Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waterford Masters

I'm generally good with remembering hands from tournaments but last weekends have gone missing in my mind. I ended day one on 37k which was in good shape. Had a great first level in day two getting close to 60k, after that I stagnated and the rest of the day was a grind. I was eventually out in a race with Tom Kitt, A10 v 77 for about a 90k pot, with about 40 players left. I did have 15% ( 10 of it won playing golf :-) of Marty's action which was worth €2,100 to me; WP Marty. In fairness he put up a stunning performance to finish 2nd as he was ultra short coming back on Sunday.

My job of putting the structure together ( the quality of the final table tells me I did a good job ) for the main event and annoying a few people to come down was pretty easy compared to the work all the others put in over the weekend. Well done to all the dealers they played a blinder and floor staff ( Wayne, Robert, Gary, Keith, Kevin and Seamus ), they did a brilliant Job, Fox was pretty good in his ambassadorial role; also the Brucepoker team who did a fantastic job setting up the room. Biggest thanks goes to the players especially all those that traveled from outside the deise, the 197 starters for the main event was a super turnout.

This was everyone involved first major festival and overall I feel it can be considered a great success. There was a bit of a mix up with the food and one or two other minor area's that wont happen again but as I said for a first go I think it was a top tournament from a players point of view. I don't think we ever pretended the Grand Hotel was the ritz but in many ways, the rustic nature of the place gave the tournament a certain ambiance and uniqueness. Again, big thanks to all that attended and congrats to all who cashed esp Jay and Marty, two exceptional players who are a credit to the game.

I'm off to Barcelona tomorrow to play the Spanish leg of the European Masters of Poker Tour. Total spur of the moment stuff stemming from a phone call at about seven tonight from Connie. Structure isn't anything to right home about but hopefully I can hit a few cards.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All Roads lead to Tramore

Almost back to normal after the month in Vegas. Sleep pattern has been messed up alright but that's to be expected. On reflection I'm happy with how the trip went, got a semi deep run at the greatest tournament in the world, had a great month in the sun and came home with a few bob so all in all happy enough. Of course I would of loved to have gotten my hands on a few chips on day five and been able to express myself but overall I played the hand I was dealt as well as anyone could and I have gleaned a lot of experience from the 35 hours play I lasted in the tournament. Hopefully this will stand to my benefit in future WSOPs if I'm lucky enough to be in a position to play them.

On a related note. Opened my case last Friday after leaving Vegas last Wednesday. Leaflet inside saying it was searched by US customs; assuming this was either in Vegas or New York as baggage was transferred to connecting flight. I had put the laptop in the suitcase and I'm assuming the customs never put it back in when they finished the search as it was in its own case on top of everything else when I packed. After three days trying to get someone at air lingus they tell me its not there problem and give me a number for Shannon and JFK airports. Anyone have any experience on what avenues I should be tackling to chase this down.

Finally this weekend sees the inaugural sponsored Waterford Masters. Bigslick had run the Waterford open the last few years but they had nothing planned this year with there focus on there big Killarney game. Myself, Fox and Seamus with Pronutz and Bruce's on board decided to put on the Waterford Masters to produce a quality event for the southeast. ATM it looks that its a sellout with the 200 capacity reached. Top class players are heading to Tramore from all over the country and a fantastic weekends poker is promised.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Goodnight from Las Vegas

I was disappointed after my exit yesterday but today its all history. In all fairness I was always just hanging in hoping to hit a rush so cant be that upset going out. Played golf with Marty yesterday afternoon and again today which was enjoyable as usual; the gambling has increased over the last few rounds but no-one getting that much ahead.

Tony/Flushdraw on boards asked me some questions on boards that were interesting, I'll post them below.

Before you played, you would have had an expectation from the tournament, did you exceed it or fall short?

When I started playing I'd go into tournaments thinking to myself I'm gonna win this or whatever but I never have any expectations entering any tournament these days so i suppose cashing does exceed what I'd expect.

