Sunday, February 08, 2009

Time to improve

A long two weeks of poker and little joy. It started with a trip to Killarney. Connie put on a good show as usual put my show never got started. A short stack going into day two I was gone in 10 hands. Made an incorrect fold of two pair against Caoimh and put a bluff on a fella who was always going to call with top pair no kicker. Looking back on it I'm quite disappointed in how I played. Towards the end of day one I was extremely reckless calling people down with ace high for no reason. It was desperation stuff in what seemed like a run of a gazillion tournaments Ive played without picking up any wealth of cards.

I tried to brush myself off after my Killarney exit and relaxed for a few hours before playing a cash game that night. I played long and hard into the night and was never ahead. I ended up down €600 for the night. I watched all the other poker lads having a good time at the bar and thought of all my other friends back in Dublin who were out in town that night. Saturday night. And here was me with a bunch of 47 1/2 year olds, doing my nuts.

Sunday was another expensive day. I searched for a lift to Clonmel so I could get up to the coursing festival. 150 poker players in the Killarney main event, surely somebody would be making the trip up. Several hours later I had bagged myself a lift. A watch salesman from Galway offered me a spin for the price of the juice to get there. A central clause in the deal. The journey up was a little frightening because of three reasons. Number one he was stoned from all the hash he was smoking en route. Number two he was driving 80mph+ and overtaking everyone, even on single white lines. Number three he was talking to my face rather than looking ahead.

I arrived in Clonmel a little bit ill but relieved that this particular roller coaster was over. Then the watch-man cornered me. He wanted me to buy half his entry into the €300 tournament in return for the lift he had given me. Oh dear. The only thing that he had actually lifted was my stomach to just below my mouth, surely I wouldn't have to give him that much money? So there I was trying to reason with him that €150 was a bit much for a drive from Killarney. I offered him €50 and he snapped my hand off. This was one of the more casual muggings I have experienced. Later in the week I would encounter a much more above the line heist watching travellers playing 3 card trick outside Clonmel Racecourse, also for €50s.

I played cash that evening and posted my second losing live session of the week. I played bad and ran bad. A good effort all round. The one saving grace was that i had secured a room for €40 a night during the coursing festival. A fair saving from the €720 the Clonmel Park Hotel quoted me for a 3 nights stay. You do get one evening meal with that though.

The time was right too for our gentleman offering lifts. He got a room for next to nothing as well. In fact it was nothing. He didn't pay anything just checked out the following morning and left me with the bill. I do tend to get shafted betimes.

I played two more days in Clonmel and continued the losing streak. Rather ironically I believe I played quite well the final two days. It was tail between your legs time though and back to Dublin out of pocket. I played pitch and toss and mythical on the way back. I was €50 down on that too.

Finally it was the Red Cow and the Deepstack main event. I love this tournament and did a preview on the Poker Ireland site for this month's article. I was delighted with how I played getting late into the day Saturday and knocked out with 30 left to James McManus who went on to finish fifth. I got dealt Aces and Kings not once for the duration of the tournament. With a few more cards maybe I would have cashed.

I was delighted to see my good friend Francis McCormack win it. He is on a roll at the moment (I flagged him up in the first article of the year on Poker Ireland as a man bang in form) and not a nicer fella could take over Dara O Kearney's crown. I'm also delighted for Sean Kilroy who I urged to take a shot at the festival. He finished 9th and put in the performance of his life. Well played indeed. Sean Gregory too was another I was pleased to see do well. Obviously it was a great run by Dara too to come 15th. He defended his title valiantly.

So that's it for the foreseeable future. The Irish Open is the next big tournament. I would love to play it but I'll need to satelite in. My live fund has taken an awful hammering these past two weeks with Killarney (-1150) Clonmel (-1400) and the Deepstack (-1650). Ive got some money in my Paddy Power account which I will use to try satelite my way in. Other than that i will be be multi-tabling 1/2 for the time-being.

All these knocks seem disheartening but I feel quite happy with poker at the moment. I'm delighted that I could take these shots on my own money ans still be in action. I have no problem hibernating away for a few months and going for it again. My game is improving all the time and one day it will all click and I truly believe I will get a big score in a tournament. For the moment I'm happy to learn my trade. Grinding away online is helping to grow my foundations as a player.

As long as I am looking to improve, that's all that matters.