Friday, November 30, 2007

It's been a busy old time lately..

It seems like quite a while since I've posted here. I've had a hectic two weeks which kicked off in Waterford and then off to the gamblers Paradise that is Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm not sure where to start. Perhaps at the beginning methinks sure 'tis the best place to start.

Waterford was a good weekend for me. I was quietly confident going into it but still felt I played below bar. I'm finding it very difficult to get motoring at the crucial stage in tournaments. I had a decent chip-lead on my opening table at one stage and didn't use it effectively. There was a lot of poor players opening pots and winning them uncontested which is bread and butter stuff I wasn't doing not to mention taking theses poor players on with 4 bets etc. I love playing post flop and should have been more than eager to get into pots but alas lacked the courage once again. I put it down to lack of table practice and overall sharpness. I want to play consistent regular poker online and live, otherwise I'm out of sync. I played Waterford out of practise and it cost me at the crucial stages I reckon.

Las Vegas was a blast. I played poker most mornings in the 2/5 game in the Bellagio. I found the game relatively straight forward with a few working pros who made no secret of what they were doing which was a nice heads-up for me. Saying that the "pros" were very one dimensional who just played extremely tight and then somehow got paid off when they had a hand after 16 orbits of folding. Overall the standard was my fave, loose passive. When I bet they called, When I checked they did too, its nice for a poker player when YOU set the tempo and I did just that. The week was profitable which is all I can ask for.

As many of you know I like to gamble too at times and my trip to Vegas was unsurprisingly no exception. I played a lot of slots and even more craps. I'm under no illusions about the gambling nature of these games but its sure is fun testing lady luck. I went on a small sick-run on the craps table which netted me about $1200 but gambling being gambling the casino had it back before long. The house always wins and what a fine house they've built too.

I did the helicopter thingy to the grand canyon which was obviously a must-do but I was largely uninspired. Perhaps my expectations were too high but it seemed all too anti-climatic. Its just a load of big red rocks. What I did enjoy however were the fabulous shows. KA at the MGM is quality but the Beatles show at the Mirage was tops. I'm a Beatles fan which probably helps but I think even the faintest of fans would appreciate the show. Very impressive all together.

Anyway there plenty more that happened but I'll save it for now.

More laters.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Waterford festival preview....

So I'm off to Waterford for the four day festival. It will be my first time playing the festival, but I heard many good reports from last year's event. With the weekend starting here it will be a poker Marathon of sorts for me having never really played consistently for four days in a row, which I hope to do this weekend.

With regards my expectations this weekend, I am quietly confident I have to say. I'm gonna use the satellite as a chance to acclimatise with the place and get to scope out the local players. I've played in Waterford before for Neil's team event and I remember the play being quite different than the equivalent tournaments in say the Emporium. Playing on the Thurs is also beneficial as it means I wont have to be rushing about the place on Friday trying to get down and check in and eat and everything. That will be all done by the time the ME starts which is nice. The ME event looks like a superb tournament, probably the best I've ever played in. I think any proper poker player would be excited about playing such a fab tourney. One glance at the entry sheet confirms this with players like Roy Brindley, Dave Colclough and Irish Open winner Marty Smyth all in attendance. With a €500 entry fee the tournament would have to be extra special for players like these to enter. Kudos to Neil Kelly.

I've had some bets for interest on the event. The first being the already mentioned Irish Open winner Marty Smyth @ 80/1. He has all the credentials you would want going into this tournament and I cannot see why there is a dozen or so players ahead of him in the betting. The other three were Jen Mason(100/1), Oz Osbourne(150/1) and some fella with a weird name(225/1). I must write it down in case he does well and I don't realise!. Its mainly for fun and I don't really expect to be collecting, merely contributing to Paddy Power PLC once again.

That's my lot for today, report to follow on Sunday. I wish everyone playing over the weekend (especially the raiding Dublin contingent-lol) the very best and lets hope there's a worthy winner. A final thanks to Nicky O' Donnell and Marc McDonnell who've shown their faith in me with their pockets by taking the 225/1 about me winning on Sunday. I'll try my very best lads and I hope you're right!!

Over and out.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What to do, what to do??

Haven't been playing much poker at all lately due to many things including a family wedding last weekend and lots of cramming in college. From what I've heard Jayminator has been continuing his impressive form with another nice result in the Fitz at the weekend. Ollie Boyce also did well in what was a nice warm-up for the Waterford game next weekend. Speaking of the city down south I cannot wait for next weekend. I reckon it'll be as big a weekend in Irish poker as we've seen all year with the notable exception of the Irish open. The craic and atmo (very trendy blog speak-excuse me) is what makes poker great rather than sheer money and greed. Like a certain event seemed to be in Dublin recently.

I'm 21 years old tomorrow. Although with my bros wedding over the weekend and other things I haven't even realised it creeping up. At this point I'd like to brag about the fact that I've been a member of the Sporting Emporium for the last two years without actually being 21. It's been such a secret for so long I was afraid to say it to anyone in case they took me off the members list! Now they cant do anything. Ha! I'm not sure what to do for my birthday though. 21 is supposed to be significant but I certainly haven't treated it accordingly. Tues is a pretty irrelevant day too so I don't wanna annoy people into doing something on such a dull day but then again I wont be around this weekend to celebrate. I dunno really. Might just buy a birthday cake and smash my head through it.

Or maybe I'll ask Gordon what I should do.

