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My Caribbean Adventure

by Ian Simpson |  Published: Apr 01, 2013


Ian SimpsonThe PokerStars Caribbean Adventure was a mixed bag for me after I, and a number of other players, had their wire transfers for the main event lost in limbo.

Apparently an intermediary bank put a halt on the transaction and even now I still have not been given an official reason for this. I suspect that after Black Friday the Department Of Justice are on the banks’ backs to watch for money laundering and halted the transactions thinking that’s what was going on.

It meant I travelled to the Bahamas, at considerable cost; $4,000 for flights and accomodations not to mention expenses when I was over there, and couldn’t play the main event. I didn’t play any poker at all for the first four days since I was so stressed out about my $11,300 going missing and just couldn’t focus. I have now got the money back, after over three weeks of waiting and investigating by my bank, which I had to pay for as well.

Eventually though I did play some poker, and I have to say the atmosphere in the card room was the most positive and friendly I’ve seen since the Irish Open.

At the European Poker Tour Barcelona, the table chatter was very minimalistic, and the game taken very seriously indeed. Snore! There’s no reason you can’t play good poker and still have a laugh at the table, and the PCA atmosphere offered the kind of poker I like; Good banter generated by friendly players and fantastic floor staff that had the perfect balance between professionalism and humour.

I played the $5,000 no-limit hold’em and felt myself being pushed around a bit. A few threebets went awry which affected my table image. The thing I’ve found at EPT’s is that for every player who can execute a well-timed fourbet, there’s players who will simply fourbet because it’s cool rather than because the situation dictates it to be correct. I shipped my J-J vs. one such bet and the guy called with A-Q to send me to the rail. I got my money in good so no complaints.

I busted in a number of other events, but despite that I was really happy with my performance since I was consistently getting my money in good. I was back in the zone having had a bit of a stinking run online. I’d recently had some minor success after plugging a specific leak in my game which really improved my confidence and I could feel how much better I was playing.

I won a $640 sit ‘n’ go for $3,000 which was made all the sweeter by my snap call vs. a river all in with second pair to get me the win.

That’s when I got close. Oh so close. The trophy was literally sitting right in the middle of me and Affif Prado who I was heads up against in the final event of the festival for me, the $300 turbo.

Don’t give me wrong winning the sit ‘n’ go was sweet, but it’s nothing compared to a multi-table tournament trophy. Now threehanded I split a pot with Gabriel Landoli when my A-10 was out kicked by the board vs. his A-5. Prado then eliminated Landoli and went into heads up with a considerable lead. I think he had about 2:1 on me. I’m on 13x the big blind and I get dealt A-Q and raise it. He had fourbet me off two pots already, so I was really really expecting, nay praying, for him to ship on me. He flat called and took a flop of 9-7-5. He checked to me and everything went blurry again.

I hate that blurry moment about half a millisecond before you make the wrong decision. He called my all in very fast and that horrible sinking feeling in my gut told me I was in dire trouble. He flipped his 8-6, for the flopped nuts and took the trophy. Fundamental theorem Ian: if a better hand can’t fold and a worse hand can’t call what on earth are you shipping for?

Still a second place finish for $9,000 was very tasty indeed. I was disappointed to not take home the trophy, but it was well earned by Affif Prado. I was very happy with my performance, except from that last hand. I’m raring to go for EPT London in March; maybe I’ll get a second chance at a heads up duel for a trophy there. ♠

Science teacher Ian Simpson came fourth in the Irish Open 2012 for €107,500 and, as the last online qualifier standing in the main event, won the Sole Survivor contest netting himself another €100,000 =- €50,000 in cash, €50,000 in tournament buy ins.