Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Clonsilla Inn 100+15FO

As most of you already know I play Dublin Poker Nights local pub games; each week the final 9 players would generate league points, with the top 5 league point holders creating a team to play against each other in the bi-annual team events. This year Robbie decided to do a different format: the top 5 get free entry into a €100 FO game, with a €2k guaranteed prize fund, and a limo ride from their house to the venue!

Meh! I wasn't one of the lucky league winners, as the league stopped just as I started to win some games! But I went along anyway to donate.

I nearly didn't go, as I had lost big this week getting slowplayed something awful; my online game was going from bad to worse - I was feeling on totally tilt. About 60 minutes before KO, I had a domestic calamity to sort out. my little girl fell and split her lip. We had blood, scrapes, drama and screaming demands: 'I need a plaster!!!' spent 40 minutes cleaning her up, trying to calm her down explain that we can't put a plaster inside her mouth! Then the Ice cream man comes, the brat jumps down like a shot, grabs the €2 her granny gave her and ran was out the door before you can ask 'where are you going...' came back with her cone, tears and blood forgotten and asked if she can go to her friend's house to play. Ha! I might as well go too... No guilt here!

Arrived 30 minutes late, 4 tables set up with 5-6 players on each table... I was placed on a 5 handed table with Gum to my immediate left, Benny on my right, Eamon and Phil were also with us. Starting stack was 15k,almost immediately I was tangling with Gum in one pot holding JJ (Q high flop) which I folded to her raise, she showed 2 pair... WP. And Benny in another, played into his trip 2s against my pocket 10s ...ah! I must be mad! It's too early for this! Down to 11k and it wasn't even end of the 2nd level. Finding AKs in SB; Eamon (rock player) raised 3xBB in MP, Gum called (standard for Gum) and I fired off a triple barrelled bet. Eamon called, Gum folded. Flop came 55x, knowing Eamon's range, I popped off a c-bed. He flat called. River brought another 5. I checked, Eamon checked. K on river and I fired out half the pot. Eamon insta-called to reveal AK for a split pot, phew!

Finding KK some hands later, my raise got two callers, hitting my trips on the flop, I bet out and got two callers, seeing a straight draw and flush draw possibilities I shoved the turn. They both folded... I was back up to 14k. Checking my BB a few hands later I flopped a nice straight and increased my stack up to 18k as Robbie came to break up our table.

On the 2nd table, I went card dead. Couple of missed opportunities. At one stage I called a pre-flop raise with pocket 6s and folded to huge flop bet on a J high flop, another player calls, 6 comes on the turn... and at showdown, I'm looking at A high hands(!) FFS! Called one raise from BB for value (there were 4 other callers!) and check called with middle pair King kicker, initial raiser shoves on turn and I fold as my pair becomes a set on river, meh! Went down to 10,375 approx at the break.

After the break, the play tightened up considerable. I hovered along for the next few levels, made a few raises but no callers just got binds/min-raises. Falling back again, after wrangling in a stupid spot with Paul S the slowplayer extraordinaire! Thankfully the damage was minor as he had a very small stack. He gloated afterwards how he 'loves taking my chips'... I just laughed at him.

Got my first break with KK in SB; MP raised to 2.5xBB several callers on deep stacks, I shoved for 8/9k, action slowly folded back to button who thought for a moment then elected to call with Qc9c. Two clubs on flop had me worried but my kings held and I doubled through. Shoved again with AK on a A high flop called by shortie on lower pair, to bring my stack up to 20k (approx 20bb) for the first time. I wasn't out of danger yet, the blinds were increasing every 25 mins and we had a monster stack LAG luckbox on our table with 60-70k knocking people out! He called raises from SB/BB/EP and bet out big if he got a pair or better... forcing people to fold or shove. Couple of run-ins with him saw my stack decreasing back to 14/15BB, it shoving time again.

We were down to two tables, I saw several good players way ahead of me at the first break, falling like flies, busted out with sick beats and slowplayed nuts. UL guys... I know how you feel.

A nice run of cards saw me treble up: the first AK, tangled with AQ. Increased my stack to 26k Then 2/3 hands later I got QQ and shoved with a raise and re-raise on the table, called by Benny who re-raised with JJ, Q on flop and I was up to 45k approx. Then I shoved with AJs on button a raiser and two callers all less than 20k - folded. I was just under 60k when this hand happened.

