Luckyblind's Poker Blog

Random thoughts and reports from a relative Poker newbie.

Location: Drogheda, Ireland

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Thursday, December 23, 2004

My first year in poker.....

As the year draws to a close it is time for me to look back on my first year in poker. It all started when I saw Late Night Poker on challenge TV early in the year. I found it strangely compelling viewing and watched it regularly, slowly learning the rules and becoming familiar with some of the plays that were made.

At this time I had no idea that you could play poker online until I was at my supplier's warehouse and heard them talking about Party poker. Having some spare time on my hands one afternoon shortly after I saw an advert for Freeserve poker on a website and downloaded the software. I deposited $100 and started playing some low limit tournaments. The date for this momentous occasion was March 10th 2004. Until that day the nearest to poker I had come was playing Bastard brag at school!

Straight away I was hooked and won my first Multi table tournament within a few days, netting me about $110. I downloaded Ladbrokes software and won another multi, this time netting me $324. From this time onwards I have never been in the red for my poker career. Having these few early wins helped in more than one way. Firstly once I was up I was able to tell Catherine that I was now playing off winings and if I lost it I hadn't really lost ! Secondly it gave me the confidence to start playing live.

I was asked by one of my customers to play in their home game and won 2 of the 3 small but in tournaments in my first visit. Then I was invited to Sean Paul and Declan's home game. The standard here was a lot higher, poker is in their blood. Their father, Sean is an ex Irish Open winner and their uncle Donald has long been a top high stakes player, making an appearance at a WPT final table as well as winning other big tournaments in Vegas before the poker boom.

The first game here I finished out of the money but cleaned up in the cash game afterwards for a $300 profit on the night. It was this win that allowed me to enter my first live multi table tournament. My account of this is here.

Not long after that I picked up $770 in a freeserve MTT and went down to the Merrion to try and quailify for the World Poker championship event. I had no expectation of qualifiying as the field in the satellite had some quaility names such as Devilfish, Lucy Rokach, Andy Bloch, Miami John, Simon Trumper, Steve Vladar to name a few. It was a €150 rebuy and I had brought enough for one rebuy. I used this early on as I found myself pot committed with Top pair weak kicker. The very next hand I was in the big blind and held K 2. The flop contained a 2 and was checked around. The turn brought another 2 and I bet half the pot (this was a pot limit event), it was called in two places. The river brought the case 2 and I checked, One player bet the pot and the other folded, I raised a small amount more All in and put myself in a nice position.

I went on to make the final table and when it was down to myself, Lucy Rokach and Tom Hanlon we decided to do a deal. The payout was a €6000 ticket for 1st, €6000 for second and €2450 for third. As they had already payed into the event the ruling was if I finished second I would have to take the ticket, so the most cash I could have got was €2450 for third. I offered them €5k each and took €4200 the rest going to the dealers. I figured I didn't stand much chance yet against the top players in the world so was very happy with the cash !

That was my largest cash in a live event so far, however I have won a smaller event in the Fitzwilliam and made the final table of a ranking event in the Merrion in October.
So far in live poker I have staked €5270 and won €10,650 for a profit of €5380. This includes all tournaments and cash games. The only place I am in the red is the Fitzwilliam, mainly due to the €270 event in which I have yet to cash and also the cash games! If anybody in Ireland is new to poker and wants to play live I would reccommend giving the Fitz a go. The Staff and customers are very good and having read about some other poker rooms I would say it is one of the best run in Europe.

Back on to Internet poker. So far major wins include over €10,000 in a Party satellite which crashed and paid out cash instead of a ticket to the Euro Open. $1300 and $5400 cashes in +1600 runnere events on Party and Pokerstars. Not forgetting winning a seat at the WPT event in the Bahama's in January ! So far in total my internet profit stands at €12,953. Plus holiday and $8000 entry paid.

I am very happy with how poker has gone for me this year, the money has been very handy as I am only 15 months into my business and the early time for a business can be tough. Having a very understanding partner also helps. Although the Bahamas is the third holiday paid for by poker in the last 9 months so it is easier for her to let me stay out/up playing !

My aims for next year are to consilidate on last year and travel over to some of the festivals in Europe along with some of the guys from the home game. You will be able to follow our progress at Clan Poker. The site is up and running and access permitting I will be updating my WPT diary live from the sun! We have some budding poker writers contributing articles for us and they should be up in the new year sometime. If you have a look at the site you will see it contains a lot of poker related links. If you think something is worth linking to then please let me know and I will update it.

Lastly, I would like to wish everyone who reads these ramblings a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.!

Stay Lucky !