Friday, March 12, 2010

Back in the swing

Well, it's good to be back home. After a week of live only (the connection in Berlin was both too costly and undependable to make online play feasible), I'm was really looking forward to getting back to some online grinding. The week in Berlin felt strange in that even though I played four tournaments, it felt like I played very little poker. Since I went full time almost two years ago, I've played 10-12 hours of poker almost every day and there was only one day in Berlin where I put in anything like that amount of time.

At first it looked like the recent downswing was continuing. I got headsup in the first 3x Snowfest turbo I played this week with a 6:1 chiplead which quickly disappeared when I lost a 70/30, an 80/20 and a 90/10 for the package, and then an 80/20 for the rest of my chips. While that had me screaming at the screen and pulling hair out by the roots like a tilt monkey, you have to be resilient in this game and just keep going, and it all came good a few hours when I was winning the next 3x for a cool €5k in tournament money. I kicked on from there, doing well across the board online this week in sit n goes, 3x's (a few more cashes) and MTTs on Bruce. The highlight was winning last night's 10k for $2400. The headsup ended in rather bizarre fashion. I got headsup with a player who seemed to be playing too tight shorthanded so my plan was relentless aggression, raising every button and betting every time he showed weakness. This simple strategy ground him down to 10 big blinds when I went for the kill and shippede in with T9o. He called with A2s and held. He then seemed to go on tilt at the realisation that I might have been betting or shoving non-monsters, and as often happens in these cases he decided he was not going to stand for it any more and either open shipped or reshipped the next eight hands! On the ninth hand, I had KQ, not a hand you'd normally want to be calling a 30 big blind shove with but in the circumstances a super snap call. He had QTo and I held. I've commented before that the MTTs on Cake seem exceptionally soft late on. It seems to be mostly Americans and although they play the earlier stages reasonably well, or at least reasonably solidly, they seem to be a few years behind current theory when it gets to the latter stages, rather like weak live players who don't get the whole push/fold nature of big blind play.

In any case, it was great to win a tournament on my sponsors (first of many hopefully) and I notched up some other cashes (including one in last night's 20K gtd). The nightly mtts with their great structures and softish fields are the best mtt vale online at the moment, and to make matters even better, there are often overlays, as there was in both the 10k and the 20k last night.

Three live outings planned for this week. A while back, Padraig Parkinson rang me. It's not every day you get a call from a legend of Irish poker so you pay attention when one does. He wanted to know if Bruce were putting a team into the charity team event he's putting on this Sunday in the Jackpot. Indeed we are: I'll be joined by Francis "Wally" McCormack, Phil Baker and Liz Mullally. Parky has dubbed us the "four wallies" and I thought it was only fair to give advance warning of the presence of Phil and Liz on our team: other teams may need to look into stocking up on ear muffs. I think it's safe to say our team will make its presence felt or rather heard regardless of how we go. The event is in aid of the homeless, a cause close to Parky's heart, and deserves to be supported.

Before that, I'll be playing the individual event in the Jackpot tonight (Friday), and will be out in Swords on Saturday to support Larry Csanto who did a great job in Malahide and now has his own place.



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