Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ain't no party like a D4 party

While my overall record in tourneys run by Mike and Brian of D4 Events is second to none, closer examination reveals that while my record in their European Deepstack is sensational (I won the first one, cashed in the second, and final tabled the third), my record in their other major, the European Shorthanded, is atrocious (I've never made it out of day 1 alive). So I was hoping to put that to rights last week in the D4 Ballsbridge Inn.

I played the supersat the night before, primarily because I thought it would be a good idea to get some 6 max live practise in, and to see what type of bad the bad players were likely to be the following day. Things got off to a bad start: the supersat was actually played out 9 handed, and I was down to my last allowed rebuy early on when I raised AK on the button and got it in on a KT9 flop against the big blind's K7o. He obviously knew the 7 was coming on the turn when he called my rereraise shove on the flop. I managed to recover from there to bink a ticket, due in no small part to finding aces every time I really really needed them, and better yet, a customer willing to call my shove with something like 23 on the "two live cards" basis.

I played day 1A, made a reasonable start, but then it all went in 3 hands just before the first break. First I got set over setted, which is never fun. That accounted for half my stack. Half of what remained went a few hands later when I called the flop with a draw, barrelled when another draw got there on the turn and it was checked to me, and fired a second bullet on the river which failed to get through as my opponent had the flush I was trying to represent. Then just before the break, Joey Lovelady opened, I threebet AKs playing 50 bbs, the value at the table put in a massive 4 bet for more than my stack and I called it off. There are spots where I might fold AKs, but 50 bbs having already threebet against a French player playing every hand ain't one.

When you managed to incinerate 200 big blinds that fast, self doubt is inevitable, so I ran all three hands by the people I go to for line checks. The Doke Thinktank findings were that the first hand was fine (most thought there wouldn't have been a second and third hand as they'd have lost the lot right there), the second hand was split between people who thought I played it fine, too aggro (fold pre or flop), or not aggro enough (shove flop or turn), and nobody was ever folding in the third one. Sometimes it's just not your day.

Take 2
This being a re-entry, I was back on Friday for take 2. I got going this time but took a few hits late in the day and then went out in a fairly standard blind on blind cooler. Apart from that, the only highlight was running into and having a chat with the loveliest woman in poker, Rebecca McAdam, recently appointed deputy editor at Card Player.

Knowing and doing - two very different things
Before the 300 side game on Saturday, I ran into my Irish Eyes teammate Paul Lucey and my amigo Feargal "MidniteKowby" Nealon (who is crushing the turbos online at the moment). Feargal gave us a good pep talk about playing uber tight and avoiding marginal spots against French action junkies just itching to gift your their stacks if you showed a bit of patience. I agreed in principle but somehow found myself playing way too many hands early on and losing about half my stack in a series of marginal spots. At the next table, Feargal bluffed off half his stack first hand, and then when he did get a stack hero called it off! Right pair we are. Feargal busted in time to run off to the Betfair game in the Fitz and bust that to be back in time for dinner.

At a secret location
I knuckled down in the side and staged a mini recovery until I got it in in a fairly standard race just before dinner, my jacks losing to ak. I had an interest in my friend Daragh "Other Dara" Davey who was chipleader of the main at this point, so I arranged to meet him for dinner. What started as a Dara only event gradually mushroomed as I ran into other people or they phoned: I ran into Ger Harraghy, Albert Kenny and bops in the hotel, David Lappin materialised out of a cab, and Feargal arrived back from the Fitz. Bit of an ordeal getting everyone to the secret location as most of them knew me but none of the others, but after a few false starts and Other Dara leading Ger to the wrong place, we had a good dinner. It's always interesting to hear a bunch of top class players with widely divergent styles discussing and debating hands, and Lappin had some great non-poker stories from the film world (his Da produced the likes of My Left Foot, In The Name of the Father and The Boxer). Tempting as it is to steal them to spice up the blog at this point, you'll have to ask him in person :)

Wasted Sundays
My original plan was not to show my face in D4 on Sunday unless I was in the main event, but smarting from the events of the past three days, I was back the next day for the last event, the 200. I was hoping this would be a proper crapshoot where I could chip up or bust early, but they gave us way too many chips and too much time for that. Instead I chipped up and then bust just after the bubble, my A9 failing to hold against 89o. Another min cash on my Hendon mob.

Congrats to James Waldron for winning that game. Also well done to Other Dara in the main (he got horrendously unlucky in the end), and to "best of the Irish Eoin "starrbar" Starr who followed up his recent UKIPT side event win with a 12th here, and "best of the Irish based" Ivan Tononi. When I went over to check on Other Dara at one point I was rather dismayed to see ViperEyeIRL Ivan to Daragh's immediate left. But once Daragh was out I'd have loved to see Ivan win this: he's not only a really great player but also a perfect gentleman He's one of those guys who always seems to get very unlucky when it really matters (here he couldn't have got it in much better, aces v j8o on an 8 high flop) but hopefully it's just a matter of time before he has his day.

Also, well done Albert Kenny, who got 7th in the WCOOP Omaha HiLO AND busted Negreanu. The two Daras were railing him at 6 AM and he was desperately unlucky not to take it down.

Away trip
This week I'm on my first away trip since Vegas. This blog is being written on the place to Barcelona, where I play 1B of the EMOP tomorrow. I just ran into Brian "Fox" O'Keeffe and a few of the other Waterford lads. Brian's apparently an even more nervous flyer than fellow Deise legend Nicky Power: must be a Waterford thing. Hoping for a good run at this one but if not, Barcelona's a nice city to spend time with your better half (Mrs. Doke is along for this trip, currently giving me an earful on how boring it is to fly). Yes dear.

On Monday I head to London for the EPT. I'll play one or two sides before the Country of the Year freeroll on Thursday. Good luck to everyone playing in London and Killarney at the weekend: I have a few horses in both so hoping for a good weekend on the sweat front.

Terminal poker
Something new and fun on Irish Eyes is Terminal Poker. The basic idea is similar to rush poker. At the moment it has a growing number but still small. If anyone wants a freebie to try it out, sign up here at my blog (link on the side), and then email me your username and we'll give you a 10 euro free money voucher to get started.



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