Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jumping back into the sea, just like flipper

It's been two weeks since my last entry. A long time by my usually regular posting patterns. The reason for my inter web absence is that I simply have not been playing poker. I think I've played about 3 hours of live poker and less again on the net since Drogheda. There is no solid reason for this other than that I've been busy and a little dis-interested. My plan is to get back to my usual playing routine this week (ie a couple of thousand online hands & one evening cash session at the weekend). It is that solid base which has served me well throughout 2007 and I need to get back to this routine before I get rusty.

My plan is to dive back in for smaller stakes. Unibet have a great promotion on at the moment with a €2000 sign-up bonus. I estimate I'll need to play approx 20,000 hands at 50/1 withing the allotted time frame of 30 days. This will serve two purposes for me. Firstly I will get plenty of practice playing in order to clear the bonus. Secondly should all go well (ie break even or better) I will get €2000 for my troubles. It seems like a solid plan to get me back into the swing of things on the online poker front where I played around 70% of my poker hours last year.

I was in Waterford last weekend for the team event. It was my first time working for Blonde Poker which was fun. I got to work with snoopy who seems to be Mr. Blonde at this stage with the amount of work he does on the site. Hopefully after I get a few more of these Irish events behind me I'll be able to update some EPT's in the future. Congrats to Big Slick on another well run tourney. The team event concept is still one I'm undecided about although. It may well be the last one they run due to a poor turnout outside of Waterford players. It should be interesting to see how JP's team game goes down. Anything bar a great response from players could well see the end of team events and a return to traditional poker tournaments.

I only just realised why Flipper was calling me "Fogul" throughout the event. Grrrrrrrrrrr. Himself and Nicky Power took turns in jeering me and labeling me that spastic from Super Bad who I'm not like in any shape or form. The pair seem to be each others idols which I certainly wasn't aware of. Playing pitch and toss in his room for big books, the likable dolphin and his family guy compatriot are two sick gamblers and sick poker players to boot. They make an ideal couple you could say! Perhaps they could go on a date together?

Anyway that's enough blabbering for now. I'm off to order some poker books and some dvds off amazon for the afternoon. Feel free to leave me some suggestions..

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Locking up cash and daydreaming about blogging...

It’s been a couple of days now since the Drogheda ME yet I am still a little bit dazed by it all. It hasn't really sunk in I suppose. There are a lot of little things that I keep getting flash-backs of which make me smile. The weekend was packed with happy memories and ones which I'll look back on with joy for some time.

In response to the comments I received on my last post (a record nine for me!!) I'd like to thank Fran, Smurph, Lloyd, Glynn, Graham Clarkson, Nicky Power, Noel Hayes, Paul Mac and Dara for their congrats. I will pay you back your tenner Paul, don't worry but surely EW ftw (or is that a contradiction!)?? In relations to Dara's point, I agree my final table play was uber-tight and not one which I had planned. I was quite card-dead for the duration and needed to play my good hands ultra aggressive as a result. You pulled quite a nasty move on me when I had 66 and you may not believe it but I seriously considered pushing. I knew you were aware I couldn't play with you but I am never afraid to risk my chips if I think I'm ahead. On another day I think I would have but with your tight image and my increasingly delayed hesitation it became tougher and tougher to pull the trigger.

So, I've been thinking about what I'll do with the money. Winning that kind of money is obviously important but not as ground breaking as it may appear. I've been chatting with luckylloyd on boards about what he done after GJP1 and he seemed to make some good decisions. My decisions depend on my circumstances I believe. For instance, my online bankroll has never been better and I've pretty much been playing 2/4 exclusively for the last month leading up to Drogheda. It's a tough level but it’s one which I'm conservatively bankrolled for. I certainly will not be subbing my account in order to move up as I am yet to establish myself in what is a vital, transitional level in online cash. My live bankroll prior to Drogheda I would also consider perfect for what I do. That is, pottering around the 1/2 tables one or two nights a week with the odd €200 monthly tourney thrown in for good measure. I will bolster that a little with my win, but again I will not be going too crazy.

