Luckyblind's Poker Blog

Random thoughts and reports from a relative Poker newbie.

Location: Drogheda, Ireland

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

First impressions can be misleading...

The City West is a great venue for as poker tournament. Located just outside Dublin, just off the N7 it is easy to reach. There are many conference rooms and bars to accomadate any size of function. The craic is always good as there is usually a good mix of golfers, wedding parties, poker players, conference delegates and holidaymakers milling about consuming copious quantities of alcohol.

One day someone will take advantage of all this and run a good tournament here.

The traffic was not as bad as it could have been at 5.30 as I arrived as registration opened considering I (and most other players) have to negotiate the Mad Cow roundabout at peak time to register in time. I arrive to find a queue wind it's way down the staircase that leads up to the room used for this event, the Pokerevents €275 Freezeout.

As the queue moved I entered the room itself and I have to say I was very impressed with the way the room was layed out. There were plenty of tables to the left for non-players and for the players to eat on the break. The tables themselves were covered in VC branded cloths and each table had it's own freestanding lamp over it creating a 50's style club atmosphere. All the tables were of the round variety apart from two in the centre which were the real deal. All in all there were 22 tables and dealers were provided at each one. Two screens flanked the set up, one for the blinds etc, and one advertising future events.

I filled in the 'membership' application with the provided pencil. Name and telephone number seemed to suffice, not ssure if this meets the legal requirement for running a tournament but it wasn't my head on the block. I was able to register Sean Paul without him having to sign anything also.

As with all tournaments it was unable to meet the 7pm start time even with registration being open 1 /12 hours before kick off. As everybody took their seats half an hour late I looked around a room full of the usual local suspects and Ken Doherty who had a €400 bounty on his head. Most of the well known Irish players were there including Scott Gray, Roy Brindley, Andy Black, and Don Fagan. was well represented with myself, Biteme Dave, Bigdragon Dave, Lenny Leonard, NickyOD and Iona Paul. The home game also had a few players; Sean, Sean Paul, Declan, Stevo and Paul. There was a high number of Cork & Galway raiders and a good smattering of women and younger players.

All the tables were named after the Counties and towns of Ireland. Spookily enough I had drawn my home table of Louth. Vernon, Eamon and Adrian Walsh were the only players at the table I knew. There were a few players from Galway and Cork and a young goth looking lad with black painted fingernails. With Eamon and Vernon there it was going to be fun!

I had only come down to enter this because of the fact that it was advertised as a 2 day event with 8000 starting chips and a 40 minute clock. Plus the fact that unlike the €50 rebuy at the Red Cow, this Pokerevents tournament prizepool was not capped.

With the blinds at 25/50 there was no need to hurry and I played a very tight first round. I flopped a nut straight early on in a 4 way pot and was disappointed to find my small bet caused everyone to fold. Level 2 I won the blinds with AA and missed a couple of flops with suited connectors and was comfortable at 7700 chips. Level 3 the blinds were 75/150 and players seemed to be dropping out quite rapidly around the room although we were still at 11 players. Did I mention that they crammed 11 players and a dealer round the table? There were spare dealers and spare tables so this was unacceptable in my view. Anyway back to the event, Just before the break I found KK on the Big Blind and 4 players limped ahead of me. I raised to 1000, I didn't want 4 oppponents. I was only called by the shortest stack who had another 2000 behind him. The flop cam AKx rainbow. Putting him on at least an Ace I put him all in. i wa not surprised when he called. I was however surprised to see Q10 offsuit! He didn't get lucky and I had 10,700 by the time the break came.

The break was a healthy 40 minutes and a nice selection of food was offered up for the players. I partook in some of the chicken and caught up with most of the people I knew to see how they were getting on. Bigdragon & Declan had gone to bad beats, Dave flopping top two and his oppo hitting a gutshot straight. Declan moved All in with KK after the flop and was called by second pair who hit a runner runner flush. Don lost a big pot when he got all in with AK vs 77 on an A 5 5 board, another runner runner four flush for the 7's. Sean Paul and the other dave had almost doubled their starting stacks. Sean Snr ran his AQ into KK and was also gone. Iona Paul had 7500, Dave O'callahan and young O'dea were sitting comfortably. Amazingly Vernon & Eamon were both playing steady rock like games and both had improved their starting chip count.

