When looking back at the “No Real New Year Resolution but goals for 2008” post then under the poker section I had a few goals. Let’s have a quick look at them:
Fail. Sure I had days/weeks where I played a good number of games but I also had weeks/month almost without any game.
Qualify for tournaments
Fail. I didn’t really try nor do I have the bankroll to play the satellites.
Become SilverStar on PokerStars.
Total fail also. To become SilverStar I would have to play a lot more than I did and at higher amounts than I feel comfortable with.
So this leaves us with just ONE goal left in the poker section
Play some live poker
I have not completed this goal yet but that should be an easy one. I didn’t play any live poker until a week ago but this is all changing now.
I have from time to time been checking some Swiss poker sites and looked at different live possibilities. So possibilities was at the casinos and it was tempting but the buy-in for their sit’n’go tournaments are beyond what I feel comfortable with now. Also keep in mind that I never played poker with cards before, only online. So I wanted to start out in a more relaxed way. So I did some searches for “Poker Basel” and to my big surprised I found a place not far from me. Let me do a quick introduction.
The poker club OtherPoker is located in Basel, just about 15 to 20 minutes drive, so rather perfect for me. I spend a good bit of time on their site (That was noted by the people running the site when I showed up at their club). I checked their rules, terms and so on and had a good feeling about it all. The club is a 100% legal club with license for doing SNG and tournaments but they do not offer cash games, which suits me fine.
So I decided last Saturday to give them a visit; I even signed up for a small tournament before leaving. I wasn’t sure what to expect really, sure I had an idea about how it looked from the pictures from their web site (Some in rather bad quality). All was a positive experience. I got signed up as member and then let loose.
The main game room is rather big, got 8 tables (with space for 11 people), good space between the tables and they also have a bar. They serve a bit of everything at the bar, soft drinks, beer and food/snacks. Maybe not the cheapest but somehow they have to get some money in, so fine with me. They also have two VIP rooms (It is possible to rent these for private SNGs) and also a room for the smokers. YES, the main room is SMOKE FREE :-)
The main room also got 3 projectors showing the progress of the games been played, this included: Blind level, time before next blind level, players left, time for pause and payout structure. I was unlucky to sit with the bag to the nearest screen so lots of turning around to check the blinds.
Since I had 20 minutes before the game was starting I spend the time checking the other tournament that already was running. The age of the players there rang from younger than me and a few older but all in all, younger than me. All people there seemed to be in a good mood (okay, later there where a few cases of unhappy people but that didn’t last long) and very friendly; lots of talking at the tables.
The small tournaments and SNG’s are without a dealer (The more expensive tournaments are with dealer) so all self-dealing, this was something new for me and of course I was seated at table 1 position 1, meaning I was the first dealer. I wasn’t nervous (due to the relaxed people) and of course I made some mistakes and had to re-deal but no one said anything negative about it, I was also not the only new one there, so not the only one that did mistakes. Anyway, 15 too late the game started…
The game I took part in was a 33 player tournament, with a buy-in of CHF 20+5. There were payouts for 5 people, ranging from 55 CHF up to 264 CHF. The game was played at 3 tables and it was a bit crowded with 11 people at each table. I took it easy and played the cards pretty well (I think), sure I had some very lucky hands (JJJJ as the best) and a few small bluffs also worked (Not giving any details here, never know who is reading this). Maybe I didn’t play aggressive enough, maybe it was too tight but I had decided that I didn’t want to be one of the first to leave the tournament.
Every hour we had a short break, so time for a small snack and a soft drink. Some had a beer but I avoid that when playing poker but I’m VERY fine with the others drinking :-)
People got played out of our table and later new joined from the other tables and suddenly we had the final table with 10 players. Well, that took around 3 hours to get to that point. On my left side I had the chip leader; who at that stage had more than half of all chips in the game. Just a bit after he got 3 players out of the tournament and then he had more the 2/3 of all chips.
When the game started I didn’t know what to expect, how far I would come, how well the players where. So I was a bit surprised to find myself between the 5 who got paid. Actually, I ended as number 2, cashing out CHF 154, not bad for my first real game I have to say. Some might say beginners luck and who knows, maybe they are right!!
I know that just because the first game went very well that it does not mean that it will be like that next time, it might be that I don’t get any payouts for the next 10 games but I feel positive about it. Since the whole evening was a good experience I have to say that: I will be back.
And I will be back on Wednesday, as I just signed up for another 33 player tournament with a buy-in of CHF 20+5. They also have a multi day tournament the weekend after they have a multi day tournament. 3 days with first rounds where they played to a specific blinds level and then the final on Sunday. This is a CHF 40+7 tournament, so lets see how it goes on Wednesday, if I still feel good about it and if I got time then I will join this one also. I do think I will wait awhile with the 100+15 tournaments (They do count as Swiss Ranking Event); they have a special event where Rino Mathis (Swiss Pro Player) is joining but all 80 places are already taken.
So expect more posts in the future regarding Real Life Poker.