Or maybe (for my safety) not

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

If at first you don't succeed try and find more French

A lot of people learn how to play poker in college. I however did not. I never even played there except the odd crap shoot tourney. Today was different. I played a one table 6 max STT for $100 because I "hacked" through the system. At least that's what the geeks would say. I'm not a geek. Or a nerd for that matter. Anyone know what the difference is?

I wasn't alone in this mission though. I had Marc (AKJQ10) with me for moral and lunatic aggressive support. We made a good team. A mixture of hyper aggression and uber-passiveness will always win out in the long run. Everyone knows that. I cant remember who was which? Today was not our day though as we ran horribly. There was one french fella who we had all in three times as huge favs and got undone each and every time. (I will eventully get the french that keep outdrawing me). To make it worse, the Spanish fella who didn't play a hand folded his way into 2nd position. I hate the way people do that in STT's. Ah well its the play that counts and our play today was in fact salubrious.

I was in the Jackpot last night taking my third "shot" at the 2/5 game. It was my second losing night of the three but overall I'm enjoying the experience. It makes for a change from playing drunks with €50 that's for sure. I also got a free dinner with Conor Doyle courtasy of the jackpot, kudos indeed.

There was one incredibly funny incident a la the Gordon stunt involving gholimoli and Conor Doyle. With four clubs and a paired board, Eshan called Conor's river bet with the Ac only for Conor to announce "full house". The jovial smile on Conor's face went unnoticed by gholimoli who was too busy trying to muck his cards! The penny dropped for Conor who realised the joke had been lost on his opponent in what had turned out to be one of the greatest potential angle-shots ever seen! Conor quickly blocked him in his now infamous ways and very sportingly awarded him the pot. Will gholimoli ever learn!?

I'm planning my trip to Waterford next week. I'm not sure what to bring other than a packed lunch or two. How big do the games play down there I wonder. The 1/2 games are getting ridiculous lately in Dublin with stacks of 300 big blinds deep now becoming common theme in live play. I'll play the main event for sure and probably the satellite the previous night. After that, I just don't know!

Suggestions welcome.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Heads-up, Gordon and Annette......

So the heads-up league never really took off did it? I'm not sure why. The idea was good, the players were of a decent standard and everybody paid their entry before the deadline. We are now eight weeks into it and the average games played per player is around three. This is ridiculous. Why didn't everybody just play their games? I mean we had 8 weeks to play 8 games yet still little progress. Mr Pillowtalk just backed out completely. What is so unimportant about this competition that means people can write off $250 and not even play for the pride and glory that this league is all about? I've been quite bad at getting my games played too but I blame it on the sheer lack of enthusiasm as a whole inside and outside the league. To this day, some 75 days since the league started I could not tell you any results from games other than my own. Or indeed any stories, hands or general hype. I mean some of these games should be getting 100 rail birds, yet not even the participants seem interested. I dunno.

The aftermath of the Gordon affair is still simmering over the poker scene it appears, with story after story resurfacing of questionable etiquette with it. It's quite a delicate issue but I'm with the vast majority who do not support this messing. Just play your cards the right and proper way if you consider yourself a poker player. Otherwise be a hustler and go play ping-pong with Amarillo Slim and a bottle of coke (no cross-reference-puns relating to characters involved intended). I gave up on the idea of the Q&A with Gordon as to be honest I'm bored already and would be more interested in questioning "Bad Beat Joe" about misfortune at the poker table.

Amazingly, Annette Obrestad did not win the EPT despite a commanding chip lead in Dublin yesterday afternoon. This setback is a rarity to the recently turned 19 Norwegian pro and proves that she is in fact human after all. Reuben Peters of the USA (I hear they're good at poker there) beat Annette in what was quite a turn up for the book(ie)s. I still think she will develop to be the best poker player that ever lived as discussed in my newest poker-Ireland piece.

I wonder what she makes of angle shooting?

Over and out.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Gordon/Gholimoli affair

Boards went into overdrive yesterday morning when a very dramatic thread was started by Gholimoli with the heading being "Warning: all live Irish poker players must read this". Within this thread Gholimoli made the point that he was very close to being "cheated" out of a €3,000 euro pot on one of the cash tables at the EPT in the RDS.

The other player involved in the hand was Gordon whos user name is "trippie" on boards. This is roughly what happened in the hand. Please excuse any errors as this is relayed completely through memory. Basically Gordon (when asked) deliberately announced the wrong hand while the turn and river cards were being dealt and both players were practically all-in less €400. In this case, Gordon announced "straight", when in actual fact he only had bottom two pair. By announcing the wrong hand, he hoped his opponent would muck his hand which Gordon knew full well was ahead. Gordon maintains this is standard live play or "angle shooting" and apparently is to be expected in live cash games.

Following a ruling, gholimoli was allowed turn over his hand. His hand had been folded, face down and over the line but according to the table of players, was nowhere near the other cards ie the muck. Gordon argued that the winning hand of KK775 was in fact dead and that the pot was his. Gholimoli was awarded the pot.

The thread sparked outrage amongst the poker community with every tom dick and anonymous man giving their 2c. The thread was left open for Gordon to respond and closed immediately afterwards. Gordon's response (I believe) was vague and dubious as he harped on his reputation being damaged. I was disappointed with his response and feel he could have answered the allegations better. I would like to see him clear the air somewhat with an open and frank apology which people could read for themselves.

At this point I propose a Q&A session with Gordon this afternoon on this blog to answer some of the burning questions which were left behind.

Feel free to post a question for Gordon here: