Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dreary November

November was a strange month... at first I announced I was taking a break but it barely last 3 weeks(!)

I had emptied all my online accounts in a fit of 'I'm serious about this break!' so no online games for me til I discovered I had a lot of FPP on Stars and used them to qualify for everything going: - Sunday Millions, Sunday 250k, Joe Cada 100k, I got a ticket into them all! But got nothing to show for my valiant efforts, not even a deep run... Meh!

I had a run in with a rude and gormless player. You know the type that shows their mates the cards and mucks them so no one else can see them, or the one that acts out of turn and tells you to "F.. OFF I can do what I bleedin loike!" when you try to mediate the game; or the one that throws his chip into the pot and takes his change back, often helping himself to another 100/500 and plays dumb when challenged on it; or the one that eggs players on to call "ah ye have to call now, you can't fold dere!" or criticises other players "How can you call with THAT? I don't care if you were in the bleedin' blinds FOLD THEM!" You get the picture...

I have zero tolerance for such behaviour which happens quite a LOT in pub games... usually I ignore it, unless my chips are in the pot of course! But this particular night I had just been knocked out (I had shoved for 9BBs with 66, one Fish was egged on by his Mouthy friend to call me leaving himself <2bbs, he tables K10s and hits a 10 on River) I was still sitting at the table as I was hemmed in (I didn't mind initially as I had just brought a drink...) when the action in the next hand lead our Fish to show his cards to Mouthy they guffawed about the hand and the dealer in me auto-said "Show one show all..." "Eh?! No I' don't have to show! You are not in this game so don't be tellin me whata do! Cheek of ye!" I calmly pointed out it wasn't me but the other players who lose out on that information. "Its nowth to do with you! WE DO NOT HAVE TO SHOW!" Mouthy roared at me. I called TD over as once Mouthy gets started he gets worse and worse... TD confirmed that the I was correct if a player shows one player he must show the rest of the table. Mouth didn't like been shown up and went on roaring about me still at the table when I was out of the game - I pointed out that I was hemmed in to the wall and "waiting for someone to stand up and let me out!" As the TD asked me to leave the table the players got up and made room for me to leave with Mouthy still roaring away "Yeah, tell her to get the f... out and go home!" I left, didn't get to finish my drink(!) In fairness I was more annoyed about not finishing my drink than Mouthy roaring at me!

That's pub players for ya! LOL! I usually don't get involved with bad players like these, but being a dealer I usually spout rules on auto-pilot - gotta try to button it at times too...

I went back into Voodoo for the Wednesday night Ladbroke game last week and ran hot on the final table chipleader all the way to HU... then hit a wall! I went from having the chiplead 4-1 advantage to 1-2 underdog against Skinny John (Jackpot regular now living in the Voodoo); I had good hands but John kept hitting straights, flushes, two pairs and chipped away at my stack til he was ahead - then out of the blue John offered to split for €275 each(!) Oh yes please, thank you very much! I was so disappointed not to have the spot prize (poker chip set in wheelie case) to play for on this night, or to have Roy the Boy's scalp to steal either...

The following week I played the Wednesday game again and came 3rd, started final table 2nd in chips and won a few key pots playing a mixed loose-tight style. One well known bluffer (Daire) raised on button into my BB, I called with 82s, Board came 453 (two hearts), player bet out and I called, the turn (Q) went check-check, I bet out I hit my straight on river(6) and got called by AJ! The player kept going on and on and on about that hand all night. Between Daire and another player (Chipleader)I started getting dogged big time, I had to fold to 4bets and re-raises. When the game got down to 3 hand, I found A9s in SB, made the raise into the CL's BB. He flat called, flop came 773 (2 suits), summarising that he had shoved to my previous raises post-flop I opted to shove and he insta-called with A7o to put me out of the game, meh!

I got my Cochlear Implant switched on this week and the sound is just urgh!!! I have a constant buzz and I'm petrified crossing the road its like something big coming at you from all angles... I keep looking around me expecting to see a rugby scrum coming my way! Playing at the table is just overwhelming, as a result I'm off-form so please do call my raises(!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

IDP Deepstack Classic Festival Report

After weeks of preparation, drumming for the festival, organising Satts, dealing with emails, texts, unavailable committee members... I was shattered when the Irish Deaf Poker’s Annual Deepstack Classic festival weekend finally descended upon me!

To address some of my critics first: I accept that hosting this event at Halloween was a bad idea – the event clashed with other Deaf Community events; Swedish and UK bank holiday weekend (which resulted in less players attending from abroad) and a lot of our ‘playing daddies’ assigned to Halloween Trick n Treating duties that they were forbidden to dodge by their Missus... Anyway I’ve promised IDP players that next year we will either push the festival back to early October or out to mid-November. The cost was another issue – at €70+5 the amount of complaints over the ‘high price’ was unreal! Deaf poker players are spoilt with all the low games on offer, IDP will always host one ‘big buy-in game’ to generate a huge pot worth playing for – and I am not going to change this. Swedish players turned up their noses at our Irish Deaf Open €40 game - they want to see the buy-in raised! Nowhere else will we get a professional dealer dealt game with food at the break for a low €5 registration that Denise and the wonderful crew in the Fitzwilliam Casino put on for us - we owe the poker team in the Fitzwilliam a huge thank you for the great service they gave IDP last weekend.

There was a total of 54 names registered to play the main event, but on the day 43 players turned up; the online list never exceeded 41 at any stage - several names dropped in/out while others would only agree to confirm at last minute. This was a disappointing reduction from the majestic high of 75 players we had last year. I wanted to open this competition to the general public i.e. non-deaf/non-signing players but the committee refused to allow me the opportunity to advertise... probably wouldn’t have gotten much more players with the tremendous Halloween parties/games on offer in Voodoo/Westbury/Poker Room anyway, but the €3,000 prize pool was well appreciated in the end. Another disappointment was the lack of female players – we have no less than 12 female IDP poker players on our member list. But I was the only one who showed up to play, along with Sweden’s Linda Hurtig – two females in a field of 41 men!

The festival started for me on Thursday night - some of the Swedish players were looking for a NL cash game. The Voodoo happily accomodated their request and we all sat down to a juicy €1/2 NL cash game with the pot hitting €200 nearly every hand. One of the Swedish players (Stefan) had €2750k at one point... I had AA in SB sitting on €250; one raiser in MP makes it €10, Another Swedish player (Christer)on button with €400 odd re-raises to €20. I re-raised to €100. MP folds and Christer insta-calls. Flop came 345 rainbow, I bet €100 Christer calls without hestition. Ace on turn look good for me, shiping my remaining €50 he insta-calls - I table my aces and he groans showing 77 then a horrible 6 comes on the river to gives him a poxy straight for €500 pot(!) Meh! I called it a night there and then...

Friday night started with a brilliant Team event in the IDP Card Room in the Deaf Club, which I was TD’ing – the structure was simple: Four tables were set up to host 10 players playing Sit-n-Go, with 4.5k starting stack and 20 minute blinds. Team points were awarded to each player’s exit place from their respective table. E.g. 1st player out got one team point, 3rd got 3, while the winner got 10 points. Paying €10 for each table prize and €10 to the team pot – all the players had two chances to win. We had 9 teams (the 10th team dropped out at last minute ) vying for the €260 team pot that eventually got taken down by the Swedish PTG Team lead by Richard Johansson. The Wexford Vikings team lead by Mark McLaughlin with Billy Dickens, Brian Griffin and Paul Waldron came a very close respectable second for €100. Total rocks they all were! As the laggiest players limped and called with horrendous hands, PTG and Wexford Vikings teams played skillfully inching their way silently into the final ¾ then woke up to dominated their respective tables. Excellent game plan boys! The Dublin lot should be taking notes from youse!

Sadly the Deepstack Main Event with 15k starting stack and 20 minute blinds (In my defence - the IDP committee refused to allow me increase this, next year I want the blinds increased to 30 minutes – no excuses please!) did not favour the rock players as we had hoped. It was the day of the LAGs.

Glen da Fish... LOL! He must have signed a pact with the devil; he did not miss the board ONCE playing on my first table! I give you an example: Glen was in BB. MP was a total Rock who was dangerously short, raised pre with AKs to 4.5xBB, CO calls with A10s. Glen has been calling ALL the raises if he is in SB/BB with any two. Flop comes AQ10, Glen checks, MP raises, CO re-raises all-in (he barely has Glen covered) and Glen CALLS with ... wait for this.... Q7o then hits another Q on the turn with to eliminate two players and make him chipleader before the end of level two (!) Glen da Fish played like this all day and ended up coming 3rd while one of the tightest uber-rock deaf player Michael Kelliher crashes out in the very first level to scoop the ‘Stefan Weitman Wooden Spoon Award’... WTF!? Poker gods have a sick sense of humour haven’t they?!

I had Albert Kenny dealing on my table for most of the day, laughing all the way to the river watching the play! He told me off for folding a couple of times when I mentioned what I had ‘That would have been an instant shove for me’ but then agreed that shoving wouldn’t have stopped these players who clearly hit better hands with the board. E.g. I was down to 16BB at one point and raised 4xBB in CO with 88, two limpers behind including old Andy Smith and Patrick from Limerick. Glen calls (quell surprise he was SB anyway...) Patrick calls and then Andy looks coolly around for a moment then announces ‘All-In!’ Urgh! I just knew I was miles behind, Andy is a dangerous player known for limp-re-raising with monster hands, I folded... Glen flat calls with A2o and Patrick folds (telling us afterwards he had J2), Andy tables QQ and hits his trips on flop of J8Q.

Next hand I get AA, raising to 4xBB with intention on pushing to a re-raise or after flop, I get two callers. Nicholas Dowling (SB) and Christy Parson (BB) – both decent players; flop comes Q high all clubs, both check and I just thought that’s it – I don’t have flush case Ace but hey, I’m down <9bb. style=""> Nico stares me down before folding but to my horror Christy insta-calls leaving himself with less than 3BB with KcQx for top pair flush draw... and thankfully the board bricks and I’m back in the game. I had AA no less than four times that day... a record for me and this was the only time my aces held... the other 3 times: they got cracked sickeningly. Raising with AA twice more, I got called by Glen da Fish holding K3o in MP once and another time with Patrick (one half of the mad Limerick Twins) on 105o (‘I had the button’ was his excuse...) and both hit two pair with the board that appeared. Meh!

Continuing to struggle, I barely held on with Glen da Fish and the Limerick Twins on my table calling all my raises with ATC all day. The final two tables had been playing for an age - I was playing short-stack-ninja for two hours before my eventual defeat. I shoved a lot with marginal holdings that I was willing to gamble with but got no callers just took down the blinds to keep me going for another orbit.

