Saturday, February 21, 2009

In profit... only just!

It's becoming standard for me. I buy-in to a game, become chipleader, make final 18 then bomb out before final table... don't tell me to tighten up, loosen up or 'get it in goot' - cos I'm doing all those things and meh, I'm not getting anywhere near the cash! Send me to the nearest cash/side game and I prosper well there(!)

I missed playing in the Bell on Sunday night, so allowed myself a game on Monday in Hartstown. Hadn't been there in a while... I forgot how loose they can play! I set up a SnG side game with 8 players, ended up HU with Ciara but egged on by others, we split it for €80 each so we all can play another SnG! Didn't win that... leaving the pub I was grabbed by a couple of the regs - they were hosting a game back in one of their houses and were insisting I join the 4 of them. I made excuses (honestly!!!) but got brow-beaten into going back for 'an hour'... 3 hours later I finally arrive home €160 richer. Don't think they'll be inviting me back again... LOL!

Had back-to-back meetings in town all day Wednesday, last one finished at 8pm - making the most of my 'freedom' for the night I hit the Jackpot with Cee, Justin and a very reluctant Susie Woosie. Getting off to a good start, it wasn't difficult considering how loose the first table was, I was up to 20k before end of 2nd level. Cee and Justin crashed out early. By the time we got down to the final 2 tables, I was 3rd or 4th chipleader. Lost big with AQ to QQ by a player who I had tagged as loose, WP sir. Went utterly card dead for several orbits getting raped by the blinds. With < 5BB shoved with Q9s from BB, 4 limpers on the table already, I got 2 callers: KK and 88!!! WTF! Why limp with them hands people?!

Susie was still in, so I joined the cash table - bad move, I was too tired to play properly and allowed myself to get pushed off pots when the fresh-alert-me would played on... Got up 100 down and railed Susie on the final table. She played a tight game getting it in well but bombed out the 4th place with the villain hitting his flush on the river. WP Susie! Now aren't ya glad you came along girl?!! LOL!

Friday I was in the mood to go to Dunboyne, I really like this game: 10k starting stack and 25 min blinds. Food at the break and a late bar - meaning no rush to finish the game within a time constraint. There's 3 dealers so if there's extra tables they all take turns at the various tables, so it's not all self-dealt. Plus a nice soft side 1/2 no-limit cash table... There's nothing else better on offer out there! Its taking over from the Bell as my favourite game of the week!

I had to sort out kids before I could take off, arriving 'Maddog style' at the start of the (75/150) level... There were 4 tables in full swing, looking around my table, I had a mixture of regs and new faces; I vowed to play tight til I had a feel for the players. First hand was JJ; ah feck! Can't fold that!

UTG raised to 500, I re-pop to 1300 (didn't want to commit too much at this point with no read on the guy, plus I was in MP with 3/4 players left to act)... Player to my left called and action folded back to the blinds. As the BB was mucking his card one accidentally turned over and revealed a Jack. I wasn't too pleased to see that... UTG promptly folded, tapping the exposed J and announcing 'No point me calling!' Great(!) Making a mental note to myself to play this tight, plan to fold to raise on A/K/Q high boards. I was stunned to see the flop:

AJx (rainbow)

Ah... So someone is telling porkies(!) Feeling really powerful here, I bet out 5k expecting other player to fold. But no, he shoved for 2,900 more. I had to call... He tables AQ(!) Bad call sir, I could've had AK even(!) My set turns into house by river. Nice double up to start off. I get a ribbing from some players comparing my play to last week's similar but premature exit!

I gradually worked my stack up to 40k before I got moved, finding QQ UTG, I bet out big and SB calls. Flop comes 10 high... SB checks and I bet out 2/3 pot, he flat calls, turn is Ace. He check-raises me shoving all-in. Calling him would have left me with less than half my stack I had no option but to fold. He proudly shows 73 suited for air. Cheeky Chancer! Was down to 30k approx when we were down to final 18 and our table got broken. I was placed in a tough spot between Koolkid and the unpredictable Paul Stynes. After losing 10k to Paul, I went card dead and started drifting down to 12.5k, blinds were 800/1600. Finding Kh10h in CO, 2 limpers and the blinds on the table I felt it was a good spot to shove and gain 5k for my stack. I wasn't expecting Paul (one of the limpers) to call me with KK(!) Standard for Paul(!)

