Saturday, June 30, 2007


I'm moving out of the house and into the Rio tonight as I had arranged to share a room with Pat a mate of mine from Waterford for a week. I'm very happy in the house so it's a bit of an upheaval. Before I came my intentions had been just to stay in the house for a week and then stay in a few different casinos but as the lads have been good enough to have me back, I'll be moving back to the house after the week.

On the poker front I played the venetian again yesterday. Played very well for the first five levels and had a nice stack when I mad a drastic mistake. I'm not bothering to go into it but it involved mixing up 5000 and 500 chips and was rather stupid for a player of my experience. Myself the Dangerous and Dave Murry busted within ten minutes which ment Gavin was the only one of the four of us that entered left. I'm convinced that he just blinded himself away to last longer the the rest of us.

Only joking Gavin ( Valour on boards) is a top player and I took 5% of him in the main event last night. I think he is prepared to sell a bit of himself and I would recommend that anyone looking for an interest in the wosp to contact him and get a piece of his action as it wont last long.

As I said in my last post Kevin"lovejoy" O' Leary was going well in Thursdays Venetian game. He ended up doing a five way chop I herd for 28k. Also NFC Rob has made the money going into todays second day of the wsop $2k no limit event, think he has about a 2/3 average stack GL today Rob.

I will not be updating the blog as often over the next few days as I don't have access to the Internet during my stay at the Rio. I'll do my best to get in a post or two somehow and will definitely update after each days play in the main event. Hopefully there will be a few of those.

Dont think I'll play today but will play the final event of the Venetian festival tomorrow and play $500 games in Binions tuesday and wensday.

Friday, June 29, 2007

quiet day

got up fairly late so just played a little online. came 3rd in the $20k on crypto for $2000 and final tabled the other tourney I played coming 9th for a small profit in that one.

headed into the venetian to register for tomorrow's monkey game. Had a chat with Kevin O Leary in there who was going well in today's event with about double the average and 38 players left.

the only gambling done happened at the dinner table. Myself Gavin Derek and Dave Murry tossed coins for the $300 tab. Dave was the unlucky one so that makes me two for none in the dinner tossing stakes over here

Thursday, June 28, 2007

steak & eggs at binions/more bollox at the rio

Got into the venetian at 10.50 but everyone seems to be realising that these are the best game in town as I was handed alternate ticket 142. They have been hitting about 600 for most of the tournaments including 120 alternates so I wasn't waiting around for three hours with only an outside chance of getting in. Was speaking to a guy later who said they only got 109 in.

decided to head downtown to see what was happening in the mini series in the home of poker binions. You can actually taste the history in this place its like walking into the sixties. Looked like all the employees and customers were there since that age also.

The series there running is based on the wsop. They run one of the following days wsop event at a tenth of the buy in. Unfortunately for me they had chosen the stud eight or better rather then the shorthanded NLH But I decided to give it a shot it was only $100 buy in and I get to play a tournament in binion's, good value in my book.

Had steak and eggs in the coffee shop there which I highly recommend best grub I've had since I got here

Anyhow picked up the stud fast enough for anyone that doesn't know the game it plays pretty much like limit hilo. I had double the average at the first break which was quite encouraging but that was as good as it got.

Went into the rio with the intention of satting into today's 5k shorthanded. Decided to play the 9 o, clock main event mega satt. $500 in and 185 runners 3k in chips so 9 players would get 10k worth of wsop buy in chips. got an early double through when I raised with with 7c8c and got it all in on a flop of 9c 10d kc against AK; 2c on the river. still had this 6k when I got it in preflop against AK but an A on the river put paid to this one.

Decided on playing two $535 stts then the first I went out of early but at least Gavin from the house got a chop on it. The second one really annoyed me, I played flawlessly and had my stack to over 8k of the 20k in play with four left in level six. the prize money is $6920 as $5120 and 9*$200 last longer bets. At these stage in these there usually chopped and I said I'd take 3k which would put me up $1400 on the night and was about right as I had about 42% of the chips. one guy playing about 5000 said he wasn't chopping for $1600 so very next I get KQ in the SB which is an auto push but right into AA grrr. vert next hand the guy who wouldnt deal pushes UTG with 910 and I call from the button for my last 3.9k with AK but a nine on the river really annoyed me but Wat you gonna do. Actually that $500 stt hurt more then the two outer in the wsop $1500 don't know why but just did.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

just chillin

just hung out around the pool yesterday nursing a hangover. The house here is the business so its easy enough to chill here. Played a little bit of inter net and made $1100 in a few stts on crypto. With the time difference there's about 3 people on crypto at 10 at night here so moved to stars.

