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Thursday, 27 October 2011


I have held off putting up a new post because I don't want to sound like a moaning bastard and I personally have little interest in reading about bad beats so I doubt any other people do. With that in mind I will summarize the last few weeks as best I can by saying I ran bad and didn't play great.

The IPO which is one of the best events of the year was short and sweet for me, I got it in on the flop with 5c7c on a 2c3h4c board in a 4 way pot for 75k when the avg was 19k then sat in a cash game where I doubled up some idiot who got carried away with K8 on a QQ8 flop when I had AQ. I reload to cover him and the smart ass dealer tell's me there is a max buy in and makes me take €25 off my stack (tilting enough in itself). I then get involved with the same idiot with QQ on a 10,8,6 flop  v his AK and he gets there again. Now I can't rebuy to cover him because of the Nazi dealer so I get up and leave. I never saw that rule being enforced at an Irish festival before but its was maybe for the best.

I went out my wife and friends on Saturday night and got a drunk as I ever remember getting, it was like the Ambo back in the day, doing shots and falling around the place. Took me 3 full days to recover and I have not been to the gym once since. The poor auld dog has been neglected too, I only brought him for a walk once this week (probably the most shameful part of the postal though I should point out my mother in law lives near us and walks him every day at lunch time) even the kids swimming was a victim of the hangover but I'll rectify that tomorrow.

Cash game wise I managed to lose a few quid last week but turned a big losing session into a small winning one last night in Naas. Hope that's the start of a good run especially with the Irish Winter Festival on this weekend.

I have two major events before Christmas, the IWF and the EMOP final in Riga, it would set me up nice for next year if I could get a touch in one of those, I'll just have to go out and make it happen!!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


I have been going through a bit of a downswing over the last few weeks, biggest bet I had this year was as fail and the biggest tournament I played this year was also a fail. Add to that I lost a small bit online and a few bad results in live cash and things have gotten a bit tight for me.

Taking all that into consideration I just took a break for a few days and decided to get fit. I do this every few months, that is I decide to get fit, not actually get fit. This time is different I hope, I've gone at it with the usual gusto that I tear into anything new to me. In the last 72 hours I have joined a gym brought the kids swimming, started to bring the dog on long brisk walks and joined a yoga class.

The plan is that I go to the gym 4/5 times a week, bring the kids to the pool at least once a week and give this yoga crack a go. My first yoga session was last night and I have to say I really enjoyed it, I have had a bad back ever since I started playing football and both my hamstrings are in bad shape so I really think I will benefit from it. Yoga is a little like poker in so far as you need a lot of patience and if you get a good seat draw you'll enjoy it a lot more.

Since my last post I also attended the funeral of Sean Gregory. All funerals are sad affairs but the funeral of a young person (Sean was 43) its particularly tough. There was a massive turn out and a good few lads from the poker circuit turned up. Sean was a real character in Irish poker, one thing I will always remember about him is is genuinely  loved to see the lads he was with doing well.
He was in my corner the first time I ever played a omaha tournament, I had luckboxed my way to the last 2 players and after watching some of my questionable plays he came to the conclusion that the only chance I had against Big Al was if Al got drunker than he already was. Sean kept buying him drinks but the bar closed and after a while big Al did in fact turn around the chip deficit after a long battle and win.

He will be a massive loss to the live circuit, there are not many people around with the type of infectious enthusiasm that Sean had, even after he got very sick he was very upbeat about the whole thing and had a positive out look on life. He must of known he did not have long left.  Talking to one of Sean's close friends a few months ago in Newcastle he told me that the warnings were there that something was seriously wrong for years but Sean did not get it checked out properly.  By the time he did it was too late, maybe it would have made little difference we will never know now.
R.I.P. Sean

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Tough Table in London

Taken from the pokerstars blog.....Toby Lewis stood up from his table while a hand was playing out and said to us, "This is probably the toughest starting table I've ever had at an EPT."  

To be honest I don't think Toby would give a toss who was on his table. I'm sure he could hold his own with any other eight players in the world however it was a particularly tough table for any tournament. I was on Tobys immediate left, the other six players were Chris BrammerTristan ClemenconToni JudetDavid SonelinTom Middleton, and Nicolas Cardyn
It was not nearly as aggressive as I expected and the first four levels went very well for me, I played pretty tight as did all the players with maybe the exception of Sonelin who was pretty active. At the second break I had 34k from the 30k starting, then at the start of level five I lost a pot with pocket tens on an eight high board when I was check raised by Cardyn. I might have had the best hand but to quote Jude Ainsworth "always give them the benefit of the doubt unless you have the information". Of course Jude is talking about the online game where he has plenty of stats to help make his decision but the theory holds firm live too.

Anyway after that hand I had 30k and after calling a few raises with small pairs or suited connectors I am playing 27k when I get AcKc at the 200-400-25 level. I open to 900 and Clemencon playing 16k and Judet playing 45k both call. The flop comes Jc 9x 4x and we all check. The turn is the 10c and again I check, now Clemencon bets 2900. Judet raises to 8750 and the action comes back to me. I can't really call in case Clemencon shoves so I'm either folding or shoving here. Its not a bad shove but its definitively questionable. What was going through my head was I did not think Judet could have a straight (Clemencon could as he was calling most of my raises but folding to c-bets, I guess he thought I was the value) and if Clemencon had me beat I was not going out of the tournament. Another thing was how tight I was playing, they had no reason to think I was not super strong here, all these things added up to me deciding to shove the plant in and hoping for the best. Clemencon clearly did not like it and folded after a few minutes but after another few Judet called with pocket nines.
I miss the river and I'm out the door.

I tend to over analyse the hands in the bigger tournaments, I suppose everybody does, they are the ones you really need to get right. After, I ended drinking in the Vic with Jude and Big Mick G we went through it and Mick did not really like it but Jude thought seemed to think it was ok. That's the beauty of poker I suppose, two of the best players in Ireland and they have different opinions on the same situation.

I ended up playing a £2-£5 omaha game after and managed to pick up the guts of a grand with out really doing much. Maybe there were a few more than usual around or maybe it was the Saturday night crowd but the standard seemed pretty poor to  me and it was a pretty soft game. I probably should have stayed another night a played another session to get some money back but I booked a flight for Sunday afternoon and headed home.

The bank roll has taken a bit of a hammering lately between Kerry loosing and the £5k in London so I'm going to have to put some work in before my next away trip which barring a wsope satellite win, will be the final EMOP in Riga. I played the final last year in Malta and its one of the best tournaments on the calender. There should be a large contingent of Irish over there with a number of live satellites planed and three online satellites every week on Three Kings Poker. Details of the live satellites will be up on Irish Poker Boards soon enough.