Luckyblind's Poker Blog

Random thoughts and reports from a relative Poker newbie.

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Location: Drogheda, Ireland

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Friday, October 22, 2004

Climb aboard the Merrion rollercoater !

Went along to the Merrion last night to enter the €300 mutli rebuy NL holdem event.

My expectations were not that high, although the slow early blind structure does suit my style of play. The place was full of Pro's who are in town for the EPT event.

Got talking to Mike Magee in the line for registration and he seems like a really genuine guy. He started on my table but couldn't get anything going and was out quite early. Ken Doherty the snooker player was also at my table, I didn't recognise him straight away. He always seemed to be beaten just on every hand he played and he was the first player I busted in the event.

I got some good cards early on and had soon doubled then tripled my chips up to over 9000 from the starting 3000. The blind structure was very slowly early on and allowed for a lot of post flop play. Something the fitz might sort out for the end of month competition. The first level was 25/25 and the clock was 30 mins throughout. Although by the time the final table was reached it had become a bit of a crapshoot.

166 players started the event and by the time half were gone I had roughly average chips. I took a big loss when I made a Queen high flush on the turn, I bet 4000 and was called by a guy with 2 pair who hit a full house on the river. He tried to trap me by checking the river, but a smelt a rat and kept my last remaining 2000 chips for a better spot.

The better spot was a few hands later when I was dealt J 8 offsuit in middle position and went all in. I took the view that I would at least have two live cards if called and an 8 hit me to double up. As this was obviously such a good plan I went in again with 10 5, suited this time. 5 on ther river ensured a roasted an A Q ! Next hand, all in with jacks and Q 10 called and lost. In the space of 5 minutes I was up to 15000+ and back in average position again.

I worked this stack up to over 20k, before getting over ambitios with 77 in a three way all in before the flop against AK and K 10. The K 10 made a flush on the river else the sevens would have stood up. Back down to 1850.

Next hand Rory Liffey who had a huge stack at this tme raised under the gun and I called all in with AJ suited and with another caller tripled up when an ace hit the board. KK and AK followed and I was now in healthy position with over 30k after rerasing Rory a couple of times and forcing him him off hands.

I managed to keep my stack in shape for the next while, stealing enough blinds which were starting to get quite large. By the time there was 19 left I had 19,000. I was determined not to go out on the bubble, but by now I was starting to become one of the low stacks. I had Gary Bush to my left and he had just a couple of thousand more than me and when all folded to him he raised all in on my big blind. I was holding AQ suited which has been the death of me so many times recently. I hesitated for a while before calling and was relieved to see he had KJ. A Queen hit and a couple of hands later he was gone and I had made the money for the second time in my second event at the Merrion. Both up against strong fields. Also playing in this tournie were :

Scott Grey ( very nice guy )
Liam Flood
Jac Arama
Lucy Rokach (split last Merrion event i entered with her)
Padraig Parkinson
Kevin O'connell

I managed to get to the final table after small pairs held up with just over 100,000 chips out of 912,000. The chips were relative evenly spread at this point and the blinds were 4000,8000 with 1000 ante. It became a bit of an all in fest and I realised I was going to have to make a move if I was to get to the real money. 1st was €34k, 2nd €17k and third about €8.5.

After folding a lot of Ax hands to all in raises I picked up JJ and re raised allin against a 35k raise. I had a feeling he had a small pocket pair and would fold to this as he had plenty of chips left. Unfortunatley for me the Big Blind (also chip leader) had come into the Pocket Rockets and my luck ran out and I left with €2275 for 8th place.

I was a bit gutted to get so close to a big score, but over all I had my share of breaks and didn't make many mistakes along the way. It was a thoroughly enjyable evening and I would like to thank Thomas Kremser and all the Merrion staff for running a great tournament.

Also many thanks to all the previously mentioned names who were all happy to talk and give advice to the inexperienced players.

Be interesting to see who eventually won as I had to leave to get back for work! I am sure a deal would have been done at the last 4 or 5 with so much for at stake and the luck factor with the big blinds.

From now on 10 5 is the new AA as as well as double up with this hand, It was also the hand I knocked Jac 'Ram Ya' arama out with !