Saturday, March 22, 2008

When you sit down to a cash game... pick the the table with the most empty beers, first-timer's and the free-flowing dosh! ;-D

After my elimination I went looking for a game, but there were waiting lists for all the games from 100 up, all cash games no SnG's. :-/

As I waited around for Susie Woosie to finish up, I had an idea of heading to the Jackpot to check out a game, Susan agreed... as I went to say my goodbyes - JCB suggested we try Cool Hand Lukes, as the Jackpot may be quiet, "This is a good night to make it on the cash tables - cos all the big players are here!" she added with a wink...

I went online the free internet access PC's provided by PPP and a link came up about the Tallaght Poker Room above the Atari-Expo in the Square. Hmmm, not too far away...

"You are joking!?" spluttered Susie "that's Knackersville!"

Ah lets give it a go Susie! She reluctantly agreed... on the condition that if there were goupies/gangs hanging around we were not going in. Agreed. The place was quiet and empty, just a lone smoker huddled outside. In we went...

Only two tables in swing, after conversing with management over membership, games on offer, etc.; we brought €30 in chips and set about deciding on which table to join... table 1 had 4 young lads and an aging Italian stallion, all serious, big chips in front of them. Table 2 had 5 men, pally-pally country style, swinging the free beers and laughing away... mixture of large and small stacks. Yep - that looks the most fun!

What a night! The craic was mighty with the banter, Susie topped up for €30, I topped up by €20; our fellow players were constantly topping up with eye-catching €100 bills: I calculated €600, €250 and €400 (the Aquarium) from three of the guys over the course of the evening! I was served beautiful cards here - two pairs, flushes and straights galore! My 'husband' (as christened by Susie) who was sitting to my left, managed to win most of his friends chips, but kept folding any time I raised. I took advantage of that where ever I could!

Like us, it was a first visit for these guys, they also had been put off by Paddy Power Poker IrisghOpen limitations on the cash games. The only thing that annoyed me was one gobby dealer who kept egging me to go 'all-in' when I was in the tank pondering a call from one of the "Aquarium"...

Susie went home with €211, and me... wellllllllll ;-D Let's say my poker tracker short-fall has now decreased to €151! It was a great night for just €50 odd!

We'll be back! ;-D

Ladies Event Update

What a game... I felt totally out of my depth!

Susie and I arrived at 4:20pm and the place was buzzing! I checked out Smurph and Martin in the main event at their respective tables - both well in the game with decent size stacks.

JCB spotted us and we had a good chat about what to expect, JCB was on a high and raring to go, Susie was very nervous. I felt calm, very calm, but when I saw the final prize fund on the screens - the flutters began. I had resolved to play tight unless I was in late position...

147 women sat down to play, cards went in the air at 5:10pm. Susie reckons we were among the youngest in the room, I was positioned beside a lovely chatty grandmother from Donegal, and while I was definitely not the youngest on my table - I was in the youngest 25% at least!

I took down the first pot with a pair of 7s, gaining 6 blinds; after that I was card dead. The play went loose, fast and furious! The dealer we had for the first two blinds was the fastest I've ever seen, with the ladies at my table folding/shooting the chips out without a pause, in 30 minutes we managed to do no less than 5 orbits... my newly won stack dwindled fast.

I noticed certain woman was playing with 'big bets' and occasionally stealing blinds with cards (if we got to see them) that one usually wouldn't play. I called her with J10s but the flop showed AA9, I threw in 300 continuation bet but she fired out 1800, I folded. She showed a pair of Qs... phew! But the whole table muttered in surprise. She became the table chipleader very quickly after that - nice strategy(!)

Another woman just kept getting great hands: KK, two pairs, flopping sets, flushes etc; and she managed to treble her stack by the start of the 2nd level. But if she was in a hand, she called every raise. And won... I labelled her a calling station! I was down to 3k by 2nd level, wasn't the only short stacked player on the table, there were 4 of us hoovering around 2-4k.