Two hearts and a 10 on the flop gave me a lotta outs but none came to save me and I was out in 11th place. Koolkid wasn't impressed, muttered at me for shoving when 'you weren't short stacked enough' til I pointed out I had an M less than 6, with the blinds increasing to 1k/2k in less than 2 mins I felt it was a good spot to shove. He gave out big time to Paul: 'Limp in with kings?!!! Why would you do that?! Dreadful play...' LOL! Think that ticking off put Paul on tilt and he bombed out shortly after that!

I trotted over to the cash table and sat in the only available seat beside the most annoying yakker you can have on a poker table; GHA was there too obviously on tilt from the Yakker (who was also drunk) going on about 'short arms'... so I tolerated him for that reason. Susie was also there, as was Lucinda and a couple of new faces. Plenty of value abound. Cheeky Chancer joined up making a deal with one of the regs to play with his money for a 50-50 profit split... Graham and I glanced at each other bemused. Putting 50 on the table, I used it to push two €12 bets off the pot with all-in button shove. Finding Js9s in BB, 4/5 players limped into the pot and Button (Well dressed LAG) raises to 25, I counted €14 on the table and felt WDL was just pushing us off the pot with any two, and called. Flop comes 10sQs10x, I check called another 25, 8s on turn and I was looking at a lovely straight flush! Niiiicceeee... I bet out 25, he raises to 50, I re-raise all-in for 20 more, WDL folds muttering 'ah you got your house right?' I table my straight flush to his disbelief!

The speech play banter between the Yakker and Cheeky Chancer was so off putting I folded a couple of key hands. Til Graham announced last hand... bugger! I'm on button now and so playing this regardless of what it is! Looking down I found 2 black aces - deadly!!!! 5 limpers and blinds to act - I made it 10 to go. 4 callers... including the WDL and Cheeky Chancer. Board comes 10 5 x, 2 clubs. Action checks back to WDL who bets 30. I min raise it to 60, and... they all flat call(!) Eh???! Turn brings another 5, as the players check back to me I shove. First player thinks for a minute then re-pops all-in but Cheeky and WDL folds, river was non-club. I table my aces announcing 'two pair' expecting to be beaten and was stunned when other player mucks. 'What did you have?' I asked... 'King 10, top pair, flush draw'. Oh. Ship the pot to me please!

After tipping the dealers I was delighted to cash out for €390.

Sunday was a beautiful day - really warm too... Spring has arrived at last! Had my princess fast asleep in bed by 7:15pm, she was shattered after being out in the fresh air all day! Was down in the Bell 10 mins later, just in time for my early bird chip.

I joined Tweety, Charlie (1st and 2nd last Friday in Dunboyne) Hussan on the table with Kojack on my right; Kojack was clearly spewing chips, playing so bad, I made a kindly comment on his play more or less telling him to take it easy and he took it badly snapping the head off me... a couple of times I was calling raises he was counting up my chips wrong and I had to ask for a re-check... The tension was mounting. I was playing Tighty-McTight, gradually building my stack up to 14k from 10.5k, folding more than I normally play. Finding QQ in SB (blinds 100/200) 3 limpers and Tweety to act in BB, I raised to 900. Tweety re-raised to 2400, and limpers folded. I had him covered so re-popped all-in. Tweety insta-called tabling AK off... I showed my Queens and he groaned, stood up and put his jacket on. Kojack started dealing out the board, chanting 'ace or king... ace or king... ace or king' - boy he really wanted me off the table didn't he(!) As it happened Tweety managed to suck out with a 4th club to hit his flush... as Kojack started pushing my chips over I stopped him counting them out rapidly myself... he lost it with me and threw the rest of the deck of cards at me. I was going to snap at him but instead told him to 'relax, I have him covered...' and got a curt 'f.. you' in return. Great sportsmanship there sir.

With less than 5bb I was out in one orbit, shoving with AJ - Tweety kindly 'donated', as did Kojack 'hope this gets her out' he mutters, 'Check it down yeah?'. Tweety looks at him after the 7 high flop and bet out 5k (nice one!) Kojack scowls and folds in disgust. Tweety tables K7 and asks if I had better I shook my head, tabling my hand, no ace or jack and I was gone. Glad it was Tweety than Kojack though...

I took myself off to Tallaght Poker Rooms and rode the roller coaster cash table, more for the double-cash hours than anything else! I've never earned enough to play in any of the leagues in the casinos so taking a shot at this one... Which looks like the most generous one around.