Related to above, if you got a decent run of premium cards, would you have fancied yourself for a really deep finish?

Well I don't know, I saw some relatively big stacks come and go over the four days so I guess that could of been me, my stack was relatively easy to play without any big decisions. I felt going back yesterday if I could hit a few hands I could get to the last 100 or even 50 and then take it from there. With the blinds so big at that stage a big stack is never far away. A double and treble up would of put me well over a million. I knew going into yesterday that I would have to go to and win at showdown something I was able to avoid the whole way through. If I could of had the AK in that hand and picked up a hand or two after I could of went deep. I think there was loads of people playing once they made the money more or less thought that was there job done and were quiet happy to go home. I wasnt one of them, I wanted it and was prepared for the deep run.

How tough was it to stay focused for the duration?

I really just played in the moment, its just so big that I just kept telling myself all I can control is playing my table and my hand. I think I had a better sence of achievement half way through day three when all the players were in one room for the first time then when the money was broke

Any preperation you would change for next time?

None, I played the main event in 2007 and knew I got it all wrong preperation wise. This time I got it totally right "for me". I honestly dont think I could of sat down each day in better shape.

Who was the toughest opponent you faced?

A young swede who was 2nd in the masters classic last year was very impressive on day two when he had chips. He lost them to a guy that played a hand terribly against him and got lucky. Once he got shortish he wasn't a factor and rocked it but when he was flowing with chips he was very impressive. The table I was moved to at the end of day three looked very good but thankfully I was there for only 30 mins, during that time I saw Kenny Tran butcher a hand that cost him 400k, he may of lost the chips anyway but the way they went in was woeful.

Best hand played?

Hugely marginal re-re-steel on day three, 3-better had no F/E but I was confident all the planets were aliened. I have know doubt this hand was essential in me making the money.

Worst hand played?

The kd3d hand in level two of day one was the only hand I played badly but as Valor said it was a train wreck.

How much did Flippers bet with Hectorjelly spur you on?

I think Hector had slightly the best of it at 3/1 but only marginally, I'd say I was somewhere between 10/3 and 7/2 to cash. The table draw variance is something that cant be accounted for in such a bet and is a huge influence on the outcomes.

Whats next on the list?

Tramore, Friday week

Monday, July 13, 2009

All Over Baby

Just exited the WSOP main event in 353rd place for $29,911. The 8.5 million first prize would of probably killed me anyhow :-)

Got QQ on first orbit and no action, folded for 20 hands, got a reshove through exit hand -1 taking my stack back over 150k. Pushed AsQS over a 1.2 million stacks open, miles ahead of his range but unfortunetly he has AK. 330k in the middle and the only time I was all-in at showdown the whole game. GG.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Short Day Four, in the Money

So through the less then scheduled three levels of day four. With 158k going back I was pretty confident of cashing. My main focus was to cash as this is no ordinary bubble. With the amount of cash on offer and also how far away the finishing line is, cashing rather then chip accumulation with my stack was always the focus.

Having said that I kinda gave myself a cut-off point, If I dropped below 100k with less then 40 to go to the money I was sitting in. I got to that point when I 3-bet a Danish player called uffer's, open of 11k to 33k with Ackc, it was checked down after a nine high three spade flop, he had two red fours. I had a chat with him having a smoke during the ten minute a hand actual bubble and he told me he was sponsored in as he was a stand up comedian and tv star in Denmark and wasn't much of a player; no shit.

I was basically in sit out mode after that hand, I did open shove 90k with kings blinds 2500/5000 500 ante, not 100% if this is the right play but I felt I needed another round if I was to have any chance of getting back into it when the bubble broke. We got to hand for hand fast enough; five off the money. Lost the first four in five hands but I think the last one took 12 hands at about eight minutes a hand, it was painful stuff.

I busted the bubble with about 75k and had it up to 185k when my table broke going into the last 30 minutes of play. My new table looked horrific, I was way the smallest stack with about four monsters including Kenny tran on my button and the two guys on my left over a million. I folded to the end of play without seeing a semblance of a hand although one hand made me smile. UTG raise to 16k and got three callers, I held 84os in bb and wish I had made a spewy call as the flop was 888 and two guys went to war.