Then this hand happened: I got AKo in mid-position and raised to 400; got 4 callers including the calling-station. Flop showed 456 rainbow and we checked to the CO who bet 800, UTG raised to 1600, calling-station called; chipleader made it 3k. Then it was back to me. I had no option but to fold. CO called all-in and won the 10k+ pot in a show-down with Chipleader's AKo with 78o(!) I'm so glad I held off going all-in there...

Another set of blinds and I was down to 2k, pushed all-in with AJ, everyone folded to the Chipleader who insta-called me with K10o. Flop gave me the A to stay alive and I was back up to 5k... phew! Chipleader lost a HUGE pot in the very next hand with a 10 high flush to the Donegal Grandmother's queen high and went right down to 4k.

JCB stopped by, seeing my stack, she gave me the thumbs up and remarked that she was card dead and had more or less same as me. That made me feel better. She also warned me to sit tight, the cards will come.

More fast and furious playing with big bets continued, and I remained hand dead for ages; til I lost 1,750 to another short-stacker in a show-down with my JJ v her AA. Bad call.

Was down to 3k when I got a beautiful pocket rockets... But in the previous hands AAs lost out to triple Q's and flush draws - being in BB with 8 callers including calling-station, I decided to play safe and not call til I saw the flop. Flop showed 10 4 2 rainbow; I threw in a value bet of 600 expected to reraise, two players called, rest folded. Turn was 8 and all-in I went, got one caller (guess who!!!) with J8 (eehhh?) and other player folded. River showed the one card I didn't want: 8 ...FFS! That was some playing woman!

I got a lot of sympathetic looks and a lot of head shaking ; dealer muttered something to me but I didn't catch it, Donegal woman nodded and patted me on the back "yah... well played lassie... pure bad luck cards tonight". Hard-luck, good game, goodbye... step behind the railings... ya-da... ya-da...

Out in 131st place. I felt soooo humbled.

Susie Woosie was playing ultra-tight on her table, working between 2.5-4k stack. She managed to boost her stack to 8k by break (end of 4th level) but grew very short-stacked with the blinds and antes, only to crash out in the 6th level in 87th place - well done girl, you lasted longer than me!

JCB was on 35k+ in 7th level with what looked like the overall tournament chipleader on her table with 100k++ (whoa!) JCB was engaging in table play talk with another short-stack all-in at that table...while 'deciding' whether to call into the pot or not when I stopped by, she made a big show of flashing me her cards "look at these... would you call? Hummmm... Ohhhh... Ah I'll call ya..."

Eh? I'm the last person you should ask that JCB! But she won that pot... and went on to finish among the final 10... GG Girl and Well Bloody Done!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why is the non-event always better fun??!

Went to Hartstown last night - got off to a great start built my chips to 18k then crashed out on AA hand on a AQ97Q board against Paul S's Q9 - he just got lucky on river(!) Great start alright... meh!

Was about to head home when GCCS (also out early) asked me if I would be interested in a €20 side game with 3 other players... ah sure, I might as well! Ended up in a BRILLIANT heads-up contest against a guy who came from 250 down to 5k up by HU! We were so well matched, that our HU lasted 75 minutes (I'm not joking!) - but the main game ended (and rule is: game over for all side games) so we had to stop and split the €100 pot between us... Still GG!

I found out last weekend that Pigsback had a special freeroll scheduled for tonight: offering a free ticket to the ladies event, another chance to get my money back... Hmmm! I was so geared up for it all week! Even pressurised all my fellow IDP female players to join in too! While registering for it, I notice another freeroll on offer starting an hour before the Pigsback: the "Blog-tastic Freeroll" to celebrate the opening of the PPP Irish Open. Ah feck it - I'll try that one too...

