Luckyblind's Poker Blog

Random thoughts and reports from a relative Poker newbie.

Name:
Location: Drogheda, Ireland

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Live poker is rigged !

Well the hands I have played in cash games recently certainly come up to the standard that would bring the crys of 'FIX!'.

At the weekend I was playing in a NL cash game at Citywest and managed to build up a nice stack and then get it all in on the flop with KQ on a Q high flop. I was pretty sure I was ahead when I moved in, when he called I thought I had messed up. But no he had Q7, there was no back door flushes or straights available so he was looking at 3 sevens as outs. Sure enough it appeared on the river.

Last night I was in Dublin and ventured in the Fitz and sat down at the €50 PL Holdem/Omaha game along with half of the Irish poker forum.

I lose half my €150 buy in when Norman raises blind UTG and gets 3 callers before me. I call 'for value' with 6 4 offsuit. Flop comes 775 and Norman moves all in. Loose drunk guy calls. I decide to call to see the turn and it is a 3. Loose guy still has plenty and he had previously called an all in from Tom on the river with Q high so I moved in hoping for a side pot saver. After a long dwell he folded and I proudly flip over my straight and Stormin flips over his 55 !

Norman manages to flop another house and get paid about €400 from a couple of other players. One whom had flopped the lower house. Then he raises blind again and I call with A10 along with a couple of others. The flop comes A A 3 ! Surely I have him beat this time? No way jose! he turns over AK when we get it all in. This time an online 10 river doubles me back up to starting level.

A few hands later I manage to get two people all in with Broadway and a draw to the nut flush on the turn. No paired board and I am now up to €380.

I lose a bit here and there until I get into a hand with DapperGent. I have raised with AA74 double suited preflop and the flop comes Q44. Every body checks to me and I bet the pot. Everybody folds to Dapper who moves his chips in so fast I didn't even see it! He shows QQ and I say 'Uh Oh, I need an Ace then?'. Lovely jubbly a big black Ace of spades on the turn! - Sorry Dapper!

Just before I leave I lose a chunk of change to Tom. It was Omaha and I have QQA2, the A2 is diamonds and the board is 10 high with a straight draw but two diamonds. Tom has bet the pot which is €85. I am going to fold but Mark calls. Now I am getting 3:1 to hit any diamond or any queen, almost exactly what I need. Not quite but I figured I would get a little on the river if I hit. Of course I didn't and Tom left up with €700 from his initial €150 buy in. I left with €280 so I made a little profit.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Irish Open Main Event

Yesterday was the big one. I was feeling confident that I was playing well enough to make a decent showing. My bubble on Thursday was disappointing but to get so far through a strong field was positive.

My table had no big players at it, however there were two tricky locals, Christy and Kevin. Kevin had made the final on Thursday and I had knocked him out of the final table at the Fitz the previous Friday.

I played a tight game early on, mainly because I was being dealt a load of rubbish and I am not inclined to bluff my chips off early. The first pot I played was with AK from the small blind. I raised to 250 and was called by the big blind. The flop was 8 9 10. Not great for me and I laid it down to a bet on the turn when a 7 came.

The next pot I played was with JJ from the small blind. I was the only caller to a raise by Kevin. I check called 400 on the flop and turn and when the river completed a board of 10 high rainbow I was surprised Kevin never bet again as he showed QQ. I feel I got way from this hand cheaply as I would have difficulty not calling bigger bets here.

JJ was dealt to me again in the big blind a round later and I called a raise from Tony Cooney who was sitting on my left. When he put out a bet just above the pot on a Queen high board with two spades I had him for AQ and pricing me out of a potential draw ( there was a 10 on the flop as well ). I laid down face up and he showed 7 2 ! I was not too bothered as it gave me a great tight image which I planned to use later on. My table was number 7 and unless I was moved to balance I would be here for a while.

I think my image helped me get some chips back a few hands later when I raised with 77 from the small blind and was called by the big. He bet the flop and turn for 500 each time, the intial raise of mine was to 250. The flop was J 3 5 all hearts, when he bet I could not give him a heart and when the turn and river were not hearts I bet 600. He folded after a long dwell.

I called a few raises with small pocket pairs but missed every time and two were multiway which were bet and raised post flop before action got to me. I was starting to fall behind average when I picked up AK UTG. I decided to play them like AA. I limped and got a raise from Yucel 'The Mad Turk'. His raise was to 900 and the blinds were still 75/75/150. I reraised to 2500 and was surprised to see him call. The flop came queen high and after a short think I decided to move all in for 5300 into a 5300 pot. He thought for a while before folding.

I won a few pots from position and made a peak of 12,000 chips. I kept them around 10,000 for 3 more levels until I dropped to 8000 during the 6th level. Blinds were now 200 200 400 so it was 800 a round. I was not in any real danger but the average chips were now twice what I had. I had picked up nothing for ages, in fact the two pairs of jacks were the best hands I saw all night. I then found AK suited UTG and made a raise to 1100. I was called only by one of the small blinds. When the flop came 6 5 3 two of my suit and he bet 2000, I decided to move all in over the top. I figured I had overcards and a flush draw if he called. I thought my table image would make him drop a small overpair or a TPTK. Unfortunately he had flopped a set of sixes and I missed my spade draw and that was the end of my tournament. 101st from 174 runners.

I could have easily folded to his bet but I wanted to start accumulating chips. With the blinds about to go up t0 300 300 600, I would have had only just over 5 rounds left if I folded. When he bet out I could not take him for a set and I had seen him bluff people out of pots a couple of times earlier. Obviously I am disappointed not to have gone deeper but I still think I played a good game.

I had a good time afterwards doing the reporting for Blonde Poker 's live updates as Tikay was still in the competition. Sean from the Friday game lasted a while longer than me but when short stacked he went out with 'F***ing Sh**e'. His words, not mine.

It was an enjoyable if unprofitable festival. There are some thing that need correcting before the next however.

Three times people came back after a break and chip race to find chips missing from their stacks. I recall this happening to Andy Bloch at the WPC last year.

The blind structure for the main event was a concern for a lot of players as it started to descend into a crapshoot compared to similar two day events. The clock could be increased to 1hr and the levels eased if an earlier start time was used.

Charging 2euro for a coffee stunk. As did the coffe itself.

The chips were too similar in colour, it cost Christy 4000 chips as he threw in a 5000 instead of a 1000.

There were however a lot more positives.

The venue was spacious, if a little cold.

Paddy Power were a great sponsor. Every night they ordered a rake of pizzas for everyone and also provided a chinese at 4.30 in the morning.

There were plenty of satellites to fit all budgets, from 2 tables to 1 table single hand shootouts.

Despite the higher buy ins the turnout was great, with plenty of top players and locals.

The Guinness was good.

And 7 out the final table, which is playing as I write, are Irish !

Friday, March 25, 2005

Bubble Trouble !

I wandered down the M1, along the M50 and a little bit up the N7 to the Citywest hotel last night to check out the setting for the Irish Open. I half had a mind to play the €500 rebuy as long as it wasn't going to be a mad all in fest. I bumped into Joe Costello from the Friday home game at the door and as we entered I saw Thomas Kremser and enquired about the structure for tonights event.