Arriving in an aggressive mood I made some maniac hero calls with A high and low pairs and winning them, drove 50 up to 345, had a 400 limit in mind but went down again... Another 50 on the table, went up to 200 then crashed out. The table is mad, they will call raises with any pair, any ace, any king, any suited two! It's a tough one to crack. Enjoyed the craic and the banter... very risqué and brash though it may be! Suffering for it big time today...

For all my playing this week I've just €125 left to show for it... ah, better a profit than a loss!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Brag and the Beat

This week has been up and down... two steps up, one step back!

Went over to the Westbury on Wednesday to try my hand at Satt'ing a ticket for their Monthly 250 FO; arrived at 9pm the place was empty (Ha! Suits me, a possible guaranteed ticket on a bye...) but by 9:40 they had 5 players and we kicked off the race. Unlike your standard Satt game this one was going very loose, very fast! By 10:20pm I was HU with a 2-1 disadvantage. 15 mins later we were almost level in chips when I got it all-in with a straight to the 9 but my opponent sucked out on the river with a straight to the Q! WP Sir...

Four players arrived late, so another Satt was suggested, everyone played (including the ticket winner who bombed out 1st) one ticket for 1st, 150 for 2nd and 50 for 3rd... I bubbled again in 4th place(!) Meh! Good luck to the winners - will be watching out on Boards for how they did! Will attempt the Satts again next month. The Westbury is a lovely club, well worth a visit. The cash games there are maniac, worse than Tallaght Poker Rooms, don't think of raising as they will ALL call you... to the river if they have to...

Playing Dunboyne on Friday I had my fastest exit ever! QQ into a 33-set-on-turn-house-by-river jobbie(!) Shoved short-stacked with AJ on a AAK flop, two clubs, called by Jc10c... Q on turn was sick... but the club on the river was sicker! 18 minutes after I drove in the gates I was driving out again!

Head into town feeling very tender... decided to visit the Jackpot, hadn't been there in months, sat down at the cash table with €70 and rode a rollercoaster cash game up to €650, down to €180, up to €450 then home! Best hand was AA, I was in MP with €180 approx, raised to pot got two callers including a LAG Asian player with a beautiful coiffured mane that would make any woman proud! Flop comes a glorious A66. I bet out 2/3 pot, the Asian LAG raised to €50... This guy had just bluffed me off a huge pot in the previous hand with air, I was going to milk this! I hummed for a minute before flat calling, turn was 9 flushing the board, I checked... Asian throws in 100, I insta-shoved, he jumps up flicks his hair and calls throwing 69 on the table. I shook my head and table my aces... very... slowly... he actually growled in disgust starts muttering to another Asian in their language. Borrowing €100 off his friend, the LAG proceeds to tilt that off in less than 4 hands, with his remaining €25 going to me... the look I got. He definitely put a curse on me, I didn't win another pot after that and trotted home with my wee €400 profit.

I was set to deal at PokerIreland's monthly Dublin 100 game. Arriving at 12:45, there was 15 players, 5 dealers, and 5 tables... By 1pm, with just 18 players registered Stephen asked if I still wanted to deal or if I fancied playing. I agreed to play... I think he was regretting that 40 minutes later when the tally had increased to 44 players! I never got going in the game, apart from being card-dead, we had the loosest LAG I ever met on our table, he put the bejaysus into all of us! I won't go as far as call him a fish... that would be insulting to the real fishes. I just won 3/4 pots hovering between 9k-12k all day. But this LLAG guy, a well-known player apparently, called every raise pre-flop just to see the flop! Only folded 3 or 4 times pre-flop in all(!) It was so hard to put him on a hand - he raised, limped, bet and called with any two... with no regard to position or hand ranking! E.g. the luck box made some lucky hero calls with A3 on a KJ3610 board against an all-in player and managed to win with a pair of 3s(!) He puts Bomber Nolan deep into the shade with his play! To cut a long story short, I became shortstacked after losing two pots, when he limped in with AQ and put me out holding QJ... Meh!

Great game, excellent structure, will definitely play it again. I went out somewhere between 34 and 30, at 4:30pm. By 5pm I was back in the room dealing cash, and eventually the final table (which ended up being split 4 ways) earning enough to cover my buy-in!

Had a wee bit of cash coaching this week - which paid off a little... but it made me realise I've still a lot of work to do to improve my game.