The BlogFR kicked off with 500 players, the going was good, then the Pigsback started... and I was multi-tabling for a while. But disappointingly the PB game was totally hand-dead for me... I sunk like a puny raft made of blood bags in a sea of sharks!

So back to the BlogFR I went! The banter was mighty: LavigneAvril, Sticky28, Maximuuuuux, and Taffmaster1 all kept me going for 3 hours! My cards were good too... I even mange to whack a couple of marvellous bluffs and take down a big pot too! Before I knew it I was sitting on the final table(!) Whay!!!!

Was kicked out in 6th place with $12, I was so delira n excita to be on the final table I got way too happy (the vodka I poured myself during the breaks might have helped a bit! ;-D) and I called all in (with 87k) on pocket 5's on a A44 37 board... only to lose out to Taffman1 (on 180k) and his Ace!

Still great game... Taffman1 went on to win first place with $75. We manage to keep the banter going til the end - well done man! I'll be watching out for you around PPP!

Hmmm I've a feeling I'm not going to enjoy the ladies event - but get me to the nearest SnG/Cash game and I betcha I'll sweep the floor there and come home all flushed with the excitement! Bring it on! From a 500 field down to the final 10... c'mon this was my best result yet! And it didn't cost me a penny!!!

Good luck to all the players starting in the IO tomorrow! (especially Sticky28 who is having breakfast with Doyle Brunson too as well as playing in the IO!)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Susie Woosie's Night at the Jackpot

Susie Woosie really wanted to play in the PPP Ladies Event but she had no intention of paying €330 for the privilege...

Laura had warned me at the team event - playing in an all-women's event is 'very different' to the mixed fields. I really wanted to check it out with the ladies night at the Jackpot. I had a wee bit of trouble getting Susie to agree to come with me, she's had a bad run the tables since her win in the Deaf UK Tournament.

I made a with deal with her - if I win the golden ticket I'll sell it to her for €100... Deal!

Then her hearing aids went on the brink... this setback was soooo not helping! That's how I offered to be her official interpreter... (ah stop laughing!!!) Those who know us will know that Susie is usually my 'interpreter' in these situations, the girl has technically way more hearing than me... with her hearing aid in, that is. Sans la HA's, the girl is deafer than the proverbial post and is a hopeless lip-reader! Would throw in a few examples here but she'll kill me and I need to keep her sweet for Friday! ;-D

We arrived at the Jackpot - Susie had to register herself as a member - I already had my card since the dealer training last October. The Jackpot had a ladies only game with one ticket guaranteed for the PPP Ladies Event. With wine and nibbles to hand, 9 of us sat down at 9pm for a SnG - 4k starting stack, 1 re-buy (4k) or 1 top-up (6k).

Was kinda surprised there wasn't more than 9... Three of them actually worked in The Jackpot, 1 was a Sporting Emporium 'regular', another was a Fitzwilliam 'regular' and other two were Jackpot 'regulars'... we were the only 'non-casino' players around. Hmmm! Getting that ticket might be hard! The place was dead: apart from our game, two cash tables started around 10:30pm and 11:30pm.

The game opened well for me: I had quad queens, two pairs and triple aces, so took down the first few pots, but after that... I was dead for ages, then managed to take down a couple of decent pots in second and third level. One of the Jackpot regulars proved to be a top-notch player: I never saw anyone build up their stack so fast either, by the end of the first level she had at least 18k. She was like a JCB... Thanks to her, three ladies had to top-up before the end of the first level... and two were out before end of 2nd level(!) The player to her left never raise once all night.

In the third level, I got caught in a trap with this JCB and fell foul to a house ruling. I was in CO with 12k, had Ad7d. Raised to 400, JCB (in BB) plus one other player called.

Flop: AJ10 rainbow, both players checked, I bet 400. JCB called, other player folded.

Turn: 5, JCB checked again. I bet 800, JCB hestiated then called.

