Luckyblind's Poker Blog

Random thoughts and reports from a relative Poker newbie.

Location: Drogheda, Ireland

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Monday, June 20, 2005 is alive !!! Luckyblinds blog is dead.

Ok, after a few painstaking months of work in between everything else that has been going on we finally have put Antes up live. The full content is not up yet, we need to get player profiles complete and the tournament schedule and cardroom directory is still under construction.

We have decided not to fill it with backdated news but anything new will be posted as it happens.

Once we get back from the WSOP things will start to be added to create a one stop site for Irish poker. There will also be a lot of stuff to interest non-irish players and our WSOP coverage will include all the well known players we can find amongst the masses. I know I have some US readers, so if you have a friend playing and want me to keep you updated then it is probably easiest if you tell them to tell the person in the Antesup garb that you are looking at our site for updates and we will keep you informed.

Tom and I are quite proud of what we have done so far but we would like to hear peoples views on the site, good or bad,. If you want to do it in public then add a comment here if in private then email me.

As far as 'Luckyblinds poker blog' goes, this is the end of the line. My blog will continue on Antes up under the original title of 'Mike's blog'. So far it has been a fun ride and I hope you will join me as Antes up takes it one step further.

Stay Lucky

Mike 'Luckyblind' Lacey

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Fitz €50 Double chance

Having played no poker at all, not even online, since last week I ventured down to the Fitzwilliam to have a crack at this little gem of a tournament. Eventuelly 57 runners entered giving a 1st prize of €1170 and €540 for second, Third paid out €350, anthing else was not worth aiming for.

The omens were not good when I lost my initial allocation of chips on the first hand I played. I raised it to 150 with AQs, blinds were 10/25 and there had been a couple of limpers. A lady to my left raised up to 300 and by the time it got back to me all the limpers and the big blind had called so I put in the extra 150 for 'value'. The flop was Ace rag rag and when it was checked to me I bet out 200, a third of my stack committed already now. The lady who re-raised pre-flop folded but the big blind made it 200 more ! Everyone else folded so I flat called. I decided that whatever came on the flop I was checking to see what he did. I figured if he made a bet that was half my stack or more he held a weak Ace and I was moving all in. This is exactly what happened and he reluctantly called with A9 of clubs, the turn had put two clubs on the board. He had 12 outs and one of them, a 9, hit on the river. With my second chance 1500 chips I got up to 2800 at the break without showing a hand.

Just before my table broke after the break I moved up to 3500 when I elimated a shortstack with AK vs KJ. My new table was a minefield. Frank, Norman and Kevin Farrelly were all there and chirping away as usual. Norman losing an all in with AJ vs AQ as I sat down made things worse as shortstacked he would move with anything (and did repeatedly). The first playable hand I fopund was AQ and I raised into Norman's big blind. Normally I would have called when he went all in but something told this was the real deal and I folded after a brief show pause. He proudly flipped over KK so my read was spot on.

I survived 2 or 3 orbits nicking the blinds once or twice and then went on a bit of a rush. First I flopped a set of twos from the big blind against Kevin who had flopped a pair of Aces and I more than doubled up in a five way pot. A couple of hands later I have 7 5 offsuit in the big blind. Blinds now 150/300. Frank is the only caller from the small. The flop comes down A34 and Frank bets 600. Mmmm. I am suspicous as he would normally raise preflop with any ace. I decided to call and bet the turn whatever. The turn was a King and he checked to me so I bet 1300 and he took some time before calling. Before I decided my next move the river came a beautiful 6 to give me the nuts! Frank bet 1500. i took some time before raising to 3500 and he immediately moved all in! It is only afterwards that I am confused because he said he hit a straight with his Q5 and I thought nothing of it as I scooped the pot. He must have been having a Ted Lawson moment - "I have a straight, look 3 4 5 6...Damn".