Now I hardly ever play stars but had lodged to play the big wsop qualifier last week and had a little over $112 in the account I busted in A $100 freeze out and out of pure boredom played a $2 900 runner tourney. Lyonzy and Derek thought this hilarious as they said if anyone back home sees your name in this well they will think your in serious trouble financially. :-) but I can report that I have finally cash in a multi tournament even if it was for $4.72.

I'm just off to the venetian now and if I bust I'll go to the rio and play two $500 sats for tomorrow's $5000 shorthanded. This has a 10000 starting stack so is well worth playing but if I don't sat in I wont be buying in directly.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

no poker

well just a little. I had no intentions of playing any Internet poker over here but played a few stts yesterday morning just to win something. Played about 8 for $720 profit. not bad for an hours work and good to know my bread and butter is still thee if i need it.

Myself Derek and Lyonzy went shopping yesterday, jeez men's clothing is phenomenally cheep over here flipper woul buy about fifty of those polo tops he likes as there about 20% of the price at home. I bought a pair of deadly prada shades for about $300 which the guys thought quite amusing and gave me a lot of stick over.

the three of up ended going out on the lash joined by Gavin starting in the rio and moving on to the carnival club in harrah's. Gavin is a pretty cool lad but he has this ripped wrangler thing going on which might be all the range in donegal but I'm going to have to bring him shopping the next time I go. The club was basically full of gangbangers but with the amount of cocktails we put down think we fit in more headbangers then gangbangers category.

next update will be poker related and my playing the tables drunken impulse may be cured as I had no impulse to do so last night even when pissed

Monday, June 25, 2007

venetian deep stack

Pushed over a guy who had been re-raising a lot from the bb with AK and the initial raiser calls with 77??? for over 10k when average is 13k. Wouldn't mind getting some kinda cash soon just for the confidence. Was feeling very good about my game before my messy little gambling spree the other night. Don't know what it is but that feeling isn't with me now so I'm not playing poker for two day to get my head together.

Did go up to the Wynn to have a look after I busted out of the venetian and played a little cash but I just don't have the disposition for cash and just acted the bollix for a small loss.

NCF was going well in the venetian and I did a little % swap so with $136000 first prize and the way Robs been playing lately could get some bucks there.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


played the venetian $550 yesterday busted out first level after the break then headed down to the rio and played 3 single table for a very small profit.

I'm really starting dislike the rio the place is getting under my skin while in contrast the venetian is a fantastic poker room and thats where I'm off to now for there $1060 game 60 minute clock and 10000 chips. there not even updating information for tournament screens for up to ten hours after the tournaments start in the rio.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

went on the lash thursday night after i busted out of the tournament so the last update was a little disjointed as half of it was written pissed and the rest hungover. There was 6 or seven of in the cocktail bar in the rio. Andy Black joined us for a while as did big Al, great night until I decided to give the blackjack and roulette a bang which was rather stupid but I guess a saint would end up doing the same over here at some stage. I really shouldnt of started backing horses at royle ascot at 5 am when i couldn't even see i was so pissed. Ah well we live and learn.

We were in the tilted kilt earlier in the night and as we are leaving I spot phil gorden reading a book in the corner. Now I find him quite annoying so couldn't resist a little big of a dig. as I pass him I give him a big wow hi phil in my best American accent and he waves I then point to the book and ask is that super systems that he is reading but he doesnt see any humour in the comment. He says to Lyonzy and Gavin as they walk past him seconds after me "do you know that jerk", which I found quite amusing.

went into the rio at about 6 today to play a few monkey stts and went none for five which wasnt very good got very unlucky in the second and third one with four and three players left. Probably shouldnt of played really today but not to worried about losing the couple of k as the standard is bad and I'm have to run very bad not to win it back on the next sesssion of them I play.

Dont know if I'll play the $1500 tommorow theres 1800 registered allready and with a 2500 cap I'd probably have to get into the rio by 10 in the morning. As its now 5 am as i write this that seems highly unlightly.