River: 7 - two pairs for me... I saw JCB nod (her usual check manner) and thinking she had checked, I threw in 1500. Dealer asked if I was calling, but I misheard him, thinking he was clarifying my bet I said 'yes, 1500...'. JCB realising the confusion said "I'm 'all-in'... sorry, I forgot you couldn't hear... you calling?". But the dealer then said yes, I had 'called' therefore was "all-in" and to flip my cards... I showed my two pair and JCB showed hers: KQ for a straight flopped ace high(!) FFS!

I top-up to 4k, I was in CO-1 with Q9s and limped in, the flop showed a AK9 rainbow, everyone checked, turn was 7, another round of checks - I threw in a tentative bet, got 4 callers. River yielded a 9. Susie was in CO-2, girl to her right (the Raiser) threw in 500, Susie raised it to 1k, I raised it to 2k... everyone else folded, including the Raiser. Susie raised to 4k I called moving All-In, and won the pot against Susie's 98. Sorry girl, but I needed that!

Susie went all in in the next hand and knocked out that Raiser just before the break, along with her top-up she still had a decent 9k starting back after the break.

I was totally card dead after the break, lost one big pot with a flush to a full house. I ended up short-stacked moving all-in with pairs and high hands, even knocked out another short-stack'er but with JCB pushing her chip-leader advantage at every opportunity, I was finished... I exited gracefully in 5th place.

Susie played ultra-tight, only calling tentatively with superior hands... JCB was getting very snappy with Susie: "Oh c'mon, why didn't you bet that one, girl!"

In playing into JCB, Susie managed to knocked out the other two players to end up in heads-up with JCB... But what JCB didn't know was our Susie is the type of player who will play you at YOUR game. If you are aggressive she'll match your aggression with a force; if you are tight, she'll be tighter; If you slow-play she will slow-play just as good as you... JCB was a slow-player, if aggressive, and she had a 2-1 chip lead over Susie.

Susies also a brilliant reader of Tells: I never sit opposite Susie when we play in the same hands...

"Do you want to know what 2nd place gets?" I asked her
"Naw... I'm going for the Ticket."
"It's €150... "
"Really? Oh... naw, I'm playing for the Ticket!"
"Good woman!" sez I.

Susie worked that 2-1 disadvantage to 1-1 to a 1-2 advantage for her, it took her just over an hour but she did it! She got that ticket! Yaaaaaay! You go girl!

Her final hand (a flopped club flush ace high set) really nailed it for JCB, they checked til the turn card appeared. JCB threw a bet, Susie thought for an age then called her. Susie checked the river, then JCB motioned "all-in" quick as a flash Susie Woosie replied "Yes" then looked at me, before she flipped her cards, smiled and signed "I betcha she's got a JX..." And yes, JCB did indeed have a JX... the look on her face when she saw our Susie's A3 cards was priceless!

Have to hand it to JCB, she came back over (after getting her €150) and congratulated Susie on her playing. She asked me if I would be playing next Friday (in the Ladies Open) too...

"Oh yes, she already has her ticket." says Susie... I nod.
"Same here, I got a free ticket, just playing tonight for the practice..."

Ah... gonna plenty more slow-playing ahead then(!)

But hey, Susie Woosie is now playing with me on Friday!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Finally, I'm in the Bubble!

Came 4th last night... yay! Back in the money again... well, it's only €70, a €10 profit is better than going home with nothing!

I changed my playing last night, played far tighter than I usually, got more aggressive with pairs, called and slow-played the premium hands... I was actually card dead 70% of the time, I folded several blinds but any pots I got involved in - I took it down well! I built my stack up slowly and gradually like a rock from 8k to 23k...

Then we went to the final table and my focus just went out the window! We had a 'Whistler', a 'Drama Queen' (DQ-think Hollywood sighs and tuts) and a Grey haired Mouthy SwearBag (GHMSB) on the table... The ensuring acts they pulled was so distracting and a lot of time wasting! I've no respect for the GHMSB since the row over not showing his cards when he said he would if I folded(!) Fooooooo! The geezer was in his usual cocky form with 9k chips, the Whistler was chipleader with almost 60k and DQ was after losing a big pot and sulked petulantly with his 25k chips. Tattoo Pee-Wee look alike was a loose aggressive player with 35k.