Horsebox1 was to my left, very good solid rock player, UTG is a LAG who raises in certain positions (UTG, UTG+1 if UTG had folded, CO and Button) with a lot of marginal hands and small pairs. The blinds were 500/1k at this stage; UTG made a raise of 3.5k, slightly more than the standard raise of 2.5-3k for the table. Finding 66, I flat called, he looked at me and frowned. Horsebox1 insta-shoved all in for 12.5k. As the action folded back to UTG, he tanked for a moment deciding whether to call or not... He kept looking over at my stack, counting out his stack then counted out the difference between Horsebox's raise and his bet comparing it to his remaining stack then called leaving 7.5-8k behind...

Sensing a weakness here. I put him on a marginal hand: A4-A10, J9-KQ combos, small pairs 22-55. Plus earlier he had flat called a shortie's all-in with 910s and hit the 9 to win. I felt my pockets were ahead of his range, knowing Horsebox wasn't shoving light KK-QQ and AK possibilities, but against the LAG I had an option to oust a dangerous opponent and just lose 6-7k in the process. So shoved my 60k stack over the line...

The look of terror in the LAGs face confirmed my suspicions and he didn't take long to fold. I couldn't believe that he folded with 70% of his stack already in. Horsebox tabled AA, I tabled my 66, flop and turn 2458 gave me an up and down gutshot. I was praying not to hit... The AA stood and Horsebox started breathing again. The LAG started telling everyone he would have had trips, that he folded 88s. But I personally doubt that, he would have shoved with 88 to push me out of the frame, not called as he did...

It was a risky move I made, but had the LAG folded I would have folded too. In his read, a fold here would have looked really weak for him. People would not respect any his raises after this, and raise them thinking that they can get him off if they shove. After this he stopped raising in EP sticking to limping in instead, and raising only in LP.

Couple orbits later I was card dead when I got A2s, getting bored I fancied my chances with them so limped in, BB checked and the flop came A2x. Niiiiiice. Action checked around, I opted to check to see if any aces in the frame. 10 on turn, I bet out after the blinds checked. BB called, others folded. River was a low card. BB shoved, thinking I was ahead with 2 pair, plus I had him well covered I called to see A10. Meh! NH sir...

Down to 20k, when the final table started, Paul S was still in on 21k, telling all and sundry that he was planning to outlast me(!) Muha-ha-ha(!)

There was three giant stacks. Tony on 160k; Eamon on 80k-odd and the luckbox from the 2nd table on 90k. Then came various stacks from 50-20k... with me on the lowest. As Robbie announced the prize structures, paying out the top 5, a deal was suggested to take money from the 5 places to create €100 money back for 6th-9th place - great deal, no one objected. I had my money back, and a good day playing for just €15 I was happy!

I was in an 'all-in or fold' mode vowing to play very tight. First hand, I was in CO, one of the bigger stacks raised. Finding 33, I decided to fold, regretting it when 3 came on the flop. Tony called in BB, and won with A3(!) Two hands later I got my third KK and shoved. Two callers, who checked to the end with A high, and I trebled up to 60k.

As the 9 slowly became 8, 7 and then 6, LAG (folder from the 66 hand above) down to about 20k shoved UTG. Finding 10 10, I shoved my 60k stack over the line, knowing none of the chipleaders would risk doubling me up. LAG tabled KJ and I showed my 10s; J on river and he was back in the game. Booo!

But with the blinds going up, my chips were going down, as I was card dead for almost two orbits, then shoved with 20k with AK. 4 callers(!) Hilariously they checked down on all streets on an odd 9 high board with no flush or pair in sight... as the last player checked. I threw in my AK expecting someone to table a low pair... not one, they all mucked! Phew! I was back in with 80k!

Shortly after this a furry of battles among the chipleaders saw 2 of them exiting in spectacular fashion, including Tony the chipleader at the start of the final table. He got dogged big time - UL Tony.

