Guest blog part 2: David La Ronde, EPO 2009 winner

A few weeks later I final tabled the Friday night freezeout at Southend and split the prize money for first and second. With the prize money I bought myself into a £500 freezeout main event of the Stanley Casinos week long festival. To my amazement I also final tabled that event and went out with TT against a slow rolled AA but had my first reasonable cash of £3,600. This was great experience and gave me confidence that I could play even better if I applied myself to the game.

I used part of my bankroll to enter my first GUKPT event in Manchester and busted out of that when I flopped two pair against a set. At that event I was introduced by Jonathan Raab to blue square poker online, this was a way of winning your seat in online satellites instead of having to stump up the £1000 entry fee for each event. Now online poker has a very different skill set to live tournaments, but I took to it nicely and managed to win 3 live event packages in one week. One of those was for the main event in Luton in August 2008. By the time I arrived in Luton I was a much more confident player, if a little rough around the edges. Without a doubt this event was the lauch of me as a poker player on the circuit. I amazed myself at the how well I could play even laying down KK preflop to two opponents both holding AA. I was chip leader on day 1, day 2 and on entering the final table. In the end I finished second to Sam Trickett one of the best live players on the UK circuit. When I analyse my play I have to be honest that the final hand was a loose call as I was holding A7 clubs and called a 5 bet shove only for Sam to turn over AQ that held up. I was bitterly disappointed that I had not won, but more so at my lack of patience. I guess I just wanted it over with, and Sam’s experience showed. I picked up £60k and after some soul searching decided that I had actually done myself proud and that if I had been told at the start that I would be second I would have taken that without hesitation. For any poker player of any ambition making a final table is in itself a magical experience and gives a great sense of fulfilment and achievement. I knew that I would not be a stranger to another final table for too long. I next played the WSOPE event 1 and cashed £3,750 playing against some of the best players in the world, knocking out Michael Binger when I busted his AA with quad 3s.

David La Ronde

Winner of the English Poker Open 2009

English Poker Open

Part 3 next Tuesday…

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