Monday, March 23, 2009

Fun days and Bundys

Got up at 8 so I could have the ordained 4 hour run out of the way before we headed to Galway. I thought it would take more out of me as it was the first long one in a while and I only had 90 minutes sleep but actually I was fine.Travelled down with Cat and Rob and met Rory and Paul shortly after we arrived. KP had reportedly been out exorcising the demons the night before and had not been sighted yet today, apart from when he inadvertently set off the fire alarm in his room taking a shower.We got something to eat and then headed over to the Eglinton which was already buzzing with anticipation. KP had been in negotiations with John O'Shea's team the Clear Favourites/Team Bundy for a price and we'd all decided that if we could get 5 to 4 we were all in, but despite the presence of a WSOP FTist, two IPC champions, the ECOOP ME champ and a bookie, it emerged they didn't rate themselves better than 50/50 to beat us so no side bet. We did however get 1200 on at evens with Pat O'Callaghan's Galway team.We got off to a ropey start collectively with nobody making progress in the early stages and just before the break we lost our first team member when Rory was coolered with AK on a K high board against strangely played aces. Things got no better after the break when Paul's ship was called very light by QT. Absolutely nothing was happening for me either: total card death and lack of situations meant that the ship or fold section came fast (my only criticism of what was otherwise a top class event was that the starting stack, 30 minute clock and quick introduction of antes didn't make for a lot of play). I managed to win my first called ship (people are still calling me quite light!) to double up, but never really escaped ship or fold mode. I managed to loiter around until over half the field had been dispatched. Had it not been a team event I'd probably have gambled earlier but with points accruing for every 5 places survived there was a strong motivation to loiter. With 36 left, I considered and rejected a marginal utg ship. By the time I shipped A8s four hands later into nines in the blinds, my exit hand, a further 7 players had bitten the dust.So not a particularly eventful tournament for me personally. The main excitement came courtesy of Paul Leckey. From the minute he sat down at the table, he set his sights on me as the target for his own acerbic brand of humour. Initially when he started by pointing out that my hat was too small for my head, I played along, agreeing that I had a freakishly large head. While I probably don't enjoy so called "banter" as much as most (in my view, very few people as are as funny as they like to think themselves), I have no problem with being the source of amusement up to a point, but that point was reached when it seemed there was nothing else worthy of discussion, and that was worthy of any amount of discussion. Having seen Paul do this to others before, I always interpreted it as a bit of an angleshoot to distract the target and others and help establish Paul as the table captain. I decided the best line was to just ignore it entirely. Once Paul realised I was ignoring him, he redoubled his efforts. His comments migrated onwards to question other aspects of my personal appearance and character, and my running career, aided and abetted in part by the Clamper in a sidekick role. The rest of the table seemed more embarrassed than anything by the standoff. Eventually Paul seemed to realise that any further goading was pointless and he let it drop. In his defense, he had clearly drunk a lot (at one point Fintan asked him if he needed another 4 bottles of wine), and he apologised to me in the bar afterwards, and at breakfast the next day.Early in the tournament things weren't looking good for our side bet with the Galway team. We had already lost 2 of ours while they seemed destined to win every allin they found themselves in, no matter how far behind, but in the end they all fell like skittles leaving us with no sweat. Things were also looking very good for Team Bundy until one by one they all threw themselves on their swords around the same time as my exit. Team captain John O'Shea showed great character to keep on going despite his obvious disappointment. He was a class act on the final table and thoroughly deserved the solo win. Our team did brilliantly to land three team members on the final table. Star of the show was Cat O'Neill, who recovered from making what would normally have been a great fold only to be shown a bluff by the Clamper about 5 tables out to deliver another flawless performance. KP too played brilliantly and would have been a real force on the final table had he not been crippled just before when a standard late position ship with a pair ran into a bigger pair behind. Rob played well too on the FT and 5 handed was effectively one card away from securing the win for our team