Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Always one doubleup away from true happiness

Met a certain name who is on the cover of the latest Card Player on Friday afternoon for a run around the golf course in Citywest. We have a sort of informal arrangement to swap running advice/coaching for PLO/HiLo lessons. Given yer man is one of the best players around in those two, I think it's a pretty sweet deal for me. It was certainly a privilege to watch him at work, plus he's good at communicating his thoughts.

As we were running around, we saw a number of poker players out golfing. Including Jude Ainsworth who hadn't lasted long in his LNSOP heat (he told me late he basically lost three standard sounding hands and that was that: such is the nature of these, I mean, fast structures).

There was a good buzz around the place with the supersat and the LNSOP final being filmed. Saw the finalists "arrive" in a limo and have to say I felt a pang thinking what might have been. Mick McCloskey was staying with us for the weekend and didn't want to hang around, so we went to Luke's place in Tallaght. Luke was as welcoming as ever and I recognised a lot of players from when I started going to the Fitz (and later Cool Hand Luke's). Played the 50 euro freezeout there, ultimately bubbling the final table when I overshipped JJ over a late position raiser. I almost folded because it was Rita (tightest player I know). I should have: she had the aces.

Standardwise it was a real throwback to when I started going to the Fitz. A wide array of funny hands but I'll pick one. Playing 9K, slightly down on starting stack, there's an UTG raise to 300 (3 bigs) and two calls before it gets to me in the HJ. I look down at QQ and go for a very non standard line by flatting. Essentially this is a squeeze inducer as there were three loose cannons behind any one of whom was likely to pull the trigger. It's not a disaster if nobody does as if I hit a set in a multiway pot it will be a really well disguised one that could win a big pot, while if an ace (or king) flops I can get away cheap. As it happens, the button bumps it up to 1500, the SB calls, as does the BB, the intial raiser, and the last caller before me. Set mining for nearly 20% of my stack is not an attractive proposition so I now ship. The button folds, but I get called by the SB (99) and the last caller before me (87s, a value call as he was short).

Saturday I went to Citywest early to get the Paddy Power Last Longest gear and also I'd agreed to guest co-present the Irish Poker Radio show with Ian Cheyne in Nicky O'Donnell's absence. We interviewed Mick "The Cap" McCloskey, Jaye Renehan and Becks (or is it Posh?), Cat O'Neill. They all gave good interview.

I didn't last very long in the main event, drifting back to about 12K, then doubling down with top set against the Bomber Nolan's runner runner flush, and exitting almost immediately after with QQ on a J high board against Michael Trimby's KK. I wasn't at all happy with how I played. I don't think I played any onehand badly, certainly there were no gross blunders, but I did get most of the marginal decisions wrong and I put myself in too many marginal spots in the first place.

Citywest was starting to melt my head a bit at this stage so on Sunday I headed to Virginia for the Cavan Open instead. Mick runs a great show there and it was a real fun tournament and a sharp contrast to the more corporate affair in CityWest. The standard in Cavan seems to have improved immensely: certainly there were no outright weak spots at the table. Worked steadily up to 30K before losing an annoying hand with KK. I raise utg, the BB decided to defend (with A8o) as it happened, and hit not one but two aces. Defending against tight early position raisers with raggy aces is not a winning play in the long run, but it did win him a decent sized pot (most of which he spewed off a few hands later calling a reraise for 30% of the effective stack with pocket 2's) on this occasion. That knocked me back to starting stack (20K), where I tread water thanks to uncalled ships as the blinds rose steadily until eventually I shipped AK into KK. No out suckage.

Monday was back to Citywest for the Round of Each. I played really badly. I think I managed to get every single marginal decision wrong. Some decent banter at the table though: hardly surprising given the presence of Parky and Paul Marrow. Paul asked me at one point if I was still running, and the table talk turned to my ultra running exploits. Trying to put it in layman's terms when asked how far I ran, I said I once ran the distance from Dublin to Galway in one day. Parky remarked drily that the train is getting very expensive.

My exit was pretty standard, given who was involved. I'd donked myself down to 2500 when Paul Marrow raises to 400 in late position. I have KQ in the BB, miles ahead of his range, so I ship it in. He calls with 22 and holds. I know he's not folding much (any?) of his range but I also think he calls the ship with worse kings (and queens) so from my perspective it's a standard ship in that spot.

Since then I've put in two 12 hour online sessions that went reasonably well. Heading to Galway tomorrow for their party for Jaye and Cat, then Thursday is Fitz EOM, Friday Carlow, and Saturday Newbridge where Gerry has promised a special Halloween costume. So lots of live and hopefully I can recover my form which seemed to dip at the weekend. Wally's now passed me out at the top of the Irish Poker Rankings after a recent run of side event min cashes: can't be letting that scamp get too far ahead.


Yeah, Rita's 3-bet range is very very tight. She's very successful in Luke's as she plays a style very opposite to a lot of the players there. She's a nice woman too.

Did you get your fixed internet connection sorted finally?

I know Rita well from the Fitz, lovely woman.

No, we're waiting for NTL. Using O2 stick in themean time which is the nuts compared to useless Vodafone one.

You should be ok with NTL Dara. I've been using it pretty much all the time lately and it's very very solid (and fast too).


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