Friday, June 22, 2007

first wsop event

second hand get AA an only manage to lose 1200 of the 3k starting stack. I'm happy to still be in as i could easily of bust here. I played very good poker in this game and had my stack up to 16k by the start of level 5 before i took a hit. I went out with about 1000 players left when I was playing 10500 chips in by the turn holding AA against a guy playing 66 on a 55 10 9 board but a 6 on the river put a pretty abrupt end to my tournament. the average at the time was 7500. Ah well there was a time when this kind of thing affected me pretty bad but what more can you do then get a guy to put his chips in when your a 95% fav.

had a good few beers last night so fairly sick atm but might venture into the venetian for there monkey game but might just chill. Really happy with how I've played so far over her and despite how I went out of he two tournaments so far I can feel the cards running a bit my way which is quite encouraging.

for any cork readers theledgendary Big Al is still in with 180 left playing 55k with the average at 48k

edit just reading card player they know I've arrived hehe
The $1,500 no-limit hold’em (event 35) saw a field of 2,541 that included Noah
Boeken, Roland De Wolfe, Ben Roberts, John Duthie, Nicky Power, Al Kelleher,
William Thorson, Andy Black, Pascal Perrault, Arnaud Mattern, and Rolf Slotboom.
By the end of the night, the field was whittle down to less than one-tenth."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

venetian deep stack

well my first event just went into a $350 tournament in the venetian deep stack festival. Had to que for a players card and by the time I got it the tournament was full so went on the alternate list at number 52. got in the third level with 5700 of the 6k starting stack there was a total of 590 runners

At the first break I had 14500 and had just ran over the table for the 60 minutes I played. Felt really good about the table as I was talking to lyonzy and the Dangerous at the break but alas two hands back the table broke.

then it got a little funny, I was given seat 10 table one but when i got there table one had broken. Table two's seat ten was free however and a floor guy put me in but a sec later a guy comes over with the table two seat ten card so I'm off again and again its a fcuk up as there's someone in my new allocation already.

Eventually I get a table and in the second hand I get 1010 on the button after two limper's. I make it 1800 blinds are 200/400, flops Q 9 8 rainbow and the caller checks. I ask him for a count of his stack and I bet 2600 as he is playing 4400 he flat call which i find very worrying. Turn brings a rag diamond and he pushes which i gotta call; he shows Ad 6d. The guy calls over half his stack against me with A high and no draw on the flop????

Got stuck in a horrible position shortly after this when there's a raise and a caller, I decide to squeeze with 86os from the button but the BB calls. the other two fold pre the K 6 4 flop. The bb pushes for his remaining 2k. Now I know I gotta call getting these odds but don't want the table to see the 86os however folding is probably worse for my image. I call and he has K10 just a messy hand.

I went out with 230 players left playing 17k with blinds 300/600 50 ante. Guy raises early to 2100 and I pop for 6k with 88 on the button. He pushes for 10k on a 1066 flop. After a lot of deliberation I call his AK but a king on the river kills me. I win and I've 33k when the average 13.5k so a little unlucky as I felt I could of gone really deep. The venetian poker room is magic

Gonna play my first WSOP event a $1500 no limit tommorow but with 3000 starting stack not much play so getting a bit of luck early will be needed.

The house were staying here is the business pool table inside and nice swimming pool out back. All the lads staying are dead sound so a few good times ahead over the next few weeks I'm sure

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Well I promised to update regularly so day one well nothing to report. got to vegas about 12.30. got ripped off by a taxi man on the way to the house which is smashing by the way. Couldn't get a taxi then for four hours felt like we were in bigbrother. Went to the rio and got a players card and had a few drinks. didn't bother playing as had been up for over48 hours. Will play tommorow

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm Off

last post before I head tomorrow, going to play 4 bracelet events and the main event will try satt into the $5000 shorthanded but not paying into it. Some nice tournaments in the venetian and two $500 games in binions in the mini series running there which are a must I think. If I go out early in the main event hoping to play the WPT in the bellagio on the 10th of July.

I'll update the blog regularly I hope. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Main event seat

When I started this post it was to be a preview of my thoughts heading to Vegas for my first trip but ended up being about an semi interesting last day of a promotion in which I secured my main event seat. I'll do a preview of my thoughts aims for Vegas before Monday.

Well I’m off to Vegas for the first time on Tuesday the 19th of June and return flight is 19th of July. I have my main event seat which I got in a MPP race on sun and a $1500 buy in which I won in a promo in march on the same site.

The main event seat was won in an mpp race run from Dec to the end of May. A lot of play went into securing the seat mostly from heavy play in jan/feb/march. After I got the touch in the Irish open online grinding wasn’t so appealing so to keep up my points and secure the seat I used to jump into eight $2/$4 limit tables for a few hours when I was playing. I was a small looser in these and with a week to go in the promo my seat looked secure as I had about 5000 mpps to spare.

I hardly played over that weekend which was a bank holiday in England so the table wasn’t updated between Friday and Monday. When I checked it on Tuesday I got a bit of a fright as I only had 1200 points to spare, the race was running until 5 A M Friday morning, so I had to get stuck in over the next few days.

