I joined the Forum in the first few weeks that it opened, after it was set up by Dave (DC), who I met at the Caribbean Poker Classic 2 years ago. Although I followed it quite a bit to start with, I didn't get too involved as I wasn't playing live and didn't know what or who they were talking about half the time!! Having said that, as Brenos was about at the weekend we did decide to play the £50 game at the weekend as the structure looked good and we had heard rumours it was good banter too. I'm pleased I did now :-)
I managed to squeek in to day 2 at just under average stack despite sitting on a rock hard table from the dinner break onwards. I had an internet pro who I heard people say were in the top 30 in world on my right, who raised every hand for 2 hours as he was the chip leader and a little bit intoxicated (there for the craic), and a very very good player (fatfish??) on my left. I had to 3 bet light and squeeze - once to hit the nut straight on turn with 67s after an unwanted UTG caller - but wasn't too uncomfortable and always got my chips in good when I was all in:
K9 vs AJ on KJ72 board
QQ vs 99 pre flop
67 vs QK on K598 board
AA vs A5 on J88 board (he check raised bluffed)
I'll try not to go in to loads of details of the final day as there are loads of posts on the NPF itself - with pictures - so if you are interested in how the final table was made up and decided here is the best link to follow:
The hand histories don't totally do me justice, as I do end up getting it in with some crap hands on the final table, but that was purely down to my aggressive pre flop game. I noticed there were a lot of people that seemed to be happy to play the waiting game, but as the blinds and antes were massive, I decided to take the opposite approach and go after them rather than sit back and wait. I doubled my stack before getting caught out by a short stack 3bet shoving all in, which I had to call with 'The Ultimate Cranston' (84 suited).
I lost that hand but didn't lose many chips, and my image worked in my favour when the small blind took a stand against my constant button raises by 3betting me with J9. Unluckily for him (Sean) I had QQ this time and although he has a fair few chips behind, he is getting odds for a call against my shoving range - I do have AK here a lot - so he calls but misses.
I make 2 tough (ish) calls with KJ after raising and getting 3 bet shoved by tight (ish) short stack, but after thinking things through, working out pot odds and knowing that everyone thinks I'm full of shit, do make the call to see KT both times. First hand I lose a monster pot that would probably have taken me to chip leader when he hits a Ten on the river (not in NPF thread), but second time a few orbits later I knock out the same guy when he misses.
I get to heads up without having to get my hands dirty, the chip leader (the aforementioned DC) knocking out a talented crisp by the name of Junior Bomber. I obviously wouldn't of had a clue about that sentence either before the weekend, but anyone at Circus over the weekend would certainly know who I meant due to the constant railing / cheering of 'Bomber' from his fan club behind him. My fan club was much better looking though - or at least one half was as Brennan had been joined by K with 8 players left - and I think her presence did loads to help unsettle the 100% male field - thanks for your stare downs K! :-)
Anyway, heads up was virtually over before it started, my 190k chips tiny in comparison vs DC's 810k (20k big blinds) and my third ship pre flop in 4 hands with A3 was called and beaten by JK. I was a little disappointed not to get a double up and play a decent heads up match, but I certainly can't deny that Dave was a worthy winner. He outplayed me in every pot we contested over the 2 days and used his chip lead to massive advantage from 40 players left to dominate the tournament. Mark had told me how good a player he now was, and I have to agree after the weekend. As he is the founder of the NPF, organises all the events and talks to everyone as a true gentleman, I also think I would have been the most unpopular winner of all time if I had come back from the dead to claim 1st prize!
As it was, £930 prize money was a decent pay day (even if £290 was shipped to Brenos as shares!) and I thoroughly enjoyed the the weekend. I'll certainly be looking to play more local events and maybe even start posting on the NPF - who knows - people might actually know who I am now!!