I met that great poker philosopher Mick Muldoon when leaving my room to play the tournament. Mick described the Winter Festival as the best value big buy in event left in Europe. I wasn’t that excited about playing given my recent form but this short conversation totally changed my perspective and got me enthusiastic about playing.
I found some more enthusiasm almost immediately after the poker started. After only a few nothing pots I got a full double. I raised QQ from the small blind after one limper. He called and we saw a QJ2 rainbow pot. I lead; he raised and called my three-bet. I lead 60 (3k) bigs on the innocuous 5 that turned and 160 (8k) bigs on the river 6. This river bet was met with a push for about another 7k, he held QJ. I think 400 BBs is the most I have ever won in a tournament hand.
The next six levels were only memorable for the lack of anything resembling a hand. I had managed to maintain my stack until level 8 when I coolered a player and won a few other pots to get to 75k.
That was to be my tournament peak as I lost 60k of them with AK into AA. You may expect they would go in preflop here but I just called my opponent’s (can’t think of gentleman’s name) 4-bet pre in position. I read him as very strong for a number of reasons and should of just folded.
It was checked to the turn with the board showing QJJx, I bet 12k he minned, I tanked. Changed my mind a few times at this stage but eventually pushed and got a reluctant enough call I think. I went with my read on the turn and was wrong; I should have gone with it preflop.
I suppose I did well not to blow the rest over the last level after that mishap and returned day two with about starting stack AKA 19.3 blinds.
There were very few chips on the new table on day two, with only Keith McFadden being above average. I got an early double JJ v A10 belonging to Eoin Olin. Shortly after I had Eoin all in with my QQ v 99 too get me to the dizzy heights of 60k but he binked the 9 which was to come back to haunt me.
Towards the end of the second level we had lost a lot of players from the table and it was a getting tougher with bigger stacks. I had 30 blinds and was aware of the blinds rising soon. I 4-bet shoved 43os from the button after Andrew Grimason had opened the hi-jack and Wes Farrell 3-bet. Eoin woke up with QQ in the bigblind and I was on the rail.
I don’t mind my exit. I could of hung around waiting for hands and try worming into a min-cash, but from experience the IWF is a great tournament to have chips hitting bubble time, and that was what I was planning to get.
Next up is JP’s mine-wsop at the Village Green card club Tallaght this weekend; I’m looking forward to it.