Thursday, March 12, 2009

Home thoughts from a bored

Went to Galway last weekend for their monthly tournament. No joy in the tourney but did well in cash so winning trip. More details in a post I typed up on the train home which I'll retrieve from the laptop later.

Played the team event in Molloy's on Sunday. Great craic. Played ok but ran pretty badly. Third in my first round heat which effectively swung on one big hand three handed all in pre with A8s and KTs (suits the same) for 90% of the chips.

Second round table was pretty sick with Pabloh, Marc McDonnell, and Joe the Donk (sorry, Dealer). I managed to lose my entire stack just about on the very first hand in a headsup pot with a flopped flush against a higher flopped flush. It turned out I had 150 left over, or one big blind, which I shipped two hands later with 88. Both callers had AQ and I held. Back up to 600, I shipped TT next hand and Joe made a very brave call in the BB with 62o to the obvious annoyance of Marc. Surprisingly, despite being chip leader early on, and great play like that, Joe was first (or maybe) second out. Meanwhile I worked my stack back up to 4K, then the blinds got big (300/600) and I stdshipped JTs from the SB into A7o to exit in 6th. Our team did well enough for fourth overall, with Paul Coyle winning round 1 and 5th in round 2, Damo 4th and 2nd (horrendously unlucky headsup getting it in with flush draw against lower flush for the win), Larry 2nd and 4th, and team captain the Clamper leading from the front with a win and a 3rd. Fourth prize meant we showed a profit of €20 each on the day. Woohoo.

Two more live outings since, both in Malahide. In their €100 game on Tuesday, I nursed a small stack through prolonged card death to the final table thanks mainly to one well timed move when I shipped AQ from the SB over a cutoff raise knowing I'd get called by weaker aces or queens which is exactly what happened. The card death continued onto the FT and with the prize pool unusually flat there was no point doing anything rash. I nursed the short stack into the money with standard push or fold poker, eventually exiting in 5th when I lost a blind on blind race against Larry. I got €250 (or rather a ticket to the following night's IO sat) for my trouble. Larry and two others chopped almost immediately for €700 so effectively it was a race for €450.

Following night's IO sat had a much stronger turnout than normal in Malahide with almost half the field effectively pros. I got a mare start when my well disguised pocket queens turned from overpair on the flop to second nut flush by the river losing me almost half my stack to Paul Fish's nut flush. I worked my way back from small to medium stack and briefly took the chiplead threehanded when I shipped AK from the BB after Paul raised in the SB and he called hoping to dog with QT. We played on a bit more by which time I was the shortest of the three (lost two pots to Rob, one when I folded to a ship after raising a small pocket on the button, and another with 44 v 66), at which point we agreed a chop, with Rob and Paul taking €1250 and me €1000. I played cash for a few minutes while waiting for Rob to finish up a pool match and added another small bit to the night's profit margin.

Online's been going ok to well too though I'm not putting in that high a volume. I'm splitting my time mostly between grinding superturbo headsup on Ipoker, and MTTs for variation on Full Tilt. I have a 79% ROI on Tilt so far which is decent enough.

I played my first two matches in Serie A of the Boards HU league and got off to a dream start. First I was very fortunate to beat John O'Shea in what he correctly described as an epic match that seeed and sawed and could have gone either way before I shaded it 2-1. Anybody who knows anything about poker doesn't need to be told John's world class, and more than anything I just wanted to give the two time ECOOP winner/WSOP final tableist a decent match. John's something of a controversial figure, his sense of humour is not to everyone's liking, but most people say they started out hating him and ended up liking him. Not me though, I found him instantly likeable, a great character and personality with a wicked sense of humour. A real entertainer.

Second match was against Niall O'Callaghan, who posed problems of his own. Another great match, which I was lucky enough to win as well.

Next up is this weekend's team event in Galway. My teammates are KP, Rob, Cat, Paul Coyle and Rory Brown. I think we have every chance of doing well if we run half decent.

Speaking of running, I'm back in hard training again. The old body is aching and starting to creak. I seemed to have shin splints to the point where I considered calling off yesterday's speed session of 20 200 metre sprints. In the end I pressed on and as always seems to happen, the splints disappeared miraculously. As someone once said, they say you should listen to your body, but if I listened to mine, I'd be at home on the couch stuffing my face with junk food. The Irish team for this year's World Championships in May in Italy is greatly strengthened by the addition of Irish record holder Eoin Keith and the legend himself Richard Donovan. All 5 of us are capable of delivering performances on the day and if three of us do on the day we could be in the hunt for a team medal. I'm approaching the race as make or break: I initially decided to retire after the disappointment in this year's race but had a change of heart, but I'll definitely retire from competitive running if I don't do better this year. It's just getting harder to juggle everything.


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God Dara the Malahideies must be sick to their back teeth of you & Robbie at this stage. Another cash each in the IO sat. WP sir(s)....

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