Monday, December 1, 2008

The Cash League Final

Spanning over four months, this cash league was always going to be big. Troy, Sam and all the rest hads 500+ hours for a monster stack, but the average stack was 10k which left plnty of play left plenty.
I however was below average, 6,750. But I was happy that the combination of large stacks and the fact that the field was hold'em deep I could get the required double ups in omaha, I just had to wait.
It didn't take long, broadway on a non-pair or flush board. Paid off.
Top house (quad blocker), paid off in two spots.
Quads, paid off in two spots. Every hand I get paid off in was in omaha. At the second break I have 66k. Well up the top.

Then it ends. No good no more.
A run of great hands, I raise, called. I miss. Everytime. Everything I have misses and I go down to 25k.
I pick up AAKJ double suited. I raise. Called. Flop is K high. I bet, the guys shoves. Its 9k into 30k. I call. He has a lone K. No straight or flush draw. Turn is a king, no change. River is a 4, which fills him up. Down to 10k.
Ninja shortie mood, steal blinds, push double up. Average stack, 19 players left. Finally we make it to last two tables. I've 70k (average).
I make top set in omaha, pot the flop and fold when the flush card hits.
Next hand, I get it in with Norman (who blew a huge stack), I raise the button with A 10 hearts. Norman pushes from the BB, its not much more I call. He has 67 hearts. 7 hits, I miss. Few more rounds, I get it back up, and norman has lost his lead again. I push with J10, he calls with 8 5. I flop a pair, turn two pair, but the river straights the board. Next hold'em round. I raise from mid-position with 66. And agsin its norman who calls, I'm begining to think its me. None of these raises had him priced in. Any way, the board is 2 3 5, I push, he has 2 4. Wtf, its defo me. I show my 66, and he calls for a 4. "Two pair no good, its the gutterball"
The 4 hits making my straight. I finally win a all-in spot. When I'm up against 2 outs.
Four limpers into my BB, I have AAJ9. I pot to 16k, one caller.
Flop is 449. I pot it for 36k. Called again. The player has 16k behind into 108k.
Turn a K. 16k in, Called. She has KKxx. No straight or flush. Yes, that was a 2 outer for almost the chiplead.
It's not about winning races, its about winning when you are miles ahead.
I run bad, and take €1000.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Killarney

It was early saturday morning when we embarked on the road to Killarney. I picked up my accomplace, a little late as expected, and hit the road. I hadn't eaten that morning, as usual, and somewhere around the far side of kildare I started to regret that decision. I turned up the radio to drown out the sound of my rumbling stomach, the intricate soundings out french duo Daft Punk were on hand. The tone was set.

The N21 rolled out before us and we made it to the Glen without needing to stop. I didn't want to sit in the restuarant with a bag, and let all the sharks know I was an out of towner, so checking in first appeared to be the best option. The girl at the desk was quite helpful, but easily confused. Her bewildered look when I asked if the room service had grapefruit still puzzles me. Taking my key, I was pleased to find out I had a ground floor room, in and out in 2 minutes, we arrived at a table for two in the restuarant. I think a good meal is essential before any bout of concentration, and in hindsight a greasey steak sandwich was probably not the greatest choice.

One hour and counting, the starting blocks appear on the horizon, and creep up upon me instantly. Cards are in the air while I'm walking around the hall, does anybody have an ipod charger. Normally, I am happy to play along audioless, and i'm normally the one people wish to drown out. But these poor bastards are truely insufferable. please stop talking to me and let me ignore you in peace.

The cards themselves didn't show up, my starting table was likely the softest I've been at in recent months. King high is pretty enough for 3 barrel call down. The action is ludacris, sadly I only manage a sinle pot but increase my 15k to 19k with the broadway straight. Moved table, get paid by AK on a K high board (some chips donated by Yuletired, thanks). The systematic literal folding for two hours straight was pretty mind numbing.
Button raise with AJs, sb re-raises (been at each other last three hands). I call AKJ flop, he bets, I ship, snaps with AA. Busto.