Sitting back down after the break is when things to started to go wrong for the reputation of this event and I began to see that the negative comments about this Pokerevents company I have seen written by many are true. Remember this is a two day affair. Thay have approximately 20 hours of playing to finish this tournament, maybe more as I heard that it was restarting at 1pm the next day. Gobsmacked was I when the next level was announced. 100/200 with a 25 Ante, almost tripling the cost of a round. I looked round at the display and saw that the next level was due to be 200/400 and a 50 Ante. In two rounds the cost goes up 5x !! 225 a round at level 3, 1100 at level 5.

This escalation started an explosion, literally. In quick succession two of the lamps blew up, sending glass and the lampshades crashing down onto the tables and giving more than one player a heart attack. On the table next to me the hand was declared dead, one guy muchly annoyed having been dealt QQ.

It was obvious to me that quick chip accumulation was necessary and must have been to everyone else as the chips started to fly. A guy from Galway who had been playing a steady game suddenly decided to move all in for 15,000+ with Q4 preflop with only 1200 in the pot. The A10 that called surprised me even more, he claimed he was pot committed but 20% of your stack is not committed in my view, maybe he knew the player. It held up anyway. Eamon raised preflop to over 2000 and got one caller. Eamon was Small blind and moved the rest of his chips in before the flop was dealt. The A10 caller called with pocket 4's on a QQ6 board, Eamon had the bullets.

Then I saw the worst play I have seen for a long time.

Young goth guy raises 2000, a third of stack, from second position. 3 people call incuding myself from the Big blind with 89s. The flop is KJ7 giving me a gutshot. There are also 2 hearts out there. How do you play this from the small blind if you have a set of Jacks with nearly 10,000 in the pot and four players? Do you check every street and call an all in bet on the river when a Q turns up? The young goth was delighted as he was allowed to hit his gutshot for free and more than treble up.

This play was to play a part in my downfall. Young goth surely would not have called a big bet on the flop or turn here and accumulated his tidy stack. In turn he would have maybe hesitated about calling my all in a while later if it was for all his chips too instead of 25% of his stack. I had been card dead since the break and was dealt AQ UTG. With 4000 left and blinds now at 300/600 with a 75 ante I only had one move. Gothy tried to raise this to 5000? It was ruled correctly as a call and I was delighted when no-one else got involved (his attempted raise maybe indicated a strength that was not there) and he flipped AJ of hearts. Of course a bad play here is what I wanted and what I got. As usual however bad plays are often rewarded by the gods of poker and after a safe looking flop of 10 high he lost 3 outs and gained 3 when a K appeared on the turn. As if by magic his 6.81% hit on the river and the crapshoot is over !

I was about 120th out of 241 entrants. By the time I exited, Don was gone as was Iona Paul, Stevo and Lenny. Dave had a reasonable stack, Sean Paul had dropped back a bit, NickOD was looking uncomfortable with about 8-10,000, Ken Doherty had rocketed from 2,500 to 80,000 chips, Roy the Boy was lingering and there were still 5 of the women left including Willow who took most of Sean Paul's chips. I only mention the women as the organisers decided to give a €400 ticket to the one who lasted longest. It is if to say, you are not going to win females so we will have a little prize for the one of you that lasts longest. Plus it is reverse sexual discrimination :)

I hung around to see what developed. there was no copy of the structure available so I had to just note it down as it appeared on the screen. When I left there were 30 players left. the blinds had hit 3000/6000 with a 500 Ante. This meant that the average stack had 4 rounds of the table left. Any preflop raise means you are committing all of your chips. Right before I left I saw Willow's stack decimated as she reluctantly called a re-raise with AK to find herself up against AA. However she was not the longest lasting female, there were still 3 left. I they finish 1,2,3.

A final glance around the tables I saw that Roy the Boy had a large pile of chips as did Ken Doherty. Kevin Williamson who chopped the Fitz tourney the night before was hanging in there and the young lady who finished second in that one had a nice pile too. Goth was still in too. All the boards guys and home game players had fallen by the wayside and the bar had finally closed.

