Sunday, June 22, 2008


WTF is going on with the poker forum the last few weeks. I've been a regular poster/reader of that forum for the last couple of years and always found it a great resource on a number of levels but jesus its been hard to open a tread the last few weeks. There's basically been a number of people pebble dashing every tread with complete drivel. It's probably the time of year where the forum is most inactive generally but these guys are harming the place I feel. There are some great posters and very helpful people who are only to happy to give there time to new players or help oldies like me with poker software ect. However I cant help feeling that many quality posters will be lost to the place if the current trend continues.

On the poker front having left it to late to go to Killarney, myself Pat and Colin Fardy headed to the Fitz for the €120+5 freezout. The Fitz has seemingly been killing the opposition in Dublin lately for bums on seats and maybe the reason can be seen in my last sentence. A €5 reg for a €120 buy in certainly got my attention. It seems they have a policy in place to get you through the door and keep the place busy. There's a lesson there for other operators, tournaments will always be a loss leader but they are a must; theres nothing more off putting to go to an empty venue and many never return. The Fitz is getting them in with player friendly tournaments and going by the eight or so cash tables running there last night there reaping the benefit.

I ran kings into aces in the €120 early enough. Played the round of each with 4 rebuys which was good craic. Having exited that bought into the 1/2 plh game for €300 and got it in with Ks6s V 10s 3s on a 5s4s7x flop against some danish guy. When he hit a 10 on the river I decided that was enough poker for the night so had a nice feed from the very reasonably priced menu on offer.

On the local scene Seamus who has run caesars palace in New Ross for the last few years has expanded to Waterford taking over the poker room in the Olympus casino. I went down for the opening on Friday night and it looks great and really enjoyed the game there and wish Seamus well as he is a top bloke. I don't know how Waterford can support two card rooms so interesting times for players down this way. I hardly ever play cash but know that the games locally have deteriorated over the last year and as cash is where these places make a bob I cant see both poker rooms being profitable but who knows.

Was just looking at recent wsop results on the HMD when a bracelet winner and second in the last few days caught my eye. They cashed 3rd and 19th in this event which I cashed in last year. Fingers crossed it's an omen for my good mate Mr Murry who finished 5th in the same event.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Common spot

The following question was asked in the comment's section of my last post and its something that all mtt players have to deal with one time or another. My answer is anything but definitive, just some rambling thoughts on the issue but relative enough for a post I think.

Could I ask how you deal with the massive swings in tournament poker? I'm on my worst run ever of 31 games without a cash. From the last 18 I have busted from 12 despite being at least a 70/30 fav.

It's really starting to get to me now and I'm thinking I could be a donkey!

Matthew I don't think anyone has the answer and everyone reacts differently to a bad run. I've played thousands of stt and these give you some idea of how bad you can run as the variance can be pretty sick in them and there is even more variance in MTTS. It's conceivable that someone can run good or bad in mtts over there whole life.

The only advice I can give is if you feel how your running is affecting how your playing adversely then take a break. If you feel your still performing to the best of your ability then just play though it as its all you can really do, it can and has for me in the past changed very quickly.

I was asked my expectations for the coming year in a Q&A I did on boards .ie back in January and answered it "because the variance is so much in mtts i wouldn't be surprised if I didn't say have any results that register for all of 2008 on the hendonmob data base on the other hand i wouldn't be surprised to have ten results on it in 2008, thats the nature of being a live mtt tournament player". We have to expect to hit bad patches its just the nature of the beast.

I read an article by Tommy Angelo where he says something along the lines of downswings or upswings for that matter don't exist as you only play in the present. I like what he is getting at as the game your playing or even the hand is what really matters as whats gone before and the future is out of our control, what we should be focusing on is to play in the present the best we can. Anyhow keep the chin up.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend Washout

Started the weekends Waterford open on Friday in a fairly aggressive manner. My VP€IP/PFR would of been about 40/38 for the first 90 minutes and I built my 15k starting stack to 20k in that period. After the good start I walked into a few hands and was chased down by a couple of bad draws that hit. I was down to about 8k by the last hand of level 4 and raised Ac9c UTG and got it in on A Q X two diamond flop which was a horrendous brain-fart. The hand was pure tilt and not like me. Seemed a quality FT and unlucky to my m8 Alex Collier who finished tenth. I think bigslick were a little disappointed with the numbers which were down on last year at 140 but i think this may of been a good thing for them. While the majestic was a nice venue it just about had space for the 140 runners and anymore would of been to cramped.

Decided to play the €250 event at the last minute having initially returned to Tramore to go on the beer. I was messing a bit in this and stacked a guy early in a 3 bet pot with 35os. Shortly after I made a pretty sick river 10k shove into a 15k pot with nine high which got through. I exited in level three in a huge pot for that stage. Three way limped pot with me checking my option with J9os, flop K99 and I go bust to the UTGs A9 . I think I might of gotten away from the hand but I'm not sure about it.

