Monday, November 24, 2008

Aces busted, busted aces, then unbusted

OK, SE Winter fest report. 44 runners which was more than I expected to be honest, very high quality field and I drew a tough table with Milly Uhlenbroek to my immediate left, Roy Brindley next to her, Russh next to him, then Noel Hayes and Paul Leckey. Noel got moved early on but the table didn't get any softer as Donal Norton arrived to replace him.

I played solidly and worked my stack up from 15k to 27200 over the 8 hours of play uneventfully, apart from one big hand shortly after Donal joined the table. Blinds were 200/400 and I raised to 1200 utg with KK. Donal called in the cutoff (I know he calls with a very wide range here), Paul Leckey called on the button (ditto - Paul likes suited connected hands in this spot), and the BB completed. Flop was 875 with 2 diamonds, I lead for 3K, both Donal and Paul called. Turn's a blank, a non diamond 2, and after a long dwell, I decide that my hand is probably still good but my opponents may have 20 or more outs between them (most likely situation being that one of them had a combination pair/draw hand and the other a draw and overcards) and with 15K in the middle now and only 13K left behind, I shoved to protect my hand. Donal snap folded and literally reared up from the table, while Paul said he'd really like to see the next card and after a ponder folded (he claimed) T9s. Donal appeared to be steaming a bit when he came back to the table and told me that if I'd checked the turn "you get all my chips" as he'd have pushed 99. That may or may not be true, assuming he didn't suck out, but I was quite happy to take the 15K pot down at that point.

I took a few hits on day 2 and was back to 13K before Sherman doubled me up. He raised AQ utg, called my shove, and my QQ held. I was up to 35K when I got it all in preflop with aces against Paul Leckey's Jacks, but a jack duly arrived on the turn to push me back down to 15K. If my aces had held, I'd have been in a great position.

I worked back up to 30K again thanks mainly to some hyper aggressive open shoving until my exit hand. Sherman open raised for the fourth or fifth pot in a row, I called on the button with 55, flop came down 852 all spades, he shoved, I snap called. When I flipped over my set his face dropped and he turned over aces. Unfortunately one of his aces was the spade, something I don't think he realised when he shoved. When he saw he had the spade he started calling for it. The turn was a non spade 4 (giving him additional outs but increasing me from 65 to 70% favourite) but the king of spades on the river sealed my fate. A cruel end to 13 hours of (I felt) some of the best poker I'd ever played against very challenging opposition and I just wanted to flee the scene. My mood wasn't helped by my opponent's dancing and whooping celebration in front of me either. People must get a real thrill out of seeing the back of me these days: rag2gar commented on his blog on the celebration that accompanied my exit last week from the Bruce main event, and this one was even more over the top.

A lot of people commiserated with me on the way out and I'm always bowled over at the genuine warmth there is on the Irish poker scene in these situations: I just wish I was a better loser and capable of more than the quickest exit out the door I can manage.

I normally get over these things quickly enough but this one seemed to hit me more than most. The gloom persisted when I woke up on Sunday feeling sorry for myself in full "Why do I run so bad?" mode. I don't want to turn this into a full scale whinge but....actually, scratch that, I do want this to turn into a full scale whinge so let's just go for it. It just seems at times like I've never run particularly well at any point in my poker career: even in Drogheda where I was said to have run like God, I only sucked out once (with an overpair v. top 2) and actually lost the two races I was involved in (of course, I did pick up some big hands at the right times, but if you sit and wait like I did for three days, they're always likely to eventually arrive). Since then, I went out of the Irish Open with AK busted/coolered by KJ, the Irish Masters FT ended when my AK was no good against AQ, I had 9's cracked by 78s on the second last table in the GUKPT Newcastle, I ran so bad in Vegas it wasn't funny (my main event ultimately unable to withstand four crushing bad beats), I had aces cracked 4 times and three flopped sets outdrawn in the Macau and now was outdrawn on the two big hands I was in when more than an 80% favourite in one and 65% in the other when the money went in.

My mood wasn't lifted when I signed on for the IO sat (never really got going, and pushed AKs into my nemesis hand, 55) in time to see Rob take a horrible bad beat in his step 6 on Stars (three way allin, effectively for the ticket, his KK v TT and K9). It's a very cruel game at times but as the brother always points out, the better a player you are, the more suckouts you're likely to have to endure (because you're getting your money in good more often). Being able to take them on the chin and come back is a big part of this game.

Haven't been playing online as much in the last week. These days I mostly seem to be using online to tweak or practise certain parts of my game. At the moment I'm mainly playing STTs when I do play. If it turns out I have a sufficient edge to make it worthwhile grinding them, I might specialise in them.

Livewise this week, the plan is to play tomorrow's monthly game in Malahide, Thursday's monthly in the Fitz, and the weekend Winter festival there.

Congrats to the brother who took down a $30 FO on Ipoker for over $1800, and FTed a $10 FO the next night.


Keep the head up Dara,
i have noticed the etiquette thing lately aswell, it is nearly as annoying as slowrolling.

You are a gentleman as always on and off the table, so do what I do, politely shake their hand while mentally thinking of kicking them hard in the goolies...

Works for me anyway. No doubt i'll see you at some of the events in the Fitz Festival.

Hi Dara,
That smartxxs brother of yours is dead right about the bad beats. The more often you get it in good, the more often they are likely to suck out on you. Your consolation should be that in the long run, you are gonna come out ahead and they are gonna come out behind.
I finished 20th inthat IO satt on Sunday. Had good chips and a good chance all the way but really played like a donkey a the end. Felt like kicking myself.
Good luck in the Fitz.
Mick McC

Hi Dara, look at what you've won vis a vis your bad beats, you've had an immense year, the dancing on your exit is cringey stuff...

btw I run worse than you in 20/80
40/60 etc,the difference is you don't appear to let it effect yout game.....part of the learning curve is handling that so some good progress there running man..

the villain in this case got immensely lucky throughout the entire tournament, eventually chopping it.

no justice, sigh. Just practice your funky dance moves for you will surely get the chance to bust them out on his ass some day...

Thanks guys, you all cheered me up in different ways.

See you in the Fitz Smurph.

Good luck in London, Mick, and hard luck in the IO sat.

Thanks for kind words Wilberforce and well done on your cash in the SE, Glyn.


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