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Ladbrokes Poker Cruise and Jezza


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Got a booklet through the door today about next Januarys Ladbrokes Poker Cruise. Was it really good Jezza? What was your route to getting in? Large buy in or small one? How did you actually do in the tournament? Would be interested to hear your account on it all. Im thinking I might try my luck at getting on it through the summer on the freerolls and cheap buy ins. The best I did last year was about 30th on a freeroll out of a couple of thousand.

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Re: Ladbrokes Poker Cruise and Jezza Been away in glasgow for a few days so just saw this thread..... Yep the ladbrokes cruise last year was a great experience. Qualifying for me was ridiculous.... I had not tried at all to get on it for the whole 6 months the cruise qualifiers had been running, more concerned with winning money I just ignored them. the last week of qualifying was up and I never entered...then lo and behold ladbrokes said there will be 1 more week of pay to play qualifiers (with the sunday night being the LAST CHANCE FINAL) followed by a few freerolls the week after where the last few seats would be given away. I was bored one evening so decided to enter a 20 dollar rebuy (to get into the last chance final where the buy in was 800 and 1 in 20 people got a cruise). I never rebought and ended up in the final 3, two people got entry into the final and there was a surplus of 380 paid to third. I got knocked out third, a bit pissed off but still a little bit of cash for compensation. A few days later, again bored, there was one of those 2 dollar "lottery" games. You only get 100 chips and the blinds are 25/50 doubling every 30 secs. The winner of this lottery got into a 100 dollar satellite. I got lucky with my cards in the 2 dollar game and ended up winning, entered into the 100 dollar sat the next day. I logged on to play still not taking it that serious (I didnt really care but was starting to think it would be pretty cool to cruise around the med for a week) and saw that there were 2 places in the last chance cruise final on sunday and 3rd was a cash surplus. Again I played pretty well and my cards were good, I won the sat and was into the last chance final! This is when it started to hit me I might actually win onto this thing, so I resolved to play my best game on sunday night and logged off. Come Sunday I saw there were 200 entrants and 9 places on teh cruise up for grabs - 10th got 2k (not quite a cruise around the med but not bad compensation really). Not only that but the cruise prizes were "staggered" - the higher up the 9 you finished the better cabin you got, with the top 3 getting the mac daddy ones. The game started and very quickly I started to lose chips. Pot after pot I lost, missing my draws and having to fold decent hands fearing I was beaten. Short stacked and out of options I found TT with less than 5 big blinds left - I moved all in. The small blind called me with KK and I shrugged as I figured I was up from this whole attempt at qualifying anyway and it hadnt been my day in the final - I rivered a juicy 10 :dude. Very soon after I was dealt AKs in the blinds and someone raised on the button big, I moved over the top and he called with AQ - I held up and now had some chips to play with. From here on the game totally changed for me, I was raising practically every pot and controlling the table, very quickly I was chip leader for the whole tournament with only 30 left and now I REALLY knew I had a chance. Nothing much happened until we got down to 12 left..I was still leader so fancied my chances to get on but the chips were a lot more evenly spread. The blinds were huge but yet due to the tenseness of it all everyone played so tight we did not lose another player for over an hr. Eventually we were down to 11 and a small stack moved all in on my big blind. I called being given 3/1 with my 73o...he showed TT. The board came A73A3 :lol and I knocked him out. Of course this brought a flood of observor and table chat but I said "I BET YOUR ALL GLAD I CALLED THO" and that shut them the f up :lol. Down to 10 now and final table - 1 more person would not get the cruise but I had the lead and really fancied that I would get on. There were two short stacks and eventually one went to everyone who was lefts great delight. I put on rod stewart we are sailing and got totally pissed :lol. Everyone now went crazy just going all in but I remembered how the cabins were staggered so I kept a sensible game up for another 40 mins (despite having sweated the last 6hrs I knew it would be worth it!). I eventually finished second, getting one of the top cabins. I found the lad that beat me heads up at the end on the boat and had a few beers with him (trying to convince him that by that time in the final I was just "bored" :lol) so it was all good. I cannot believe I swanned on in the final week of qualifying basically being up moneywise from the whole experience as well...a few of my mates had gone in heavy and not made it. One guy I know bought into direct to 4 finals (at 800 a time) and still not made it..another had qualified for 6 thru sats and not made it on in any one....they were gutted and I was one of the lucky ones but thats poker I guess. You could say it cost me 2 dollars to get on I suppose, but the truth is I actually won money as well as the cruise from qualifying...I highly doubt I am going to find it that easy this year!!! Ok so that was the qualifying in the next post I will relate the actual cruise.... Jez

