Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hat Trick!

I asked Robbie last night if anyone ever took down 3 or more of the DPN games in the same week before... he said no. Told him I was aiming to achieve that, ‘going for a hat trick tonight’ he smiled and nodded demurely, I’m sure he thought I was just being arrogant!

DPN games are usually bingo poker at the best of times; decent enough stacks (7-8k) with turbo 15 min blinds, which leads to all sorts of play as the games are limited by pub opening hours and the constant supply of alcohol that renders the best players inebriate enough to make questionable decisions. The Dunboyne game is an exception – the standard is higher, but this might be due to the deepstack longer blind structure, unlimited time, dealer dealt etc.

As reported previously, I took down the Hartstown game last Monday by steamrolling the players welding a mighty stack from 2 tables out. The Clonsilla game was a different kettle of fish altogether. I started the final table with just 8.5k getting the lucky draw of the button as the shortest stack with blinds 800/1500. I was playing tight. After a few hands we were 6-headed with only 4 cash prizes being paid when two bigger stacks shoved aipf. Finding AJ suited I had a dizzy moment when I considering shoving, but reckoned I was wiser to fold to safeguard a cash place for myself... as the players turned over QJs and QJo and split for a high card on a J high flop, I was mentally kicking myself, having showing another player my cards he told me off after the action for folding. But if you gave me that decision all over again I would have still folded them again... On the button shortly after with 5k, looked down and found QQ and shoved, three callers, and my girls held up. Shorty UTG Shoved as I was in CO-1 and I called with AK , gave me the double-up I needed to survive one more orbit seeing nothing of note .... Once the bubble had burst I decided I was shoving with any two, pokah gods dealt me another QQ and I went from shortie to chipleader with 3 players left.

Two hands later and I was HU with Shay, sitting on 130k+ to his 40k approx stack, Shay asked to split and I had to refuse him, felt awful as he always splits at this stage regardless of stacks etc. But Shay kicked me out twice with sick beats in the past month I wasn’t letting this one go! It only took one hand A3s to his K8o... and the board read out 4x5K2... and I was €420 richer. GG!

On Friday I had an accident in my car (my fault-no one else involved) but the damage is gonna cost me some to repair... Susie suggested the Dunboyne game and I in full agreement! It was either that or 3 bottles of wine or worse a bottle of whiskey (!) LOL!
There were barely 18 players, a drop in numbers. Several of the regular faces weren’t there, on my table I had several new faces – and apart from one guy, it was a table of good/strong players. I had a tough seat with Paul S to my left, and Jam-Tighty-McTight to my right. To Paul S’s right was a player that kept breaking off my raises and dogging me. Gonna be tough to earn any chips at this table... I rode a rollercoaster game up and down between 13k and 8k.

Just before we moved to the final table, I was languishing on 9k when I found 33 in CO and decided to shove. I had Paul S covered and was only concerned with the Dogger on Paul’s right, who had lost a big pot a hand before and was down to 12k approx. I expected him to knuckle down and preserve his chips but no, he called.... and tables 66(!) Flop comes J 3 10 saving my skin... and earning me a place on the final table with 20k. Blinds were going up to 800/1.5k so I was still in ‘all-in or fold’ mode. Finding 77 in mid-position in the first hand, I raised to 3000. Action folded back to Susie Woosie (chipleader) in BB, she re-pops for 10k. I thought for a moment and think she looks too comfortable and folded, she shows AA... phew!

One orbit later, I’m hand dead and in BB when Susie goes all-in, she’s lost a few chips at this stage and wasn’t looking too comfortable... I lifted my cards high expecting to show/fold them and pass her my chips when I see AKs... there’s a James McManus-look-a-like beside me and a eastern European to his right, both utter a collective gasp and one of them said “you can’t fold that... you gotta call...” I knew if I folded people would suspect collusion, and I called. Susie groans when she sees my cards “oh you are miles, miles ahead!” she retorted turning over K9o. K on the flop and A on the river saw the chips coming to me, and I was back in the game.

There was a loose cannon in a beanie hat on the table, he was yo-yo’ing all over the place. Not wanting to wrangle in a pot with him, I stayed tight to the end even folded A9 to allow him to push the other players out, I didn’t even get the glory of knocking him out... we were down to 3 when I found that A9, I was on 91k, the other two were on 53k each, blinds were 3k/6k. Beanie and Jam-TT were still in with me. Jam-TT raises to 18k, I am in SB and I fold... Beanie completes then checkraises all-in after the flop. Jam-TT calls and his hand (can’t remember it!) holds... and I’m HU with Jan-TT.

