Read the PART 1 here.
After a well-deserved break gallivanting around Europe for a month, I reached Monte Carlo for the EPT Grand Final. It was like being a kid in a candy store. As if the city didn’t offer enough in itself, the sheer volume of notable pros in the field left me star-struck to say the least. After running fairly deep in a couple of side events only to virtually bubble, I was more than determined to make the Main Event count. It could hardly have been a better start, as I became the first player in the room to reach the 70k stack in the first level of the day. After playing the big stack bully in the final level of day 1, I had managed to amass a 100k stack going into day 2, which made me a top 50 stack out of the 1100 who had registered.
Having been moved to three different tables within an hour of day 2, I was starting to get a bit restless and ended up spewing by triple barreling an unknown player who turned out to be a calling station. Managed to get the chips back pretty soon through none other than Winfred Yu, who jammed 12 bigs in the Hijack. I chose to make a close call in the big bling with AJ based on what I had seen of him in the past. He turned over K8 and my AJ held to knock him out. I started picking uncontested pots and dominating the table when this fateful hand came down. I opened pocket 55s from hijack to 3500 on 800/1600/200 and the button called. Went heads up to a flop of Qd 5h 2h. I led out 4k and the button who had been doing some weird stuff raised it up to 10k. I seriously considered my options, deciding on playing the hand fast by re-raising to 26k against an opponent who hates folding. He called and the Jc fell on the turn. It was pretty much a brick and I over-jammed 70k to polarize my hand. He called it off within a minute and turned over the KQ of hearts for top pair with a flush draw. I got it in as an 82% favorite, but it didn’t amount to much as the 4 of hearts on the river showed me the door.
It was a brutal end to what was shaping up to be a promising tournament and I had steam coming out of my ears for about an hour. Poker can be a cruel game at times but it’s important to keep making the right decisions and leave the rest to fate. That’s all any of us can really do at the end of the day. It was an unbelievable experience playing with some of the sharpest poker minds in the world, knowing I can hold my own against them and I look forward to doing the same next month at WSOP in Vegas.
For now, its an exciting time to be part of the PokerBaazi team with the third edition of the Poker Premier League just around the corner, promising a whopping 40 Lacs in guarantees. I just can’t wait to get back to the online felt during the PPL and bring some glory to the House of Baazi. Being behind the scenes with the team, I can also vouch for the awesome preparation going into the inaugural Baazi Poker Tour, which is going to be a game changer when it comes to live poker tournaments in India. Join us at Deltin Royale in Goa from the 23rd to 26th June and stand to win from the 50 Lac GTD prize pool across the four BPT events. See you at the tables!