MPNPT: Back in the UK!

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Good things come to those who wait, as they say, and after a break of three years the MPN Poker Tour finally touched down once again on UK soil when Manchester’s Grosvenor Casino played host (20-23 July).

Having visited various parts of the globe, from Vienna to Morocco, the festival tour retained a distinctly European feel, with the already cosmopolitan flavour of the city being added to by the sound of (amongst others) Scandinavian voices.

Mad for it in Manchester

‘Mad for it’ is a typically Mancunian phrase which typifies the vibe that came out of a city that brought the musical world the likes of the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Oasis. But there’s so much more to this Northern powerhouse that helped forge the industrial revolution. For example, it’s the only place in the world where you can obtain a degree in Mummy Studies, the University of Manchester having facilities specifically aimed at the study of ancient Egyptian mummies…

Manchester also has the dubious distinction of being nicknamed ‘The Rainy City’ which, taking into account the UK’s reputation for rain, is already a little unfortunate, but especially so when, in fact, it is actually one of the drier cities in the country.

Alas, poker is an indoor pursuit, so in some ways the weather didn’t really matter, as a total of 288 entries in this war of attrition and patience (or, for some, multiple rebuying) took advantage of the excellent facilities of one of the UK’s biggest poker venues.

 

The Poker (Day 1A)

Day 1a was expected to see fewer players than Friday’s Day 1b, and Angus Dunnington survived the long-haul journey (12 levels) that saw 17 of the 74 entries make it to Day 2, turning his initial stack of 25,000 chips to 111,000. His friend and fellow Team32Red player, Phill Huxley, playing at the same table, was eliminated in a tricky hand, returning with another ‘bullet’ but not finding the poker gods on his side.

Angus spent the last few levels at a table – after being moved there – with a dynamic quite different to what he’d grown used to for several hours, with the mix of short and big stacks giving the game a greater sense of urgency. Sure enough, a massive pot with the typical scenario of a big hand – KK – versus a big draw seeing the latter catch a tournament-saving flush on the river proved to be crucial for two of the big stacks. This exciting episode encapsulated just how thin the line is between success and failure, as the tournament-saving river card in fact proved to be the stroke of luck that saw experienced Finnish player, Jari Hurri, ending Day 1a as the chip leader with 190,600 chips rather than – had fate been less generous – on his way out.

 

The Party

Meanwhile, Phill’s partner, Fabienne Freymadl (also part of the 32Red Live Streaming team) was impressing fellow revelers and spectators at the MPNPT Party in the casino. This has become a must-go event in itself, with a different theme at each festival.

This time, Fabienne and other brave souls who were capable of activities more immediately physically demanding than poker were trying to outdo each other at a game called ‘Batak Pro’… As you can see from the photos, this is a grown-up version of the children’s game that sees cute little animals being hit on the head with a rubber mallet as they briefly pop up. Batak Pro takes that up a few notches. Anyway, a good time was had by all as the free drinks flowed, snacks were eaten and fun was had both participating in and watching this test of reaction speed and physical endurance. Of course, with numerous prizes on offer, including a £150 side event ticket and 5 drink vouchers for the winner, and a £110 side event ticket and drink vouchers for the runner-up, that competitive edge poker players would be lost without added an entertaining slice of excitement to the mix…

 

The Poker (Day 1B)

Vegetarianism might nowadays be a worldwide choice of millions but, as it happens, appears to have officially originated – at least as an actual ‘movement’ – in Manchester. The Reverend William Cowherd (truth is indeed stranger than fiction) was waxing lyrical about the vegetarian diet down the road from where the Grosvenor now stands over two centuries ago, his followers going on to form the Vegetarian Society.

The atmosphere during Day 1b, however, was incredibly bloodthirsty, with take-no-prisoner knockouts and subsequent re-entries guaranteeing that, compared with Day 1a, many more chips would be in circulation. Some players contributed to the chip pool more than others, with David Lappin, for example, having several bites of the proverbial poker cherry. His fellow Irishman and good friend, Dara O’ Kearney – armed with a supply of Main Event seats – would even decide, after failing to survive Day 1b, to take advantage of the option afforded those players with both the inclination and the means to re-enter at the beginning of Day 2…

As it turned out David was able to exploit his extra lives and reached Day 2 with a stack of 75,000 chips. He was joined by other 32Red qualifiers, Matti Sahinoja (Finland; 102,000) and Mark Dyson (England; 37,600) among the 43 who would join the previous day’s 17 for a step up in gear on Day 2.