Then came the icing on the cake. I had raised twice to 700 and had to fold to Kings on this table. Why everybody has to show me their cards I don't know. Anyway I got AA on my next button and raised 700 again. Lady who re-raised me earlier on the other table makes it 2000. I immediately push as I have no read on her play. She calls even quicker with AK? No help for her and she is the only player on the table with more chips than me and I double up to be tournament chip leader. Five minutes previously I had 2500 chips and moving into All in with any Ace territory.

I felt that if I got to the final table with 20,000 chips + I would stand a good chance as my game is best as it starts to get nearer the money. I currently had 25,000 so was in no rush to make rash calls to try and knock out shortstacks. I would just play solid and see where it takes me. As it happened I went completely card dead apart from getting AQ in the small blind when someone moved in for 1400, I called the extra 800 and she hit a 9 for her K9 off to outdraw me. As it turned out the Aces were my last pre-flop all in to hold up. I was favourite in all of them bar one.

I got back up to 28,000 for the final table, bluffing Charlie out of a medium sized pot on the river when a possible flush hit on the final hand before we merged back to the last nine. Maybe this stuck in Charlies head as the first hand we played together on the final table doubled me up.
The pot was 5 way pre-flop for 3500 apiece. Blinds were 800/1500 so it was a goodly size pot. The flop came down K 4 2. I initially thought there were two hearts and when the first two players checked and Charlie bet 3000 I decided to take there and then by raising to 10,000. Everyone else folded but Charlie called after some hesitation. I forget the turn but when I looked back at the flop it was rainbow. This made no obvious draws so I put him on AK at least to call my raise. If he had KK he was getting all my chips. He checked and I moved in for 14500. He called pretty quick with QQ and I now had over 1/3rd of the chips in play.

I was still playing steady and kept my stack constant until I played 88 vs a shortstack's JJ and then got more chips in after a flop of Q 10 3 with two hearts to go with my K J of hearts gave me 18 outs against Q6 but none appeared. I briefly slipped down to 40,000 before getting back up to 60,000 when I made anothe good read. I had K8 and made up the blinds from the small. There was one other caller and the flop came 8 5 6, two clubs. I made an information bet of 5000 and was called by the limper. I had played on his table most of the night and knew he didn't have the straight as he would have moved all in. The turn was another 5 and he called again. I bet 10,000 this time and he called again. The river was a 7 which I thought made him two pair lower than mine. I moved all in, I don't think he would call all the way with a gutshot and anything else he raises me. He folded after a thought showing a seven.

Elvis is more alive than the cards I was dealt until we made three handed play. I had drifted back down to 30,000 and was billy low stack. I doubled through the man whose name I cannot recall, although he reminded me and another player of Peter Roche. I made a small re-raise all in on a flop of 5 3 2 with 10 5 and he missed his straight draw. His bet was too big to have meant anything else and he had steadily been increasing the size of bets, no one has a hand as often as his bets claimed. Michael, Happycamper from boards, knocked him out with A2 vs KQ and I arrived at heads up with a 3:1 chip disadvantage. Blinds were only 2000/4000 and I had 51,000 so I still felt confident. I gathered Michael had not much experience of heads up live play and I certainly took advantage of that.

It took me 10 minutes of chipping away to get the chip lead and when I had 3:1 I called his all in re-raise with A4. He had been at it with 96 but hit a 9 and he won a couple of pots to take a small chip lead. Michael then won a larger pot when he re-raised by 7 high bluff and I was back to square one. This was just after we briefly discussed a deal. At that point I had 85,000 to his 110,000. With blinds at 3000,6000 I would only accept 50:50 but he wanted 9:7 so I refused. I quickly regained the chip lead and when he was down to 50,000 I flopped the second nuts with J8 and Q 10 9. I tentative check and he moved all in. Nice. €1100 euro after tips will help my Vegas fund and Catherines 3 weeks in Irish speaking country for her degree.

