Monday, February 25, 2008

Deja vu, a little spew and some DAG

The very first post I made on this blog was after finishing 4th in the bigslick team event last February and funnily enough I finished in the exact same position in this years event. Team events are peculiar beasts, while the buy ins are relatively small they inevitably attract decent fields and if your team loses a few players early there not much reward to be had from a grueling poker tournament. As we lost Pat and Butch ( photo is Butch my dad in training for the event) early it was going to be very likely that myself and Buda would have to finish 1st and 2nd to get some kind of result but I decided to give it my best anyway as you never know. Buda was unlucky to go out in about 30th which meant my 4th place finish leaves me feeling the exact same as last year, that a deep run in a pretty decent field is wasted.

I played well all through the event and on day one I got to play with one of my poker hero's flopper oops I mean Flipper. After my first table broke I had approx 30k after hitting a few nice hands and was well ahead of the average but the room was buzzing whit the news that Flipper had a return to form and was running over his table playing a 90k stack when the average was about 18k. At this point I notice that the seat directly to Flippers left is empty; could this be my chance to play with my all time hero. I picked my new seat card in great anticipation, could this be the golden ticket, well the fifth one I picked up was. Here's a shot of how happy I was to to get that seat ( note how longingly I stare at Flippers stack), Flipper looks a little to happy as-well.

Flopper is more of a high stakes cash player these days and as we all know high stakes cash players like to float any-flop. I was able to use this knowledge to my advantage and pick up a few pots from him. Ah but the Flipster is nothing if not resourceful and almost immediately changed tactics emulating one of the finest strategists of the donkament Andy Black and proceeded to butcher his big stack. I could see he was very disappointed when the table broke as he was just about to perfect that strategy with his remaining 10k.

So we get back Saturday for the 2 p m start and I'm among the chip leaders with 55k. In the bar before the game starts Connie offers to buy me a drink. Now I had no intention of having a few this early but a Kerryman buying you a drink is a very rare thing indeed and to good an offer to pass up so how could I refuse. My plan off attack for the day was to knock out as many Kerrymen as possible as there was way to many of them left in the tourney.

For much of the day my stack fluctuated between 50k and 90k and had no real hands of consequence. I then got a big double when I got it in on the turn with top pair against an aggressive player who pushed drawing to 3 outs.

Meanwhile on flipper watch; the legend that he is had the bouncebackability to amass another huge stack which impressed me greatly. Unfortunately he somehow managed to lose the lot in a preflop fiasco against richie the fish. This to me is a very impressive, anyone can blow a huge stack but to blow a huge stack twice in the one tournament is a true sign of greatness. Here's another shot of the champ for his fans.

The tournament was going well and I had picked up a lot of chips in small pots. The two biggest pots I got were against boardsters R4D and ZZR1100 basically coolers for the lads. ZZr was the only Kerry man I managed to knock out which was a bit disappointingly but at least I got me one.

The final table was going very well and I had 1.1 million of the 1.8 in play but Carl Lewis Kelly on the left just raced to good winning a race for 10% then 30% of my chips. The second one kinda hurt me as I was going after richie the fish who had been very aggressive on my button; not. In fact I think he passed the button 24 out of 24 times on the final table which was very annoying as it never gave me the opportunity to shove over him. That opportunity did come eventually but unfortunately Carl Lewis woke up with JJ which was never threatened by my AK.

My exit hand followed shortly after. Its a DAG line ( drunken aggressive poker ) , I been working with and getting coaching from Bomber on this style of poker lately. Bomber is the founder and greatest exponent of this type of poker and after this effort I don't think I will ever manage it, I can do the 20 pints bit ( which I had as its 3 a m now) but just cant manage the suck outs . Anyhow to the hand, Carl wont put down two broadway cards for love nor money and has just scooped a the huge pot against me, this is the 10th race I've seen him win from two tables out. My stack is somewhere between 450k and 650k. Its very important when playing the Dag game that you have no idea of your exact chip count but also important that you have loads of them. 4 handed Blinds 8k/15k I get 68 of something in small blind and limp, BB makes it 45k I push into JJ.

Terrible way to donk out but I didn't mind really for the event it was. As I said at the start team events are strange beasts and the prize money on offer for the individual side of it is never worth the effort it takes to win. Just to wrap up the weekend I bubbled the the €150 Sunday event making a bad call against a SB push over my 99 button raise. While a case can generally be made for a call in this spot one cant be here. I had an average stack and I don't think AK was even in the pushers range. So three long days with very little reward although there's always a sense of satisfaction of going deep no matter the event especially if you can do so without ever being in danger of going out or getting your chips in behind until the very end.

