Poker Media Life #1: Adventures at the Kaunas Spring Cup

Many of you know me or at least have seen me around if they play low and mid-stakes poker events as a poker reporter, commentator, editor, podcaster, and pretty much anything related to poker media. Recently, I have joined forces with as their Head of Poker Media with all the hopes and dreams in the world becoming a reality. Rest assured, I along with our team will continue to offer independent poker media services while also investing plenty of time in growing into the one-stop shop for poker players looking for poker news, strategy, gossip, where to play, online poker deals, and more.

Sorry for the long introduction, but it has been a long time since I have written in the first person about my adventures at the tables. After reporting and providing other poker media content for both the OlyBet Showdown Vilnius Ace Breaker and the OlyBet Kings of Tallinn, I had an extended week for work but got hungry to play before going on a month-long adventure commentating the Poker North Masters at Card Casino Bratislava, hosting and reporting at the Irish Poker Open, before running the media team at the Battle of Malta.

My heart and soul go into every poker tour I invest time with and as a poker player myself, of course, I get hungry to play. At the same time, I travel a lot for the career path I chose and need to balance my loving family as well along with work always moving ahead. To achieve a balance is always the goal and at least to me, this includes playing poker.

Online Success

The night after I got home from the Kings of Tallinn, I felt I was ready to play some online poker after my son was in bed and fired up a few tournaments including max late-registering the $7.50 Bounty Builder at PokerStars, which isn’t recommended for a PKO.

Against all wisdom, this tournament turned out to be a charm for my first victory of the year after defeating a field of 3,018 entries to win $2,065 including bounties.

A few days later it was nearly de ja vu in the $11 Fast Friday PKO at PokerStars. It was another late entry that got the job done but we bowed out in fifth place for $761 including bounties.

A few other deep runs took place for this period, but nothing notable. The bankroll is now all cashed out with online play not possible for the next month.

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Success in Kaunas

The local Lithuanian poker community has generally been welcoming to me. I enjoy playing events in my home city of Vilnius with Olympic Casino Lietuva hosting many amazing daily events along with festivals throughout the year.

However, it was time for a mini-adventure of my own. I learned about the Kaunas Spring Cup taking place a little more than an hour from Vilnius and got in touch with another ex-pat living in the Lithuanian capital in Ant Gokcek.

It didn’t take much convincing for Ant to go, but others who were potentially joining us for a mini-poker adventure this past Wednesday became ill and couldn’t join.

Ant was the designated driver of the two-man crew and we agreed to swap 10 percent going into the action. We arrived at Kaunas and it was a breath of fresh air with nobody recognizing me including staff and had the opportunity to be incognito at least for a little while.

However, familiar faces began hopping by the cozy venue including 2024 Queens of Tallinn Mystery Bounty champion Indre Martoviciute.

While there are some local intricacies in the casino in Kaunas for the most part the experience was positive from the beginning until the end. The bar service is among the best I have seen in the world in terms of efficiency, friendliness, and price. The dealers and floor staff were mostly experienced veterans seen at international events across Europe.

While I was unable to make it to Kaunas for the €350 Main Event as I will be traveling to Bratislava on the final day, I was thrilled to get into the mix in the €220 Super Bounty. The structure couldn’t have been any better for a one-day event starting at 6 p.m. with 20,000 in starting chips and 30-minute blind levels.

As fate would have it, I was battling with Ant and Indre among other friendly souls on our first table. I doubled my stack during Level 1 after I called a four-bet preflop with queens and flopped top set to leave my opponent with aces with just 700 in chips. He miraculously came back despite many people after his bounty and had nearly doubled the stack before our table broke.

Indre was unable to survive before the table broke as she got it in with a straight with tens only to run into a better straight with a player holding queen-ten after an untimely jack improved both players to a straight with the nine-eight-seven already on the board.

I managed to chip up and even collect my first bounty before the table broke before slowly accumulating chips before the final table was reached.

Meanwhile, Ant survived but immediately busted after the table broke. This didn’t go well either for my friend who wound up with four bullets. He made the most of his fourth bullet and held the chip lead when the final table began before his stack began to fall apart with him doubling.

Eventually, Ant more than made his money back with a seventh-place performance, while I was trucking along with one of the shorter stacks. I eliminated the one player shorter than me when my king-queen won a flip against sevens to collect my second bounty.

“We have about the same chips,” I joked during four-handed play against three big-stacked opponents. “Let’s do an even chop.”

This didn’t get the laugh I was expecting but it was also nearly 3 a.m. at this point and the Guinness was still flowing from the bar.

Eventually, I misplayed the final hand at the end. An active player opened the button. I called from the small blind with ace-seven and Egidijus Dovidaitis in the big blind also called. The ace-ten-eight flop was checked around before I led out for close to half the pot after a six followed on the turn. The player in the big blind raised and I was initially thinking he likely has nine-seven.

The blocker got me at the end, and I three-bet jammed the rest of my stack. Nine-seven it was and I was out the door for €1,036 including bounties after no miracle nine came for the chop on the river.

The only upside to this is that it occurred just before a break, which gave us time to get back to Vilnius before the sun rose the next day.

During this time, Nikodemas Staniukaitis hit the rail in third place and shortly after Edvinas Grimalis won the trophy after agreeing to a heads-up deal with Dovidaitis securing the duo €2,100 and €2,000 respectively plus bounties.

1Edvinas Grimalis                   €2,100
2Egidijus Dovidaitis €2,000
3Nikodemas Staniukaitis €1,041
4Jason Glatzer€836
5Darius Liesis€664
6Dominykas Jarmolavičius €525
7Ant Gokcek€435
8Arūnas Jocius€344
9Sedat Kestel€255

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