Apart from the cracked aces I played one hand really badly against Glen da Fish holding Ad10d for a nut-flush/straight draw on a KdQd9x 8x 2x board and praying for a miracle diamond or any jack to come. Glen check-called my flop bet then check-raised my bet on the turn which I called only to fold to his all-in river bet. He flashed K8. Should have folded to the re-raise... meh! That pot cost me a lot of valuable chips that I had just won in a sweet triple up 2 hands previous. Managing to outlast the Limerick twins, I went out in 13th place (wholly appropriate for a Halloween Game don’t ya think! LOL!) Shoving UTG with QJ (<5bb) style=""> Oh, Glen da Fish boasted afterwards how he would have ‘won’ that pot had he called... LOL!

After my exit, both tables played 5/6 handed for an age... then all at once there was three all-ins on one table AND an all-in and a call on the other tables simultaneously! So the final table started with 7 players. With payout favouring the top 5 players it was agreed among the final seven to take money from 1st, 2nd and 3rd place to create a 6th and 7th place €100 payout each. Starting the final table was Ivan Gryzlov (Lithuania) chipleader on 159k; Glen da Fish coming close 2nd with 124k; Justin Smith (Irish Deaf Open Winner) on 113k; Frank Grace on 80k approx; a very short Geoff Foy with 20k; Colm O’Connor playing with 26k and Wayne Reid on 60k. Wayne and Colm didn’t last too long with Frank and Ivan chipping away at them, while Justin accepted 5th place prize of €250 gracefully, conceding his flush to a two pair turned house.

My money was on Ivan Gryzlov to take it down – for a novice player who only started playing poker this year; it is obvious that he has worked hard on improving his game studying the various aspects of poker. It was a treat to watch him play solid-aggro all day ending up on the final table as chipleader before losing a huge pot to Frank Grace then bowing out in 4th for €325 with a set-over-set hand involving the biggest pot of the tournament to give Geoff Foy 70% of total chips in play...

Glen started leaking chips when his winning spree suddenly grounded to a screeching halt on the final table and only barely folded his way into 3rd place. Poor Glen, who was swelling with pride all day at his ‘successful game play’ all day, started to look pathetic towards the end when his game bottomed out on him. The €425 should console him big time.

Frank is one of the best LAG Deaf players capable of using position and stack control to manipulate the table successfully, he is well known and respected on the Tallaght poker scene. Frank played the final table in our first Deepstack Classic last year and came 2nd – he got to the final table 4th in chips, almost grabbed the chiplead during headsup only to be narrowly beaten into 2nd place for €700 again! UL mate – your big win is coming...

Geoff Foy was a well deserving winner for €1100, for a solid rock player to emerge as winner on a final table after starting with the shortest stack and outlast four LAGs plus two solid chipleaders is no mean feat! His cheeky all-in out of character bluff with J4o to push Frank off a huge pot holding flush draw or middle pair when down 5 handed was legendary stuff! I think this was the first time Geoff ever won an IDP game! Geoff and his brother Stuart play all the IDP games swapping % of each other – it is usually Stuart that cashes more than Geoff so happy days for Stuart to get a decent win back off Geoff for a change! WP Sir!

I heard great reports from several Deaf players who ventured to the cash tables afterwards and turned a sweet profit... Nice one! Congratulations to all who cashed!

I wasn't so successful - popping into the Voodoo afterwards got sucked-out really badly... I had AA (my 4th in 8 hours – what are the odds?!) raising to pot UTG+1 I get 4 callers – BB & UTG checked, I lead for a pot-bet post-flop on a K42 board with two suits and face 3 all-ins I insta-called for a monster €400+ pot (I had 45% of my money in that pot already!) one chasing flush draw, another for a gutshot and the BB holding a poxy 42o takes it down... Really sucks playing AA in pot-limit! I got up from the table totally disenchanted and angry with poker. Looking back through my blog for this year - I’ve been playing a consistent losing streak – even with all the self evaluations, re-evaluations, pullbacks and the odd small cashes: I’m down big time and starting to lose faith in my game.

Time for a good few weeks break methinks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Calling with 8 high!

I was in a foul and aggressive mood - lots of things were just going wrong. The IDP committee members were totally getting on my whick doing feck all as I'm running around lumped with organising the Deepstack Classic Festival and handling all the emails, texts, updating website and dealing with last minute player change... Grrrr!

Susie Woosie texted me to say she was on her way to DPN's Hartstown €50+10 FO, which was also doubling up as a tribute night in Mark Troy's honour (he won a €40 Satt to the IPO via DPN and finished 3rd in for a nice €33k payday!). With the added €100 bounty on Mark's head and finger food provided at the break the game promises to be big. I decided to give it a spin.

Arriving at the venue, I was disappointed that only 23 players turned up. This game regularly attracts 30-36 players on average but recently numbers have been down around 25 mark. Sign of the times for poker really?

Sitting down to play, I was delighted to find Mark on my table. But I was finding it hard to get a hold on chips with Gav going all-in on the flop in every 2nd or 3rd hand. In one hand I raised from MP with AK, newbie player (very short, playing every hand), Mark (in CO & button) and Gav (SB) call to see the flop A85. Gav shoves and I fold after a dwell. Mark insta-mucks when newbie called with A5, Gav has A8, turn was a king - meh!

Down to 5k from the 8.5k starting stack I just sat back and folded into the action, just waiting for a decent hand to present itself. Finding 99 I limp UTG-call a raise, then checkraised the 9 high flop, player folded scowling and muttering at me. That put me back up to 11k as our table got broken, I was with Mark and Gav on the 2nd table with 16 players left. Finding JJ in CO I raise 4xBB; Gav calls from BB and the Chipleader (on 40k) to my right, who limped in , completes. Blinds are 300-600 at this stage and I have 11k approx, Gave had just lost 10k in a big pot 2 hands previously but had me covered by 3/4k. Flop comes J high, and Gav shoves. Chipleader mucks as I push my chips into the middle. Gav shows AJ and my set holds to bring my stack up to 24k!

Few hands later I'm in BB with 83 (blinds now 400/800), action folds around to Chipleader in SB who completes. It is blind-on-blind as flop comes AKK... check-check... A on turn... again check-check. The river is 7; as Chipleader throws out 1200. I just didn't put him on anything there bar a 7; which I knew I would beat with my 8. I only had 3 cards to beat and just had a gut-feeling feeling that he was aiming to steal so I called... As he tables 65s and I show my 8 then the 3 - there is an uproar!

- What a call!!!?
- You got balls calling with 8 high on THAT flop!
- Haw! Haw! And here's me thinkin' you were a player Julianne(!)

Mark comes to my defence - pointing out that the bet wasn't big enough to make me fold, he would have called too. That shut them up sharpish! I was delighted my soulread worked!

By the time we get to final table I am on 33k, the 8 high call had them all folding to my raises/re-raises! Chipleader is still on 40k approx, two to my left and Mark is on 30-odd-K two to my right with Robbie the taxi man between us just under 30k and the rest all shorties.

Sitting tight, I got blessed with a couple of good hands and knock out one of the shorties who shoved to my raise. Mark loses a big pot leaving himself very short on the button; action folds around to Mark with Robbie and myself in blinds. As Mark shoves his 3.5xBB remaining stack out, Robbie and I insta call! Holding QJs, we checked down all the streets on a AKxxx board to see Mark holding 65o, I table my Queen high and Robbie mucks! Yayyy! That €100 bounty is mine!!!

After that I started running amok - open raising every hand and grabbed the chiplead as we were reduced down to 4 players. Chipleader then exits the other 3 players to retain his chip-lead as we enter heads-up. Checking the prizes - €500 for 1st and €350 for 2nd I decided both were equally good to take... and open shoved with air a few times, limped in with decent hands but had to fold to CL's pot-size bets after I hit nothing. Showing a couple of bluffs I vowed not to fold the next decent hand. Reducing the chiplead to a 60-40 margin in my favour, I limp in on button with KdQd, chipleader shoves and I insta-call to see him table 52o. My king-high holds to give me victory! GG, WP, Good night etc.

At last a 1st place win too!

This week we have the Irish Deaf Poker's Deepstack Classic II festival with 40 registered players, including 8 Swedish players and 1 UK player joining us. The Swedish will arrive on Thursday and want to meet up for a 1/2 NL cash game(!) So this win is very much appreciated!

Hero-calling with high cards sure pay off well! ;-D

Thursday, October 22, 2009

At last a win to report!

LOL! Here's the best news: I finally broke the Voodoo Final Table curse I've been carrying on me! Nowt big to boast about mind but a 2nd place finish for €205 in the Voodoo Ladbroke's €15+15 game is not to be sneezed at consider my dismal run in the last few months...

For those of you coming to this blog late, I've reached the final table in 90% of the MTT tournaments I've played in the Voodoo over the past two months ... and only cashed once - winning my buy-in back(!) I would have given up on the place but Derek, Adam, Nick and the crew are so nice, you won't find any place more friendly or welcoming in Dublin. Plus its full of fish attracted to the low buy-in games (as well as some good friends too!) the banter is brilliant and the cafe rivals the Fitz with the great selection (and value) of food on offer.

I had no plans to play the Wednesday Ladbookes sponsored game as Irish Deaf Poker had arranged a last minute satt game that the Voodoo agreed to host for us. I had an ulterior motive that I'll go into in a moment... We had with one free ticket added (thanks to a generous Susie Woosie who donated her ahem, winnings from the Ladies League the previous Thursday) I had aimed this Satt at the girls, but with only two of them interested/available, I had no option but throw it open to all IDP players.

The €10+5FO was only advertised to the players on Tuesday night, I had 8 replies. Ah well - one table is good enough to go ahead... I informed Nick of the numbers and the fact I would be late (I teach a basic computer class to Deaf adults in the Irish Deaf Society every Wednesday night - with a babysitter already booked for the night I tend to take advantage of a live game afterwards...) I was delighted walking in to find 13 players already playing with several short/big stacks already; we were €10 short of a 3rd ticket so I suggested the first person knocked out be allowed to re-buy for €10... all agreed!

Already blinded down by almost 25% of my stack I had a struggle getting back to a even keel on a horrible table with Frank G (brilliant aggro-LAG) two to my left and Glen da Fish (think of an Eddie the Eagle type who just won't fold his bottom pair...) in button to my BB calling every raise going both running over the table! If one wasn't in the pot by river, the other was(!) I barely held up til we were down to the final 8...