So Tuesday and Wednesday I put in 3000 points between the two days to put this in context 900 is the most points I had earned up to this point in a single day through the promo. However when I look at the table leading into the final day Thursday I’m only have about 700 points to spare and all the other guys pushing for a seat have been hitting 2K+ points in the previous few days so its going to be a long Day.

OK then its fine just going to have to put in a long day on the Thursday but one problem my bankroll on the site. When I started the rush for points on the Tuesday I had $3k but went on a bad downswing so starting Thursday I had about $800. I have money on other sites but it would take 24 hours to get into neteller, which I’ve kept empty since their troubles. Sun nor Neteller wouldn’t accept my laser and I don’t have a credit card so I just started playing with the $800 10 tables $2/$4 limit at 1 P M.

By 3 I’m down to $300 and worried I ring Flipper to see if he has any cash on Neteller, which he doesn’t but tells me to hang on. A few minutes later he get Niall O’ Callahan to transfer the last €260 he has on Neteller to me (he had cleared his account for Vegas). Dropped to six tables but was in trouble by 9, tried to lodge using my brothers card to no avail and Alex Collier tried ringing Sun but they wouldn’t allow him to transfer or lodge money to my account.

At this stage I’m getting desperate and have a couple of offers to dump chips on a heads up table. I didn’t want to risk my account been frozen which happened to me last year on another crypto skin when I dumped $1k to Danny (both accounts still frozen). So its 12 A M I’ve given up on getting cash into the account and I have a total of $120 between three tables and can see all the other contenders lashing into it. Well I somehow keep the three tables going for the next 5 hours at the end I had $226 in the account and had made it by 287 MPPs less then two hours play.

The irony of all this was that amount on money I had in the bank and chunks of cash laying around the house. I’m very grateful to OCallagh and flipper for sorting that €260 because that’s what got me there in the end.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Richie from bigslick asked me to do a Q&A for there site, the outcome is posted below

1 do you prefer live or online poker, Answer live but you have to play online if you want to make money at poker.

2 do you prefer Omaha or holdem, Answer holdem, Omaha to me is a game of jamming it in 60/40 situations but my limited experience is based on full ring games’ I’m sure Omaha gets more complex shorthanded.

3 tournament or cash games, Answer tourney I just don’t find cash games that interesting however later in the year I’m going to concentrate on cash on line because that’s where the money is

4 how often do u play; Answer depends I’ve been playing a lot the last few months but cant really quantify how much I’d say somewhere on average between 30 and 50 hours a week.

5 what’s ur favourite venue. Answer that famous pub game in 19; TV table in the burlinging comes a bad second

6 whats ur most memorable poker moment; Answer I think winning the main event at the macau winter festival in December 2005; at the time a lot of people thought I was cracked paying €1000 entry to a tournament while to me it was a natural progression. To win was proof that I as right

7 how long have u been playing; Answer first played holdem in September 2004 started playing regularly when blazing aces opened April 05.

8 how long have u been a pro, Answer I don’t think I have ever told anyone that I’m a professional poker player although poker is my only income. I have a vision of what a pro is and I’m not there yet

9 who has been ur toughest opponent so far; Answer padraig Parkinson, the only time I have felt in the presence of genius on a poker table, it’s nothing specific that I can put my finger on but I just felt this guy was different class and over the last two year’s I have played with most of the named pro’s from England and Ireland

10 what’s the next big tourney u plan to play; Answer I’m off to Vegas so the main event but will play a few bracelet events before that. If I don’t get a run in the WSOP I hope to play the WPT event in the bellagio on the 10th of July

11whats ur favourite aspect of poker; Answer winning

12 whats ur least favourite aspect of poker; Answer losing

13 how do u feel ur playing at the moment; Answer I’m playing OK and I’m not running well, if I start to play well and run good I will do some serious damage in Vegas.

14 who do u most admire on the local, national & international scene and why; Answer having played all over the country I know that that standard locally is very good. There are probably about 15 quality players in Waterford but for some reason over the last four months the standard is dropping rather then improving which is puzzling me. Nationally well I’ve played most of the big games in the last 18 months and I can’t see anyone who stands clear of the pack. Dave O’ Callaghan is a class player who will win big and you cant argue with flippers results but there’s no one head and shoulders above the pack. On the world stage well I want to play with them to make my mind up not watch or read about them. The best I’ve played with are Parkinson and Vaswani.

15whats ur long term poker ambition; Answer to be able to play and compete in the top tournaments I have never been a goals oriented person so I find it hard to set targets for myself. I’m more inclined to think wouldn’t it be nice to be playing all the WTP and EPT events rather then I will be playing them in say two years

16 outside poker, how do u jumper stories please; Answer I like a game of golf and the odd drink; I’m also a regular glue sniffer which I find quite relaxing.