Monday, February 9, 2009


This weekend the pokah gods are playing sick jokes on me... dishing out lovely hands, with a gullible player calling for the ride only for them to hit the better hand! If you don't like bad beat stories look away now!

IDP cash game: JJ in BB, .25c/.50c, Cee straddles UTG for €1, 3 callers, I make it €10. He calls, rest folds... low flop with 2 clubs... action goes check, raise, call all the way to the river when a club appears, Cee shows the Kc2c to claim a lovely pot(!) I get Queens, shove big, called by Donal-the-Value he turns over J9 and board comes Q810...4...K meh!

Fitzwilliam cash: K8 on button, limped in to a family pot. Flop comes Kh, 8x, 3h... SB bets the pot, 2 callers, I want to re-raise but made a mistake with my chips so it's accepted as a call(!) Turn brings another 8, SB bets out pot, actions folds back to me, I shove he calls and turns over 33 for lower house. But the river? Another 3(!) Grrrrr!

UK Deaf Poker Online Reunion £1k guaranteed William Hill: UTG I'm short stacked with 850 chips approx, blinds 50/100 finding AsKs I raise all-in; Chipleader (who has been dogging me BIG time) calls showing K10 off. Board comes out: AxKx10s...Js...10x. FFS!

Bell Sunday Deepstack Game: I'm 2nd chipleader after Shay, and finding KKs UTG I make it 1800 to go (blinds 300/600). Action folds back to Shay in SB, he flat calls and BB gets out of the way. Flop comes 8c7c2x - Shay checks, I bet 2.6k (yes I know I should have bet more! But...) he re-raises to 7k. I shove... he hums for a second then calls without asking 'how much' for my remaining 5.5k and tables 9d 10d for OESD(!) Of course he hits a Jack to complete his straight, on the river(!) So sick!

My tracker line is on a downward spiral(!)

Anyone got any prayers, suggestions, superstitions to appease them gods in order to achieve a decent cash prize to put me back into the black?!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

DPN Dunboyne Debut

DPN are starting a new game in Dunboyne on Friday nights - really good structure: 10k, 25 min blinds but I feel €50+10 is a bit low, they need raise the buy-in to get more players. Dunboyne Castle is really lovely venue and there's no pressure on the game to be finished by a certain time. Starting at 8pm with 35 players approx, it wrapped up at 1:30am.

I'm too tired to recall key hands, very unlike me... Ha! But my table was a mixture of LAGs, Newbies as well as a couple of DPN regular donks. One LAG kept annoying me big time, calling raises with any two and getting lucky, claiming the pots showing one card and mucking the other before anyone could object. I raised big with JJ in MP, and he called from SB flop comes K high, he bets out, I re-raise, he insta-shoves.... I folded my JJ face up and he shows his King with a smirk, when he showed the other card to his friend, I insisted on seeing it too. Yelling angrily "K6? What!!!! You call my raise with that muck?" he replied "Aaaahhhh I like kings, anyway I had the chips and they were sooted... har! har!" Grrr! Lucky chancer(!) That action would be his undoing... Later he raised in CO-1 and I called from BB with Kc6c (Oh yes... they were soooooted!) board yielded KKxxx and I check called all his bets to the river. He went very quiet after that, lost a race, grew short stacked got blinded out then took off to the cash table. The table got boring after he left...

After a couple of good pots, I hovered between 18k-26k for several orbits, but never got pass 26k, went down as low as 11k then back up to 25k before crashing out in 10th place, after losing two prime races AIPF holding AJs (into Benny's 10 10) and AKs (into newbie's 88) no help from the board on either race and I was gone... Meh(!) Benny later put my chips to good use on the final table to end up HU and split 50-50 with Maddog's friend. GG, WP Benny! That Newbie ended up on the final table too and exited a respectable 3rd place... beginners luck can happen, we so want more players like him! ;-D

After my defeat I wandered over to the cash table, really soft with €1/€2 rake per pot. Putting €40 down (all the cash I had left on me!) and got up 3 orbits later with €210. I just played my best hands and they paid off... for once(!)

Good night, good game, hope it continues!

Tomorrow night the Irish Deaf Poker are hosting their first ever team event, I'll be the non-playing TD, but we will have a proper cash table with dealer - looking forward to that!

Monday, February 2, 2009

UK Deaf Poker Series II

What a weekend... what a game... what an event!

