Friday, August 28, 2009

Falling flat on my face....

I had the biggest 'Urgh!!!' night of the year last night...

The Fitzwilliam End of Month game was on last night, decided to try a Satt myself a ticket; joined a €60, 10 player Satt for 2 tickets, was in MP when I found Ad10d in the 4th/5th hand dealt. I hadn't played any hands at this stage. One limper plus the blinds (25/50) I raised to 200. Player next to me (old guy - plays very wide range) calls, Phil (PGodkin on re-raises to 800. I've played Philip before, he often re-raises if he has position with any ace/pairs, as action folded back to me I felt my holding was good and I flat called leaving myself with 700 behind. Flop comes QdJd8h; I had a nice clean inside straight draw, flush draw and straight flush draw - with 17 outs, I shipped! Phil insta-called with AcKs... then groaned when he saw my hand... But no diamond, never mind a king or nine, to save me and Phil is fist-pumping as his better kicker holds to put me first out of the Satt(!) Urgh!!!

Denise offers me another Satt but I declined - instead I asked to join the list for a cash table... Playing 1/2 PLHE cash, I raised to €10 UTG+2 with two black 7s, MP, CO and Button calls to see a flop of 8s9s10s. I checked along with MP, CO bets 50, Button ships for 180 approx... I'm in a spot. I WANT to call the Button, an awful LAG, who I had pegged as chasing a A high flush draw with one pair on the board but CO's raise just scared me more as a good hand. All I had was 2 outs to beat him... my instincts were screaming at me to call! Showing my cards to the players on either side of me, I folded after a dwell. CO insta-calls the all in, as the dealer deals the SICKEST card on the turn: 6s(!) Button shows As9x as I predicted, and takes the pot, while CO had trips... Urgh!!!

But wait... there's more...

Irish Poker Radio asked me for a brief interview to talk about IDP, I agreed until I saw the questions! It was more about ME than IDP... eek! The interview was being recorded in the Fitzwilliam in the corner where the €50 Blackjack table is... I nearly chickened out, but demurred and spent the whole afternoon preparing my answers etc. But when I arrived my mind went blank and all my well prepared answers went out the window! I just hope I don't sound like an idiot! Nicky O'D and Iain were lovely, putting me at ease, reassuring me it was grand etc. It'll be a while before they show the interview, they will have a hard task editing out all my 'ummms' and 'errrs' making sense out of my speech, LOL! Nicky has kindly promised me a few transcripts from the show so that deaf/hard of hearing poker lovers can follow what was said. I'll put them up on IDP website when I get them...

Just as I said my goodbyes - I turned swiftly around to go back to the tables, slipped on the tiles and fell spectacularly flat on my face...


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ciarán Moloney Tribute Night (photos now on!)

For years, Cee had been dreaming about taking time off work and travelling the world. Getting a team place on the Irish Squad for Taipei Deaflympics was the Push he needed to achieve that dream... Going travelling means he has to step down from the IDP, so muggins here has been nominated to take over from him (pending official approval from the members of course!) My first job was to organise a good send off for him.

Finding a suitable date to suit everyone was almost impossible but August 8th was the one and only date that no one had an excuse for! After asking around, checking Boards to ensure our event didn't clash with anyone else's, confirming it with the Jackpot etc., I posted the event up, bombarded people and spammed everyone I knew about the event. Then the proposed Joan Vickers' Fundraiser in the new Voodoo club on the same night, was announced a mere few days later. I was disappointed, as I would have loved to attended that Joan was always big at supporting women playing poker; the Fundraiser raised almost €2,000 for the family - kudos to those who organised it. I notice the Fitz have a Memorial game for her later on this year - will definitely be attending that.

As I arrived in the Jackpot on Saturday evening, there were very few people around, I had a list of 28/29 pre-reg names but 7/8 players texted me with excuses at the last minute, disappointing but what can you do? I notice the Jackpot staff were telling drop-ins that the event was a 'private-game for deaf players only' I stepped in quickly and informed them that it was open to all players not just IDP. Cee plays far more with hearing players than deaf, we were not closing the ranks for them if they wanted to come along and wish him well while having a go at tackling his bounty... Plus the more money in the pot the happier the IDP players will be!

The game finally kicked off at 8:30 with 18 players, Cee was fashionably late as per usual. Three more latecomers joined us after the 1st level, with a final entry in the 2nd level to bring us to a total of 23 players.

My game started with the two luckboxes running over my table basically calling pre-flop raises with any two cards and hitting the board sickeningly-goot! E.g. my AsQs were no good against K4o on a AKsx4sx board(!) I was down to less than half the starting stack by the 2nd level...

On Cee's table the action was flying, no doubt punctuated by the added treat of the bounty on his head! Cee was playing more TAG'ish rather than the LAG game he's usually known for in the IDP, but no one was paying attention! With all his raises getting snapped off left right and centre! The Bounty Hand came sooner than anticipated and the entire room stopped playing to watch the race to Cee's table...

