Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bless me Father for I have blogged

It's been a few weeks since the last blog, mainly because I've been playing almost exclusively online, and online doesn't tend to throw up too much that's bloggable. I did get out of the house once to play an Irish Open satellite in the Burlington which at least was a successful foray. Two tables meant only 1 ticket and €1300 for second, and I ended up chopping headsup with Daragh Davey.

Daragh was my roommate for a few days at the JP Masters festival. After a slow start that saw the main event draw less than 100 runners (and probably pound for pound the highest quality field ever in Ireland) things picked up day by day as the Norwegian invaders arrived for their own Norwegian poker championships. The Vikings may have toned down their rape and pillage traditions these days, but they certainly like to drink and gamble. By the time I left, the nightly turbos were getting more runners than the main event had got, and there were dozens of cash tables filled with deep pocketed Norwegians looking to get their gamble on.

My own main event was a pretty miserable affair where I basically withered from starting to a stump on day 1, and when I sent my 10 big blinds into the middle early on day 2 supported by a bad suited ace, I ran into a marginally better ace in the hands of Mully85. No suckout or chop and my stack became part of his as he mounted another live assault that brought him all the way to the final table. Well done to him and the other Irish final tableists, Tom "the Bomb" Finneran, Alan Truick and especially eventual winner Knuckles.

I did some live stream commentary with Iain (who had featured me as you've never seen him before on his UKI poker show) on the final table which was enjoyable as ever, despite some technical problems.

Highlight of my JP Masters campaign was a win in the 300 side event. This was sweet as it's been a while since I actually won a live event. Things didn't exactly go my way early on when I lost half my stack in a funny hand, but I hung in there with a short stack for most of the final table and got lucky when needed. Both Lappin and Young Master Davey were in attendance too. A bit of history between them earlier in the tournament made for an interesting dynamic on the final table. Lappin tends to be the most unpredictable player at the table and was again on this occasion, and was unlucky to be crippled by Young Master Davey in a standard racing spot on the bubble. I then crippled YMD in another racing spot where I had 26 outs by the river, and ended up headsup with English pro Mark Segal. 6:1 down in chips, I decided my best chance was to try to gradually chip rather than flip my way back into it, which led to a very long headsup war of attrition. I'd hauled myself back to near parity when I again got lucky when I needed to. As the blinds mounted leaving less room for smallball and widening the range of hands we were both willing to get it in pre with, we did get it in and my ace 5 was in bad shape against Mark's eights. The queen high flop threw up a couple of low cards giving me a gutshot that only a deuce could fill, but no more bother to me: out popped one on the river. That left Mark chronically short and I sealed the deal a few hands later with ace ten against a raggy ten.

My roomie won the unlimited rebuy side event the following night, fairly demolishing the final table, and we both made the final table of the last event I played out there. I was ninth on this occasion while he ended up fifth for his third cash of the series. Hopefully we'll maintain this level of hit rate at the next series where we're rooming together (the WSOP).

On Wednesday morning I headed to Lisbon with Lappin for the EMOP here. One of the biggest problems when combining live with online tends to be sleeping patterns which generally need to be switched around as online poker has a more evening/nocturnal schedule. We both got about 2 hours sleep yesterday, and after wandering round Cascais for a while, we ran into Kevin Spillane and Gary Clarke in a Beefeater pub. Kev got his hustle on and we found ourselves on the wrong side of a pool score. Once he realised we'd been hustled, Lappin started talking and called onthe Jedi mind tricks he uses to such good effect at the poker table, and before anyone was too sure what had happened we'd somehow clawed back to claim victory and the confused lads were giving rather than receiving hard currency.

We walked back to the hotel to get my passport to go to the casino, but instead fell asleep. When we woke a few hours later Lappin demanded an executive decision as to whether to get up for a few hours or try to sleep on. I ruled for the latter, and drifted back to sleep to the sound of Lappin whining how this could never work, we'd wake up at 3 AM, and then be rightly knackered by the time we had to play Day 1A at 4 PM. It's now 10 AM and he is still sleeping like a baby in a onesie, so though he'd never admit it, it looks like he was wrong.



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