Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Charity Poker Event - 28th September

The HSE cutbacks have really affected the voluntary community sector; and DeafHear.ie is no exception. With all the rural outreach clinics curtailed Deaf/Hard of Hearing have to travel to the nearest Resource Centre for information, hearing aid batteries (we sell them for €3 compared to €7 in your 'local' chemists!) and other advocacy services. Cost of Deaf Technology has increased; a hearing person can buy a simple smoke alarm in Woodies for €20 but the cheapest Smoke Alarm for a Deaf/Hard of Hearing person will set them back €170 plus installation costs (and no, there are NO grants available). The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Project has been put on hold despite a well run campaign and a successful pilot project with Rotunda Hospital - unbelievable considering that Ireland is the only Western country without one! The Mental Health and Family Support (social workers) Service is struggling with an increase in referrals. With the majority of our clients depended on Social Welfare - the Celtic tiger hasn't really benefited the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community and the current recession is really biting hard.

Rather than moan about it - DeafHear.ie embarked on a fundraising drive with each centre doing their share. A National Sky Dive has been planned for 12th October and two of our staff members: Shane & Geraldine (Gerii) along with Gerii's partner Andrew will be throwing themselves out of the plane for the cause! Two of them are really scared of heights (I give ya a clue: it's not the female!) which makes it all the more funnier! We need to raise a minimum of €2,000 but we set ourselves a challenge of €3,000!

I suggested running a poker night, at first no one would agree... Thankfully the CEO & the Regional Manager gave their blessing, and I was off to organise it before they could change their minds!
JP Poker has kindly agreed to host it in Molloy's Pub (it's also known as the "local deaf club" due to its close proximity to the Tallaght Deaf Club) on the provision that it starts at 4pm. Some colleagues from the other resource centres have agreed to come along on the provision that we teach them how to play; a couple of Irish Deaf Poker regulars have agreed to show them basics from 3:30pm

I am actively looking for sponsors to sponsor a table (half a table even) to cover the organising costs (e.g. refreshments etc); so far I've three tables sponsored... We have a raffle too, I have several lovely raffle prizes already - including vouchers for restaurants & shops, concert tickets, gifts and bottles.

It should be a good fun day: please come along! Leave the car at home and check out the cheap booze on offer at Molloys including their famous pitchers of beer! Join the re-buy madness and support DeafHear.ie Dublin South Sky Dive Challenge!

Cya all there!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

IDP's Deepstack is coming and the seats are getting HOT!

Sorry I won't be there at the Irish Winter Festival on October Bank Holiday weekend - I'll be in the Fitzwilliam for the Irish Deaf Poker's Deepstack Classic! A note of advance warning: I'm going to win!

The Fitzwilliam have been very generous: allowing us the use of the premises, staff, and food 'for peanuts'. Enabling us to keep the reg small and allow more money into the prize fund.

There are several Deaf poker players who have never set foot inside a casino and this novelty along with the news that the expected prize fund will exceed €4,000 has the event selling fast!

IDP set ourselves a limit of 80 seats, expecting to have 70 players, but as of today and with 7 weeks to go: 75 seats have been pre-registered! If you haven't reserved your seat - DO IT NOW!!!!!!

Once we hit 80, there will be a reserve list set up... I'm sure the good people in the Fitz will help us to accommodate the extra numbers... But don't count on it! Reserve your seat now!

Betway.com offered to run a freeroll (password needed) on Monday 8th September or IDP with $100 GTD and 2 tickets to the Deepstack up for grabs. All the registered players and Deaf poker clubs were sent details. When the freeroll started there were 70 players registered, on my table I had one London player and 8 Latvians all from Riga(!) They played into us very aggressively, I was literally in a 'push or fold' mode for the first two levels finally building my stack up to 12k. Then lost it in two sick hands... one Latvian kept going all-in pre-flop every few hands trying to win the blinds, he got called twice showing 10 7 suited and a J4 off and was down to 5.7k when he shoved again UTG+1. I was on the button with AQsuited and called; he showed 88 - flop showed two hearts, but no heart never mind a A or Q to help me and I was down to 6k. Two hands later I had KJsuited and raised, another short-stacked loose Latvian pushed all in on the button with Q2; I called, seeing it as a steal... he won with a pair of 2's and left me with 580(! ) When the blinds got to me (blinds 200/400) I had to push with Q8 suited against AA... and it was GG, UL, G'nite to me!

