Thursday, October 25, 2012

The IPO 2012

I had never made it past level six in an IPO. My goal entering day one was to make level seven, which I managed by twenty minutes. A success? Debatable, but one thing for sure IPO2012 was a huge success.

Playing the IPO conflicts me a little. As a Boylepoker representative I feel I have a certain role to play over the weekend. Do some commentary on the live stream, help out where I can, be social, meet and have a beer and generally be nice to people.

This is where the conflict arises; I almost feel it’s my duty to get knocked out. I dogged a chap that had travelled over from Holland in level six blind on blind and I was honestly gutted to do so. It’s a funny one.

My tournament ended in a pre flop all in cooler involving my AK and Jay O’Toole’s 7h8h. Jay flopped the world and I left the tournament as un-gutted as a man will ever be upon exit.

This freed me up for live stream commentary duties that I enjoyed a lot. The streaming at the IPO is done in a very informal manner, it differs from the norm but I think in a way that’s a great fit for this tournament. Over the weekend I got to ‘chew the fat’ with some of my all time poker hero’s.

Watching Jesse May and Padraig Parkinson commentating on Late Night Poker got me interested in the game so it’s quiet surreal to actually be chatting with them on the live stream. Neil Channing, John O’Shea and Ciaran Corbett aren’t the worse for an old natter either.

The IPO has a history of innovation and this year Iain Cheyne unveiled his EVCount system. The system lets people at home follow the chip counts and tables of every player in the tournament in real time. I suppose it’s like an online lobby for live tournaments and by all accounts was a huge success. No doubt Iain will make millions from it so well played that man.

The Bluff Irish poker awards took place on Sunday night of the IPO. Ciaran had booked a magician as the warm up act and he was great craic. I was up for two awards, best blogger and best spammer, aka best social media user. I don’t really get the second category but need not of worried, as I failed miserably to bink. I don’t think anyone could of argued with the winners TBH and it was nice to be nominated.

It was a pleasure to be there to see Padraig pick up the legend award. Not that we needed any confirmation that the man is a legend.

While the IPO has a relatively small buy in, it’s a huge tournament. Ciaran, Gerry and all the Boylepoker crew, Stephen and an army of staff all put in a huge effort to make sure everything is in place for us players to enjoy ourselves. Huge well done to all those involved for making IPO2012 such a fantastic celebration of poker.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cork Swaps and Mega Satts

I played a decent game in Cork the weekend. The guarantee had a 100k Dollar which translated into a €360 entry €80 bounty and €40 reg.

Ian ‘Bop’ Ronan whom I often travel with and swap a few percent with was playing day 1A; I had opted for 1B. I got a text on the Friday morning from Bops suggesting a 10% swap. I said we’d go five as I fully expected to win the tournament and wanted to keep most of the money I was going to get for doing so. I was regretting not swapping the ten when Ian emerged as chip leader on day one A.  

My starting table was ok, but the line up on my left got progressively worse over the first few levels. After two hours my direct left look far more difficult then normal for a game in Cork. WPT 2nd Gilly followed by Tom Kittt and then former Winter Festival champ Michael O’Sullivan.

I started nicely getting to 30k. This dropped to 8k in level 4, but I then hit a nice run to get to a peak of 120k. In the mean time the table got a lot easier with the three previously mentioned either exiting or moved.

This had me in a great position heading into the last two levels of the day but two hands changed everything. I was guilty of over aggression with a small pair, which cost me 40k. I had decided before I opened if a certain player 3-bet me I was having none of it. What a time for him to find the boots.  I was still playing a very healthy stack on my exit hand where a guy went nuts with a five high flush draw. I had to call his over shove having flopped two pair but couldn’t fade.

Disappointing as it really was a good table. Bops went onto put in another great performance, maintaining a big stack all the way until coolered five handed.

There are only few days to go until the IPO kicks off on Friday. Everyone I was speaking to over the weekend seem to be looking forward to this year’s instalment and it’s setting up for a cracking weekend. If your haven’t got your seat yet, Boyle’s are running Mega Satellites every night this week at eight with a whopping 20 seats guaranteed. These Mega’s are a fantastic opportunity to bag your seat so get in and lets make this the best IPO yet.                         

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Wonderful Dundalk was the destination last weekend for the final leg of the Irish Tour. I drove up with Pat on Saturday morning and such was my enthusiasm to get to Ireland's capital of 'fun' I arrived 90 minutes early. Ok, I got the starting time wrong.

My starting table looked very similar to the Cork leg of the tour with Tim Farrelly and Ken Ralph as opponents again. The poker didn't go well. I remember one good fold, one bad call, winning a 40/60 and losing a 70/30 eventually losing a race to exit.

Much more intriguing to me was Pats suggestion that we use the time we had on our hands before the tournament started, to nip across the border to Newry as he " wanted to pick something up". This got me interested. I had Pat down as a fairly straight laced guy. Could he be involved in some subversive green diesel smuggling ring. Must be at least something illegal like, fireworks, booze. Nope not Pat, a fucking batch of kitchen rolls from Sainsbury's I smuggled back across the border.

The highlight of the day was dinner with Pat, Tim and Dundalks most famous son, Ciaran Corbett. It was obvious Ciaran would know all the top spots and sure enough he brought us to a little gem of a restaurant. It was the best egg sausage and chips I'd had in ages.

After the feed it was back to the poker room where I planted myself behind Pat trying to bokk him. He didnt last too long and we were home by midnight.

The tour maybe didn't get the support it deserved over the four legs but it's a tough environment out there. I don't know what else they could of done to bring in the numbers, the games themselves were put on to the highest standards in good venues with decent guarantees.

I can't sign off without giving Mad Mick McCloskey a shout out. Mick final tabled all four legs of the tour, a huge performance. Well done Mad Mick.         


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Celtic Poker Tour Final 2012

The Celtic Tour Final is one of my favourite games of the year. With 80% of the field having won entry over the year at regional games and an average age demographic twenty years older then the norm for similar buy ins. Playing this tournament is a little like stepping back in time to 2005.

I did spot a few heroes in the room. You’d have to consider yourself a tad unlucky if your starting table at a CPT game included Internet phenomena’s Jude ‘j.thaddeus’ Ainsworth or Nelius ‘danceofddead’ Foley.  

Thankfully I avoided both and had a lovely table, only one good player and I don’t think my bigblind was raised more then twice in the first four levels. I had almost doubled my starting stack by the first break and commented to Derek Murray, “I couldn’t see how I was going to lose any chips on this table”. This was such a silly thing to say as I managed to lose 100 blinds in the first two hands after that break.

I managed to get these chips back when I flopped the nut flush in an unraised multiway pot, but then made the fatal fancy play error. I made a big check raise bluff when a flush hit the turn in a hand I shouldn’t have been in and then pumped the river when a forth club fell. JJ called me with the jack of clubs.

Cathal Shine a top player who had joined the table said I had played the hand perfectly and he couldn’t understand how my opponent found the call. This made me feel a little better, although I really shouldn’t of been running big bluffs on this table, big value bet yes. Again I was back to the 20k starting stack and with the blinds rising and table toughening I had severely restricted myself.

My exit came in the ninth level in a standard enough spot. Blinds 400-800 and playing 25k I find the Kings with a raise and 3-bet before me to act, I’m up against AK and the Ace flops. I must admit to being a bit gutted on the drive home. With a hold and 50k entering the last two levels of play of the day I’d of fancied my chances of accumulating a stack.