Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Stewards Enquiry

My WSOP adventure is over. 14 days after I won my ticket on Everest Poker, I received the crushing email from support telling me I was out. They also advised me that my account will now be closed. For days I was longing for justice. A change of decision. A change of heart. Something that the powers to be were lacking.

Its ironic that I should grieve on this blog as this is the very portal which cost me $13,000 and my Everest account. But what happened is history. There is no point stopping this blog or my activity on boards. It is giving in. I toyed with that very idea since the faithful day. I wanted to give up on the Irish online poker community forever. But that would be conceding defeat.

This whole episode has been a defeat. I have been a victim of circumstance. If common sense was to prevail I would still have my ticket. I was FORCED to play in another house. I was FORCED to switch to a third house. I was FORCED to play with other people. I cannot emphasise this enough. As it happens I involuntarily broke the rules. As many people argued this is perhaps manslaughter rather than a murder case (bar the fact I didn't kill anyone). So why must I be given the harshest punishment possible? Account closure and ticket confiscation is a tough punishment for my "crime".

Try as I have, Everest will not budge. I can do no more. I have won the race against 52 other players and won the satellite. I won the package. The stewards enquiry that ensued is what I have lost.

It's now time to qualify again.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Me, in the WSOP!

Ship the World Series Of Poker ticket, I am going to Vegas!

Cannot believe it, I am just so chuffed to be playing one of the two tourneys I have always wanted to play since the very first time I played poker. That and the Irish Open. They are the two biggies for me and they have always been two huge goals for me. It is quite bizarre that I'm getting to play the WSOP first rather than the Irish Open. I always imagined it would be the other way around. In saying that, I have only been imagining for the last 18 months, before that it was just so incredibly out of the question playing either of them.

It's turning out to be quite the 2008 for me. No matter what happens between this and the end of the year, 2008 will forever be a massive year for me in poker terms. I got a text from Marc today about qualifying and he used the words "you deserve it". I must say that meant a lot to me as I often wonder if people are thinking I'm just getting lucky. In many ways the year 2007 was a real transition for me as a player. I started taking things seriously. I put in lots of hours on the net and read boards extensively, I studied the game offline as well by reading books and getting coaching off hectorjelly. I dunno about "deserve" as I haven't been playing the game that long but what I have done is put myself in a position to succeed. 2007 was the year for building and that was the spring board for success in 2008.

So how did I qualify for the WSOP? I played a satellite on Everest poker on Monday evening. There was 51 players with 7 prizes and one WSOP package. It was $500 to enter and I played it once before the previous week. $500 is not cheap, but I was willing to give it at least one more shot as it seems a bit softer than the Sat's on the US sites. It was effectively relinquishing the previous weeks profits from the sites cash tables for me.

So how did I celebrate? I rang my brother and then I rang Emmett Hegarthy. Then I went home and told my parents. They were all thrilled for me. Then I realised I had a project due for tomorrow. Yep, I spent my evening "celebrating" over a case study on Starbucks. LOL!

I still can't believe it. Even as I write this now I'm getting giddy at the taught of playing with the biggest names in poker, at the most illustrious tournament in the world. Vegas here I come.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Running so cold it's snowing

It's been an interesting little week for yours truly. I've been playing a fair amount of poker but unfortunately for me, I have been running ice cold.

I made the switch from 2/4 to 3/6 online this past weekend and I managed to get through 1000 hands unscaved. Despite being down $1000 in the first 30 mins without any huge pots, I ended up getting back on top by the end of my two sessions. The swings are going to be harsh at first for me so I just hope I don't get loads of coolers in my first steps into this new level. I am bankrolled for all eventualities though and if I am not feeling it I can always jump back into a 2/4 or even a 1/2 game should I wish.

The first live game I played was last Weds in Roy's new club in Newbridge. It was a satellite for the World Poker Open (something on the lines of the Poker Million only smaller, a TV event which will be shown on Setanta later this year). The turnout was poor at 19 which I'm sure Roy will be disappointed over but I think the day that was in it IE. Wednesday and the big Champions League game was always going to affect numbers. The one problem with the low turnout was the difficulty in generating funds for the $8000 package.

The players were made aware of this and were asked an agreed to a re buy/add-on in order to ensure one ticket on the night. Irish Open winner Marty Smyth was in attendance being as gentlemanly and decent as ever, along with Bops and Ken from the Macau. It was none of these players who went on to score the ticket as one by one they fell by the way side. With three left I squared off against Roy and an unknown. I was delighted with my play throughout the tourney despite being ko'd in 3rd place losing a big pot in a classic race situation. Roy went on to the win the ticket so congrats to him. Despite playing well and finishing high I was -€550 on the night such is the joy of one prize tourneys.

I played cash twice this week. Both times in the jackpot on Thursday and Saturday night. In what must have been 20 hours of live play, I can safely say they were amongst the toughest and most difficult I have played in some time. Lots of tricky spots, nothing straight forward. Getting shown bluffs every time I made a big lay down and similarly getting shown the nuts when I looked them up. I guess this is just variance/running-bad as I'm satisfied with how I played, I just seemed to have zero luck in-running. The games were unusually deep for the Jackpot with players buying in for €1000+. With some questionable players/play popping in and out of the game, I do hope this is a sign of things to come in the Montague St club as despite being down several hundred in the game I do feel I would be +EV in the long term should it turn into a regular game for these players.

Also this week I played the Poker Ireland Student Poker Champs in the Regency. It was a nice switch of venue from the RDS. I enjoyed the tournament coming 87th out of a near 300 runners but I would be lieing if I said I gave it 100% commitment. I seemed to spend more time chatting/catching up with players on the rails than sitting down playing some hands. I was glad to be there though to support Stephen McLean in his effort to get big fields for his tournaments. He puts a lot into the organising/running of his games and he deserves players to make the effort. That was my reasoning for playing for sure. Congrats to all the winners on the night.

An extended congratulations also goes to Joe (goodluck2me) and Dara (doke) on coming 1st and 2nd respectfully in the SE end of month game on Saturday night. I spoke with Joe just before the event and gave him the thumbs up on his recent play. Hopefully my compliment helped in some shape or form with his confidence going into the tourney and thus his victory.

I know this blog is becoming much more about me in recent times and less about poker but I think blogs will always swerve this way eventually. I have touched on other poker happenings in this blog and I will be making an effort to continue this trait in the future as it's nice to talk about yourself and others in tandem I believe.

I'll finish with my thoughts of Gordon/Trippie's latest blog entry. I went for some dinner with him last night before he wrote it and I knew a lot of what he was going to right. I guess I could have stopped him but I didn't. As far as I'm concerned if he wants to rant about things on his mind, let him. There is no doubt he has the most controversial blog on the Irish scene and whether you agree with the content or not (I must say I am n/a with most of it) it is unique and brings variety and I applaud him for that. I would not be able to write as ballsy even if they were in my thoughts.

That's my lot for now, hopefully next week will see a change in temperature for me at the tables.