Susie Woosie and Paul S also got to final both short-stacked and fighting hard to hold on. Paul S is a decent player, a league topper, but his playing has been off form lately, he told me the other night that "you need a bit of luck first, then the skill, otherwise you are playing a losing game". Wise words...

I was card dead the first few hands, blinds were 1k/2k was on the Button when I got pocket treys, DQ was UGT+1 and raised to 4k, I called him, everyone else folded.

Flop: 4c5c6c

DQ checked, I had the 3c and knew I've a nice open-ended possible straight, flush or straight flush, I threw in 5k continuation bet, DQ raised to 10k. Whoa! Knew from his usual game play he didn't have flush, as he would have just called to milk me to the very end if he had... I put him on a top pair here.

With 10-16 outs I felt I stood a good chance to take this pot, so called to see turn.

Turn: 6d (eeeek!)

DQ shoved his remaining chips over the line... I had no choice but fold, the risk was just too great and I didn't want to be out first from final table!

I asked to see the river: 2c .... Aaaaahhhhh FFS!!!!

The very next hand I got A10o, two players went all in: GHMSB with 9k and Paul S with 4k... DQ called(!) I thought hard and decided, no, laid them down...

Paul: Ad4d
DQ: 6s7s

Board: Ac 10d Kd 4s 9h

Another missed opportunity... FFS!!!!

After this I just played tighter, but being card dead and blinds eating into my stack, I held on. Paul, Susie were knocked out. We were down to 5 players and 2k/4k blinds and I was down to the last 3k on BB - it was looking very likely I will be Bubble girl again(!) :-(

I had QhKd

There was 3 callers (SB folded), DQ went all-in, the Whistler called him...

DQ: As6s
Whistler: AKo

Board: 9c 10s Jd Ad Kc

And DQ was gone! I was back in the game with 14k... just about!!! I had planed to lump the lot all-in on the next best hand I had but remained totally card dead as the blinds came around again... twice! Was down to 5.5k and shoved on A3o but was beaten by Whistler's A5o.

A funny episode happened in the next hand after this - Tattoo went all-in (he had barely 23k left) GHMSB and Whistler called him and lost, making Tattoo the new chipleader! I cheered and congratulated Tattoo. GHMSB was not amused, "huh you want me to loose?!!!" (oh yes!) He went on to win the next hand and roared at me "oi - I won, where's my cheer?! Hello?!"
"oh" sez I, "yeah well done... I suppose" (rasssssp!!!)
GHMSB sees two other bystanders and roared "are ya gonna cheer me?" On cue the bystanders did a joint "yahoo!" and we all fell about the place laughing! What a gobsh1te!

Not too disappointed to be out in 4th, and am glad to report neither the Whistler nor GHMSB came first, both moved all in with Aces and Tattoo called to take them down with a full house Qs over Ts!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Never underestimate a 'Calling Station'

Got caught short by a Gum-Chewing Calling Station (GCCS) at Hartstown House last night....

Before I explain, I want to make it clear I was VERY happy with my play last night, went from 8k down to 4k and built it back up to 41k... boooootifuuuully!

Til I made a stoooopid move against that GCCS! Was warned during the break that she was dangerous, barely knew how to play and will raise with "anything... "

With my 41k stack, I was on button with Ad10d (BB 1k/2k), 5 BB and 1 SB on table, I raised to 12k. GCCS was UTG (chipleader with 100k approx, believe it or not) called me, UTG+1 went All-In with his remaining 3k. Everyone else folded.

Flop: 5d As Js. GCCS checked, I threw out 15k and she called(!) Whoa!

