Monday, September 27, 2010


I travelled over on the Wednesday for the Barcelona leg of the European Masters of Poker tour.

Having opted for day 2A on the Friday, George Power whom I was sharing a hotel room with, and myself decided on a few beers in the Casino to pass the evening. After a gallon of grey goose vodka we headed off into the Barcelona night.

I'm not 100% what our plan of attack was, but this is when I won my only flip of the weekend. George got robbed, well pick-pocketed to be precise. Actually, it was probably a 40/60 I won, as I was in a worse condition then George, so probably the easier target.

The tournament started very well for me. I wasn't hitting hands but my timing seemed to be good and I nicked a lot of pots and was getting all the marginal decisions right. I had the chip_icon.jpg20k starting up to chip_icon.jpg32k after the first four levels and was close to chip_icon.jpg40k by the end of level five.

I lost a biggish pot with Unkown suit AUnkown suit Q on an Ace high flop to a turned two pair. If I'm honest I made a bad call on the last two streets in that hand, as I was fairly sure I was behind. I had picked up that my opponents bet sizing had changed and deep down knew I was being taken to value town.

I was still playing a healthy chip_icon.jpg25k when I picked up the boots. It was the perfect time as I had raised the previous three hands. When I was re-raised I decided a shove had a decent chance of getting looked up light enough. As it worked out there was no way my Scandi opponent was ever folding his Jacks and unfortunately he hit another on the flop.

There was a fairly amusing hand involving the guy who took me out a little earlier. Our table was next to the rail and after a while I was suspicious that a Spanish kid on the table had a spotter who was relaying info on people's hole cards to him. After a hand played out with a woman on the table I was sure I was right and was just about to have a word with the TD when the following hand occurred.

The Spanish kid calls a raise and the Scandi bumps it up to about four times the pot. The original raiser folds and the kid tanks. The spotter moves to the other side and starts signalling the kid who then over shoves pocket fours. It was very funny to see the Scandi snap with Unkown suit QUnkown suit Jos and win the pot.

There must have been about twenty Irish over for the tournament, a huge increase from the two, Connie O'Sullivan and myself, that played this event last year. The form horses of Irish poker at the moment Dermot Blain and the unstoppable Sean Prendiville finished 8th and 3rd of the 400 starters, so kudos again to both.

I enjoyed the structure; it started fast with 4 x 45 minute levels and an hour thereafter. Most of the lads liked this as you get into the antes quickly. I'm generally of the opinion that most tournaments have too much play early and too little late and this incremental increase in blind time frame definitely allows for a more balanced structure.