5000 starting chips
Rebuys for 90 mins only when no chips left
45 min clock
3 blind structure

Not too bad says I and anted up the €550 and drew a seat.
Notables in the running :

Sean Fagan, Deco & Joe from the Friday game, plus cousin Anthony
Padraig P
Scott Grey
Peter Roche
Mick McCloskey
Alan Betson
Julian & Graham Thew
Julian Gardiner & Dave Gardiner
Mad Marty Wilson
Noel Furlong
Willie Tann
Paul Leckey
Tony ' Tikay' Kendall
Dave 'El Blondie' Colclough
Kevin O'connell
Rory Liffey
Carlo Citrone
Howard Plant
Stormin' Norman
Joe O'Neill
Liam Flood
George Geary
Rumit Somaya
Roy Brindley
John Shoreman
E O'dea

Plus a lot of other top Europeans and the best from the Fitz and Merrion.

My starting table was pretty tight early on, apart from when I raised the pot! Every time I had 3 callers and missed completely. I won a few later on, mostly with weak hands from the blinds which held up in pots checked to the river. My best hand pre freeze was 1010 and that was the first hand dealt to me !

As we entered the freezeout section Joe was in the best shape of the home game players with over 9000, everyone else was around starting chips. 133 players had paid in and they were only paying 13 places, a fact Thomas Kremser did not seem too happy with, but it was out of his control. €38,000 for first would have been nice.

As play resumed I started to make some progress, just before our table broke I was allowed to see a flop from one of the small blinds with K4 of hearts. Flop comes A106 all hearts. Yum. I check, big blind bets 600 into 800 pot. The other two in the hand fold. Here I raise to see where I am. He calls the extra 900. I now am sure he has trips or a lower flush. I forget the turn but it didn't pair the board and I bet half my stack and was called. No pair again on the river and I move my last 1000 or so in and get called. He never showed but said he flopped trips.

The table broke the very next hand and I was moved to a new table containing Sean and Noel Furlong to my right and 'The Brown Bomber' and Joe ' a blog reader' to my left.
The Brown Bomber had the biggest chips stack, Sean named so as he kept bombarding the pots with his brown 5000 chips. Apparently his play and hand selection were not the Mae West. He had sent Noel on tilt earlier, and then the whole table, Mad Russian's have a habit of doing that to you!

I started off wining a fair pot against Noel, I flopped top pair with K9 and called a bet on the flop and turn and raised on the river when no other cards above a 10 where showing with the King. Noel didn't take long to fold. A couple of hands later I picked up 99 and with 2 limpers I made it 3000 to go. Blinds were now 200,200,400. A guy from the Fitz, Dave, came back over the top after limping UTG. Mmmm. Big pocket pair. I was getting over 4:1 from the pot and had the chips to call and he duly turned over QQ. However, for the first time in ages I sucked out on an over pair. Flop came 9 10 J, No kings, Queens or eights saw me up to just over 20,000, well above average.

The Brown bomber then threw away his chips in two amazing pots. It was unbelievable. First he called off half his stack after the river left him playing the board. His Hand? - 9 3 . Then he called on the river again with AK after no aces or kings appeared. Nice donation, why couldn't I have been the recipient?

The table was broken and I moved to another. The only face I recognised was a guiy from the Fitz and Carlo. They both went out on the same hand. Carlo moved in with pocket 10's. Joe Rafferty, the table chip leader called and Fitz guy came over the top with AJ. Joe called after some thought and flipped up KK. A king on the flop and it was over.

David Lloyd joined the table as did Joe from my previous table. Nothing dramatic in the level, I moved in uncalled with JJ UTG and with QQ from the BB also uncalled. This kept my stack level although now below average. I was card dead for a while and chipped down to 14000 before I was moved to a new table.

Dave Colclough to my right, Tikay to my left along with chip leader Andy Black. Just at the right time I picked up KK in the big blind as Dave raised from the button with AK. They held up and I was back over 25,000. I lost all but 5000 to the other member of Blonde Poker when I couldn't get QQ to stand up against his AK.

All folded to me in the small blind. I put all my chips in with J4 off suit and Dave Lloyd passed but Andy Black called with 10 8 from the BB. Two Jacks on the board and I double up. I move in next hand with K7 and take down the 4000 blinds. Next hand I look down at KK. A raise to 6000 before me and lovely jubbly he calls with 77. No need to worry about the seven on the river as a king appears on the flop. A nice swing from 5000 to 34,000 in three hands.

We are now down to three tables and soon two as the shortstacks start to fall. Joe ends up about 20th. After a rush of cards I find I have gone card dead again. They are definately like buses! I find one spot to steal, otherwise the pots are opened by the bigger stacks and I do not have enough to make them lay a hand down.

As we hit 14 players I am the lowest stack with 21,000. I think it could be my day when Mika Pura clashes with Dave O'Niell and is left with 1500 chips. A few hands later he has 34,000! He should have been knocked out when all in vs 3 players but a numpty decided his Ace with very weak kicker was worth a bet on the turn. Marty folded a weak flush draw and Mika showed down a better Ace to quadruple up. I believe he then had Aces twice in a few hands.

Marty then became the shortest stack. He had loads of chips but a badly timed all in from the BB cost him half. 57 offsuit vs AA doesn't win often. He lost more when he made a flush vs a full house. He went all in with KQ vs 3 players, I could see his queen from standing behind him. Another value bet, on the river this time. When it was called I thought Marty must be gone, but no the other two had smaller pairs.

Meanwhile on the other table I found myself down to 13,000 with 4000 of it in the big blind and two more 2000 blinds to move through me. The levels were going up by the next time the blinds came round. I looked down and saw 66 and made my last stand when a small raise came from Dave Gardiner from the first small blind. I was happy enough when I saw K6. Only one overcard is about the best I could hope for. A king came early on the flop to put me out of my misery and into it so to speak! My second bubble in as many weeks ! Still the from is still good so my hopes are high for the big one on Saturday.

It was good to get used to the 3 blind structure, it creates a lot more action. It was also good to meet some more great players and readers of my blog. It is weird to find out players like Alan Betson and Scott Grey have read it. It is almost like a Leinster league player finding out Roy Keane reads his Blog! I cooled down in the bar listening to Mad Marty ( he exited the hand after me!) , Sean, Scott & Alan swapping tales and jokes, mostly jokes.

Sean played in a one table satellite for the main event and after saying he would come back and win it when forced all in from the big blind with his last 400, he did. He ended up beating John Shoremand heads up and now plays on Saturday for only €216. Nice one Sean.

Well it's back down tonight after 2 hours sleep to play the €100 rebuy. There may be a report tomorrow morning if I have time. Hopefully two bubbles is my lot for March.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

All systems go..

So I failed again to qualify for the Irish open online last night. I am not surprised, the loose play on Tribeca does not suit my game at all. I did not find any hands other than QQ twice. I double up with it in the rebuy and had to lay it down post flop in the freezeout section. I ended up making a move with 55. Now I called with this hand to a raise of 4000 from early position. Blinds were still 300/600 at this point but I only had just over 3000 left. I ended up in a race with K7. That just goes to show the standard of play. Who in their right mind raises such an amount from this position with this hand ? From the cut off or button I can understand, but can you really call a reraise with it ?

