Tuesday, December 30, 2008

4th.... again!

Went to LEPO this evening with Susie Woosie to rail Cee in the final 18 of the main event, and donated to the €100+10 side event.

Cee played a terrific game to exit in 5th for €1750, Stephen K (a regular from the Tallaght Poker Rooms) kept his act together (for once!) to come 3rd, while Rob Cooker split 50-50 HU for €7250. VWP guys! I dealt at the event for a few hours over the weekend and the standard at the tables I was on, was impressively high, WP to Bru and the Clamper for the great event. I heard nothing but praise from everyone about it. I'm sad they didn't make their numbers but if this becomes an ongoing event (and I hope it does) I can only see it getting better.

The side event that I played in was the toughest game I've ever played in. I had MickG on my first table dogging me big time (I swore I would get his scalp before the game was over but I never got the chance! LOL! Next time Mick...) plus JP and a few good French and one Italian 'rock' players. With so many 'rocks' on the table I decided to play a wee bit loose than my usual cards and it paid off giving me a nice stack going into a tougher final table! I shoved my bigger stack with AKs into JP's AIPF with 55 and stopped another young French player from joining the race, in hindsight am sorry I didn't just call JP's raise to bring the young French player in and trap him.

On the final table I was 2nd chipleader in a tough spot with Clamper (chipleader) to my right and MickG to my immediate left, the infamous Katherine 'Kathy' Hartree was also present on Clamper's left nursing a shorter stack. I had no choice but tighten up big time, my stack got a little bigger (to 52k) but I went on tilt a bit after losing a race with AJs against young French player's AIPF for 9k on A5s (AAQx5 board, 5 on the river...) he kept going on about it to his mates so much and wagging his finger at me that when he moved all in a few hands later while doing this mad "oooo don't call me, oooo don't call me, yaaaaa!" speech-play act at every player who folded down to me - I had A6 off, putting him on another raggy ace or small pair 22-77... I called to see AK. Meh! Bad call. I limped in (Blinds 500/1000) on button with QJs (4 limpers and blinds...) flop comes Q57 two hearts. BB who checked led out for 5k, Polish 'Rock' guy calls, action folds back to me... I want to raise but didn't trust the Polish guy who has not played a hand in a while and is big into slow-playing; I opted to call hoping for a J or Q or heart... River is black Ace, BB then moves all in, Polish player insta-calls and I'm outta there! Clamper was giving a running commentary throughout "...Jules now realises that her hand is not as good as she thought..." just before I folded, (I snapped at him to shut up!) that 'call' really made me look weak... I nearly yelped in dismay when I saw BB's Q4 off but the Polish guy tables 55 for trips, WP sir!

My stack got decimated by the blinds and for the next orbit (we were on the bubble) I went totally card dead - I folded 88 to Clamper's UTG+1 raise with one French on shortest-stack in BB; I was disgusted to see Clamper show 22 when BB pushed his meagre stack with 78 off. Flop Q78(!) I gave out like hell to poor Clamper who kept apologising to me... I faced another set of blinds without any cards. After the bubble had broken, I raised 3XBB on the button with K10s hoping to entice the now shortest-stack BB all-in but faced a re-raise from the Polish 'rock' in SB, short stack folded and Kathy (who had limped in UTG) called the raise and I had to fold the hand... after another I got a slight reprieve I pushed all-in with AQ on Button to be called by the shortie in BB with his K4 to put him out in 5th place, and my stack went back up to 38k.

Kathy raised 6k into my BB (1k/2k) finding A10s I pushed all-in I thought I had her well covered, she called with KK. Ouch! The 10 high flop brought a little glimmer of hope but with no 10 or A forthcoming, I was down to 7k with Blinds going up to 1200/2500 after the break; Was in BB, Polish guy raised UTG and Kathy called, I knew I was in a bad spot but shoved anyway hoping luck would be on my side... but no, out in 4th for €300.

It was great, but challenging, to be playing against really good players considering my limited experience - I'm happy with how I played apart from 2 or 3 terrible mistakes. I certainly learnt a lot from it too. Clamper played a terrific LAG game making the most of his big stack, and offered a deal with French rock and Kathy for 700 each with him taking the excess 200 as Chipleader and rest to the dealers. Nice one!

Googling Kathy and the Polish Rock afterwards I was very proud to get 4th! LOL! Onwards and upwards!!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Le Big Zeb

A friend got a free pass to the races the other day... (lucky so-and-so!) for the craic I asked him to put €10 to win on "the 3rd fav in the 3rd race..." turned out to be 'Big Zeb' who romped home in first place at 9/2 odds! Yay!!!! As he passed me my €45 'winnings', I knew I had to put it on the felt somewhere, spending it on trivial/materialistic stuff would be a crime...

Was going to save it for the Irish Ladies Open that Carfax is promoting, but decided put it into the Fitz's re-buy €40+5 tonight, didn't re-buy or top-up... was chipleader from final 11 onwards... running good, running beautiful, running sweeeeeeeeeeeeet!


CRASH! (Donk overvalues his Q7 on a 6647x board against my 55s: I raised pre-flop, post-flop and turn...)

BANG! (A5 AIPF beaten by shorty on A9)

WHALLOP! (final 7BB in SB shoved with J10 called by BB's JJ... and another one bites the dust!)

Out in 4th place for €250. Grrrrr! Drove home ranting to Susie Woosie about that 55 hand! Picked up a cold sitting in a constant draft from the smoking area too. Meh!

Now, where can I put that €250 to big-it-up more? Apart from staking myself into the Ladies Open of course! A percentage of Yuletired's run in the Bahammas? Increase my 2% stake in DOKE? Stake Susie into her next cash game (that woman runs goot). Or is Big Zeb racing again soon do you think???!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Them pesky Ace Tens!

zOMG! What a week... I'll never look at A10's in the same light again!

Feeling pretty flush, I played in four tournaments this week: JP's Monday night game in the Kestrel, the Poker Room's €65 FO and their Christmas night special plus the Bell's €60 and gained another €410 for the books.

Got off to a great start in JP's game, after winning two pots including one with A10 for straight, I got Ac10c again in hijack position, called and got two clubs on a Q,10,X flop facing 2 'all-ins' from UTG and MP - I called after a dwell leaving myself with 4k behind and hit my flush on river to oust JJ and AQ to make me chipleader on 32k until the break. Dropping back to 23k by break (had the luckbox Bomber Nolan on the table too - need I say more?) Another player kept raising a lot, winning the chips pre-flop. I found my 3rd A10 in UTG+2 and raised 3xBB (900) hoping I would get paid off big with a lot of shorties on the table, got 5 callers(!) Flop came 10 2 5. The player made his standard post-flop raise to 3.5k, I wasn't going to let him take this pot on me and shoved with top pair hoping I get credited with trips. He hummed for a moment then called with JJ leaving himself with less than 2k. No 10 or Ace for me and I'm gone. Was talking to JP on the way out he asked if it was Bomber that put me out "no, but I wish he had, then I wouldn't feel so annoyed with myself for making that shove!" LOL!

The Poker Room's €65 (+€5 reg,free for ladies) on Tuesday night was an excellent game. I played my best hands hard and aggressive, amassed myself as table chipleader from 1st level until after the break... then was gone in 2 hands: re-raised As5s (in BB) on a Ks10sAx got called by button who called all bets to River, I put him on a QK/JK/J10/Q10/K10 etc missing the straight, I shoved with the A on river hoping he didn't have an ace himself. But no, he called showing A10 for house... meh! Couple of hands later I got 77 in CO and raised to 70% of my stack, got 2 callers (both had limped in) flop came 5 6 10, chipleader pushed all in, other player folded, I had to call... Didn't he show A10(!) Loved the 4 on turn but sadly no lucky suck out for me on river and I was gone.

Had just about enough cash hours to wrangle a free ticket for the Poker Room's Christmas tournament "Pineapple Poker" with table quiz and 'Deal or No Deal' game... it was great fun! The craic was good, Ross and his staff put on a terrific night, would have loved to have got a shot at the Deal or No Deal game but it was just as enjoyable to watch. In the Pineapple tournament I got a nice triple up in the first hand then went down, down, down, til I bombed holding AA1010 (I kid you not...) As I went over to the cash game, where Denis (card room manager) was dealing, he looked at me in disgust "what happened to your big stack?!"