Tim Grace was in BB with 12k approx, blinds 75/150, Andy Smith had 10k and opened with a standard raise from UTG+2. Finding AAs Cee shoved for 3k (approx) from CO-1 Tim insta-flattened as did Andy. Flop came J10x. Tim checked, Andy shoved and Tim called. Andy showed AK for straight draw and Tim tabled a horrendous KJo! But much to Cee's disgust the turn brought the suited Jack, to give Andy more outs for flush/straight-flush draw as well as trips for Tim... Cee started roaring for the remaining Ace but no... The sickest card of all came on the turn - Jack - giving luckbox Tim runner-runner quads, the €100 bounty and the added privilege of knocking Cee FIRST out of the game!

I felt sorry for Cee, especially as it's his 'night', Cee's mate Declan suggested that Cee be allowed to rebuy. I agreed, announcing to the players that Cee and Andy (couldn't exclude Andy as he was knocked out same time as Cee) would be allowed to re-buy because of the Bounty hand; but no one else can re-buy. It also boosted the prize pool to a nice €750 - not too bad for a €33 buy-in!

At the break the IDP made a presentation to Cee, amid thunderous applause and cheers, we had a fun card using various indiscriminating photographs, a special framed appreciation in honour his work to IDP over the past 3 years, plus €100 toward a buy-in to poker game of his choice. After a brief speech from Cee thanking people for coming, telling us how he set up IDP, its growth from strength to strength, with approx 30 'regular' IDP players (maximum ever was 37 but we have 47 listed IDP members to date) and the honour of our biggest event with 70 deaf players last November including those from Sweden, UK and Finland.

Cee will be a hard act for me to follow in IDP!

Unfortunately I didn't get to the final table, after a much needed triple up with AK against same K4o fish holding A3 on a AK3xx board, I went on downward spiral finally eliminated by Mark McLaughlin on Button to my BB. As action had folded around to him, he raised to 2,100 (blinds 200/400), Lorraine was in SB (playing ultra-tight) insta-folded. Putting him on a steal, Mark had been bullying the table with his huge 30k+ stack, I found A10o with had barely 11.5xBBs left, I decided to shoved. It was 'Ugh!' seeing his AK! No help from the board and Mark's AK holds.

One of the IDP regs looked at me as the chips were pushed toward Mark and signed to his mate "Watch, this is where QueenJ gets angry! Right?" I looked over at him and laughed - "Angry? Why would I be angry? I got beaten by a superior hand not a mickey mouse crap that YOU usually call me with! Well played Mark..." Mark went on to exit in 5th place.

Cee made it to the final table too only to crash in 8th place courtesy of David Bowers. Bowers must have been in cahoots with dealer as she kept dealing him AA (twice!), KK, AK and the nutz in EVERY single hand! There were 5 places being paid out (€350, €190, €100, €50, €50 in that order...) but Bowers refused to negotiate any deals, refused to allow money off top to pay out 6th place, or increase 4th place etc. Karma has a way of working on people like that. The dealer was changed when it went down to 3 handed and the Bowers-winning-streak was halted. Geoff Foy exited in 3rd place, leaving Bowers and David 'Muffman' Mulligan to play heads-up, Muffman went from a 3-1 underdog to a worthy winner shoving Bowers into the shade!

I went over to join the 50c/1€ side cash table, but the IDP bog standard of play continued here. Putting €50, I barely made it up to €60 after 2 tough orbits, when I called a MP's €2 min-raise with 4s5s from BB along with 6 others. Flop came Js,4,5; I raised to pot €14; Andy Smith who was UTG to my left, flat called as did MP raiser. Turn 8s giving me flush draw, I shoved for my remaining €43/44, Andy insta-called and other player tanked for a while before folding. The river was non-spade 6, and Andy tables 77 for sick runner-runner straight... Meh! The initial raiser announced that he had "10,10"... Welcome to IDP(!)

Too lazy to go to the ATM, I borrowed €50 from JamesR, and whacked that up to €125 thanks to Cee mainly, raising and re-raising with my 109s to his 107o on a 10,10,8,J,x board (sorry Cee!) before the table broke. Gave JamesR back his €50 then wandered over to the €1/€2 cash table and ran my €75 up to €325 in 1.5 hours before calling it a night at 5am. Should have done that in the first place... LOL!

Profit aside, I had a good night, it was great game for everyone...

Just hope Cee had fun too! Now, go and enjoy your travels mate, and be sure to do us proud in Taipei (as the Goalie with the Irish Squad) just keep your eyes off the local girls and don't let the big balls in!!! Please make sure you come home in one piece too, Cee!

On behalf of IDP: Big ups to Paul and all his crew in the Jackpot for their fantastic support! The staff did a sterling job making great effort signing throughout the game, it was noted. We got very positive feedback from the IDP players, they asked me to thank the dealers, the TD, the serving girls for all the drinks and the lovely spread at the break. Last but not least: a heartfelt 'thank you' to all the players that came along for Cee...

Next week is the Annual Vera Duffy Classic in the Sporting Emporium, I have great memories of playing in this last year - will be donating again for sure!

See you all at the tables!