Down to 4: Paul S, Eamon (now chipleader) myself and the LAG... Paul S was shortstack, with less than 2-3BB for the past 4 orbits, and winning every time he was in BB! The luckbox! But it wasn't going to be 4th time lucky, and he exited in 4th place. But not without a parting shot. Coming around to my end of the table, the sly old fox rapped the table "May the best MAN win!" I just laughed...

The lAG just kept raising every hand, I didn't have anything worth shoving, kept folding. Finding AK in SB shortly afterwards, Eamon was on button as he threw in a raise, I shoved. LAG folded and Eamon tanked for a moment before calling with A7... 7 on the turn and I was out in 3rd place.

I was happy to get this far, considering I hadn't played my best game made some bad moves, until the final table of course. I would have been happy to exit in 9-6th with my money back... Any more than this was a bonus! My money was on Eamon to take this down as he played a sterling game from the start. Eamon and the LAG fought a lengthily HU game, with the LAG grabbing the chiplead, before they eventually split 60-40... WP!

GG! Well done to Rob and all in DPN for putting on a great game and a well run show!

Photos from the final table Eamon (2nd place) is to my right, Tony (5th place) two to my left. LAG (Winner) to Eamon's right. Paul S (4th place) is diagonally opposite, two places to left of dealer (DPN's Victoria)

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Week of the Slowplayers.

I have a lot more respect for bluffers than slowplayers or slowrollers.

I hate being slowplayed, especially when it ends my tournament life, leaves me perilously short-stacked or robs me of practically all my cash chips! Want to piss me off or put me on tilt... this is a very good way to do it! Be warned, just make sure you have me all-in to succeed as I play a very good shortstack game as proved in yesterday's €100+15 FO in Clonsilla Inn! (report to follow soon...)

Definition of slowplaying: when you hold the nuts, check-call another player's bet to the end with no re-raise/bet to show your hand strength, then trapping then with a re-raise/putting them all-in once you know they are totally pot committed...

Doing it once in a tournament, in order to mix your styles after betting big and winning with strong hand, is a good method to complicate reads on your play and acceptable to a degree. Or if you are a shortie in need a double up to survive. Doing it against a short stack player is not. Doing it against a ultra-TAG rock is not... And doing it again and again is most definitely not. Slowrolling the nuts is worse.

Overuse of the slowplay/slowrolling technique a la Paul S style, is just stupid; you get tagged as a slowplayer and lose valuable chances to earn chips this article explains exactly why...

I rarely ever slowplay, I never slowroll (which is worse IMO) I prefer to get my money in good with my best hand and race it against the chancers. When I do slowplay, I usually reserve it for players I really detest i.e. people who slowroll/slowplay others; or in playing safe against giant-stacked luckboxes running ultra-hot at the table or ultra-loose LAGs.

All week I've been running into slowplayers... Vegas Night team event was full of them, constantly limping in with AAs KKs, QQs, AKs, and check-calling when they hit! All my exit hands hammered me out by slowrolled/slowplayed nuts. In the Westbury last Tuesday, Ginger guy calls my pre-flop raise hits his flop good, flat calls me to river then re-raises to put me all-in, recognising the signs as he already did the same earlier three times - with no desire to be his 4th victim I folded with 60% of my stack on that table. Looked really weak but felt what I had left was ample to rebuild on... but sadly that opportunity never came.

In the DPN Satt for the Triple Header main event, Tweety traps me on the river with his A8 on a K8A7J Board with me holding KJs! Calling my raises all the way to the river! Then gloated about it for the rest of the night... Grrr! Later met the other two players, at the DPN 100FO game, (they ended up 3 headed with him) and discovered he slowplayed them just as bad too... LOL! Watch out Tweety - we have you tagged same as Paul S now!

Or in a recent cash game: player on the button, last to act, checks down with the 2nd best nut flush on an Ace flush board, then calls your shove on the river when you have a slightly lower flush claiming to be 'afraid' of the top nut flush when challenged! Why call my raise if you were so 'afraid' then!?

Even yesterday in the game, I got rendered shortstacked by slowplayed, not once but TWICE! Still managed to hang on to 3rd place... just about(!)