It wasn't all doom and gloom - I went on the cash table from 11:30pm til 4am put €150 down and got up with €650... and nearly got lynched in the process too! After taking €200 off one player in the previous hands, he is still tilting and ranting at me as he limps in pre-flop and called my €16 raise (I had A8) with a string of choice words... flop comes A83, he bets €25, I raised to €75 and he insta-shoves for 400. I knew he didn't have a pair for a set (he would have raised big) and called to see him holding A3 and after a 50 second rant, he calms down and asks quietly: "Hey, can we make a deal?" feeling sorry for the bloke I agreed and offered him €200 back from the pot. He was my best friend after that, and the rest of the table were full of praise, but Denis looked at me in disgust "Pfffft! You too soft! He would have been happy with just €25!" he tutted at me, LOL! Ah I was more happy to get out in one piece! I announced that I was playing one more hand then heading home, bet out blind just to donate to the pot, looked down and saw A10 (eeeek!!!!) and folded to a re-raise! LOL! Left a decent tip for the dealers and put a €25 chip on the table told the players 'that's for the next pot' and left... I may be a marshmallow but hey, it's Christmas and a €500 profit is good enough for me!

Played the DPN's deepstack Bell game last night, was chipleader from the very first hand thanks to Drunk Eamonn (LOL! How could you play that hand Eamonn?!!!) until the Final Table. Susie Woosie was there too as one of the short stacks, and ran an amazing game hitting no less than 3 set of quads to end up heads up with me! Looking at her massive 4-1 chiplead, I offered to deal 50-50 but she wasn't accepting it (Rightly so!!! Susie's no marshmallow!) I pointed out that we have never done heads-up together... shall we play? I lasted all of 5 mins, pushed with K6 called by A7... 77 on board and that's all she wrote!

The game was finished at 11pm but I didn't want to go home (making the most of the babysitter - bad mammy!) persuaded Susie Woosie to come with me to the Fitz and brought Drunk Eamonn along for the craic. €200 on cash tables, and 30 mins later I was gone(!) QQ - split side pot, AK and AQ but not one decent pot did I win! My AQ got hammered on a Ace high board against Susie's 66 and Drunk Eamonn's all-in with KKs, dealer dealt the turn without allowing another round of betting put the card back, shuffled and re-dealt a 6 to give Susie her set. I just laughed knowing Susie the luck-box had the poker gods in her pocket already! But poor Eamonn... that really put him off cards! He moaned about those kings all the way home... says he's now sworn off poker 'for good'! Famous last words!?

As for me: after that hand I was down to €50 shoved with JJ few hands later and got called by A10... need I say more?!

Them pesky feckers... Meh!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A much needed ego boost!

Paul Fox was trying very hard over the past few weeks to get me up to City West Casino (formerly Blinkers where he's the new card room manager) to play... I haven't been there since Vera's bash. Not because of the political fall out on Boards.ie, but more of a case of 'out of sight out of mind' really.

I was only free on Friday to play, after a few bad weeks I needed a decent win to boost the ego! Wasn't in mood to go to town, plus with working late made more sense to stay local. The FitzCasino had a nice sweetener with a €5k holiday added, but the re-buy aspect would have been expensive for me (I've lost enough money lately!). The Atari had the satellite game for the Leprechaun European Open, I'd already agreed to deal so no point playing that! JP was hosting another satellite in the Red Cow for the IPT game on Sunday (not free for that either). City West Casino was it...

By the time I was talking to Paul again on Thursday night... I confirmed I would be in attendance for the €50 FO the following night! He promised me the game would be soft... (Ha! That means I'll have to play tight!) and there was an added sweetener with a €500 bounty on Tom Hanlon (WSOP finalist)and €100 on his son.

I arrived at 8:50pm and was warmly greeted by Luke and Paul. The place was quiet with 5/6 people hanging about watching the Poker Millions Final on TV. Paul confirmed that there were almost 2 tables registered and they will possibly fill a 3rd. I went to the Blackjack tables, by the time the game started I had made back my buy-in. As I joined my table - I notice there was only one person I knew, the rest were unknowns... Dealer handed out a double chance chip, I wasn't aware about the DC. A fourth table was filled as more players came in late.

I didn't have to worry about playing tight - I was totally card dead for most of the first level. Entering the 2nd level I was getting bored and found a nice A9 suited in CO, facing 3 limpers and the blinds I raised to 250, button, SB folded, BB and the three limpers all called. Flop came out Q93. Action checked back to me, I threw out 700, BB called and the rest folded. Turn: 3, BB checked, I bet out 700 again, BB called. River was insignificant - I had less than 2k left and my DC chip... I checked. BB looked over and threw 1500 at me, not at the pot or dealer or in front of him but directly into my 'betting space'. I saw him do similar earlier and wondered if this was a tell... thinking through the action I put him on a J10, missed flush/straight or AJ or AK, I felt my pair was good and made the hero call and he mucked berating me "What if I had the queen???!" "You would have raised my 2nd 700 if you had a queen" I retorted

A few hands later in the 3rd level, I had A7 suited in CO-1. Two players were hoovering up the chips between them on the table - one good player (Derek) and older man (Luckbox/calling station playing any two and get lucky - I lost 2.5k when he called my raise holding Q3 to my 77 on a 568Qx board). Old Man called, Derek raised, I called, short-stacked BB shoves all-in for 2xBB (approx) more. Old Man calls as does Derek and I. Flop comes AJx; action goes check check back to me, I bet out 1200, Old Man folds, Derek hums for a moment then calls. Turn is 7, Derek checks, I bet, he calls... as he checks the river, I shove only for him to call me with a set JJ. Grrrrr!!!

Cashing in my double chance chip for 4k, slowly worked it up to 6k. I checked Qc3c in BB to 3 limpers. Flop comes AcKcX, MP shoves 3xBB, with several callers - including Old Man - but Derek raises to 8k and I was in limbo. Do I call for the flush draw... risk my chips for Q3?! After an age I folded, turn brought another club(!) Meh! Two players tell me off for folding but I really felt it was the right decision at the time.

The third and fourth table got broken, the chip-leader and Tom Hanlon (Bounty) joined our table. We quickly discovered why he was CL: he plays like Gum, raising to 1200, 2100, 3000 etc stealing blinds. Tom had 3.5k left. I was in BB, as chipleader made his usual raise to 1300 with one caller, looking down on A10 I re-raised all-in and chipleader calls with Kx, Ace on flop and I was up 13k. Hanlon goes all-in next hand with K4o and gets KO'ed by Derek's AJ/AQ.

One orbit later as blinds are 400/800 I'm down to 9k when I get AA in BB. Chipleader is down half his stack at this point but is still raising, I re-raised to 4,500, leaving me with 4,500 behind. The Chip Leader and one other player call. As the dealer dealt out the flop I shoved my remaining chips over the line before the flop is flipped. CL just looks down and says "yeah I'm calling... how much?" my aces hold and I'm up to 23k.

Next hand Chipleader is gone and we are all on the final table with 9th place getting free ticket to Sunday's FO and cash for 8th-1st. Thinking now that ChipLeader's gone, it would be good to loosen up a bit but losing 6k on KdQd on a flushdraw flop, I folded the turn bet, to see him show K7o... realising we had another Uber-LAG on the table I had to tighen up again! I was down to 17k when I got AA again in SB (Blinds 500/1000) Derek was new chipleader UTG, and raised to 3,500, I was delighted - knowing that he will call me with whatever he has. Button pushes all-in for 14/15k and I insta-shoved. Tabling my aces, Derek had 10 10 and Button 88. A9x on flop and 9 on River ship the pot to me! Paul came over and coolly informed me that I had the best hand of the night 'so far!'. After that hand any raise I made was respected, even the Uber-LAG folded!