Turn was 2d - we both checked... I was praying for another diamond!

River 10s. "right" sez I "2 pairs... but watch the flush" she took so long, I really thought she had already checked that it was my go - and said 'check'(!)

Dealer corrected me, she threw in 10k, I hesitated I had 2 pair but was thinking she 'couldn't' have a flush, she hardly bet 10k if she did???!!! I knew from watching her earlier games that she placed great store on pairs never mind anything else, I was already committed to that 46k pot and thinking I could be passing up best two pairs in favour of her making that bet based on my 'check'... so I called...

The b1tch had 8s9s! A flush?!!! FFS!!!

UTG+1 shows AhJh and was out in 8th place - poor fecker, he would have beaten me(!)

Couple other guys on the table started ticking her off: "ya mental calling 12k/15k with those cards" and she "just got lucky"... But I felt sooooooooooo Grrrrrrrr!

Was left with 4k - went all in a few hands later on AdJd and was bombed out in 7th place with a pair of 8s from yours truly(!) Ah well...

Come back Donal - all is forgiven!!! ;-D

Monday, March 10, 2008

The first team event...

Oh my lord... What a day! Well done to JP Poker for a successful event!

I was kinda shy meeting the team, they knew each other and I was this 'fish' stranger to them, but by 2:20pm we settled on the games then 3 of us down to the first 3 heats with 5 player STTs.

I started off playing cautious but tight, posted few big bets on AJ and AK but lost out to JJJ and AA respectively. Was building a good image playing tight as when I raised 3/4 times blinds the others folded so all I go were blinds. I did call a few pots but the flop didn't agree with me.

Went down to 2,750 and shoved all in, 3 callers, showed KK and won the pot with an A on the board! Go figure!

Later I was stacked 3,500 (BB100/200) when I got aggressive pushing 800 with 10 10, all folded, bar one guy with 3,250 who called me. The board read QQ8XX, he shoved All-In with his remaining stack, I thought for a minute then saw he was holding his breath (hmmm!!!) so called him and showed my pair ... he MUCKED! Yay me!!!!

After that pot, we were down to 4 players, I was card dead for ages watching this rock player building his stack as he swept the blinds and small pots here/there... He eventually went on to win the heat.

Then came my exit hand (BB 125/250). Down to 4,5k - I raised to 1k on a Jc10d, the rock called and rest folded. The flop showed Ad9d6x hmmm... Rock checks, I made a continuation bet of 2k, and he calls... ahhhhh... alarm bells ringing in my head!

Turn is Jd - finally a pair and possible flush. The rock checks, I hesitated (those damn alarm bells again!) then checked. River 2d... yessssss my flush! All-In I go!

But just when I thought I had all the outs covered the Rock calls me with JsKd(!) Then I showed myself up like a FISH! "ohhhh... ah split pot... ace high flush to both of us..." Dealer: "No, winner is Flush with king... you are out in 4th, sign here." FFS! :-(

In IDP we've split pot if highest flush card is on the board... now I know this was wrong(!) Darn!
Joan and her hubby Brian spent the rest of the day teasing me about this(!) There was a lot of waiting around while the 4th & 5th heats got underway, I went out for lunch with Susie Woosie then came back to see that our team had made it to semi-final with 29 points! Joan = 4 Smurph = 4 Moi = 5 Laura = 6 Sam = 10 Go Ladies!!!

Semi-final started at 8:40pm, I was in heat 1 STT, 8 handed with several drunken men turning it into a mad crap-shoot! I folded to several all-in's and my stack went down to 3,500 when this hand happened. I was BB for 200, UTG aka DFRF (drunken funny rambling fool!) raised to 1k, all folded to me I called with AdQd. The flop showed AhJh6h and DFRF shoved the rest of his stack (2k approx) over the line. As I had witnessed mad calls and bluffs from him, I was sure he was pushing a weaker hand and not a flush and called him. I was right. DFRF showed Kh7s.