I continued to rail Cathy 'Forever Late' (in sit-out mode!!!) and Ciaran 'DefSheriff' the last two Irish to make the final table, along with 1 Swedish Deaf player and 6 Latvians who were being coy about how they got the password if they were deaf etc. Cathy in sit-out mode was hilarious! She was all-in no less than 6 times... and won 5 of those showdowns with top pair, two pairs, straight (holding 2 5 on a A34xx board against 88) and a set (holding 9 5 against QQ with 9 on the flop and 9 on river!) She got to final table, then managed to get online just in time to push with her remaining 120 chips and lost! You should have stayed offline Cathy! LOL!

Ciaran made it to 3rd place - not easy with Latvians colluding with each other, it was so obvious, the Latvian chipleader (who had double the average stack on the table) would raise to ensure Ciaran/Swedish player folded, another short-stacked Lativan player would re-raise all-in and chipleader would fold with only a few chips left to play! This ensured that the Latvians remained in the game... When it was down to the final 3 - both Ciaran and one Latvian were sitting on less than 5BBs; my suspicions of collusion were confirmed when chipleader made his usual raise and Ciaran folded only for the short-stacked Latvian to call him with A3... Chipleader showed 10 3 off... WTF! The cheeky chipleader then wrote a comment on IDP website asking if we were paying for his trip to Dublin now that he had won the Freeroll(!)

I wrote a complaint off to Betway afterwards; got the usual reply that they will look into it. I hope they will investigate this thoroughly and reward the tickets to the final two deaf players (Ciaran & Swedish Player Chris Markvelle) although it was a freeroll with small stakes the principal is still important IMO. A few players told me afterwards they had trouble getting online/getting into Betway; which was a shame, I would have loved to see more Deaf players in the game.

Back to the Deepstack: the rumour has it, that our next monthly game on 4th October will be a freeroll with re-buys with one FREE Deepstack ticket up for grabs; with the re-buys funding a few extra tickets... Seeing we'll burst the 80 player mark by then, with most of our regulars are already pre-reg'ed for the main event - the free tickets will just mean some of you lucky ducks will get your seat for less than €70!

Wooo-hoo! Bring it on boyos!

UPDATE: Betway got back to me after an investigation and agreed to awarded the tickets in the freeroll to the two Deaf players: Ciaran & the Swedish Player. Bravo! WP!

Monday, September 1, 2008

I should have offered to split...

Played the Bell last night.

Was a little late starting, spent the day making the most of the good weather working the garden. Was wary walking in, glancing around the tables checking for the GHA... he wasn't there, phew! Heard a few more choice comments from others what he was mouthing on the final table about me and boy, I will so lose it with him next time... Just hoping to harvest the feeling and use it at the DPN's End of League night coming up soon - I'm dreaming of kicking him out in SPECTACULAR fashion, not just winning mind, but a sick sick bad beat.

Anyway I digress... back to the Bell.

I sat down at my table with Mr Muscles, Phil (Ro wasn't there), Young Swedish Bluffer (YSB), Sharkfin Hair Guy (SHG), Tweety and 2 newbies: Bleach Blonde Yob (fish) and another bald yob (fish). In my first hand I had QJ off in BB (25/50), 5 limpers then YSB (in CO seat) raised to 250. YSB is a notorious stealer, he raises in the CO/Button nearly every time, no way was I gonna let him steal my blinds! So I called, Tweety called and the rest folded. Flop came out K10x rainbow; I checked, Tweety checked, all eyes on YSB who threw out 500, with 1050 in the pot and a straight draw I called the 500. Tweety folded. Turn was 9, putting a possible flush draw... I threw out 1200 expecting him to raise me, he called. River 8 (no flush) and I was home dry. I debated whether to shove, putting him on AK, KK or 10 10 here or playing strong enough to extract the most money from him while indicating my strength, I bet 4k... and YSB called. Expecting him to show QJ for a split pot, or KK for 3 of a kind at least, poor lad turned over AA in dismay. Then the comments started '250 is too small for AA'... 'you should have re-raised after Jules 1200 bet'... 'did ya not see the straight?!' I really felt sorry for the lad; he is a decent enough LAG on marginal hands, steals blinds good, but truly falls apart on the monsters like AA, KK, QQ, AK etc. He really needs to lose his loose bluffer image at the table to be taken more seriously in future games...