when he had Jaye Renehan, the Eglinton team's last team member, all in with 87 against Rob's AQ which stayed ahead till an 8 on the river saved them. Jaye played brilliantly in a night watchman role nursing a short stack through apparent card death to guide his team home. After Rob exitted in 5th place (a KK into Johnny Weafer's AA cooler) our only hope lay in Jaye going out 4th and Cat winning. Despite his loud protestations that his main priority was to thwart Team Taylor, John O'Shea seized the opportunity to eliminate Jaye in 4th. Unfortunately it was not to be, with Cat being eliminated in one of those two monster hands that play themselves, leaving the two Johns (Weafer and O'Shea) to battle it out for individual honours and the third place prize behind us and Team Eglinton.We more or less jumped straight into the 200 side event. At one stage a massive overlay looked on the cards but Fintan must have gone around ringing a special bell in all the nearby pubs as a horde of well oiled punters arrived to swell the numbers just before late registration closed.I was happy with how I played. The two most interesting hands both saw me making calls I probably wouldn't have been capable of until recently. The first arose three tables out. I raised a mid position short stack limper with AKs. The SB and the limper both called. I missed the 962 flop and the original limper shipped. Getting 2 to 1 on the call it boiled down to estimating my equity against his shipping range. His most likely holding at that point was a single pair either on the board or in the hole so my two overs gave me 6 likely outs. I also had a runner runner nut flush draw which added a certain 6% to my equity, bringing me up to 30% if he had a pair. There was also some possibility I was actually ahead with ace high given his short stack desperation. That added "beating a bluff" equity tipped me past the 33% I needed to make it a call. As it turned out, I was ahead: he had T7 for no pair and a gutshot, and I held.The second most interesting hand arose on the second last table. With the blinds at 300/600, we had just come back from a break when Keith McFadden shipped for 9 bigs from the hijack. Looking down at QJ, ordinarily not a great hand to call a ship with (so easily dominated), I eventually decided it had the 40% equity it required against Keith's likely shipping range. In the event, he had 86o so I was well ahead, but he seemed genuinely surprised and annoyed by the call, particularly when I held. I tried to explain that I felt I was priced in and knew he was good enough to be shipping a fairly wide range, particularly into me, a player not known for an over attachment to either my blinds or the "two live cards" school of thought.That got me in reasonable shape to lose a race that would cripple me just shy of the FT. I stuck in a pot committing raise with AK over a Paul Leckey raise and found myself up against queens. Next hand, down to 3 bigs, I shipped 88 into Rob's KK and that was that. Rob went on to finish second, leapfrogging him to the top of the official Irish rankings, something I'm sure he's well chuffed about.I played a bit of cash and had some entertaining chat with Ken, Paul Coyle and John O'Shea, who said some very gracious things about me. I ground up a small profit in the cash which combined with my share of the team prize and our side bet brought my profit on the weekend to over 1K, which I'd settle for every weekend. All in all, a great weekend, and kudos to Dave and Fintan for pulling such an outstanding event together. The final table was one of the most gripping I've ever seen and would have made for great TV.
As further proof of my continuing descent to degeneracy, we raced back early on Sunday to play an IO sat in Dean's Grange. There weren't enough runners for a ticket so the tourney reverted to a standard cash prize structure, which was just as well as I ended up exiting in third (for €550). Straight from there to Malahide for a few hours of live 2/5 cash, where I ground out a staggering profit of €12 (plus a substantial tipping budget for Tanya). As I've noted before, I really really really hate live cash even if I tend to do pretty well at it.


Hi Dara,

Played with Leckey in the IPC Supersat and he started commenting about my stoic silence. I just shot him a few intense stares and he gave it up. Busted him soon after as well.

Never nice to be on the receiving end of this kind of stuff but it's all angleshooting designed to get you off your game. If he didn't rate you or worry about you as a player he wouldn't bother.

That TM stare... uh oh(!)

Great write up as usual Dara! LOL-ed at all the games you played over 48 hours in 3 different locations... all miles form each other... A true dengen ye sure are!!!

Indeed, heard a few interesting stories about Leckey from some of the other Northern lads.

Thanks QueenJ.


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