Thursday, November 12, 2009

JP Mini World Series

JP's tournaments are always great and this mini waop was no exception. About 320 entries for the main event (€350) and I was feeling fairly good on the Friday evening.

Started off playing fairly tight picking up a few small pots to stay around starting stack for a few levels. I got 88 in MP and a raise came in from the player to my right. I flat call and the player to my left re-raises about 2.5x the intial bet. The initial raiser falts and I'm priced to call. The flop gives me middle set and I lead for 4800. Player to my left repumps to 11.5k and othe player folds. I am playing approx 25k and I have a think for a minute and call. KK to the raiser and I hold up. A great start. But really my only real pot of the day. I finish day 1 on 62k.

Starting back we have a redraw and I'm on a fairly ok table. I maintain my 60k stack for what seems like ages but I feel I need tobe adding to it to have a chance. Once the antes kick in a little higher I start playing back at a few pots and I make my way up to about 90k when I am moved to another table with about 150 remaining.

This new table has some very large stacks and a lot more aggressive than the previous one. It takes me a little while to settle in and some of my raises are getting 3-bet a lot. I settle down when I ppick up QQ in MP and raise it up with one caller in EP. QJ9 flop with a diamond fluch draw and I bet out for 18k - other player calls. ( on the turn boats me up and I bet out again for 25k but he folds.

A few other pots sees me up to 120k with about 80 remaining. I get moved again and again I need to get up to speed quickly with the new table. With less than 60 remaining I have about 110k and I make a play at a AAx flop with Jc6c but I am called and plan to surrender the pot to any future betting. The turn brings a second club and I feel like I might pinch it on the river - check/check and the river brings a Qs I check and he bets out and shows the A. I'm down to 80+k

I then get AQ and make a standard raise. A french guy reraises his whole stack for about 35k with TT and I make the call and dont improve. If I get lucky there I might have had a bit more time to get in the money but after a short respite with JJ I go out with A9 against Rory Brown's AK.

All in all a good tournament and a 50ish finish although disappointing is still a good run.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Given that i started this blog I think it's only fair that I try and keep it going despite the fact that it has been over a year since my last post.

I have been playing more poker over the last six months than maybe the previous 2-3 years. Primarily this has been up in Luke Ivory's new club in the Fitzpatrick Casino in Tallaght. Nice spot, friendly and some of the best structured games around. I don't understand why more players don't attend his games - we all know he deserves a break.

It's amazing what a regular run of tournaments can do for your game and playing regularly keeps you focused and you don't feel like you are learning all over again, which was the case when I only played a few tournaments a year.

I have been getting some good results and I feel my game is getting better all the time.

I am going to play in JP's mini WSOP this Friday to see how my game stacks up against a big field. I haven't been involved in any of the big games this year but the few 100+ runner events I did play earlier in the year all ended in cashes so I'm entering this with a little confidence.

I feel the structure this weekend will suit me and I feel I can pick spots to exploit those who don't understand deep stack events. Here's hoping anyway. I'll have a report up over the weekend - hopefully Monday if I'm busy taking it down!

My games reviewing in The Daily Mirror (every Fri if you're interested) is getting some traction. Both Sony and EA have asked me to contribute quotes for their upcoming TV ads of Uncharted 2 and FIFA 10 respectively and I had a good spot on the Gerry Ryan show last Friday ( - 45:00mins in). I hoping to get a console LAN event off the ground before Xmas which are always good craic.

If you ever need a copy of something let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Little Bit of an Update

We had our latest console gaming event on July 12th and despite Oxygen 08 and the usual summer lull, 45 gamers turned up to do battle. Not a bad turnout but we always expect around the 72 mark.

This was the first time that we set up a kind of public area for people to come without their console in toe. It worked quite well even if 95% of the attendees still brought their gear. e did use them for finals etc and it enhanced the atmosphere a lot.

I haven't been playing much poker lately as i really can justify the late nights - and subsequent late mornings - with 2 small kids. I've decided to play online a lot more as this is more "pick up and play" than heading into town.

