Monday, June 29, 2009

"All-In with J5!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because I'm Bad!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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