17 whos the funniest player u ever had at ur table (apart from urself) Answer Sideshow is always great to have on a table yeh he probably stands out

18 whos the most intimidating player u ever had at ur table. Answer Had a good think about this and don’t think I have ever been really intimidated on a table

19 whats ur biggest cash in a tournament to date; Answer €100,000 this years open’ never thought I could be gutted winning that much but I was

20 how do u psyche urself up for a big tourney; Answer listen to the music from rocky three “ eye of the tiger “

21 i-pod,shades,hat or hoody or none of the above; Answer shades if hung over or at the end of a long days play I cant understand listening to music playing live poker.

22 whats ur favourite online site, Answer I’ve always liked the cryptologic network, That’s willhill littlewoods sun betsafe ect

23 whos the biggest fish uv played with; Answer I’ve played with many very bad players who think there very good, in my mind these are the biggest fish rather then the poor mugs who have no idea. I’m not going to name one person but the biggest donator was Fred

24 whos the biggest rock uv played with; Answer HMM Whitty, Alan O’ Goram and Dave MaC was fairly tight in his day 25 when u play online do u look for certain opponents; Answer Na mostly just play systematic in stts so not an issue

26 suited connecters or small pocket pair early or late in a tourney; Answer I just play situations so I never have a predetermined way to play a specific hand

27 who was ur biggest influence in poker; Answer I used to watch late night poker before I knew how to play the game, this sounds a bit off the wall but I also knew that a lot of players on it weren’t any good so before I knew how to play I knew I could be better then many of the named pros. This has to have been a major influence

28 what did u do b4 u were a pro; Answer the last two jobs I gave up were in an accountancy firm I also stopped lecturing in accountancy part-time at WIT

29 in general, do u play the cards or the player; Answer well you play both you also play your image. Building a table image has become a more prominent aspect to me over the last year. But sometimes in tournament’s it can be worthless because you just get moved.

30 whats ur poker nickname; Answer none but a few people have started to call me teapot when I’m all in lately

31 pocket 2's pump 'em or dump 'em; Answer pump em sure there as close to AA as KK

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The GCSOP Main Event

The GCSOP Main Event

This was the final event of a series run for the last week on the cryptologic network. I hardly ever play online mtts as they are a tilt magnet for me and generally psychologically damage me so there more trouble then their worth. However the structure on this one caught my attention yesterday. It was a £1000+50 buy in, £225000 guarantee with a magical 10,000 starting stack, 30 minute levels and all the levels in starting at 10-20. Now isn’t that just lovely. Anyhow played a few satts in and got in on my last attempt costing me about £370 in total for the seat. There was 197 starters so a 28k overlay..

The game starts at 4 pm and straight away I clock this maniac who is button to my BB. In the first three levels he yoyo’s 10k to 15k down to 7k up to 25k and down to 4k playing about 70% of pots. I haven’t gotten over 11k or fewer than 9k when I played my first hand with him in level four. Two limper's and he makes it 450 I call with Ac10c from the button as does one of the limper. Flop comes Kc Jc 6x first guy checks and the maniac pushes for about 8k; I call and river the flush. I typed into the chat box “ figured out the A could have been good against that nut “. He was still there and said it was a risky call but that I was probably right. He then continued to rail me for a good while typing encouraging stuff which I found rather funny considering I had just called him a nut.

Got my stack up to 40k quickly picking up 10k in two AK hands. The first there was a 450 raise and call, I made it 2100 from SB. The initial raiser folds and second guy calls. Flop is a king high rainbow and I bet 3300 and get raised to 7800, he folds to a push. Then pick up another 10k in a AK v QQ race. So after two hours I’m cruising comfortable in the top 10. I stay in the top ten for the next seven levels but then take a few hits and drop down to 30k but get it back to 60k by taking down a few preflop pots.

I only saw one hand (JJ) from about 9.30 until I went out at 12 after 8 hours play. When the bubble was approaching I wasn’t aggressive and settled on sitting into the money really. Its nothing something that I do often but with €3300 for tenth to twentieth I figured to sit in and just have a gamble when it bust was probably the sensible thing to do. But the cards were so bad there wasn’t that much I could of done anyhow. I was down to 10BBs and pushed Ad7d into aces to exit the tournament in 18th. All in all I enjoyed this, as I said I hardly ever play mtts online but I might start playing a few more.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Macau €1500

Macau €1500

The Macau is probably my favourite place to play cards and I was looking forward to this as the previous three festivals I attended have brought some kind of a result. It didn’t start to well as I said to Danny before we left the hotel I hoped I didn’t get the table at the back of the club, which I duly did. That set of tables can get sweltering in the summer and the back one is the worst.