Anyway I am definately playing in the main event. I have been backed for part of the buy in by some people who have confidence in me. I was really very surprised at the amount of people who have offered to buy a % of me, most of whom I only know through this blog or Boards.ie. Obviously I will be doing my utmost to give them a good return on the investment.

I will also be playing the €100 rebuy tomorrow night and the €150 rebuy on Sunday. There is a slim chance I may have a crack at the €500 tonight if I get there in time. It depends whether it is unlimited rebuys or a rebuy and top up. If I can double up early I won't be at much of a disadvantage if I don't top up.

Reports will be uploaded whenever possible. Blondepoker will be providing live updates on the forum.

Happy easter everyone. Don't eat too many eggs !

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Getting there...

This weekends MTT's although not a resounding success, certainly do something for the confidence. From Friday through to Sunday I played 7, finshing in the money or at the final table of 6 of them.

First was the live €50 rebuy at the Fitz where we chopped most of the money 5 ways. I finished 5th officially when I suffered the worst outdraw ever when the Hammer was cracked by AK!

Saturday night I played the Irish open Qualifier and made the final table, finishing short of a seat when AK was beaten by AQ,

Sunday I played a freeroll Omaha H/L on VC whilst waitin for the Forum tourney to start. With over 100 runners I made it to third for $60 of free money.

In the Forum Tourney I came back from a low stack heads up to beat Imposter1 for my first win in this one. Only 14 runners, probably due to Liverpool vs Everton but still a MTT!

Later in the evening I played two Betfair MTT's. One a $20 affair with 82 runners. I finished 7th when A10 ran into the monster that is A9 - Some day someone will miss their low kicker against me ! The other was a 361 runner $10 event. I made it 22nd, once again crippled by two outdraws in succesive hands - AK vs A6 and JJ vs K7. K7 guy reraised me all in thinking my raise was a tilter! All in all these Betfair jobbies netted me about $100.

I am beginning to wonder what is worse, me getting married to AK or the other folk trying to take me off pots with Ax and getting lucky. I am due a run where AK holds up about 10 times in a row to make the amount of times it has cost me a good position. It does hold up for me occasionally, I won a big pot with it at the final table on Friday, but at the moment it is probably the most costly hand I play.

The Week Ahead

Well it is Irish Open week. Time to play a few against the big boys and see what happens. Still debating with myself whether to commit the extra money for the Main Event. I know I can cut it amongst the competition, but it is a lot of money to lose on the turn of a card. So far I have people who want to buy 20% which is halfway there to not having to dip into money previously taken out of the bankroll. There is still one more qualifier on Paddy Power, hopefully I can win a seat there. If not then I am definately playing the €100 rebuy on the Friday and the €150 rebuy on the Sunday. If I cash on the Friday then I am in on the Saturday.

There has been a lot of negativity about the Irish Open this year, particulary on The Hendon Mob Forum. Some of the comments are beyond belief. I did make a boob in my reply when I metioned the added money and that the EPT did no have any. This was of course incorrect and was taken as a knocking of the EPT which wasn't what I meant. Pokerstars and John Duthie put a lot of time and money to make it the event that all large buy in events should aspire to be like.

The two events are comparable though. The Irish open has a similar amount of added money - €20,000 to be exact and as Padraig Parkinson pointed out, Paddy Power have probably spent a lot more than that promoting the event. All the qualifiers online are partly subsidised by $300 a piece. The move out of the casino into a hotel is a good thing. Firstly it opens up the capacity to provide a bigger field. To be able to hold a big field in one room also makes for a better run tournamnent and a less cramped atmosphere. Yes, the locals will have to travel outside of town, but do they all really live in the city centre anyway ? Yes, the buy ins are more than usual, do you want to play against the best players for a big prize ? If you want smaller buy ins then the Fitzwilliam has an excellent festival on at the end of April, but don't expect the same kind of prize pools. The registration fee of the Main Event is also being criticised, but at €150 it is only 7 1/2% of the entry fee which is not excessive and can you really expect people to organise tournaments for you and make no money? Come on, live in the real world - poker is a business!
What astounds me most at the person complaining most - Mr Mark Strahan, runs one of the biggest rip off websites out there. £65 + delivery charge for WPT 2005 DVD's and only recently has he stopped charging people for access to his website which is just a collection of links. Pot calling the kettle black is a phrase that springs to mind.

Anyway rant over ! I'll be there all weekend anyway !



Sunday, March 20, 2005

Is the Irish open not to be ?

I played in the Irish open qualifier on Paddy Power last night and after a shaky start I built up a good amount of chips. In the rebuy period I had AK beaten by AQ and also ran 1010 into JJ. I still managed to get up to 9600 including the top up. I worked that up to 50,000 by the final table and was sitting comfortably in 3rd position. A big call against the guy who outdrew me with AQ was instrumental in my chip increase, I had been waiting for him to bluff into me all night and finally got him calling with J10 on a 10 high board with a 3 flush on it. I have not been so confident in a call like that for a long time !
I also took some chips off Mick O'hara (culchie) when he minimum raised my blind and I called with Q5 offsuit and hit a set of queens on the flop. Obviously not paying enough attention to my blog Mick! This was almost exactly the same as the hand against The Camel in Deauville. I wish however I had set Mick all in and he had a hand to call as he came to back to bite me ! Twice !
I had raised my standard 3 times the blind UTG with 6 left holding AK. Mick obviously thought I was at it as he reraised all in for about 10,000 less than I had. For the second time in the night AQ outdrew my AK and I was down to 12,000 with the blinds coming at 800,1600. I probably was not low enough to justify moving in UTG with A6 suited but I was steaming a little. Anyway Culchie woke up with AQ again and I decide not to outdraw him :)
The other guy who outdrew me with AQ finished fourth and Culchie bubbled - so let this be a warning to you all - OUTDRAWING ME DOES NOT PAY! Only kidding, I wanted Culchie to win it but he ran QQ into a flop with AK and this left him short and then he was outdrawn himself with QJ vs Q7, two sevens hit the board.
After he was knocked out, Culchie phoned me to apologise about the hand which was a nice gesture, but unneccesary. I can't fault anybody making a move with AQ six-handed.
I am happy with the way I am playing and may use last nights win to finance an entry into the Irish open but I don't really want to add 900 euro of non bankroll money. Anybody who fancies a stake in me - 200 euro for 10% then let me know. I can't promise I won't get outdrawn though. With over 200 confirmed already 1st should pay over 140,000. 14,000 is not a bad return for 200!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I wasn't supposed to be there !

Friday night is home night. Well it is normally. Half way to Dublin I get a call from Sean Paul to let me know they don't have enough to play a game for various reasons. He says there may be some other players who may come but he would phone me back within 15 minutes to let me know. I decide to carry on an head to the Fitzwilliam if the game is off. I get no phone call so carry on to the Fitz and take a seat in the €50 Rebuy. Just as I take my seat a message comes through via text - 'Game on'. 'Ah well too late', I reply,'I'll phone when I'm knocked out'.

I never made that phone call as I was still sitting at the table in the Fitz at 4am.

The competition started off pretty dreadful. I had about 1200 left of my starting 2000 by the time the add on came. I won one pot just before the add on when I moved in UTG with AQ and took the blinds. The add on is 3000, you only get a rebuy or an addon so it is almost like a €100 double chance.

