Sunday, August 17, 2008

Busted by Rob but he pays me back

Just back from Cork. Another interesting weekend in what is one of Ireland's premier poker tournaments. Ken and the Macau run a fine establishment and I must say the tourney as a whole was top class. There was a lot of griping about levels being skipped which should not have happened but by and large I could not fault the show put on. The casino itself is comfortable and spacious. The dinners were great and plentiful, easily the best I have gotten at a tournament to date. I would recommend this festival to a friend you could say.

The tourney itself was yet another learning curve for me. It seems every time I get home I realise how much I have to learn about playing perfect poker (if there is such a concept). For the third tourney in a row (Waterford 500, WSOP and Macau) I absolutely burst out of the traps and had a commanding chip lead within two levels. I would guess I was chip leader for most of day one and was certainly by the end of play with 73,000. (To give you an idea of how much that was, Rob Taylor made the final table with 90,000 in chips).

But alas, yet again day two proved to be unfruitful! Its always the same with these poker tournaments, you do need a nice slice of luck along the way. I'm not saying you need to suckout, I just mean you must win all your 80%ers which is running good in itself. For me it was races I couldn't win. I lost 40,000 in two AK hands and the rest on a bluff against Rob Taylor. I have no regrets about how I played. It just always seems to be day two that gets me. If I was a greyhound my form would read "early paced sort who should lead to the bend but stamina remains an issue. Trios?"

I was delighted to see Nicky chopping it in his first outing for Bruce Poker. He is such a quality player, I had no doubt he would be at the forefront of another tourney before long. Paul Smallwood will no doubt be delighted with his coup as will Mr Power in Waterford when he lodges his cheque during the week! The big congrats goes to Rob Taylor however. Having lost all my chips to him I can genuinely say I wanted him to go on and score (I told him as much before I left). To say he is due would be a huge under statement and I know this result will mean a lot to him. He also netted me €1000 as I had a small wager on him on Betfair.

LOL pokerbettingaments indeed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Swimming Upstream

An update at last! It's been a long time since I've updated this blog so i guess I better give an update from my bizarre world. Well as you might have guessed it ain't been going too well. I may be suffering from a case of what Gordon calls "only blogging when you are winning" syndrome. There's no doubt its much easier to blog when you are feeling triumphant, an emotion I am not familiar with en ce moment.

I made an error in my latest Poker Ireland piece. I let my emotions take over the theme of my article and that's quite a bad characteristic for a writer. I should be able to write unbiased and not let my emotions at the time affect the tone of the piece. Another area I am learning in I guess.

I've been playing a lot of live cash in the past few weeks and the results have been poor. I've lost 8 out of my last 10 sessions and 7 from my last 7. I have no idea what has gone wrong which is even more worrying. I have been running bad obviously but I played some hands quite sloppy too which is disappointing. Also thinking back over the hands I seemed to get in a lot of huge pots with OESF draws and the like. Essentially racing in circa €1500 pots. Of the four that I can remember off hand, I lost every one. For a live cash player in Dublin, you need to win these pots. Otherwise you will be having losing months like me.

In one of the aforementioned pots I got it all in with the nut flush draw and two over-cards against Troy's bottom pair and non-nut flush draw. We were racing for the pot basically. Flip a coin. He offered to take money out of the pot and I refused quite quickly. I then lost the pot. In hindsight I guess I should have taken money back but I can't predict the future (just ask Byron or Emmett Hegarty down the dogs). You have to let poker balance itself out I believe and if you start taking money out of some pots and not others you are interrupting the natural course of poker. Taking money back from pots is just not the way I operate but it was an interesting proposal none the less.

Speaking of interesting proposals, some of the regular lads (namely Seamus, Dermot and Marc) were in the jackpot last week and put forward the idea of playing dealers choice. I'm rubbish at every game (okay moderate at hold'em) so naturally I agreed. Blind man's bluff, 5 card Omaha, double-flop hold'em, double-flop Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Blind Omaha, Hold'em deuces wild, Crazy Pineapple, you name it. It's rather uncomfortable to note that this was one of my winning sessions from the last 2 weeks. Lets hope they get it going more regularly in the Jackpot over the coming weeks.

Poker loves rewarding the undeserving of late it seems. Take Tues ROE tourney in the jackpot for example. I had 6000 at the break (25% of the average stack) and ended up being heads-up with the chip lead a few hours later. Thanks to my sterling efforts in the Omaha no doubt. Fish are certainly swimming strong at the moment.

Another fish swimming strong at present is Micheal Phelps. The man was "born to swim" they say and he has been doing plenty of that in Beijing. Gordon, (who is playing pro Olympics tipster during the games) doesn't seem to rate him as not once has he tipped him so far. Fwiw he reckons Pieter Van Den Hoogenbend is going to be thereortherabouts in the 100 metres freestyle tonight and is a stonking each way bet at 16/1 with laddies. God loves a trier but I think the only thing Gordon is trying to do is take the weight out of our wallets with this one.

Not much else to report unless you want me to divulge each and every cent I've lost over the past few weeks. I'd rather look forward to be honest. I don't need to look too far forward either it seems with the Macau Festival on this weekend. I'm heading down tomorrow on the train with Dermot so I can be there in plenty of time before the ME starts at 7pm on Fri. I picked up a slightly-cheaper-than-the-normal-entry-price-ticket so no doubt Ken won't let me in. A big result would be welcome so one time plz dealer and all that nonsense. Or I could just shout at myself instead of the dealer. Wouldn't that be unique?


There we go.