What a couple of weeks it’s been!

I’ve gone from always travelling and living out of a suitcase 🧳 playing live major events around the world to now mostly playing poker online from home around my family and the little twins Frank & Maria Jnr. As much as I love playing live at major poker festivals, I’m also loving playing online in much higher volume as at the moment it’s suiting my lifestyle perfectly around my family.

Online Day 1 and 2 – a new concept

Just before MILLIONS Europe I saw Rob Yong’s tweet that partypoker were introducing a new concept for the live tournaments to give players the choice to play Day 1 and 2 online and go straight into Day 3 at the live venue and in the money. I thought this was a great idea and I was very excited to give it a go.

I had already arranged to go to Kings to play the Main Event and I was due to fly Monday 12th August. But the thought running through my head was if I was to qualify and make it straight to the live venue on Day 3 I could rearrange my travel plans and fly out on the 16th instead of the 12th. This would mean I could spend more days around the family and babies. Also, what better feeling knowing you’re turning up nice and fresh already into Day 3 and in the money?!

At this stage of my life with my baby twins being around 1 years old, I have the excitement of being with them every day and also the excitement of being blessed to play some major events now and again around the world. For me it’s all about balancing it as much as possible. This was an option to get the best of both and it really motivated and excited me!

$109 sat ticket to a min cash

I checked the online schedule a couple of weeks before and saw partypoker had $109 sats in to the $1k tickets 🎫 and then $1k sats in to the online €10,300 entry Millions Main Event. I really loved playing the $109 Sats as they were amazing value. From winning multiple $1k tickets from the $109 sats I then played the $1k sat trying for the €10,300 Main Event seat. Luckily I won it on the first attempt.

So it was building up to be an even bigger online Sunday schedule on partypoker with the online Main Event Day 1 and 2 to focus on. I remember having a ton of games up on my screen and it went exactly just like the early stages of any other Main Event. I was just focused on playing solid early on with so many big blinds but as time went on it became a real battle. It was around 3am and my stack was being put to the test by other players and I was doing exactly the same myself. I could see that there were some great online players still in and it was going to be tough. However, next thing it was around 5am and we were on the stone cold bubble.

Luckily, I had a healthy chip stack and I applied maximum pressure on my table. I was the player who also burst the bubble having been dealt Kings vs Jacks and after winning that hand, I finished with a solid top 3 stack of 9.2 Million chips and €20,000 euros locked up. It was such a good feeling and was just as exciting as all the memories I have of live Main Event cashing.

Day 3 at Kings

Not travelling on the 12th August and arriving at Kings Casino on Friday 16th was as good as I thought it would be, as the time I got to spend with the twins in those extra days was priceless. I arrived at the venue fresh and ready. I just remembered sitting down on Day 3 and feeling so focused. I don’t think I made one mistake all day and picked perfect spots to apply max pressure to players when needed.

Before I knew it, I was bagging up my chips for the final table with 42 million, with the average 60 million.

Before going to bed I knew there was a player’s party and with me only playing one day live, I wasn’t tired at all. So, I went with some of the lads and had a couple of drinks to wind down before bed. The player’s party was great as always with partypoker. I had a great sleep and woke up again feeling amazing and ready to give it my all at this final table.

The final table

I knew Charlie Carrel had a big stack and he had been playing aggressively building up to this final table. I had played a big pot against him and I made a good river call with ace high when we were down to 2 tables yesterday, so I felt some blood had already been drawn. 🤜🏻

With Charlie having around 150 million chips I was pretty sure he was going to continue to play that way throughout, so my plan was to try and sit solid early on and if I could get a double up then start to turn up the pressure. That’s pretty much exactly what happened. Charlie started off like a steam train but it didn’t work out as he kept doubling short stacks at the table. In fairness he did also run into some coolers where he probably had to play out his hands and one of them was vs me with my AK Clubs vs his AQ hearts all in pre for a 74 million pot.

Charlie was to bust out soon after that so I felt it was time to try and take control if I could. It was pretty tough though as time had gone on for couple of hours with no bust outs and we were 6 handed for a long time, with the big blinds catching up with us all.

There were 4 of us pretty much on the same stack sizes and playing off around 8 to 12 big blinds, so with some run good here and one double up that would put us into the top 2 stack.

Then there was a shove from early position and I woke up with 99 in the small blind. I called and was up against QJ hearts. ♥ This was for a top 2 stack with a 100 million pot in the middle…

Flop was K 10 x

Turn 4

River A

And that was it. I finished in 6th place with a cash of €170,000 euros. 💶

To be honest, I felt ok after busting as I felt I played some great poker and I was really happy with all my decisions. It also helped that there were some great people around after busting out, which always helps take away some of the bad feeling and helps me to focus on the positives. $109 dollars into €170,000 is a great result and I absolutely loved the format of playing the early stages online and later stages at the live venue. It was such an exciting experience from start to finish.

I know it’s easy for me to say because it all worked out well this time but I truly liked the idea before I tried it and I believe it’s a great concept for the future, especially for players at different stages in their lives. Whether it’s family commitments like myself or any other situation this concept can work well for them.

Lastly, I would like to say as always a big thank you to all the staff at Kings Casino as they were simply outstanding and always make me feel welcome! Same with all the partypoker staff and dealers for keeping up the high standards for all the players, not just myself.

Good luck all and I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Roberto x

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