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.