Friday, August 20, 2010

Golf and poker

Well, it has been a quite summer really, as I didnt really get to play at many of the poker festivals. The exceptions were the Waterford and Tramore games which i supported as the lads are always good to support anything we run in Killarney, so fair is fair. I did ok in both without shooting the lights out. In the Waterford game, I lasted into day 3 without making the money, which was disappointing, as i felt I had played very well for 2 days without any premium hands. Made 2 big laydowns preflop when I folded queens twice, and both times I was shown KK, so i was happy enough with my reads on players. Finally went out when I shoved 4s-7s in the sb when I was the shortest stack left, bb woke up with KQ, and even though the board ran out 9 high, I didnt hit ewither card and made my exit. Still, I won the entry in the satellite the night before, and I went on to finish 3rd in the side event, plus I had a successfull night on the cash table there, so overall, a winning weekend which is what its all about.

On to the Tramore weekend. This was just a big struggle. Started with 15000 chips, and I never got going really, and lasted well into day 2 before being knocked out. Another festival of mediocre cards. I guess I knew it wasnt going to be my week when the following hand happened. We are in day 2. Blinds are 300-600. I raise to 1700 with 66 in mid position. A rock in the c/o flats me, bringing in the button and the bb into the hand as well. Flop is a glorious A-K-6, rainbow. Now someones gotta have a bit of this. BB checks to me, I bet 4k, and all 3 opponnents fold!!! I so much expected a reraise there. Pretty sick really. I know I could have checked it, but its a dangerous flop and I had been having my c bets snapped off all day. just wasnt to be. Finally went out when I raised from the c/o with 44, a friend of mine in the bb reraised, and I 4-bet all-in. he took an age to decide, eventually calling with AQ and hit the Q on the river to knock me out. Again, I was happy enough with my play in this tourney. But again, i was disappointed with the lack of starting hands. I understand that sometimes you have to wait for these, but I feel Ive done my fair share of waiting. Hopefully the dry run of cards will change soon, and hopefully that will be in a decent size game!!!!

And now, the Irish Classic Poker festival is upon us. This is held in the Maccau club in cork city. I had pencilled this tourney in from early this year, as its one of my fav tournaments. I headed up to cork on wednesday night with Keith Cummins and Michael o Brien to play the satt. €110, with 1 rebuy only at €50. 8 tickets gtd. Finished up with 74 runners and 11 tickets. Just played a tag game here, and had Johnny keown 2 to my right. I was glad to have position on him, because he can be a nightmare on the table, depending on what kinda mood he's in!!! kept myself out of trouble early doors, and as the blinds increased, kept myself in the game with some timely 3-bets and reshoves. Had a good dublin player on my immediate left, although I didnt know his name. When we got down to about 15 players left, the game was becoming a crapshoot, but if you werent prepared to put your chips in the middle, you couldnt survive. The blinds at this stage were 4k-8k with a 1k ante, so 20k to be picked up if a pot was won uncontested. Ave stack was about 70k at this stage. The 2 to my left both had about the ave stack (same as me), so i was just shoving the button or the sb when folded to me to keepmy stack together. Finally got to 12handed when a deal was struck for all 12 to get tickets and everyone agreed.

2 starting days this year, 1a is Thurs and 1b is Friday. Ive decided to go with 1b. 25,000 chips and a 75 minute clock. Should be a great game. I dont know if any other members of team irish eyes are playing the event. Hopefully there are.

Got home from the satt on wed at 5am, and was up again at 9 to play golf!! I used to play a lot of golf a few years ago (well, 10 years ago), but I started playing lately with a few friends, and the bug has bitten again. so much so, that i went and joined up membership at thew local club, something i thought was behind me really. Myself and my brother Tim play fourball against my son Derry and his best friend, Mark Coffey. Tim is a 12 handicap, me 14, derry 10 and mark 18. No love lost here with all 4 players being extremely competitive creatures. I must say, its very enjoyable, and I guess the enforced exercise id doing me no harm!!