Dave O Callaghan, Connor Doyle and John Quinn were at the table. Very first hand I look down at AK in the BB but the alarm bell’s start ringing when my mind flicks back to the super satt on Wednesday night. When I had driven down from Waterford for the game, arrived 20 mins late but people were still registering. A new table was opening and I was allocated seat seven the only other seat occupied was seat one. The dealer dealt the first hand, eight dead ones and AK to me. I raise with AK and get a call and an A75 rainbow flop. I raise get re-raised and I push AQ calls and hits a Q on the river. So one hand heads up after a two-hour drive and it was back to the car. Well thankfully I took down the pot uncontested.

My first two levels can only be described as terrible. The last time I played this badly was over fifteen month’s at Connie’s festival in Feb 2006. I was down to under 3000 chips and went for a little walk before I donked the rest off to clear my head, as with the 75-minute clock I knew I could get back into it.

The table broke shortly after and I moved to a much better aired part of the club. Danny, Skelator and Ken O Regan were at my new table all of who’s game I know well. Got a fast double up and then nursed my stack up to about 10k. A semi interesting hand then occurred. A five way limped pot brought a forth spade on the river on an unpaired checked all the way board. I was BB and after Tom Hanlen checked I bet 450 into the 1000 pot with the king of spades. There’s two callers back to tom who makes it 3000. After quite a bit of deliberation I called and he mucked. I thought it was a great play by him but I called because I thought him capable of the play, as he is predominantly an Omaha player. Finished day one on 16500 when the average was 18300 I think.

Day two started well enough and I was up to 30k within the first hour. The first hands I can remember on day two were against halibut. Hand one I raised early with AQs to 2500 he pushed for about 10. He had been card dead so I put him on a wide range and his 88 doubled him up. The very next hand I get QQ put in the standard and he calls. Flop is three rag spades. I don’t have a spade and fire in a bet that’s slightly bigger then the pot leaving about 12k behind. He pushes after some thought. Now the way it played out I was confident that I was up against a middle pair, sure enough when I call he’s got 99 including the spade. Q on the turn and a paired board on the river put me on 40k. Shortly after I was moved with the field down to about 50 I think.

At this stage I seem to be getting some momentum. I pick 10k in each of two pots I played well. The first when I make a good call on the river with second pair against a Scandi. The second when I check raise an English chap with 77 on a Q94 flop, it was blind on blind and I had raised from the small pre flop.

I’m comfortable enough over the next two hours when I get two big pots. The first is a 90k pot against Tim (pipert on boards) all in pre, me AA Tim JJ. The second one a guy raises 20k from the cut-ff playing 30k I’m SB with JJ and put him in for his remaining ten which he has to call with K10, I hold up. Suddenly I’m close to the chip lead and think I take that spot with about 20 left when I read Alex Lopez for pushing light over my KQ button raise, that was another 60k pot. I’m right and his K10 is no good.

So were down to two tables and I’m chip leader when the following hand occurred. I raise from utg with AdKd to 10.5k blinds are 3000/1500 with ante of 300. After a bit of banter from mid position player (Sylvester) with 75k min raised to 22k. he seemed in a bit of conflict as what to do. I haven't played with him long enough to know his game but confident from what’s gone on that I'm not looking at AA KK. I push and get called by QQ and although I hit two diamonds on the flop I don’t improve.

This was a real momentum stopper and I end the day about an hour later with 82k having dropped to 60. I quite happy to get out of there with a playable stack after a long 12-hour day and feel I can do well the next day. Twice before I had entered a final days play in the macau and won outright once and chopped another so was feeling confident as I went back to the hotel.

Well the next day was a disaster, basically had a brainfart the 6th hand of the day. I pushed over the top of a button raise with pocket two's which in it's self isn't that bad but the fact that the client just wasn't a light raiser or a person capable of putting down a hand makes it just pure shocking. I was fairly annoyed with myself but reflecting on it now, well it’s a mistake and all players make them.

Reflecting on the tournament I should of got more out of it; if I win the race I’ve got over 20% of the chips in play 4 off the bubble. I know I can dominate the tournament from here but wasn’t to be. The first €1000 buy-in tournament that I played was in the Macau Dec 2005 which I won. Now I have played a total of 9 1k or more buy-in events in the intervening 18 months and cashed in four, which has to be a pleasing stat. My last four large fields events since the end of February read 4th of 240, 6th of 708 33rd of 181 and 13th of 121 this is all the more pleasing as I know I haven’t been running well.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Irish Open

Irish Open Review

The Prelude

Last gasp success gets me the ticket. League final in blazinaces 2 tickets up for grabs with four left a deal is struck seeing me and the Fox taking the tickets. 12.5% each of me for Jasper and Butch (Butch is my dad). That was my third attempt at a ticket and had gotten very close in the previous two attempts. If I hadn’t won Monday I would of played anyway.

