Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm a Grinda

Clonmel's Park Hotel was the venue for this years Celtic poker tour grand final. Of the 201 starters something like 160 were qualifiers from the tour over the previous year. This meant for a tournament with €130,000 prizepool, the line up would be relatively soft. Some people are snobby towards this tour but I've always played the odd game and I'll take my value where I can find it thank you very much. I wasnt alone as through the field was a sprinkling of well known top class players.

My starting table was very soft but I didn't play very well on it and was quiet spewey in the first two levels. Flipper said he was still happy to see me moved as it gave him free reign to reek havoc on the unsuspecting CPT regs. When I got to my new table, Thomas Finneran was two to my left and Micheal Thrinby was on his left. This sorted out my spew because having two of Irelands top tournament players with position on you allows no room for error.

I was motoring along nicely and had my 25k starting stack ( 10k for €500 entry and 15k for €200 rebuy or top up ) up tp over 50k until I lost a race to Thomas Ak v 1010. This momentum stopper had me grinding for the rest of the day and after a few card dead levels I finished the day on 29k.

Day two continued in a similar vein until about five hours into the day when an unusual hand occurred. Blinds 800/1500 I'm playing 39k in the bigblind holding two red fives. UTG limped ( had limped a good bit ) , next to act raises to 5,000, next to act pushes for 8,300 and two more come alone. I don't think UTG will squeeze so I'm in the unusual position of set mining for >20% of my stack sure I'm getting the right odd. I blink the five and take down a nice pot getting one taker for me remaining 31k. Unfortunately I lose 30k next hand with a straight to a bigger one and have a bad hour to find myself short again.

I managed to grind into the money eventually finishing in 15th for €1750 but was never really a factor in the tournament. I had swapped a few 10% and two of my three swaps were going well into the final table. Brian Nolan an excellent player out of Waterford eventually finished 8th for €4k; Brian has come on a tun in the last year with some big scores online and its only a matter of time before he makes his presence known at a national level. I had also swapped 10% with the eventual winner of the €37k first prize and a man that needs no introduction, the great Flipper. So a nice weekends profit; roll on Killarney.