Still nursing the shortest stack and getting irritate by the shoddy standard the game was heading going by the early exit of good players by the hands of Frank/Glen's rubbish holdings. I started eyeing up the Ladbrokes Tournament wishfully, where some of the exited IDP players had drifted into... talking it over with Trish who was just out of the game, with only 5 minutes to the break/the end of the buy-in period. Whether it was worth joining at this stage getting 6k chips while blinds were 100/200 and let my stack get blinded down til I went in. She said yes, but I hummed hawed...

The 47 registered players made it such a juicy pot I so wanted IN; making a decision to shove with the next 'best' hand - if I win, I stay on this table and take home a ticket to the deepstack; if I lose - well, I take a shot at the other tournament. Couple hands later I raised pre from CO-1 with Kh4h (I blame Cat O'Neill for this one!) for 60% of my stack... Frank G using his massive stack as usual threw-in a huge handful of 500 chip's then gave a start in horror when he realised I was in the pot... sensing a weakness, I knew it would be a coin flip so all-in I went. Frank tables A10o, flop comes two low hearts, turn was 10c but no heart or king on the river to save me... I duly skipped off to join the Ladbookes tournament.

Within 25 minutes I was down to a miserable 1,600, shoved on button with muck two limpers and blinds all folded(!) 2,300 going into BB 150/300(!) Had a player dogging me big time in two pots, snapping off my raises or calling then hitting... Urgh! Finding Kh10h in BB, UGT made a min-raise to 600, with no less than 4 callers by the time it came back to me. With 5 players in the pot - I elected to call, rather than shove.... Flop came 9h8h4x... I had pre-checked dark, UTG made a continuation bet of €500, 2 other callers before it came back to me. I called, vowing to shove the turn - which was a 10... UTG and MP (IDP's Mark McLaughlin) called. Declan who was on Button then shoved all-in, Urgh! UTG called and Mark reluctantly folded. Both Declan and UTG showed 76o for straight but the beautiful Ah fell on river to keep me alive and over starting stack for the first time since the game started.

It was all upward from here... I was joint 2nd chipleader starting out with 21,500, the average player was on 18k; chipleader was on circa. 32k. After exiting some shorties including Tom Maguire who shoved with K10 into my A10. Limping in with As8s hoping to get action, 4 players and flop comes A high with 2 clubs and possible straight. Roy Keating (IDP Player is in BB and shoves, BB (uber tight player) insta-calls for 40% of his stack, he looked like he was going to raise pre- but checked instead. Other player folds after a dwell, smelling a rat I folded reluctantly - my only option would have to push which would have put me under 20k if he calls and wins. There was still 7 players left with 4 getting paid. Roy tables Jc4c for one pair/flush draw, and BB tables Qc9c. No club comes on turn or river but the 9 on River seals the pot for BB. Urgh! Bad fold me!

I was getting feck all action to my raises, which was fine when I was bluffing but in fact I had AA, KK, QQ... I was basically stealing blinds and not getting paid good, limping in and mini-raising pot was causing them to insta fold(!) Limping with a bluff hand (96s) from MP with one caller behind and shortie goes all-in on button for 3xBB; BB and caller folds, I'm looking at getting 3-to-1 for my money here playing a coin flip that Frank Grace would not hesitate to play and thus elected to call. Shortie wins of course but I get a lot of grief for my call(!) After that I get a lot of action and quickly became chipleader on 70k when we get down to 4 handed.

I lose two key races and was sitting on a 2-1 deficit by the time I got to HU with the players who started FT with 32k, but remained very quietly under the radar. In HU he min-raised every pot... I went totally card dead! Getting 73, 94, 82 etc I had no choice but lay down my hands to the raises, any raises I called, I was missing the flop and facing a huge bet... in 15 minutes the deficit had grown a sick 8-1(!) Clawing it back 5-1 with a couple of all-ins I checked to see a flop KQ5, holding 95s and two suits on the board I shoved. CL insta-called with KQ... board bricks and I'm out in 2nd place. WP Sir... a couple of players watching the match pointed out that my HU play was very weak - I should have shoved in a lot of spots, but with hardly any read on the CL plus card death I was at a disadvantage for shoving.

I won't complain about 'only' winning €204 while CL got €350-odd - I'm so grateful to get some confidence in my play back! Need to put some much needed work into my end game strategy - especially HU before the Deepstack next week. Couple of nights with Dan Harrington me thinks.

Putting €50 on cash table I rolled it up to €175 before the tiredness kicked in and had to call it a night. A €300 profit after buy-ins, tips, and wee blackjack flutter is good enough for me!

On the poker front I was working at the IPO last weekend - which marked my 2nd anniversary of dealing, my third IPO too. Every year I promise I will play it 'next year' but when the time comes I'm always asked to work - and it's hard to say no, especially if you aren't bankrolled for this! Its a top notch festival and I really enjoyed working it - took me a few days to recover naturally! Finishing early on Sunday just before the FT started - I rushed home to follow the live streaming supporting two players: Cat O'Neill one of the familiar female faces on the scene that I deal a lot to (and regard as personal hero) played an incredible game considering the wild field of 1400-odd players she had to wade through, as a female bounty player no less, this made her an attractive target for all the mad LAGs! The closer she got to the FT, I had her pegged to take it down but the pokah gods are cruel with their hands. Still exiting in a respectable 4th place is still impressive, I was so thrilled for her! Bravo Cat! One local player that I play on the pub circuit with - Mark Troy, who won his buy-in via a DPN €40 satt came an impressive 3rd for a cool €33k payday... WP Sir! Goes to show even the decent small-time players can do well sometime! Hope for me yet... LOL!

There's less than 8 days left to IDP's Deepstack Classic Festival... my first festival as chairperson of IDP. We have 41 players registered, a tad small compared to the record breaking 75 players we had last year... but we do have a recession so I'm not going to get worked up about it. Bring it on, boys!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting there... getting there!

I've been consistently going deep in practially all my games over in past few weeks, right to the final table even, but apart from a few small cashes, best being a 4th place €170 win, it's getting disheartening...

I did have one 2nd place win: at Dublin Poker Night's €40 10-player SnG Satt for the Cavan Open. David (Afex on Boards) won the €220 ticket while I crashed into second place for €165 after starting HU as chipleader with 3-1 lead! I actually busted out in the second hand of the game with AK, AK3 on board and Ollie shoved over my 4-bet on flop with trip 3s and rivered a house just to rub my nose in it... Thankfully as first out I was allowed to re-buy. And carefully fought my way to chipleader and remained there until HU. Ah sure €85 up is better than being €80 down!

Was advised to check out the €30FO deepstack game in Fitzpatricks on Tuesday nights. Venturing in last week they had 46 players with 5 places paid out; got to final table with average stack in danger of getting blinded out when I min-raised with A8s, Marie called me from SB then Tom (TM on Boards) shoved All-In from the BB. I had him covered but Marie (older woman, Fitz regular) was chipleader - I shoved over the top of Tom to isolate, and Marie folds. Tom shows AQo I hit my straight on the flop but got piped by his Ace for runner-runner flush to leave me with <3BB. Next hand finding K8s UTG+1, I shoved, action folded back to IDP player Frank Grace in BB, he called with the monster 94o: 9 on flop, 4 on river and I was gone in 6th place... Our Frank went on to split it HU with Marie. WP mate! Was back in Fitzpatrick's this week and exited 9th... first hand of the final table(!)

Played the €50+5 FO in the Sporting last Sunday, I choose the SE because I knew there was a €1,500 guarantee plus with 2-3 tables it wouldn't go on all night. Ha! Little did I know what would happen... With a nice overlay to aim for, there was 3 tables with 37 players. I was happy with how I played, picked up AA no less than three times in the first 2 levels but didn't get paid much with them but it sorted my image for the rest of the game and allowed me to bluff in a couple key hands! Til I lost big holding KK to LAG's raggy ace that rived an 'Ace from Space' and enduring total card death before getting to final table as the shortest stack. Picked my spots well and won enough chips to survive, grabbed the chiplead briefly when we got down to five handed. But the previous owner took them back once the bubble busted. It took almost 2 hours from start of FT til the bubble was busted! had I known that I wouldn't have played there! Tiredness started kicking in, as well as being over-conscious of the time (it was way past 1am at this stage) made me play a little looser. Losing 60% of my stack overvaluing AJs against AKs in a raise-reraise-shove-blind-on-blind action... I then shoved next hand with my remaining 6-7BBs from SB with A4 into BB's 77, the sevens hold and I'm gone in 4th for €170... Kinda glad I left when I did, heard the game continued for another hour or so! Any later and I would not have got up for work next morning! I still think I would have easily won this but for the lateness of the game...

The Voodoo Card Club has become my new base! Apart from the nearest club to my home, the staff are so friendly, the food is good and the tournaments are excellent value... the Ladies League on Thursday nights are great craic! I keep reaching final tables in 3 out of 4 games that I've played here too, but truth be told I've only cashed ONCE! Meh! Next time, I'm going to do a 'Paul Fox' and fold into the money on FT before I play a bloody hand...

Cash action was sick... I swear I find the worse of the on bingo tables on offer, I do! Was dealing in Killarney (the worse job to date IMO, but I digress) and got signed off early one night, missed the bus back to the hotel, got bored waiting around so went into the cash room. Spun €60 into €300-odd with the nut flush, was about to leave when I decided to play my BB the very next hand, a Drunk in CO had raised to 10, button and SB called, finding 99 naturally I call too. Flop comes 962 (wheeeeee!) I bet out on all streets as drunk calls, until 6 hits the river and the drunk shoves. I called to see him table 66(!) Urgh... lost €165 in that hand. WP Sir. Later after grinding my cash back up to €235, when this hand happened: Drunk was still on table, player to his left had been replaced by a new player who was calling every hand, EVERY raise with ATC and hitting. I limped in with Ad3d in MP for a family pot of €20 to see a flop: Jd2d3h - action checks to drunk who does his usual slow act, while he was waffling, Mad Player throws in €30. Drunk loses it: “HEY! f*#@ing bloody cheek of ya, it was MY go! I bet ya got nuthin’! I’m ALL-IN... lets see if ya call now!” Mad player replies ‘yeah... I call’. Next player goes all-in... I was stunned. Facing a huge pot with the nut-flush-draw getting 3 to 1 for my money plus I had them all covered apart from the drunk by €20 odd, didn't stop me from shoving my stack over... praying one time please! But the board bricks, CO shows 5d4d, mad player has J6o while other player shows AsQs; the mad player's pair of Jack holds for a cool €1k pot while I accept the small side-pot. I just gave up and left... This beat has really put me off playing cash.