The journey from the airport to the venue on Friday night took much longer than Susie and I anticipated, with our flight landing at 9pm, we knew we would be too late for the warming-up game that started at 7:30pm but had hoped for the chance to play some cash or a turbo SnG even. The Loose Cannon private club closes at 12 midnight sharp if you weren't in a seat by 10:30pm latest you don't play, we got there at 11:05pm - we couldn't get a drink either as the bar shuts at 11pm! No buts!

Cannon tube station was closed (no one told us that this London City based station was only open during the business day!) we got off at the next tube station and decided to catch a cab, we got one that took the scenic route to a location which we discovered later was barely 100 yards away from the station(!) But it wasn't in vain, we met up with some of the deaf players still playing, got a great welcome talked to Stephen Draper (UK Deaf Poker organiser) greet some familiar faces that we recognised from last year. And met some new players including 2 French guys, watching how they all played provided me with some very valuable information!

Finding our hotel was another mad discovery. I know it was close but Susie's bad ankle had swelled up, we were bothered walking and decided to catch a cab. Asking the cab driver to take us to the London City Apex Hotel we got a blank look 'wot steet is it on luv?' Struggling to remember... I knew it was "off Lower Thames Street on 'something' lane near the Tower tube station” then a name popped into my head 'Wapping Lane'... Driver nodded 'yah that just up t'road 'ere... but there’s no 'otel on it... do 'op in we'll look!' 10 mins later we are cruising Wapping Lane and he's right, no hotel, it wasn't showing on his sat-nav either(!) Susie suggested looking up the WAP on my phone for an address, lo and behold, it was on the aptly named Seething Lane! Amazing how I came up with a different name of a street so close to the place(!) Once in the hotel (really lovely place, small room but very plush) we were delighted to discover the bar was open til 1am and ordered some cocktails and nibbles before hitting our comfy beds at 1:30am.

Next day I was wide awake at 8:30am... that's a lie-in for me before anyone asks! It's a luxury to be able to wake by yourself, no little hand on the face, no jumping on my back, or loud warm whispers spitting in my ears of 'are you yet?' LOL! I just opened my eyes, after a brief panic when I realised I was not in my bed, got annoyed at how early it was, turned over and tried to go back to sleep... but gave up at 9am. Susie was still in meta-sleep so I went for a walk to find a shop (I'd forgotten my toothbrush!) but every where was shut, it was like walking in a ghost town(!) Gave up came back at 9:45am, moaned to the concierge who informed me that the City is always closed at weekends... ah!

Loose Cannon was serving breakfast from 11am, we walked down the 300 or so yards from the hotel and joined the rest of the waiting group outside the place. It took them til 12noon to serve us our breakfast, which I wasn't impressed with. English traditional breakfasts are hardly a patch on ours anyway! While waiting for our breakfast the registration had started but the queue was moving very slow... I waited til the queue was dispersing before I joined it. Oliver and Stephen were at the table, I was allocated to Table 10 Seat 2, querying about numbers I was surprised to discover that the initial 131 players pre-registered had fell to 118 with the bulk of them pulling out before the 4 day deadline. So far that morning they only had '80-odd' paid so far. The start time was delayed til 1pm to allow for some latecomers. Oliver asked if I was willing to deal as well as play? "Just for a few hours?" as some of their volunteer dealers hadn't arrived. I agreed, I knew I could keep the speed up...

Susie was on table 11, other Irish players: Gerald, Paul and Kathy were on the paid reg list. Donal dropped out for personal reasons. Cathy, who currently lives in London, informed us on Friday that she wasn't 'bothered to play'(!) And there was no sign of Cee (Get In There) or Tim, both had flown to London for the weekend too but had yet to appear... hmmm?! Some of the stronger UK players (e.g. Henry McD) didn't appear either? We had a chat about general rules for the dealers to play with, most of which I suggested, and were accepted.

Cards went in the air at 1:10pm after a short speech from Loose Cannon's owner-manager. We got the official numbers of 86 players. As we started table 12 & 11 had < 7 players on each - all got reassigned to new seats, I lost sight of Susie. Loose Cannon use a method in self-dealt tournaments when a player elects to deal for the table, the entire table must move their places in same order clockwise til the dealer is in the 'dealers spot inside the kidney', the button remains with player in seat 1. As I was officially assigned to seat 2, the players only had to move one place over. At first it was awkward, trying to look at my cards without player 1 and 3 (who had eye-advantage by sitting back from me) seeing them. Unlike here, where players wait til it was their turn to act before looking at their cards it was rather funny watching the players (bar one) grabbing their cards as they got them! I instantly knew, apart from that one player, the remaining 8 were inexperienced... This was going to be fun!