My Form

On the worst run since I have taken up the game. Now I had three consecutive losing live tournaments months. To put this in context I had one losing month in the previous 20, it wasn’t a lot I was down 2k over the three months. Also I had just come off my first non profit month online since I started playing online properly last June

So you’d think I was entering the event in the worst form of my poker life but this was not the case. Anyone who I speak to or play regularly (also touched on it in a number of posts) knows that over the last six months I have totally changed my game and as with any transition period, changing a golf swing for instance the results are not very often immediate. Anyhow I felt I was playing decent poker and was due to turn a corner.

Day 1 (grinding)

Myself Danny and Caoimh headed up on Thursday, Dublin is about a two-hour journey but anybody who has travelled with Danny driving knows it takes about four with him and he didn’t disappoint as we reached the Burlington after 4.5 hours in his car. Anyhow straight to the bar where there was a great buzz around. The tournament was full and the word was that tickets were going for 6k. I decide mines for sale but thankfully this never happens. So it’s off to bed for an early night well early the next morning that is.

You know it’s a big event when you see players like Dan Harrington Antonio Esfandiari Mike Sexton Devilfish, Andy Black, Ram and Phil Laak swaning around the place. Anyhow got to my table very badly hungover. Now many will think this is a bad thing but in fact it was a deliberate strategy, as I know I play well in this state and I’m inclined to play basic enough poker and not get myself into dangerous situations or over think myself. My only aim on day one was to get to day two as I had gone out on day one in the last three-multi day events I played.

I knew most of the players on my starting table, which included Eoghan O'dea Ken Corkery and Joe O'Neill. It was a good table with most people playing a tag game so it was easy to know where your were and no one really running over the table. I was lucky enough to get an allin pre flop situation with Joe with KK vs. his QQ about half was through the day and that was the only memorable hand of the day. Up to that point my stack never went below 9k or over 12k. I had 19k after the hand and ended the day on 21,400. Amazingly only 239 of the 708 starters remained.

Day two (wehee I’m on TV)

Got up to about 30k after a couple of hours of play by snapping off a few of raises and look down at AA in early position put in the standard 3.5k raise and Mick MaCulsky makes it 20k from the button I push for the rest and get a double through as his pot committed AQ is no good.

Shortly after this Karl asked me if I would play on the feature table and I said fine. I had won a televised tournament before but it was on sky 421 channel and about three people saw it. This was a bit different going out on national TV that night. I remember Robin Lacy who had been playing very well commenting something like would I be worried as there would be a lot of big names on the table but TBH I want to be playing the bigger names and here was a chance.

When I got to the table the only “name’s I knew were Alan Betson (whom I had backed to win the tournament) Carlos Citroen and Thor Hanson who didn’t last long as I knocked him out the first hand I played at the table. Blinds were 1500/3000 UTG make’s it nine and Hanson pushes for his last 24k I wake up on the button with JJ and just push, UTG folds Hanson’s 66 don’t hit. I think I win the next three hands I played and got the 54k I sat down on the table with to approx 125k before it broke after about 90mins.

It was a good experience to play the table at this stage in the tournament, as any nerves I had about it were gone when I got back on it later in the tournament. To be honest I was second-guessing myself about having my game under such scrutiny but two people I spoke to cleared any worries. I had mucked A10 and 88 UTG but never put the cards on the glass to show the cameras. I told this to Mike Lacy who put me right, as they would be showing very few hands from what they were taping. Also the next morning Padriag Parkinson whom had been in the commentary box while I was on the table told me that he felt I gave a great performance and was like a duck to water in front of the camera, which made me feel good

Anyhow when the table broke we were heading for the bubble with around 80 players left and 71 paid, the bubble bust in no time.

I lost a few chips in a top two verses set scenario and then went card dead for about 90 minutes. I was looking for a hand as I was down to about 50k with the blinds 3k/6k and ended up with all my chips in the middle with QK Vs KA but two queens on the flop saved me. It was the only time in the tournament that I got my chips into the middle behind and feel that the tournament owed me that one after going out to a two outer river for a huge pot last year when the money went in on the turn. Play ended soon after with 41 players left and me with 91k in 30th position

Day three (whose afraid of De Wolfe)

Got the start I needed when after an hour I found AA and got them in pre-flop Vs 88, which got me to about 150k. Then Roland De Wolfe is moved directly to my right there were about 32 players and we were heading for 14k payday at 29 players. He starts talking about how 10k is a lot of money asks me what I do and is this a lot of money to me. I copped straight away what he is at. I tell him I do some part-time teaching and that 10k is a huge amount for me as I won my entry in a free-roll but 14k would be unreal as I could change the car and have a holiday. Three times in the next three orbits I came over the top of his bets. Each time he says you must have a big hand I tell him a monster I'm not risking that 4k without the goods.

