Positioned just between Sydney and Canberra, Goulburn is mainly known for its maximum security prison. Today the prison takes the backseat when the NPL state final has managed to attract 562 action thirsty poker players to fight it out for the $31,500 prize pool with a $12,000 Aussie Millions package on top.
Personally I got a terrible start to the day. Summer dust storms in Australia have a tendency to impact air traffic and my flight to Sydney was 2 hours late. I finally managed to make it to Sydney and was picked up by PartyPoker’s Territorial Manager Henrik Nilsson.
Being late we immediately got on the road and started to go through the speech I’m supposed to do. I think I’m good with people one on one, but talking in front of an audience takes me out of my comfort zone.
I read my script to Henrik and spent the rest of the drive practicing my speech, in the end I think it came out ok. I have been so fortunate winning the Aussie Millions so I wanted to give something back to the poker community and decided at the last minute to give any player that signs up through my account within the next 48 hours a $25 free no deposit bonus.
Shuffle Up And Deal
After a quick catch up with organiser Simon Watts and NPL CEO Richard O’Neill I got right into the poker action playing the first tourney with a $70 bounty on my head. This is different from what I’m used to, it’s self dealt and everyone is trying to take you out. For me, playing a lot online and with dealers playing live, I was nervous dealing and managed a misdeal the first two times. My cards were cold and I spent the first 30 min folding.
The only hand I played was with 9-10 off. Everyone limped and I completed in the small blind, big blind checks. Flop A53 rainbow and I decide to lead out with 550 bet into a 300 pot! (?). This sounds silly but truth to be told I mixed up the colours of the chips and got it wrong. I was supposed to bet 150 which make sense to anyone who knows anything about poker. People started giggling at my rookie mistake but the bet got the job done. This is quality poker folks!
Obama Eat Your Heart Out
After an hour it’s time for the first break and I’m entering the stage to deliver my speech, applause and 562 pairs of eyes are looking at me. I finish my speech and later found out that half the room couldn’t hear it due to the sound being too low. I think I did alright and feel like one step closer to a speech that will rival Obama. Well maybe not, but at least Kevin 07.
After the break I’m back in action. My cold streak continues and I’m starting to get frustrated. After been forced to fold a few hands I’m in desperate need to double up and fancy my chances on A2 of clubs from early position. The action gets folded around to the big blind that makes the call with Q8. Not too shabby, roughly 60/40 in my favour. Flop Q89 no clubs and I’m heading for the rails.
I’m comforting myself with a drink and exchange a few bad beat stories with the locals. I must say it’s great to be at a grassroots poker event like this. The action is good, the players are friendly and the atmosphere is more relaxed than the big pro tournaments.
I will play my second tournament for the night and then go back to my room to prep myself for my own Stewart Scott Aussie Millions Highroller Invitational (quite a mouthful) online tourney on Party Poker tomorrow evening at 19:00. It’s a $270 buy in with a $12,000 GTD. This is important to me because all my Aussie poker mates will play it and I want to do well.
Over and out from Goulburn