My goal is to try and qualify for some of the "land based" multi-day tournaments that are becoming more frequent. The €500+ events where I can get more bang for my "absent from home" buck. A lot of these can be qualified from online sites like PPP, Ladbrokes etc. so it might make more economical sense as well.

Despite being moderator and very much involved from the start ,I can't get back into the poker scene despite my willingness to do so. It's just to hard to try and jump into the thick of things and get anything worthwhile out of it. It's part to do with actually not being involved in the scene enough to get involved with some of the more mainstream discussions and partly because I like to know who I am talking to.

Maybe my problem will be solved when they all flock to talk to me when I take one of the larger tournies down ;)

Friday, June 13, 2008

SE €1k main Event - Day 2

I started day 2 well below average on about 11k. I had thought about my strategy for today and decided that i wouldn't do anything too radical as the blinds were still very low compared to my stack and with the 90min clock I felt I had a lot of time to find th eright time to make some moves.

The table was still tough and a dutch pro on my right was making it very hard for me to see flops without some kind of hand. After about an hour of him raising every pot I decided that i would catch him out at some point.

A few pots come and go and I am going backwards. No of my raises etc are getting through and I feel that i am bleeding too many chips. I am down to 6.5k. However, a small run of cards, and a few bold continuation bets bring me back to 12.5k approx.

Liam Flood was being very actived and sucked out on Mellor's AA with a J7 - I hadn't played too much with Liam but I recognised him as being a good way of getting back into the game.

I then got KQ in the small blind and decided to complete. Liam makes a small raise and I call - everyone else out. Flop come a juicy KQx and I check it. Liam leads out and I think for a small while and then call. Liam rechecks his cards and I know he's hit the flop somewhat. Another K on the turn gives me the nuts and I check it again. Liam leads out again and I instantly shove,Liam calls with K10 and I double up to about 25k.

A few hands later I get Jh9h in the big blind and the dutch guy raises it up again. I decide that my hand is would a shot as it disguises a lot of hands well. 10 Q 8 comes down and I could not have asked for a better flop and I felt that my timing had came to the game with me for a change.

The dutch guy leads out as expected and I flat call. the turn is a blank and he checks, I bet out 8k and he snap calls. The river is an Ace and he shoves for about 15k. Now all that is going through my head is that he has KJ - very possible, but I cant get away from it now. I call and he shows AK. He's out and I am now up to about 48k and very much in the game.

After lunch I pick up AsKs and raise it up - 1 caller directly to my right (Btn) - same seat as the dutch guy. Flop come down Axx with two spades. I check and he leads out, I call - I put him on an Ace and I want him to put me on the draw or maybe a weaker Ace. The turn is a non spade and I check-raise, he calls. The river is a spade and I check. Not too sure why i do this as it goes against everything I have set up to this point. he checks behind with AQ and I loose a bit of value. he say he wouldn't have called a bet anyway but I think he would have had no choice.

Now I am chip leader with about 75k a mere few hours after being close to the felt.

My confidence is growing and I am playing a bit better. I loose two significant pots that set me back. The first I shoved on a 10 8 6 Q board after the villian had bet the flop. I had Kh7h with 2 hearts on board. I have him covered and he thinks for ages only to call with a 10 and it holds up.

The second one is where I mis-raise with KK after leaving chips behind. Darragh O'Kearney and Muldoon call and the flop comes down something like 458 - darragh bets and Muldoon re-raises to 8k. Here I make the worst move of the day and just call. Dont know why i didn't shove but my mistake of not raising pre-flop enough was on my mind. Darragh fold and Muldoon shoves for 20k on turned Ace. I had to fold and he shows 86.

My exit hand came when I pushed over a raise from Keith McFadden with QQ and he found a call with QhJh and rivered a flush to send me packing.

