Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Two dark horses but are either correct?

Betting was suspended yesterday on Bluesq poker after they installed Micheal Muldoon as 200/1 rank outsider for the Green Joker Deepstack game next week. Needless to say those that spotted the value got stuck in straight away. I was one, mashing the keyboard at a hectic pace. The first bet I tried was €100 each way which was quickly refused. I went in again for €50 each way but yet again the computer said no.

Clearly I was not the only one steaming in as this was the stuff of dreams for poker punters. It was a sea of five and four euro bets from there in frantic desperation to get as much on asap. Just studying my account here I managed to get a full €220 on in the end at 200/1 which is a very tidy bet to say the least. I for one shall be cheering on Dr. Muldoon should the ME not go my way.

But will the event go my way? That is the question I've been asking myself this past while. My opinion is quite strong and quite positive. I think Drogheda could well be a big tournament for me and here's why.

By and large I would say I am about 40/60 in terms of the hours I put in playing tournament/cash poker. I like both and have had moderate success at both. To compete in next week's tournament you will need to have had experience in both disciplines I would suggest. The stacks are so deep with 1000 BB's in spots, this has simply never been replicated in Irish tournaments. Non-cash players will be at sea purely due to their lack of experience in deep situations. I am not one of those.

I have played countless hours of online cash in the past two weeks and am very much in training for next week's unique situations. I've played a hundred thousand hands over the last year of 6-max poker at 1/2 and 2/4 and have held a consistent profit throughout. This should stand me in excellent stead for the 1500 main event and to an even greater extent the 500 short-handed game. The short-handed tournament this weekend is tailor made for my game I would suggest.

The last few tournaments I've played I've been very happy with my play having cashed well in the process. I guess what I'm saying here is that I have the pedigree to win. The same way that hectorjelly must have a great chance. He has the breeding (albeit to a greater extent). The odds makers know this and that is why hectorjelly is 33/1 fav on both blue sq and paddy power. I am 100/1 and rightfully so. After all I'm the unknown quantity. I am the dark horse. It is next weekend however that I'm hoping to change that. Once and for all.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The handicapper can't spam my chances in Droghada...

It appears I've been hit by the spammers too. My last entry got one comment, not from Gordon, not from Keith Rooney, in fact I've no idea who he was. All I know is that he tried to sell me something or join a site, basically trying to take my money. On the topic of spamming, my yahoo email address gets about 15 spam mails a day. Despite me marking them as "spam" each time, they keep coming back. Is there any way to stop them or at least hurt the senders so they stop with the annoyance to our emails? I'm open to suggestions but not spammers.

Last night I played the Cash League Final in the Jackpot. Dermot scooped 1st place along with strong performances from Conor Broomfield (as predicted by Gordon) Duke (always nice to see him do well) and Troy (who has been on the scene a lot more lately and playing well to boot). I had under the average hours and an inability to play Omaha yet still put up a brave battle which I suppose is encouraging. 70 players qualified and I finished in 14th spot for €250. There are however two ways of looking at this.

The first way would be to say that it was my best finish in three attempts at this tourney. I played my Omaha hands reasonably competently and am getting a little bit more of a feel for the game. I was short-stacked throughout yet I sat patient and never made any desperation plays. Based on pre-tournament qualification hours my expected finish would have been around the 40-50 place mark according to the handicapper (hijacking a BCB type analysis there) so I guess I performed above expectation.

The second way of examining my performance would be to say it was really a waste of time. If I never turned up I would have still got €100 and if I got knocked out after an hour I would have received €150. Also going deep made pretty much no difference until you reached the final table where the prize-pool jumps dramatically. My performance was in vain you could say. It's these thoughts that flow through my head indefinitely as a poker player. No matter what the occasion is in poker terms I'm always battling the positive with the negative sides to my achievements. This is where confidence plays a part as those who look at the bright side excel as the others diminish.