As my stack increased, Uber-LAG became chipleader putting Derek and half the table out - getting lucky more than anything else! I took out two other short-stacks and we were heads-up with a 3-2 lead to the Uber-LAG. Not wishing to end on a coin-flip (as it will come to that) and knowing I had already secured €100 for the best hand of the night... I looked at the man and just knew he will be pushing all-in with anything and offered to split 50-50

"You offering to split?"
"Yes 50-50 of the cash for 1st and 2nd..."
"Yeah, no problem! I'm happy with that"

Taking €450 each leaving €40 for dealers, I walked over to Paul dealing on the cash table and left another tip as a thank you... Went back to the blackjack table, made another €100 then left for the night €700 up. My best return yet!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Drunken Shenigans

The long awaited Dublin Poker Nights Team Event got underway last weekend, after missing the last two and sitting through months of stories from the other players about the 'great time' had by all plus Gum reminding us all again and again how she 'won' it as the rest of us players roll their eyes... I was so looking forward to this!

I was let down by 3 team members who didn't turn up... which meant our remaining team players were out of the running for the top team 'prize pot' of 4k! Very disappointing... got no word of apology or explanation either. Robbie offered to add a few stray players in but we were still short.

As we kicked off, I had Deco the 'Hartstown Giant' (TAG) and Drunk Eamon (tight-passive) on my table plus one well known bluffer; the rest I never played against before. I had aimed to play loose-aggressive and get an early double up then sit back and play tight for the rest of the game. I guess the rest of the table had the same idea!!! I got off to a good start in the first hand getting lucky with a set of 8's against KK... but that was only pot I won! After that I got a string of good hands (really hate getting these in early stages of tournaments...) AQ (3 times), AA, AK (twice) QQ (beaten by K5 off!) apart from stealing the odd blinds/limpers I had a lot of my raises called by luckboxes on marginal hands, ace rag, suited connectors or lower pairs looking to double up and hitting their flushes/straights/sets/two pairs... I made a few mistakes betting out then folding to raises when I should have check/folded; and limping in with KJ suited on the button once and coming up against Drunk Eamon's slow-played AJ on a J high board. The worse damage was done when I limped in with AKo in MP then called one player's all-in on a AcKcxh flop only to be beaten by Qc3c hitting his flush on river leaving me very short-stacked by start of 3rd level... meh!

I got moved to another table where the standard was much better but the chipleader was a total calling station, being short-stacked with < 10BB I only had two choices: all-in or fold. Every time I pushed all-in the chipleader would call and the rest of the table would laugh! Thankfully I managed to win my races and double up 3 times to bring my stack back up to starting point (10k). Then lost 75% of it a few hands later shoving AIPF on button with 9 9 to Tommy's raise (short-stacked LAG) on A6 only for him to call and hit a set of aces. After this I was short again facing the blinds shoved with J10 suited got called by BB on K10; no help from the board and BB won by default with the higher kicker, was out in 42nd place and that's all he wrote.

One of my team mates (Lucinda) made the final table and exited in 10th place for €50! Shay (Clonsilla Inn) who made a spetacular comeback from the dead to chipleader by final table, ended up chopping for top prize with Hartstown's Deco. The massive team pot was won by a non-DPN team whose captain exited in 3rd or 4th place - WP!

While waiting for cash game to start I played four SnG side games (pure drunken feasts with donks playing any two), only to bubble in three of them! Grrr! Discovering my name had been taken off the cash game waiting list and the cash table was full(!) I waited around for 1 hour, getting fed-up, was about to leave and get taxi to town when I got a place at 10pm! Never really got going with Gum being a total luckbox and bullying the entire table (1/2 no limit...) raising to €20/35 PF every other hand and actually hitting her hand! We will never hear the end of this from her for months now! Wish the table had been pot-limit to be fair. The event came to an abrupt end at 11:30pm - I didn't want to go home! I wasn't even drunk like half the room! :( A group of us headed off to continue the rowdy party elsewhere... (Now that's a story for another day! ;-D )

I had expected the team event to be done like JP's (SnG league style with points for all exit places) not tournament FO style. Fair play to Robbie & Graham (and the 3rd dealer) for all the hard work they did, I don't think either of them took a break all day... With not enough dealers to open more cash games - I refused to play any more SnG's, waiting around for the cash for ages was very annoying! Having a 2nd cash table would have generated more income for DPN too. Hint, hint, HINT!!!

Next time: I won't bother entering a team, I'll just stick to the pub league teams (if I get a place) and play tighter/drink more... or simply: stay away!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

AA... QQ... No good...

Arrived late, spur of moment decision, blinds 50/100 first hand get AA in MP. UTG+1 and +2 limp in... I raised to 400. BB (Total Donk) calls, as do the two limpers(!) Flop 7d7x6x, action checks around to me. I fired out 1,500... Donk calls, limpers fold. Turn 6d... Donk looked happy at this, but checks looking at me warily... I checked behind putting him on a pair or AK-A2 diamonds; River brought the 10h and Donk fires out 3k. Thinking he had missed his flush or was hoping for A high kicker or higher pair... I just had to call. Donk turns over K6 for the house.

K6 OFF! WTF!!!!!

Down to 3.5k, I folded two more hands after this. In Co-1 I look down to see QQ. Blinds had increased to 100/200 I raised to 600, CO said 'call' and put 200 on table - when told that it was 600, he made to fold but was told he had to call - cue 5 mins of 'but I didn't hear!' and 'I shouldn't have to call!' before he grumpily put the remaining 400 out... Ciara called (BB with 4k stack). Flop came out Kd10dx... Ciara checked. Knowing the CO had nothing worth calling I shoved for 2,900. CO and Ciara calls(!) I'm bricking it, praying they are flushing or overvaluing their pair of 10s.

Turn K (Ciara bets... CO folded showing 7d9d flush draw) Ciara tables AdQx for gutshot straight, and I'm fist-pumping inside!!! Good call me!

But no...

River brings the friggin Jack to give Ciara teh luckbox her straight and I'm out less than 20mins after I started.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Tripping the Limit at the Holland Casino

I had been neglecting my non-poker friends of late between playing and dealing left, right and centre! The trip to the 'Dam with two of my most neglected friends was my idea, with the aim of surprising another mutual friend of ours who is currently studying for his MA over there. There was a few conditions including "no poker!" Ha!

In line with the recession, we had to travel on a tight budget, finding a cute 'Boatel' in the Oosterdok to stay in (floating hotel) offering B&B for the unbelievable price of €294 was a steal for a 3 bed cabin for 4 nights. At first I was worried about the cold, damp etc. But we had no reason to fear, the boat was lovely and warm! The rooms are tiny and the individual showers-cum-toilet wet-rooms were shared with plenty of hot water. The breakfast, a simple buffet style but delicious, good value for the price! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a clean, safe, basic accommodation. All weekend I felt we were the oldest ones staying there among the students til a couple of 40-something women in bright pajamas and big jewellery greeted us on Monday morning!

Poor Hilda picked up an viral infection a few days before the trip and the Doctor refused to allow her travel... Our mutual friend had his partner over for the weekend so his available time to spend with us was limited (teach us to try to surprise him like that!) and Vean developed a strange pain in her back that got just grew steadily worse as the day progressed, all she was fit for by 10pm was bed!

We managed to fit in some sightseeing, a couple of museums and several good quality (and damn good value) meals. And shopping of course! Not as much as I would've liked... but I digress.

What else can a nice girl do in this city at night, bar go to the Casino?! LOL!

On Friday night I arrived in the Casino at 11pm, it was wet and stormy, I had grabbed a taxi that from my tourist map seemed to take the scenic route to the place! The entrance €5 fee was a surprise, considering the perks we have in the card rooms in Ireland... There's no complimentary food or drink provided. The place is huge, spread out over 3/4 floors with several nooks and cranies. It took me ages to find the poker rooms tucked in the back, the room was surprisingly small compared to the rest of the establishment.

With three €1/2 limit (€40 buy-in) tables going strong; one €2/5 limit (€100 buy-in); one Omaha €10/10 with a minimum €1k buy-in(!) And the only no-limit table was €2/5 with €250 minimum buy-in. There were waiting lists 8-12 names deep for the limit tables... I was 8th one one and 11th on another! Talking to the female TD, I discovered they were short of dealers (they change shifts every 40mins) and couldn't open the extra 4 empty tables. Reluctantly I put my name down for the no-limit too balking at the minimum buy-in, and was 4th on the list(!) The lists taking ages to shift with several people standing around waiting to be called.