Overall I was vey happy with my play and 10th isn't that bad in such a high class field. Felt I could have done better.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

SE €1k Main Event - Day 1

Well day one of the SE main event is over and I suppose I should be thankful that I'm still in with a shout - albeit only ~11k. My table is very tough with a lot of good players and no value - unless it's me of course!

No real hands of note - I just kept getting pushed off hands with big re-raises and couldn't make a stand. Only hand of the day with any significance for me was when I flopped a straight in the BB on an unraised pot and 99 came over the top and I held up. I needed it as I was down to 6k.

I still feel I can get back in the game. Blinds will only be 200-400 today with a 90 minute clock so I still have a bit of play in my stack. An early double-up would be welcome as it would get me back to average. However, there are a few big stacks so I'm not too far off most of the field. Just need to make the right moves.

Better post later after day 2 and hopefully today will be my day.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Here's to a Good Weekend

The Sporting Emporium ME €1k event starts today and I have to say I'm feeling well up for it. I suppose I'll be a bit nervous at the start but I'm sure the slagging I'll receive while wearing the compulsory Paddy Power merchandise will clam me down quickly.

My hope is that I don't draw a table with anyone I know too much about. I know this sounds funny but I feel I'll play better if I don't need to worry about reputations and the such like. Since I don't know too many people by their faces - only online nicks - it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Goal is to get to Day 2 as I feel the field will be fairly short and Day 2 should be close to the money. But with the large starting stack and long blind levels there might be still a lot of play on Saturday.

I'm hoping to get a few early chips that will help to relax me and I can play my game. The last few weeks have been good and I have some confidence and a bit of a roll going - feeling at home on the table is such an important factor at this marathon tournaments.

Hopefully I'll have some positive stories to tell tomorrow.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's All Starting to Come Together

Last night I decided to have a go at qualifying for the Sporting Emporium €1k main event via the online satellite. There were 39 runners and this equated to 3 tickets and about $1000 for forth.

I decided to play fairly tight initially and see how my table was playing, trying not to get suckered into anything with marginal hands etc. Starting chips were 1500 and there were re buys available for the 1st hour. I managed to stay out of trouble and pick up a few hundred during the first few levels.

I got a temporary set back when my kicker didn't hold up to a king high board but i got right back in the game with a flopped 2-pair that held up and I was into the top 10 at the break. After the top-ups etc I started to get a bit more aggressive and my table was fairly passive so I got to add to my stack on most orbits.

There were a few guys doing well. Rob Taylor was at my table initially but had moved and I noticed he was going strong.

My stack had grown to have me challenging - top 3 at this stage when the following happened. I got AK on the button and raised it up. UTG went all-in and UTG+1 called. I had both covered and UTG was short stacked. The flop was a blank but I bet out and UTG+1 called with his remaining chips - flop read Q26. Cards on their backs AK for both me and UTG and UTG+1 showed 35. Turn a blank and river a 4 - sick. I was now way down to 5k in chips and short stacked.

Now on a mission I started a chip accumulating spree and managed to get up to 14k without showing a hand. The final table starts with 10 and there are 4 packages - 3 seats. Rob Taylor is still alive as are a few other guys - Eion_dubh, The Tourist and barrera.

Nothing major of note happens for a while and a few get knocked out - some via rivered gutshot draws etc. Rob finally goes in about 6th I think when his 88 run into a higher pair (QQ I think) and although he turned a straight, the river gave a higher straight to his opponent.

Another hand of note is when I get 88 in the BB and there are 2 all-ins ahead of me. I think we were down to five at this stage. I cover both but it would make a big dent if I was to lose so I fold. It turns out it was Ax versus Ax and I would have held up but I think I made the right decision.

The next few orbits I really started to raise it up - I was getting good cards and no one seemed to want to go to war. The bubble burst and we were down to 4 when I picked up AA and eoin_dubh went all in with 66. I hold up and were off to the SE on Friday.

I was really happy with my play considering I still feel a bit rusty but I never felt under pressure and was fairly comfortable. Hopefully I be able to keep up this form for the weekend.