Tuesday, 6th December 2022 03:50
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My plans to fly home to London and finally go about furnishing my flat were temporarily derailed when I was invited to the NBC Heads-Up Championship. I was delighted to get the opportunity to play, but since it was taking place only a few days after the PCA, it didn’t make sense anymore to go home in the interim.

I decided to stay in the Americas and headed to Mexico to kill a couple of days before getting on the plane to Vegas. I drew Gaelle Baumann as my first-round opponent and was pretty happy about it. I thought she was probably one of the less experienced heads-up players in the field, and since I’m not very experienced myself it was a good pairing.

The day before the tournament, I participated in a training session with Joe Serock and a couple other players. We ran through some simulations and played a few practice matches just to get into a heads-up thinking mode. Something must have clicked for me, because when I sat down with Gaelle the next day, I played one of the best heads-up matches I’ve ever had. You know when you’re just in the zone and feel like you have control, good reads and momentum on your side? Well that’s how the early stages of the match felt – very pleasant indeed.


Gaelle was down to about eight big blinds when she moved in and I called with king-eight. She turned over ace-four and doubled up. Then she doubled again. All too quickly, we were back to even. The blinds went up and we were basically in flip mode. I lost one flip and then made a mistake that cost me the match. Gaelle had started limping her buttons, and I had 14 big blinds. She limped again and I shoved with 6-8 offsuit. Gaelle called with A7, won the hand, and that was it for me. Though it was unfortunate to go out in the first round it was a good confidence booster and I can’t wait to see how our match unfolds on TV.

I was able to spend a little time at home before hitting the road again. Only this time, I wasn’t going too far. James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton drove past my house on their way to EPT Deauville and I grabbed a ride with them to France. It was a very entertaining journey of course, Joe being the comedic genius that he is. I was due to play Day 1B of the main event and the night before, I decided to go to Trouville for dinner. They have amazing mussels there, and as such I ordered a big bowl. After a pleasant dinner I got back to the hotel for an early night to gear up for the main event.

At about four in the morning, I woke up and didn’t feel well at all. I’ll spare you the details, but I was violently ill from then until around 2 pm the following afternoon. The tournament had started and I was one vomit away from unregistering. However at the very last minute the nausea subsided so I foolishly/bravely headed to the casino and took my seat. Sadly a combination of playing too tight, running sub-par and feeling like Death itself culminated in my demise in the very last level of the day. Ten points for effort though.

Next time, skip the mussels.

Liv Boeree is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

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