I went on a walk-about, the place seemed totally overrun by slot-machines. Counting 3 blackjack tables, I wandered over to see if a spot was free, and was amazed to see blackjack played a little differently! The actual game was the same but people were laying 4-5-6 bets per 'lane' and even betting that a 'pair' (better odds than a blackjack hand!) will come out! Unlike here, you can only have one prime spot on each of the lanes (an elongated blackjack betting spot in front of the dealer) 'lane' is the wrong word but in this case it seemed appropriate. In Ireland, no one else can bet on the same cards as you, in Holland they can: The player with the main spot at the top of the 'lane' decides the action - to hit, double, split or fold. The remaining bets on the lane behind the prime bet are at the mercy of that player's actions! But they win when the prime spot wins! There's a smaller 'lane' to the right of the main for betting on pairs. You had to keep a sharp eye on your bets, I watch a few squabbles break out over some of the bets, scary stuff!

Going back to the Poker area, they were opening a new €2/5 limit table and I was called... assuming this was pot limit, I was gobsmacked that limit was same as the online limit games! Each bet could only be last plus 1 BB, unless after the turn when it's 2xBB. After two hands, I wasn't impressed with the standard of the limit game, when I heard my name being called for the no-limit table I immediately jumped up and made my way over to the €2/5 no-limit table and paid the minimum €250. Baaaaad move! Looking around I knew, I had landed among the sharks - my €250 stack was pathetic compared to €800+++ stacks! Vowing to play tight I folded for a few hands watching my players: the 'standard' first raise was €50, re-raise €100/150(!) General play was super-aggro loose with suited connectors and low pairs equally valued as AK or QJo! Value table if you have the funds! Finding AKo, I called an UTG's €50 bet in MP; button raised to €150 and the action folded back to me - I shoved my stack (decimated to €220 at this point) and he folded after a dwell. Next hand I got AQ suited and raised to €50, two callers, flop read 5,7,K. We all checked, the turn showed a Q, action checked to me and I bet €100. Both players called. River 8 giving the flush, action went check, check, I smelled a stinky rat suspecting a slow-played king or possible straight or flush and elected to check behind too. Was so glad I did! One player won holding K8 off, the other showed K2suited! FFS call a raise with them! I mucked my hand in disgust. A few hands later I lost €200 with KK calling a shortie's AIPF A9 - A on river - and my last few chips went in the middle when I checked with Kh10h in BB with 6 limpers, to shoved with the Kx10x5h flop, and got 4 callers(!) But lost to one player holding 55 for trips... meh! I probably should have shoved instead of checking the blind, but I doubt if that had made a difference...

Getting up after that awful session, the TD called me for the €1/2 limit table (my name was still on the list!) it was only 12:30, and I wasn't in the mood to go home either! The TD egged me stay and play "Naw, use girl power!" she urged "Go! Play! Show them your girl power!" So over I went, sat down and put €50 on the table... what fun it turned out to be! Compared to the solemn no-limit banter-free table the €1/2 table was full of craic, the garbled English used by the various French, German, Dutch, Italian and British players was so funny (Oh yes, English only at these tables!!!) and the game was enjoyable! I eventually got up with €150 at 2:45am... walking past the blackjack tables (which were still open) looking for the cash desk, I decided to sit down to play with €20 both my 'neighbours' immediately placed a bet on my 'lane' as I doubled or split they added the extra bet, giving me hugs when I won (cos they did too!) Left at 3am with €30 extra from the BJ and made my way home in the fast falling snow.

By Saturday night the weather had gotten worse it was still snowing but it wasn't settling, after shopping most of the day getting wet and cold, I elected to stay on the boat with Vean, drinking beer and playing Yatzee... Could've made money on that, I could! ;-D But Vean wasn't biting! I tried to teach her poker... difficult to do without chips.

The Anne Frank house was on the agenda for Sunday, followed by late 'all-you-can-eat-in-an-hour' buffet lunch in Chinatown for €8:50... Afterwards Vean wanted to go back to the boat and gave me her blessing to go on to the casino! Shane brought me over on the tram (only 4 stops - confirming my suspicion I had been ripped-off by the taxi driver on Friday night!) Once inside, I made a bee-line for the €1/2 limit tables, and got a place immediately.

The Sunday table had different faces, here play was more mental than before... couple of the players kept raising and re-raising in EVERY hand with any two! Putting €60 down I rode a roller-coaster ride over the next few hours getting as low as €12 at one point, and as high as €230... finally getting up with €195 at the end! I had AA no less than 4 times (a record for me!) and only once were they cracked; I even manged a lovely bluff! Holding K9 on an AA44 board I kept raising and got two players to fold on the turn! LOL! One cute Italian was right behind me and saw the cards, started braying with laughter begging me to 'Show! Show! Show!'
I cheekily busted one of the looser 'raaaaaaiiiiise'ing players' who was holding a good hand for once(!) He had KK while I was holding a pathetic 85 suited (my most memorable hand of the night!) I just didn't 'believe' the raise and flopped a beautiful 467 straight to win a €130 pot! LOL!

Counting back - including my €5 entrance fees on both nights, I broke even, I'm not complaining! Just paid for my taxis and drinks...

Exiting the casino (very swish with ticketed cloakrooms, huge bathrooms, full bar and dining service; and best of all - electronic deck shufflers on all tables) the police presence outside made it feel very safe the taxi rank is 150m away - a taxi after midnight to any point within the Centraal area is €15 regardless of distance travelled. Beware the Casino closes at 3am; just bring your chips, cards and duty-paid-but-cheaper-than-Ireland drinks for a post-poker party!

Never mind the coffee shops - if you fancy a 'space cake' experience - just go straight to the Holland Casino and trip-away on their wild limit tables!!!

(Don't I look Iorish enough?!!!!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rolling along...

Ray will laugh when he reads this! I took down the DPN's Bell game at 10:30pm last night...

DPN had barely filled 2 tables, when I arrived fashionably late at 8:30pm. I was so sure Graham would turn me away, but my pre-reg'ed stack was still on the table, minus whatever had already been blinded away. And the rest of the players were happy to let me in - more value for the pot!

Less than 2 hours later I was HU with Ciara the chipleader, with a well jarred Tony and his moody sidekick Tommy egging us on to split the prize... but neither of us would agree. Less than 5 mins later, I had narrowed her lead considerably from 3-1 to 1-1 and knocked her out to take the €330 first place. Not bad return on €60 for barely 2 hours playing!

In our final hand, I limped in with 76o, Ciara checked her BB; board showed 975 rainbow. Ciara checked... I pushed, Ciara looked at me for a minute then said 'yeah... okay, I call!' showing J9. Graham the dealer dealt the turn (J) and the Tommy/Tony duo started prancing around Ciara; patting her back and shouting their congratulations... Graham just looked at me mouthing "sorry" as he burnt for the final card; "just give me 7 or 8 please, Graham!" I retorted. The good man did as he was told, and put a lovely 7 on the river! Cue the "aaaaawwwwww"s from the prancing duo, as Ciara (ever the good sport) shook my hand.

I had been dealing for most of the weekend: Dublin 100 and the Bruce Poker Launch. The atmosphere in the Green Isle for the main event game on Saturday was very subdued compare to the livey buzz of Friday night. Several players were taking advantage of their hangover/drink-induced bravado with questionable play on some of the tables and getting lucky delivering sick beats to players holding the better hands pre-flop against low pairs-turned-sets/low flush draws or calling with gut-shots and hitting the straights. As we got down to 60/70 players the game improved considerably, I left just before they got down to 3 tables, had my eye on the luck-box Pat Mitchell (who had his name pulled for the Vegas raffle twice!) to take it down but he bombed out.

In contrast the Dublin 100 game in the Carlton exhibited a much higher standard of play, an nice unexpected number (49 in total) turned up to play considering the freeroll and two set of Championship Tickets on offer in the Green Isle, definitely no donks here!