Off to a Flying Start!

I was SB in the first hand, UTG limped in for 50, UTG+1 raised to 1k(!) Crazy move considering we only had 5,000 starting stack and 30 minute blinds! Action folded back to me. I looked down and found 99, no way was I folding that! I debated re-raising but elected to call as I've no read on the players yet. BB folds and UTG calls. Flop comes out 664, I bet 2k, and both players insta-folded(!) I'm up to 7k my best start ever! Next hand I'm on the button, UTG folds, and the rest of the players limp in. I look down and find 22, using my chiplead and position to my advantage, there was 450 on the table so I raised to 550. I got two callers: MP and CO. Flop is Q72... Niiiiiiice! MP and CO both check, I bet out 500 wanting them to pay, MP raises to 1k, CO folds as I re-raise to 2.5k and MP calls. Turn is 7 giving me a house, MP throws out 2k leaving himself with 550 behind. I shove, he looks down then tosses in his remaining chips, as I take back my 'change' he turns over Q10 (????!) and groans when I table my pair. MP got to leave, there was applause as he was the first person out... which mortifed him that he sat down and refused to leave the table!

With my stack at 11,750; I remained inactive, folding til the blinds came back to me. In BB I checked my 89off with 6 limpers. Flop comes out X89 2 suits, betting out 375, an amazing 4 players called including the one I had noted as being the only other experienced player on the table. Turn is 8 giving me another house, as first to act I threw out 1.5k, all the players fold bar the exp player who shoves for 1.6k approx more, I call and he tables K9s for a 2 pair/flush draw. Ouch! As he got up to leave, I dealt the river and land a lucky 9 to split the pot and keep him in, pushing my stack up to 14k.

The very next hand was my best of the tournament. I was in SB with Ac3c; I complete the 100 with 6 limpers and BB for a family pot. Flop read Qc3Jc, action checked around to the Button who threw in a 300 bet, less than half the pot, of course I was going to call with top flush draw and one pair - so did 3 players! Turn brought another 3 giving me the trips and a nice leading advantage! Wanting to capitalise on this I checked as did the other players, Button throws out 900, I called hoping the other 3 players would come along for the ride and they did(!) Turn brought the remaining 3 to give me 4 of a kind. Whoa! Not wanting to be seen as a slowplayer, I bet out 1.5k hoping to be raised, the calling stations folded and Button shoved his stack over the line. Sweet! I looked at him sadly: "Yeah, I'm calling you" and flipped over my cards without putting my chips out... He turned over AQ. WTF was he slowplaying that hand for?!!! The shock on his face was priceless, I held my hand out to shake hands but it took him a while to register what my hand was there for! Poor guy. I was up to 19k.

By the end of the 3rd level I was on 24k, and had exited 2 more players, when the floor staff announced that they were breaking our table, the relief on the players faces! They jumped up immediately and ran, very happy to get away from me I supposed!

Then Went Freezing Cold...

I got moved to a difficult table, I didn't have to deal at this one, the LC owner was dealing: Susie Woosie, Paul K, Stephen Draper, Ben Palmer and Nick Lewis were all on it! Eeek! All strong capable players, I knew easy chips on this table were going to be tough to get. Susie warns me that the other players were very loose-aggro - one who played okay but 'bluffed as much as Gum' and a luck-box of a calling station playing 'any two'. I was thankful to have position on Stephen (I never got the opportunity to wrestle with him!) but had Nick (short stacked but well able to weld it) & Susie (3rd chipleader on the table with 16k) were to my immediate right. Very difficult position to play in.