A few hands later I raise from late position with AJ frustrated at getting no cards. The button and Big Blind call. Flop is A rag rag with two diamonds. I bet out 800 into a 1200 pot and am raised to 3000 by the button. I have only seen him play a couple of hands and he had good cards in both and showed down a winner each time. I had to give him credit for a better kicker or two pair.

The cards failed to appear for the next hour or so and I was moved table with 2000 chips left. I came in near the button and was moved just as the blind was about to hit me into the button of another table! I played no hands until the blinds had moved through me. They were at 200/400 by now so I had 1400 left. A young guy (Owen from Wicklow) open the pot for 1500 in mid position and all folded to me. I looked down at JJ and threw in my 1400. For some reason he though it was a good idea to rob with 10 7 off suit and I doubled up.

I move table at least 3 times in the next few rounds and by the time the blinds are 400/800 I have dwindled down to 2100. I move in UTG+1 with Q8, the cards I was getting this was a monster! I am called by QJ. Oh dear. Not so, a lovely 8 on the flop and I have the most chips I have had all night - 5200!

Things start to look up when I am in a pot with Owen again with JJ vs his 77 and double through again. AA vs KK and I manage to cripple a guy, I finish him off with AJ vs J5. Then I take out Owen with A10 vs 1010. I had raised preflop and he flat called. Flop is all low clubs, I have the Ace. He checks and I put him all in. He calls and the jack of clubs hits on the turn.Some nights one person seems to have the beating of you, tonight I was that man for Owen.

We are down to 3 tables from the initial 97 players and I have gone from 2000 to 35000 chips in a round. Another table move as we hit 20 players and I have 40,000. My new table has John Paul who plays in the Forum tournies and Mark McMahon who is a friend of Catherines friend and has just won seats online to the Irish Open and the WSOP. John Paul runs JJ into KK. Mark and I make to the final table.

There was a bit of a mix up with out chips at this point. We went outside for a smoke to come back and find out chips moved for us. They didn't look right though, Mark had too many and me too little but apparently the stacks had not been mingled. We sort of worked out what each other should have had. I knew I had over 30,000 and settled on 32,000. Apparently it was out fault for not waiting until the new table had formed before having the break. Mark, fair play, still thought he had too many chips but we couldn't be sure and Luke was getting agitated by now so we left it at that.

The blinds by now had turned it into a crapshoot. 5000,1000 and the average was 54,000. It took a while to lose the first player. Lots of uncalled all ins. Eventually there were a few clashes and we were down to six. Mark was unlucky to run into Aces and was seventh. The guy with the Aces had exactly the same hand twice in a row - two black aces. It was the second one that accounted for Mark. I manage to knock out the 6th place finisher. he had lost a lot of his stack and he moved in on my big blind. Well I can't throw away AK suited here ! He had JJ and I had a flush draw going to the river but it was an Ace that sealed the deal.

Deal time. We all had pretty much equal stacks and with blinds now at 8000/15000 with an average stack of just under 100,000 we split most of the money equally. The original payout was €500 for 5th up to €3150 for 1st. We took €1000 each and paid from €200 to €600 extra depending on the actual finish. This created a lot more action and after a few all in confrontations the blinds were moved up to 10000,20000 with still 5 of us with nearly equal stacks but now if you lose your blinds it is 30% of your stack gone. I decided to make a move from the small blind with 'The HAMMER' ! I was horrendously outdrawn going in as a massive favourite against AK. I hit a deuce and a seven but two kings on the board meant it was goodnight.

Overall I was pleased to cash again in the Fitz but I am still of the opinion that these games can only be played for the social value due to the structures required to finish in one night. I also managed to put faces to a few other names who play in the forum tournie, notably Chris and Paul. Paul also made the final table and was still there when I left.

Hail the new King of Bloggers !

Not me obviously !

Ben 'Milkybarkid' Grundy has made the final table of the €10,000 EPT Grand final in Monte Carlo. Not bad for a €500 Satellite. He is now guaranteed at least €60,000 in prize money. He is also the first blogger to make a major final table - That is something that no-one will ever be able to take away from him. You can follow his progress at Blonde Poker in the forum where the workaholic Tikay is covering the event.

Also at the final table, in fact chip leader, is Brandon Schaeffer. I played against him at the French Open and he is a formidable opponent and all round nice guy too. To think he won the French open for €144,000 and now is also guaranteed €60,000 plus a good shot at €600,000+ for first. All for 15 Frequent player points !!!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Why I only bet the Gee Gees twice a year !

Yesterday was Paddy's day, I think! After a hearty fry up, Catherine and I headed down to the local at midday to meet up with our friends and celebrate all things Irish. In general terms this means drinking loads and dumping Paddy Power a few euro's on Cheltenham. This year was no different, after an each way second in the first race I managed to find the donkey in the next five! Baracouda cost me the most in the World Hurdle. Last year I backed Moscow Flyer, probably the only time he lost a race! By early evening we were drunk and home with a nice chinese. In between snoozes I was keeping tabs on The Milkybarkid progress in the EPT final in Monaco via the Blondepoker forum. Currently he is on track to be the first blogger to make a major final table. He has a comfortable stack and is in the last 38. I hope he makes it. Declan Barker, who lives in a town nearby me is also still in, maybe as it is Paddy's week he will win? Best of luck to the both of them, they both qualified online via different sites so any money finish is a nice profit.

I played another Irish open qualifier on Wednesday night but I couldn't get anything going, eventually going out in a war of the blinds. Luckily, I am having a good run in the STT's otherwise my bankroll would be taking a hit entering these and the WSOP satellites. I was struggling to sleep last night after all my napping in the evening so hangover already kicked in I had a go at a $33 Freezeout on Stars. No Joy there either, I finshed 241st out of 440 when AK was not enough to beat KQ. It was one of those annoying 'is poker rigged moments'. All the money was in preflop and the software froze temporarily after dealing the flop and then, like lightning, dealt a Queen on the river.

Over at the Irish Poker Forum there is an interesting debate going on about the clarity of privately organised poker tournaments. They are popping up all over the place and buy ins range from €20 - €250. What is concerning some people is that prizepools are being capped and also that there are no records kept of how many rebuys and top ups are taken. Some of these are for charity and in that case I can see that capping the prize pool is OK as long as it is clear that the rest of the money is going to the specified charity and that it is all accounted for. Some of the other tournaments though are guaranteeing a first prize and getting many more entrants than needed to pay it out but are not adjusting the prize correspondingly. This is disturbing.
I have looked into the costs of setting up a tournament and I am likely to run one in the near future. Whilst a private tournament cannot be run as cheaply as one in a card club where they make a lot of money from table games, there is no excuse for not being transparent with figures.
People are now suggesting that we set up a players association and produce a guideline for how we would like tournaments to be run. I see this as something that can only be positive for the future of poker in Ireland. Certainly one thing that will definately happen is that a guideline will be set up for tournaments advertised on the forum, although not having to comply, they will have to state whether they do or not. What we are looking for is clarity in the following:

1: How much of the prizepool is being taken for costs
2: Whether dealers are to be supplied or not
3: What is the blind structure
4: Who is the tournament director
5: Who is organising the event

I personally don't think that is too much to ask.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

WSOP Crazy !