Andy Smith (a fellow deaf player) has a great tactic he uses at IDP games. He doesn't bluff, he never slowplays. When he hits his flop well, be it top pair top kicker; trips; two pair; any flush; straight... with no possible better straight, flush or otherwise to beat him, he shoves. He's happy to take down the pot there and then; he is clever enough just to 'show' weaker holdings like 2nd best pair, top pair or bottom 2 pair - to encourage callers later in the game. That's the reason he's always on the final table, who is going to take on his mighty stack without the absolute nuts - apart from the odd donks of course! Its his way of rooting out the slowplayers. They fold, they don't want to tangle with that stack as they can't be sure what he's shoving with!

I don't mind players like Bomber Nolan or Donal 'The Value' who re-raise you all-in with dodgy hands then hit their 'one outter' on the river... I rather lose to them than slow-played nuts any day!

Can't find an apt slow-player image (Smurph already has the best one IMO!) but I lurved this:

Friday, April 24, 2009

April madness... and some Sadness.

Starstruck at the IO...

Went to the Westbury for the Good Friday €100FO, with a 20k starting stack and 1k early bird - I don't think I have played anything as deep as this before! There was quite a few notables there with Tom Maguire, David S, Alan Carroll, KoolKid and of course our Susie Woosie! I had a loose, loose lag to my immediate right. Involved in several pots left right and centre with marginal hands, just getting lucky here/there, losing just as much as he was winning with his stack yo-yo'ing like mad. I was just waiting for my spots and keeping out of his way after he whacked my AK with 710s. Down to 16k in BB, blinds 100/200, Yo-Yo Lag raised to 600 from SB. I looked down and found QQ. Bingo! Re-raised to 2400, Yo-Yo Lag shoves his 20k+ stack over the line (standard for him) I insta-called. He tables 88... flop came J810... but no queen or 9 to save me and I was gone. Meh!

After that got persuaded by Alan Carroll (busted out early on a cooler AA-v-KK) to go up to City West, while I was keen to play cash/SnGs I think he was more excited at the fact a bar was open on Good Friday, LOL! While he went off to drink himself something silly, I added my name to the list for cash table. Waiting to be called for a cash spot I went for a walk about the room, practically blinded-starstruck spotting likes of Jamie Gold, Jennifer Tilly, Phil Laak while looking on in horror at a desperate looking Andy Black!

WTF with that beard Andy? When I first saw Andy in real life - he came in to officially open the first IPO in RDS looking radiant, trim and sexy (oh yes!) in a nice suit, what changed?! Here was a down and out with tatty clothes, unkempt beard and a hair style that makes Doke's look neat... He was a walking advert how poker can put you in the gutter! I was so stunned I missed looking for the people I know like: Smurph, Clamper, Doke, Flushdraw & Gilly or JamesG!

I was more pissed at missing Michael Greco! Had a HUGE crush on him years go, mind you it's probably just as well as I'd have made a total eejit of myself chatting him up or worse: stalking him for the entire event... LOL!

Finally got into a cash game, and yo-yo'ed my initial €100 buy-in up and down all night. Had a figure of €300 in my head (trying to win my buy-in back plus a wee profit - enough for the buy-in for the Ladies Side Event) but never got beyond €200... just kept crashing back down. After few hours I shoved with JJ and got called by QQ. As I was walking out of the room right behind Andy (looking even more destitute walking out arm-in-arm, deep in conversation with Channing) and watching a certain Boyle Sports rep wrestle drunkenly with some players in the foyer... exiting the building got a shock seeing how bright it was, realised the night had just flown!

Following night I decided to give the cash tables another bash, but no luck, another 100 down and ruled myself out of the Ladies Side Event. By all accounts the standard was as dire as last year, I guess I missed nothing!

Had a nice and quiet Easter in Roscommon instead, until I put my back out something awful... went to GP and got anti-inflamms etc, had a sick note for the week but made myself go into work. Bad idea, ended up worse and having to take this week off.

Coolered at the Scalps

Was in the mood for a game on Friday, went into Fitz for the scalps game, and didn't win one scalp! Practially had to fight for my pots, was barely up to 8k by break, topped up to 12k. Then went card dead after the break, til I then found KK, one raise (all-in short stack), one caller already and two blinds to act... I shoved, as you do. All four called(!) Two AKs, AJ and JJ... what are the odds of an ace AND a jack appearing on that board(?) I kid you not - they did!

