Thursday, January 21, 2010

So far so good....EPT Deauville day 1A

Well, the trip got off to an eventful start when our plane was diverted from Paris Beauvais to Lille. Big Mick G was on the same flight and we had a good old natter about poker which continued on a 2 hour bus trip to Beauvais. The bus must have either been for pre-school kids or circus midgets judging from the legroom...bmg was not at all impressed. The trip was completed when we picked up the rented car and Mireille drove two sleep-deprived poker players to Deauville.

Mick went off to play the supersat (and of course being the legend he is snagged a ticket). I was tempted to play it too as these yokes are always mental mental value (Mick confirmed this was no exception later) but decided a potential late night was not the best preparation for Day 1A so opted for an early night instead. The hotel is something else....our suite is almost the size of our house, with chandeliers, a king size bed etc. We also have a maid who seems to be on permanent standby because whenever we leave the room she's in to remake the beds, tidy our mess and leave more chocolate covered peanuts on the pillows. Mireille reckons it's a bit too much like living like royalty for her communist sensibilities but meh, I'll put up with it for a week I reckon. PokerStars allowed something ridiculous like €1600 for the hotel in the package so it should be good.

Mireille took some pictures but we haven't figured how to upload them yet.

Anyway, I had a good night's sleep and a light breakfast. My stomach didn't seem in the mood for my normal hearty horse sized portions, maybe a little jitters there.

I didn't recognise anyone at my first table but apart from a couple of local brayers they all seemed competent enough. One was a French TeamPro (ironically the first out when the table donk decided jacks was a cracking 5 bet shove hand and proceeded to bust yer man's aces), another ended the day as chipleader (ironically he had a hard time of it in the early going).

For whatever reason (maybe just that midday is a decidedly weird time to find yourself playing poker) I took a while to settle. I lost quarter of my stack with KQ on the button against the big blind's AQ. I didn't really like it and should probably have lost less, it just played out very weirdly. Flop was QTx, and he check called. Turn was a brick and assuming I was still good I fired again to charge KJ/J9 type draws. My bet was 1100 and he threw in 2000 with comment (does this sound familiar?). He claimed he hadn't meant to raise, but this was then ruled to be a min raise and for the second time in a few days I found myself wondering whether my opponent had really meant to raise or not. I don't think I can fold the turn for the extra 1100, but I should probably have folded when he led the river. Somehow I convinced myself it might be a busted draw.

Most of the day was about as frustrating a day as I've ever endured in a poker tournament. I was virtually card dead, and my raises and cbets kept getting snapped off. I dipped below 20K a few times but thankfully kept my discipline and never resorted to doing anything rash. Just before I flew out, I read Negreanu saying how there are times when it seems that you are getting 3 bet every time before the flop and check raised after it and you have to be able to stay patient and disciplined. Given the day I was having, I kept reminding myself of that.

One nice hand dealt by JP McCann (quite a few familar Dublin faces around the room dealing) got me back in it. After I raised with 77 and got 4 calls, the flop came 764 with two diamonds. The table donkey went for the check raise. Assuming he had some manner of draw I shipped the loot in. I had just about enough to price him out of the call, but of course the life and decisions of a donkey are never governed by pot odds so the fact that he folded suggests he was on a total move. In any case, after a couple of minutes hyperventilating while he decided (being all in early on in a deepstack slow structure is not usually part of the Doke plan), I was pretty relieved when he folded. Getting outdrawn with top set once in a week is bad enough but twice would have been sickening.

One other amusing moment: I raised utg. The table maniac in the BB looked at my shirt, asked if Bruce was just the site that I played on or was I sponsored. When I said "sponsored", he folded after some consideration. A few good blind on blind tussles with him got me back over starting stack just before the table broke.

My new table had another French TeamPro, have played with him a few times before, can't remember his name, he's the guy that looks like a youthful version of Uncle Duke in Doonesbury. The only other Irishman in day 1A, Brendan Ruane, was to my immediate right. The rest of the table was pretty bad local donks mostly which meant my ongoing card death was not as big a problem as at the first table. Unfortunately, the table broke pretty quickly and I managed to blow most of my "profits" from it on the last hand against Oncle Duc in a hand I probably had no business being in.

My final table was pretty much the nuts. Apart from one very good Russian, the rest seemed to be locals who seemed to think that all there is to poker is to play as many hands as possible and bluff at every possible opportunity. I worked up to 44K going into the last level when finally I got the right side of the cooler I'd been waiting for all day. With blinds at 500/1000/100, I raised to 2500 in mid position with KK. The very tight Russky repopped to 8K from the BB and I flatted on the basis that a reraise just folds out everything worse. Flop came AKx, he had already asked how much I had behind, and led for 10K. I stuck to the plan and flatted. Turn is a J, and he checked. After thinking for a while as to what this signified, I decided that whether he was trapping (or thought he was) or had given up, I had to bet for a variety of reasons. I bet enough to make it look like I was leaving just enough behind to have a workable shipping/reshipping stack if he shipped and I was floating and had to fold. He instantly shipped and while AA is obviously a huge part of his range, I'm obviously never folding getting almost 6 to 1. So I snap call but ask him nervously if it's aces. He says nothing and when the cards go over, I see the ace first and my heart sinks but the second card is a K so happy days, just have to duck an ace on the river. The hand was dealt by my pal Ken Ralph and I think he was more relieved than me when he turned over the river card and it was a blank.

That hand got me up to 95K and I was able to use my stack and the fact that everyone else was locking up for the night to steal another few chips to finish up at 102400, double the average and in the top 20. A pretty thrilling outcome given the uphill struggle for most of the day.

Mireille disappeared off today to visit one of her brothers. We decided a double car ride wasn't the best preparation for today's day 2 so I stayed here. Plan is to mainly just chill out and be well rested and ready for tomorrow. I went out for a run after breakfast, along the seafront. Got a bit lost on the way back which meant I got to see most of Deauville. As you'd expect from a place namechecked in the Great Gatsby, it's very pretty and conspicuously wealthy, with the definite feeling of a Winner's Circle to the whole place.


Excellent read Dara. Keep it going & good luck tomorow.

great stuff dara, gl tomorrow

Epic start! You are running 'bon' sir... ;-D Will be watching out for all the updates tomorrow! Good luck!

Thanks everyone :)

Fingers crossed for today

Tús maith, leath na hoibre!
N1 Dara, Best of luck for day 2.

Cheers Joe, not to be unfortunately :(

BTW, TonTon Duc as I called him is Arnaud Mattern. Just my luck that that was my only hand reported widely

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