Now the fun begins, I was less than happy with busting, but not one to dwell I met with a dutch friend named Heini at the bar to cheer myself up, I almost always feel better around her, it's a snakes and ladders affair though. As the night wore on, our love hate relationship ebbed and flowed, quicker and closer, as we generally do; only to ignore each other in the morning. While i'm not about to publish all the details here. Generally a sick night followed, with many of the creeps and degen BBV regs appearing in the bar. Names omitted in a last ditch effort to maintain the shredded dignity that goes along with the live poker scene.

As an aside to festival cash games, 60% shots at 800BB PLO pots are sick.

Saturday night was a polar opposite, wound up at a 21st 40 miles away, no poker chips in sight and the only cards to be seeen had Happy Birthday splashed accross the front. I didn't bring one, as I had no idea who this girl was. Nor had I a clue who any of the rest were, bar the token invite. Severely out-numbered, it's looking up........
Anti-climax indeed, heavy din, and a thundering crash, its all over.

I awake, in a strange house. Countless miles away from my room, my room with three empty beds. I doubt I was missed. After staying to make sure somebody helped eat the mountainous breakfast spread, we were off.

Rinse and repeat, to the cash table. A short grind later, I leave for the long drive home. Even stephen, exhausted but not broken.
Good show.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Donkaments.....It's that time of year

I have really been lacking with the updates lately. As have most people, Keith epic fails at blog posting. I will try to get better (blogging and poker)
Tournament season is upon us it seams. Killarney, The IPO and The WinterFest back to back in october. Not to mention the BCOOP (Boards Championship of Online Poker) which got underway this week. Event one was a flop for me, but hoping to shine in the stud games, (#2 Stud Hi/Lo is tonight), reason being I've gotten into playing the 8 game mixed STTs on Stars.

A few months ago I mention I wanted to concentrate on tourneys for the comming year, so here's Octobers outlook;

Killarney €550 - 750 runners
I quailified for this online via laddies in early august. Package deal including the room, so pretty happy that his is going to be a almost free weekend. Transport to be decided (train looking good), and obviously cash action optional (most likely sick it up at some point). A week to go and its just about sold out. I don't have much to say about it right now, once Neil releases the players list, seating etc, I can comment on my table, interesting draws and so on. I'll probably blog entry before I go, and one when I return.

The first annual IPO last year set out to be the biggest european tourney ever. The record was the 2007 Irish Open at about 605 mark. The IPO broke the 1000 people mark.
This year it is confirmed bigger and better. Same fee, but less reg means a bigger prizepool, kudos Stephen and Jeff at pokerireland. More entrants, at time of writing, they are at 1100+ and rising. Expect it to break the 1200 sellout point by Saturday (the 27th, so I don't think BCB will win that bet of his, mine was null and void). and finally this years IPO is in a nicer venue, the Regency airport hotel, which is a huge plus, the fucking RDS does my head in.
Despite all these massive pros, I have decided not to play in the event. My loss.........maybe
I didn't enjoy the event last year, self deal was a diaster (which won't happen this year due to two start dates), and the whole thing got very crap shooty by the 4th level. While having two start dates and fully dealt tables will help this. The standard of play will be mind numbing. Simple pots taking 5 minutes, donkeys checking and re-checking if they have the nuts once the board 4 flushes. An overall grind to sunday, only to get angle shot on exit. Its not a reflection on Stephen or anyone at Poker Ireland (ok, maybe Jeff), I just think that events of this size (1000+) need very long levels to keep the play in place. Which sadly isn't feasable at a reasonable buy-in. I could play this, at face value, purely for shits and giggles. But after a long and hard think. I feel bu €150 is better spent on a killarney side event when I bust first hand of day two.
Best of luck to all that play.

The WinterFest
Quick IWF update, I suck.
I have failed so far to sat into this. I may give the big one a shot tonight. But, unless its ten runners. I'm afraid i'll be dead money. Purely contributing to BCB IPO payout fund.
Hopefully, I can sort this out. Will play the super sat though.