Went down to the cash tables with €150, barely 2 hours later after a nice rush of cards I was up to €450, but the tiredness from the sleepiness nights I was experiencing was kicking in, I was happy to call it a night at 1am.

Vegas Nights Team Event

Got asked by JamesG to join his team for the Vegas Night Team Event with '€5k Guaranteed' for the winning team. With 65 players, or 13 teams, the numbers fell short of the 15 needed to meet the guarantee, never mind providing a payout structure for the final table from an expected 'excess'. Vowing to play tight I had a rush of good cards from the start, which I hate... They all got busted. Limped in with AJs and called a raise to see A810x flop, got kicked by A10. Next hand raised in LP with AQs hammered by MP's 910s for a straight to the Q on the river. Down just under 5k from a 7k starting stack - I got AA in BB, 4 limpers I re-raise 6xBB. Action folded around to SB (4k) who called, then check-called all my raises to the river with 810 off - he floped a straight on the flop(!) Grrrrrr! Shoved pre-flop with my final 1k holding AK called by 10 10 - no ace to save me and I was out by the end of the first level! Meh! Well done my friend, fellow-dealer Paul Fox, who took it down!

Playing cash and the side event - the amount of limping in with prime hands (AK, AA, QQ etc), slowplaying and trapping was unbelievable. I gave up and went to Tallaght Poker Rooms to build up my cash hours. No luck there either, just got the hours sorted for the Cash League event on 17th May. We met John the new manager for Celbridge Poker Rooms and bagged an invite to the grand opening freeroll next week. Looking forward to seeing the new premises!

Malahide EOM Game

I was so looking forward to this since I won the ticket! With 65 players generating a huge pot, 17k starting stack and 25 minute blinds we had a full night of poker ahead of us. Well, I never really got going.... I was so card dead it was sad!

I had aimed to play tight for a first few levels anyway, I had a migraine on/off all day, kept coming back in the game and folded a couple of hands that I would have normally have played (both would have paid me off well with flopped straights and big pots etc). Finally got a pair of 10 10s to raise with, but BB (chipleader) re-raised huge and I had to fold.

I raised with air a couple of times in desperation to keep my chips up, my heart was hammering til they both folded! Was so thankful to take down those pots to keep my hoovering around 15-17k until a couple of levels after the break, falling to a low of 9k, I re-built the stack up to 25k approx with two key hands; then I found A10s in MP and overplayed it badly. Raising 3xBB, button and SB called, flop came A32, SB checked I bet out 2/3 pot, both button and SB called. Turn was 8. SB checked, I made a continuation bet of 1/3 the pot, and botton insta-re-raised to 10k. I had 14k left and folded after a dewell showing my ace putting him on AJ/AQ/AK/A8/88. Bad move, I should have check-raised the flop or shoved the turn. Asking button if he had two pair he said no... that my ace would have won, meh, I felt a right fool for thinking I was behind. The mistake put me on tilt a bit and I shoved with A4 shortly after into AJ, Jack high board sealed my fate.

Great game, I learnt a lot from some players, the standard was really good. Will aim to win another Satt and play it again! Hopefully I do better than exiting in 30-something place!

Sad News

I was stunned to learn of Joan Vicker's untimely and tragic death this week. I first met Joan while playing the Sean Jethi Team Event, we played on the same team with Smurph, Sam (the dealer) and Laura Lashes; I spent the rest of evening drinking with her and her husband; after both we got kicked out early in our heats. I continued to meet Joan around the poker circuit, exchanging small talk and good humoured banter, she was a good player and great craic to have on the tables. I often miss out on the general banter at the table and Joan would repeat it for my benefit. I really appreciated this small gesture, so disappointed I never got to thank her for doing that for me. Bumping into her after exiting the scalps game last Friday in the Fitz, I moaned about my cooler exit hand and she listened sympathetically urging me not to take it to heart... I never thought it would be our last meeting.

RIP Joan, you won't be forgotten.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"You play too much poker for a Lady..."

I was dealing in the BrucePoker Mullingar game last Friday, there was a surplus of dealers available so naturally we offered a chance to play. The standard on some tables was so bad it made my local pub game look top-class, I was so tempted to take up the offer before the window closed knowing I could easily go deep in this, but by the time I made up my mind, Dani had no intention of letting me go with people already looking for cash games...

