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Monday, 27 February 2012

Super Poker and PLO Pain

Played the Super Poker Event and two long plo sessions this weekend with little to show for it. I got off to a bad start when I went behind in the cash game I've been a regular at since it started back up five weeks ago. Easy to keep turning up when you've been winning I suppose, I was going for five winning sessions in a row.
I was a good bit behind but the game was loose enough to get it back and at about 7 am I got it in when I turned the nuts and held to get me slightly in front for the session.

The game broke fairly shortly after that and after heading home for 3 hrs sleep I went to the Super Poker Event. I got off to a good enough start calling a shove with KK on a Q high board to knock a Frenchie out and then playing an interesting pot with Aidan Connolly blind on blind when he floated my turn bet and bet 75% pot on the river. I called with A high and he mucked. It was an interesting spot because I had more or less decided when I initially looked at my cards (A,10) that I had the best hand and was not folding.

After that it all started to go wrong, I kept doubling up the short stacks and then ran into AA for a big pot and was left with 1k with the blinds at 1k-2k-100. I then went all in every hand and won every time until I jammed QK and again ran into AA. That was for 70k and would have put me right back in the mix.

The plo was running so I jumped straight into that and although the game was terrible I managed to lose pot after pot and before long found myself in the hole again. At about 6am I just gave up and jumped into the €2-€5 NL game that was running and my fortune changed instantly.

Won a nice pot first hand with QJ v JJ on a QQ xxx board then doubled up with AA v AK button on blind. After an hour or so the game broke and I was only down €200 when Marc McDonald kindly offered to flip (blind omaha) for his remaining chips. Mathematically it might be 50/50 but statistically I am a big favourite here!! Anyway the stats never lie and I once again won the flip to finish a few hundred in front for the two days playing.  

I suppose it could have been a lot worse, after all I was down a lot of money both sessions and yet finished in front but it all seemed pretty pointless on Sunday afternoon when I was half asleep trying to push kids around a merry go round. All part of the game I suppose.

Next week its the Western Open in Castlebar, I lost a small fortune over there last year when the cash games ran straight through but I have every intention of getting some of it back this time round. Hopefully the usual suspects show up and my big hands hold up!!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

In the 3 weeks since I last posted I’ve been doing the usual messing about punting away on this and that with various degrees of success and playing a bit of poker but not nearly as much as I often do.

The month started off with the European Deepstack festival high roller. The €2,500 buy in would not really put me off to much but the quality of the players should however there were a few reasons I decided to play the tournament.

First I could not play the main event as I was due to attend a wedding on the Saturday, second I thought the numbers would be low so even with a very tough line up pretty much inevitable I thought it was a reasonable chance to book a win. And third and the most important factor was that I really enjoy playing against the better players.

OK, obviously I don’t have an edge over the players in the field but then again I didn’t feel I was giving up too much of an edge either and obviously I could find better spots to invest my two and a half bags but fuck it I enjoy taking on the likes of Jonathan Duhamel, John O Shea, John Eames and the rest of the hero’s playing.

Anyway the tournament went pretty terrible after all that, I was lucky to stay in early on when I needed the board to pair on the river to stay in it but I lost pot after pot before getting it in with KQ v AQ on a Q high flop.
In hindsight I did not play well at all, missing a few spots to gather chips early on and then getting myself in tough spots when not really necessary. I was delighted when the Irish duo of Jason Tompkins and Tim Farrelly got heads up for the trophy with Jason eventually winning and picking up just shy of €20k.

Everybody knows how good a player Jason is, his results speak for themselves and I’m sure he will continue to do well in the game but Tim who finished 2nd could be at the start of a great run. He is only back playing a few months and seems to be going deep in everything. In the four tournaments I have played with him since January he has cashed in all four and they were not the handiest ones either. We both picked a ticket for the WPT in the super sat the night before but then he went on to cash. Then he picks up a ticket to the high roller on his way to finishing second.  Small sample size I know but still impressive. I hope he continues on the circuit as he’s a gentleman and there are only seems to be a few of us left!!

Played a cash game in Carlow on the Friday before the wedding which proved to be pretty lucrative and followed that up with a good winning session on the Sunday night back at the Deepstack festival. I’m defiantly ironing out a few leaks in my omaha game and I’ve reversed the terrible start I had to the year. Saying that it could just be a case of running better in the key pots, whatever it is there is a bit more of a pep in you step when your winning I can tell you.
Went to Galway for the first UKIPT last week with high hopes as Galway has been a happy hunting ground for me in the past and it was to prove to be again. Not in the tournament mind you where again I did not feel like I played well. It’s a pretty horrible feeling when you get a bad beat or a cooler when you run KK into AA or something but for me the worst feeling is when you walk away from the table thinking that you just played like an idiot.

Call it confidence or cocky whatever you like but when I sit at the table no matter whom it’s against I always feel like I’m going to end up with all the chips and if I get unlucky well then that’s acceptable as its part of the game however playing bad is completely unacceptable. I have started to really analyse how I played the losing hands after tournaments and that’s very important to help with improvement but it can lead to over thinking. Like for example when you shove the button three times when short stacked and don’t get a caller then the fourth time you get called and bust. No point worrying about it after the fact, you have to put it into context of the whole tournament and remember the risk reward factor.

After I bust the tournament and because I’m still flying the flag for the teetotallers by staying of the gargle I jumped into a decent €1-€2-€5 omaha cash game. It was the second biggest game in the room with a few Irish guys and a few drunken Dutch guys mixing it up. All the time I had my eye on the €2-€5-€10-€20 game that was running and playing pretty deep with a few guys playing five figure stacks.

After about five hours in the sensible game and about €25 profit I bit the bullet and jumped into the big game. I won and lost a few smallish pots before getting it all in for a €3k pot with top set against a bare flush draw and we decided to run it three times. The board paired every time and I scooped all three pots. The game broke shortly after that without any more drama so I booked a nice profit.

The following day after some messing about in the hotel where they tried to throw me out after only three hours sleep because I was not booked in the next night etc etc I eventually found myself in the bookies with two of Dublin’s finest in the shape of Peter Barrable and Bisto Murtagh and like all sensible gamblers we got stuck in to the score or bore market for a few quid with the chance of winning thousands. Needless to say we missed out of the cash but I suppose it’s ok to take a punt on a long shot every once in a while. 

After a short spell in the €300 side event I got back into the big omaha game and done well again, winning most of the key pots I was involved in and scooping a good few bob along the way. The two biggest pots I played I won both of them, first I flopped a set and a bad flush draw on a board where a straight was very possible and when the board paired on the river I checked into my Chinese friend who launched a full pot bet and had to call it off when I re-raised all in for what I had left.

The second was the biggest pot of the session when I turned a straight on a K,4,2 flop and help against top two pair. I was glad to get out of there with a healthy profit; it takes a bit of pressure off with all the poker that’s coming up.

First we have the Super Poker event in Citywest which could have up to 2,000 players under one roof the ever optimistic Stephen McLean tell me. And then it’s back over to the west for the second running of the Western Poker Open. 
This was one of the best events in the calendar last year and the cash games were crazy. The 24hr bar for the residents was busy all weekend and it made for some interesting hands late every night. Martin Silk tells me there are satellites running pretty much every night in some pub or club in Connaught and he expects the numbers to be up on last year.