Two orbits later, YSB was hovering on 4k when he pushed AIPF with K10, suited into my AJ off, Flop AAJQx. Ouch! He stood up came around the table, shook my hand firmly looked at me in the eye, smiled and made all the right noises 'NH GG WP etc.' then he was gone. Good breeding and gamesmanship there: he produced a good strong hand shake with the correct etiquette - I admire that in a person... don't trust the weak hand-shakers who don't look at you when they shake your hand either. Get a good grip, look at the person in the eyes and smile/make your comment directly. YSB: your mammy should be proud of you!

After these early leads I was hand dead, lost most of my chips to short stacker's AIPF calling one player's 77 with AK and another KQ off with A10 suited on ... no help on the Board and they are back in the game. I folded K10 to another AIPF (I would have been leaving 1.5k had I called) and was initially raging at myself when the board came out K10xxA then delight when player showed A10 to win... so glad I wasn't in that pot or it would have been early doors for me!

I started the final table on 10.5k (2nd smallest stack) to Phil's 32k chiplead and 4 players on circa 25k. Paul joined us with 11.5 and SHG was on 5.4k. I had no notion of winning at this stage was was determined not to play too tight, with 4 well jarred players who I knew would trip up sooner or later and boy, was I right! I got ultra LAG pushing all in with any suited hands with high kickers, low pairs etc got no callers just gained a couple of blinds then made a cheeky move!

I was in push or fold mode with an M of 7 and UTG with 15.5k, Mr Muscles (TAG) was BB (1000/2000), One of the Drunks who was half nodding off woke up to his cards, started licking his lips, and got into his 'ready to pounce' mode that singled he was going to bet big... what a tell! Last time he did this he got called by a Short Stack and turned over J8 off. I had Kd4d and had a good feeling about this, I shoved. He called me as I predicted The cards folded around to Mr Muscles who went into the tank for an age then called. I yelped! This Silver Drunk I can face but Mr M??!! He wouldn't only shove all-in from BB without some sort of monster hand. I was right: black AQ off. The Silver Drunk slurred 'Snap!' turning over his black AQ off - but I just knew I had the edge!

Flop: Ad xx [ooooooh!]

Turn: 5d [yesssss! One more Diamonds!]

River: ?d [yaaaaaaaay!]

My sincere apologies to Mr Muscle for my mad whoop of delight! I know you think I'm a 'decent player' at the best of times but I went totally loose and it paid off... sorry! Mr M is off to Vegas this week for 8 days with €8k (niiiiiicccceeeee!) I'm sure he'll run good and bring home loads of interesting stories plus a double up or better!

Phil lost his chips in equally glamorous fashion getting knocked out very quickly. Paul S, Tweety and Drunk Eamon followed suit. Til there was just a Newbie sitting on a big stack playing very few hands so I had no real read on him as a player. And SHG of course.

SHG played the tightest game ever - folding his cards OOP without bothering to look at them(!) Only pushing three times, and getting called, with AAs twice and AK, working his way up from 5.5k stack to healthy 26k.

I was on 75k and raised to 20k (blinds 4k/8k) with A6 off; Newbie woke up and raised to 45k... leaving 10 or so behind. A well jarred SHG shoved all-in. I thought for a min... SHG had shown nothing but AA, AKs, AQ, QQ all night, being drunk made him tighter not looser. Damn - I had to fold. Newbie showed KQ suited, SHG had AK, Flop: Ax6xx

Meh! I had folded the best hand!!! FFS!

Now I was down to 55k and SHG was the chipleader on a massive 70k+ hand... Newbie pushed all in with his remaining 20k and got called by SHG won with high card A. And I was into HU with SHG!

Susie Woosie who was railing me (for a change!) indicated that I should ask to split. But before I could offer, the dealer had dealt out the hand pushing out the blinds from our stacks. I just thought 'ah I'll wait til after this hand...'

I was in BB (now 8k/16k) and well covered by SHG. I looked down on K3 suited; SHG (SB) called for 16k and I checked... flop came out KQJ rainbow... SHG checked, I checked... turn 6. SHG checked again. I thought 'right - top pair... shoving time...' and in I went. SHG insta-called me turning over the nuts: KQ(!) I hate slowrollers... tut-tut!

And it was GG... NH... goodnight!

Awwww... I should have offered to split!