And finally, I recently was given a comp of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. And, I'm hooked. This book is excellant.
I always knew it was quite good, and wanted to read it since I saw the film. But, as always, the book > the film. I'd recommenf it to anyone, but beware, it will likely bring out the degenerate in you.

"We had two bags of grass, seventy- five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi- colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Round up, round up

This will be a short post. Well at least I think it will. I never realy plan these things out and just attempt to (as Gary clark puts it) talk freely.

Went to Citywest for Vera's birthday bash. Quite a few runners. Too many infact. The free entry, while it encouraged lots of people, a €50 buy-in would of resulted in a quaility over quantity field.
Most of my citywest action was intially focused on the table games. And was quite the swingy adventure. Down at Blackjack. Sicko dealer. I start with 7,4 to an exposed 7. Double down please. Ping a King, Bingo. Gets to the dealer, Peals a 4, then a 10. push. The first of many runner runner 21s for the dealer.
Change to the hot blonde (dealer) table, instantly back in the black.
Lets try roulette. I spin up, I spin down
Reload. imporve to €100
€100 on black, Keith Rooney trys to talk me out of it explaining how its a losing bet. I had to laugh, how is it a losing bet, if it hits black I win a €100. Red.
Walk away.

Return and repeat. I need karma, Sammy sticks the case 40 on black with me. Black, robusto. Dump the €100, and spread the board, three winning spins dumping €50 each time sees me showing profit for the night when the forth spin misses.

Jump into omaha. Blinds 1/1 Sit in with €300.
Straight draw flush draw. All-in. Hit the straight. Double double.

Then, a sick hand.
I've AKT9 in the BB. UTG+2 raises to 6, 6 see a flop.
Flop AKK
Turn a J, manage to get all in 4 ways. Two stacks of 300+ and 200. Other has my 550 covered. PF raiser has AA, god knows what the others had. Some how I take the side to have only lost 100 or so.

Win a few, then this
I've QQ8x in the BB. Its made 5, 3 players call. I call.
Flop is Q93
I check (the table has be betting alot with draws and such, but little or know raises on the flop (unless made 5 card hands),
its checked around.
Turn an 8
Not good, I check. MP bets 40. SB makes it 120 (he has 300 or so behind)
I fold, not happy.

But dispite these set backs, the AKK the biggest i'd played (bar tourney final tables with more on the line), I managed to leave the table a reasonable winner. Just shy of 800.

Currently focused on quailifying for the Irish Festival. Bought into the weekly final last week and started wekk, made a ridic move rep'ing the flush. Set calls.
This week I said I'd enter via the daily route. I ticket bubble tuesdays sat. I should of tightened more. I take a ticket on thursday. Its kicking off right now.
Here goes.

I decided to hold back on posting this until the optimum moment. posting it early surely results in angering the poker gods, wishing for luck etc is bad form.
So under the guise of an update, heres the wish me luck part.
its the second break, i'm 13 out of 27 remaining (72 started). Have been dealt good starting hands early. KK twice and AA, but failed to see a flop twice, and the secong i didn't go past the flop. Online tellbox obviously.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Going for Gold

Well, its that time again, another Olympiad has past and Beijing 2008 kicked off in impressive style. The events have kicked off today, with a few green stripes appearing. So, in a quick run down, I'm posting my tips of the games.
Ireland has won medals at 7 the last 8 games. Granted the gold last time was taken away, and Michelle Smith was disgraced (She however did retain her medals). So. I like to hope that we can pick up something this year.

So we have a 54 strong squad in china. Most made the A grade (Ireland's Olympic council decided to only send A grade to be a competing nation), with three exceptions, two swimmers and a runner who each just missed the A times.
Out of the 54, I reckon we have two who might be in a medal position.