Talking to Don & Scott, they both agreed this tournament was great practice for the WSOP where muppetry abounds and is a minefield for the decent players. Everybody I spoke to thought that although it started off smoothly enough the blind and antes were madness given the time they had to finish the event. From my own experience the dealing staff were of mixed quality, some were very good and others were awful. Sean Paul had to get the dealer changed on his table after there were mistakes on three consective hands.

Will people return? They probably will. At the moment there is no one offering a tournament with a comparable prize pool and you can't fail to enjoy yourself at the venue. Is it a good tournament? Not really. A great opportunity to create a tournament that is free from the time constraints of a one nighter and with the space to accomadate a big field has been wasted. More time spent on the actual poker instead of making things look nice is the key. Both would not have been too difficult. Not for great minds like Fintan & Donal. NickyOD summed it up when I asked him how he went out - 'I was Arse-raped'. Poker was too Nicky.

On my out a guy walked past me and said ' you and your fcuking pair of eights!'
' I wasn't at your table all night', I replied, 'Plus I never had a pair of eights tonight!'
'It wasn't tonight, it was last year...'
I vaguely recognised they guy. It turns out I knocked him out of the €300 rebuy at the Merrion with 88 vs K9.

Just for the record this was the structure up until I left:

40 min clock.

100/200 with 25 ante
200/400 with 50 ante
300/600 with 75 ante
500/1000 with 100 ante
800/1600 with 150 ante
1000/2000 with 200 ante
2000/4000 with 300 ante
3000/6000 with 500 ante

or you can look at it like this:

75 /rnd

Thankyou and goodnight (or morning as it is now).

Friday, May 27, 2005

An uneventful night of poker

At the last minute I made the decision to nip down the M1 to enter the end of month €270 game at the Fitz. Not sure if they had the upstairs back open, I called the Pokergimp to make sure I was registered and when I got there I found a smaller field than usual. 107 players turned up, numbers maybe affected by the Pokervents €250 game today the City West.

My opening table was a pretty standard mix. I had Ivan Donaghy to my left and also on the table were Dave (Biteme from and Joan. The first few pots I entered I won without showing my cards and was up to just under 7000 from 5000 starting. Joan was in most of the pots and when I bet out after flopping a small two pair from the small blind she raised back at me. I had her well covered and thought I had the best of it and that she was fed up of me betting at all the pots. I re-raised substantially. After a long thought (this made me almost sure I was ahead) she moved all in for a small amount more than my bet. I called expecting TPTK but was surprised to see she had flopped a set! This set me back to just over 3000.

I went card dead for a short while, Ivan busted when he moved in on the turn with a double belly buster which missed. Vernon joined the table and as usual was in every pot with every type of hand you can imagine. He took a chunk of change off Joe O'Neill when he called a raise with 10 2. Delusions of Dolly methinks.

The next hand I played, I raised with pocket 7's and was called by Joan. I bet out on the flop which was 7 high. The turn brought straight possibilities and I bet out another 1000 leaving me with 700 back. The river made four to a straight and when Joan checked to me I just showed my 7's which were ahead. This got me back up to over 5000. Just before the break I limped with 86s and it was raised from 400 to 1000. With the blinds and my bet also I was getting over 3:1 and called. The flop dropped 8 8 2. I bet 1050 and was called quickly. When a King came on the turn I put my last 2000+ in thinking he might put me on a bluff at the King. After a long thought he folded.

After that I think I only played 4 hands in over two hours. I almost doubled up knocking someone out with QQ vs 55 and I knocked Joe O'neill out with AKs vs 910s. I stole the blinds with 77 and AKs before moving all in for 7500 on the button with A2 and finding both blinds with AJ! 22nd place and just short of the money. It was a good atmosphere and I enjoyed myself and i think I did as well as I could with the hands and positions I found myself in.

Well done to Joe 'Not O'neill' or Joe 'The blog reader' who came in 4th for €2500. Poker gimp went out after me and Davey Devil just before me. Eoighn (probably spelt it wrong again - in future blogs will be known as 'Young O'dea') O'dea was also still in when I left. Kevin williamson was sat next to my left for most of the tournament and was playing solid poker. He has qualified for the World Series, best of luck to him along with all the other Irish qualifiers.