Played a couple of WSOP satts on Sunday. Had a run at the 20 package mansion tournament. AT $320 entry this was huge value as it needed 1070 players to meet the guarantee but only 515 started. I was going well with approx 140 left but got RR flushed for a really healthy stack. Hung around for a while but eventually went out 73rd pushing my 9 BBs with a button A10 into AK.

Also played the big stars qualifier busting out about three hours in when the average was circa 15k. Exit hand is below and the second i 3bet I knew I should of just pushed, not that I don't want to race here but I think 3 betting often folds out bad pairs where a push looks like AK here and I can often get called by a hand I dominate.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Me & Tony C

Never made it to Galway in the end between one thing and another. Pity really as €4500 added to a €350 entry event is phenomenal value. Fintan deserves great credit for these value added tournaments they have been running lately. Good to see my Bud Derek pick up one of the value added packages for Killarney. The Killarney game will definitely be one of the highlights of the year, with the €250,000 guarantee for a €500 buy in. I can see a field of 800 runners for that event.

Also great to see my good friend Gavin 'valor' Kelly cash in the sixhanded event at the WSOP. Gavin has a fairly hectic schedule of tournaments planned for the coming month so that good start should be a nice confidence boaster. I wouldn't be surprised to see him hit a huge score.

I was just watching some of the Irish Open 2008 on youtube and about 4 minutes in the segment below the presenter Laure Woods says something like "were 400 down but we still have some of the worlds best still in the tournament" followed by a montage of footage of some of the worlds best :-). These include Brunson, DeWolfe, Parky, me and Tony Cascarino. Obviously whoever put that together knew there poker players.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sporting Festival

Gamblers are peculiar creatures when it comes to superstitions. You see us believe in some strange rituals or behave in some odd ways to secure the affections of lady luck. Weather its turning up one cigarette in a box or carrying a lucky charm we believe these silly manerisms will enhance our chances of winning, while on the other side there's bad luck to be had from walking under a ladder, black cat crossing your path ect. Then there's the dreaded jinx, there's a guy whom anybody from Waterford who ever backed a horse will remember called Eddie Batt. Some gamblers wouldn't have a punt on a day they saw Eddie while most of us just did our bollix anyway and put it down to the fact that we were unfortunate enough to have bumped into him.

When I started playing poker I had this stupid superstition shit going on in my head all the time; I couldn't help it, it's how gamblers are. So I'd sit down to play and everything would be fine until that bitch of a dealer who always badbeats me comes to the table or Jasper the crow sits next to me or I get dealt JJ' I bloody hate JJ it my unlucky hand; you get my drift. Now I like to think I'm a fairly rational person and after a short time playing I realised that letting this stuff affect my disposition at the table was ridicules. After a while that dealer wasn't such a cow and wasn't deliberately putting those beats on me and I won the odd time with Jasper on the table and with JJ. Soon such nonsense would never enter my head again. Hmmm nearly, theres two things that I still have a bit of a bad luck cloud about that I never managed to shake, these are my jinx's my Eddie Batt ( well I am a dopey gambler after all ). The first is Items of clothing, If I notice that I'm wearing something that I never seem to get a result in then that item is disregarded and added to the heap of textiles never to be worn again in my spare room. The second superstition that affects me is venues/places that i feel I run bad in of which there are two, the sporting emporium and Galway.

My last visit to the SE for a festival main event ended abruptly when I got it in with a set of aces on the turn verses a set of fives. I've played about a dozen SATTs in the place over the last three years and never been successful, while over all I'd have over a 30% strike rate in live SATTS. So if I'm honest I wasn't that hopeful going into the weekends €1100 buy in.

I think everyone more or less knew that the field wouldn't be large and the 49 runners was about what was expected. Looking around at the starting tables it was obvious that there wasn't much dead money in the field and most of the better heads of the live scene in Ireland were in attendance.

I hit some smashing hands in the tournament, flopping three sets and a nut flush. Unfortunately I didn't get paid on any off them. I had about 20k at the end of level three and my stack stayed around this mark for the next two levels. John the card room manager was very impressed that I was still in at the end of level five However two hands ended my tournament abruptly in the sixth and final level of day one. First losing 8k to badbeatjoe calling his 6 high flush draw push with top pair and then losing my remaining chips close to the end of play in a 25k pot getting it in on turn holding AA on a KXXX board Vs Muldoon's KQ, K river lolmickmuldoonaments. Played the €250 event but it was a bit of a non event and eventually donked out badly in level 7 having never gotten anything going. Roll on Galway next week for the WSOP SATT.