As was suggested above, the fact that there were many more chips flying around meant that the biggest stacks on Day 1b were much higher – the overall chip leader was Yiannis Liperis with a massive 328,600!

 

Day 2

The 60 players gunning for a cash (35 prizes) increased to 63 on Saturday when three more re-entries tried their luck, one of these being the aforementioned Dara. In fact, at one point, he, Angus and Matti were at the same table, sharing the unenviable experience of having to put up with Liperis and his mountain of chips, which was mercilessly being put to good use.

Not surprisingly, this proved to be a tough day, and the sole Team32Red player to cash was Angus Dunnington, whose feelings were mixed. He had been eager to make amends for the Vienna leg, where he had also cashed but after losing an enormous pot with KK v QQ at the critical, juicy stage of the tournament. Day 2 this time was his most frustrating, but a cash is a cash, and his patience ‘honed’ after years as a professional chess player saw him get the most out of what had become a very short stack.

 

Congratulations to Tim Chung on taking top honours and the 1st prize of £29,900 – a performance all the more impressive when we factor in how short-stacked he was at the beginning of the Final Table action, and how quickly he saw off the opposition.

 

The Players

You could be forgiven for thinking that poker festivals are characterised chiefly by such obvious things as cash, chips, bad beat stories and so on because conversations and thoughts will invariably feature these clichés. Indeed, that is often the case, but our aim when coming up with the various avenues through which players can be part of Team32Red and attend international poker competitions extends to more than the turn of a card. Here are examples of 32Red players who illustrate that there’s more to being a poker player than chip counts:

Luck – or, more significantly, bad luck – is something that poker players become used to and philosophical about but, for 32Red and MPNPT regular, Julie Whitworth (aka Ladydriver), fate dealt a particularly cruel blow before Manchester. For Julie, a popular Team32Red member who encapsulates what poker should be about, this was to be her ‘home’ event. Having cashed in Malta she was looking for a repeat success here but, unfortunately, was taken ill.

But that doesn’t mean she didn’t play a role, supporting her fellow players from her hospital bed. Here’s what she had to say: “As part of Team32Red, I was unfortunately taken into hospital the night before I was due to meet up with everyone… I was taken aback on Sunday afternoon by a visit from Nick Diaz, Angus Dunnington, Phill Huxley, Fabienne Freymadl and Sean Ainsworth, delivering some beautiful flowers and a card signed by lots of my fellow MPNPT companions. I may not have been there in body but my spirit was with the team. Thanks to all for the good wishes, and I will be with you in Tallinn!”

Get well soon Julie!

 

Phill Huxley is a great example of how to get the most out of 32Red Poker. In his own words, he ‘loves promos’ and makes sure not to waste any opportunities. He qualified for Manchester by winning a Route 32 promotion. These revolve around collecting starting chips for a Final proper in nightly ‘Flip’ qualifiers, which put everyone all-in every hand until the winners emerge, require just a few raked hands to register, and are completely free. He made a point of fulfilling the easy daily entry requirements, took his chances in the Final (knocking out his friend, Angus Dunnington, in 4th place in the process; note that the runner-up wins a €550 Main Event seat…) and bagged a €1,500 package.

 
Add to the mix Phill is an excellent player, and it’s a recipe for success. He didn’t make Day 2 in Manchester (but cashed in the Manchester Poker Cup), but poker is the ultimate ‘long’ game, and he’ll be a danger, as always, in Tallinn

Another 32Red qualifier whose journey to Manchester is the perfect incentive for all players is Andrew Talbot. He is one of a number of people who have the good fortune to win a fantastic €1,500 package by hitting a royal flush in our daily Flush Royale tournament. Having never taken part in a poker tournament before, he was expecting to find the situation and environment potentially difficult but, in fact, found himself feeling quite calm. This is a common and pleasant surprise for many in this context, and Andrew’s positive experience should serve to help ‘new’ players decide to make the most of our promotions and qualify for poker festivals.

