BPT Week 2 Pubside Chat

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Blogger? Join the Blogger Poker Tour today! Season 2 sends two bloggers to the Aussie Millions... BPT - only at Poker.com!

Going into Event two of the second season of the Blogger Poker Tour, it was too soon to identify a person or persons who were “running away” with the season. It still may be premature to call it a runaway; however, I would safely venture a claim that a sixth place showing and a win would put one in an extremely favorable position to qualify for the Grand Final. The Blogger Poker Tour Grand Final is on 23 December where 20 poker Bloggers will compete for the Ultimate Prize, a seat in the Aussie Millions representing Poker.com.

In the first event, natsdad (Alex), worked with roughly 6000 chips twelve hands into the event, then up to 9000 shortly later. He managed to work his way through to the final table, finishing sixth when his AJ butted heads with AA. Sixth place is not an easy feat in any tournament, let alone a BPT tourney

How does one follow up a sixth place finish in BPT land, you ask. Well, if you are Alex, you follow it up two fold. First, you win the Blogger Poker Tour Season 2 Event 2. Then you head over to the Poker Pub to have a beer and a pub side chat with the Beer Guy.

After the beautiful PokerPub Barmaid grabs Alex and I a cold one and I thank him for stopping by, we begin to “talk shop.”

Natsdad is a stranger to neither Poker.com, nor the Blogger Poker Tour. He was an active participant to BPT Season 1, where he read about it on Poker.com's Poker Forum, to which he now moderates. “The diary element of it appealed (to me). I like to waffle!" During the first season, the Blogger Poker Tour sent a player to the WSOP Main Event as the grand prize.

“Online I’ve been playing almost 18 months,” Alex tells me. “Before that I played a home game every so often but wasn't a big poker devotee. I vaguely remember my Dad and his mates playing in our house when I was little and dropping the odd coin for me to find. "If it hits the deck it's mine"

We shift gears and begin talking football. No, not Steelers, Colts, Seahawks football… REAL football. As any good Pub owner is, I am an avid football fan, and I take notice that Alex is a supporter of Everton’s squad. I congratulate him on their nice start, three wins and four draws in seven outings, including 3-0 over Liverpool. Not a bad start, good enough for a fifth place spot on the EPL Table, though it could be better… My United Squad, for example, sits on top of the table with 16 points, but this chat is not about me, it is about the champ, so I won’t “go there.” Everton have been one of the stronger sides over the last few years and deserve credit and are well positioned to make a run this season behind Andrew Johnson‘s brilliant six goals in seven games. I give Everton props, shed a tear over my Ole Gunnar’s return, and we transition back to poker and the BPT.

I ask Alex what his strategy was going into the final table, after the cash bubble burst. He was sitting third or fourth in chips (purechaos was the leader and just running down everyone in site - living up to his name. Mick5434 had roughly 19K, natsdad (Alex) had about 18K, and iyatoni had 16.5K). Additionally there were two somewhat "short stacks." There really was no clear, straightforward strategy.

And as appropriate, his strategy was case-by-case, hand by hand. Alex tells me he was keen not to walk back into pocket aces, the way he did in the first event on the final table. “Then to see off the shortest stacks while maintaining a reasonably strong table image so Open Season wasn't declared on my blinds and I’d get the occasional walk.”

I’m thinking the Aces from last event were definitely “in his head” so to speak, and the ousting of the short stack was definitely a confidence booster.

I move on to cite Hand 13 of the final table, where Alex called purechaos, and hit the flush draw, which you both checked. I ask him, “When the ten flushed the board and you bet, chaos raising into you while you had the nuts, how did that feel (walk me through that hand)?”

Taking a swig of his beer, Alex replies, “I almost didn't play the hand but I think it was pretty cheap to see the flop. Flopped the nut flush draw and no bet so I got to see a turn for free. When the 10 fell, I thought "....SWEET…!". I tried to represent a cheeky steal or maybe a flush draw. When he re-raised I thought he either had the flush too or was trying to bully me off the draw I hoped he thought I had. I didn't think too long about the all-in. I was happy but a bit stunned and I remember looking for a second to see if he had the straight flush.”

Nothing like having someone betting into you when you have the nuts. It surely solves the problem of figuring out how to get said stack from the villain into the center of the table when they help as such, now doesn’t it?

“If the ousting of the short stack was a confidence booster, mowing down the “big bad wolf” (purechaos) HAD TO BE an extreme confidence booster for you! Did you feel at this time that the tourney was yours,” I ask.

“I knew I SHOULD win from there but wasn't taking anything for granted. The players left in weren't there by accident and were obviously still very dangerous,” a respectful and realistic natsdad tells me.

“The tourney plays through and Joey (DamRiver) chips up. We’re three handed, with DamRiver having almost as many chips as you did (he went on quite a heater), how did your strategy change?”

“I wanted iyatoni out so Dam and I could sort out a winner. Then I went and doubled Toni up....Doh! Again though, I was trying to stay as aggressive/strong as I could without playing too many speculative hands.”

It seems as if Alex did exactly that, though it was with Toni that he ended up heads up. Of course, hence the Pub side chat, Alex went on to win the event. Checking my watch, I know we are running short on time, so I through out there that making two final tables in the Blogger Poker Tour IS a big deal. Now that (you’re) the points leader, people will be gunning for you. Do you plan to adjust your game?

“Yes I’m very pleased to have got off to such a good start, especially after being down early on Saturday to around 650 chips after my KK got beat. As for people gunning for me, well, that is a compliment is it not? I won't do much differently, just try to play decent hands when they come, play them strong and hope they hold up. I'm probably due to get sucked out on but if that happens, it happens.”

As we close and say our goodbyes, Alex say “thanks” to Poker.com for giving us this opportunity and gives a shout out to his friends on the forum there, quite a few of whom play on the BPT.

Additionally, he would like to wish everyone good luck for Event3 and “Cheers for the beer, hope to catch you in Aussie for another!”

At this rate, he is definitely Aussie bound.