The turn was Qh and River 2h(!) Ah FFS!

Cue mental whoops, cowboy leaps and laughter and team mates dancing, everyone crowds around the table... Dealer looks at me looking rejected and mouthed 'sorry'... DFRF stops his buckleaping around looks at me and said "ah no... I know ya married but can I giv ya a hug? Fuck... I give ya a hug, cm'ere!" (Married?!! I wish!)

I had 150 left and pushed it over for SB and lost it to pair 2s(!) And bowed out in 5th place and 4 points. Later I realised all our team were out before 5th place too so didn't mind too much, with 20 points, we were 6th placed so lost our place for the final. Awww!

Susie Woosie joined the €33 STT table, was so funny watching it!!! I was in the mood to play some more and tried to join another STT but they wanted play €110 ... eeek... I sat up to leave but one player pushed to reduce the STT amount to 50 and I sat down to play with 9 drunken players... crapshoot style galore and fistcuffs at the ready! I was out in 5th place just before JP closed us down...

Flushdraw won the overall team event and Raj (Sean's dad) took home the Best Overall Individual cup - well done guys!

Great day overall... But now officially €243 down (don't ask!!!!)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Team Event in memory of Sean Jethi

I've done the unthinkable! I'm joining an all-girls team for the the above event on Saturday 8th March...

Was hoping to pull a team of Deafies from IDP but none of the regulars were willing to part with their money(!) Typical! Went to to PM JP an apology (...else the guy will start to think I'm all talk and no action - getting info on his tourneys and never turning up!) he replied that there will several teams short of a player, including the ladies team' so 'do come along'...'

Right... have to get over my fear of strangers and make an entrance! Errr... hold on a sec...

PM'ed the Ladies captain for info and pushed myself a s a possible player, we exchanged numbers, chatting away via text I realised this was Laura the Cash Tables Organiser from the IPO last Oct! (*Did a stint as a dealer at the IPO in Oct'07 - tough job, couldn't deal fast enough for the table and got told off every time I made a mistake... really made me appreciate dealers a whole lot more.)

And now I'm on the team, €120 poorer, but gawd I better play good this Saturday... Gonna be a real test for me!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bubble Girl

Went to a 40 player local pub poker event on Monday night... tough game - had to fight my corner all night. We started with 8k. Had a huge pot with 4k of my chips in it held a lovely full-house Js over 6s beaten by 4-of-a-kind 6s, and really battled to regain my chips after that. There was a lot of slow-playing on the table with the big cards only revealing themselves after the flop or river. We had no less than SIX 4-of-a-kind sets on my table in the first 15/20 hands...

Was down to 2.8k at the 12 player point, then went all in on last two hands had several callers and won both pots with a straight and full house of aces over queens, before landing on final table as 3rd highest chip-leader!

Feeling really good about myself at this stage, earlier the players who had some smart comments were now full of respect...

I folded the first 2 hands on final table, then my next 3 hands on final table were all Q10 suited - first hearts (flop was clubs) then diamonds (flop was clubs) 3rd Qc10c and the flop was spades! Unlucky! Had to lay them down. All the pots went to the guy to my immediate right (now chip leader).

I had 47k left. Then came my exit hand:

Blinds was 2000/4000 at this stage. Was in BB on the 6th hand, had a AdKs, UTG opened for 15,000. Everyone else folded. I had 43k left and battled to call him with 11k or push all in... but as UTG was leading with approx 90k, I opted just to call.

Flop showed Jd 3d and 8d. With my Ad advantage, I thought for a moment decided to push all in with my remaining 32k hoping to present a 'flush' advantage crediting him with just a pair.

But UGT called with AsAh!

River and Turn showed a club and spade and I was out in 8th place... just before the bubble!

The smart comments came flying again FFS! Really felt like a fish leaving that pub...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Where do I begin?

I'm not a card shark... not just yet!

