The very first post I made on this blog was after finishing 4th in the bigslick team event last February and funnily enough I finished in the exact same position in this years event. Team events are peculiar beasts, while the buy ins are relatively small they inevitably attract decent fields and if your team loses a few players early there not much reward to be had from a grueling poker tournament. As we lost Pat and Butch ( photo is Butch my dad in training for the event) early it was going to be very likely that myself and Buda would have to finish 1st and 2nd to get some kind of result but I decided to give it my best anyway as you never know. Buda was unlucky to go out in about 30th which meant my 4th place finish leaves me feeling the exact same as last year, that a deep run in a pretty decent field is wasted.
I played well all through the event and on day one I got to play with one of my poker hero's flopper oops I mean Flipper. After my first table broke I had approx 30k after hitting a few nice hands and was well ahead of the average but the room was buzzing whit the news that Flipper had a return to form and was running over his table playing a 90k stack when the average was about 18k. At this point I notice that the seat directly to Flippers left is empty; could this be my chance to play with my all time hero. I picked my new seat card in great anticipation, could this be the golden ticket, well the fifth one I picked up was. Here's a shot of how happy I was to to get that seat ( note how longingly I stare at Flippers stack), Flipper looks a little to happy as-well.
Flopper is more of a high stakes cash player these days and as we all know high stakes cash players like to float any-flop. I was able to use this knowledge to my advantage and pick up a few pots from him. Ah but the Flipster is nothing if not resourceful and almost immediately changed tactics emulating one of the finest strategists of the donkament Andy Black and proceeded to butcher his big stack. I could see he was very disappointed when the table broke as he was just about to perfect that strategy with his remaining 10k.
So we get back Saturday for the 2 p m start and I'm among the chip leaders with 55k. In the bar before the game starts Connie offers to buy me a drink. Now I had no intention of having a few this early but a Kerryman buying you a drink is a very rare thing indeed and to good an offer to pass up so how could I refuse. My plan off attack for the day was to knock out as many Kerrymen as possible as there was way to many of them left in the tourney.
For much of the day my stack fluctuated between 50k and 90k and had no real hands of consequence. I then got a big double when I got it in on the turn with top pair against an aggressive player who pushed drawing to 3 outs.
Meanwhile on flipper watch; the legend that he is had the bouncebackability to amass another huge stack which impressed me greatly. Unfortunately he somehow managed to lose the lot in a preflop fiasco against richie the fish. This to me is a very impressive, anyone can blow a huge stack but to blow a huge stack twice in the one tournament is a true sign of greatness. Here's another shot of the champ for his fans.
The tournament was going well and I had picked up a lot of chips in small pots. The two biggest pots I got were against boardsters R4D and ZZR1100 basically coolers for the lads. ZZr was the only Kerry man I managed to knock out which was a bit disappointingly but at least I got me one.
The final table was going very well and I had 1.1 million of the 1.8 in play but Carl Lewis Kelly on the left just raced to good winning a race for 10% then 30% of my chips. The second one kinda hurt me as I was going after richie the fish who had been very aggressive on my button; not. In fact I think he passed the button 24 out of 24 times on the final table which was very annoying as it never gave me the opportunity to shove over him. That opportunity did come eventually but unfortunately Carl Lewis woke up with JJ which was never threatened by my AK.
My exit hand followed shortly after. Its a DAG line ( drunken aggressive poker ) , I been working with and getting coaching from Bomber on this style of poker lately. Bomber is the founder and greatest exponent of this type of poker and after this effort I don't think I will ever manage it, I can do the 20 pints bit ( which I had as its 3 a m now) but just cant manage the suck outs . Anyhow to the hand, Carl wont put down two broadway cards for love nor money and has just scooped a the huge pot against me, this is the 10th race I've seen him win from two tables out. My stack is somewhere between 450k and 650k. Its very important when playing the Dag game that you have no idea of your exact chip count but also important that you have loads of them. 4 handed Blinds 8k/15k I get 68 of something in small blind and limp, BB makes it 45k I push into JJ.
Terrible way to donk out but I didn't mind really for the event it was. As I said at the start team events are strange beasts and the prize money on offer for the individual side of it is never worth the effort it takes to win. Just to wrap up the weekend I bubbled the the €150 Sunday event making a bad call against a SB push over my 99 button raise. While a case can generally be made for a call in this spot one cant be here. I had an average stack and I don't think AK was even in the pushers range. So three long days with very little reward although there's always a sense of satisfaction of going deep no matter the event especially if you can do so without ever being in danger of going out or getting your chips in behind until the very end.