Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Its all about the Main Event

I've played relatively very little poker since I've been here. To some this may seem a little odd as I could be playing a tournament every day. The last time I was here that's exactly what I did and by the time the main event came around, it just became another tournament. This year my initial plans were to just fly in for the big one. Through boredom I decided to come out early but I consciously decided not to play that much. People whom I've been spending time with here with lots more experience then me ( Marty, Padraig, Julian ) seem to be taking the same approach so I'm confident that's its the right approach. I registered yesterday for day one A which is this Friday.

Never got a look in in the $1500 yesterday, went out after 90 minutes AK v 1010 up to that point I had raised twice with small pairs and given up on unfavourable flops after multiple callers. The only other hand I played was raising 88 in cutoff and my C-bet getting shoved over. All in all a bad day, I didn't actually win a single pot. Meh that's the nature of those things, I've no doubt that there's a huge amount of value in the $1500s but you still need to hit a few hands and win the odd race.

On the golf front we play the Wynn tomorrow which I'm looking forward to.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Played the $1,500 yesterday, this was by far the easiest table I've ever sat on in a tournament with a buy in greater then €1,000. The standard in a regular €50 club game in Ireland is probable better TBH. Busted halfway through level six with about 1200 players remaining, got off to a decent start had 9300 at break one, no big pots. Had a terrible second session dropping to 1600 on break two, again no big pots, just lots of raiser and C-bets going astray . Got it back to 6800 when I go out in the following situation. Blinds 150/300 25a I'm button and raise to 900 with Qs8s, both blinds call, flop 5s7s Qx, sb leads for 1200, bb calls and I ship. SB calls with 55 for the set, I pick up extra outs when a 6 hits the turn but no joy. I play the $1,500 again tomorrow and a cash would be nice.

On the golf front I've come to the conclusion that Spillane and Gardner are total bandits. Played twice since I last blogged. Five of us played the TPC Vegas and Gardner romped it, I got out ahead winning side bets with Marty and Paul. Dave Callaghan did nearly break my thumb in a buggy smash. Today we played better balls on Bears Best course and team Spillane/Gardner murdered myself and Marty again, thankfully I wised up on playing for percentages and just lost a few bucks. On the drive out to the TPC course the taxi driver commented " look at that crazy running in this heat" obviously when we look out the window we spot Dara pounding the pavement in 100+ degrees.

Had an enjoyable few drinks with Jude, Derek, Jude's wife Ashling and brother in law Dave last night. I've acquired a taste for white russians made on grey goose vodka over here, smashing drink but they don't half kick.

Having discussed the starting day for the main event with a number of players whom advice I respect, I've taken a compleat tournaround and It now looks certain that I'll be playing day one A next Friday.

Friday, June 26, 2009


The next two weeks will be all about the poker. Since I posted Tuesday I played a small $125 buy in late night game in caesars cashing for a grand. Finally won at golf but it was more down to the opponents bottling it on the 18th and Marty's shrewdness then anything I contributed. Two points down at the 18th I got a point and Marty three while Julian and Paul both scratched, ship, glad I didn't lose another two percent in main event. I swapped 2.5 % with Jude and Derek so just about own over 50% of myself at this stage.

I played the $550 game in the Venetian today and just busted a very healthy 55k stack with 260 of the 660 starters remaining. I held Jacks in both hands I lost the chips. First one I folded the turn after putting in about 20k on a 9 high board to be shown Aces, second one I ran into kings on a queen high boards in a 3-bet pot. I had just been moved to the table which Derek was on and he told me later that the guy I checked raised on the flop was a total rock. Figures as he took an age to call, I thought during that time that I had the pot.

Little disappointed not to go deeper but was very happy with how I played up to that point and seem to be picking up a few decent hands which I haven't been the last few months. Mentally I don't think I could be in better form in the run up to the main event. When I got here my mind was filled with negatives about my game but the last week have done wonders for my perspective and I'm honestly looking forward to the next two with a great amount of enthusiasm and confidence. I just feel things are starting to click.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PLO 100% record in tatters

I'm very sad to report my 100% PLO tournament record lies in tatters after playing the $240 game in the Golden Nugget's Grand festival today. There was about 120 starters, 12,000 stack and I was going really well with about 50 players remaining having quadrupled my stack. I peaked at about 55k but lost a couple of hands against short-stacks. The most noticeable of these with QQ 810ds against Q 10 6 2 one suit for a 30k pot. I dropped to about 15k but had it back to over 30k when I exited about 8 off the money ( 18 paid ). While I don't know that much about omaha I'm fairly sure that Kh9x8h8x on a Ah8x4h board is enough to get them in, unfortunately my opponents AAxx held. The nugget is a smashing hotel and a lovely place to play cards, I'll definitely be back down there for another game.