As for the online poker, I dont play as much in the summer as I would in the winter. Ive been concentrating really on the 2 new deepstack games on Irisheyes. A €15 f/o at 2.30pm aqns a €10 f/o at 4pm. 5,000 chips in both tourneys, and a 15 minute clock. Most of the players who play in these deepstacks havent a clue how to play them, willing to get it all in during the early levels with top pair etc etc. If 130 play, the field will be down to about 50/60 after 1 hour!!! They really are a soft touch for a decent player.

I'm heading off to Cork later for day 1a of the festival, and hopefullt, I will get to do a trip report here when I return. Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Party time (unfortunately)!

I've been looking forward to Bulgaria for some time now. Things have been going well poker-wise for the last month and I felt on top of my game coming here.
The weekend started well when I won a satellite for the 550 side event on the first night I arrived and I felt good.
My table draw could have been better. Just one local and of the others there was only one I didn't recognise as a good player from previous tournaments. He was one to my left, more of him later.
The tournament couldn't have started worse for me. First hand utg, the local, opened for 175. I flatted in mp with JJ and 2 others called. Flop of T62 looked good for me and I raised his cbet, which he called. He then check-called my 80% pot bet on a 3 turn and lead the 9 river for 25% pot. The only hand that made sense to me here was 99 but i called anyway given the price I was getting and he showed 78. NH.
This took me down to 16.5 k from the starting stack of 20k. I grinded for the next few hours without making any real progress. The player to my left turned out to be the table fish that everyone was after, obviously totally unused to playing live, limp calling all the time and generally being awful. The only hand of note that I played in the early levels came when he opened utg and got 2 callers. I reraised from BB with AQs, the 2 callers got out of the way and I won the pot on a raggy flop. This pot took me back up to about 18k, which as it turned out, was as good as it was going to get. I lost another 7k to the local when he raised and I made the call from BB with KJs. Flop of AJJ looked good but to cut a long story short, he called flop and turn with KTs and runner-runnered the flush. At 11k and the blinds at 400/800 I was getting into short-stack country. My opportunities were very limited, however, as most pots were opened before I could act and I blinded down to 8.5k before I made my move. A good Swedish player on a stack opened from mp to 2.5k and I shoved from the button with 66. He made the call with QJs and a J on the turn ended my tournament.
The rest of the team didn't get any luck either. Sandro went out in level 4, shoving AK from the BB, for 19k, after a raise and 2 callers. One of the callers made a hero-call with 99 and held. Dave departed after correctly putting his opponent on AK on a K high flop and playing his hand like a set, shoving the river for most of his opponents stack. Feargal grinded for hours without cards and shoved for 20k with KK after a raise and 2 callers to run into the AA of the or. Jamie went in the second level running JJJ into QQQ on the flop. Robbie went out on a Q high flop with AQ to Q7 in a reraised pre-flop pot. Lisbon winner Tim made day 2 but went out when he shoved 37k over a raiser with TT, only for the raiser to call with QT and make a straight.
We all went to the player party on Friday night but I can't remember anything at all about it!!
On Saturday I played in the 550 side-event. The structure, in direct contrast with main event, was essentially a turbo. 30 min clock and 5k stack. We really are spoiled in Ireland. I played well in this and thought at one stage that I would make the final table. With 12 left and 8 getting paid I opened from the CO with KQs and the chipleader shoved from the sb. If I fold I have 15k left at 1/2k blinds with a 2oo ante. His range is huge as he's been bullying lot's of raisers into folding so I made the call. I hit my K and he hit his 4 for 444. I win the race there and I ft for sure with a chance.
I'm not going to play any more poker on the trip. The weather is fantastic and I'm going to soak up a bit before I go home. The locals are friendly and welcoming food and drink are ridiculously cheap and this is a real party town. I'm surprised it hasn't been "discovered" yet by the young holiday crowd. Cheap booze and all-night music bars would make it a cheap holiday. Kinda like Spain 20 years ago.
The Irish Eyes crew are going out on the town together tonight. Could be interesting!!
The next EMOP is Barcelona and all the talk here is that it will break records for numbers. The biggest EMOP so far was Barcelona last year with 399 and 430 is confidently being predicted. We will have at least 20. If you want to join us and have a great weekend of poker and partying, satellites are running now on Irish Eyes Poker from €2. We will also be running live satellites around the country. It would be great if we could bring a team of 30 or more and turn Barcelona into a big Irish party.