Everyone seems to have gone WSOP crazy !
After a sickening bubble on Sunday night I thought I better get back into the water lest my taste for poker be spoiled. I felt worse about busting out in 7th than I did when I busted out of the EPT in 12th. Looking back I don't think I did too much wrong when it got to the final table. I was never in a safe qualifying position and in the end it came down to the cards. It was maybe a mistake to put pressure on one of the smaller stacks with only A7, especially when I had seen him call with very mediocre hands. I am not going to be a big favourite against him unless he has A2-A6. As it was he had KQ and when he makes two pair it puts me further down in the chip stacks. On the flipside had he folded or I won that hand then I was safe enough.
Anyway, I entered a $11 rebuy yesterday afternoon and without rebuying I was up amongst the chip leaders with 17,000 and only 2 minutes left of the rebuy period. There was only one other stack on my table over 3000 and he had 14000. I was dealt KK and came over the top of an early position raiser only for the other large stack to wake up with AA ! Back to the drawing board. AK next hand almost doubled me up and with the add on I was up to 7000+, just below average. I was only able to make this last until 34th out of 181 and out of the money.
Later in the evening I played a STT on Betfair, not noticing until it started that is was £30 not $30! Still I worked another shortstack through to 3rd to get a bit of profit back. I loaded up Pokerstars to set up the Boards tournament and had a quick look at the WSOP qualifiers. A double shootout was about to open for registration and after checking how many were getting seats from the turbo qualifier, I decided to try and get in. 46 seats were gone in the qualifier leaving 35 for people to snap up. And snap up they did. Before I had time to move my mouse over the confirmation of entry fee the tournie was full ! Then I noticed someone unregister and that seat was instantly filled. I waited with my finger over the register button and sure enough some one else unregistered and my reflexes were quick enough to get a seat. I am presuming these people unregistering were qualifiers who took the $T to use another time.
Unfortunately I did not play my best and a few stupid moves cost me dearly. The last being calling what looked like a bluff to me. Unraised preflop the board came 55AK2. I had AJ. I had called a bet on the flop and the turn and then the guy moved in just covering me on the river. As it was unraised and he had been raising a lot preflop I couldn't put him on a big Ace. He had voluntarily put money into the pot though. I figured he could have a mid pair or KQ/KJ. As it was he had limped with AK and anothe r chance at Vegas was gone.
This morning I got an email from Starluck casino, whom I had bonus whored a while back, letting me know they had credited my account with $5. I went straight to the BJ table and in 10 mins starting of with $1 bets and moving up to $5 and then $10 and after a couple of setbacks $25, I got it up to a nice $205. Then I remembered that BJ doesn't count for the wagering requirement so I took the $5 and blew it on some slots and now tommorrow I can cash out a free $200! Nice...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

So close....

461 runners. Betfair satellite for WSOP 2005. 6 places paid. Where do I finish ? 7th !
How p**sed off am I?
In the end it came down to a 60/40. All the final tabled I had hovered between 6th and 7th and after a round or two with no clashes three people went out in quick succession. I had lost a 60/40 with A7 vs KQ just before which would have knocked a guy who eventually made it out.
The blinds had just gone through me and I had 54,000 left. The blinds were 8000/16000 with a 2000 ante so I needed to move soon. I couldn't see them playing against each other as they all had at least 100,000. I had QJ on the button and when it all passed to me I moved in. Unfortunately the chip leader woke up with AQ !
Nothing at all for 7th as the event was undersubscribed. 6 seats gtd, packages worth 12,000 plus hotel and prize pool was only 69150.
No bad beats along the way either for me or against me. It was my first tournie on this site and I think I may play more as it is easy to get paid off with a good hand.
Still there are many more qualifiers to go yet :} No more bubbles after 5 1/2 hrs of play please.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The revenge of Mr Fagan

Do you ever notice how some days you just seem to give your chips to one person in particular all game long, no matter who had the best starting hand ? Last week it was Kev who was getting all my chips. This week it was Sean Snr.
Sean and I have developed a friendly rivalry in the home game and it always seems that one of us is trying to get one over on the other. A few weeks back I had knocked him out on the bubble when he tried to get fancy with a minimum raise UTG with KK. I had called with 10 5 suited and hit two pair on the flop and got all his chips in by the turn. At the time he was disgusted that I had played such muck. Last night he wanted his revenge.
He got it in the first game by taking me of a large pot when we were 4 handed. I had made a substantial preflop raise with A10s and he called from the Big Blind. There was over 6000 chips in the pot and the flop came J 5 5. He led out with 2500 and my first instinct was that he was at it and that I should have gone back over the top. Then I started second guessing myself. I thought as he knew I may do that he was setting me up, so still thinking I had the best hand I called. I also called the same size bet on the turn when another 5 fell. The river was a 2 which couldn't have helped so why did I fold to a 5000 bet on the river ? I am not sure. I still had the second highest chip count as I had double up through Sean Paul a few hands before when I flopped trip jacks from the big blind and came back over the top of his bet on the turn which unsually for the rock of gibraltar he called with 10 10 ! The real reason was he had me in two minds and when in two minds usually the best bet is to wait for another spot. It was his good psychological gameplay that had me in two minds in the first place so credit must go him for outplaying me. Had I called it would have been a split as he also had an A (with a 4!).
It was Sean Paul who finally got all my chips a while later. The blinds had started to rise and he and I were almost equal in chips with Kev really lowstacked. Sean had a massive chip lead. Sean Paul moved in UTG which I correctly interpreted as a weak ace. He had been minimum raising with big hands all night looking for action. It was A8 for him vs my AJ. Two hearts on the flop to match his two hearts, but it was the 8 on the turn that did me. Why did I not play sensible and fold until Kev got knocked out? 3rd paid €300 and I only got my money back as we paid 4 places as we allowed a few rebuys during the first few levels.

In the second game I went much earlier. I had lost a few chips here and there. One particular early pot I had Q9 and the flop came 9 high. I check-called Brendan all the way down. It was an unraised pot but he was in early postion. The board brought a possible straight but it was the 4 on the river which matched the 9 & 4 in his hand to win the pot ! My exit hand was where Sean Snr finally got to bust me. I came back over the top of his bet on the flop with an up and down straight draw and one overcard, a virtual coin flip. He made a call with second pair and none of my outs came so he has had his revenge !

In between games I had a couple of sit and go's on Party poker where I haven't played for a while. I have also played a couple of the steps $11 ones this morning. I came second in a $30 last night but failed to place in the other 3. What amazed me was that in total I saw ( unfortunately not all dealt to me ) Aces 18 times ! And they only got beat once ! This was amongst a plethora of KK's,QQ's and JJ's also. Sean Paul also had Aces 4 times last night and won with them every time ! Stevo was unfortunate to run his AK into AA and KK ! Not many outs there mate. For the first time in a while we saw two pokers in one night, Brian getting paid when he checked 4 9's on the river to Stevo who thought he was value betting a house and gladly called when Brian came back over the top. Declan, the King of bad beats, had another rough night but only ran into bigger hands. Kev is the new Rock, playing three hands voluntarily to make the money in the first game. Tripling up with Aces on the first hand he played helped !

