Monday, November 17, 2008

Blah those Hilton ssters

Whole weekend was given over to the Bruce festival.

Friday night played the first side event. After shaky start, I finally got a stack together only to lose a pot to have 60K at a time when average was about 18K when I got it all in with queens against KJ and the Hilton sisters found a new way to dog me, this time hitting a straight to the jack.

After that, I was short and in push mode, and eventually lost a classic pair v two overs race.

Came back Saturday for the main event. Lucky there was a 20K starting stack because I couldn't win a pot and just dwindled and dwindled until I was down to 6K. Then QueenJ arrived to deal to my table and singlehandedly transformed my tournament fortunes, as I raced from 6K up to about 80K.

I then made a fold which turned out to be a bad one although after much agonising over it I think it was marginal and probably correct in the specific situation, which was that I raised utg, got flat called behind by a loose but solid player, then Vera who was short shoved for 17K, and the button reshoved for 55K. Button was a young very capable LAG who was routinely folding to my raises and reraises. Given that this was the first time he'd played back at me I had to give him credit for a hand, particularly with Vera the rock all in. I figured the only hand he could be doing this with that I'd be happy to see was jacks, and with the other guy still behind me, decided that with only 6.5K invested in the pot, discretion was the better of valour, there was too high a chance aces or kings were out given the action, and it was more prudent to wait for a better spot rather than risk my newly acquired stack.

Nicky Power who was at the table gave me some awful stick for folding the queens there but did say later he thought it was marginal but he'd call because the kid on the button was a bit of a mover. Went through the hand later with Rob and he said he'd lean towards folding. Rob's style and image is a lot closer to mine than Nicky's would be so good players are less likely to be making moves on us so even though it clearly was wrong in this specific case, overall I'm happy enough with the fold.

In the event, the original caller folded, Vera had AK, and the button JJ. As it happened, Vera hit an ace and a king but I'd have won the monster side pot.

Shortly thereafter, I got moved to a new table and really hit the skids. I was back down to 40K when it was folded to a sb who completed. I raised with pocket 6's and he made what looked like a petulant snap call. My impression of the guy based on a very limited sample admittedly was that he was a typical poor headless aggressive who also seems to be tilting after horribly misplaying the previous hand. Flop came AJ9, he checked, I bet 10K, he quickly called. Turn's another ace and while I'm pretty certain he doesn't have an ace, I decide that since my hand has checkdown value and I'm either way ahead or way behind so checking the hand down is the way to go, I check behind. River's a 7 and suddenly he bets 15K. Nomally that sort of betting action signifies your underpair to the board is well beaten but this time it just looks fishy. I'm struggling to put him on a legitimate hand I'm not losing to that a good player would play this way. The only busted draw out there is Q10, it'd diffcult to see any other hand that could have called the flop that doesn't beat 6's. Possible hands that are beating me are a higher pocket pair (admittedly unlikely), an ace (ditto), a misplayed jack, 9 or 7, or 108. The problem with these hands is they either don't tally with the preflop action and my read on the opponent (aces and pocket pairs), or they don't explain the bet on the river (except for 108, the presence of the aces would surely slow him down). He also doesn't look strong but after a very long dwell I decide I really can't call with just an underpair to the board so I fold. He triumphantly shows Q8 for a busted gutshot. Wp, sir.

While I'm now short, I still have a playable stack and quite fancy my chances of getting the chips back with interest from this guy as he's a real loose cannon. Unfortunately, he blows up before I have a chance to do so, shoving 10's for 60 BB's over a big UTG raise from a tight player.

Anyway, recovered from there to my tournament highpoint, 83.5K overnight. Noni came over to watch and chat and said she'd bring me luck and was as good as her word as I motored back up from 20K. Unfortunately with the blinds at 3/6K and an ante of 1K, here wasn't much time to hang around and I ended up shoving A10s from the button into AQ to almost bubble in 26th. Annoying to come that close but not as disappointing as going deeper only to get sucked out on.

Jumped from that straight into the freeroll and made the fastest start since Drogheda to a tournament. I went from 3K starting stack to 20K in about 4 orbits. From there I grew steadily to 60K until just before the bubble burst when my aces were cracked by KJ. That pushed me back to 40K, now short. Some well timed pushes kept me alive until I lost my first called allin, 8's in the BB against the SB's AJ, to exit in 12th.