Online I'm up/down - played one of the Irish Poker Rankings Online game and came 4th, missed it the following two weeks when I couldn't register due to a cake software issue; played again a couple weeks later and was gone before first level with QQ-v-AA... went on uber-tilt two weeks ago and cleaned my online accounts out playing total shite. So couldn't play the last game. But last I saw I was hanging on 5th or 6th in the overall list.... WP to Doke for topping the list - there's no stopping this guy!

Have decided if I don't get a decent live touch soon - I'm going to take a break for a while as I genuinely can't afford to keep playing... with the 2nd November as my cut-off point.

The Irish Deaf Poker 2nd Annual Deepstack Classic Festival is almost up on us, since Ciaran's departure I've been pulling out the stops to get the game off the ground and drum up the players to play it. With 17 days left and only 31 players registered, and 10 of them are non-Irish! At our recent IDP 'Super Satt' night in the Deaf club - 4 of the 6 ticket winners demanded cash instead of the ticket(!) We have until 26th October to get 50 deaf players, the committee have decided if IDP don't get this minimum number then we will open the game to hearing players. Me thinks they'll play just fine among us deafies - I'll film our Frank signing the table signs for them to learn and throw in an ISL version of 'Bing Bang Blaow' to be sure! LOL - now that will be fun to do!

See you at the tables!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bubble... Bubble... Toil and Trouble!

It's been an up and down summer... more downs than ups... more bad beats and sticky situs than I care to remember! I'm getting to the point that I'm playing a consistently losing game, going deep but bubbling within a few yards of the cash - the bad variance is constant. I'm growing deep into a minus profit figure and it's bugging me: "I'm losing my touch here... what the hell is happening?!!"

Taking a valuable stepback I recently noticed a few key factors attributing to the constant downswing:

1 - I'm not paying sufficient attention to hands any more, especially post-game, as I used to. I'm letting them go without going over the action in my head, analysing them, putting them through pokerstove and recalculating the M, questioning myself how I should have played it differently, was it the correct move for me? I've been switching off to the extent that I can't remember the details the next day! A bad omen. The main reason I've been switching off is to stop myself from losing the rag with moronic people calling me with atrocious holdings and hitting them and/or putting myself into tilt and throwing my chips away.

2 - I've widened my range waaaay too much! I blame all the bad beats for this one honest! When you see some donk win with 69o in MP calling your raises holding K10s on button: pre-, post-flop and all-in on the turn with a board that reads 7710 K only to spike an 8 on the river to complete his gutshot and wallop you out of the game. Only natural that I see them bloody 69 a couple of games later and decide to hop along and bluff with them, but hit zilch! Of course I DID get lucky a few times with similar equally atrocious holdings: the most memorable being 7d4d shoving on turn to an all diamond board, and getting called by trips Kings and a straight... to treble me up to glares and tuts, BUT my raise holding AA a few hands later in the same game didn't garner any respect from the table and put me back into short stack nijia mode... Back to ABC poker for me!

3 - Playing online while doing other stuff - not paying proper attention to the game. I prefer playing SnG/MTTs rather than cash - I don't have the nous for playing cash online. This hard-hitting well-written post on Boards was a reality smack in the face, as I read down the list I was guilty of all these errors! Urgh! So now the TV stays off, no website open, etc. AND When the table is on a break I get up and take a break too. Aside: The preservance paid off with a 4th place finish in the new Irish Poker Online Rankings game on 9th September, even if I was a tad loose on the final table taking advantage of position more than anything else and annoying the hell out of one of the players (and taking 65% of his stack in the process) The same player then started dogging me, shoving into all my raises and berating me in the chat box, once the bubble burst after a long play 5-handed I was happy to call his shove with 88 only to see his 104s river a flush and I was out 4th... the other players then ganged up to push him out in 3rd.

4 - I've stopped reading HHH Theory sections in poker forums, poker books and other online sources. I used to devour these! Anything new I read I would put into practice, more than often with good results. This could be a key point why my game is in a rut. I'm not switching gears as often I should, I'm not respecting the images of the other players and 'quiting while I'm still ahead', I'm not picking my spots as well as I should. I've three poker books on loan from friends - I need to take some time out from poker, brush up on my theory and read them!

5 - There's a lot of personal crap going on elsewhere in my life: I had a serious life-threatening illness in July that put me in hospital for 10 days, thankfully I have recovered well from it (and no, it wasn't Swine Flu! LOL!) I am due to have a cochlear implant this November a very scary and emotional for me. I've had a lot of courtroom-tussles with my Ex; this has been ongoing for past 3.5 years but he stepped up the pressure BIG time this year; thankfully, it seems like Justice is prevailing for me at last! My work is busier than usual, the amount of people who use our service have increased sharply and we are already feeling the strain in an unforgiving economic climate. How can I reason and fight for a client who got full ISL interpreting for 30-hour week education course last year now can only get a maximum of 80 hours for ONE year?! It's very hard to sit down at a table and play with all these stress-factors on top of you...

Last night I was in a mood for a game - posting a request for recommendations on Facebook; I got some great suggestions: New AK Club opening night in Maynooth (sounds great but not going into a club I've never been before on my ownio!) Voodoo Ladbrookes €15+15 night with Roy the Boy in attendance; Fitzwilliam with €25r/b game (I don't have a lot of tournament luck in the Fitz plus the huge size of the field always means a late finish - impractical for working gal like me); Freeroll plus 2nd Irish Poker Rankings Online game on BrucePoker; JJP's €2k 'guaranteed' game. Considering I had a 4th place to defend in the IPR game and a $700 freeroll sounds good... I choose that.

Rushing home I logged on to register, saw both listings beside each other, a quick look on the IPR game showed 5 players registered including Doke and Smurph. I clicked on the freeroll, registered for that - saw the other freeroll for a ticket to Bruce game on Sunday in Carlow (I'm in Limerick this Sunday - detour on the way home maybe??) reg'ed for that too... came back to the listings and ... the green highlighted IPR game was gone? Impossible! I searched everywhere, nothing. Noticed that no MTTs were showing from 8:35pm to 00:00am - urgh? Another blip on Cake? Contacted Smurph, it was still showing on her PC. Logged off, restarted and tried again - still not showing. Contacted support - 'Try uninstalling the software and reinstalling it..." FFS! I gave up - switched off the laptop got in my car and drove to Voodoo; was there in 15 minutes!

Voodoo club is lovely, nice set up and a great pub (Ryans) to the back of it. After a warm welcome from Paul and Adam I was assigned to Roy the Boy's table, the game had already 10 mins gone on the clock when I sat down to BB. Second hand I had 77 in SB button; BB was dead stack, UTG raised to 250, Roy was UTG+1 and re-raised to 750. Action folded to me I flatted putting Roy on a aggro-move with any two (well.... I did read his book you know! LOL!) UTG shoved, Roy insta-called and I insta-mucked! UTG showed AA and Roy had KK and sucked out with a K on the river. Facing a re-buy UTG was €5 short of necessary funds, Roy instantly jumped up and opened his wallet and put the €5 on the table 'pffft'ing off UTG's offer to 'pay him back later'. Really decent of Roy IMO.

One orbit later, blinds 75-150 I had Ks10s on button LAG in MP raised 350, three callers, I called for value. BB comes along for ride. Flop comes 8sQs3x, actions checks to me. Betting out 700, leaving 1100 behind, initial raiser calls as others folded. As comes on turn, raiser checks I insta-shove, he calls after a dwell announcing trips tabling 33, I show my flush. But the board pairs and I'm looking for my 2nd chance 2k chips. Playing tight, I get to final table having grinded my stack up to 3,900 with small pots here/there; paying out 3 places. I get blinded down to 2,850 when I find AQs in SB. Shortie in CO shoves 66, I have him covered and shove. I was stunned when BB with 4.8k calls with A9s leaving himself with less than 2k(!) A9 on board and I'm toast in 6th or 7th place. Meh! Voodoo is an Aquarium waiting to be tapped! Well worth a visit, definitely a 2nd... or more!

To summarise: if my actions to get out this rut works then my big win is just around the corner! If it doesn't happen... I'll copy Susie and take a long break from Poker!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wonderful News!!!! (I Love Spam)

326-328 Old Street London,


I am Roger Baker, an attorney at law. A deceased client of mine, that shares the same last name as yours, died as a result of a heart-related condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition was due to the death of all the members of his family in the tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia.

I am contacting you to seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to my late client. He has a deposit of Seventeen Million Five hundred Thousand Dollars (US$17,500,000) left behind.
This will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. If this business proposition offends your moral values, do accept my apology.

I can be reached on

Sincerely Yours,
Barrister Roger Baker.
Attorney at Law

Email :
Tel : +447599873786


Looks like I'll be playing in all the big buy-ins now, plus a few of the WSOP events, anyone have the contact details for the EPT organisers?

Must draft up my letter of resignation for my Boss!

Wait... do you guys think I'd be better off asking for a career break after all it is only $17.5m (€11m) ... I just fear it might be gone in two years... I could spend a million a month at the tables very easily, so I might be glad to have the auld job to fall back on?

Just thought it was fair to give you pros some advance warning before I'm set loose with the cash...

I'm rich!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Falling flat on my face....

I had the biggest 'Urgh!!!' night of the year last night...

The Fitzwilliam End of Month game was on last night, decided to try a Satt myself a ticket; joined a €60, 10 player Satt for 2 tickets, was in MP when I found Ad10d in the 4th/5th hand dealt. I hadn't played any hands at this stage. One limper plus the blinds (25/50) I raised to 200. Player next to me (old guy - plays very wide range) calls, Phil (PGodkin on re-raises to 800. I've played Philip before, he often re-raises if he has position with any ace/pairs, as action folded back to me I felt my holding was good and I flat called leaving myself with 700 behind. Flop comes QdJd8h; I had a nice clean inside straight draw, flush draw and straight flush draw - with 17 outs, I shipped! Phil insta-called with AcKs... then groaned when he saw my hand... But no diamond, never mind a king or nine, to save me and Phil is fist-pumping as his better kicker holds to put me first out of the Satt(!) Urgh!!!

Denise offers me another Satt but I declined - instead I asked to join the list for a cash table... Playing 1/2 PLHE cash, I raised to €10 UTG+2 with two black 7s, MP, CO and Button calls to see a flop of 8s9s10s. I checked along with MP, CO bets 50, Button ships for 180 approx... I'm in a spot. I WANT to call the Button, an awful LAG, who I had pegged as chasing a A high flush draw with one pair on the board but CO's raise just scared me more as a good hand. All I had was 2 outs to beat him... my instincts were screaming at me to call! Showing my cards to the players on either side of me, I folded after a dwell. CO insta-calls the all in, as the dealer deals the SICKEST card on the turn: 6s(!) Button shows As9x as I predicted, and takes the pot, while CO had trips... Urgh!!!

