Per Linde in WPT Venice..
Going to Venice I was looking for some sort of revenge. I really felt that I played very good and patiently back in San Remo, making a very good call that sent me out of the tournament instead of giving me a good chance of a nice finish.
I flew down to Venice with my girlfriend who accompanied me for the first time during a poker tournament. We had a nice and relaxing day walking the many streets of Venice, taking pictures of all the famous buildings and bridges, well pretty much enjoying life and the weather that was significantly better than the rain we left behind us as we left Sweden.
I entered the tournament on day 1b, and ended up at a reasonably soft table. I had Dag Martin Mikkelsen who cashed bigtime in Monte Carlo two seats on my right, but apart from him my table persisted mostly of older italian dudes. As we all know, thats pretty much a weat dream for a pokerplayer.
Things didnt exactly start out fantastic. I ran AK into AA, and QQ into KK. Fortunately for me, when I had AK the flop came 8 high and when I had QQ versus KK, and ace flopped and more or less saved me my stack.
I managed to pick up a couple of small pots, I remember raising AJs from early position, getting one caller in middle position. Flop comes Kxx, I c-bet, he calls. Turn brings the T giving me a gutshot. I decided to fire once more and he instantly mucked his hand.
I also remember 3-betting Dag Martin Mikkelsen a few times. He was opening tons and tons of hands, giving me beautiful spots to 3-bet him since I had position on him most of the time. I actually even made a play with 72o once when he opened the hijack. I was on the button and had not played back at him at all (since he was clearly the best player at the table) and it folded to me on the button. I bumped it up and he released pretty quickly.
A few hours in I get dealt aces and raise it up. An italian old guy 3-bets me to a huge amount and I shove the rest of my chips in. He calls, tables AKs and I hold up.
Shortly after the dinner break I got moved to a new table where my fellow team player Toni Ojala was seated. He was very short stacked though, and busted out when his pocket eights couldnt hold up against the Q3s, held by an extreeeeemely loose and bad italian player who actually ended up at the final table, somehow.
I played one key pot at this table. The extremely loose/aggro player opens from early position like he had down every other hand, an italian guy calls in middle position and I squeeze all-in from the small blind with 77. The raiser folds, but the cold caller calls me again with TT. I get very very lucky on the flop and hit a seven, sending the italian guy out of the tournament shouting “VAFFANCOOLO” or something like that. I don´t think I want to know what that means.
After this, nothing really happened at this table, as I was soon to be moved yet again. This time the table looked really tough with a lot of young players with big stacks. The finnish EPT winner from EPT Copenhagen was at the table, as well as fellow Swede Martin Jakobsson who ended up in second place in this tournament.
At first I didn´t play too many hands here, but after a while I started to get some decent hands. An interesting turn of events started when a young aggressive danish player opened the button, I reraised him from the small blind and he moved all-in. I ended up folding a low pocket pair after thinking for a long time. The very next hand it folds to me on the button and I find pocket aces in the whole. I quickly raise, the sb (italian guy) reraises me and I insta-shove to make him think that I´m tilting from having to fold the hand before. He calls for like ten seconds before he calls with AJs. Again, I hold up and increasy my stack to about 65k.
In the very last hand of the day, I took advantage of the fact that people just wanted to go come back the next and used my stack a little bit. An older italian guy opened from the button, I 3-bet him in the BB with T6s. He called but folded very quickly on the flop when I fired out a bet on the flop AKx. I finished the day at a little over 70k in chips.
I got a good table to begin day 2 with as well. I had a couple of shortstacks that made life a little more difficult, but apart from them I was very happy with the drawing.
The very first hand a shortstacker moves in for just over 10bb. I call with A9, but loose to his pocket fives. After this, I double up a couple of mini-stacks before things starts to go my way again.
With blinds of 800/1600 and ante of 175 (or 200, cant remember) I open to 4k on the button with ATs. The BB, a finnish player who has been restealing a decent amout moves in, and I call. He´s got A9, and I hold up wo win a nice sized pot to bring me over 80k in chips.
As it turned out, I would come to regret busting this player. The seat in which he was sitting, is instead taken by the italian star Dario Minieri. On the very first hand at the table for him, I raise to 4200 (same blinds as previously) with AKs from utg+1. Dario who is sitting to seats two my left announces all-in for 42k exactly. There is no way on earth I´m folding AK to him here ever, so I call and he shows me 66. The flop gives me the nut flush draw, making me a favourite to win the hand. Unfortunately, the turn and river bricks out and I´m down to approximately 40k in chips.
Soon after this, I get most of my chips in with TT vs AKs for a pot of 60k. This time, I hold up after having my opponen turning the flush draw on me. Up to 70k.
I loose a few small pots, bringing me down to 60k in chips when my busting hand occurs. The hijack opens to 5k at 1k/2k (200 ante) and I move my 60k (30bb) in from the button. Dario Minieri wakes up with AK in the big blind, moves all-in and holds up to win the pot against me, and sending me back to the hotel.
All in all, I was very pleased with my performance once again. In tournament poker, sometimes all the skill in the world won´t help you, and as long as I play as good as I possibly, I know the big scores will eventuelly come so I´m not really worried. Obviously it would have been fantastic to book a score in the Red King shirt down in Venice but it just wasn´t my day, and I can´t really do anything about that. I do wonder however, what would have happened if I had not busted that finnish player and had Dario Minier moved to my table.
After busting, me and my girldfriend got to spend a couple of days in Venice, just vacationing. It is a fascinating town indeed, and who knows, maybe I´ll come back one day to the city where the water is right outside your room, keeping you up at night. Oh wait a minute, thats just what I thought, it turned out to be the toilet.
Take care guys, make sure to root for me in Barcelona in June!