The Main Event At The Vic

by Keith 'The Camel' Hawkins
Submitted by: snoopy on Tue, 28/03/2006 - 1:37am
I am not sure if it's appropriate to start a new thread about this, but as I'm not going to to talk solely about the structures, I'm going to start it anyways. So yah boo.

First and foremost congratulations to those who had a high final table finishing position..

I've play alot with DC down the years and I can confidently state he played better than I've ever seen him play before. Freed from worrying about ranking points and other such nonsense, he just relaxed and played some superb poker, making more moves than an acrobat on speed. He is probably pissed off he didn't win but he shouldn't be. If he carries on like that I confidently predict he will have his best ever year.

Jan Heitman was a new face to most but when I confided his pokerstars name to me I knew all about him. He dominated play for many hours and played his big stack expertly for all that time. He will be seen again at the final table of many major tournaments.

John Kabbaj is probably the most underrated tournament poker player in Europe. But, if he carries on this way he won't be underrated for much longer. He should be in everyone's list of the top 3 players in the UK. He has so many gears he can send you dizzy. His one big failing down the years has been that he's unable to recover from a setback. But, that seems to be a thing of the past now. He deserves this succes and will win many more big events.

Now... onto the thorniest point of all... the structure. I reckon it was 100% spot on. The fact that so many very good players made the final (Julian said something about cream rising to the top) supports my asessment I reckon. Colclough, Xanthos, Kabbaj and O'Connell. Find me another final table in Europe this year with over 200 runners and so many big names making it to the business end.

Yes, there were no 75-150 and 150-300 levels but they added a 500-1000 level which I have never seen at a Gorsvenor tournament. The Vic Card Room relies on cash games to exist and it is not unreasonable to free up a couple of tables quickly so the cash game players can get down to action. There is alot of noise when tournaments end up as crap shoots when the money is on offer. Well, I for one would prefer to have a slightly faster paced event in the early stages, and for the tournament to slow down when the money approaches.

I think for a £1500 event we saw alot of play. On day 1 we played about 7 hours. Day 2 saw over 9 hours of action. Day 3 meant 11 hours of play. (I am including breaks and estimating the totals.. but they are within 30 minutes every day). 27 hours of play over 3 days? Hardly a crapshoot is it?
One of the most important skills for a poker player is adaptability. You play the way is most profitable under the conditions on offer. Sometimes you play tight, sometimes loose/aggressive.

What do players want? Do you want to play for 7 days for one tournament? I honestly think there are far more important factors to get steamed up about... like it being called "Sponsored by Blue Square" but the sponsor not adding a bean in added money. Like players not getting a a penny from television money. Like players being forced to put a bb in every hand after they miss a round of play (I might be wrong, I was at another table.. but I think when Pascal Perrault missed an hour of play on day3 he wasn't forced to put a bb in every hand... if I am correct this the first time I've seen this in England and hats off to the Vic for another excellent decision).. Like there not being a universal set of rules..

The staff at the Vic are the best. The dealers are brilliant. The playing conditions are superb. I would almost rather win a main event at the Vic than a bracelet (almost but not quite lol).

As for my tournament. I cannot deny being chuffed to bits with my performance. I was really up for playing as I've played so little year and it showed as I played my best ever poker on Day 1 and continued a strong performance throughout the comp. Maybe I wasn't quite aggressive enough in the end.. but with  that chip monster Marc Goodwin on my left for most of Day 2 and Jan Heitman taking most of my stealing opportunities on Day 3 there wasn't much I could do. I was never dealt the boots in 3 days of play and only won the antes on the two occasions I found KK. If I had a bit more run of the cards I could have finished even higher. Oh well. C'est le vie. If I play like this when I do play I hope I can score a big result in 2006.
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