This was my
8th Irish Open, having first played the event in 2006. As poker
years are akin to ‘dog’ years, I played those eight tournaments over a 56-year
period. The tournament didn’t change that much year to year in that time, a
gradually improvement in structure occurred and arguably the standard of play.
there was a significant structure change and ignoring registration fee a 37.5%
drop in buy in. The tournament may of lost a few big names because of the
smaller buy in and the bubble may of broke on day three rather then day two.
However all in all, for me it felt as big a tournament as any other Irish Open
I have played.
|courtesy of Danny Maxwell|
This was my
third year to cash in those eight attempts and certainly deep and around the
bubble if felt exactly the same as previous years. Actually scratch that, there
was one notable difference. Former TD, Dave O’Neill was sorely missed running
frantically around on the bubble roaring at players and spectators alike to
return to their seats and get behind the rail.
tournament went ok. Unusually for me I can’t actually recall much of day one. I
know from my twitter feed I had starting stack with two levels remaining and
ended the day on an above average 74k without playing a big pot.
I had a
good table draw on day two. The only person I knew was John Stokes who I used
to play a lot with in the old ‘Blazing Aces’ club in Waterford. I steadily
amassed chips all day and hit 250k with two levels remaining. A lot of things
had went my. I remember calling a few big barrels turn and river with ace high
and being good. Barrelling myself with 44 on a scary board and being good.
Getting to showdown holding queen high and being good and most memorably check
shoving turn with 66 on a 2235 board, getting snapped and holding verses a king
turned on me. I was probable a little rash to 3–bet commit A2os losing 75k to
this particular gent from the bigblind, his raised AK from the smallblind held.
Within 2 minutes I raised called KQss and lost another 75k to A8. I was still
comfortable on this table and confidant I could recoup until a few minutes
later the floor person informed me I was moving tables.
reaction was “oh no”. I had been on the table ten hours and to move now
relatively short-stacked, I feared the worst. My new table had a few familiar
faces including Noel Hayes, Liam Flood and Andrew ‘ulduffer’ Sweeney.
running the show here and it was a pleasure to see. I can honestly say for the
last 90 minutes on day two Liam was by far the best player I had played with
over the three days I lasted in the tournament. He had a 3-bet percentage of
around 60% chipped up from 120k to 400k; it really was delightful to see.
count improved in tandem with Liam’s for the same period but in a much luckier
fashion. Firstly I got my 100k in with AK verses QQ and win. Shortly after I
picked up AA and the same unfortunate player who held the queens picked up the
kings. Day three would start with a healthy 375k, which was 9/64.
day three ten off the money. I wasn’t in great shape; it wasn’t the usual Irish
Open hangover complaint but rather radiator problems. I was a big loser of the
Burlington room roulette and got a horrible old one, 7th floor at
the front. The radiator wouldn’t turn off and made a constant noise akin to
Niagara Falls. I didn’t get much sleep.
worse when I sat at my table a saw the five hero’s lined up on my left. Derek
Wall and Andrew Sweeney, two pretty unexploitable young pros. Mad Mick
McCloskey and Liam Flood whom although having a combined age of over 300 were
probably the two most frequent 3-betters in the tournament and an English based
gent who’s only English seemed to be raise or re-raise. I couldn’t see a
strategy of opening a lot of pots working here, as all were decently stacked.
Well that’s not exactly true, I’d lost 100k in small pots before I actually
two hands in the run up to bubble time. One I opened one of my few pots light
from early position, Liam put in a chunky 3-bet. I considered this a good spot
for a light 4-bet as Liam has a merged range with his 60% 3-bet percentage he
folded and showed AJ. The second hand I 3-bet AK chunky from the small blind
verses the English gents early open, call. Flop AK10cc I lead and he at least
4x’s it, I shove and take a nice pot.
dragged and I mean dragged, it must have been 90 minutes. We were the feature
table and it must of made for boring viewing as everyone was decently stacked
and chip movement was minimal as at this stage ever one realised the table
couldn’t be run over. It finally popped and I had 450k about 1.5x average and
in great shape to make a run for the final table I felt.
this was where my good fortune in this tournament. For the next four hours I
was dealt complete trash and any time I tried to make something happen I lost
another few chips. At dinner I was left with a reshove stack of 200k, which was
18 big blinds. Upon returning from dinner the blinds went through me and I
shoved 16bigs holding K9cc over a cutoff raise. Declan Connolly woke up in the
big blind with AQ o it was out the gap.
back there was no mistakes, maybe two hands I’d of played different with
hindsight but these were marginal spots. I wasn’t gutted upon exit, you become
pretty pragmatic when you’ve played the Irish Open for 56 years and I didn’t
feel I had actually played particularly well but just did the standard stuff
correctly. I got a hell of a lot of support from people via twitter/text and at
the event, I’d like to thank all for the well wishes