Didn’t last long, Jan just eyed my stack and offered to split 50-50... I thought for a minute, looked at Susie who was railing me. “He’s got more than you now...” she signed “only by 20 odd” I replied. I looked at Robbie who was dealing, asked him for the figures... €350 each, €70 off the top. Ah what the hell! I put out my hand and agreed to take 50-50. So I guess I could claim the hat-trick ‘Maddog style’! GG

Leaving a tip for the dealer, I went over to the cash table, where people were getting up and walking away in despair. Paul S son was holding court on one side with over €600 in chips in front of him... Unlike Paul S, his son is not the good player he thinks he is... he’s all Vegas this and Vegas that... really annoying fecker! I put 50 down but he had €40 off me with 82off to my A high. Adding another 20 I doubled it up to €80 in next hand. Found A5 in BB and checked 4 callers to see flop... 437 ... hmm okay. Action checks around to Mr Vegas and he bets €16, I call, as do the other two players. Turn is 8, one player goes all-in for 15, Mr Vegas makes it 33, smelling a rat I called, needing any 2 or 6 to complete. As Graham deals the 2 I just shoved out of turn. Mr Vegas starts to grip about this saying it was not appropoiate etc. Graham points out that I was not folding ‘the pot odds are too great’. I nodded and Mr Vegan looks at me and says yeah... I’ll call. All-in shows 76o, Mr Vegas shows 108o and I table my A5 for a €240 pot!

LOL! Guess I got my car damage paid for now!

I’m playing the team event in the Jackpot tomorrow, last minute request... here’s hoping my hot run continues!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bingo Poker Weekend!

I should moan more... the pokah gods must've been listening to me last week!!!

I skipped the Dunboyne game, turned down a dealing job, to stay in on Friday night and rest for the Irish Ladies Poker Championship next day.
Met up with the IDP ladies for breakfast before heading to the Plaza for the game... Was disgusted to find Stephen had positioned me to Susie Woosie's right! Grrrrrr! She's not someone I want to have position on me, we even got to locked horns Dunne-style in a couple of pots.

I had resolved to play tighty-mctight, perhaps not a good strategy from observing the general low standard of play. I regret folding some key hands that I would have won.... ah well.

First hand I actually played was KK, I was in CO with 3 limpers, Susie and the blinds to act. Really hate getting hands like this at first.. I raised to 350 (blinds 25/50) and got no less than 5 callers! Susie folded. Flop came 223 two diamonds, SB bet out 500, BB called the 3 limpers folded. I didn't like this flop, but flat called. Turn brought the diamond, SB bet out 1k, BB mini-raised to 2k. I knew I was in trouble and folded. SB called and river was 2. Hmmmm, before I could feel any regret, SB bet out 3k and BB looked at her warily before calling I was astounded to see SB table AA for the house and BB holding Ad10d. Phew! Just as well she didn't re-raise me! After that I didn't get another decent hand for a few orbits, We were being bullied by the ever-increasing-stack of two maniac LAGs who where literally playing with any two. I had to start moving and made a few raises and shoved on the re-raises with the maniacs just winning small pots etc. Attempted a bluff holding 45s in BB (which I checked); flop came A39, I bet out 2/3 of the pot and got flat called by the chipleader. Turn was 6 giving me a nice edge with OESD. I bet out half the pot got flat called by CL; river was A. Damn! I missed my outs... not wanting to cede the pot I put out a decent sized c-bet, but she still called me. Expecting to see an ace, but nope, she tables 98off and I mucked. WTF!!!? That left me with barely 10k.

After that hand. the CL kept betting into my blinds and snapping off any raises I made. I ignored her and played solidly re-building my stack up to 25k then got gutted by another maniac on 18k who just couldn't lay down her 66 hand against an AIPF's JJ and my AQ seeing Q77 flop, I shoved - she insta-called only to hit her house on the turn(!) Meh! Clawing my way back up with a few double-ups I was still under average on 13k when I found AK in MP and raised 3xBB, Button shoved; I just had to make that crying call to see her table AA which held up. I had her covered by 700 - knew I wouldn't last long with 500/1k blinds coming towards me, I shoved on the first picture card I saw (Kc5c) Sharon G raised in SB with K10 to push out BB who dutifully folded. 2 clubs on the board gave me a glimmer of hope but the non-club 10 river sealed my fate and I was out in 17th place. Maeve did really well to hang on til 18th, it was her first tournament outside the IDP circuit and she loved it...WP girl! Susie got moved to a mental table full of LAGs but eventually lost her race to exit in 26th place. Abi (aka IMFT - she took JeFoy's ticket) found the pace and the dire standard on her table a bit outside her league - she was grateful to exit in 33rd place. The 66-Maniac ended up heads-up spliting 50-50 with the eventual title winner. Apart from thr dire standard it was good fun, and hilarious at times! It was lovely to meet up with Trishakids, Gillcarr72 and other familiar faces.

I went straight to the bar for food with the IDP girls and watched the last 20-30 mins of the Ireland Grand Slam match, what a game! Didn't we do well?!!! Went back in to rail the final table and play some cash. The cash table was 4/5 handed and difficult to master with Sharon G's partner welding a €400 stack against us 'shorties'... I kept losing my bets til one big pot put me back on up with €25 profit, so I decided to quit while I was ahead! We headed into Buskers to meet up with friends and watch the fight, when Bernard Dunne took down the title the roof nearly went off the place and the drinks went flying in all the excitement, even hitting one of the TV screens but surprisingly no damage done!

