I knew going into this event that while i haven't had many results over the last few months that my game is really coming together. I feel that my game has been going through a transition period and I can feel it coming together as I told my table in blazing aces at the game during the week. I think I'm a completely different player to the one i was a year ago and I really believe that a big result is just around the corner. TBH I'll probably win the WSOP ME this year at my first attempt.
Anyhow to the event my initial strategy was to not touch any alcohol but this went out the window about 3mins after entering the Tower hotel so I just settled on a no doubles rule.I started very tight I've been messing around to much early in recent events so decided to rock it.
First hand i recall was calling a raise with 66 and then on a kkQ flop raising the betters continuation bet and taking it down. This guy was taken out shortly after that and Jim Ringland filled his seat. Now Jim is a very aggressive player and got up to 40k fairly fast which suited me fine as i had direct position on him. Just before the break I raised in early position with air. On the previous orbit i had raised in the same position with AJ and gave it up fairly easily telling the table i folded AK and didn't want to play a big one yet. Flippers little bro fungii tried to snap this raise off from the button and i Immediately pushed he folded A10 quickly.
Back about 20 mins late after the break I decided that if i was going to be able to see the cards my intake of alcohol was going to be drastically reduced so I made one of my biggest decisions of the day. It was one vodka in a pint glass and a full sparkling ballygowan on top. Took down a few small ones then i pick up KK in second position, Jim had raised to 3200 blinds are 400/800 i think. Now i know Jims game fairly well and just push for my 21k stack, he calls with AK and the kk holds. On the next orbit i raise UTG with 1010 Jim pushes from the bb with QJ and i win the race and pick up Jim's last 20k.
Got a few table moves and no real hand stick in my mind until I'm moved to table one. On the bb only second or third hand on the table, early limper sb compleats, i check my Q7 flop 10 7 3 rainbow. I bet out 9k blinds r 1500/300 limper dwells and makes it 22k leaving about 13k behind, I'm thinking he is representing AA KK and decide to push he makes a call with 10J and i suck the Q on the river. Tuff on the guy who the other players on the table tell me had played extremely tight but Tbh I've had my share of beats so it was nice to be on the right end in a decent event for a change.
As far as the team side of it was just myself and Eoin Tobin left of the four and we both knew that we had to go extremely deep I was thinking top five by both and one of us probably needing to win but felt this was achievable.Down to 18 i think playing 105k blinds are 4k/8k I make it 36k from early position with 99 BB pushes for 82k with QQ and i call. A few people questioned this call to me later but getting 3/1 for my money i think its auto.down to 23k i push with A9 and suckout to loynzeys AK then win a race soon after bring me back to 120k with 14 left in. By the time we hit the final table i had built this to 360k without showing. Was very happy with my game for this period and felt very comfortable.
One hand against M.J. sticks in my mind. Now I play with M.J. every week and know his game very well he will not put down two paint cards to any raise and always believes that I'm at it, so its quite tricky for me with him on my direct left. Blinds are 8k/15k and he raises to 40k I got 77 and know there's no point in pushing as he wont put down his beloved paint i think to fold even but decide to take a flop which brings 9 4 4. I check and he bets 40k I'm nearly certain I'm ahead now so push. Well he takes 10 minutes to put down kJ it just broke his heart to fold them to me and I really know how close he was to calling with that muck. If he had of called and hit his wheelchair would of ended up accross the road in the river with him in it.
Eoin had built his stack to 260k so felt we were looking good as both of us had experience at final tables in much bigger events and i was fairly certain we had more game then anyone else on the table. there was so many permutations that i couldn't figure out what we needed all i could come up with was that we definitely cashed with 130points ie 2nd/8th 1st/10th 3rd/4th would be enough for at least 2nd over all. We decided to play it tight at the start to see what way it was developing re the points. It seemed to be going well I had taken out an extreme short stack and Eoin had doubled up with AA when i pick up AKs on the button. M.J. pushed for about the 20th time from early position for 200k, I think he had some methamphetamine on the break because he had pushed about three times an orbit and had the other players on the tables head busted. He had A8os and my slick held.
Eoin had lost a big race with AJv33 and the blinds killed him eventually having no equity to fold his BB with K2os Blinds were 30k and he had 69k with 30 of that in the middle and he lost to a UTG raise by A 6. I had decided before the hand if it was folded to me on the button i would min raise to 60k hope the sb didnt cop what was happening and fold to Eoin's 9k re.So Eoin out in 6th and then Kevin Hickey went in fifth I think we are 90% sure of been in the money.
I have a chat with Danny and Caoimh and tell them I'm now gonna be pushing for the win, with nearly 95k in the middle each hand and only 2.2 million in play I said to myself pushing any two was the way to go, each hand i could take down i would get 4.5% of the chips in play.Well the minute i sit back down i see QQ and UTG pushes for 300k with A8 dam A in the window. leaves me with 200k rather then 800k and guaranteed 2nd place in the team event. Got a push through and a walk on my bb then push UTG for 310k with K7 os get called by 77 and that was all she wrote.
the way it panned out we missed 2nd by one place so maybe i shouldn't push but i only had three orbits in my stack 4 handed so you cant really be waiting to pick up a hand now can you. It would of been sweet to take this down it being the biggest poker event held in Waterford as the braging rights would of been huge.
All in all the event left a stale taste it was very similar to the all Ireland team event for me, where having looked to have 2nd place in the bag the poker gods decide to have a little fun at your expense. Also I really feel that I will play maybe 15 events at most this year with such a big/good field so realistically if you can manage to go this deep in three or four of them it's a fantastic year so it feels like a wasted good run at a tournament.