But wait... there's more...

Irish Poker Radio asked me for a brief interview to talk about IDP, I agreed until I saw the questions! It was more about ME than IDP... eek! The interview was being recorded in the Fitzwilliam in the corner where the €50 Blackjack table is... I nearly chickened out, but demurred and spent the whole afternoon preparing my answers etc. But when I arrived my mind went blank and all my well prepared answers went out the window! I just hope I don't sound like an idiot! Nicky O'D and Iain were lovely, putting me at ease, reassuring me it was grand etc. It'll be a while before they show the interview, they will have a hard task editing out all my 'ummms' and 'errrs' making sense out of my speech, LOL! Nicky has kindly promised me a few transcripts from the show so that deaf/hard of hearing poker lovers can follow what was said. I'll put them up on IDP website when I get them...

Just as I said my goodbyes - I turned swiftly around to go back to the tables, slipped on the tiles and fell spectacularly flat on my face...


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ciarán Moloney Tribute Night (photos now on!)

For years, Cee had been dreaming about taking time off work and travelling the world. Getting a team place on the Irish Squad for Taipei Deaflympics was the Push he needed to achieve that dream... Going travelling means he has to step down from the IDP, so muggins here has been nominated to take over from him (pending official approval from the members of course!) My first job was to organise a good send off for him.

Finding a suitable date to suit everyone was almost impossible but August 8th was the one and only date that no one had an excuse for! After asking around, checking Boards to ensure our event didn't clash with anyone else's, confirming it with the Jackpot etc., I posted the event up, bombarded people and spammed everyone I knew about the event. Then the proposed Joan Vickers' Fundraiser in the new Voodoo club on the same night, was announced a mere few days later. I was disappointed, as I would have loved to attended that Joan was always big at supporting women playing poker; the Fundraiser raised almost €2,000 for the family - kudos to those who organised it. I notice the Fitz have a Memorial game for her later on this year - will definitely be attending that.

As I arrived in the Jackpot on Saturday evening, there were very few people around, I had a list of 28/29 pre-reg names but 7/8 players texted me with excuses at the last minute, disappointing but what can you do? I notice the Jackpot staff were telling drop-ins that the event was a 'private-game for deaf players only' I stepped in quickly and informed them that it was open to all players not just IDP. Cee plays far more with hearing players than deaf, we were not closing the ranks for them if they wanted to come along and wish him well while having a go at tackling his bounty... Plus the more money in the pot the happier the IDP players will be!

The game finally kicked off at 8:30 with 18 players, Cee was fashionably late as per usual. Three more latecomers joined us after the 1st level, with a final entry in the 2nd level to bring us to a total of 23 players.

My game started with the two luckboxes running over my table basically calling pre-flop raises with any two cards and hitting the board sickeningly-goot! E.g. my AsQs were no good against K4o on a AKsx4sx board(!) I was down to less than half the starting stack by the 2nd level...

On Cee's table the action was flying, no doubt punctuated by the added treat of the bounty on his head! Cee was playing more TAG'ish rather than the LAG game he's usually known for in the IDP, but no one was paying attention! With all his raises getting snapped off left right and centre! The Bounty Hand came sooner than anticipated and the entire room stopped playing to watch the race to Cee's table...

Tim Grace was in BB with 12k approx, blinds 75/150, Andy Smith had 10k and opened with a standard raise from UTG+2. Finding AAs Cee shoved for 3k (approx) from CO-1 Tim insta-flattened as did Andy. Flop came J10x. Tim checked, Andy shoved and Tim called. Andy showed AK for straight draw and Tim tabled a horrendous KJo! But much to Cee's disgust the turn brought the suited Jack, to give Andy more outs for flush/straight-flush draw as well as trips for Tim... Cee started roaring for the remaining Ace but no... The sickest card of all came on the turn - Jack - giving luckbox Tim runner-runner quads, the €100 bounty and the added privilege of knocking Cee FIRST out of the game!

I felt sorry for Cee, especially as it's his 'night', Cee's mate Declan suggested that Cee be allowed to rebuy. I agreed, announcing to the players that Cee and Andy (couldn't exclude Andy as he was knocked out same time as Cee) would be allowed to re-buy because of the Bounty hand; but no one else can re-buy. It also boosted the prize pool to a nice €750 - not too bad for a €33 buy-in!

At the break the IDP made a presentation to Cee, amid thunderous applause and cheers, we had a fun card using various indiscriminating photographs, a special framed appreciation in honour his work to IDP over the past 3 years, plus €100 toward a buy-in to poker game of his choice. After a brief speech from Cee thanking people for coming, telling us how he set up IDP, its growth from strength to strength, with approx 30 'regular' IDP players (maximum ever was 37 but we have 47 listed IDP members to date) and the honour of our biggest event with 70 deaf players last November including those from Sweden, UK and Finland.

Cee will be a hard act for me to follow in IDP!

Unfortunately I didn't get to the final table, after a much needed triple up with AK against same K4o fish holding A3 on a AK3xx board, I went on downward spiral finally eliminated by Mark McLaughlin on Button to my BB. As action had folded around to him, he raised to 2,100 (blinds 200/400), Lorraine was in SB (playing ultra-tight) insta-folded. Putting him on a steal, Mark had been bullying the table with his huge 30k+ stack, I found A10o with had barely 11.5xBBs left, I decided to shoved. It was 'Ugh!' seeing his AK! No help from the board and Mark's AK holds.

One of the IDP regs looked at me as the chips were pushed toward Mark and signed to his mate "Watch, this is where QueenJ gets angry! Right?" I looked over at him and laughed - "Angry? Why would I be angry? I got beaten by a superior hand not a mickey mouse crap that YOU usually call me with! Well played Mark..." Mark went on to exit in 5th place.

Cee made it to the final table too only to crash in 8th place courtesy of David Bowers. Bowers must have been in cahoots with dealer as she kept dealing him AA (twice!), KK, AK and the nutz in EVERY single hand! There were 5 places being paid out (€350, €190, €100, €50, €50 in that order...) but Bowers refused to negotiate any deals, refused to allow money off top to pay out 6th place, or increase 4th place etc. Karma has a way of working on people like that. The dealer was changed when it went down to 3 handed and the Bowers-winning-streak was halted. Geoff Foy exited in 3rd place, leaving Bowers and David 'Muffman' Mulligan to play heads-up, Muffman went from a 3-1 underdog to a worthy winner shoving Bowers into the shade!

I went over to join the 50c/1€ side cash table, but the IDP bog standard of play continued here. Putting €50, I barely made it up to €60 after 2 tough orbits, when I called a MP's €2 min-raise with 4s5s from BB along with 6 others. Flop came Js,4,5; I raised to pot €14; Andy Smith who was UTG to my left, flat called as did MP raiser. Turn 8s giving me flush draw, I shoved for my remaining €43/44, Andy insta-called and other player tanked for a while before folding. The river was non-spade 6, and Andy tables 77 for sick runner-runner straight... Meh! The initial raiser announced that he had "10,10"... Welcome to IDP(!)

Too lazy to go to the ATM, I borrowed €50 from JamesR, and whacked that up to €125 thanks to Cee mainly, raising and re-raising with my 109s to his 107o on a 10,10,8,J,x board (sorry Cee!) before the table broke. Gave JamesR back his €50 then wandered over to the €1/€2 cash table and ran my €75 up to €325 in 1.5 hours before calling it a night at 5am. Should have done that in the first place... LOL!

Profit aside, I had a good night, it was great game for everyone...

Just hope Cee had fun too! Now, go and enjoy your travels mate, and be sure to do us proud in Taipei (as the Goalie with the Irish Squad) just keep your eyes off the local girls and don't let the big balls in!!! Please make sure you come home in one piece too, Cee!

On behalf of IDP: Big ups to Paul and all his crew in the Jackpot for their fantastic support! The staff did a sterling job making great effort signing throughout the game, it was noted. We got very positive feedback from the IDP players, they asked me to thank the dealers, the TD, the serving girls for all the drinks and the lovely spread at the break. Last but not least: a heartfelt 'thank you' to all the players that came along for Cee...

Next week is the Annual Vera Duffy Classic in the Sporting Emporium, I have great memories of playing in this last year - will be donating again for sure!

See you all at the tables!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Horrid July so far... and I'm not talking about the weather!

July has been horrible, apart from the recession doom and gloom I had the worse month since February, poker-wise. I took ill suddenly at work and was blue-lighted to hospital. After a day or two I was fine, but they fcuked up on some tests, so I ended up being kept in much longer, 8 days longer, than I should have with the meds spacing me out. I was so bored on sick leave I played far more poker than usual - nothing to show for it...

Went to the Fitz for the Sunday freeze-out games - never really got going in either. Jackpot re-buy had just started so Susie and I went to check it out. With only two tables - I played solidly. Tracksuit Tommy came in when this hand happened: I was UTG+2, UTG and UTG+1 limped in, I was sitting on 15/16k Ah4h and called to see the flop. Two other limper and the blinds came for the ride, blinds were 300/600 and we were down to one table at this stage. Flop comes 6 high two hearts plus gut-show straight for me. UTG checks, UTG+1 (one of the Jackpot reg) throws in 3.5k, more than 2/3 the pot... I elected to flat call, the other player folded. Turn brings the heart I need to complete my flush. UTG+1 checks, I fire out 5k, he starts muttering angrily then makes the call. River is another heart UTG bets out 3k, I shove for 6k, he had me covered by 3/4k. Turning over my hand he insta-mucks then attacks my play, "How can you call my 3.5k bet with that shite?!" I pointed out that he had limped in, which allowed me to see the flop for cheap, there was this HUGE discussion on whether he made the 'right call' on the turn/river with all the Jackpot regs agreeing in his favour bar one who consiprationally whispered to me that the particular reg was 'a sore looser' who HATED being put in his place by a 'woman poker player'. Tracksuit Tommy jumped on the bandwagon and started criticising both Susie's and my standard of play, obviously thinking he was taking advantage of our deafness. But Susie was able to hear every word and of course relayed it to me. Needless to say that tosser lost my respect big time. As the Sore Loser lost the rest of his chips and stormed over the cash table - he kept going on, and on, and on about his poor Kings(!) But the incident didn't do us much favours - as we went down to the last 5 players, the game went very slow over 2-3 hours. I exited in 5th place, after losing my chips to a slow-played trips and Susie got raped into 3rd place by the blinds; with just two cash prizes (€210 & €410) we tried in vain to make a deal but the Regs were having none of it. It was really agonising for Susie to bubble like that... We don't play that often in the Jackpot, but a wee bit of consideration would have went a long way in ensuring we go back to play there a more. Between the Sore Loser and the Faithful Regs we declined the cash table and called it a night.

