I think all that played at the weekends Brucepokers launch festival will agree with the above sentiments. The Greenisle proved to be a great location and the room set up was excellent. With 170 players for Fridays, 220 Saturday and over 200 playing Sundays events, I personally thought the turnout was very good. I think general expectations about field sizes are a little skewed ATM because of the recent huge fields achieved in Killarney and the IPO but I was very happy with the amount of runners for all events. It was clear from the room set up ( tables and chips) and added money and prizes that Brucepoker.com spared no expense on the event.
Was €120 entry with a €50 rebuy/top-up. Generally in this type of double chance event I'll have a gamble with my first stack and did so in the very first hand when I got all my chips in on the flop with an open ender against the two pair of Paul Coyle and missed. Hand two I flopped at straight and got it in against a flush draw and hand three flop a set and stack top pair. JP was just announcing Nicky is all in again so most people in the room thought I was making an effort to get to the bar but this wasn't the case.
I was up to over 20k in level one and then back down to six when I was two outed on the river when I held AA. I then hit a rush of cards again after the break when the following hand occurred. I put a raiser playing about 25k all in holding JJ; after a blatant slowroll he has Kings but the poker gods hate slowrollers and I had the last laugh as a jack hit the river. I was very amused by ITTPat from boards reaction in seat one- he lept into the air roaring YES with the Tiger Woods fist pump- lol. That was as good as it got after peaking at 100k and the chip lead with 55 players left, I was gone before the last four tables. I lost 30% of my stack when I raised AJ against AA, I lost calling Paul Coyle button shove with QK Vs his A2 and my last 44k when I pushed A6 from the sb into JJ.
I don't recall a whole lot of the main event; It started very slowly for me and the first real hand I played was level five or six when I doubled through Brian from GJP racing with AQ Vs JJ. I just maneuvered my way through the field without any real hands and had about 100k when I lost half of it with QQ against a limp callers A6. I was steaming after this hand for about ten minutes but luckily it coincided with a break. Just after the break I got my now customary Brucie bonus hand. A chap had just sat to my left and had proceeded to tell me that he had aces cracked twice in the last twenty minutes. He was only on the table a couple of hands when its folded to me in the SB holding KJ and I shove into his AA. Two kings on the flop almost double me up and I add another 40k by the end of play to finish on 130k with 33 players returning for day two and 22 paid.
I found it very hard to get any spot on Sunday with Keith McFadden on my right. Keith was all in almost every hand and played very well. He was either pushing over players or if he was opening pots he just shoved- he told me later this tactic was because I was acting after him and its a fairly unexploitable strategy when playing < 30 BBs poker. On one occasion I almost called a McFadden 3-bet shove with A10 but I thought the initial raiser was strong; he siad he folded AQ while Keith told me later he folded QK. I can only remember taking two blinds on the Sunday, both times with 109 and never saw a hand. I eventually shoved the cut-off blind with 8 BBs ( button wasn't in his seat ) and was called by ITTPat with A4os. Out in 19th for a small cash but I throughly enjoyed the game and felt it played like a much bigger event and as ever JP had the structure spot on.
I wasn't really up for the freeroll having just gone from the main event and after a chat with Paul and Thomas I decided to just sit in for a bit and donk off my bounty. One chap was unlucky not to get it when I was all in with 10 3os pre flop but a runner runner straight dashed his hopes. I eventually managed to go out pushing loads of chips with K4 into AA; thankfully I didnt bust them this time.
The last game of the festival with 96 runners was my favorite. The bounty paid off big time in this one with people just throwing there stacks at me. I got the chip lead with about 50 players left and held it until the final table where I made a number of mistakes and basically blew up. I was after having a few beers over the tournament so I'm putting my errors down to that and not beating myself up to much about it. It was my second cash of the festival so I was happy with that. I was also delighted to see Johnny, Chris and Dennis involved in the chop here.
Overall I thought the festival ran seamlessly from a players point of view and all involved worked there socks off. Paul and Thomas of Brucepoker.com, JP and both crews deserve a lot of credit for giving us such a wonderful event and I for one am very greatful. Also congratulations to everyone who cashed and to those who took my scalp.