Moaning to one of the older dealers, he shook his finger at me and admonished sternly "You play too much poker for a lady!" The guy has only dealt to me a handful of times in 2 years, asking him why he thought that he went on to point out that women are not suited for poker at all(!) They are more likely "lose" early to be targeted by male players calling their raises with "any two". Of course! But that's EXACTLY what we want them to do anyway(!)

He even offered a bet with me that there won't be any woman on the final two tables. I laughed him off saying the ratio of players wouldn't make it a fair bet while reminding him kindly that Smurph took down the last game... As Smurph and Vera came up looking for a cash game a few minutes later, I caught his eye as he gave me this "see, told ya..." look, shook his head and sighed sadly. I just wish I had taken him up on that bet! One of the female dealers Gerri, just about made it to the final two tables as the last woman standing! Then it would be ME giving him the look as I take his money! LOL!

The IDP monthly game was on Saturday, with half the usual numbers due to several other events clashing. Went to the Fitz afterwards to play some cash it turned into a marathon session! I playing totally crap at the start to be honest and getting lucky. In the end just as I started picking up my game I got well and truly hammered by men who fancied their chances playing with "any two against a woman..." Meh!

Last night the Westbury were hosting a €20+20 Satt for their infamous €250+20 end of month game with two tickets guaranteed; Value! I already told Larry I'd be there. Had a rotten day at work, had kinda made up my mind to leave it for another night. But after putting the little one to bed, seeing nothing worthwhile on TV I quickly changed my mind, alerted the au pair I was heading out after all, hopped in the car and arrived at 9pm only to find the place practically empty!?

Larry welcomed me and asked had I got his PM, I hadn't, he pointed out their regular players had requested the Monday night €35FO and not the Satt but he had a sweet deal for me: if I play the FO and come 1st or 2nd place he will personally give me a ticket regardless of the prize fund with a €100+10FO ticket if I came 3rd. Couldn't refuse that excellent offer, could I!

By the time the game got underway, we had 20 players playing for a €600 prize fund. On the starting table I had Derek 'Ex-Clamper' Williams on the button to my BB, a tough and unpredictable player, he doubled up not once but three times in the first level. I locked horns with him all night, more than any other player! He was very active in nearly every pot, while I didn't see much cards in the early stages. I played aggressively using my position on him and tried to steal with what I had. I yo-yo-ed from 5k starting stack to 7.5k then back down to 2.5k before doubling up, and re-building back to a 9.5k stack by the time I arrived on the final table and tightened up my game.

Derek was on my immediate right as chipleader, that position proved valuable for me later in the game. I picked up QQ and AA and shoved both times, the AA hand knocked out two players and made me chipleader with 6 players left. But Derek being the devils advocate just keep chipping into me! My only regret was when we were 4 handed, I folded ace high to Derek's river shove only to be shown a 9 high bluff, after calling his raises all the way... Grrr!

Once the bubble had burst I quickly eliminated the 3rd player and faced Derek in a battle of wills showdown that last a good 40 mins... where he slowly took the chiplead from me before I levelled the play back to 50-50 with a well executed slow-played two pair. After this Derek offered to split 50-50 with him being declared the outright winner for league points, knowing I had my ticket secured plus €60 in cash, I agreed. Good game, great value for €35... if they increase the starting stack or bring in an early bird chip, I can see this become a regular fixture!

Bring on the €270 game on the 21st April... There will be a Lady on that final table boys!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What's your best April Fool's?!

We have our monthly team meeting first Wednesday of every month. Today was no exception, there an long and heavy agenda to discuss.

I deliberately stayed quiet during the meeting (very unlike me, by the way!) especially in talks about future plans/projects etc. When asked for AOB everyone did their piece and the team leader started to wind the meeting down "...okay, that's it, right?"

I switched on my best poker face "Ahem! Hum, err, actually there's one more thing... I've got some, erm, bad news to announce." Cue shuffling of chairs as people sitting up straight to listen closely

"Well, erm, there's no easy way to say this ... but... I handed in my resignation to the Regional Manager yesterday. I'll be leaving the company on 30th April."