Historically, Ireland's best Olympic event is boxing. With 9 out of 20 medals in the ring. So my first medal pick is John Joe Nevin at Bantamweight. 40-1 to pick up any medal. Also, the captain Ken Egan is in at 8-1 to pick up a medal, although this is a poor price due to his easy draw in round one.

Derek Burnett was a hopefull, as he is the only irish team member to have beaten everyone of his oppondents at soome time. A poor first round has seen him slip.

Following on from last year, I think we can save facr with a win in the showjumping under Dennis Lynch.
So thats it, only real hop is with Lynch and Nevin. Fingers crossed.

I played the Weds €40 freezeout in the jackpot. 59 runners. I took it down for €920 and a ticket to a winterfest sat. Overall I was happy with how I played, got it in behind twice, obviously sucked out. But even with the good old 20/20 hindsight. I wouldn't change how I played.

Next in poker, I'm hoping to quailify for Big Slick's Irish festival in Kerry this october. So, i've spend a week gettingused to laddies software and will shortly try a few sats.

I know that the general poker world loves stories of degeneracy. Sadly, its been a quite week. Are the poker loons start to cop on, have they started to quiten down, or is this the calm before the storm. I like to think it's the latter.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Tuesday Trauma

PLO \pee-el-oh\, noun:
1. Disease; symptoms include extreme urges to gamble, 4-Bet any ol' spanners to get the loot in pre-flop and shout "chips" out loud
2. A card game invented by Lucifer himself when he decided that Hold'em just didn't have enough variance

So everybody knows of the Monday madness in the jackpot. Its the €10 entry with unlimited €5 rebuys. Well, it just got worse. Duke has decided that the sickos should get a fix on Tuesday as well. Which resulted in a round of each, Hold'em and PLO, tourney with the same unlimited €5 rebuys.
The inaugural tourney was last Tuesday, and a fair few turned up. Rag2Gar, KillMe002, Bohsman, Trish and the annoying guy from the jackpot, about 4 of the Jackpot dealers jumped in and the field ended up coming to 25 runners. The rebuy stages were essentially all-in madness. I was fortunante enough, in the first two hands I played out, to get it in with a straight flush draw in PLO and hit (straight), then stack a player in hold'em with a boat. From here I was table chip lead and wasn't all-in during the rebuy stages. Although, lost a few pots against the "new" 2500 stack and finally a large one with AA to finish up with 12k during at the break.
Pretty uneventful until the final table, standard stuff, ship it in with the nuts, any 4 cards will call in PLO. And hope you stay ahead. I came to the final table a shortish 23k (35-40k average, but that was mostly in two stacks). Second round, my button, first PLO of the final table. 6 limpers into me, (thats everyone), I pot it with AKQQ double suited, 6 players see a flop.
Flop 4 6 Q........Folded to me I push, called by 66xx, he has only the case 6 to win and it never comes.
The tourney ran quite late, and around 3ish, we burst the bubble. Prizes; 325, 210, 125, 80, 45
More than a few needed to make top three to show profit.
4 handed, blinds 3k/6k. UTG pushes for c.40k. Button  shoves pretty quickly
I have 77 and just under 60k, but 6k of that was in for BB. I dwell and fold, putting the button on a PP. I was right he had 44.
In hindsight I should of called as even if I lose to the button I still take 3rd, but winning has me as chipleader.
Anyway, a gut-shot and flush hitting latter, i'm busto for third.
An enjoyable but late night.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bracelets, Deep in the M.E. and Sponsorship, congrats all round

Well, first things first. Congrats to John O'Shea on a WSOP final table, and to Marty Smyth on taking down the Championship PLO event. This is the toughest field after the Horse imo. Well played sir.

The main event might be the most sought after, but this is due to the money and previous pristige. The last time a player was recognaised for being amoung the best in the world after winning the ME is debatable.