I'm going to make a change today and behold the positive. I had a tidal wave running against me last night and in performance terms I gave quite a good account of myself. With Droghada edging ever closer on the horizon I'm excited about my chances. A Ralph Lauren structure, no variation in starting stacks and of course the absence of Omaha! We'll be going off under level weights in Droghada in both the €500 and €1500 tournaments and the stage is very much set. The handicapper beware, I might just spring a surprise when the balls in my court!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some quick random thoughts

The cash league final has come round once again and takes place tonight in the jackpot. Round being the operative word as that's what it is, round of each. I'm not gonna dig up the old debate again about if the tourney should be pot limit hold'em as if anything the popularity of Omaha has increased. I;ve Been playing 50/1 Omaha today just for some practise and for the first time ever I kind of enjoyed it. There is something not right in my overall approach to the game. I feel so uncomfortable. It's a type of game I need to read up on and put in 20,000 odd hands before I'm satisfied. I suppose I'd want to feel comfortable by then although my wallet mightn't feel as nice!

Gordon told me this morning that he will win the league final. A man with confidence is twice the player you would imagine but it is Gordon so I guess that gives him an even chance. You may notice Steve Madden has been giving me tips on slagging Gordon so I guess I'm off to a nice start. But then again Madden is a pro when it comes to the slags so I must try harder perhaps.

Elsewhere Keith Rooney is a complete legend. His interest is dipping with our not so beautiful game which is quite disappointing I reckon. Lets hope he perks up his game and confidence over the next few weeks and comes back to his true self. The "Doctor Who" tapes may be just the remedy for the jackpot's most popular regular.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spot the Joker on GJP... (I'll eat my sat)

My errand for the day was a trip to the gym. Another simple task that requires a whole day of commitment. I've come to realise that if you eat loads and dont exersise, you put on weight. Simple. You are in a position where you've got to change one or the other. The truth is I'm not giving up eddie rockets or subway or four star pizza so it looks like the gym is the only option. Hell if all else fails I might look into Gordon's chewing gum diet.

Today I made a deposit into green joker poker, a site I have never made a cent on but have lost at least a couple 100$$. Today was no different as I donked away some money in $50 and $10 rebuy sats for fun. Not going to play on the site again till Sunday after that tat. Nice to see Adam Fallon (thechamp87) still permenantly resident on the site. ANY of the times I've logged on hes been there potting away. I'm planning on playing some sats to the GUKPT and the Sunday grand final sat should be my next adventure on the site.

I'm not sure on the optimal strategy for such online sats. That is any time I've played one I've never gone even close to the big prize. Maybe I'm playing too loose in the early stages as it's usually a steadily dipping slope of chip donations until an inglorious exit. Must try harder I believe.

Dave Callaghan added me as a friend on facebook today which was nice. His buddy Conor Doyle took several months and countless pleas before adding me. This time around also took time but with rather less effort. Maybe if I surround myself with name players, people might actually think I'm good too?

Heading into town now to play some Tuesday night jackpot fun. Could be a tournament, could be a 1/2 cash game, could be a 2/5 one. Tuesday night madness, you just never know what you'll be playing. The only problem for me is, avoiding the subway en route.

Till next time....

Monday, January 21, 2008

A death in the community

I got my hair cut today. How come I have to assign a whole day to what effectively takes 20 mins? The whole of last week I have been designating Monday as haircut day and little else. The joys of a week off college, don't I fill the days well. So with that job out of the way why not do a blog entry too for the entertainment of my devoted fans methinks. All two of them.

Been playing a fair bit of live cash as I'm sure all the regs have noticed thanks to their inflated pay packets this past week. No its actually been going well. Have had a lot of niggly sessions where I have been behind in the games from the offset and it can be tough to stay confident. Luckylucky has discussed the problem at length recently and I can relate to a lot of his sentiments. It can be very hard to chase the game in poker esp over long periods of losing sessions. Im glad to say that I did persevere in all sessions and got back even on what otherwise should have been a losing night.