With 25 minutes to the start, there was only 4 names registered, I offered to play instead and Stephen was happy to let me register. When I opened my wallet - I hadn't enough to pay and drove off to the nearest ATM. When I got back at 12:55pm, the numbers had swelled to 47 - Stephen just looked at me apologetically. I just winked at him and went straight over to the the dealers seat on the 5th table. Well done to Ray for taking it down - he played a sterling game all day. Kept crediting me for dealing him all his 'lovely hands' but I'm pretty sure he was bluffing half the time!!!

After dealing all weekend - I was itching to play! My favourite Bell deepstack was on at 7:30pm but Stephen wasn't letting me go til the final table started at 8pm... as I ran out the door, Ray called out "I bet ya off to the Bell?" I shouted back: "Dunno if Graham will let me play now... it's very late!"

LOL! I made it in the nick of time!

Big ups to Graham for keeping my place open so long!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Out there in the Bewilderness...

The poker gods have deserted me, since my last win I've not cashed in ONE game!

After going deep in several online tournaments, and cashing in the early levels just before the FT; I decided to try and satellite my way into one of the biggest online tournaments, namely the 250k... but not one ticket did I win. Might as well have brought in direct for all my efforts(!) THEN I fell in with the idea of playing the main event at the Bruce Poker Launch; I played no less than 5 satellites for tickets only to bomb out early in them all!

All my key hands ran bad... I put my hands up and admit to some stupid mistakes like slowplaying, under-raising when I should have pushed but with the standard of play I think the villians in question would still have called me anyway(!) The most memorable was re-raising all-in pre-flop with KK, initial raiser then called holding A3off(!) Board read K245x and I was gone... FFS(!) After spending €160 (approx) I had to call it quits... if it's not meant to be, it's bloody well not meant to be! Laura texted me this week asking me to deal at the launch on Saturday, so it looks like I'll be there after all, with the greenest face in the room earning the money back the hard way! Grrrr!

Went to Tallaght Poker Rooms last night with Susie Woosie - the Atari is a kip, but Ross and his staff are lovely! There's nothing that man will do to get the players in... He threw in a fine sweetener of a U93 (boxing match) Ticket for the winner (would have been a fine Christmas present for the brother) and €100 extra in the pot for every goal Liverpool scored in the Liverpool-v-Spurs match, when the final score showed 2-4 to Spurs the ever generous Ross exceeded his offer and threw an extra €300 into the prize-fund.

It was a good final table - the IDP was well represented with Susie, Justin and myself sitting comfortable... Justin Smyth (one of the deaf runner-ups at the recent IDP's Deepstack) is a true LAG at the best of times - he called Susiewoosie's AIPF holding 22 and hit his set on the flop to oust her Kings. Sick!

But $250k question is... did I cash? Noooooooooooo... I bubbled! After being whalloped by Justin in a couple of sick beats: holding 58 against a slowplayed 99 on a 3538x board (in my defense: I was in BB, had him covered and they were soooooted! :P) I shoved my remaining 10k a few hands later AK-v-66 and no Ace or King on the table to save me, ship the lot to Justin and I'm out in 5th place.

With the €15 scalps I earned - I sat in at the new blackjack table and spun it up to €50, got bored and put it on the cash table; got it all-in with QQ and lost to AK-spiked-K-on-river. Meh!

Should have ran when I had the chance!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Comeback Queen!

I knocked Susie Woosie off her 'Best Comeback' throne in the Bell tonight!!!

I was down to the proverbial 'chip and a chair' with 1k left on the final table, after making a stooooooooopid donk call (I'm too embarrassed to repeat the action here... it's that bad!) I so deserved to be knocked out! But, no the poker gods stood by me and helped that 1k run me all the way to 1st place for a cool €500!

There were 9 players left, with 5 places paid out, I was in BB with 1k. Blinds were 1/2k, going up to 1.5/3k in the next hand... action folded back to SB (newbie, who had came with his friend-same guy who benefited from my donk call) who shook my hand and said 'good luck' as he turned over K4 off. I replied "Thanks but I don't think you have me beaten..." turning over my favourite: QQ. No K on the board and my queens held, but I was still 2k playing into SB for 1.5k.

LAG in CO-1 raised to 6k; Newbie called, I looked down saw 2h3h, thought 'feck it...' and threw out my last 500 "ALL IN"... BB came along for the ride too. The flop showed Q 10 3 rainbow... my 8k side pot started to get eclipsed as the player in BB, LAG and Newbie all bet the flop heavily... Turn 2, putting a possible flush on the board, action saw more bets including one all-in but I was doing somersaults inside hoping the other players had nothing better than one high pair! River 7 and everyone checked(!) I threw down my two pair expecting it to be beaten... but no... none of the 3 had anything better than flush draws/straight draws(!) I was sitting on 8k, and we were down to 8 players!

Few hands later I was waiting for another spot to push, blinds had increased to 2/4k, when I got 55 and pushed for 8k... got 3 callers (Tweety, LAG and Newbie) flop came 864. I was mentally wishing for a 7 as the other 3 callers tripped over each other to take down the pot, raising and re-raising... of the three, Tweety really had me worried as the turn brought a Q . But my prayers were answered with the beautiful 7 on the river giving me a glory-saving straight to knock off Newbie's 2 pair (64 off BTW!), Tweety's AQ and LAG's A8!

With 32k I couldn't afford to get too comfortable... 7 players left and blinds on 3/6k and raising every 15 mins, Tweety pushed in MP with QQ for 13k, the LAG called (quell surprise!) as everyone else folded. I was in BB with Q10 suited, seeing it cost me 7k more to call... I felt I had a good shot knowing Tweety's tight range but with the LAG in the pot (it's hard to put him on a hand) I choose to call vowing to push if a Q or 10 appeared on the Board. We checked down to the river on a dry K high board, the LAG turned over K4off to win the pot and knock Tweety out. I was down to 19k, as we entered the bubble...

I sat tight folding for an entire orbit, losing 9k on the blinds; was UTG facing 4/8k blinds when I found 99... I shoved my remaining 10k over and got called by Newbie with K10 off and my pair held to give me a life-saving 14k extra chips to tie me over the next set of blinds. I managed to hold on to my BB but folded the SB... we lost the LAG into 6th place and I felt I could loosen up.

Susie Woosie was short-stacked on 8k (hardly surprising, as she was determined to fold her way pass the bubble!) pushed into my BB (blinds 5k/10k); Newbie who was in SB, was joint chipleader with his friend decided to fold(!) I checked my BB showing J8off, as Susie tabled her 55, board came out AKAxK and I had won with the 'better kicker' (ouch!) poor Susie Woosie was out in 5th place... Sorry Susie!

After this - I went card dead. On the final table I had smelt something fishy between Newbie and his friend, who was joint chipleader when it got to 4 hand... one would raise, the other re-raise and 1st raiser would fold their cards face up showing A8o, KQs; etc. Cards Harrington recommends playing with when down to 4/5 handed! They just wouldn't get into a pot with each other as myself and Phil folded... Phil ended up practically blinded out into 4th place. Sensing defeat, I was down to 8k in BB sitting on Q4, but the flop came out Qx4xx and I was up to 24k!

Next hand I was in SB, finding QJ suited I pushed, both guys called, board came out JJ3 and I was back in the game with 72k covering the Newbie's 68k, and just under the chipleader on 100k (approx)...

Next hand I found Jd6d on Button... I called the blind for 16k; Newbie checked the BB as his friend called in SB.

Flop came out QdKd2d

SD checked... Newbie checked... wanting to capitalise on this lovely flush board - I checked behind.

Turn 7h

Play went check, check... I threw out 20k; call... call...(!)

River 10h

SB said "all-in" ; Then Newbie announced "all-in" and I nearly wet myself thinking one of them had the Ace high flush! But I stopped and started going thru the hand in my head... realising something not right here; I'm not getting pushed off this pot when I am probably holding the better hand and shoved my stack over. Newbie showed 72; his friend had AQoff and my flush took it down to make me chipleader and Newbie was out in 3rd place!

Newbie's friend turned to me... "wanna split?" but I didn't hear him. Susie who was railing the game signed over to me 'don't ya dare split!!!' I signed back 'no way... I've got 4-1 lead!' 'He's just asked if you would split...' 'Oh did he?' turning to him: "sorry, no deal!"