As we entered the final week of the WSOP. Most of the poker community in the world turn to Vegas to follow the Main Event. With almost 7k runners, any hopefull world champion was going to run good to take this down. When day one started, eyes turned to Pokernews for updates, a serious lack of updates this year, but PN, was clearly the best. A shed load of Boardies and other irish players ventured the tides of lady luck in the amazon room. And without them in the mix, many of us would not of bothered to follow it.

I'm not going to attempt to toss about "well done" to the many many players who put in a sterling proformance, as undoubtedly, I will miss more than a few. But, I think that an exception must be made for the two deepest runs amoung the irish.
Reggie (Cardshark) came 111th, and James (Hawkeye), who was in the top few spots for three days, and was even chipleader at one stage, came 71st. Congrats lads.

Play has stopped in the ME as they are down to 9 players. For purely marketing purposes, the powers that be have decided to pospone the FT until november. Not a smart move, with more than a few million involved, I don't think think the meantime pass without an incident. The players remaining are,
(chip count in brackets, PP odds below)

Dennis Philips (26,295,000)
4 - 1
Ivan Demidov (24,400,000)
4 - 1
Scott Montgomery (19,690,000)
9 - 2
Peter Eastgate (18,375,000)
9 - 2
Ylon Schwartz (12,525,000)
8 - 1
Darus Suharto (12,520,000)
17 - 2
David Rheem (10,230,000)
10 - 1
Craig Marquis (10,210,000)
10 - 1
Kelly Kim (2,620,000)
50 - 1

Most of the players, bar one or two, have a string of major event cashes. Its all stipulation at this stage, but if I had to pick somebody (basing it on odds, ability and results), my money is on David Rheem. The bigger stacks are more likely, but I think Rheem at 10-1 represents the best value.

Shortly before the final line up was announced, Nicky Power annouced, or rather it was announced for him, his impending sponsorship deal. Always the gent, Nicnicnic decline to name the site, saying that it was up to them to choose when to make it public. After some waiting, Bruce-Poker made the deal public. They have the best of this in my opinion. Will this mean that Nicky will stop appearing at Family Guy themed partys, most likely not.

So, after much time wasting with congrats and etc, time to briefly cover me. I few months ago, I moved to soley to cash (I was 50/50 cash and tourney). And at first, I was much happier, varience was much lower. Wins were much more freqent, but obviously not as big as the occasional deep run in an MTT. I was immediatly happier. But more an more lately I find myself glancing at the tourney tab. Seconds thoughts, no. Longing for one time, prehaps.
In live tourneys, i've ben running quite well, cashing more often than not lately. Live cash, not so well.
Online tournys, again quite well, cashed in my last 3 out of four MTTs on stars. I was all set to go deep in a 60k on stars, made the last four tables out of almost 5900 runners. Was 7th in chips, but a two outer on the river took a chunk out of me, then I lost a race AT vrs 99 to bust in 27th.
That side, I find myself enjoying tourneys more, and when you enjoy poker more, you play better. More often than I'd like to keep count of, I've been hit with a few massive beats in cash. playing in a very deep Omaha game, I get it in on the turn with a house, and not any old house, the nut house, for 800 BBs, called by trips. Spikes and over on the river. Shortly later, i get in on the flop with a big wrap and king flushdraw. Only to be called by ace FD, even removing loads of my outs, i'm still ahead. Straight on turn, flush on river. That was 300BBs, then for 500bb, flopped set over set, of course I have the bottom end. Had I won those hand, I'd be 16 buy-ins better off.

So where does this leave me. I'm not really sure. I still think I have to maintain a decent level of cash. But I also think I need a tourney based goal. One thing is certain, I am really really going to make a better effort with this blog. Even if only for myself, I am a firm believer in that these blog follies help to focus a player. In terms of poker focus, I am planning of trying to quailify for one (or more) of the large events in the coming months. Off the top of my head, I suppose i'd like to see myself in either Kerry for the Big Slick Game in October, the Paddy Power Winter Fest, one of the Dublin Festivals.
I will not be buying-in direct, so i'll try my best to quench my tourney thirst via sats.