Friday, December 30, 2011

State of the nation

Hope everyone had a good Christmas. I usually do a long annual review but I'm just not in the writing rambling mode ATM and feel it wouldn't be interesting for me to write or for anyone to read. 

I didn't have a great year poker-wise, but I didn't really play that much poker over the year compared to previously.

The Hendon Mob database will show six cashes for a total of $30,000. I probably did about $20,000 in buy-ins over the year if even that, and wouldn't have played more than 15-18 tournaments that register on the HMD.

 It's not as abysmal as last year anyway, and the fact that Boyles sponsored me for my tournament entries mean that at least the $30k was profit.

The highlight of the year was a semi-deep run at the Irish Open. I had a lovely stack deep into Day 2 but made a big call, which was wrong and saw me return day three with a playable 30 bigs. I got unlucky in a hand with four tables remaining and bar that a final table was a definite possibility.

The year was going very bad for me punting wise and doing €25,000 in May sports betting more or less meant no Vegas - I really couldn't face doing another 25k over there and I'm sure that's what would have happened had I went as the noggin wasn't in the right place.

I hit a punting downswing for six months in the middle of the year that was character building. Thankfully things picked up significantly from October on or I could have been busking to get over the Christmas.

In general I think 2011 was a very good year for Irish poker, mostly down to Eoghan and Dermot final tabling the WSOP & WSOPE main events. There were more events than ever played in the country and generally numbers held up well in very difficult financial times for people.

Hopefully, this remains the case for the year ahead - I'm really looking forward to kicking it off with Ireland's first WPT next week, what better way to start the year then a major buy in at City West. Anyhow, thanks to everyone who read the blog over the year, I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Macau Winter Festival

If I'm ever feeling poker isn't going great, the answer is always to go and play in Cork.

There's number of factors in play here, good banter at the tables, I generally run well and I pass the accounting practice I used to work in on the drive to Cork.

An office environment was never really for me, I'm much more suited to gambling and golfing everyday, and passing that place always brings into perspective how lucky I've been to be able to do what I like everyday for the past six year since I left that job.

I arrived at about 45 minutes into level one and proceeded to add 30% to my starting stack the very first hand I sat for. I raised Qc10c, hit queens full of tens, and got 120 big blinds of value from the hand.

My starting table was decent with plenty of banter. John Keown & Lucky Jimmy McSweeney are always great craic and good action players so it was a very enjoyable table for me.

We were only playing seven levels on day one and I got a big double in the last level where I made a call for all my chips on the turn with top top against Tony 'the coo' Cooneys 75 big blind check shove. I felt I was good and this was the case, so I had a nice stack to head back with on the Saturday.

I had played Thursday and after Friday's Day 1B play 45 was returning of the 94 starters with me lying third in chips. With15 players left I had a 1/4 of a million and was feeling pretty good about things. I had a steady enough day without ever being under any pressure. I then lost 170k pot to the eventual second AsQs v his KK, the QSS flop looked well but I didn't improve.

It had bee a long day and I was anxious to watch the golf from Dubai the next morning so I suggested to pay two extra places so we could get finished for the night at about 2.30am. Everyone seems happy enough with this, our table was very closely matched in chips and no one was really going to be able to run over the bubble.

I was home at 4.15 and up at 8 for the golf. I got a nice little scoop from Quiros on a spread market, but that was to be the highlight of the day. I had 153k returning, which was above average, but I just couldn't get anything going in the first two levels of the Sunday.

My seat draw wasn't great, Albert Kenny on my direct left, the shove happy Mark Spellman next and then eventual winner Jamie Flynn. Spellman must have shoved over 80% of my opens in those first two hours and with the blinds rising I was left with a shoving stack myself. My 19 bigs went in over a Jamie min open holding 33, he had 1010 so out the gap.

Obviously disappointing to bubble the final table, but it hasn't changed enthusiasm for playing poker in Cork and nice to end the year with a cash. I still had an interest with 10% of Bops who put in a good performance to finish 5th. Well done to Jamie on the win, I flagged him as one to watch earlier in the year in the blog and know the [W] meant a lot to him.