Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rush continues, sort of

I played in the Fitz 80 Euro FO tonight and ended up 2nd. I think I played pretty well without doing anything particularly brilliant. I'd almost doubled up by the break, and then I was up and down (mostly down) until a rush of cards on the cusp of the final table saw me getting to the final table with the second biggest stack. Card death ensued right up to the bubble (there were 5 prizes) and by the time the bubble burst I was down to just over 3 big blinds. I also had the worst seat at the table at that stage with the aggressive big stack (Jude McCarthy) to my immediate right.

When the bubble finally burst I got an immediate double up courtesy of General Zito. He pushed from the button on my BB, I have an ace so it's all in despite the other card being a 3, he says automatic call with K7, and my ace holds up. From there I finally started getting some hands and was up to 90K at one point and chip leader. Jude lost a few pots and was suddenly vulnerable and I almost had him when i got him to commit three quarters of his stack to a pot by the turn before I showed any strength by check raising him. I assumed he was pot committed but he must have had absolutely nothing because he folded. The hand that swung it back around was when Tommy Buckley raised big for half his stack, a move I always associate with him having a low pocket pair or a rag ace, I moved allin from the SB with 10's, and Jude woke up with Q's in the big blind. Tommy folded a pair of 5's and isn't happy when the flop comes 552! That left him hopelessly short and on his next BB I have aces on the button, I make my standard 3BB raise and he pushes all in with AKs. Two of his suit flopped though so it was a nervous turn and river. That left just me, Jude and my almost namesake Darren Kearney (fighting his customary rearguard action with the short stack: at one point on the bubble he had 2 BBs left). Darren wriggled and wriggled until eventually his Ace Jack was KQs and we were heads up with Jude outchipping me 3 to 1. By now the blinds were ridiculous so it was pretty much allin or fold poker. I got it back to 2 to 1 when I had A6s and Jude called my allin with J9o and hit a 9.

Jude's a great player though so it was a well deserved win for him. There are a lot of weakish players in the Fitz but some very good ones too like Vivian and Irene, and there's no one better than Jude. I always enjoy playing in the Fitz: the manager Deniece is a very nice person and a great laugh. So the Fitz does kinda feel like my poker home still: it's where I learned to play live.

I'm starting to get excited about next week's Open now too. When I qualified I thought it would be the biggest thing ever to play in, then there was the whole surreal experience of winning in Drogheda, but now I'm looking forward to it again and hope I can continue my good form and luck.



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