Vegas Night had a €35+5 game in Clonee with a 2k guarantee prize fund. It was my first time attending, I've dealt for Nick a couple of times, he runs a brilliant game. I was very happy with how I played it had a great image on the tables and had garnered a LOT of respect, until we reached the last three tables. At that stage I had a 58k stack (average stack 32k), the game had turned into a crapshoot. On reflection I should have settled-in and tightened up at this stage, as the majority of the players were in 'all-in or fold' mode. As it was I lost with three hands AIPF: AQs v A3 that caught a straight on the flop, AK into JJ turned trips and 77 into 10,10. Great game though... I'll be back to play it tomorrow, knowing what to expect but with a better game plan that hopefully will work!

I had to go home to Roscommon at the weekend, between grave cleaning and turning the turf (oh my back!) I managed to find time to check out a couple of local games, plus the 2009 Roscommon Championship. The pub game was a strange one - the game was the traditional NLHE but the betting structure was similar to 7-Card Stud. Confused? Yes I was too and missed several key points trying to get my head around it! The player to the left dealer (in SB) puts out the 'blind' (which doubles every 15 mins! 5-10-20-40-80-160-320 etc) and the Blind is the first to act! He/She opens for a minimum of 5, other players who want to play must call or raise this amount. If the Blind checks then all the players will see a flop for free and can win the blinds money(!) If there is a re-raise pre-flop, then the action starts with the raiser post-flop. Aside from the confusion it was an enjoyable game, the standard was awful, lots of limping and giant stacks going to war with all-ins on J4 and K6... and hitting of course! The most embarrassing thing was: I knew everyone sitting on that table - among the 10 were two ex-boyfriends, one teenage crush object and two 'not-wee-any-more' boys that I actually used to babysit(!) LOL! Cue free drinks for moi all night...

After the pub game ended, I joined my mother in another pub before walking home together. She was playing 5 card draw for 50c. One player had to leave early so Mum took his place and his cards ordering me to take her hand for the 'last hand' of the night. Picking up the cards I got 6-7-7-9-9, I was informed that "6s and 3s were wild and we needed 3s or better to open".... "Sure, I can open..." the remaining players all started at me. "You have 3s or better?" I nodded, as they discarded/collected cards, I declined any cards. Cue more hard looks, then one player points out that I was to 'open the bet or check' seeing €7.50 already on the table I picked up €2 from my mum's stack of coins. She frowned crossly at me, I replaced it, picked up €1, she shook her head took it off me. "50c bets only!" "Oh... Okay I bet 50c..." one by one they all called with their various explanations:
"No offence, don't think you have anything there... Call"
"She's making mistakes, doesn't know what she's doing... I'll call"
"Tut-tut, I shall call her bluff too... "
Mum folded of course, she was looking nervous at this stage... As I lay my house on the table - one by one they all folded, you could have cut the air with a knife as the €9 pot gets slided over to me! Not one 'Well Played' or 'Nice Hand' did I get(!) LOL - reminds me why I left the bloody town in the first place!

The Roscommon Championship game was in Boyle, 18 miles away over treacherous roads that two school friends met their deaths on, I had spent the morning cleaning my dad's grave for the annual cemetery mass that afternoon so by the time I found the place I was feeling very melancholy. On my first table the standard was pretty average with couple decent players and one eejit calling to see every flop without checking his cards! Going down to 8k from the 11k starting stack, I built my stack back up to 13.5k and had earned a lot of respect when I got moved to the Table of Death. Here there was 5 players, 3 monster stacks, I learnt that 4 players had been dispatched already from this table! Plus the standard was far worse than my previous table!

After raising pre- with two key hands, winning one/losing the other, I was on 15k in going into my 2nd orbit when I got A8s UTG. Limping (blinds 100/200) in to see the 8 high flop (2 spades) with 4 other players, I opted to check to see what would happen. Action checks around to Button who fires out 800, more than 2/3 the pot. I made a bad play, instead of re-raising as I would have done, given the standard I had decided to 'play safe' and flat call. Turn was 9c checking back to button who fires 2k, smelling a rat, I flat called. River was 10d, he fires out 4k I should thrown my cards away and declared myself finished with this hand but no, I made a brain-fart donkey call to see 9s10s. WP sir.

Next hand I'm in BB with AhKc, UTG a loose lag limps in, CO(previous Button villain in above hand) raises to 600, button & SB folds as I re-raise to 2200. UTG calls as does CO. Flop comes J high all hearts, I bet out 2,900 and UTG insta-shoves all-in for 5,600 more, CO folds. I've 5150 behind and tanked. My mind was racing - 12k plus in the pot, with half my money already in I was almost committed. I had no fold equity here had I? Calculating my outs, I had 15 with my nut-flush draw plus two over cards; I had a low opinion of the villain's standard at this point, I knew he played a very wide range. Putting him on a J-7 to JQ, two hearts, low pair 22-55, Plus still tilting from previous hand I felt I couldn't fold. Calling to see villain's J10off I was disgusted! I was more sick when the turn and river bricked on me, not one Out did I hit(!)

After watching the game for another hour, I walked over to the cash table. Here the standard was way worse than the ME! Losing couple of raises when I missed the flop, I With just €48 left, I raised UTG pre- holding QQ and got 6 callers. Flop came 985, rainbow. As blinds checked I shoved with my remaining €40 got two callers, A9o and 97s(!) The latter hit his gut-shot with 6 on river... LOL I had enough of bad beats for one day and drove home feeling worse than I arrived.

Well Done to Stephen (AKA Carfax) who was to my left on the 'Table of Death'; he struggled with a below average stack all day but "luckboxed" (his words not mine - but as it was, only a luckbox would have gotten as far in this game! LOL!) his way to heads-up and split 1st/2nd prize 50-50. WP!

On 8th August IDP are hosting a Tribute game to Ciarán Moloney (AKA Get In There) who is off to Deaflympics and then on his travels at end of August. Cee, as he is affectionately known, is on a strict training regime so alcohol and partying are out! The Jackpot has kindly agreed to allow us have the game there, the buy-in has been kept low to allow the deaf players to come as well as Cee's hearing friends. To make it fun we have a bounty on Cee's head. So far there's 21-23 players confirmed I think we can get 40 players approx. If you are interested in playing, please add your name on facebook or Boards Poker Forum we need to arrange food/dealers.

In the meantime there's 3 days of July left and one game to play. If I bomb out of that... I'll blame the July blues... meh!

Monday, June 29, 2009

"All-In with J5!"

I'm Giving You On Count Of Three
To Show Your Stuff Or Let It Be...
I'm Telling You Just Watch Your Mouth
I Know Your Game What You're About!

Well They Say The Sky's The Limit
And To Me That's Really True
But My Friend You Have Seen Nothing
Just Wait 'Til I Get Through...

Because I'm Bad...
Michael Jackson 'Bad'

Everyone will remember where they were, what they were doing, who they were with etc, the moment they heard MJ died. I was at a poker table in the Bell pub!

I just lost a big pot betting hard with with 77 into a loose lag who wasn't folding A2 on a 2,8,J,6,A board. As I checked-folded the river, he showed his cards proudly. I had just settled back to 'calm down', check my phone before playing another hand, as a message came in from SusieWoosie simply saying 'F@#k... Michael Jackson is dead'. When I announced the news to the table, they cracked up laughing, they didn't believe me(!) Hearing the banter, the barman switched the TV from horse racing to Sky news and there it was...

I grew up with MJ, he was always 'there', that distinctive high voice. I would recognise him instantly when he came on the radio, wouldn't have a clue which song it was for a few minutes but I recognise him instantly, most deaf people do. I used to be able to do the Thriller dance (don't ask me now - I've forgotten most of it!) and I can still moonwalk, even in my heels! As he got more and more detached from reality, I just switched off but deep down he was a born entertainer who lit up the screen with his amazing dancing! I felt a hint of sadness when he passed away, it was end of an era, another link to my childhood gone.

At the regular IDP night last Saturday, Cee opened the game with a gem of advice: "Hey! In honour of MJ, if you get J5 go allllll-in!" cue laughter! As it was J5 was the nutz! Everyone that played J5 won... I shoved with J5, no callers... shortie goes all-in, I find another J5 and I'm well stacked but passed it, BB called with K7, shortie shows A2 - bad move as it was the flop came 44542! Shortie goes on to win the damn game(!)

€75 down and I decide to hit the Jackpot with Susie for a bit of cash action at 12 midnight, thinking it will be good for usual drunken fish! As we sat down, we notice the cash league final was on, ahhhh there'll be feck all fish playing tonight! Vowing to limit myself to one buy-in, I played solidly and cautiously til 2am, when three drunks joined our table. Left at 4am with €360, not a bad profit for me.

Some notable hands: I just lost a big pot in the previous hand before last betting from the button into a slowplayed monster; when I found A5s in CO-1, limped in, SB raised to €12. BB, MP called. I called as did CO and Button! Flop comes 245, SB (loose lag) bets €30, BB & MP fold, I think for a minute and something just popped into my brian: I just knew he hadn't hit that! I had €79 left, I shoved. CO & Button insta-fold... SB is agonising "Huh?! What the... there's no way you hit that! No... I'm ahead, F#@k, I gonna have to call her... she's got nothing!" He calls, turn shows K and river 8. Just as I think I'm beaten he asks what I have, I table the 5, "and the other card!" he demands. Showing the ace he mucks angrily. Asking him what he mucked "A10" he replied. So kind of him to call me, wasn't it?

Building my stack up to €225, I was in SB with AKs, UTG was an ultra-loose lag open raising several pots. So far I had kept out of hands with him; He opened for €5, 3 callers, by the time it came back to me. I raised to pot - €30, UTG called as did one other player. Flop comes 6 high, no suits, possible straight with 74; I bet out €60. UTG re-raised to €200, practically putting me all-in... I knew I was probably ahead, but knowing how loose he was, he could have over pair, hit his straight, 2 pair or was holding trips at best guess. I folded, perhaps I should have checked, perhaps I should have called the €5 pre- to see the flop rather than play out of position? That one hand bothered me all night.

