Thursday, July 30, 2009

Break through in the weshhht

In Galway for a short holiday with my better half. No rest for the wicked, of course, and the happy coincidence of the Eglinton's race week festival in full swing means the opportunity for some live poker. Drove down yesterday afternoon and straight in to the Eglinton. Good chat with Dave Curtis who is doing an amazing job promoting the place. As testimony to his success, a proposed interview I was to do with Ian and Nicky of Irish Poker Radio had to be rescheduled as all the tables in the place were needed for the tourney.

Tourney started very well for me, I had the bizarre experience of running well, even won a flip at one point. I have to admit when I first played in the Eglinton I formed the belief that Galway players were the worst in the country and that 99% of them fell into the Bad Hyperlag category but standards have clearly risen dramatically, presumably in response to better players playing there and the better structures Dave has introduced, and my first table was Solid Central (including eventual winner Aisling Ainsworth, Jude's better half).

There was a fair bit of play in the early stages but as you'd expect in any tournament that has to whittle down from 111 to 1 in 1 night, it became a crapshhot of online super turbo proportions as the bubble approached. On the second last table, average stack was 8 bigs, average M three, and there wasn't a lot of skilful post flop play left to be doing. Chris Dowling noted that with myself and Frances McCormack and Sylvester Geoghegan and himself on one table, and Jude Ainsworth and Keith McFadden on the other with about 14 left, one of the best ever final tables was shaping up. I pointed out that we'd all have about 6 big blinds. I found myself chronically short on the bubble with 4.5 big blinds, Vesty shipped utg, and when I saw the first card I looked at in the big blind was an ace, I was pretty sure I was calling. The second one wasn't pretty, a 6 of the same suit, a marginal enough call even this shallow against a lot of players but having seen Vesty ship anything resembling a hand in these spots before including baby suited connectors not against him, so I called quickly. Vesty turned over an ace saying he'd looked at only one card, not exactly good news for me as it meant I was more than likely dominated, but his second card was a 3. Better still, when the board ran out, the 6 still played.

Notwithstanding my earlier comments about rising standards in Galway, the final table included some of the strangest plays I've ever seen. First, the chipleader, the only player with significantly more than average, with almost a quarter of chips, exitted in half an orbit. First hand, Chris Dowling raised, chippie min reraised on the button and called the ship with A4s (Chris had queens). Then he limped KJo utg and got stacked by Chris' set on the flop. Next it was Keith McFadden's turn to shine: playing about 80K, with the blinds at 5k/10k/1k ante, he raised to 42K in late position, then folded to a ship for 59K (17K more), showing 95o.

My FT was relatively uneventful and completely standard: I lost a round of blinds and antes, then got them back shipping KQs on the button (uncalled). Next hand, Chris raises in early position, I ship again with AK, he calls with 87s. Flop misses both of us, but both turn and river are sevens as expected for the man who runs better than anyone else in Ireland :)

A lot of work for less than 200 in profit as Dave Curtis pointed out immediately afterwards, but taking the positives, nice to have a second final table in a week (in ranking events) and my first ever result in Galway. As Nicky Power is always saying, you're really nobody in the poker world till you cash in Galway.

Footnote: When I woke up this morning, the results were already up at the Eglinton's web site. Compared to these Galway lads, the Dublin casinos are in the dark ages in terms of online presence.


lol at the Keith McFadden fold; that's unreal from him unless it was a very player specific read & even then.......

Oh, enjoy the break & the poker Dara.

Keith did indeed go with the soul read defence immediately afterwards :)

In his defence Keith's ability to read people and body language is second to none and by far the best aspect of his game. My main question was why raise so much if you're on a pure steal and willing to even entertain the fold to the reraise.

You would know the equity % Dara but I'm sure it's wrong to fold here with ATC given the raise, stacks etc:

With his stack he can't raise & fold to anything.

The fold can't really be justified on any grounds in my book (other than maybe the Phil Hellmuth "I don't want to put chips into the pot as a massive dog" school of thought that I don't subscribe to). As it happens, the other guy had TT so Keith was worse than 6 to 1, but the pot was laying him over 7 to 1.


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