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Friday, 27 January 2012

I set myself some targets in the last post and the only one I've managed to keep is the record keeping which reads more like a horror storey. Unless of course you happen to be playing the same cash games that I've been is for the past two weeks. 

If the truth was known I did not play great especially in the two tournaments I entered, first was the JP game and after doubling up with the first hand I played I then proceeded to play like a moron and went out early after the re-entry period had finished.

Second was the IPPF which is like a home tournament for me, I was on a pretty tough table for what kind of tournament  it was and everybody seemed to know what they were doing. Also had Nicky Power two seats to my left and John O Shea two seats to his left. Obviously there was fireworks from the off,  Nicky taking a good chunk of my chips before I crippled John with 99 v AQ. John was giving out in his blog about how he never seem's to win an all in situation with me, long may it continue!! 

Anyway I came back on day 2 with avg chips and gave them away quite easily to Bops 4-betting A9 v his JJ gg.
Played a good bit of cash in Naas, Newbridge  and Clane and lost in every session bar one, variance my ass every time the cards were on their backs if I needed to hit I missed and if the villain needed to hit you could bet you're bollix he hit. PLO can be very frustrating at times but I suppose its all part of the game. I certainly had my fair share good luck at the felt over the past few years so I can't complain.

As a result of this down swing I've decided to give Prague a miss and concentrate on a few things out side of poker, well when I say outside I mean away from the table most of them are poker or gambling related. 
I'm involved with the Poker Partnership which will be running 5 tournaments in Ireland this year starting with the Western Open the first weekend of March.
There will be 3 other regional events before a grand final in December in the capital. 
Also being spending some time on a new gambling site bookiezone.com which will aim to keep punters informed of the special offers that the bookies are offering and trying to milk the bastards for every penny. Its still in the early stages but I think it could prove popular especially in Ireland where pretty much every one of us likes a flutter on something.

I'm not even going to write about my lack of progress in the gym but I am determined to get fit so I'm just going to have to sort my self out and get in there.  I am eating a bit better and am still off the booze so its not all bad news I suppose.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

WPT & 2012 Goals.

Had a disaster of a weekend in city west, the only small silver lining was I won my ticket in the super sat the night before. Was a bumpy ride along the way to my ticket as I got it in bad twice with Ax dominated but got out of trouble both times and was comfortable enough when the bubble burst.

Main event started and finished worse, after establishing that seat 1 was unbluffable with the first half of my stack I then c/r the flop and fired 3 streets for value with AA into his flopped set, wp gg. The IPC did not go any better after I lost every pot I played before getting it in with AK v KK which would have got me back to starting stack but I failed to improve.

Then came the real pain as I done chunks in a really soft PLO game. Played one hand terrible for €1k or so but other than that I don’t think I made any real mistakes, just could never hold when in front or get there with any draws when it mattered.
 Although the event went pretty bad for me personally it was a huge success for the organisers and will only get better next year in my opinion.

I never really set any goals in any previous year but I never done a blog before so I suppose I should for 2012.

Top of the list for this year is to get fit, my health has suffered this year and there is no reason for it to continue I’ll be making much more of an effort to get to the gym when I’m at home and when away on trips.

Second is to get a minimum of $100k on the Hendonmob, with the type of events I’m playing I reckon poker costs me aprox $50k a year on tournament and hotels/flights. If I don’t make a clear $50k profit from tournaments at the end then it’s not worth all the hassle of travelling. The cash games are usually better at festivals but still not worth it by themselves.  

Win a tournament ffs! Even if it’s a side event I just want to get over the line in one bloody tournament. Its June 2009  since I won a live tournament which is just too long.

Keep exact accounts of my gambling & poker. I start this every year and then don’t bother, this year I’m going to keep it right. (I know my wife is throwing her eyes up to heaven as she reads this)

Stop losing when I’m winning? I wrote before that my biggest leak is playing or punting bad when I’m up a lot of money, this has improved in 2011 but I still do it more that I should.

In 2010 I was spending way too much time in card rooms or in front of a computer for someone with a small family, I put that right in 2011 and have found a better balance but there is always room to improve. Hopefully in 2012 I’ll get more time at home although if things work out I plan on being busy a good few Sundays!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Article for The Star Dec/12

December started off with the Fitzwilliam Winter Festival which is one of the best run tournaments on the Irish live circuit. The field was pretty tough with every table in the room containing at least two or three well know “pro” players and as we got half way through the eighty runner field I knew pretty much everyone in the room. This is nearly always a bad sign especially when you find someone you don’t recognise and you get told his online name.

Also amongst the field was Andy Black, he told me that for various reasons but most importantly just because he enjoyed the general banter so much he would be making an effort to play more live tournaments in Ireland this year. It will certainly be good for Irish poker to have Andy back playing the domestic tournaments although I don’t fancy having him on my table too often.
Anyway the tournament was a tough grind for me, I never had chips but managed to get to day two with enough to do damage. Then just when we were getting near the money I got a little run of cards and picked up a few chips, at the right time you might think. With sixteen players left and ten getting paid I stole a few pots without a show down before picking up kings on the button.
There was a bit of action before it came to me and I made the same raise I had made previously to steel hoping someone would shove. It was one of those be careful what you wish for moments as Wes Farrell did indeed shove before giving me the bad news with pocket Aces. That was for a big pot and had I won it I would have had a decent stack to mount a serious challenge for the trophy.
The quality of the field was underlined by the final table line up, Irish Open seventh place finisher Rob Taylor finished second and two of the biggest online tournament winners Mick Graydon & Dara O Kearney were also there.

Next up was the Macau Christmas Poker Festival which was pretty short and sweet for me. I had pocket queens four times during the first three levels and lost four times. Then playing about sixteen big blinds I pick up Ace King suited and after some very strange betting I end up all in versus King Jack. Pretty good spot for me especially when the player beside me informs me he has also folded a Jack, happy days I’m thinking but there were two more Jacks in the deck and up pops one of them in the window and I get my jacket.

I played a good bit of cash after in the Macau and had one very interesting hand where I got “slow rolled” for the biggest pot of the night. Slow rolling is one of those things in poker that some players hate. Basically it’s when after the betting is finished you don’t declare you’re strongest hand and your opponent thinks he or she is going to win and then you give them the bad news and collect the chips. It’s a kind of slap in the face for players especially in a big pot. To be honest I thought it was quite funny (apart from losing the money but I was losing that anyway), you don’t get slow rolled too often by ladies old enough to be your granny, I hope when I’m her age I’m still playing poker and raking in the chips.

After Cork was the Dusk till Dawn “Monte Carlo” tournament in Nottingham. Only three Irish made the trip which is very low considering how many travel to the UKIPT’s, and none of us made a significant mark on the tournament. Only thing I might be remembered for is getting wheeled out in an ambulance after busting from the main event with a reoccurrence of a medical problem I have been having problems with. I’m going in for tests in the New Year to get to the bottom of it, if I was a greyhound I might have got the bullet by now.

January sees the first running of a WPT in Ireland in Citywest, with a €2500 entry fee it’s out of reach for a lot of players but there are a number of ways to qualify with most clubs running satellites for it. If the organisers get close to the projected numbers it will be the second biggest tournament in Ireland next year with the winner getting a nice six figure cheque. It’s like a home leg for me living being so close to home; I’d love to kick the year off with a deep run in it.
After that we have the second IPPF in Clane, this tournament attracted over four hundred players last year. With a much more modest €250 entry fee most regular players will fancy their chances of going deep the possibility of a large score. Glen McCabe took home over €16k when he finished top of the pile in this event last January