Thursday, January 22, 2009

Catching up...

Hmmm been another long time since an update. I don't loath blogging at all but for some reason I just keep shying away from doing it. It's logging into this site that's the toughest part, after that it's a breeze!

I got knocked out of an IO sat last night on Paddy Power Poker in 5th place and 2 tickets. I wish I could play more of these type sattys than I do as I've got a solid strike rate any time I give them a shot. A diary, a plan, a scribble on my hand, I'm not sure what is needed to stop me from saying at 8.35pm on a Sunday "Damn, I missed the Irish Open/Killarney/Deepstack satellite again!"

The Irish Open is a tournament I've always wanted to play and I'm hoping this year can be my chance. With satelites running twice weekly there is no excuse for me not to be in the line-up come April. Also Killarney is not too far away and I'm looking forward to my first shot at the lakes of Killarney festival as well.

The 50,000 starting stack extravaganza ain't too far away either and I'm counting the days I must say to the Deepstack Festival II. It is a really fun tournament and a great experience to play it. It even got crowned tournament of the year on the Blonde poker site. In many ways I feel like it's an age since the first one. Yet in other ways it feels like I've been in poker slumber since last Feb. Although I've not been unsuccessful since then, I just think I have yet to achieve the same sort of glory which I took from my second place finish last year. I certainly feel as though I've aged a lot power-wise since then.

I find it interesting that Lloyd is giving the Deepstack a miss. On what seems like a sabbatical in his poker career, he has distanced himself from the game for whatever reason. There is no doubt that for all the moments of joy which you can get in poker (and the game has been good to Lloyd) it can still be more hassle than it's worth. There can be a lot of disheartening moments and when they pile up this takes from your hunger to play. For me it does anyway.

I wonder how Dara is feeling about the defence of his crown. For him too I would say it has been a long year of education in poker. He has been very consistent since but I have no doubt he too is searching for similar glory which was dished out in Drogheda last year. It's also rather interesting that he will head for the Deepstack with an even better game than last year! It's going to be hard to improve on first place!

I too am longing for a return to the poker headlines. Maybe it was a once off last year but I do believe I can achieve a lot more in this game if I concentrate on improvement.

The past 12 months I've tasted failure in lots of areas.

I don't think I ever cut it as a live cash player. For unorthodox reasons more than any perhaps. It's not that I was uncomfortable with the money or playing deep (in fact I relish both) but the late hours, the drunks, the mental pressure of being up all night and asleep all day was just too much.

I'm disappointed that I've yet to become properly successful online. Daragh has done very well and even with the hindrance of taking money every month whereas I've done merely okay and took out diddly squat. I need to play more hands and I need to play them better. Some of my hold'em manager stats are quite off and I'll be looking to keep them in check in the future. I don't think I'm a million miles behind Daragh as a player but the figures would suggest that I most certainly am. I'll be looking to try emulate Daragh more by getting back in a routine of meeting him regularly.

Another problem is that I think I have lost a lot of confidence in my game. Going into last year's Deepstack game I was on cloud nine. I wish I could smile and be happy when I'm playing rather than feeling rather apprehensious, doubting and critical of every move I make. I feel a bit like James Wade is at the moment for those who follow darts. He was always jovial as he progressed within the sport. In 2007/2008 he won three major titles out of nowhere. He deservedly became a huge name and draw and was duly built up as Taylor's fiercest rival. On the turn of the year at the Darts World Champs he looked a tired, distant image of his not-so-long-ago success. He was gloomy, down-beat and very critical on the oche every time he missed a regular shot. You could see him beat himself up and his game lost it's flow. He had lost his confidence and out went the performances too. I don't want to become like that but I do think I'm berating myself a lot more than before. End of rant!

Elsewhere I was talking about the prospect of playing the GUKPT final last time and I have since done a report on the Paddy Power blog. Also in my last entry I conducted a poll on the performance of the year in Irish poker. Congrats to Marty Smyth (the surprise winner-lol) who took the poll along with a few other awards in the Poker Ireland end of year review from December. This month's article I take a look at how recent form has lead to some stand-out trends in the results in poker tournaments of late.

That's it for now. It's been a bit of a mumbled entry but an entry none the less. I'm hoping to have a report from Killarney and the Clonmel coursing festival on my blog next as I will be playing both over the coming weeks.

1 comment:

dokearney said...

Very interesting entry as ever, Gary, thought provoking.

Thanks for your kind words. We're both very different people and players now han we were a year ago, I agree we've both been through an education this past year. Confidence ebbs and flows with results but I've no doubt you're a better player now too and have the game to go one better this year.

I'm trying to approach it as "just another tournament", and doing everything within my power to win it. I told myself I wouldn't even play it if I didn't qualify, but might have had to relent just this once.

The gentle giant that is Lloyd will be greatly missed. I developed a huge affection for him during those days in Drogheda last year and he was just about the only player who managed any sort of bond with me during the tournament itself. I was deliberately trying to cultivate an aloof image but Lloyd's very good at making people talk.