I went in to my first WPT confident about how I was playing and optimistic I could get a result. Maybe I should aim to go into tourneys pessimistic and jittery, because I managed to butcher my first hand of note. After three betting a German who seemed to be playing very aggro with aces and getting flatted, I then got check called on a JT7 board with two clubs and a low diamond. A low diamond on turn made the board even more draw heavy so instead of checking behind for pot control like I normally would this early, I fired again. That's actually ok I think given the drawy nature of the board but once he raised I should have just gone away. Instead I called to see what he did on the river. All the draws missed so when he fired for about a third of pot I levelled myself into thinking it might be a cheap stab with a missed draw or a blocker with a hand like kings. It wasn't: just top set. So my 30k starting stack was now 20k.
Not to be too results based but it probably made no difference as no matter how many chips I had I think I was always destined to be felted when I got set over setted later on. That left me with 10 bbs and there was no recovery. I shipped in with AKs, got called in two spots, then Dermot Blaine squeezed button for almost half his stack. The first flatter now went away, but the second one, Bodog sponsored pro Tatiana flatted again. The board ran out 7 high with no further betting and when Dermot announced ace high I was suddenly optimistic I might be chopping or even winning, but Tatiana somehow had kings.
I was back day for the IPC. Last year I got a number of monkeys off my back like never having cashed in an EPT main event or a WSOP, so 2012 would be a good year to start cashing in the biggest events on the Irish calendar (never having cashed in an IPC, IO or IWF). My tournament started slowly as I struggled with card death and having Nik Persaud to my left. Things picked up when Padraig Parkinson arrived. Parky was clearly enjoying the festivities too much to be overly fussed about the poker, and having bluffed off half his stack to Nik first hand, did likewise with the other half to me next hand. That got me through to day 2, although a period of card death near the bubble meant I drifted back from being well above average after I made a hero call v Marc McDonnell that prompted some banter on Twitter. This whole business of people tweeting at the table makes things interesting (it also means people at home can follow the banter and get hand and chip updates). When I came back on day 2, Jason was sat directly behind me but I learned of his exit via Twitter!
I flipped well on day 2 to get right into the mix, then lost a big one with kings v ace jack all in pre that would really have put me right in the hunt. That left me in 20 bbs mode again and after finding aces I played them in a way designed to try to extract maximum value and a full double up. It didn't really work out on this occasion as my opponent hit a set on the turn, so it was another second final table exit. Good at least to get the year going with a live cash, although to be honest between my own buyins and those of my stable it barely made a dent on my losses for the weekend.
I was home in time for a Sunday grind and thankfully that went well enough to more than wipe out the live poker losses, as I got a second on French Stars. I followed it with a win a few days later in their main nightly which I bought into late. I was intending to have a night off and had gone into town for dinner with an old friend, then caught a movie with Lappin, and some more food with Lappin, Mongoose and Triona, but when I got home the itch was there so I late regged just in time. Pretty glad I did as I ended up binking for for €8300. So as ever, online rule, live drools.
Right before the WPT I had a long interesting chat with Andy Black. He'd been reading up on ultrarunning so was 20 questions, and was telling me about a one week retreat he was just back from which was invigorating. By the end of my few days in Citywest I was feeling (and looking: there's a rather horrible photo on IPB courtesy of Danny) anything but invigorated. My ongoing health problems are probably something I need to start paying more attention to and factoring in when scheduling. I had been thinking of doing the full WSOP this year but unless the health issue has completely cleared by then (which is possible but unlikely) I might need to look at a 2 to 3 week raiding visit instead. I'm also going to have to maybe look at curtailing my domestic schedule too rather than simply playing everything on the calendar.
Tomorrow I'm appearing with Breifne on his Dublin City FM Sunday sports show On The Ball. Think I'm scheduled for arpound 4.30. Breifne is currently launching a rankings site for Irish poker and there's a nightly €33 freezeout on Irish Eyes that I play most nights that counts for points. Irish Eyes Poker have also put a bounty on my head on the night I do play (whoever knocks me out gets entry to a freeroll for the monthly 100K game on Irish Eyes worth €200) so hopefully I'll see you there at some point. Also, I recently did an interview for PocketFives on the occasion of my second triple crown