Tonight I may make it to the CityWest tournie and I am also in the Fitz bubble tournie tomorrow.

Stay Lucky

(sorry it wasn't up first thing Joe!)


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Things are getting desperate when....

You think that because your big pairs are being beaten by 'inferior' hands that if you play an 'inferior' hand you will in due course beat somebody else's big pair.

Unfortunately the gods of Po'Kar do not work this way. Another attempt to qualify for the WSOP falls by the wayside mainly due to trying to get a big stack re-raising from the big blind with AQ and running into KK. I hit an Ace but a King was the first card on the flop! I had been playing a reasonably tight game up until then but as fate would have it I just made my move at the wrong time.

I also played my first round match in the Boards heads up championship. I was up against Oscar, who won a seat to the WSOP in a freeroll. The first match in a best of three went my way easily and the second was looking good when I picked up QQ and re-raised a substanstial amount pre-flop. Oscar called and the flop was 774. I put out another decent bet which was called also. When the turn was a 4 I moved in. Oscar had A4 so it was one all.
I moved into a 2:1 chip lead quickly in the second match and the 'fish' mistakenly thought AA was a good hand and got extremely lucky when I moved all in post flop with a flush and straight draw! Ah well I am busy at the moment so would have struggled to fit in the rest of the matches anyway :) Seriously though, well done to the king of dubious haircuts MK2 (Tom Murphy being MK1). He is certainly the type of player who with a smattering of fortune can go a long way in the big one.

On a side note to all readers in Ireland. Green Joker Poker is holding it's second €50 rebuy tournament next Thursday at The Europa Hotel in Drogheda. The last one paid out over €7000 and the pot is expected to be larger this time. It is also starting at the earlier time of 8.30PM.
The next one after that is booked for 16th June. A €25 rebuy this time.

Also watch this space for some exciting news about to hit the Irish Poker scene !!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Why I am not going to the WSOP yet..

KK flop is Jxx I have reraised preflop and move all in first to act on the flop. He committed half his stack preflop, does this give the guy odds to call for the rest of his chips with Ace high? well he did and hit one of his 3 outs.

A few hands later I raise with AQ and fold to a re-raise and re-re-raise, the hands AQ & JJ, the Ace flopped and then the jacks made a four flush.

Next hand I commit the remainder of my chips with AKs and come up against AQ and a Queen flops. Have I upset pokerstars in some way that I do not recall?

Rant over.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Where have I been?

This is the longest I have gone without posting on this blog. I am still alive! I just have not been playing too much poker and this is a poker blog.

Why am I not playing poker?

I am extremely busy at the moment. I have a new shop opening and also I am involved in a couple of poker related projects.

The first is organising tournaments locally. The first one I am just back from and for a debut I think it went quite well. It ended up starting late as everyone had to become a member of 'The Green Joker Poker club' and also we probably had a too late start time of 9pm. This meant we had to cut down the time of some of the levels to get finished on time. We also had to decide the last 3 positions based on chip counts. Everyone seemed to enjoy the tournament though whether they made the money or not. A fair few beers were consumed and the winner out of the 76 entrants went home €2500 richer with10 players making the money as the bubble was split.

Also I have been writing some articles for Paddy Power's poker room. They are online at the moment and can be found here and here. Admittedly these did not take too long and have been up for a while.

There is also another project happening which I cannot divulge at the moment.

I have found time for a little poker but have had no successes and I have already posted enough bad beat stories in the past. there was the odd hand I went in behind but mostly it has been a case of losing too many 70-90% shots.

Congrats to Ben Grundy for his deal with Betfair and also someone else I know is close to signing a deal.

Sad to hear Mark McMahon lost his second round match in the Worlds Heads Up, but I am sure he is having a great time otherwise over there.

Lastly thanks to all my blog readers who made to the tournie and I hope to see you there next time too! (June 2nd 8PM, The Europa Hotel, Drogheda).

Hopefully I will get to play a little more soon and get some more bad beats up on this blog.

Stay Lucky


Friday, May 06, 2005

Back on the Horse...

Over the last two weeks I have only played the Boards online tournies and the main event at the Fitzwilliam festival. Last night I decided to saddle up and play an online MTT. The break has done me good, I am back to laughing at any bad beats inflicted on me.