The hand that has received a huge amount of attention is the one where I ended up with my chips in the middle with no cards. It popped up in a number of magazine articles and many sites. I have seen a number of versions a couple even suggesting that I knew that I had no cards when I pushed which is total rubbish.

Well the way it happened is he raised 36k in seat 3 from UTG and I pushed from seat 4 for 140k I had 7 rows of 20 1k chips lined up laterally in front of me the chips never entered the centre. I put my cards to the left of my stack and when the dealer was sweeping in the other player's cards he leaned across and took mine as well. I just leaned in and covered the area where the cards were. De Wolfe was staring me down for a good three minutes before he folded.When the hand was over I let out a sigh of relief and said to the dealer ffs watch what your doing but ultimately no blame could be placed on the dealer here its 100% my responsibility to protect my cards. Expect me to use a card protector in future.

Soon enough were down to three tables and I’m boxing around the 200k mark when I raise with AQos in early position and the BB calls. The flop is Axx and the BB comes out betting, I push and he calls with AJ. I’m now above the average for the first time in the game and have some room to play. I work it up to about 700k with 13 players left. Its getting harder and harder to pick my spots and the cards totally dry up. I’m basically just playing to protect my stack and hoping for a real hand, which doesn’t come.

We hit the final table of nine and then move to the TV table, which accommodates eight pretty quick. I’m now guaranteed 50k and when we lose a player that becomes 75k. I comment to eventual winner Marty Smyth that that’s the easiest €25000 I ever made when the player goes. It was dragging on now and my stack was dwindling Sorrel Mizzi and De Wolfe had the lead and both being ultra aggressive it was becoming impossible to pick a spot and I was totally card dead. I was down to about 370k with the blind’s were 15/30k with a 3k ante when Mizze raises my BB 111k. I figure that A7 off is pretty good against his range and push, he calls with QKos and I double up.

Play ended about an hour later and in the meantime De Wolfe had gone into freefall dropping from well over a million to 320k. Many people commented after the tournament how lucky he had been. The guy did have his fair share but he is a real player who plays a high-risk game. However I feel the biggest piece of luck he had was the technical difficulties at 2.45 AM on Sunday night that stopped play. The Fox (yes the same one who had won the other ticket in the league final in the local club the previous Monday) had just shown him a bluff in a hand where he had put 120k in the pot. I think he was expecting us to be frightened to get our chips in with 25k jumps in the money and was really shocked to see us making moves on him and giving him lots of verbal to boot. I know when someone is spent at a table and he was delighted to get out of there that night. When play ended I had 864k and was third in chips behind Mizzi who had over 2.8million I think..

Not To be
Was feeling pretty good before play started. Half Waterford Had made the journey up so there was plenty of support for the fox and me. But got off to the worst possible start doubling De Wolfe up when he pushed over my A9 button raise from the BB with AJ. Got back in it with a double through Mizzi but again wasn’t seeing a card.

When we were down to six just before I went out Dave O' Call had told me De Wolfe used to be a regular in the crypto sixpacs where I play. I told him he was entering my domain as this is just a sixpac now and this is where I make my living. He just looked at me funnily and said "your not a teacher then" I told him not to believe every thing he was told on a poker table. This was probably a mistake as he called my button 22 push fairly light with A4 shortly after.


Having had over a month to reflect on the tournament I have mixed feelings. My profile has increased no end. I’ve seen pieces on the no card hand in four magazines as well as a number of Internet sites. The prize is a huge bankroll boost and I’m going to Vegas very comfortable. However, I can’t help feeling that It’s a huge opportunity missed. Had I won I would of played all the EPT and a few WPT events over the next two years and had a real stab making at the top level as it is I feel I’m still grinding. But a final table finish in another tournament in early July would sort that.

Having had a good look at the media surrounding the event, two pieces made me feel very good. The round of applause I got when I went out (youtube link below) and this piece from an article on the challenge web site.

“The sixth place finisher Nicky Power was one who stole the heart of the Irish crowd. A lovely fellow, he truly was the fan favourite here today and his elimination was met with a mixture of gasps followed by a heart-warming round of applause. His departure came at the hands of his old sparring partner de Wolfe”