I walked into the room last Saturday and caught a regular talking about me to an unfamiliar player "watch out for her, she's a real shark, that one... " ho-hum, I'm barely playing poker one year and I'm already a 'Shark'?!!!

If I'm honest, I hardly put myself in the Shark league!

Let's see: Susie Woosie, Anna and Cathy had me intrigued with their various poker games, til Cathy announced she won €90 - not bad for a €20 buy-in game! Susie offered to teach me, I played a few home games before trying my first Irish Deaf Poker (IDP) game on 23rd March. I was knocked out 3rd last - but hey, I wasn't LAST!

Started 'practicing' online with the play money games on PaddyPower and FullTilt... wasn't confidence to try the real games, came back to the next IDP game on 9th June and WON! €216 for €20 buy-in, not bad, not bad at all! But re-watching the video of the final hand - on my Bebo - now, I cringe! I just got lucky there - now I wouldn't call all in with that hand! I was still a fish player.

After my success I uploaded €50 to PPP and lost it all in a series of cash games and tournaments... I did win some money but that went too. I felt very out of my depth online, I continued playing IDP games this way but got kicked out early.

Started to play ultra-tight, only with pairs 10 or higher, A10-AA ace combos, KK, QQ or JJ. Nothing else. Betting huge on these hands. This worked for a while online, but once the players started to read me the profit went down again! Using this method I found myself knocked out early in IDP for next three games. Something not right here...

I had to improve my game somehow. I got really focused: asked for tips, watched the pro-games on TV, read up online on the importance of placements and other interesting tidbits, brought the Little green Book, lurked on and reviewed my strategy.

My game really started to improve, came 3rd two months in a row at IDP: November & December 2007. It was enough to put me into 5th place on the IDP league and the highest ranking female player too! But I need more, IDP is a mixture of 65% fishes and 35% players - its hard to bluff or play big, with calling stations galore. Susie suggested playing other small tournaments, we agreed to try our local pub poker games.

1st week, I made it to the final table, played well all night but lost out a big pot when my 3 of a kind ran into a flush (on river!!!) after that I was on a total tilt, and was knocked out in 8th place. 2nd week I made it to final table again, and sailed to first place knocking out the 2nd and 3rd place holders simulateously and won my biggest win to date: €360.

Around this time I started to pay attention to what I was 'spending' on poker and how much I was 'up' by... made a pact to keep playing only for as long as my 'up' amount was greater than the amount 'spent'! As a single-mum I don't have a lot of money to 'spare' so having a decent bankroll to fund my games is a priority as the odds are likely that I could only win money only one game in every 4.

A planned trip to London coincided with a Deaf UK Poker Tournament; Susie, Cathy and myself played. There was almost 60 players and the structure looked rather dodgy but we had a brilliant day... Cathy was card-dead, both Susie and myself ended up on the final table, I was short-stacked after a sick beat on the previous table and got knocked out in 6th place just before the bubble(!) Susie went on to win £300 in 3rd place.

3rd & 4th pub game saw me out early stages, I was totally card dead in both games. But 5th game I made final table rather short-stacked but held on to 2nd place for €200. 6th week: the game was canceled in favour of a bigger tournament, so I part-taked in a couple of S-n-Gs/side events instead and came home €100 richer...

But I blew that €100 at a recent charity re-buy tournament, with a series of bad beats from a calling station who raised on everything I bet on, and he won by pure luck! I'll never play a re-buy like that again!

The recent 2008 IDP game yielded me free entry into the Irish Deaf Poker Open in May and a starting place on the 2008 league. Plus I've brought a ticket into my biggest game yet - the Ladies Event in the Paddy Power Open: that'll be my biggest challenge yet...

That's my history in a nutshell! My bankroll is okay, I'm 'up' €120 after the PPP buy-in (enough for two more pub games!)

But until I win big at these events, don't call me a Shark... YET!