Went to the Fitz afterwards with Susie, sat down on the cash table, put €150 on the table and got up with €650. Happy days!!! The biggest pot was holding JJ on a KQ9 rainbow board hitting my straight with a beautiful 10 on the river! There was 4 players in the pot - two ATC drunk players and one Asian LAG, all calling one of the drunks outlandish bets. We learned early on that these ATC drunks were pure value so neither I nor the Asian was folding! On the river I was first to act and went all-in with my last 100, and they all folded. Tommy was on the table roaring "ya, she had the straight from the word GO!" then muttered to me "Go home! There's no more money on this for you to win!" he was right everyone had 100 or less... so I tipped the dealer and got up to leave at 5:30am. What a nice start to Mothers Day!

I had a really lovely mothers day with the kids, my sister and her family and our mum in Newbridge House. Donabate. The weather was dry and mild - the farm and the playground kept them happy for hours; we finished it off with a lovely meal in Skerries overlooking the Marina and didn't get home til 8:45pm. Too late for the Bell game...

On Monday night I was in one hell of a mood, I fancied the distraction of a game so went off to DPN's Hartstown €60FO and took it down for €500... the lads are so loose and aggressive, its not rare to have 4k pots in the first two levels, bingo-poker at its best! LOL! You need your wits not to be pushed off pots and go with your inner gut feeling. With the mood I was in, I played an aggressive game playing more hands than I normally do. And it paid off... Just wish I could bottle it!!!

I got criticised for making one 'dubious' call. Two shorties all-in pre-flop (we are down to two tables 7 on each) I'm table chipleader in BB I have 21BBs and the highest bet was 7BBs; looking down to see A10 I called... Derek on 2.8k turns over AK, other guy on 7k turns over JJ (my read on him is 'uber loose', he limps in with any two hoping to see the flop cheap and then bets big when he hits. Here I'm putting him on any pair 55+, any ace, QJs, KQ-K10s), board reads A high. Derek triples up and I get the rest... then the JJ player loses it with me ranting "that's a DREADFUL call... that was a really BAD call... I NEVER play A10 like THAT!" (bit rich when you play 69off and K2 off yourself mister!) Other players are tutting and agreeing with him, as Graham comes over. I'm defending my decision explaining pot odds, I was in BB, I had the chips, it was an opportunity to eliminate at least one player etc etc etc) The discordant voices are getting louder when Graham asked what happened, Derek gives him the run down. Graham nods "Actually... that was a good call. She was getting 3 to 1 for her money. Yep... Well played!" Everyone goes quiet. JJ storms off in disgust!

Amazing how they all look down on the woman player but one man praises the move and it's aaaaaaawwwwwrioght(!)

I got snapped at for encouraging Benny in BB to call a shortie's (in CO) all in with <2.5 times the BB. Benny calls and tables 93s, Shortie has K8o. Shortie scoffs at him "WTF are you calling with that muck for?!" I spoke up saying I'd have done the very same, there was no one else in the pot FFS! Benny was 3rd chipleader, he had no folding equity plus was 40-60 to win by calling with any two! I pointed out that he wasn't under pressure to push as he had 6 more cards to see before the blinds reached him... Board reads xx9x9 and shortie storms off calling Benny a 'F@*king donk!' and how 'clueless some players are about poker!' LOL!

Well that cluelessness helped me to take it down so don't knock it!

Ended up 4 handed with Benny, Lucinda and Paul S. Paul and Lucinda were short stacked, with both Benny and myself leading. I kept shoving and they all kept folding, increasing my chiplead. The blinds were 8k/15k when Benny decided to shove with J9 into my AQ, not a good move with Lucinda all-in next hand for 2nd time - and facing 4th place exit... Instead poor Benny was out in 4th, Lucinda who didn't play one pot on the final table exited in 3rd and I faced Paul S for Heads Up. "Wanna Split?" he asked cheekily eyeing my 110k+ stack then looking at his own 20k... I laughed. I kept going all-in, he doubled up on the first one, we split the second pot and eventually 3rd time lucky I had his J5o well whipped by my A9s. GG.

In the space of one weekend I'm almost back in the black... These wins tend to happen in three's so I'm due one more soon! Hmmmm? Me thinks the downswing is well and truly on the way UP!

Long may it last!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On a massive downswing...

Poker sucks right now.

I don't know where to begin... but let's say I'm just not winning lately. A mixture of bad beats, grrr-on-tilt-play and yeah... some crappy hands that I just shudda/cudda/wuddn'ta fold. I didn't have the heart to keep posting about losing here... it may work well for Doke, but not moi!

Ah, let me backtrack a little: I did win 'something' a ticket to the Ladies Poker Championship in the Crowne Plaza on Saturday 21st March. First time I ever won a satt. Disappointing numbers aside, its shaping up to be a good game with a few of the IDP ladies playing... I'm still trying to persuade the rest to come! They've never played outside the IDP circuit/home games before so this would be a great experience for them. Here's hoping one of us goes deeeeeep! It will be fun putting a face to all the Boardies/Facebook crowd too...

Stephen/Poker Ireland always puts on a good game, he's promised to increase the stacks/blinds so I'm just looking forward to having a good day of playing poker for just €10! Anything else that comes out of it will be a bonus... Bring it on!