One orbit later, I find AJ in SB and call UTG's raise along with 4 others, flop comes AJJ! Thinking how to make the most of this, I led out for half the pot, UTG insta-reraised... I flattened... led on on turn and he re-raised to put me all in. I insta-called for a nice little double up against AQ.

Next hand I've KhQh in BB, Button raises to pot, SB re-raises to 30, I call as does button. Flop comes K high, 2 hearts, SB checks, I bet out €50, Button shoves for €80, SB folds as I call to see K6o, I'm miles ahead with the 9h on turn, button is up and gone before the river card is exposed.

I was about to leave when dealer said last hand before breaking the table... I found J5s winking at me, LOL! Gotta play this! 5 on flop, checked all around, J on river, check, check, bet, re-raise, fold, call, two pair beats AJ and pot pushed to me... I'm up to €360, €5 to dealer and I'm heading home!

GG, GN, WP Michael J... Thank you for the memories!

So Listen Up Don't Make A Fight,
Your Talk Is Cheap You're Not A Man,
You're Throwin' Stones To Hide Your Hands!

But They Say The Sky's The Limit
And To Me That's Really True And My Friends You Have
Seen Nothin' Just Wait 'Til I Get Through...

Because I'm Bad!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I haven't been playing much lately... The two times I've been playing: I've played well but just got unlucky or crashed just before the final table/cash. Cash game ran goot but then lost the majority in couple of weak spots and donked the rest 'on tilt' mode.

In one game I was away with the family in Fermanagh, ended up visiting Damo72's club in Monaghan town. He has a nice set up, there was no games set for the night I was there but couple of €20 FOs with winner take all, I was fortunate to take down the 2nd game after an epic 1.5hrs long HU with Damo himself (great player) culminating in a sick suck out! Final hand saw me all-in with 66 (after wrestling the chiplead from him by in previous hand) he limped called with AA, flop came 345... A... 7... Ouch! GG! LOL!

Another night I was in mood for a game, DPN had a €35 FO in Bell, I arrived as Robbie was leaving. Not enough players and he had no choice but to cancel the event. I ended up in the Fitz €20+3 FO with 82 runners, I crashed in 40-odd place with 10-10 into SB's min-raised AA. I played damn well that night... just lost my final race to a chipleader with his 3rd or 4th set of aces(!)

I've been avoiding DPN big time since an unpleasant incident with two rude players 5-6 weeks ago; where they reduced me to tears at the end of the night. I've a cheat-dar in my head when it comes to poker, I'm clued-up when I see any evidence that a player is cheating... but when I tried to deal with an issue on this particular night, it got nasty. I haven't been back. I like the DPN, Robbie puts on a good game, the majority of the regs are basic playas with weird notions of the game - it's so easy to cash at least once or twice a month. Had I had the same success in Fitz or Jackpot as I do in the DPN games, I be a legend!!!!

But that's not the reason I stopped playing. Life got in the way!

I celebrated my birthday; I took the family way for a week long break up North, I had my son's second level 2010 entry applications to prepare (yes, already!!!); a new Director of Services at work = more work and responsibilities for muggins here who was too bloody timid to say 'No!'; And the washing machine blew up on me, destroying the wooden floors in the process, thank God for insurance you say 'but my bloody insurance are demanding a list of 20 reports and 100 photographs, before they release a cent!' Grrrr!

I also discovered I was on the wrong tax/PRSI bracket for the past 3 years so a nice payback on the way if only I can find the necessary paperwork among all the clutter to put my claim in! It'll be put straight into my savings account so that Christmas is already taken care of!

There's also another big reason: Over the past year, I've been painful aware of my close friends drifting away, barely seeing them as much as I use to. Because of poker. When my birthday came around recently - I got unexpected visits, lots of beautiful flowers, whiskey and beautiful gifts... I felt so guilty. I really enjoyed catching up with them all!

By fluke I only recently discovered I have a Hendon Mob Page!!! Small win, 4th place in LEPO side event, but hey, I'm bloody impressed myself! This means I've achieved one of my poker goals for the year already! I immediately upped that goal to have a second listing before the end of the year... Eyeing up several events already, but most of them already clash with other non-poker events that I've compromised myself to with my friends.

Gotta be realistic here... cut back on the poker, put it back on the 'just a occasional hobby' shelf, and live my life more. Gonna get a wee bit more selective too with my limited playing time availability too.

To a couple of poker mates playing in Vegas for the WSOP - Best of luck guys, bring the bracelets home! Another two poker mates who go together almost 2 years ago have just announce wonderful news of their wee bump, I was delighted for them!

To the rest of you... have a good Summer! I'll try to update after the IDP EGM!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Grounded frimly to the ground

No heady highs to report since my last post, apart from a small profit from the cash table one night that just about helped to balance the book and basically undo all the losses I accumulated this month. I'm still 'down' overall for 2009.

It was a sick month from start to finish... a mixture of usual bad beats, atrocious play (or 'brain farts' Smurph calls them) and bad calls.

One positive highlight: I finally made it to the famed Sporting Emporium! What a palace, this is definitely the plushest card room in the whole of Dublin! The SE Membership fee of €25 was an unexpected shock, was thinking of asking if we can host a IDP tournament there but I doubt if our Deaf playas will pay that €25! Now that I'm a member will be checking it out more...

Everyone has been asking for my report on the recent IODPC (Irish Open Deaf Poker Championship) which took place in the Jackpot on 16th May. We had 43 players, I was so sure we would bust last year's record for 46 players but at the last minute we had 4 drop-outs. We have a great representation of players from Northern Ireland, England and Wales; as well as some of our regular players. Cee turns up, announced that he wasn't playing, he was going to play some cash then head at 7pm to catch a flight to London(!) WTF!? As it was Cee did better on the cash table in 3 hours than the 2nd place finisher (Michael Kellegher who nearly didn't want to play!!!)

Cards went in the air at 2:25pm, I was in a horrible seat (7) on very tough table (2) draw. Rob Archer was to my immediate left, Brian Griffin (weak-passive player, mini-bets only, never raises but calls you down with the nutz!) to my right, and Justin Smith 2 to my right. Also at my table was Susie Woosie and Terry Spurgeon (UK Player). Getting any chips on this table was not going to be easy.

I got off to a good start with pocket 10s, raised to 250, two callers including Brian and Justin (on button) flop comes 9 high, I bet out 625. Brian insta-folded, Justin thinks for a moment then folds AKs face up. Next hand I get QQ... 3 limpers and I raised to 250, got no less than 4 callers but I'm last to act. Flop comes Q high, BINGO! Action checks to Rob, he bets out 500, I re-raise to 1750, he insta-folds. I mucked my hand. Few hands later I'm in SB (blinds just increased 50/100)finding AQs, 4 limpers including Rob Archer on the button, I re-pot to 1250. Flop comes 773, I checked, Rob checks behind, Q on turn I fire out 1800, Rob flat calls. A on river, I bet 2150, Rob raises to 4500. I think for a moment then realised I couldn't fold a 10k pot with 2.3k left to call... I flat called to see him table 107off for trips. You donk!

Down to 3.5k I was playing a short-stacked game as Rob started welding his massive stack around the table pushing people off pots left, right and centre. Finding 77 I called one of Rob's raise as did Brian Griffin, facing a JK8 board, Rob bet out but calling would have meant I was pot committed, I had to fold them and watched as Brian called. Action went check-check on turn and river, Rob shows 72s (You Donk!) and Brian tables 66 to win(!) Shoved a couple of times and got my stack back up to 5k; then went card dead for several orbits, checked my blind holding 57 to a flop of 245, check called a bet from Rob, 3 on turn and Rob raises half the pot calling would put me all-in mode, instead I put him on a raggy A or 6 and opted to fold my 5 face up to see his 92off smile at me! (You Donk!) I was in danger of getting blinded out with less than 6BBs when I discovered AcKc UTG and shoved. Rob called with QQ, they hold and I'm out in 30th place.

Rob's lucky streak and constant bluffing finally caught up with him and he loses the bulk of his chips in 4 way all-in holding the worse hand to give Justin Smith (holding 22 for trips) the much needed chips to go all the way! UL Rob - but well played! Susie played a great solid game but kept saying she wasn't staying all day and was leaving to watch a show in UCD later that night... Guess the pokagods got fed up hearing that and took the last chip and chair from underneath her in 25th place. Justin Smith went on to take this down. WP! Congratulations! It was all over by 10pm.

Several players got free bets from Jackpot for signing up but hadn't a clue how to play Blackjack or Roulette, so gave me their chips instead! Spun it up to €50, add another €50 and put it on the cash table, built it up then crashed all in on turn with K10 v J10 on a 10 high flop, 2 on river gave me flush draw but sick J on river and the Villain was whoopin and hollerin something wild(!) Should have known better, Pokagods were not my friend that day so called it a day and went home.

The Jackpot put on a great service as always, big thanks to Paul, Sarah, the hostess, and all the dealers who did a terrific job! The dealers really put a lot of effort into using the signs (which they only learnt that morning!) and dealing with deaf players pulling all kinds of stunts! The Jackpot sponsored the beautiful glass trophy that was presented to the winner. Thanks you all so much!

Next day after a long lie-in I made my way to Tallaght Poker Room for the cash league final. First league I ever qualified for! Before anyone quibbles at the 101 hours I achieved since last November, 90% of these were double cash hours! Starting with 10,100 stack I had my work cut out with three monster stacks holding well over 40k each; over 50 players qualified by 43-44 turned up. Ross had a book open for the various players, there was 25/1 odds on me; not bad considering I was the best odds bar one other player, for those with less than 20k! LOL! Managed to dogged one of the chipleaders big time - holding K4s (in my defence he was constantly rasisng into my BB and showing marginal/mickey mouse hands!) I called to see K4x and shoved, he called with AK (ooops... LOL!!!!); two hands later he got his own back and knocked me out with QQs which held up against my Ah6h all-in on a 6c5h2h flop; no heart, 6 or ace and I was out in 28th winning €50 for my troubles.

Put the €50 on the cash table and lost it to Justin Smith who came down hoping to play the tournament but had to settle for cash. Put another 50 on the table, went down to €20, moved to another table and spun it up into €335, threw the dealer €10 and left at 12 midnight. After 3 days of poker (had a pre-IODPC night in the IDP Card Room with almost 30 players) - I was shattered.

Rumour has it that the Tallaght Poker Room is taking over the ground floor of Atari Expo (the acarade that one walks through to get to TPR upstairs) and planning to renovate it into a " swanky poker room to rival the SE". The work has started... lets hope it includes better toilet facilities than they currently have!

