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.