Poker pro Sorel Mizzi plays with some French fish

Sorel Mizzi joins a school of French fish for the Partouche Poker Tour main event in Cannes

If I were to sum up the Partouche Poker Tour in one word it would be: WOW! With an €8,500 buy-in and a total prize pool of €3.2m, it was indisputably the softest field for a tourney of this size in poker history!

The play was like nothing I have ever seen before. There were dozens of hands and situations where my jaw dropped to the floor in amazement. I wish I could say the field was as soft as a $1 online MTT, but I think I’d be lying – the average $1 tournament player would have an edge over this field…

At my first table I didn’t recognise one player and everyone spoke French. But it was a good level, as I was able to build my stack from 20k to 25k, just by picking off some bluffs and winning a series of small pots.

In the second level I got bluffed three times, each time by a different player, and each time they showed their hand – you gotta love France!

Fast forward to 75/150, and a double-up courtesy of Gus Hansen. No I didn’t double through him, but I give him full credit for the hand. Since reading his latest book Every Hand Revealed I’ve started to sometimes limp my small to medium-sized pocket pairs instead of always raising with them. Had I raised my 7-7 from under the gun I don’t think I would have got to see a flop in this situation. After limping for 150, a decent player made it 900 from early position. The small blind was very interested in the hand and looked like he was contemplating a re-raise but ended up just calling, and I called as well with my Sevens. The flop came J?-7?-6x. The small blind led out for 2500, I called, and the original raiser folded. The turn was the 8? and he bet 6000, leaving 2000 behind, so I put him in and he had Q-Q with no club.


And things got even more interesting when the blinds went up. I saw some things that really made me scratch my head. At 150/300 I led out for 900 in a five-way limped pot with K-8 on a board of 8?-10?-4x and got raised by the first limper to 3300. Two players cold-called the raise and I knew I was getting ready to see another gem. I folded. The turn brought an Eight, so I knew it was pretty unlikely someone had the Eight as I had mucked one. The raiser checked to the first cold-caller who bet 3500, only for the two other players to instantly fold! Huh? What on earth could they cold-call on the flop with, but quickly fold on the turn to, after such a small bet into such a big pot? It blew my mind.

Unfortunately, I then got moved to a tougher table and endured a rough couple of levels where I couldn’t connect with boards and my continuation bets got pooped on. And then, with just five minutes left to the end of the day, the blinds at 400/800, and sitting on a reasonable stack of 25k, I raised in middle position with 8-9 and got a call from the player in the big blind. The flop was J-7-4 rainbow and I bet 3300. He quickly raised to 7200. I didn’t feel like he was very strong and I thought his bet was just a way to get a better idea of where he was in the hand… So I shoved about 20k more in representing a big Jack or overpair, and he thought for a long time before calling with Q-J.

I was right that he wasn’t very strong, but I was wrong thinking that he would fold. I guess I could have been a little bit more patient but I chose to go with my read of the situation. Can’t be right all the time I guess.

Anyway, I’ll be coming back to this tournament next year, but in the meantime I’m off to Barcelona and then London for the EPT and WSOPE. Hopefully, next time I make a make a bluff and get called, I’ll have a few more outs!

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