I'm happy to make the money as the last three days play have been an epic grind with very little cards. However I think the two major factors in making the cash were my table draws and one sick shove I made yesterday. My tables on both days were about as good as you could get as a shortstack with no big stacked Lags. The shove was halfway through level four when I was down to 50k and felt I was going nowhere. The cut-off who was a light opener bet 6k and I was sure the buttons raise to 17k was a steel; I shoved my 50k from the BB with 10 4 os. Now the guy was getting like 75 for 33 for the call but I had a great Image and my hand had to look a monster, it was also costing him 60% of his stack. Thankfully he folded quickly and that gave me the spurt into the last level I needed.

So I'm back for day five with 3k less then I started today, on the bright side I've 19 bigblinds which will be easy enough to play and I'm only four doubles off being a clear chip leader.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cliff Note-Day Three

was between 50/70k for the first 7 hours play. 50k half way through second last level, ended day on 158k. really had no cards all day, jj 88 level two, QQ 88 last level, no other pair over sixes or AK all day so delighted to finish on what I did.

Hopefully wont get a chance to do a decent review for a day or two anyway.

Anyone txting, I'm getting loads but not replying when playing or asleep:-) need to cash to pay the phone bill ATM which is redic

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day Two

So 33k going back; I had no real strategy going into the day, just worry about my table and make the next level is all you can really do I believe in a field of this magnitude. Level one was quiet I added 3k to my stack. The only hand I recall was when I picked up Queens on the button. UTG an oldish guy raised to 1100, I decided to play them slowly and called, the SB shipped for 17k which I was calling until UTG ships for 50k; SB held AKs and UTG AA. Felt good after the hand as I lose chips on an eight high flop if SB didn't ship. My starting table was ok, perljammer was the only player I recognized but he was short and lost them early enough.

Level two I got to 54k winning most of those chips in two pots. Pot one against a young English player when I called a raise pre with AJ and call an Axx flop, an Ace turn and a 5k bet on the river, he held A10. The second hand I played I had no idea where I was TBH. I raise early to 1500, blinds 250/500 with AQ and get min-raised by an oldish tight player. I call the extra 1500 and the flop is AKK. I check and he bets 3000, call and its checked down, he has 1010.

Level three the table breaks and my new table is tougher with lots of big stacks. Just after I sit down I spot one clear soft spot, Amerillo Slim shoves 50k into a 5k pot and shows AK for no-draw no pair. There's a 30ish American niggling him and he gave as good as he got so he isn't totally senile. I end level three on 56k.

Two hands of any consequence in level four both where I held AQos against two good big stacks. Hand one I call a bet on the turn with ace high which is good and hand two I connect with the flop and get two streets of value, ended level on 64k.

By the last level of the day there was some crazy hands on the table, about ten players had come and gone and there was 4 monster stacks over 200k. One hand a guy scoops 340k after flopping a straight flush holding 7d9d another a guy 3-bets a flop to 100k in a 4-bet pot and shows 32os for bottom pair. I picked up my biggest pot of the day early in the level when I raised the cutoff with KhQh and get a K two rag one heart flop. A guy who had lost about 100 of a 170k stack in the previous 30 mins check raises my 4k bet to 11k. I'm confident I'm good here so just smooth. The turn is the Ah giving me the nut flush draw and I check behind. When he checks the blank river I'm sure he has a worse king and get a nice 14k bet called after he dwells for an age. I found the last 45mins very hard with all the big stacks playing well and not getting a sniff on a decent starting hand. This saw me drop from my tournament high of 90k to a finishing 72k.

All in all I think I can be happy with my performance over the day. The Queens in level one were the only sniff of a premium I got over the day so, to more then double my stack in the 10 hours felt like a decent days work. This is a complete monster of a tournament and totally different from anything that I've experienced. By the time I sit down Friday it will be seven days since I was first dealt a hand. I'm just going in with the same frame of mind I've had so far; play my table and make the next level.