All in all a satisfactory nights work and I am glad to be back to winning albeit a small tournie with mixed standards of play. My Antes Up partner Tom Murphy also played but was knocked out before the break - hard luck Tom, one day you will outlast me in a tournament!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Headless chickens and mad muppets

Finally I get a chance to breathe and type up a blog for a change!

This has been one of those mad times where I have not had a minute for anything. I finally managed to get my second games store open in Dundalk on Friday. Thanks must go out to Tom Murphy for standing in at my Drogheda store for a few days with 5 seconds training. He developed a love/hate relationship with the till which may last forever.

We managed to get a good bit done for the new Antes Up site which will be launching very soon. Please note when it does my blog will be moving over to it. It should still have a feed for those of you that use an aggregator.

I managed to squeeze a game in at the Fitzwilliam on Wednesday and came 6th out of 53 for a €100 profit on the night. I made it to the final table with the lowest chips and by some strategic folding I managed to creep up 3 spots as people busted before I got my last chips in with KQ vs 66 and JJ. The 66 made a four flush to scoop.

My strategy was simple in this competition. During the rebuys I limped when ever possibe (which was not often, nearly all hands were all in pre-flop) and only play against raises with AQ/AK JJ-AA. I won every pot I played for more than the big blind except one which was four way and won by a pair of tens! I lowered my standards slightly post freezeout and built a nice stack with solid tight aggressive play.

I made one mistake which cost me half my chips with 20 players left. I raised on the button with KJ to 3700 and the big blind moved all in for 8800. The blinds were 800/1500 so I did a quick calcultion of the pot odds and decided to call getting over 2.5:1. I was up against AQ so it turned out mathematically correct but I think I should have folded and waited for a better spot. The player was solid and I knew I was behind.

There were some correct decisions I made such as folding 99 preflop shortly after the previously described hand. I had played with the tournie chip leader most of the night and he moved in under the gun. He had not moved all in as the first raiser all night and had also not hown down a big pair all night so I figured this must be how he played them. Another player decided to gamble with 33 and my read was right as he turned over QQ. However had I ignored my read on him I would have tripled up as a 9 appeared on the river.

This tournament has tremendous value for a half decent player as the standard of play early on is atrocious. On more than one occassion I saw someone raise 35* the blinds with rag Aces. It is a suckout fest because of this. I saw KK cracked 4 times by Ace-rag and Tom had AA cracked by some one calling for all their chips with a gutshot draw and hitting.

I have been keeping tabs on the WSOP so far and am getting very excited about being there to report on the action for the main event. Well done to Andy Black for getting so far in the short handed holdem and good luck to all the bloggers who are playing events. It is also good to see The Camel back blogging, a welcome return Keith, keep playing those heads up matches!

Finally for all you local readers, the next Green Joker Poker tournament is a €25 rebuy at the Europa Hotel nr Drogheda. Cards will be in the air at 9pm, I look forward to seeing you all there.

Friday, June 03, 2005

WSOP here we come !!!


I am off to the WSOP main event! unfortunately it is only the second best reason for going as I am still getting terrible beats in th qualifiers. Tom Murphy and myself have been working on a brand spanking new site called Antes Up which will be live in the next week or so. We have been fortunate enough to get enough sponsorship from Paddy Power to travel over and report on the biggest poker show on earth. Tom will be there from late June and I will be joining up with him just before the Main event. You will be able to follow the progress of all the Irish and Uk players on the site.

All going to plan with the technology side of things we will be providing pretty much live updates and we will also be filming some interviews during the event which will be available to download.
We have managed to obtain media passes for the duration so we should get to bring you all the action as it happens!

Obviously I will be still trying to qualify for the big one, but it is great to know that whatever happens I will be there along with a host of great people that I know are already going.

Any bloggers or readers that look at my blog and are off to the WSOP then please get in touch and arrange to rendezvous via email

In other news Dave Kingston, Ned Durnin & Anthony Doherty did a 3 way chop in the latest Drogheda tournie taking home €900 each.