Finding AK I raised to 4xBB in late position and get called by the calling-station (CS) and the LA-Bluffer (LAB), the board comes out wet, action checks back to me each time and I bet out strong on all streets... with both players calling me to the end. LAB won holding A2 making a pair with a 2 on the Board to win with ace kicker against calling station's K2(!) FFS! I lost about 6k in that hand trying to get them off that pot! I got my revenge on the CS some hands later, I was down to 16k after wrangling with in SB with Q4 suited, there was 3 limpers: Susie, (playing very cautiously on 8k after losing half her stack to Stephen) the CS, LAB plus Nick (who had just doubled up through Paul K rendering him short stacked) in BB. I tanked before deciding to call the 200, Nick looked at me suspiciously then checked. Flop came out a lovely 356 rainbow, seizing the opportunity as first to act I bet out 500, half the pot, Nick folded while rest called. Turn brought 7 giving me the straight, I fired out 2k, Susie folded, CS and LAB called. Turn was an innocent 2, betting out 3k, CS called. LAB tanked for a while before folding. Throwing the four on the table... CS mucked and I was back up to 21k approx.

In the very next hand I got JJ on the button, and raised to 1.8k, trying to kick out the blinds and four limpers including LAB & CS! I was happy to take it down here... as Nick in SB folded, Susie shoved for 8k... (WTF!) Looking hard at Susie, I saw her annoyance when CS folded his hand before action came back to me. That look set warning bells off: Susie rarely does this unless she has a hand, I tanked for ages watching her before she called the clock on me! Then I spotted another tell: she didn't look one bit worried or tense, I knew she had something really good... putting her on KK or AA, QQ even. I folded reluctantly. And did an excited fist-pump when she tabled AA face up! Phew! Telling Cee about it later, he told me I should have called(!) Yeah right!

At the dinner break, all the 'dealers' were told that their dinner (Chicken burger & chips) was covered plus a drink. Nice one! We were brought to the kitchen to get our meal, I discovered Cee & Tim had managed to find their way to Loose Cannon in the end. Both were too late to play and offered to deal instead. Telling them about my progress, Cee told me he was witnessing "the worse standard of poker ever" that some players were slowplaying the nuts by check calling to the river, not just one random hand, but EVERY time they had a hand!?!! One such player was now on 70k (WTF!), and another was on 45k ... After the break the LC Manager asked me if I would take over from him to deal for the table, I agreed as long as he broke my table up first and FAST! He asked why? " sure? Your table is the only one table that is playing good..." I agreed pointing out that we didn't want to knock each other out to end up on final table full of donks on monster stacks! He promised to do his best.

After dinner I was in SB before I got a good hand to play with, Susie was in BB, Paul K had limped in UTG, along with 3 other callers (including CS and LAB of course!) finding AQo I decided to raise 2,400 (blinds 200/400) Paul and CS called. Flop came AXX all spades, I checked my hand and had the Q spades, good enough for me. Betting out 2,500, Paul shoved for 5k approx. I knew Paul wouldn't have limped with AK or AA, so ruled that advantage out, he wouldn't call 2,400 pre-flop with two random spades either. I called. He tables AxJs, turn brings him a J (ahhh!) but the river brings the extra spade I need for the flush. Sorry Paul! GG WP!

It was at this point that I started to feel queasy, Susie noticed I had gotten quiet, making a couple of unusual mistakes and asked if I was okay, I blamed it on being tired. Dealing is not an easy job, especially if you are playing as well... I was constantly active monitoring the game, the players were acting out of turn, string betting, etc that I was totally moving. She suggested asking Ben to take over the dealing for a while, I agreed, my stomach started 'bubbling' loudly! I scampered off to the loo and had a really bad case of the runs. Guess I ate something off?

I came back, played a few hands really badly, once into Ben doubling him up, another into a new player who had just moved to our table whom I had no real read on. I doubled him up as well! Went down to a disappointing 15k... before I could re-track our table got broken.

... From Bad to Worse!

Initially I was delighted to be moved, I went to the same table as the players who eventually came 2nd, 7th and 8th: all playing really badly! But it bit me hard too, I managed to creep back up to 26/27kk approx, when I found KK in SB, CO and Button limped in with BB still to act. I wanted to capitalise on this hand, so I raised to 5xBB. Talking it over with a poker friend afterwards I realised I should have raised more.... BB, CO and Button all called me(!) Flop came A high, I bet out and got called, checked the turn, the others checked behind (!) With no pair, no flush no picture card I felt I was ahead so raised to just over half pot on the river with all 3 donks calling me holding ace rags: A2, A2 and A4(!) FFS! Down to 18k I was moved again...