A couple of people have recommended that I shouldn't post hands I play while still in the tournament. While I appreciate the advice and have given it some thought, I don't think it's a worry in a field this size at this stage and if I'm lucky enough to get any deeper I wont have time for these type of reports.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

One Eight of the Way

Got through day one with 33k in chips which I'm happy enough with. This is a marathon and going back at 200/400 blinds, 33k is plenty. I was very happy with my play over the day except for one hand I played in level two which I didn't cover myself in glory but I'm still unsure about.

Level one went very well; the first real hand I played i check raised the turn in a 4-bet pot after leading the flop against a very good aggro Russian with 8 high and took the pot. The guy had already 3-bet me the first three times I opened so I had 4-bet him in the hand with 7d8d. Shortly after this I take down a big pot against the same guy. I open AKos and four see an AK2 rainbow flop, I bet 600, the Russian is the only caller. When he calls my 1200 bet on a 7 turn I feel I may in trouble but hit the King for the boat on the river. I lead for 2.6 and he re-pops to 7500, I raise another 11k and after an age he folds 22, for Twos full face up. I finish the level on a healthy 45k and know by this stage that the two best of my opponents ( a French and the Russian ) are on my direct left; of the others the two on my direct right are weak passive Americans next to them a capable Swede and one terrible and a so so yank at the other end of the table.

Into level two I chip up a little then lose a few K when I'm calling down the Russians bluff and he spikes a river. We had been playing eight handed until a young stars qualifier is placed between the French and Russian. He raises UTG +1 and about six see a flop. I have Kd3d in the BB on a 4x5d7d flop. The new player makes it 800 and I repop to 2300 when the rest get out of the way, he makes it 6200 and I go again to 16400. He tanks for an age and I'm sure he is folding but eventually he shoves and he just covers my remaining 27k. I fear Ad 6d and fold. I'm really not that happy with my 4-bet in the hand, I think I was to aggressive here and the hand is still annoying me. I just rock it up for the next hour as I need time to recover from the hand and finish the level on 25k.

Level three was very quiet at the table and very little happened. We were on the second last hand before the break when I play my first hand of consequence of the level. The retarded yank who had been open limping 80% of pots by this stage did so again. The Swede who was isolating about half of the limps makes it 1600 ( blinds 150/300 ) I make it 4800 from the button with AdKd and the Swede calls. I completely miss the flop and C-Bet 7200, he is in pain but after two mins shoves and shows Queens when I fold.

I'm chatting with Dara at the last break and he gives me a bit of a pep talk, just as I re-enter the Rio I tell him I'm the best player at my table and there's no way I'm not making day two. So into level four with 15k which drops to 11k after a bit. I get about 7k in a pot against the mong when I make a big call with Jacks on a KK99 board. I then chip up to 25k but drop back to 18 when I give up AK on a A 7 2r board ( young stars player shows set twos ). In my last big hand of the day I amazingly pick up about 15k without showdown. I open for 1k UTG with Queens and get five callers. On a 2 4 6 rainbow I decide this is it and check. The player next to me who has replaced the French player bets 600 into the 6k+ pot and a yank at the top makes it 2500, I make it 8500 leaving 8700 behind. He calls after a bit of deliberation which definitely confuses me but I'm fairly sure I'm good, he proceeds to fold to my shove on an 8 turn. All in all I'm happy to be going back with what I have but think I made the day a lot harder then it should of been by losing that 16k in the hand in level two.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ready for Action

Played the Wynn course yesterday, deadly course, a little pricey to play everyday but I recommend playing it the once anyway. It's such an awesome, unique setting for a golf course. Marty took the spoils in a five ball, hard to keep that guy down.

Really looking forward to day one of the Main Event tomorrow morning. Honestly don't think I could be in better shape mentally heading into it. I'll be bringing my A-Game that's for sure, lets hope its enough and I don't run bad.