Monday, February 18, 2008

a little golf then poker

I can handle any poker downswings and generally running badly but Dannydiamond slaughtering me on the the golf course is just to much to take. You see while I'm a terrible golfer Danny was worse so at least I could beat him the majority of the time and as he has been there for 70% of the rounds ive played over the last two years Danny made being bad bearable. Then something happened around last September that nearly finished me with golf, yes my worst nightmare Danny got better. This was really brought home to me today while Danny was coasting another five iron to the green eventually murdering me by a double figure score. The worst thing in all this is that I know for sure now that it was me that brought this improvement to Danny's game.

You see last September at a poker tournament I was having a conversation about how bad I was at golf with a friend. He asked why I kept playing and I told him I extremely enjoyed playing and at least I hardly ever got the wooden spoon as Danny usually played. I then used the analogy of the ugly bird who hung around with an ugly fat bird to make herself feel better. When I turned around Danny was standing right behind us having herd the whole conversation. The next time we played Danny won, I didn't take much notice as he won the very odd time anyway but when he won the next four times we played I was a bit taken aback. I started to watch him closer to see what he was doing different apart from hitting the ball better. After a while I noticed that he seemed to be saying, mumbling something to himself during his pre-shot routine.

My assumption was that he was going through a verbal drill he has picked up somewhere, something along the lines of keep your head down make sure you follow through ect ect. It got the better of me today and when he was setting up to play the par three sixteenth I snuck up behind him to try hear the mantra he had been repeating on every shot. I'll show that baldy fucker whose an ugly fat bird was what he was repeating to himself. I'm getting lessons next week!

My recent poker consisted of playing two IO satts, one in new ross friday night and the Ipoker sunday and the 2 million game on fulltilt last night. Early baths in the satts and the hand posted below sent me packing in the fulltilt thing with about 80% of the field gone. I was speaking to Valor about the hand after as he had been watching and we were chatting on msn. He confirmed to me what I had been thinking anyway that a 3bet call push is a better line then the shove with the AK in that spot for a number of reasons. While I don't think shoving over a cut off raise is that terrible in the spot its not the optimal line either and I'm fairly sure that the decision to shove stems from playing to many stts. Its something I need to be aware of and used to happen to me when I first started playing a lot of stts. I basically become a shove happy pushing nut. Once I recognised it before it wasn't a problem however I hadn't been playing stts for a while and it has obviously crept into my game again but as I said awareness is the answer so should be sorted now I have recognised it again. Ps its a very old account so excuse the naivety of the alias.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Running bad ATM

I got up this morning and stopped for petrol on the drive to Tramore for some breakfast. I like statoil coffee but the seven flasks in the station were empty, the first time I ever encountered this. Needing my caffeine fix I decide to drop into mcdonalds and while I'm not a great fan of the place I decide to have a breakfast there for convenience. It's nearly empty and the girl behind the counter gives me my coffee and tells me she will drop down the breakfast momentarily. Twenty minutes later I return to the counter and ask if she has forgotten about me, I eventually get to eat a rather unsatisfactory breakfast. With time on my hands I decide to go to Tramore anyway and hit a few golf balls in the driving range. I stop at newtown cove for some air and to watch the sea ( I like the sea ) . When I return to the car which is parked on a down slope I put it in reverse, the gear doesn't click and I roll forward into a small wall which I'm parked to close to before I can break. I'm running bad ATM and I ain't gonna even start about poker.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bad week

Just seemed everything I touched last week went wrong. Decided against going to Drogheda for the deep stack, my main logic being that the expenses would of been to big a % of the buy in but the way the week went it would of been much cheaper had I spent the week up there without cashing. It was great to see so many boardsters on the final table of the main event and well done to Lloyd, Gary, Fran and Baz who were involved in the chop and also Marc and Tony for final tabling. I was hoping for better for Tony (Flushdraw) as he has been knocking on the door and playing really well recently and deserved a big result but I see he got an IO package on Ipoker last night so that will ease the pain of his 8th place finish anyhow.

I did head up for the €500 game on Saturday but played terribly eventually exiting on a really bad squeeze play with 73os. In general I'm very happy with how I'm playing ATM so I'm sure that that performance is just a blip. I also spewed €600 on the cash tables there just to round off on a horrible week.

