|IWF Final table 2011|
I had a really good first table this year, just as it started to get a bit tougher with the arrival of some guy called Marty Smyth from northern Ireland and one of my old sparing partners Rory Rees Brennan it broke and I ended up on another good table. This was to be a theme throughout the whole tournament as I seemed to continually get a decent seat when a table broke.
I started to gather chips right from the start and had only minor hiccups along the way, not getting into too many tough spots then two hands in quick succession set me up for a deep run. The first was against Namir who I have played a good bit of cash with but never a tournament. I open UTG with QQ on his BB and everybody else folds. He leads a 2x3x3x flop I raise and he shoves with 4h5h I call and hold. The next hand was a little stranger and was a result of me 4-betting the guy twice already. I open with 10-10 and he 3-bets I call and get the magic 10x7x5x flop. I lead and he calls, Q on the turn and I lead again, he raises I rertaise and he shoves. Obviously he would play QQ this was but that would be seriously unlucky for me. I call and he shows 8,6 and again I hold. I finish the day with 57k which was a little above avg.
Day 2 started with the news that I was 66/1 to win which seemed a bit high. A good few of my mates backed me, the logic being that if I'm 80/1 at the start with avg stack and now two thirds of the field are gone and I'm above average then 66/1 is a good price. Anyway I did no bet my self and in hindsight I should have. I was on the featured table starting and lost a few pots then another table move saw me moving to a better seat and I ran my stack up easily enough with only one all in hand when I was at my shortest and my JJ held v AK.
As the bubble approached I started to take control of my table which again was pretty good. Fergal Nealon arrived as did Niall Smyth and we had a few tussles but having direct position on Fergal and a bigger stack than Niall I managed to keep them both quiet. After the bubble broke the players fell away quite quickly and I finished third in chips with twelve left.
I started day 3 full of confidence but that was to change pretty quickly after I got in a massive pot blind on blind versus John Keown with Kd5d v KcJh on a KcJd5c flop. I was left with crumbs and folded the next hand but shoved eight or nine times out of the next ten getting called twice, first with A,10 versus my AJ and then with 77 v my Ah8h. I won both and when we got down to nine players I was right back in it.
With six left I was chip leader and running well. I was getting chips pretty easily with only John and eventual second place finisher Noel O Brien playing back at me at all. I lost a pot with Ac9c v 88 to go massive chip leader and then lost a big enough pot to Noel when I folded 10 10 on an 8 high flop.
With 4 left I made the most costly mistake of the tournament when I 4-bet John with A7 and he called with QQ. I was trying to put serious pressure on John as there were only two players left in the Sole Survivor €20k freeroll. The only other remaining player was short enough and John would need a serious hand to call me. Of course that's the same reason he would need a serious hand to 3-bet in the first place.... He had 3-bet me a few times before and every time I had air, anyway I don't think its the worst shove ever but defiantly a questionable one.
The very next hand I shove my 10 odd big blinds in with Kh5h and get called by Matej Kokalj's AQ and I hit a four on the river to stay alive. He then get's knocked out pushing me €7k up the prize money. Two or three hands later I 3-bet shove Noel's open and he calls with K,J which flops two pair versus my A 7.
That pot was for 2.5m with 5.9m in play and would have given me every chance of winning. I can have no complaints really, Noel's call is questionable but you could certainly argue that he's unlucky that I show up with an A.
After I got knocked out I was delighted to see John winning, Noel is a gentleman and I wish him every success in the future but I know John for years and he is a great fella on the circuit. He was due a big touch at some stage.
I'm playing the JP series this weekend and off to Riga in a couple of weeks before the Christmas party season starts. Another score would cap what has been a good year for me.