Jumped from there straight into the final event and lasted all of one hand. A guy openraising a hefty chunk of pots opened utg, I reraised with QQ, he rereraised, I shoved, he called with AK and won the race. Undone again by those wretched queens.

From there went into cash and managed to get it all in on the flop in the first hand with a pair against two overs, only to be sucked out on for a buyin. A few hours of grinding through almost total card death saw me recover somewhat finish about a buyin up. In the mean time there was a really wild game going on at the next table featuring (at different times) John Keown, Rob, Paul Leckey, Paul Coyle, Pabloh, Donal Norton, and Pete Murphy. At my table Cat was once again running over it to end up over 20 buyins up. Standard for her these days, she did the same the previous day: I think Rob's long term plan when he taught her how to play poker must have been to be able to retire and live off her winnings. Technically she's one of the best cash game players I've ever played with.

Overall, a great weekend and again JP proved why he's the absolute best at what he does. As ever, the real bonus on these occasions is the chance to meet great characters of whom there are so many on the Irish scene. People like Smurph and Noni and that bad bad man Willie Yuletired are always great friendly faces to see and very generous with their support, and it was also great to see so many of the Waterford contingent there. Though in another sense you'd almost prefer not to see them, as there's no doubt that per capita there are more good and great poker players in Waterford than in any other county in the country. Nicky says it's all down to him, that he's brought the lads all along by teaching them how to play in the Blazing Aces, and if it's true, then fair play to him.


:-), obv true re waterford players. As for the QQ hand, my thought process in these situes is wow I've got queens.....but theres like sis raiser before I've got queens

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WP, GG Dara, even if you didn't cash! I was glad to see you outlast those donks and there were several of those!!!

Holding QQ: Them fickle sisters always do good by me, except when the villain is holding them (of course!) and they turn into formidable backstabbing bitches... but treat 'em nice (i.e. spend a LOT of money on them!)And they are your sugarplums forever unless there's a richer/'cuter' guy on the table... LOL!

LOL, Nicky. Shows what having a high flying sponsored pro can do for a bunch of country lads :)

Very solid advice on how to play queens, QueenJ :)

hey dara i was the young LAG in that QQ hand, my though process behind it was that you could only call wit KK or AA cos i look ridic strong when i isolate there, as you said i had given you respect for your bets all day, also i believed that if i could drive you and the other player out i would be getting over to 2.22/1 wit my jacks against vera, i know she is a rock but i believe she would have went 99 and AT+(also you and pat may have passed some of her overs)
also i was playing on the fact that i seen you lay down TT to a rr earlier that day which showed you gave respect to rr and can fold premium hands, apart from this you had just got hold of you chips and i believed you wouldn't want to lose them in a marginal spot



Hi drjff, yes, excellent reasoning on your part.

It actually went through my mind that you'd seen me fold TT earlier(I remember you tapped the table so you'd noted it) and you therefore might be shoving light knowing I could fold a hand, and of course I remembered your 74o move, but I also knew you were aware of my reputation as a rock. On balance, I think I'd probably have called you if it was just you. What tipped me towards folding was Pat behind me, although that did also make it look more like a squeeze/isolation play on your part. But given the action I had to think it was quite likely there was a bigger pair out there. So I figured it was better to wait for a better spot.

Great move on your part though, and you played brilliantly all the time I was at the table. How did you get on in the end?

thanks my highlight of the day was setting up that QToff guy to 3bet and then 4bet shove wit air knowing he was full of shit!

the structure got pretty fast when the blinds went 1.5/3k wit the 400ante there was 7.7k in the middle before any action, i had played QQ badly by flating and betting into the original raiser and too much on a KJ9 rainbow flop only to get rr instantly and i was like AK really the guy said he would never fold the AK so the only mistake was the bet on the flop! after that hand i had about 36k, chipped down to 34k shipped in mid position wit J8s wanted to steal two rounds so i could be more patient,

got a pretty quick call from the best raffle player in ireland in Pat and he held KQoff, don't remember his stack size but was a prety loosish call imo it had to bet in the region of 30-40% of his stack, flop hit great for me KJJ but when the Kd hit the turn i don't hit one outers and bye bye



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