So what will I spend my money on? I could buy a new car perhaps. I could live out one of my dreams and play the WSOP Main Event. I could play in the Irish Open this Easter. Hell I could even try marry Jen Mason as Marc and Lloyd suggested! Quite boringly however I've decided to take the unexciting option. That is put most of it away in a savings account for the time being. It just seems like the sensible option to me. After all I'm still in college for the next two years at least and I don't want poker to turn me into a drop out. I still want to write article after article in the hope of getting my name in poker magazines and I still REALLY wanna be a top poker blogger (Jen Mason stylie-LOL). Its so mcuh fun giving some colour commentary. I will be putting money aside for a couple more blow-out tourneys with a leg of the GUKPT being top of the list. Other than that I don’t think I'll be doing anything out of the norm.

In a way nothing has changed. I'm still the same person despite a very tidy win. I'm still learning in all areas of poker and I still haven’t achieved anything substantial yet. I see this win more as foundation for the future. It cements my position for the time being and that to me is what is important.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A resounding success...

The last few days have been fantastic. The biggest tourney I ever played turned out to be my best so far in poker as I came runner-up in the Deepstacks Championships in Drogheda. The field was strong and the stucture sound making for a very interesting few days.

Paying a €1500 entry was a little nerve wrecking I have to admit and there was spots were I did not feel comfortable. But being uncomfortable obviously works for me as I believe it spurred me on for a strong result. I was jumping up and down like a rabbit for three days straight as things became gradually better. It was like as if everything was coming togther before me and I was finally going to prove myself. I knew it could happen though and those who follow this blog closely will understand. You cannot fight the luck element in a given tournament but if you continue to play solid poker there is no reason why it can't be you that gets lucky.

I never give HH's in this blog and I will not be making any exceptions here either. I don't want to discuss them almost as much as I suspect you don't want to read them. I know Marc will want me to discuss the massive hand we played at the end of day one but its just so boring. I lost the head 100% and put my chips in with the worst hand. The only important thing about the hand was that it gave me a wake-up call not to mess up again. I should have been eliminated for playing some woeful poker and I was adament I would not fall into the same trap again. I never did make such a big mistake for the rest of the tournament.

No secrets, no hero calls, no sick reads just three days of solid poker got me the biggest result of my life in poker and I'm just so damn happy! There was a number of people within the poker world that helped me stay optomistic and focused throughout the tournament and for them I am most greatful. Without their belief and confidence I may well have let my play drop and thus my result slip. Thank god for good friends.

Congratulations to GJP for taking the chance with the big stacks. I think it worked well and will be seen again very soon. Congrats also to the final table players who I'm sure we will see again and again. Dara played a tight game yet still appeared desceptive. Lloyd can finally shut up about being a poor poker player as his results play stark contrast. Tony Baitson has been knocking on the door for some time now and I suspect is growing frustrated with his near misses. I just hope he can take the positives from his performance. Fran/jackyback and I clashed alot it, I just kept picking up hands in his BB, honestly! He seemed overjoyed by all accounts and why shouldn't he. A fine result and having qualified for the Irish Open already this month it appears he is having a nice February. Marc however I have to stay was the star of the show. His fearless gameplay will no doubt lead him to BIG things.


What the hell am I going to do with all this money?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Don't forget your "A game", Oz wouldn't.....

So my last blog entry was a little silly. My short term form was a little hyped in my mind and I wrote very bullish as a result. I'm always reasonably confident by default going into any game I play and I guess that's what I was trying to portray with my last spiel. I do also think its important to get a strong result in events like these in order to be recongised and respected on the circuit. In a way I was using my confidence to drive me on. Lloyd's point was important though, you can't put a huge amount of hope or emphasis on one tourney and that's kinda what I was doing and it's that which I regret.

So the first tourney of the two I'm playing in the Drogheda festival took place last night. My opinion of my performance was that I played reasonably well without excelling. I had one very important hand against Lloyd which is being discussed on boards at present. I then made a massive mis-step in a hand just after that which blew most my stack. Finally I got it in with aces and was beaten to knock me out. A bad beat but the damage had been done several hands earlier.

The next stop for me now is the Deepstack ME which I have discussed at length on Poker Ireland recently. It should be a great event and one I look forward to playing in, win lose or draw. The massive starting stacks and the abundance of landmines posed by classy and not so classy players should provide some intriquing play. Hopefully I can play my best and not let my standards drop, an error which cost me in the side event.

The importance of playing your best was championed none more so than by Oz Poker who now brings a badge labeled "A game" with him to every poker tournament in order to keep focused throughout. You could say he's the first player ever that's gauranteed to bring his "A game" with him every time, As long as he remembers his badge that is!