I played the Super Poker event (or the Super Dooper event as me and Chris Dowling both tried to rename it, at least on Twitter) in Citywest. The tournament was a very different animal from last year's inaugural running with a much better structure. I got off to a good start (flopping quads against Nicky Power kinda helps) and was feeling very positive fresh off my deep run at UKIPT Cork and a good week at the online tables. I got up as high as 75k before playing my first hand of interest. Eventual final tableist Sammy O'Brien opened in early position and I found tens on the button. Lappin often makes the point that most of the trickiest and most interesting spots in tourney poker occur when you have nines or tens facing a raise and the stacks are relatively deep, as they were in this case. While Sammy is definitely on the looser side of the Rock Paper Maniac spectrum and tens figures to be well ahead of his opening range, it doesn't figure to be in good shape against his 4 betting range. So I decided to flat his open rather than 3 bet and run the risk of facing a very tricky decision if he did 4 bet. Another factor in my decision is the big blind had a reshoving stack of about 20 big blinds. If he did squeeze and Sammy went away I was a lot happier calling off 20 big blinds against his range than I would be calling off 70 against Sammy. The big blind dwelt a little while apparently considering the squeeze before eventually flatted too.
I thought the 9 high flop looked pretty good for my hand until the action went shove reshove. While I would have happily called the big blind (who could just be executing a stop and go with any pair or air on a flop which doesn't look like it should have hit me or Sammy), getting the loot in against Sammy with the bare overpair didn't seem sensible. While I was aware he could be overplaying something worse I didn't feel he would show up with pocket eights or a random nine often enough for the call to be profitable. Even if I felt it was close (which I didn't) I'd still fold a lot in a decent structure with a relatively soft field rather than make a high variance call for all my chips. After I folded I got to see the two hands. I didn't expect to be ahead of both, but was somewhat surprised to see I was ahead of Sammy's ace nine but behind the big blind jacks. There's no point in being too results based in these situations though: I was still happy with the fold (and happier again when another nine popped out on the river meaning had I made the call Sammy would have got there against me). My next big hand was also against Sammy. He opened again in early to mid position, and I 3 bet kings from the small blind. I deliberately sized my 3 bet a lot bigger than normal as Sammy doesn't seem to fold very much to 3 bets, meaning I was able to get a quarter of my stack in pre. This means the rest of the chips were going in on almost any flop without an ace on it. The jt7 flop isn't exactly the best of flops for kings, but not the worst either, meaning I pretty much have to be prepared to follow through and get the rest in against an opponent who had already shown willing to put a lot of chips in with one pair. So I bet called my overpair only to find to my dismay that Sammy had flopped a set of sevens. No miracle suckout and i was on my way towards the exit. At least my chips went to a good home. Sammy is a gentleman who does very well on the Dublin circuit and is very popular.
I did manage to final table the side event, busting in 7th. Coupled with my cash in UKIPT Cork that means I cashed in two of my last four live tourneys, a pleasant turn around of my form in the second half of last year.
In between I did some commentary for the livestream alongside fellow Firm member Nick Newport, Lithuanian online beast Vytauskas (who plays as begalybe on Irish Eyes) and Feargal Nealon. Myself and Nick commentated on the final table which featured two friends of mine, Jamie Browne (who finished 4th) and Daryl McAleenan (who was second). Well done to both lads. Also a big well done to Nick who was in the commentary box for most of the weekend and took to it like a duck to water. Big Iain recorded the last segment and will be making it available online soon.
After the tourney was finished myself and Nick went to the bar for a pint or two with Daryl. We were joined by one of my favourite characters on the Irish scene Bob Tait. A proud Scot famous for turning up at tourneys in a kilt, Bob is always a delight to run into. He introduced us to a lovely couple from Donegal, Laura and Martin Coyle. Laura has some memory as she reminded me of a big hand we played in Killarney three years ago when I made aces full versus her quad kings. I managed to find the fold on the river. God be with the days I was able to fold full houses: these days I struggle to fold a pair :)
One of the delights of live poker is the social aspect and meeting so many great people you wouldn't otherwise meet. While we were in Citywest we filmed some stuff for Irish Eyes and on how to get staked by The Firm so look for that soon on the Irish Eyes site.
Finally, a free giveaway. The next big event in Citywest I'm looking forward to is the Legends Cup. Irish Eyes Ideal is currently running satellites to the event. There are $5 sats every say from Monday to Saturdays at 8 pm to a $32+ reg qualifier every Sunday at 8 pm for day 1 seats in the Legends. I'm giving away ten entries to a $5 satellite to the first ten people who have signed up to Irish Eyes using my code "Doke" (if you haven't signed up already you can do so) who send me a tweet (I am daraokearney on Twitter) or Facebook or here (on this blog) with their Irish Eyes username and the day they want to play. The first ten people to do so will be automatically registered.