Annoyed he shoved all-in; then with each hand dealt he continued to ask for a split, when I refused he then shoved all-in. Winning the pot/blinds each time til my chip-lead was down to 2-1... I finally got a hand worth calling a possible all-in threat from him. Finding Js8s in BB; I insta-called his now-predictable shoved... He had A4 off; but Board came out 63759 with the river bringing the one card to carry me home! At first Dealer declared other guy had the straight til I corrected him that I had the higher straight!

GG! WP! Pity about the crapshootiness at the end, good night...

It's been a nice end to a rather profitable week: Bringing home over €500 profit from the Fitz cash tables on Sunday (after crashing out from the FO which I never got going in...) and folding my way into 5th place as the shortest stack in Hartstown for €100; I finally hit the 1k profit challenge that I had set myself for October... with tonight's win, albeit 2 days late!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Swimming with the fishes at the IDP's Deepstack Classic

Unlike the Irish Deaf Open in May... this weekend belonged to the fishes. I never saw so many sick beats and stupid calls in my poker experience!

Friday night the IDP committee pulled out all the stops to provide a great night of 8-max Sit-n-Go's with an international feel with over 55 players from 6 different countries on 7 tables playing various levels. And we didn't have enough tables to satisfy everyone! I was working for most of the night; but managed to join the last €30 game of the night...

A quick look around the table showed a Finnish TAG (had observed him playing earlier); three aggressive Swedes, a 'it's-my-first-time' player (IMFT) who got very lucky cashing 2nd in previous €10 & €20 SnG games to bragged her way into the €30... A fellow Irish who bluffs more hands than he has and a sleeping Brit who folded 90% of his cards! He folded so much that people FORGOT he was there! He won a pot by default after a Swede mucked his cards thinking he had won, with no callers to his raise!!! LOL! And me...

After getting my raises holding 10 10 and QKs called by IMFT and the Bluffer King, both who bet out continuation bets with the board showing Aces. I folded both times. Then I got AK suited, UTG, in the first hand and raised 250... Was called by the IMFT and one Swede. Flop came out A45 two suits. IMFT bet out 250, I reraised her 800... Big raise but I wanted her out of the pot; but no... She called! The Swede folded. Turn was a K... I bet out 1200, IMFT called. River 4; putting her on a raggy Ace I shoved... she called to show 54 off and I was out(!) FFS! The Sleeping Brit later told me that she had been playing like this ALL night and getting lucky with the board.

Sweet Nick from the UK had been asking me all night to play a game with him... I hunted him down for a game, and offered to play HU with him 'after' his current game. He replied 'really?! Well then...' and insta-shoved his stack into his opponent "I really wanna play with Jules... lets finish now?", the opponent agreed calling with 55, Nick had something like 93o and board came out with 33(!) LOL! But in HU with Nick - I was totally card dead, folding to every raise :( ... didn't want to play for money again; I really need the HU practice so offered to play a couple more HU with Nick - for the craic, the practice, no money right? And I won 'em both... typical! Afterwards moaning about my unlucky night, Sweet Nick ever the gent he is, offered to buy me a drink to make up for it... the pet! Before the gossip mill starts: he's already committed (lucky girl!) And I have NO notions on him!

The day of the Deepstack in the Fitz started with a buzz - everyone was milling around ready to go! Susie Woosie drummed up 8 players to play cash as I assisted with the seating plan - I wasn't to ensure that I was not on the same table as any of the calling stations or, indeed, IMFT! In the end the biggest Calling Station in the world (Vincent McArdle) turned up late for the game only to get the last seat going.... on my right(!)

Vincent proceeded to play in every hand - limping in with both weak and strong holdings and calling EVERY raise only to get lucky; he became the immediate chipleader! Although I played ultra-tight, having position on Vincent is NOT an asset. He checked down to the river with QQ on a Q high board, reducing one of the better Swede players to a short-stack (!) I woke up with KKs in SB when blind were 100/200 and raised to 1000... Vincent who had called the blind in CO, along with 3 other limpers was my only caller. JJQ board had me checking down to the river, with Vincent checking after me. On the river I threw out 2500. And he called showing J3 off(!) FFS! After this I was practically playing short stack game, with less than 6k and folded for the next few levels til after the dinner break.

After the dinner break, blinds were 300/600, in my very first hand I found AK suited UTG... and shoved, Vincent wasn't back on the table so I got the blinds! In the next hand I was BB, button raised to 1,800; Vincent called from SB, I checked my cards and found KK... and shoved for 5,400. Button (Swede) tanked for a moment then shoved his stack. Vincent picked up his chips, looked at me... I smiled sweetly at him and urged him "Go on! Call me! Go on!" Looked at the Swede... who started to copy me "yeah... c'mon! Call!" Poor Vincent panicked and folded! The Swede tables QQ and my kings’ hold, phew!

One more level later and I was on 17k, Vincent had been moved to another table, but I before anyone could take advantage of his departure; a very strong Finnish player Kalle joined our table sitting to my immediate left with 35k, 2nd overall tournament chipleader. He proceeded to bully the table, reducing several stacks and increasing his own, I even lost 3k to him in one pot folding the better hand, I was furious when he showed a bluff. Finding AQ in CO I raised to 3xBB, Kalle re-raised me on the Button for 50% of my stack, as the rest of the table folded back to me. I insta-shoved the rest of my stack over the line. Kalle called showing K10 suited. Ace on flop, Queen on turn, with two suits and I was so sure I was finished... but thankfully my pairs held and I was up to 25k. For the next two orbits I was card dead, Patrik (Swedish player and over all chip leader) joined the table and sitting between him and Kalle was tough. Falling back to 13k after losing a race with a short-stack on 66 versus my A10s, I was getting despondent; blinds was 500/1000 I was in SB with 55. Kalle (who raised every time he was UTG!) threw out 3k, the table folded to Patrik (in the CO seat to Vincent's right) who smelled a rat, and re-raised to 9k. I just saw red! I insta-shoved the rest of my stack then mucked my pair without showing as both Kalle and Patrik folded; quizzing me for information 'what did ya fold?' "A pair of twos" I replied to much laughter! Kalle patted me on the back patronising... 'Very good, you are catching up now!' he signed. 'Yeah...' I replied 'soon I will overtake you!' Kalle laughed shaking his head. Grrrr! I made a vow to put him out of the tournament but never got the opportunity as I was moved to table 1; with 9 strong Irish players including Frank Grace (the shortest stack on 15k), Justin Smith and Susie Woosie (on 35k)!

Blinds had increased to 1k/2k, and finding 66 UTG I raised to 6k leaving me with 20k left. Got one caller who raised me to 12k, then Frank (BB), pushed the rest of his stack over the line... I thought for a moment then folded my pair reluctantly, immediately regretting it when I saw the flop: Frank showed AKs and other caller had a middle pair; board showed A6xxx and Frank doubled up. Meh! Falling back to 20k meant I was in an 'all-in or fold' mode... very next hand I found AdJd in BB. Nick D who was in mid-position raised to 4k (2xBB); Susie in CO-1 re-raised to 10k; as the action folded back to me - I was already committed to a shove and pushed. Nick D folded then Susie Woosie tanked for aaaaagggggggeeeeeesss before calling me with AK off. The flop had two diamonds but turn and river didn't bring the 3rd diamond I desperately needed, Susie won with high card plus king kicker... I was out in 25th place. I was soooooo upset, I exited the room immediately.

While I'm still bitter with the way my play went, calling stations and fishes galore, I'm sooooo glad I lost my final race to a good player on a better hand!

Susie eventually exited in 12th place having lost a big pot before getting blinded out; Kalle bubbled in 11th (ha!); the sleeping Brit (ultra-tight Doke style player!) Exited in 7th place; Patrik (chipleader for the entire tournament til the final table) crashed in 6th place and our Frank Grace ended up in HU against UK's Henry McD.