We were down to 4 tables of 7/8 per table by this stage, blinds were 500/1k, I was moved into BB, having just been in SB on last table! Grrrr! I folded another set of blinds as I was waiting for a hand that I could shove with but none was forthcoming :-( The action was very slow on this table. I only saw 3 hands before that table got broken and I was put on another table, Stephen Draper along with two of the players were 1st, 2nd and 3rd chipleader in the competiton with the latter two were calling in every hand!

I barely sat down on the 3rd table when I discovered I was in UGT facing the blinds AGAIN! In the space of 7 hands I had paid 3 sets of blinds, which were now 1/2k. Very annoying and very unfair!

Matt K was on my table too so was Stephen (still one of the chipleaders) the rest of players were virtually newbies/inexperienced players. As I folded UTG two players limped in UTG+1 and CO on Matts BB, he raised them pre-flop, and got called. Action checked back to him post-flop, he raised again and got called before checking down turn and river, and they checked behind to show AQ and AA on a xxxQA board(WTF!?) Comseriating with Matt, he told me they had been playing like this ALL day(!) Never raising just calling, checking, calling... unbelievable!

I went down to 12k, got 99 then JJ and shoved both times but got no callers, just won the blinds etc. Was in BB again with 15.5k when my exit hand happened. UTG limps, as did chipleader in MP, SB completes. Finding 10 2 off I checked, expecting to fold, flop came a lovely Q 10 2. Checking vowing to shove to any bet, I was miffed when the action checked around. Turn brought an Ace, remembering the KK fiasco plus UTG is a notorious slowplaying donk, I decided to check, as did the other players. The 2 on the turn gave me a house plus the confidence I needed to act... As SB checked, I shoved, UTG insta-called... alarm bells were going off in my head as the rest folded.

I tabled my 10 2 as UTG tabled a sick AA. Really bad form IMO. But what could I have done differently?

I was this close to throwing a full strop a la Annnette_15 style, but thankfully I digress, just shook his hand... looked at Matt and Stephen "Don't let that donk win!" I signed as I exited in 14th place, last woman standing and the last Irish player too. Guess that counts for something! I took off to the bar to get a stiff drink...

Moaning to Ben Palmer (who held on despite very short-stacked only to be kicked out in 5th place) about the way the guy played the aces, Ben remarked "but that's the best way to play know" I replied sagely that the slowplaying the odd hand is fine but not every single time! Pointing out the fact how I had hit the house, and if that ace hasn't appeared on the turn, it would have been a bad bead. He 'pooh-pooh'ed me telling me that it was the 'correct' way to play, and adding for the win(!) perhaps I didn't have "enough experience"(!?) LOL! I love Ben big time, but he can be an annoying little fecker, playing the devils advocate to the hilt!

After the game, I joined the Irish continent, a couple of British and one Swedish player on a brilliant cash table game! The conversation turned to the standard of the UK event; while we all agreed that the structure, the tables, location etc was good, "the lack of professional dealers was bad, unfair on players paying a £10 reg fee" plus the standard was atrocious! The Swedish player commented that he has never seen such "poor sportsmanship" as exhibited by some British players, adding that he would not be coming back! Hmmm? He concluded that us Irish played "much superior style" of playing (just as well Ben, Stephen and Matt weren't at the table!) he would definitely consider playing in Dublin and we should come to Sweden to play, even offered me a room to stay if I ever went to Malmo. So sweet!

We all watched the final table with candid eyes, hoping that the remaining decent players: Ben, Stephen (9th place) or Matt (4th place) would take it down... but it wasn't to be.

The first drink went down rather well, I ordered another then another, and conveniently forgetting my earlier bout of queasiness: I got rather drunk very quickly! After Loose Cannon closed we went to this trendy hip-music dance bar with Paul K, Susie, Gerald and 10 mad British players. That bar served the cheapest drinks ever (3 pints, two spirits, two mixers and one cocktail for £16 - beat that!) I stumbled into a taxi and made it back to my hotel very well jarred, harassing the night reception staff for food before crashing into bed! Just as well I did, I think it saved me from having a massive hangover the next morning!!!!

Flying back to Ireland, our mood was sombre, Susie remarked that she wouldn't be playing the UK Series again next year and asked if I would be playing... On Sunday I said no, but now I'm swaying towards a 'maybe', guess I'll keep an open mind for now! Perhaps if Stephen can price the donks out of the tournament it'll be more platable?! ;-D

The event was structured way better than last year by a mile, but the standard was worse, much worse... Well done to Oliver and Stephen for organising it!