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!!!!