, Neil would have to give me £1,000 on top. I thought it would be fun and in hindsight should have done it but I was paranoid that I would lose the first time I ever did this so maybe I will do it next time.
I managed to amass a monster stack and the ran fairly bad towards the end of the day and ran set into set to get knocked out.
I really enjoyed Edinburgh, if I'm being honest it was way better than I imagined and I didn't even really see all that much of the place. I look forward to going back again and hope it is a leg of season 2 of the UKIPT.
Congratulations to Nick Abou Risk who won £50,000 and a £5,000 seat into EPT
London, well deserved from what I've heard.
Good luck everyone