It was only a $5.50 rebuy on Pokerstars but the first prize was over $3000 as there was 659 runners so it was well worth shooting for.

As usual in these I immediately rebought. The first hand I got KK on the button, half the table was sitting out and I won the blinds with a small raise. From then on through out the rebuy I got nothing higher than Q10. I dribbled down to 1500 and rebought again. 2 mins before the end of the rebuy I am back down to 2000 chips and 2 players go all in before me. I have Q10 off and think 'what the hell' and call. AK & 1010 but I sucked out with a queen and now had 7500, a top up to 9500 and I am just over average at the first break.

The next hour I double up to 18,000. During this I raised with KK again, got one caller and flopped quads. I checked the flop and turn and he folded to my bet on the river. The other key hand was A10 suited where I flopped top pair and the nut flush draw. I end up all in vs the K high flush draw and won my biggest pot of the night.

The next hour I doubled up again to 40,000. I limped with KK UTG and got a raise from the Blig blind, I moved in and took a nice pot without a flop. I tried it again with the boots UTG and this time got no raisers and lost a small pot to a 4 flush. Then I found 10 10 in the big blind and the small blind raised into me. I flat called and for the second time I flopped quads. This time I got action on every street. I flat called until the river where I raised it up four times his bet. I should have moved in because he called instantly!

I upped my bet frequency as the blinds were getting high and won and lost about the same amount of pots. One key hand when down to 25,000 and 2000,4000 blinds I was in the big blind with 88 and reraised a mid position raiser. I won the race with AK after a K on the flop and an 8 on the river!

Down to 34 players and I have half the average chips with 60,000. I am in the Big blind with QQ and there is a raise from one of the chip leaders in mid postion. I move all in and he calls with A8o. An ace on the flop and I am 34th making a grand $40 profit for over 3 hours play!

However it was a 3 hours well spent as I am back happy with my game and did little wrong throughout the whole tournament. 'If it wasn't for bad luck...' as our favourite World Champion likes to say!

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Fitz festival main event

This was a €385 double chance. I think some people thought is was a €20 rebuy. The play I saw was absolutely terrible. Unfortunately every instance of bad play I saw was rewarded.

My tournament started off with few premium hands just the odd smattering of small pairs and suited connectors. Early on at my table I saw that raises were not being respected so I just limped along with everyone else trying to hit a hand. I made two small pots and trickled my way down to 4000 of the 7000 starting chips. My biggest loss was when Harold, who eventually finished 6th turned a set of jacks, that only cost me 1500 chips. There was a guy who had frittered away half his starting chips in the first half an hour who called a raise with 2 4 suited from his big blind. He was up against two players and his call was 25% of his stack. The flop? A 3 5 of course. The initial raiser had A5 and the other caller AK, suffice to say he tripled up.

I was moved table after the break and moved back up to starting chips when I was the second caller of a steamers raise. I had J10s and a J high flop with two of my suit. I moved in for about the pot and they both folded. The steamer was steaming because he had raised without protecting his cards and the dealer only saw the callers chips and cards and accidentally mucked his hand! He went on to call IonaPaul's all in raise with QJ. Paul had AK and the steamer hit a Queen.

Shortly after this I found AA in the big blind. This was level five and blinds were 200/400. A lady raised to 1200 and the small blind called. With 2800 out there and 6000 in front of me I decided to go all in and take it there and then. The lady called so quick I thought she may have the other two Aces or at least KK. Wrong. I found a muppet who thought K10 was worth calling nearly all your stack with in the early stages of a tournament. Suffice to say a 10 on the flop and a King on the river ended my night early. For the first time in a live tournament I lost my cool a little and very loudly said ' How the F*** can you call for nearly all your chips with K10, nice hand!' and stormed off for a pint! I should be glad I found someone playing so bad as normally I would be in a good position after this hand but it hurt to get sucked out on in a decent tournament. I heard she later did something similar to a friend of mine. Please god let me drawn on her table again sometime soon....

Afterwards I had no luck in the cash game and blew off another couple of hundred, losing most when flopping a small house for someone to turn a bigger one. At least that pot went to someone I knew ! I gave up shortly after that and went for a few drinks.