Last Wednesday I ventured into the SE for the €50+5 double chance; there were 4 tables with a lot of familiar faces. Had Vera to my immediate left on the first table and managed to antagonise her at one point with blind on blind action, I called she checked to see a flop A9X (2 diamonds) I raised with Kd9d and Vera shoved. I voiced an opinion that she wouldn't have checked an ace, maybe she's flushing etc got a swift lash of her sharp tongue... boy! I folded face up and stayed well out of her way after that! I was happy with my game playing really solid, picking my spots well and made it to final 18 with above average stack. Limped in with KJs Button calls and SB shoves for <8BB BB and button folds, as I call, had him on a wide range - he tables the 'monster' 63 off ... first card on board is a 6, last is a 3(!) LOL-Luckbox! That was the start of the 'leak'...

I raise UTG AJs few hands later and face a re-raise from a rock who has me totally covered, I fold. Next hand I'm in BB, 4 limpers, I look down and see QQ, I have 16bb left, 2 of these limpers have me well covered. Slowly shove my stack over the line and UTG (Biggest Shark Chipleader) insta-shoves, I knew instantly I was in trouble he had a monster as that was the first time I saw him limp in, should have copped it, sure enough he tables AA. They hold and its Uh-oh, UL, GG, GN, WP...

Wandered over to the cash table where several regs sitting nursing huge stacks, including Tony (Flushdraw), Sherman, Danny (TylerDuran) and two other LAGs I recognise from Fitz. I retreated to the blackjack table with Trishakids, sure have better odds winning here! Put the free €25 chips I got, spun it up to €60 then hovered up and down over 2 hours then out... Meh!

Just reading several other blogs, seems a lot of the regs are experiencing massive downswings, so breaking even for the month (I didn't play much this month) is good going. Was planning to play the Satt for the Westbury 270 game tonight but looks like I won't be available to play tomorrow's 270 game so not worth my while playing the Satt. Staying local tonight me thinks!

After tonight - I'll be offline for a week. Taking a much needed break with the family, going to Monaghan and Fermanagh, really looking forward to it! No PC, no laptop, no poker!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rebuy Madness

Grrrr! Remind me again why I don't do re-buys.

Free to enter, first hand I get AKs in CO-1, button re-raises, Gerry Grehan is in BB and does his head bobbling act (signifying he has nothing but 'fancies his chances') calls. I shove... Button shoves... Gerry's head bobbles like mad "why the f@#k not..." and tosses his chips into the pot. AK and button's AK meets Gerry's Q10 off suit and we see a board of xxx...Q... 10(!)

Not to worry it's only €5 to re-buy.

Facing a table of limpers, I shove with AhJh on the button, David Bower's in BB he has me covered twice over... he scratches his head and rubs the felt, "she's got something good... damn... damn... ah f#@k it!" and flat calls, all the time acting very nervous and sighing in relief as each player folds. Tabling my cards, David shows two black aces(!)

Ah, another €5 for chips please.

Facing one raiser in MP, I find Ad9d, gonna have to race these to get a much needed double up... Chris McGovern starts rubbing his mouth and stratching his half grown tuffy beard (trying to copy Andy Black me thinks!), he's short I've barely 150 on him, but not as short as MP. Looks at me then shoves, MP folds. Chris takes KdQd, I table my pair... two diamonds on flop and Chris has his €5 out already... sick King on turn no ace or diamond on the river. Nice one Chris. Down to 150 I shove with 34s; 3 callers, 4 on flop, another 4 on turn and I'm safe. Next hand find Q10s and shove for 650, David Bowers stands up shakes my hand says good luck and SHOVES his monster stack in, tables AK with a flourish; no magic board for me.

Not to worry it's only €5.

Shoved with Pocket Kings feeling very confident about this one. Mark McLaughlin (The Wexford Supremo) smiles at me sadly, sighs and whispers "sorry, I gotta call..." and tables pocket aces. Ace on the flop... meh!

Ah sure... I'll chance another re-buy.

Paul Ryder shoves, I find 66 and I'm still reeling from the kings... so yeah, I call. Paul has QQ and my 66 gets crushed. Bad call me.

Another €5 worth of chips please...

Few hands later my AQs smile and wink at me, I fall in love and shove... everyone has me covered, they all call. Board comes queen high, all clubs, Chris rubs his mouth, scratches his beard then bets out, making me worried. I should be, he has J10for the flush. Grrrr!

Realising I only brought €25 with me (how confident was I?!) Brian gives me €5 for the chips... I sit on this til the break, get my top up thanks to another mate. Now the re-buy madness is over, we are down to 14 players, 7 tickets generated and €40 for 8th place. My luck has got to change, right? Right???!!!

But no...

Limping in CO into a family pot with 33; I was delighted to see a 943 board. Mark bets out 4xBB from SB. Action folds around to me, it's now or never - he has me covered by 3k. I shove; he sighs and smiles sadly at me, whispers "...I gotta call" eeek... He tables 94off for two pair, sighing in relief I annouce I got trips and table my pair for bottom set. Instead a sneaky sick 4 appears on the river and I'm out in 14th place... WTF!???

No more re-buys for me! Meh!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Caught between a rock and a tight piece...

Except the 6'3" 'rock' was actively raising into me with ATC and the 'piece' was a smug fecker who fancied himself as a tough guy (with the cut off shirt and over tattooed arms to match) kept getting lucky when his marginal hands were hitting the flop goot or over-valuing his 2nd/3rd best pair to my ace high... If one wasn't in the hand the other was. When both were in the hand everyone folded. I was happy to get up and run with a €10 profit(!) With the day I had so far - I was lucky not to be crushed!

After dealing for 12 hours the day before, I opted to play the €100+15 game in the Plaza on Monday. Never really got going, all my raises got called by hands that hit the flop better than I. As I raised UTG with QQ I got called by a LAG to my immediate left; board comes king high-all hearts and I opted to check; he immediately checks behind. K on river gives me two pair, betting out 1100 into a 1300 pot. I get flat called; didn't put him on a king, I assumed he had J or 9 for lesser pair with ace kicker; the turn brings a 4th heart, I knew I should check here but felt it would show weakness so bet out 1500... he called showing 9s 10h for a cheeky flush. Meh!

Lucinda was on my table, the button to my BB, kept limping in a lot with AA, KK, AQ, AK; limping in once is fine but not all the time Luc! She limped in with AK (blinds 100/200) I checked with A8. Flop comes AKx with two suits, I checked to see what she would bet and she fired out 600 (pot) big bet, thinking she had king for 2nd best pair or flushing. I flat called, we both checked the 3rd suit on turn, I bet out 2/3 pot on the river... she hesitated before flat calling to show AK. Meh!

Raised pre with AK, had to fold them post-flop as two LAGs went to war locking horns on a dry board high card versus high card, with the weakest hand pairing his low kicker on the river(!) LOL-donkaments! Shoved with AK and no callers... still less than 10bb and the blinds coming around again. Found lovely 22 UTG+2, debated with myself for an age before folding them reluctantly, was sickened to to see board come 2xx2x! Grrrrr! Oh why oh why!? Two hands later found 33 UTG and thought: now or never... shoved, called by BB with KK and I'm gone.

Went straight to the cash table into an awful seat - had Kayroo raising in button and CO (very passive player betweeen us) into my blinds and a smug tattooed guy 2 to the left activily re-raising me in several pots. I had mickey mouse hands every time I had position to them - attempted a raise with one but had Kayroo, Tattooed guy and our Tony limping in, all on ace rags and checking down to me on an AKKxx board(!) I wasn't betting guys, no way!!! Tony was playing uber-cautiously much to Kayroo's frustration, he was dying to trap Tony into a big pot but the sly fox kept one step ahead of him! LOL!

At 8:15pm the Dublin 15 players on the cashtable all left to head to Hartstown for DPN €60FO; 20 mins into the game I'm going really good with AA and 88 raising my 8k starting stack up to 10.5k when the lights went(!) 30 minutes later realising the powercut is wide spread in the area, sitting under the glare of the emergency lighting Ciara, Lucinda and Tony talked me into going to the Padlocks in Clonee to a 'JJP Poker Navan' (not to be confused with JP Poker from Tallaght) run game...

€55 entry, double chance, we joined at the 100/200 level with a 3400 starting stack(!) 5k re-buy or 6k top-up. Turbo bingo poker at its best(?!) Discovered that only €40 is going into the prize fund, WHAT!!!? €15 reg fee?! One player pointed out that we can't 'quibble' as its fully dealer dealt with food (pizza and chips) served at the break. Hmmmm?

First hand I have Jc10c and hit flush battling against a lower flush held by Paul Jr. Two hands later I limp in 7h6h and Paul Jr raises from SB, BB calls, MP calls - I'm last to act, of course I'm calling! Lovely flop - 4h5hx action checks around to me - I bet out half pot, Paul Jr flat calls and other players folded. 3c on turn Paul shoves I call; Paul tables Ah8h no heart on river to save him and he's calling for his double chance chips. Finding AQ couple hands later, Paul Jr is short in BB again, as I raise and he mutters then says 'ah feck it... ' shoves. I call to see him table QQ but an Ace on the flop put an end to his game and our table breaks up.

Finding myself on soft table I quickly amass a 90k lead. A four way all-in with 3 short-stacks see me calling with K9s along with the 2nd chipleader the flop which gives me a gut-shot to the king. I shoved all in and other chip-leader calls with A6o(!) Questioning him, he pointed out that there was two suits on flop and he had the case ace, "possible chance" to beat me with a 'runner-runner'(!) LOL! He wins with high card as we both miss while one of the shorties trebles up and I'm down to 55k. The blinds are going up rapidly lots of all-ins left right and centre - I ducked down and waited for my spot. Finding AK I called and lost on a AK9 to a slowplayed set of 9s from same A6o player. On final table I was fronting 35k with several 50k+ stacks - was mainly card dead but held on to 4th place for €150, this was given in form €100 cash plus €50 ticket for entry into their 'big game' on Sunday 31st May when I asked for an alternative explaining that I was away that weekend 'JJP' suggested I sell it on or "hold on to it til nearer time" - if he makes his '€2,000 guarantee' he will "buy it back from me..." Hmmmm I hope so or I'll be kicking one hell of a fuss!

The Irish Open Deaf Poker Championships take place on 16th May in Jackpot, we have fewer players registered due to clashes with Deaf weddings, holidays and the fact some of the players are saving to go to the Deaf Olympics taking place in Taipei this September. Or maybe they are just holding on for the DDA freeroll event taking place next Sunday 10th May? Whatever - if you are thinking of playing the IODPC - hurry up and register ASAP!!!!