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Re: Ladbrokes Poker Cruise and Jezza So onto the cruise..... The prize was for two people and I was taking a nice girl with me for a week around the med all paid for :dude however circumstances (her husband :lol) caused that not to happen so I took my pro poker playing flatmate instead. We were leaving from venice and arrived the night before...most people would have booked hotels in advance (and did) - we just turned up :lol After (EVENTUALLY) finding a hotel we got up the next morning and started wandering towards the port. Seeing a good looking blonde girl looking at the same map ladbrokes had sent to me in a confused fashion I of course told her to share a taxi with us :lol Then her bf appeared from around the corner and realisation dawned :o. Finally getting to the cruise docking port we dumped our luggage with the ladbrokes section (it would magically appear in our room a few hours later) and headed up stairs for a few beers. Got some cheap duty free and met up with a few people from ladbrokes - standing behind devilfish in line for a beer was when it dawned on me what I was going on :lol. Got some shit cheap duty free and boarded, to be welcomed on board by the ladbrokes poker chief, albert tapper. The ship was magnificent, 10 floors high with flumes and 3 pools on the top deck and a myriad of places, you could honestly get lost on that thing for days probably. We got our room (great balcony and view) and a load of freebies from laddies like poker million chips, ladbrokes towels + pens + clothing etc and went out for a look around. Putting faces to names was great and everyone gelled really well. At the end of the cruise thomas kremser said it was the best atmosphere he had ever experienced at a poker tournament and you could sense that from the off. Everyone was just really friendly and up for a good crack. Met up with nick "centdom" barnabu in the front bar where already he had bought everyone at least 4 drinks and was well on the way to starting off his gigantic bar bill (probably the size of a 3rd world countrys debt at the end of the week) and got to know everyone who passed through. Later on that night we went down for the main draw in one of the ships nightclubs where I got a bit of an ego boost. Some guy on the table next to us was looking down the players to be drawn out of the hat when he exclaimed "Just as long as that superjez isnt drawn at my table, I hate playing against that bastard I can never beat him!!!". Of course I had to introduce myself after that :lol and get the drinks in (but seeing as ladbrokes were providing free booze this was ok). I was drawn on wednesday in the middle of the week. The ship had about 3000 people on it and the ladbrokes group must have numbered about 600 in total so it was a good mix. We had the whole upstairs of the restaurant to ourselves (the food was fantastic).. All the regular cruisers found the poker tournament onboard really interesting and they all wanted to chat about it to us. Loads of gamblers wanting to "learn poker" would come out of the casino and play in the cash games we had going all the time whilst the vibe surrounding the fact we were all playing in a tournament where the winner would get quarter of a million was pretty cool. Whilst the ship was at sea everything was open all night, all the bars/nightclubs/casinos were running until everyone left or we docked and the cash games in the lounge were the same. I have to say the drinking was the best part...it beat any "lads" holiday hands down. The crack was just superb. Meeting up with a lot of "famous" faces like odea and devilfish from live poker and thesalmon and pokergirl1 from net poker etc was also great. Everyone just about was great fun. Pokergirl related to me how he started playing 1/2 7 card stud :lol to taking 100k off grandiose in one night by slowplaying. The cash games were a riot, everything from 20 euro avg pots at the small tables to 17k avg pots at the 200/400 blinds PL omaha tables with the big guns at them. Tony cascarino fell over in the disco one night he was so pissed and the wannabe comedian next to me shouted "you dont need to get a penalty these days tony" :lol. Of course all this fun surrounded the one thing I had to take serious....the tournament... Unfortunately I played like crap in it, yeah I got shitty cards as well but to be fair I played like crap. The other days had seen very tight play with not even one player going in the first 2 hours. However they must have put something in our pizza as we lost 3 in the first 10 :lol. Right from the