Finally, Gerard Molloy sums it up perfectly: “My feedback is very positive regarding the MPNPT. I won my package (my first MPNPT event) online at 32Red. I didn’t win at the tables but the experience was amazing… I would very much like to qualify and take part in future events, so hope to see you again soon…”

Memorable hands

A memorable hand doesn’t have to be a devastating bad beat on the river or someone flopping four aces, and even when we are involved in a ‘big’ hand it might not be the one we find the most significant.

Phill Huxley, for instance, found the hand which saw him eliminated from the Main Event as ‘pretty funny’ and, importantly, this highlights the pragmatic, must-have-a-sense-of-humour attitude that is common amongst players. Phill had AK and found himself all-in and up against two opponents. AK is the kind of holding that should give you a fighting chance, but in this particular case Phill’s opponents had as their hole cards a pair of Kings and a pair of Aces! Phill: ‘I couldn’t have got it in much worse…’

Matti Sahinoja of Finland qualified for Manchester via a satellite at 32Red, having already played in MPN Poker Tour events in Vienna and Sofia, as well as the Irish Open (again through 32Red). He managed to go deep into the Main Event, at one point having quite a big stack. But navigating a safe route through the jungle that is tournament poker is never straightforward, and he ultimately fell short of the money.

As far as ‘memorable hands’ is concerned, what stuck in Matti’s mind most is when he faced an all-in bet while holding middle pair. This is always a difficult spot to find yourself in, not least in a big money festival, overseas, with your tournament life effectively on the line. The decision-making process can be hampered by the prospect of calling and finding that your second pair is, in fact, the second-best hand. He called, and had indeed made the correct decision, which is one of those poker experiences that never ceases to feel very satisfying…

Dara O’Kearney suffered a typical curse that the poker gods tend to dish out to those in possession of big pocket pairs. He three-bet Kings over an under-the-gun raise and was called. The Flop brought 10 8 7, both players ended up all-in and his opponent had – you guessed it! – J 9 (off-suit).

The Ginvitation

‘Made-up’ words can often be better than existing ones. Another is Gincident. Both feature the word ‘gin’, around which a special event was held for those players who fancied doing something different on the Sunday evening to round off the Manchester festival in style.

A dozen or so players took up the invitation for a barge cruise down the Manchester Ship Canal, where they were treated to as many Gin & Tonics and imaginative, tasty cocktails as they wanted, as well as endless platters of food, a fascinating, entertaining history of gin and a unique view of the city (such as Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United) from the traditional barge as it chugged along the canal…

 

Next Stop: Tallinn

If the MPNPT had a Walk of Fame, then Estonia’s picturesque capital, Tallinn, would take pride of place, being the most visited venue of the Tour thus far. If you haven’t yet enjoyed the poker festival experience this would be a great time to start, and at 32Red we have numerous, player-friendly ways for you to book your place at the €150,000 event (19-22 October), with €1,500 packages and €550 seats to win. Check out how to qualify, have fun, and we hope to see you there!

Find out more

MPN Poker Tour Manchester

March 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, News

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One of the biggest poker rooms in the UK will host the MPN Poker Tour this summer (July 20-23) when the MPNPT hits Manchester. While British players will appreciate the opportunity to take part in poker festivals around the globe, it will make a welcome change to see the tour return to home soil. Those from other countries will also be able to see how poker tournaments are organised in the UK, and no better place to show them how it’s done than the Grosvenor Casino in Manchester which, as well as being the ultimate poker venue, also boasts excellent facilities that will add to the experience.

As usual, we’ll provide poker fans with the most comprehensive, player-friendly qualifying structure so that, whatever the size of your bankroll, you’ll get every chance to win a fantastic €1,500 package – in fact the satellite quest starts at just €1! You can even bag a package in our nightly, €500 Guaranteed Flush Royale (only €3 buy-in) by hitting a royal flush.