Henry (who came 7th in the UK Deaf Poker Open last February, in which I was 6th and bombed out in 17th place at the Irish Deaf Poker Open in May) played an amazing short-stacked game after losing 30k to IMFT in a sick beat: She called his raise pre-flop holding 73 off and Board showed 77 to burst Henry's queens. That pot made her joint-chipleader with Sweden's Patrik at one point (!) Henry was then moved to my table and tangled with Kalle, winning his final race to double back up to 15k (approx) before he was moved back to IMFT's table. He shoved twice and IMFT (table chipleader) called both times, Henry won both races and eventually kicked IMFT out of the tournament in 29th/30th place! Go on ya good thing!

I didn't see the final stages of the tournament as I succumbed to temptation and joined the cash tables. Frank later told me that himself and Henry ended HU, into a showdown with Frank all-in holding AKoff and Henry called with Q2 suited, and won with a straight on a KJ10Ax board. GG Henry! Well done!

On the cash tables, another Deaf Swede (who was kicked out of our tournament in 70th place, during the very first hand on bluff!) turned €200 into €1,550 while making loads of enemies along the way! More than what our Deepstack winner won! Several people on the cash tables were calling him the 'Deaf Fish'! Ouch! But he was so proud, he taught them all to sign fish as in 'flapping gills' LOL! The very next day when I went back to the Fitz - several players asked me using that sign - "where is the 'Deaf Fish' today?!"

At one stage, he kept pushing me off pots I was getting annoyed - chanced my arm calling his raise holding 5c6c and flopped a flush draw/straight draw... he bet pot (€7) pre-flop, I had position on him and called; SB called too. Flop came 8c10c7x. Deaf Fish called pot and started signing to me that he had a good hand and 'don't think of calling it... trust me... I got the best hand here' but I pointed out 'tough, I have a good hand too' and called pot, covering his raise twice over. SB called while complaining that the signing was 'unfair' that we could be 'collaborating' in the hand and the rest of the table agreed - leading to the dealer asking us to stop signing. Deaf Fish tried to re-raise me but dealer wouldn't let him (threw out a €100 chip without saying raise) and the turn brought the 3rd club I needed for a flush. Deaf Fish checked looking at me; I called for Pot, SB went all in and Deaf Fish folded showing rest of table 88 and I pushed rest of my chips over. SB tabled AA and I got the pot,”That's the REAL Deaf Fish" DF quipped pointing at me in disgust! One hand later and he gave me a hug congratulating me on the €400 pot I won, and left.

Several players stopped by my table to see how I was doing and giving me updates on the Deepstack final stages, saying their farewells, giving me hugs, kisses etc. After Henry won, he came down with Sweet Nick; just as I hugged and kissed Henry in congratulations for his win, one cash player shouted over "hoi - that's enough hugging and kissing here!"

I gradually built my €50 into €480 with the aim to go home once I hit €500... But lost it all holding Qd7d (which I limped in with on the button) on a Qx6dJd6x9d board against Ad3d (American in BB) who raised on all the streets then checked-raised the flush on river to put me all in (!) Meh! I put another €100 on the table and got up 3 hands later with €250 - after getting a 5 high straight flush! I was exhausted had enough beats for one day, and was glad to leave with €30 up after putting €150 on the table and €70 buy-in for the IDP Deepstack... not a great show for 13 hours playing poker but I reckon it’s better to go home with something than nothing at all!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

PLOs at the IPO

One thing that came out of the IPO for me: I have gone off Pot Limit Omaha!!!

It's the worse game in the poker world to deal for, especially when one is dog-tired! It doesn't help when every second player is shouting POT either when your brain is totally mush after almost 35 hours of dealing over 3 days!

I had already agreed to work for Stephen & Jeff at the IPO; expecting to do some of the main event, a couple of side games, with the plan of getting Sunday off to join Susie Woosie in the ladies event with a few cash games. Alas no! A 'rule' was put in place that if you dealt, you couldn't play too: "deal or play only or stay away" - but over the weekend I noticed some of the dealers got exemptions from this rule.... Grrrr!!!

I could hardly stay away could I? Not when it was the 1st anniversary of my first ever 'proper' dealing stint - it felt wrong not to pass up an opportunity to show last year's critics that one of the 'bad dealers' from IPO'07 has improved big time!

The 2008 IPO was a huge improvement from 2007... better venue, better deal for the dealers (fairer breaks and unlimited refreshments, especially the Red Bull!), great choice of games/side events and several 'famous' names sitting down to play with the ordinary Joes. Kudos to Stephen for all his hard work... To Ciaran & his Boylepoker staff for the glamours show they put on! Well done guys!

The atmosphere was electric for the entire weekend! I even got to see Marty Smyth's WSOP's bracelet!

Day 1: Arrived at 2:30pm straight from work, had a good lunch, before reporting to the Dealer Manager. The place was buzzing with familiar faces everywhere. Andy Black was giving a workshop in the main hall, the PA system was booming all over the place, I could barely make out what Andy was saying (or any other announcer for that reason!) but he had the crowd hanging on to his word that he must have been good!

First impression of Danni the Dealer manager was scary! She was a real dominatrix: barking orders and really putting people on the spot for being a minute late back from breaks; not a woman you want to cross. It was thanks to her that the dealer arrangement, changes and placements ran smoothly for the entire IPO... By the end of the weekend I had a LOT of respect for that woman.

The main event was very squashed, and the room was boiling hot! The standard of play was ultra-tight on most tables with very few flops being seen.

4 hours into the main event, I was asked to report to Charlie on the cash tables... And stayed there for rest of the evening right into the next day. Charlie had no time for tardiness and not bringing in the right rake! The rake was a whopping €10 ppph on tables €100 or less; €16 on the €250 tables. I felt awful raping each pot for rake at this level! It was difficult to meet the rake on some of the €1/2 tables... There were times I barely took enough, and I used my tips to make up the shortfall. Some tables were under-raked practically all evening: the pots were either too small or had big stacked players frequently taking breaks for 30 mins or more. One such table, I had to ask each player to throw the extra €2 each to make up the difference, after that I thought it easier to ask each player to throw in €5 per half hour then I left their pots alone. The higher staked tables €2/5 and PLO €250 were so much easier to rake...

I left at 4:30am got home by 5am and couldn't sleep!!! My mind was still buzzing from all the Red Bull(!) I finally drifted off at 6am... setting my alarm for 10am.

Day2: My wee princess woke me up at 11:30am.... eeeeek! I barely made it for 1pm having to drop her to my mum's en route. The 'look' I got from Danni told me there was no point making excuses-just took the ticking on the chin and get on with it!

The second starting day went much better, the tables were better spaced out and the air con was on full blast... which was great to start with but soon all the players had their jackets back on and I was regretting my short-sleeved top! There was less dealer changes, due to less dealers working than Friday, but Dani managed to juggle it amazingly well.

I went over to the cash tables after dinner and stayed there dealing well into the night. At 2am I was dealing to several mad French players (didn't tip a penny all night), such charmers! They would deliberately call 'pot' in an accent that sounded exactly like 'check' to me... To much laughter! At the very end, when Floor Manager called out for the last 3 hands to be played at 4am, I allowed myself to be persuaded to deal them a fourth... then did a fifth while they were claiming it was 'only' the 4th... I 'promised' a 4th(!) Then got rewarded with generous parting tips from each player. Merci beaucoup monsieurs!

Day 3: Having finished at 4:30am, before I left I asked Danni for a late start on Sunday - she allow me til 3pm. I found it tough dragging myself out of bed at 1pm to meet Susie for lunch! Before anyone shakes their head and point out that the other dealers managed to do it; sure, but the other dealers don't have a full-time job and kids to think about, do they?!

Susie Woosie was playing in the Ladies Side event with Ciara (another decent player from Clonsilla Inn; I was in heads-up with her 2 weeks ago... she turned my 3-1 chiplead into 2nd place!) I was so envious, was really in the mood to play now! 55 women, including JCB, the Shudda Girl, Dame Vera were all playing too... I kept railing them during my breaks. The standard of play was atrocious at best - a lot of limpers in each hand, raises and re-raises getting called by 3 or more players with any two... AA's; JJs and KKs were no good and JCB, Vera and the other good players went to the rails early. Susie Woosie ended up playing a short-stack game for most of it; she played a uber-tight nit game folding A10, AQs and small/middle pairs to raises, with no regrets. Susie Woosie hung on til 12th place... Commiserations and well done girl!

