I went along on the Tuesday night to check this place out. The venue is the AB hotel in Glebe, Sydney. On arrival I registered for the $20 +$2 tournament and had a look around. This place has one of three floors devoted to poker. The room can only hold 5 or 6 tables but the quality of the tables and the felt are good. The atmosphere is friendly and even with ten players at a table you don't feel squashed.
The house of poker on a Tuesday night had 26 runners. A freezeout with 2500 starting chips and blind structure 25/50 doubling every 20 mins. Pretty much a turbo event. The prize pool is $750 guaranteed which equates to 37 players so a good overlay.
1st prize $450
2nd + 3rd payouts I cant remember
I think in live tournaments an experienced player can spot the bad players without even playing a hand. Good players can hide the look of experience but bad players stick out like sore thumbs. The nervous looks, the fumbling with chips, you can almost feel the beating of their hearts from across the felt. I could only spot one good player after 1 hours worth of cards. I played my third hand from the button after being folded to my 9Ts. I raised it up x3BB. Big Blind calls. KTx board, I Continuation bet and was called. Checked the turn and river to see Big Blind turn over K rag. Fair play but wont be bluffing this calling station. For the next 2 hours every raise was called by 2-4 people. There was no room for bluffing so I sat back and waited for some hands.
I doubled through AKs vs AQo all in preflop
Then won a large pot AKo on an AxxK board where villain folded to a 1/2 pot bet.
Card dead for the rest of the time. I couldn't find a spot to execute any blind steals. With 6 players left and an M of 4 I push all in early position with ATs and big stack and medium stack calls. Flop is KJx, both villains check, turn is a rag. Big stack bets and second villain folds 88. Big stack turns over KQs. Well played sir. Im out in 6th.
Overall happy with 6th place as I only played 4 hands all night and had a good shot at the money. The play is so loose there that any good hands get paid off. The players are friendly and the rules are quite relaxed. I will be going back.
Star City are running an Australia Day Holiday Tournament on Jan28th. $375 entry with an expected prize pool of $100,000. I will hopefully be playing in that as Mrs Ryverrat is away on holiday for a few weeks....