Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What's another year....

Well, chances are if you're interested enough to be reading this random witter brain dump of a blog, you probably already know that I went deep in the Irish Open, but not deep enough, going out in 85th or so with 72 paid. No regrets, I was short, the ship was plus Ev, I ran into the bullets, I didn't suck out, standard, no point in dwelling on it.

Despite what many probably think, I've never been one to try to cling on in tournaments near the bubble: with a 25K stack I had at least €10K in tournament equity so long as I was happy to gamble with it. Clinging would have meant settling for €3500 money back at best, so no regrets.

Someone recently suggested I played scared because of my cautious approach to one hand which is just wrong. There's a huge difference between playing a hand cautiously because you believe it maximises your equity, and playing scared. I never have and never will played scared poker. As a total novice, I put my tournament life on the line with a bluff against Joe Beevers on my first ever major final table, so I don't think I've ever lacked courage (even if sometimes it's been fool's courage).

I also played the side event, got reasonably deep, but came unstuck when my 9's ran into another big pair in the blinds. Std, no point in dwelling or whining etc. etc. Favourite hand of the weekend at least came in this event: a mad Scandi wearing a PaddyPower bag on his head came to table with huge stack. I hadn't really got going and was playing about 7K starting stack with blinds 300/600. Trevor Dinneen limped utg, I had TT in second position, normally a standard enough ship or pot committing raise with that stack, but it was the Scandi's button and he was down to 8k after losing a big one so I decided to go for the squeeze inducer and just flatted. He shipped, Trevor folded, I snap called, and he snap turned his head in surprise at the call so fast the bag fell off his head, before sheepishly turning over 84o.

Overall, I was very happy with how I played, particularly my play against maniacs. Since two maniacs gave me such problems in the recent Deepstack, I've put a lot of thought in how to play them and I now see a maniac at the table as an opportunity rather than a problem. Any time anyone is playing sub optimally, whether it's too tight or too loose, too passive or too aggressive, it's to your advantage.

I had something of a mini epiphany at the weekend. My game has undergone quite a few changes recently, some of them undoubtedly good, but not all of them. I was talking through some of the hands with a friend and player I admire, things got a little heated as they sometimes do, and at one point he attempted to "settle" an argument over a hand by saying "if you posted it on Boards, everyone would agree with me". I didn't doubt the truth of the statement but I've always felt that if everyone is playing from the same gamebook, then nobody can have that big of an edge. I've maybe gotten suckered into playing other people's game a bit too much of late. In the big events I've played this year I've returned to my own natural game and it seems to work better.

The weekend wasn't a total writeoff: I made almost €300 in 30 minutes playing cash waiting for my lift to arrive. Perhaps I should play more cash at these things but I really don't enjoy it. Also, as I was going in the first day, Albert Kenny asked me if I wanted to swap, and since Albert is a class player I was more than happy to agree. Ironically I'd put quite a lot of thought ito my swaps and done quite a few to reduce my variance but I ended up outlasting all my other swaps. Fair play to Albert though: he cashed and was very unlucky not to go even deeper.

The other positive aspect was the atmosphere and banter around CityWest which was buzzing all weekend. The Irish poker scene is full of great characters, and many of them took the opportunity to abuse me not only for the Sole Survivor getup I had to wear, but also the hat I decided to wear to look a bit different from the other 120 sole survivors. First prize for wittiest comment goes to Trippie Gordon, who described it as the Rocky look.

Since then, it's been back to the grind. I'm running well online again. Last night after coming home from Malahide I played 4 45 mans on Tilt and won one for almost $1200, and I'm going ok on the STTs on Ipoker again. The grind shall continue until Saturday when I'm off to San Remo. After the lack of resultage at the IO I'd decided to be sensible and only play the 2K side event out there (and had already informed my English backers of the decision), but Dagunman was not only his usual persuasive self but not only put his money where his mouth is but arranged for me to offload as much as needed in about 5 minutes to be make it comfortable for me to play so a big thank you merited there. So now I'm really looking forward to my EPT debut and a week in San Remo with some degens. I shall endeavour to be a good influence.


Good luck in the EPT Dara, I will be checking for updates...

unlucky not to finish in the money in the Irish Open, but there's no way you play scared poker... and lol anyone who thinks you do. you were unlucky to run the 9's into the Queens in the side event, I felt unlucky to have you moved to my left. San Remo for the EPT, wow, nice one

Thanks Smurph. Was relieved you were to my right!

Good luck in San Remo Dara. Hope you do well.

Thanks Thomas, looking forward to giving it a good bash.

Good Luck in San Remo - keep the hat on.

Thanks Pabloh but I fear the hat may not be as lucky as my wife seems to think

that hat may be talked about by future generations in the same awed tones as Johnny Chan's orange

or, eh, maybe not

good luck in San Remo wherever that is

San Remo's in San Remo apparently.

lol, completely forgot i was talking to you about that dara, god i was drunk, first time i had drank in months and even with 2 dinners in me i still was a little worse for wear.

I did suspect you were a little drunk Gordon. You're very friendly and funny when you're drunk. And sober, of course, but a lot of Irish people are lousy drunks.


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