Played the million last night and after a rocky start really got going and was playing very well when the following hand knocked me for six;

PokerStars Game #15200861348: Tournament #76054127, $200+$15 Hold'em No Limit - Level XII (1000/2000) - 2008/02/10 - 19:30:55 (ET)
Table '76054127 187' 9-max Seat #7 is the button
Seat 1: jshadow323 (56375 in chips)
Seat 2: Benni.Z_007 (36000 in chips)
Seat 3: NEVER2EIGHT (33025 in chips)
Seat 4: enpea (62499 in chips)
Seat 5: SFisch4 (94216 in chips)
Seat 6: vladePP (17000 in chips)
Seat 7: PDL83 (74015 in chips)
Seat 8: argules (35425 in chips)
Seat 9: mac_momma23 (43700 in chips)
jshadow323: posts the ante 200
Benni.Z_007: posts the ante 200
NEVER2EIGHT: posts the ante 200
enpea: posts the ante 200
SFisch4: posts the ante 200
vladePP: posts the ante 200
PDL83: posts the ante 200
argules: posts the ante 200
mac_momma23: posts the ante 200
argules: posts small blind 1000
mac_momma23: posts big blind 2000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to enpea [8h 8c]
jshadow323: raises 2000 to 4000
Benni.Z_007: folds
enpea: calls 4000
SFisch4: folds
vladePP: folds
PDL83: folds
argules: folds
mac_momma23: calls 2000
*** FLOP *** [Js 8s 2s]
mac_momma23: bets 6000
jshadow323: folds
enpea: raises 52299 to 58299 and is all-in
mac_momma23: calls 33500 and is all-in
*** TURN *** [Js 8s 2s] [Ad]
*** RIVER *** [Js 8s 2s Ad] [7s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
mac_momma23: shows [Ts Jd] (a flush, Jack high)
enpea: shows [8h 8c] (three of a kind, Eights)

mac_momma23 collected 93800 from pot

I had doubled up the villain earlier when my AA was no good in pre against 99 and over bet the flop as I knew I had a caller if they had any part of it. That would of given me over twice the average approaching the bubble. I haven't played this tournament much but the value in it is just astounding and I'm sure that I will go very close in it at some stage as when I do manage to accumulate a massive stack I'll do some serious damage. I went out shortly after when I pushed over a late position raise with 44 into AA.

While I was playing the million the IPC was airing on network two, I was sure that they would show my exit hand and they did. Its funny how the mind plays tricks on you, I was 100% positive I bet out the flop in the hand but watching it I check raised Sextons 500 to 1500 he made it 3500 and I shoved, first time I considered folding the hand was watching it on TV. It's a small difference but totally changes the dynamics of the hand and I'm thinking now I could of gotten away from it. That's twice I've been on Irish TV and both appearances consisted of one hand followed by a post exit interview, such brief appearances lead to much ribbing from both poker and non poker friends. So my goal for my next national TV showing is to last at least two hands.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Played a couple of tournaments in Clonmel, last few days. Sunday I traveled to play the bigslick €250 FO but ended up playing the CPT game in the park hotel which was €200 with a €100 re-buy or top-up. I enjoyed myself, the table I was at that the standard was excellent overall, there was 6 very good players on it, but I'd say this was just variance. Got a bit drunk and talked a women into calling my 33 120k push with A8 with 26 players left, the blinds were 5k/10k at the time and I was BB and she had limped. 44k was the prizepool so a decent payday was possible had I won that or indeed another couple of races, but as Bops so eloquently put it on boards I seemed to be racing with one leg on the night. Monday night I reached the last two tables of the bigslick €150 FO and enjoyed the game while never really getting going in the tournament.

I've decided not to bother with the GJP main event this week. I wrote about my thoughts on the structure when this game was announced and never really fancied the game in all honesty, that slow a structure just isn't appealing to me. I probably should still be playing the event but with my mindset the way it is it just seems I would be dumping €1500+expenses. I'll probably head up Saturday for the €500 event though.

All in all it looks like February is going to be a very quiet month, will play an IO satt in New Ross and another in the Emporium probably and the Bigslick team event is on but thats about it. In general I have a pretty sick record in live satellites but I think if I don't get a ticket in the IO from the two mentioned attempts I wont play anymore and just buy in. I know my mind well and if I was to play the event having spent over half the €4500 entry in satellites it would effect my disposition during the event. With all the satellites being run over the next five weeks giving myself a couple to focus on is the thing to do anyway, I'd imagine a player could play at least two live satellites a week from now until the event if so inclined.