off we had a very loose and volatile day coupled with a LOT of bad beats. Two players all in on the flop after about 5 minutes showed the following hand.. The flop was QJ2 player one had QQ player two had 22...both had trips. The money went in on the flop, turn spade river spade (two spades on the flop) giving the 2s a runner runner flush HIIYAA!! There were about 10 instances of AA v KK preflop all in on my day as well, of all these 10 the AA only won once. It was brutal to say the least! Through all of this carnage I at least stayed steady but never really got off to a good start. After about 8 hrs of play I made top pair with 89s on the flop and check-raised the table bully with it. He came back over the top of me for my last 1500. The blinds were 200/400 at this point with an ante of 50 for everyone. I debated folding but decided I had to try and outdraw him as the pot was large and I would rather win this one or go out than struggle with 3 big blinds. I called and showed KK...I mised and was gone. I was pretty fcuked off with myself but there is always next time...and If I get on this year I have resolved to do myself justice in the main tournament....the setup was amazing with large video screens showing avg stacks and time to next level etc. Playing with journalists taking your photo every 5 mins, people writing down every hand you play and what happened during it + crowds 4 deep around each table is something to experience as well but I feel I lacked the experience necessary (although I had played a lot live before, not quite at that level) to play my best game - not next time however ;) After that I headed straight to the bar and got drunk :lol - but such is life and it didnt wind me up that much, I just decided to learn from it. The rest of the week was great tho with many many good stories far too long to list here. Of all the places we visited I only missed greece of the actual cruise. Dubrovnik was by far the nicest, a lovely place that just looked amazing waking up that morning and walking out onto our balcony. I dont think the cruise ship had ever seen the bars and casino so busy or the gym/breakfast so quiet :lol - I hear it is going to be even bigger and better this year so will be doing my damndnest to qualify that is for sure! (As is everyone I know who was on there last year). A pl crew onboard would be fcuking hilarious :lol The bar wouldnt know what had hit it (although to be fair they had run out of bottled beer in every bar on the whole ship 5 days in last year :lol ) MrM : they will almost certainly do freerolls...probably towards the end. They had a huge freeroll last year where they gave away a cruise package for 2 to the winner in the final week. The guy who won it was only 18. He worked in mcdonalds and said he only ever played freerolls on the net as he couldnt afford to play real money - and he brought his mum with him as his guest lol. In the main tournament however he knocked out devilfish (fish had JJ with J diamonds - he had QQ with no diamond flop was rag rag rag 3 diamonds) and had the biggest smile on his face for the whole rest of the week - now THERE was a story to take back to his mates in maccy d's!! Jez

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Re: Ladbrokes Poker Cruise and Jezza Excellent posts Jezza. Sounds like you were a right jammy fcuker to get there in the first place :lol . Definitely going to be trying to qualify for this one. Not sure who I'm going to take, might auction it off on ebay - imagine the millions people would be prepared to pay to go with me :loon, wouldn't need to win the tournament then - I could give someone else a chance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Re: Ladbrokes Poker Cruise and Jezza That's more like it, busted AA with 88, all in pre flop and hit the set on the flop. Still only 18 of 20 with 6 places into the Daily Final, haven't been out of the bottom 5 all tourny I don't think.

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Re: Ladbrokes Poker Cruise and Jezza Not sure how the fcuk I managed it but made it through to the daily final tonight at 7.15. One of the biggest turnarounds I've ever managed thanks to that set of 8s. After that hand everything went for me.

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Re: Ladbrokes Poker Cruise and Jezza Entry is $120 I think, spent $30 on this one, so still good value. I wasn't even playing in a style where I was trying to either build up a big stack or bust + rebuy I was just hitting no flops (and had no starting hands anyway).

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