Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Big up

To mister Fintan Gavin on his terrific performance in the EPT Barcelona. While Fintan officially finished in second place it is widely known that there was a deal done four handed and Fintan got a magnificent €900,000. This was truly a brilliant performance and he ran the star studded final table ragged up until the time the deal was agreed. I think this performance ranks in the top five performances by an Irish player in tournament poker so big kudos to one of the best known personalities in the game in this country.

The only time I've played live since Bolton was a €200+20 game in the Waterford Poker Club in Olympus casino. Only 25 runners and I busted early on the final table losing most of a decent stack AK v 33 all in pre. Enjoyed the game and the club put on a great night for the punters with every need catered for.

Haven't been playing much online just the odd MTT. Managed to blow a big stack with less then 50 players remaining Sunday night in a $250,000 guarantee in bad fashion. First I miss click min-raised over a big opening bet with Q3 and he had enough behind in his push that I could fold . Then tilted off the rest of my very decent stack with a retarded shove over a raise with A8os. I was disgusted with myself for a bit afterwards to go from 5th in chips to out in 47th over two hands, especially looking at a $55,000 first prize .

My next live outing is the €250,000 guarantee in Killarney with a €500+50 entry. This tournament will without doubt be one of the highlights of the year. To have a poker tournament of this size in Killarney with 650+ runners which it "will" get, is a huge achievement by Connie and Bigslick and knowing all involved I know that everything will be in place to make sure everyone has a memorable time in Connie's kingdom.

Monday, September 8, 2008

GUKPT Bolton

Played the Bolton leg of the GUKPT the weekend. You know your close to Manchester when you sit down at your table and Kevin Webster from coronation street is the first person to greet you. Bit of a non event for me as I never really got going. I lasted until level seven when I lost a race but it was just one of those tournaments where I saw very little action. I was down to 7,500 in chips after the first two levels. In the third level I thought I might get something going but I peaked for the tournament at around 13k.

I lost about four thousand of my chips when I played AQ three hands close in succession. A guy kept limp calling me and then betting huge when I missed the flop on each occasion. A bit frustrating but there wasn't much I could do as his bets were so big a move by me basically cost me my tournament if I was wrong and this guy wasn't folding any one pair hands. Actually I was surprised at the amount of limping that went on in this tournament even by supposedly good players and even when the blinds were like 300/600.

Through level five and into six I saw no hands of consequence and eventually got my last 6,200 chips in with AK Vs JJ. This was my first time playing in Briton and as such was a learning experience for me. I was a little surprised at how bad the general play was, although there is obviously many excellent players in these tournaments the amount of terrible players makes them huge value and I would recommend anyone to give them a shot. Having said that there's lots of bad players on show its generally good tables late on as the value gets weeded out and the final table was a good one with my good m8 Kevin O'Leary going a close fifth; would of loved to see him bring it home but he wins one of these soon without doubt.

I played the £300 side event on Saturday and bubbled the final table. There was to be nine paid but a bubble payment was agreed for £300 for tenth. At the the time I was a very bad third in chips as two players held 250k of the 400k in play between them. My exit hand doesn't sound great but TBH I'm happy with my call. Were five handed and I raise A8s playing a little over 40k and get two callers, flop comes 4 7 8 with two diamonds, I bet 5,500 and chip leader goes all in. Now generally its an easy fold but against this guy I'm 100% my call was fine. He had made the same move with third pair into me holding the nuts earlier and was making this move with any flush draw any eight or pair gutshot combo. Unfortunately he actually held 56os for a flopped straight.

If I hadn't lost that hand it meant rearranging my flights and staying in Bolton for the final table the next day which wasn't appealing to me but this didn't effect my decision to call and at least I got my entry for the game back. I'm a bit of a Bergkamp when it comes to flying and I was however really regretting that call when on the flight home to Waterford when the Capitan uttered the terror inducing words " we are diverting the flight to Dublin due to a slight technical error ". I'm going by boat for my next GUKPT event.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Call me butter I'm on a roll

Another chop, 5-way for an even split at this weekends Pokerevents €330+20 game in Waterford. As I was the short stack of the five remaining players it was clearly to my advantage to agree to the suggested deal and accept the €3200 on offer.

A high class field showed up for leg two of the new tour and it was great to see legendary Irish players like Mick McCloskey, Scott Grey, Don Fagan and Rory Liffey playing in my home town but the amount of runners was a little disappointing overall at 47.

This was always going to be a social occasion for me coinciding with my birthday and after doing my best Oliver Reed impersonation on day one I somehow managed to get back with 50,100 chips for Sundays final table which was in decent shape. I got extremely lucky in a hand against Rory towards the end of play on Saturday when I got all my chips in with a gutshot and pair against his bottom two pair, so I was drawing to three cards for the chop and four for the win. Luckily a rivered Jack chopped the pot for me.

I lost most of my chips allin pre with QQ against Paul Warrens AA early on Sunday. This left me severely short and when the blinds passed through me I had 6200 of the 470,000 chips in play with eight players remaining and five getting paid. I look at one card an Ace on the button and shove, the big blind calls with Kd9d, when I turn the other card it matches and I double. After picking up the blinds a couple of times I double up again winning my customary race against Sideshow with 22vAJs and I'm up to over 30,000, still short but the blinds are still low so back in it.

Paul finds the Aces again and knocks out Rory and Rob Taylors girlfriend Cat who held QQ and KK so were down to six and its agreed to pay the bubble €400. My good mate John Weaffer finishes in 6th next and I get another double up this time from Big Al shortly afterwards. I bet the cut off to 4500 with KJos and AL calls. Flop is 99x and its checked; turn brings a K and Al check shoves holding 44. It's a pretty easy call for me as I don't ever think he plays the nine he is trying to represent this way.

Play went on for another two hours generally very tight and with the structure being so good, ( 90 bigblind average at one stage of the final table ) it was a very cagey affair. An even chop was suggested and agreed, at the time the largest stack was Paul with 125k and I was the smallest with 77k so quiet tight. Sideshow made the chop this time which pleased me. All in all another good all be it very fortunate result for me but you take your luck where you find it in tournament poker. Off to Bolton for my first GUKPT this weekend so hopefully my decent run continues.