So what's been happening on the tables I hear you ask (or is that the voices in my head again)? Well Mick Stephens had a particularly tough time at the tables this week thanks to some real coolers from the hit and run brigade. It's when you see them incidences before you that you really become content with a break-even night. Staying above water can often be a great result if the cards have gone cold on you. That is something I'll be drilling into my head more in the future. Gordon has gone the other direction lately, leading from the front throughout his sessions only to break even on the night. Marc and Ross have been they're usual unpredictable selves bouncing from one extreme to the next. John O Shea and Chub also made a late night visit which involved dancing on tables, relentless abuse, random shouting and general drunkeness. I have to admit though I did laugh more than once.

The most poignant moment of the week though was the death of Sean Jethi. I played with him quite a few times over the last few months and it is quite sad to see one of your fellow players pass away. He had a strong will and a big heart as Tony G would say. Good game Sean, RIP.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What's the story, blogging for glory?

Jeff (ditpoker) started a thread yesterday which basically ranted about people's inflated egos when it comes to poker. These sentiments are most commonly found in blogs it seems. In general, blogs are just an excuse for people to self-indulge and wax lyrically about their successes. Roy sums it up here quite well. Most blogs refuse point blank to discuss losses and only discuss wins when in reality most people (myself included) would rather read about people's losses. You learn more from losses than wins.

The main reason I write a blog is because I have several friends and family that ask me how I'm getting on as they are interested in poker. A blog gives me a chance to keep a diary of what I'm doing in poker for myself and a source for these people to read too. Like my last entry for instance. This really summed up where I'm at in poker and reads very much like a diary entry. To explain that to somebody it would take a long time as there is a lot happening. The blog is kind of the best method of communication for me personally.

Saying all this I'm more against them than in favour. I think the coverage they get is extremely limited and overall it would be much better to get a website where everybody can submit content. That I feel is the future of the situation.

Talk is rife about Chub and John O' Shea getting involved in something like this. A one-stop website which discusses Irish poker, particularly from an alternative stand-point. Eoghan O' Dea may also be involved in this project which would make for a particularly interesting addition. There is a lot of intriguing players out there on the Irish poker scene and some fine writers too. The market is there, I think its time for a change of pace in inter web discussion of our game.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Interesting times indeed...

The last 10 days or so have been challenging, rewarding, tiring, head wrecking and pretty damn interesting. That's a lot of funny emotions to go through in 10days! I can still feel each one as I think back now, it has been an eventful little period that's for sure.

It has been challenging because I'm getting involved in new ventures within poker. As some of you know (or perhaps don't) I was doing live reporting for last weekend in Galway with Nicky O'D. It sounds straight forward doesn't it? "Live reporting". Well to be honest I didn't view it that way. Yes, it was something I wanted to do but I was quite nervous about it. I'm not sure why that was the case, I guess it was cause I'd never done it before. Another thing that has never happened before is being commissioned an article for Cardplayer. Things like these make me apprehensive as I'm eager to impress. It's a challenge. Also I was going to be very active for the entire weekend in Galway which was hardly ideal prep for a Marketing Management exam that I had in Dublin at 9am on Monday morning. A challenge indeed.

The reporting work for pokernews was frantic. I could barely get a glass of water over the weekend! I would imagine that's down to lack of experience. I couldn't count chips accurately, I didn't know any ones name bar Mike Sexton, Roy Brindley or Smurph (hence the extensive reports-LOL!). By day three however I was feeling much better. I discovered that I was capable of doing live reporting and I actually can't wait to do it again! By the time I got home from Galway, it was a case of "out of the frying pan and into the fire". Last minute study was in order and I gave it as good as I got. The exam on Monday morning went really well and the last minute effort payed off. A very rewarding end to the weekend.

By Monday evening I was exhausted. It felt like the whole experience had caught up on me and I was quite drained. It was the type of tiredness that you get when you feel like you've been hit by an elephant. You just feel beat up rather than drowsy and sleepy. I'm sure there's a more impressive medical term to describe all this but I like my description better!