Dealing on Sunday was tougher - didn't help that the Red Bull had ran out! And I was listed to deal the Double Chance Pot Limit Omaha €150 side event that started at 6pm, in what must have been the hottest area of the room! The play was limited to 64 players (8-max tables) due to limited chips available... and the amount of grumpy players who didn't get a ticket was amazing. It was a great measure to Poker Ireland's success having nearly all the weekend side events booked out!

For the non-poker players: calling 'pot' in a pot limit game means the maximum the player can bet is the total of what is already on the table. If a previous player has already bet during that turn, then the 'pot' is the last bet plus the total chips on the table. E.g. there's 250 on the of the table at the flop... player 1 bets 100... player 2 raises to 200... player 3 calls 'POT' and the dealer has to announce what the pot amount is. Here player 3 has to pay 950 (200 x 3 plus 100 plus 250). Sounds straight forward... til player 5 says POT too! Ahhhh! Doing the constant math is tiring! Naturally there will be a few mistakes....

Ohhhhhhh before I forget... I have a wee confession to make. I am crap at spreading the cards out on the table pre-game. All weekend I was trying, trying and trying... they still wouldn't spread right! I was constantly asking other dealers, it was pathetic! As I set up the Omaha table, I picked up the cards, looked around for the nearest dealer... no one *sigh* ah feck it... here goes. And whaaaayyyyy! I did it! A nice perfect even spread! Was so proud of myself I even took a picture with my phone! LOL!

On my first table, I had two of the French Charmers from the night before, as they sat down they started braying with laughter pointing at me... so I made a point to teach them the signs for pot/check/raise and "English only spoken please!" They behaved much better this time... phew! I dealt that table without any cock-ups, until the next table 2 hours later.

Then I dealt a series of gaffs. Blinds were 200/400, UTG+1 called for 400; action folded to DCB in CO (yes... the famous troublemaker from Boards.ie!) who announced POT. I quickly said 1400, Button folded and SB (Red Faced Aggro-Bluffer RFAB) said 'call' as he was counting out the chips. Another player pointed out that the Pot should have been 1800 - I did a quick count and yeah... he was correct. RFAB objected to this saying that he was willing to pay 1200 more not 1600. I called floor manager for a ruling - he ruled that the 1400 should stand... Poor DCB got 3 callers for that pot! On the flop action checked back to DCB who shouted POT again... this time I had the figure ready: 6200 and everyone folded. DCB was very quiet but played a good game... guess he had to, with the biggest Bluffer you ever met (RFAB) on the table; plus JCB and the Big City Banker!

In one hand we had 2 players all in... I sorted their chips and pushed them into the centre then burned the top card and dealt the flop, burnt the second card as RFAB (who was not in the hand) interrupted me: "Wait now... they need to show dem first!" pointing out that the players cards must be face up for the showdown. As the players sorted their cards I burnt another card and exposed the wrong card super fast... only noticed what I had done when I was about to burn the 3rd card that there were 3 burn cards there already (DOH!) RFAB saw the mistake and quickly leaned over the table picking up the burn cards and scrambling the turn card muttering "here, here... thats de way it shub be..." to the effect that I hadn't a clue which card was which... or what he had actually done! There was an uproar, I told him to leave it and called the Floor Manager over for a ruling. The ruling was given that the burn cards, exposed cards and the remaining deck had to be shuffled three times and re-burnt/re-dealt. Leading to a better board for one player... and an short-stack-early-exit for JCB. Sorry JCB... :-/

I was mortified after that, paying extra attention to the game and dealt slower to ensure no more mistakes. When I was relieved I headed back to deal cash for couple more hours but the tiredness meant I kept making stupid mistakes - forgetting to deal one player, raking a split pot without thinking, sweeping up another players hand. I asked Charlie if I could go early and she agreed...

I signed out, got my bag and was about to leave when a group of dealers announced they were having a Dealer Tournament! And was I interested.... oooohhhh tempting! When I pointed out I didn't have enough cash on me to play (a deliberate tactic I had to ensure I didn't get tempted to play!) Two other dealers offered to sub me for "of a % of your win!" LOL I was flattered! I agreed telling myself that playing is easier than dealing, sure a game would be good. As I put my money on the table it was tactfully pointed out by one of the Floor managers that the other cash/Omaha dealers were not allowed to play this tournament, it wouldn't be fair if I played, considering I asked to leave early due to 'tiredness'. Feeling very guilty, I returned the money, thanked them all, wished the other players luck and said my farewells.

It was a good weekend... I still haven't fully recovered from it! Am so glad I don't deal full time...

Next year... sorry guv but I wanna play!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Credit Crunch Bitten You Yet?

I've been following the news with interest all week: all doom and gloom, cutbacks left right and centre... Seems ironic that the Government seems more concerned with propping up the banking sector than safeguarding community services. In the mist of it all the shocking revelations that €83m was siphoned from the Disability Services funds, by that ongoing bad variance AKA the HSE, barely cause a stir.

'So what' says the News '€400bn is more juicer to chew on..

All the talks of the ECB lowering the interest rates has me sceptical too. Do anyone really think that will happen??!!! Did any of you notice that almost all the fixed rates have been steadily increased by the banks by .1/.2% across the board?

'So what' says the News 'We need to speculate what the banks will do with the €400bn...'

The Unions are encouraging us to reject the recent paydeal, rising unemployment and the Government majority owned 'State' airline is considering laying off its ground staff in favour of outsourcing. Hardly reassuring...

'So what' says the News 'US Congress just approved a $700bn bad debt bail out! Everyone is working towards recovery...'

Two of my friends announced that they were doing their Christmas shopping this week. My eldest gives me a list of 20 toys/games and subtly hints that I pass it on to Santa for him. Eeek! Why so early!!! I plan to bring my winning from the Deepstack to Amsterdam in November - that's time enough for me, and Santa will have to make do with what he can find in Kalverstraat! Then the rumour mill starts grinding out more bad news: the credit cards will be withdrawn, overdrafts will be frozen, forget shopping and start paying them off now!

'Ah sure' says the News 'If you run into debt the Banks are covered... just don't go over €400bn on the credit cards.'

Several prominent players were complaining they were too late to register, or had other commitments, to play in the IPO or Laddies game in Killarney ... Let's be honest - the real reason lies with the credit crunch... right?! Come clean!

I'm old enough to remember the bad old 80's, being in secondary school with peer pressure to look good was tough if you didn't have the means! The shame of having to wear those god awful council glasses! The shame of having no headstone for my father's grave for 4/5 years! The shame of having to sell the family car,and my mother had to hitch with the weeks takings (we had a business) to the bank in the next town... No worse than anyone and we survived.

'Uh oh' says the News 'WARNING: This recession will be worse. MUCH worse.'

With the looming threats of rising bills, food costs and interest rates reared last May - it was time to start cushioning myself for the worse. I changed my driving style, turned off the air con, and shopped around for petrol, I pay my son in PC hours to clean the car (he's very good!); shopped for food bargains (very easy right now), the new fridge with the extra freezer space is full! I reduced our heating usage, got strict with electricity and got rewarded with the cheapest utility bill I've ever had last week! A gas bill for €17!!! I'm so proud of it - I carry it around everywhere! I even applied to fix my mortgage for 5 years... just before the rates went up.
But the best advice yet had to to from a client last month. This little old lady whose daughter is regular on the poker scene, upon learning that I was a player asked me how was my 'poker purse'. She had me mystified at first then explained that her daughter held two purses: one for housekeeping and the other for poker! "And never the two shall meet!" LOL! While my virtual online 'purse' is pathetic... my live purse is currently richer than my housekeeping one that's for sure!

I set myself a 1k challenge for August - started really well but had a disastrous final week, but glad to report I was €700 up by 31st August and already had that spent! September added another €230 profit to start off my 'purse' (didn't play as much, kept to low stake games) plus a bottle of sparkling wine the best hand (straight flush to the Jack) and October is off to a good start with another €170 profit into the 'purse'... it should have been €390 but I messed up in the final hand headsup. Meh! Feck the credit crunch - I'm setting myself a 1k target for October!

"Ah now" says the News... Shhhhhhh! I'm enjoying my wine!