And the package is well worth winning because it consists of the £550 entry to the £150,000 Guaranteed Main Event, entry to the £110 MPNPT Manchester Poker Cup, four nights’ accommodation (including breakfast) for two at the Park Inn by Radisson, €200 towards travel and expenses and an invite to the Players Welcome Party…

If the presence of #Team32Red at the Welcome Party is anything to go by these days, it’s a sign that our players now regularly qualify for MPN Poker Tour events. We want to maintain our presence so that true poker enthusiasts can continue to enjoy the thrill of big money poker and, with this in mind, will endeavour to keep providing you with the best satellite structure around.

Good luck, remember to have fun along the way, and hopefully we’ll see you in Manchester…

Find out more

Referendum Freerolls: Part 2 – Results

July 5, 2016 by  
Filed under News

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As the old cliché goes, a week is a long time in politics, and a great deal happened after the UK voted to leave the European Union. At 32Red Poker we held our own unique poll in advance of the big day in the shape of two €500 Freerolls – namely Remain and Leave. Players were invited to choose one or the other, with the result being Remain 40% and Leave 60%

Millions of people signed a petition in the (futile) hope of getting a second vote, but we have our own rules at 32Red and decided to give players a second chance to have their say, and, of course, to enjoy another two €500 Freerolls!

The results proved quite interesting. The run-up to our aptly named Referendum Freerolls: Part 2 saw our original poll result virtually repeated exactly, with entries hardly altering initially from 60%-40% in favour of Leave. However, we can report that, when the dust had settled, opinion was much, much closer than last time, with the final numbers being:

Remain 49%

Leave 51%

 

So there you have it. Our UK poker community had initially ‘voted’ overwhelmingly to leave the EU but, only a week or so later – perhaps influenced by the subsequent bizarre goings on in British politics, the 20% gap had narrowed to the point of being almost level…

We hope our players found the re-vote interesting and that fun was had in these bonus freerolls. We endeavour at 32Red to provide as much poker enjoyment as possible, whether this is in the form of such freerolls, opportunities to win packages for big money poker festivals and a host of ongoing promotions. Have fun, and good luck at the tables!

Visit our Promotions page

Poker Chat

March 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Angus Dunnington, News, Poker School

32Red's Poker School Blog

32Red's Poker School Blog

Poker Chat

Taking too much interest in other players’ chat can be quite distracting, so those new to online poker might want to switch off chat until they get used to the actual mechanics and pace of the game itself. Some players – particularly multi-tablers – simply never look at the chat and concentrate wholly on the game.

However, with no physical tells available, the contents of the chat box during a session often offer useful information about players. Indeed different games attract different types of player, and the chat tends to vary from one format to another. On a NL cash table, for example, the very nature of the game, when a whole stack can disappear in seconds, tends to generate simplistic comments such as ‘bad luck’ or ‘wow!’ rather than analysis of a hand.

It is not unusual to see emotional, abusive chat after a big pot. Some players bemoan their bad luck, reload, are unlucky again, reload and start to play wildly (or too passively) because they are too emotional and should really be taking a break. While it might seem a little mercenary, in these cases keeping an eye on the chat will help against such players.

Potentially valuable chat might follow a fold in the face of a big bet, with players giving away information either voluntarily or in response to a question from someone trying to induce opponents into revealing something. For example a pre-flop raiser might be called in two places and then again post-flop. Then a sizeable bet on the turn could be called by one player but met with a massive all-in, which takes down the pot. After folding, the pre-flop aggressor might then say something like ‘Nice bet – did you have trips/flush draw/two pair?’ in order to gain some info while the winner is feeling good about winning. The answer could mean anything, of course, and might not be true, but cumulative comments combined with that player’s actual play could come in useful. Note that it is worth considering this psychological aspect of the game only if we keep an eye on the play itself. Chat information is far more valuable when part of an overall picture.

When it comes to luck, the ‘luck of the Irish’ always plays a part in the Irish Open, which is one of the world’s best poker festivals. 32Red Poker are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by offering 32 free qualifying tickets to this year’s Irish Open in Dublin in the special “St. Paddy’s Day” Freeroll today, Thursday 17th March at 19:30 (UK time). Entry is free and the top 32 positions will each receive a free shot at qualifying for the Main Event.
Good luck at the tables!
AngusD