Now for the head wrecking part. Well I suppose my feelings in the previous paragraph should have helped my decision making process on whether to play a Monday night tournament or not. Nah no point methinks sure I just gotta be able to say things like "raise" "call" fold" etc. I'll be grand. To a certain extent, I was correct. I was chip leader at the break with 2 tables left from the 31 runners. Clever thinking indeed. Then it all fell apart. I started playing 3/10 poker and it was "good night Vienna" from there. It wasn't just the tourney that was annoying. My play in general has been poor lately. I've been losing live, losing online and generally performing way below par. I want to get back to winning ways as this is turning into somewhat of an unwanted downswing. In short, it's head wrecking. Especially considering what I have planned for next month.

Yes February shall be a busy month. As Big City Banker once famously said "November is not the month to run bad in". Well for me February is that type of month. I've decided to play the Green Joker Deep Stacks tournament in Droghada. I know a lot of people are unsure about this tournament but I'm a fan. Deep stack poker is fun and it really gives you every chance to prove yourself. With 50,000 chips I reckon you could make (under normal conditions) several tournament costing mistakes and still be in and have a chance.

I'm also going to play the €500 short-handed tournament on the festival's under card and will surely end up playing the Big Slick team event too later in the month. It's not a cheap project for me but I've been planning a blowout for some time and it's a shot I'm looking forward to taking to be honest. Any monies I make between here and Feb I shall be putting towards the venture so expect to see me busy on the cash tables over the next while. Lets hope I can recover some form in the coming weeks. Interesting times indeed.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In the words of Stan Hibbert, "I'm here all week"!

I'm getting quite poor at updating this. I kinda feel its not worth while for some reason. I think generaly blogs are never going to get coverage in comparisson with say a thread on boards. I dont mind updating it when I have an interesting tale to tell but at the moment its all a bit "meh" as Gordon would say. Mellor says its good karma if I write a blog entry so you can guess the reason why I'm writing here today. If it works well, in the words of Stan Hibbert, "I'm here all week"!

Poker has been good and bad over the Christmas period although mainly of the latter column. It can be such a tough game when all is not going as planned. The last week or so has been a stong case of this where it seems I just cant put a winning session in online. Today was the first day that it actually got to me emotionally though. I've dropped down to 1/2 from 2/4 and I did feel I was getting back a bit of form. I played for about three hours and my graph was a bit of a strong, sustained gallop folowed by a sudden crash in the closing yards. I really needed that winning session for my confidence but alas it wasnt to be. I'm going to keep plugging away at 1/2 until I get some money back. I've had plenty of bad beats in the last 10 days and they can only rock you as a player. Thats why I think its important to drop down as soon as possible when you are losing more than you should. Something I hope to put into practise more in the new year.

Speaking of the NY, I havent taken part in any of the resolutions/aspirations thread that have been so popular lately on boards. I planned on writing one in here but to be honest I'm not sure what I should be aiming for. I would like to progress both as a player and in levels online next year. Obviously I'd like to make similar strides to those I've made in 2007 but that is somewhat impossible considering the progress I made in almost every area of my game last year.

I believe that online is firmly where its at for a poker player and beating 6-max cash online at 1/2 or higher is vital for me personally. Live, I'm not so wrapped up in. I would however like to play one decent tourney a month just to keep my hand (and especially my big head) in. Live cash is something I feel even more indifferent about thanks to the crazy hours that Peter Maughan and the likes put in. I'd like to be at least matching them if I was going to do it and I think I probably am a bit off that standard.

The other goal I have for this year is to get involved more in the poker media. Updating, blogging and articles are all things I enjoy and putting myself out there in this area of work would be something I'd love to do more of in 2008. I'm reporting for this weekend with Nicky O' D in Galway and I'm really looking forward to it. It will almost be a case of "I'm here all weekend" Also cardplayer should be printing an article of mine real soon which is a nice bonus. I've only ever made the mnagazine once so heres to hoping I at least double that figure this year.

Thats pretty much it for the moment. Thank you for reading the most "me" entry to date. I have found it quite dull for the most part as I am physically incapable of talking about myself as much as I try!

Happy 2008 and good luck at the tables (unless you are playing on the same one as me in which case I wish you lots of bad luck-LOL)