Cue audible gasps, shocked looks, sheer panic in some faces, confusion on others... Team Leader's face goes purple and her eyes budge maddeningly behind her glasses as I continue:

"I've been under a lot of pressure lately, I'm really finding it harder to juggle everything, I've also worked it out that I would actually be better off financially if I wasn't working... I'm really sorry guys!"

"But... but... WAIT a minute! What wasn't I informed... " The Team Leader injected then a smile appeared on her face as she scrabbles for her watch "Ah feck off Julianne! It's gone past noon, yeah... 1:13pm! No April Fools jokes allowed pass noon! Ha! Ha! Gaaawwwwd! You really had going me there! Get outta here you brat!!!"

LOL! Ah, it was soooo worth it for those 20 seconds just to see those faces: priceless!!!!

Rigor Mortis Sunday

Last Sunday I made my way to the Jackpot for the team event, playing with Jamie Costello, Gary Clarke and James McManus as part of Team Poker Ireland. I think I must’ve used up more than my share of pokah-luck for the week, I only lasted one hour!!!

When I got my table, I realised pretty quickly that sitting in seat 9 I was at a disadvantage – I was unable to view the bulk of the action which was taking place among players 1-4. It didn’t help that I was totally stone-cold hand dead either, any decent playable-hands I got were OOP and only worth limping in with, I had to fold them to raises. And was glad I did, the amount of AA, KK, QQ, AQ & AK shown by other players was phenomenal! Several players developed big stacks pretty fast... I had nothing - 93, 10 2, J5, 72, 53, etc etc etc ... Just kept folding; folding; folding... not one ace card did I see, never mind KK or QQ! I found 10 10 on the button and raised 4xBB, BB called from seat 2, rest folded flop comes AKx. BB checks, I bet out a continuation bet, and he flat calls. Turn is Q. Again he checks – I bet ¾ of the pot and he flat-calls, checks the non-important river I had to check behind, he shows K with low kicker for better pair(!) WTF!

One more orbit later I’ve 66 in MP, flat call a raise (on AK) but folded to a re-raise (holding AA). Another orbit passes me by til I’m in SB again, I’m down to 3.5k half my starting stack when 3 new players join the table with good size stacks, and I’m surrounded by 15k++ plus stacks I had to get moving. Find JJ in SB, putting out a good size raise, limper in MP hums for a bit - I indicated that I was shoving, if anyone wants to re-raise me all-in. MP had just joined our table. He mulled for more than a minute (he had me covered 9-10 times over...FFS!) before calling with QQ. The queens stand and I’m gone... went looking for the lads, Jamie had just exited. James was still in hovering on an average stack and Gary was nowhere to be seen!

Great game, wonderful atmosphere, if only I had the cards to play! Well done to Boylesports team that won – Lisa C was on my table and caught several fine hands and doubled up not once but 3 times in that hour!

Played a bit of cash pre-game but got no luck there either... went over to the blackjack table and stormed it and won my buy-in and cash table losses back plus a little more! Fed up waiting for a new cash game to start in the Jackpot, Susie and Trisha were in the Fitz, I decided to head over join them there. Susie Woosie did really well splitting the tournament 3 ways for the better share! Plus we went to play some cash...

What a rollercoaster, starting off I had that table owned! And quickly raised 75 into 475 in no time at all... then came the sick beats, I was wiped out in three big pots, the last being the most memorable and the sickest! Limped in with A10 in MP, 2 callers behind me and button (loose calling station) calls too. SB, LAG who has been raising a lot with a wide range, makes it 12 to go. BB and the rest of the players call including me. Flop comes AA7... nice! SB bets 20, BB and 2 limpers fold, before I could think, button throws in 20. Dealer points out I’m still to act and I raise it to 60; button calls and SB folds. I put him on A rag, K7s/Q7s/J7... Turn is another 7, I bet out 100. Button calls. I’m thinking, its gonna be a split pot. 10 on the river had me excited that I’ve hit the better house and I shove for 200+. He insta-calls and shows 77 for quads (!) NH sir... Meh! Had enough went home via blackjack tables – no luck there!

That’s my degeneracy done for the week, me thinks!