Monday, June 22, 2009

On Holidays

Haven't played at all since Saturday, golfing, eating, and a few beers and golfing. I seem to have started the trip in holiday mode. I'm gonna get stuck into the poker soon and I'd imagine that I'll be on my game as I'm in top form mentally anyway. Nothing really to report, played Bali Hai yesterday which is a top notch course with the same crew. Dave Callaghan deputised for Julian today playing desert pines course, lovely spot. Just back to gold coast and think I'll pop over to the Rio in a bit and play a few stts or a satellite. Gotta end the holiday soon and do some work.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

fast exit

With a 90 bigblind starting stack the $1500 games are going to have a high early attrition rate, unfortunately I was one of the casualties today. I started very well adding almost 50% to my stack in the first 30 minutes, hitting a few hands and connecting with a couple of flops. There was four bad players at the table and two decent ones. Picked up AdAH in the small blind and bumped it up to 275 after two limper's. The second limper called and i doubled him up on a three diamond flop; he held 9d4d. I dropped to 2k by the end of level one. Near the end of level two I was back to exact starting stack when I raised A10 in mid position to 300, the BB who had been by far the most active player 3-bet to 1050. I know his range was wide here and I had a good image so shoved, unfortunately he had AdKd and I was busto on an all Diamond flop.

I have no real plans for the coming week, gonna just play small ones wherever I fancy on the day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

OMG there's hustlers in Vegas

Big thanks to Doke for getting me sorted online here. I shanghaied him in the Rio and dragged him to the Gold Coast where he wasn't allowed leave until he got me connected. Actually liking staying in the Gold Coast which is very important seeing as I'm gonna be here for a month.

Poker wise I've played very little, just a $300 game in Caesars where I bluffed off my chips in a very bad spot and two stts in the RIO, chopping one two handed. The stts in the Rio are played with one place paid but there's usually business done. I might grind a few of these over the trip. Really just spent the last two days getting into the swing of things here and the poker really starts this morning with a $1,500 wsop event.

Had a few drinks in the hooker bar Thursday night, loads of Irish over here so plenty people to hang with. While at in bar myself, Marty, Paul Spillane and Julian Gardner, arranged to golf the next day. It was myself and Marty teamed against Paul and Julian, playing for percentages in the wsop ME. We were on the wrong side of a right battering, so lost 2%. Handicaps will be changing before the next game.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


yesterday was a hell of a long day but here now thankfully. Way to much taking off n landing for my liking. I'm having trouble getting the internet set up in the gold coast, doing this from a terminal. Met up with Derek, Jude, Silky, Chris Dowling and wally last night. Not playing in the rio until Saturdays $15,000. Think i'll play ceasers $500 game today, want to have a look at the structure and cardroom. Hopefully get things sorted so can do proper updates by the weekend

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bright light city

Off to Vegas on Wednesday for a month. Gonna play at least 4 bracelet events including the main event. The smallest field I'm going to play in the Rio is about 3000 players. While the field sizes are daunting, all one can really do is get your head down and play your table as best you can. One thing is for sure, many worse players them myself have maneuvered through such fields and I'll be giving it my all and relishing the challenge.

I played the redcow Bruce game on Friday and the WSOP satt in Carlow on Saturday. Two damp squibs, never getting anything going in either. In all honesty I've hit a down slump since early February. I've had many over the last four years and they end; fingers crossed the change in scenery can also bring around a change fortune.

I need to organise a laptop for Vegas, gave mine to my dad as I never use it but ill do lots of updates from sin city. Dreading the journey over Wednesday, I'm flying Shannon-New York-Vegas. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Couple of odd hands

At the Brucepoker game last Friday night with four tables left I raise the button with A8os 3x. I'm playing about 60k with the blinds 1500/3000 and badbeatJoe is the bigblind and has about twice my chips. Now Joe is at the opposite end of the table and dwells a bit about his action, during this time he is picking up his cards and putting them back on the table. I somehow catch a glimpse of one of his cards which is the four of diamonds. The Flop comes down 1098 no diamonds and Joe leads for 17k. I cant see how my A8 is behind any hand he calls with pre containing a four so shove ( which is a total brain fart as I have him drawing to 2(44) or 3(A4) outs ) to be shown 9d4d.

Thinking about the hand after I was wondering if there is an ethical dilemma for me here having seen one of his cards. Should I say something preflop when I see his card. I dunno, TBH it's up to him to protect his cards but it seems a little gray to me.

The second hand happened tonight in the Macau and is a bit of a moan about a terrible call someone made against me. I fancied a game and there was a three seat guaranteed satellite for the weekends shorthanded festival main event on. 26 runners and I hit some nice hands taking a chip lead to the final table. I had few setbacks most notable AA<84 but was still in good shape when we reached the bubble. There was 316k total chips in play and I managed to lose two 100k pots before I pushed 65k utg with KK. The blinds had hit 5/10k at this stage and the BB playing 75k called with 33. I don't like the call here ever but the fact that another of the four players held 30k at the time makes it really bad imo. I did get a Roy Brindley book for bubbling so it wasn't all bad.