This week you will find me mostly on Pokerstars trying to quailify for the WSOP in the Double Shootouts.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I can't believe I did this...

After successfully wielding the mighty HAMMER in the boards online tournie then proceeding to lose a race with 88 vs AK, I had time to nip down the M1 to Dublin and try out the Double chance freezeout.

As tournament structures go, I like this one. 1500 chips to start and you can take another 1500 at any time up to the first break. I was able to leave the 1500 as an add on as I almost tripled up early on when QQ held up 3 way vs 1010 and 79s. I lost a couple of big pots with A10 vs A2 and QQ vs KK but was still ahead of the pack after the break. I proceeded to go card dead for about an hour, kepping my stack level with the odd steal. Then I did something I have never ever done in live poker before. I looked at my cards and reraised a substantial amount with AK. Pot committed I called all my chips to someone who had reraised me with 88. Fine, I thought, a race. Not so bad, could have been up against KK or AA. That is until I flip my cards and find my hand has magically changed to K4! Doh ! As it was AK would not have been enough, but I did hit a 4!

Sick at my mistake I joined the celebrity cash game and proceeded to build a nice stack. The celebrity in question was Steve Davis and a nice friendly chap he is. He had been knocked out of the Irish Masters by Stephen Hendry and also the freezeout by someone else. He was still there when I left at 2am dead even for the night and I thouight he was joking when he said he was staying to play all night and then catch the red-eye back to London.

What happened to my nice stack you may ask ? After playing solid for 2 hours I made a big mistake on a 300 euro pot. I made the nut straight with a wrap on the turn and when stormin Norman bet 25 into a pot that was already over a hundred I only raised 50 more. Norman passed but another older chap had called. There was a flush draw out, although that missed and the board paired. I felt obliged to call his 125 bet as I thought he maybe at it nand if I lost I was still even for the whole night. Of course he had called with two pair and filled up. It was a bad call but if I had correctly bet the pot I would have won over a 100 instead of losing 200+. I left then not wanting to tilt off the rest.

I can't remember the last time I played so bad. Bring back the bad beats, I can take them better !

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

The way forward

Frustrated at going a dozen or so MTT's in a row without getting a cash, I decided to go back and play a few single table tournamnents. The variance in these is so much smaller than in a multitable. You can have your hand stand up 3 or 4 times in a row in a MTT then get sucked out on by a bigger stack and all your effort is gone. If you get a couple of hands stand up in a STT you are usually the big stack and can take a suck out and still come back. Another factor is also the standard of play in STT can often be excruciatingly terrible, it is often as simple as not playing anything other than big pocket pairs and AK until 5 or 6 players are left as they will knock each other out with their K7 offsuits and Ax's. Usually they are not savvy enough to notice you have not played any hands all tournamnent and will gladly reraise you all in with nothing when you pick up a hand.
I think one of the reasons for this is there are a lot of 'quick fix' players out there who do not have the time for a MT but want to play a little poker every now and again. Anyway I have played 5 STT's this weekend on Pokerstars and Ultimate bet with 2 firsts, 2 seconds and a third which is nice for the bankroll. All the pokerstars ones were $55 normal STT's and the Ultimate Bets were $33,$33 and $44. This equals a profit of $445 which just about covers my MTT losses.
I have found that playing two at time helps with the boredom factor playing these. I wish I had spent the extra couple of hundred euro and got a 19" TFT so I could play 4 without overlap. Some people may be able to multi table with overlap, but I can't !
Still I need a new PC for my new shop, so I may use the 17" one there and get a 19" for home. I am going to try and play more STT's this week instead of MTT's. I would like to be able to play a few hundred and see how I get on but I know I probalbly won't have the patience. A couple of other bloggers namely HectorJelly and PokerNerd seem to be doing well at this.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Game, set & more sets !

This weekend of poker I have seen more sets than you will ever find at Wimbledon. Unfortunately the vast majority have been held by another player with a lower pocket pair than mine !

After Kev sticking it to me on Friday night the run just went on & on. Actually thats a white lie, the first tournament I played on Saturday was the Irish open qualifier on Paddy Power. That was a tale of two races after I had quadrupled up early on. The quadruple up was a rare occasion I got slighty lucky. I had moved in with QQ during the rebuy period and found my self called in three spots. I was up against A10,K10 and JJ, so I had to avoid 8 cards 5 times, which means 40/45 times I need a Queen. I didn't get a queen but I avoided the other cards and was now in great chip position. The blinds go up faster on Tribeca sites than most so I still needed more chips to give myself some breathing space. A few hands later I found AKs and raised the pot. A guy with just over half my stack made a massive reraise all in. I fancy in this situation he has a small to medium pair and if I win this pot I am way out in tournament chip lead. Unfortunately I was correct, but he hit a 6 on the turn and I was back to just above average. I muddled my way through to the last two tables when I found JJ with two limpers before me I move in on the button. Blinds were 600/1200 by this point and I have about 9000 so it is about the last round I may have the chips to steal although I am happy with a race here. I wasn't too disappointed for the BB to wake up with AK, I was due for a race win. Alas I drowned in the river yet again so will need to try again next week.

Sunday was the day when sets really did for me. I played two FPP and one cash quailifier for Monte Carlo and in each I was outdone in massive or tournie ending pots when a lower pair hit a set against me. Each time I had made a reasonable preflop raise and had one caller who hit the set on thge flop. Each time I had an over pair to the flop and played it strong. KK vs QQ, KK vs 66 and QQ vs 1010.

I then entered the Pokerstars $215 tournamnent which got over 2500 runners for a first prize of over $100,000. Within a few hands I was tournament chip leader. I had QQ and raised 3x BB. Three callers and flop is Q34, two clubs. I make a pot sized bet and am reraised all in. Another guy calls the all in before it gets back to me. I know I am up against at least one flush draw but figure I have the nuts at the mo and outs should a club hit the turn so I call. The original reraiser has a K high flush draw and the other guy has JJ, not the best plays for a large freezeout. Anyway a 3 comes on the turn so I triple up almost to over 7000, and see my name on top of the leaderboard ! This didn't last long as I see a flop of Jxx from the BB, calling a 3X raise preflop. I check to the raiser who makes an overbet of the pot so I stick him all in figuring a bluff, he had already lost 1000 chips so could have been steaming a little. In fact he had QQ and hit a Q on the turn to leave me drawing dead and down to 5500, still healthy but not as ! I was moved table a couple of times in quick succession picking up 1010 & JJ along the way and losing a few chips when flops both contained two overcards and the post flop betting got heavy. I held at the 4000-5000 chip level for the next few levels, not finding any hands and only seeing flops when my blinds were not raised. Once the antes kicked in I made a few successful and a few unsuccesful steal attempts and still stayed around the same chip mark. I lost about 2000 chips when I raised on the button with KQs, I flopped the worlds fair and called an an all in bet for 1400 against a guy who had top pair. None of my 19 outs materialised. Shortly after I picked up AA and raised to 600, blinds still at 100/200 with 25 ante. One caller, flop 10 6 x. I bet the pot and pot committed call his reraise. He has 66, for the first time I remember I hit a 22.5:1 shot to outdraw him on the river when an Ace appears. I am then chipped away to 3000 when the blinds move up, one failed steal with A10 and some undefended blinds. I then get QQ and against the same guy flopped the 6's I raise, get called, bet a flop of undercards, bet the turn which is a blank, pot committed I call his reraise here for all my chips to find he has flopped a set of 10's and makes quads on the river !
I enter another tournie on Ultimate bet and in the second level manage to lose nearly all my stack with KK vs 22, another flopped set. The rest I lose with QQ vs 66 and you guessed it - another flopped set !
The only good result of the weekend was when after losing 1200 of my 1500 starting chips in the Irish Forum Tournie to another flopped set where I flop top two pair, I claw my way back and end up finishing 2nd. I win a few all ins here with AK, the only time all weekend, but never against a pair ! It was always a weaker Ace. I need to get my fitness up to win races ! I also managed two hours of playing two Omaha cash games winning slightly on both and also working off some of my Ultimate bonus money.

Without being bigheaded I think I am playing some good poker at the moment, I just keep running into big hands. I can see where some people think online poker is rigged after a weekend like this, however I know it is just how the cards run sometimes and if I keep playing like this I will get a run where the majority of hands hold up.

Plus I have built a shrine to PO'KAH and am offerinfg scarifices to it three times a day. If that doesn't work I will have to go searching for a four leafed clover.

Finally congratulations to Ben 'Milkybarkid' Grundy who texted me last night to let me know he had won a seat to Monte Carlo on Betfair - Jammy B'stard ! I am presuming the 5% I had of him in the Deaville €1000 event carries over to this one !

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Kevin 'The Doctor' Horgan

Last night I was murdered.

There is only one suspect. There are many witnesse's. It was a brutal crime. He must pay ! Beware if you see this man at a poker table. He shows no mercy. He takes no prisoners.
He must be stopped at all costs.

List of evidence.

All times approximate.

11.30 pm Friday 4th March.

The accused flops a set of 8's in a 4 way pot with victim who has raised preflop with JJ. After both blinds check the flop, the accused moves in for 3800 into a 2800 pot. The accused has never been seen before betting out into a pot with the best hand. Solid previous evidence shows this man to be a serial trapper. In fact he has several major convictions for this terrible crime. Throughout time master criminals have evolved. This evil man has obviously been influenced by some dark, dark thoughts. It is thought the victim, aware of this mans past, innocently called this bet expecting to be way ahead of A8 or one the many pairs that have missed this flop. Luckily the victim had enough chips to survive this vicious attack with only slightly less than average chips.

11.40 pm Friday 4th March

Not content with this solitary beating, the seemingly innocent looking Doctor raised from UTG. Zapped but still conscious victim fight back with an all in raise with a powerful looking KK. Innocent bystander, Mr Sean Paul Fagan, was caught up in this latest attack when he quite rightly put his last chips into the pot with AA. Showing no fear or remorse for his previous misdemeanors, the villian proceeds to call both victims with JJ. This creates a sidepot of just less than the average chips with the main victim. The hounds of Satan are clearly ruling this man as he hits a J on the turn to complete his massive robbery.

3am Saturday 5th March

Fully recovered despite having developed a nervouse disposition around hooded men with evil grins, our victim is again brutally attacked in a way totally in character with the previous pummellings. Again the accused is the same man. Brazen is the not the word to describe this man, it is too kind. The victim raises from under the gun 5 handed with a good stack of chips in front of him. Showing no respect, the sinister Doctor reraises all in with QQ. A few hands previously, the victim had almost made up for his initial beatings by calling an all in with JQ, facing A9 he was not too far behind, but alas the doctor lived to fight this battle. Seeing that the Doctor is holding a filthly hand, the victim has no hesitation in calling with his mighty pocket Kings. It seems that as well as having the fluffy white snowmen under his control and bribing the spineless knaves, the Doctor is chief pimp of the Queen whores and another one is duly found on the flop.

Again the Doctor finishes of his victim by having the brass neck to put the victim out of his misery by reraising on the flop holding a measly two pair to the stunned man's up and down straight flush draw. Not one of 15 reported outs came to the victims aide despite having two clear opportunities to help the man fighting for his life.

And to think this man benefitted from his crime by winning €500 for a first and subsequently €300 for a second.

Justice must be done ! The god of PO'KAH will see you get your come-uppance !

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In all fairness Kev played a great game depsite being a spawny git. My call with the jacks was purely a playing the man decision I got wrong. The others - my time will come !
Other highlights
No brotherly love when Sean Paul called Declans raise and then bets on the turn and river holding AK, correctly assuming Declan had AQ or AJ and had missed too. he had AQ and was thoroughly disgusted with his siblings call !
I managed to fulfil my last post's prediction by rivering Declan. Not with my cards but when I was dealing. On the bubble he moves in blind on the button with K2 offsuit. He was called by Joe with pocket 4's. He was delighted when he saw a King and a deuce on the flop but sick when I turned over a 4 on the river !
The final hand of game 2 saw some justice dispensed on Kev ' outdraw ' Horgan when he was all in against Declan with K6 vs Declans K5. A 6 on the river did not win it for Kev as it made a straight for the Decodevil.
Deco also made a great call against Joe with pocket 3's on a board with 5 overcards. Apparently Joe never bluffs !

Friday, March 04, 2005

How to commit Hari Kari in a poker tournament..

After losing my first round World cup of poker qualifier I decided to play a MTT on VC. In preparation for the Irish Open qualifier on Saturday I chose the $27 rebuy tournament along with 180+ others.
As usual I played it tight and waited for premium hands knowing with the looseness early on in these tournaments I was likely to get paid off. It took a while but in the last level before the rebuys ended I got KK three times. Once I only won the blinds with a raise, once I got one player all in and won, once I got two players all in and won. With the add on I was nicely positioned in the top 15 and ready to move up the leaderboard.
Before the second break I was chip leader with over 25,000 chips. I got the max out of a flopped set of sixes which turned into a boat. With pocket 7's I got someone to move all in on the turn on a board of 2456, he had 85. When I played A10 to a limper and the big blind with me in the small, the board came AKxJQ. I had bet it all the way and someone called all the way with A7 !
Then it I went a bit loopy. I had been playing well so far and proceeded to lose half my stack on a very badly played hand. I picked up JJ on the cut off and it was folded to me, I raised 3 * the big blind and would have been happy just to take them. The BB however was having none of it and called. The flop could not have been much better for pocket jacks - 1083 rainbow. When it was checked to me I decided for some inane reason just to bet half the pot. The BB had just over 20,000 at the start of the hand, only 5,000 less than me. When he called the bet I put him on maybe A10, although I thought if he had that a VC move here is usually to reraise, Also on VC overpairs tend to reraise here, as do flopped sets. This was my first mistake, you cannot generalise all players just by the site! He had just moved to our table so I had no idea of how he had got his chips. The second mistake was not thinking about what he had actually called with, I had just focused on what I thought he didn't have. I was right about what he didn't have. Trouble is if I had used this information to determine what he did have then I wouldnt have made 2 more 3200 called bets on the turn and river. The turn and river were A & Q. As soon as he just flat called my river bet I knew he had AK, even before his cards flipped up to show me !
Why did I only bet half the pot on the flop ? I figured I was ahead and for some stupid reason thought I would stay ahead ! I should have gone with the standard pot size bet here, if he is a good player he cannot call this with over cards. As it was I bet 1800 into a pot of 3900 giving him over 3:1 to hit an Ace or King which is just about right with 2 cards to come. If I think about this hand I still might give him the odds to call with AK and then move in when one doesnt appear but get away from it when it hits. As it was I just gifted him 6400 chips !
I managed to raise and reraise myself back up to 15,000 after dribbling some more chips away.
Then a player raises to 4000 from UTG, blinds are 400/800 and I am in the small blind with pocket 99's. I have seen this player move in and call all in's with 88 or lower pocket pairs and decide that he is at it. Can these players get good hands as well ? Of course they can, we all get them. What does he have ? - KK ! Oops ! As well as having KK, he had more chips than me, so in two rounds I went from chip leader to chip loser. And I have no-one to blame but myself.
In another tournament on Ultimate bet I reraise someone all in on the turn with 95 ! I have a flush draw and middle pair - my oppo has the nut flush draw and top pair - This was just after busting out of the other tournament and I didn't want to play any more poker.
This is where this blog benefits me most. I know I was stupid, but writing it down seems to work it out of the system. Look out home game players I will be on form tonight ! (Hope I don't regret writing that). Whether I win or not, I am gonna river Declan again, just for the craic !

How to commit Hari Kari in a poker tournament..

After losing my first round World cup of poker qualifier I decided to play a MTT on VC. In preparation for the Irish Open qualifier on Saturday I chose the $27 rebuy tournament along with 180+ others.
As usual I played it tight and waited for premium hands knowing with the looseness early on in these tournaments I was likely to get paid off. It took a while but in the last level before the rebuys ended I got KK three times. Once I only won the blinds with a raise, once I got one player all in and won, once I got two players all in and won. With the add on I was nicely positioned in the top 15 and ready to move up the leaderboard.
Before the second break I was chip leader with over 25,000 chips. I got the max out of a flopped set of sixes which turned into a boat. With pocket 7's I got someone to move all in on the turn on a board of 2456, he had 85. When I played A10 to a limper and the big blind with me in the small, the board came AKxJQ. I had bet it all the way and someone called all the way with A7 !
Then it I went a bit loopy. I had been playing well so far and proceeded to lose half my stack on a very badly played hand. I picked up JJ on the cut off and it was folded to me, I raised 3 * the big blind and would have been happy just to take them. The BB however was having none of it and called. The flop could not have been much better for pocket jacks - 1083 rainbow. When it was checked to me I decided for some inane reason just to bet half the pot. The BB had just over 20,000 at the start of the hand, only 5,000 less than me. When he called the bet I put him on maybe A10, although I thought if he had that a VC move here is usually to reraise, Also on VC overpairs tend to reraise here, as do flopped sets. This was my first mistake, you cannot generalise all players just by the site! He had just moved to our table so I had no idea of how he had got his chips. The second mistake was not thinking about what he had actually called with, I had just focused on what I thought he didn't have. I was right about what he didn't have. Trouble is if I had used this information to determine what he did have then I wouldnt have made 2 more 3200 called bets on the turn and river. The turn and river were A & Q. As soon as he just flat called my river bet I knew he had AK, even before his cards flipped up to show me !
Why did I only bet half the pot on the flop ? I figured I was ahead and for some stupid reason thought I would stay ahead ! I should have gone with the standard pot size bet here, if he is a good player he cannot call this with over cards. As it was I bet 1800 into a pot of 3900 giving him over 3:1 to hit an Ace or King which is just about right with 2 cards to come. If I think about this hand I still might give him the odds to call with AK and then move in when one doesnt appear but get away from it when it hits. As it was I just gifted him 6400 chips !
I managed to raise and reraise myself back up to 15,000 after dribbling some more chips away.
Then a player raises to 4000 from UTG, blinds are 400/800 and I am in the small blind with pocket 99's. I have seen this player move in and call all in's with 88 or lower pocket pairs and decide that he is at it. Can these players get good hands as well ? Of course they can, we all get them. What does he have ? - KK ! Oops ! As well as having KK, he had more chips than me, so in two rounds I went from chip leader to chip loser. And I have no-one to blame but myself.
In another tournament on Ultimate bet I reraise someone all in on the turn with 95 ! I have a flush draw and middle pair - my oppo has the nut flush draw and top pair - This was just after busting out of the other tournament and I didn't want to play any more poker.
This is where this blog benefits me most. I know I was stupid, but writing it down seems to work it out of the system. Look out home game players I will be on form tonight ! (Hope I don't regret writing that). Whether I win or not, I am gonna river Declan again, just for the craic !

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ultimate virgin

I finally got around to trying out Ultimate Bet tonight. I want to have a crack at the WPT in Aruba, Catherine needs another nice holiday !

My first impressions of the site were mixed. I think it looks good and the tournament structures seem very good. The interface could do with a bit of tweaking but I got used to it in the end.

I first started out in a $100+9 MTT which had a $10,000 gtd prize pool. It started with 119 players and you get 2500 chips. The blinds start off at 5/10 which is the lowest I have seen. The levels are also 15 minutes long so there is plenty of play. Even so nearly half the field was gone by the hour break. I have a feeling I may like playing tournaments here. The standard did not seem too much better than any other site I have played on. Two players getting All in Preflop on the second hand with AQ ofsuit and 77 !
Unfortunately I did not catch any cards early on. Not even anything worth getting in for 10 chips ! This meant that everyone folded when I picked up QQ in midposition and made a little raise. A few hands later I got the same and again evryone folded. I needed to loosen up and began to see some flops but missed by miles. My chips were dribbling away, a failed reraise post flop and more missed draws. I called a big raise with 88 and the flop brought me trips but with 3 hearts, a fourth and fifth lost me the pot ! As I was left with just over 1000 chips and the average was over 5000, I made a reraise all in with AK to find myself in a race with JJ. I hit a K but a J on the river and it was over ( no different to other sites then ! ).

I then entered a couple of STT's. One for $20 and one for $30. Key hands held up and I even flopped quad 9's and managed to get someone to move in on me on the turn ! I ended up winning both playing tight early and moving through the gears as people fell by the wayside. The structure in these is also the best I have seen online. Again you start with blinds of 5/10 with 10 min levels and 1000 start chips.

I think I am going to play here some more !

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

World cup of poker

Last night I decided to have a crack at quailifying for the Irish team in The Pokerstars World Cup of poker.

It was an interesting format of heads up knockout competition. 41 players were in the running, some got byes into the next round due to the odd numbers, I was not one of them. My first match went on for about an hour, one of the longest. I had control most of the time although I was caught out at one point and was down to 200 chips from 1500 starting. My opponent was a typical tight weak player and constant betting and raising helped me chip back up and eventually overcome him. My second match was much the same and again I was caught out and had to come back from a low stack to win. Third game was over within 20 hands or so, I took a big lead after the first two hands and never let go. In the fourth game ( 8 players left ) I took a massive 22,000 to 2,000 chip lead very early and then proceeded to bluff it all away, although the call he made on the last hand with second pair on a flushing Ace high board took some believing ! My own fault for playing King high !
I will probaly give it another go on Thursday.

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