Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Running bad in green

I should probably have taken it as a bad omen when I pulled the green gear I had to wear for the Irish Winter Festival as part of the Sole Survivor promotion out of the green bag as the last time I ran well in green was back in 2007 at the World 24 Hour Running championships.

And the fact that even then I spent the next 24 hours in hospital suggests maybe even that wasn't that good a run as I thought at the time. Speaking of the running, my old running club asked me to explain myself and this poker mullarkey and you can read my attempt to do so at "I haven't gone away, you know". Thanks to my advisers Andrew and Feargal for some much needed help to stop me making an eejit of myself with this.

Anyway, my main event never got past my starting table or day one. I was happy enough with how I played, just didn't happen on the day. Very mixed starting table that included John Eames and Peter "Knuckles" Higgins. Both played very well and it was Knuckles who got me in the end, one of those cases in poker where someone makes a wrong move at the right time. At 300/600 Knuckles misclicked, inadvertently opening for 4500 when he threw in 3 1000's (rather than 3 100's: they were ridiculously similar) along with 3 500's in early position. I had AK behind and a reshipping stack so my 9500 went into the middle and even though he only had T7s it was obviously a no brainer call getting 3 to 1. Tens kept popping out of the deck on different streets and that was that for me.

Came back the next day feeling a lot more at ease in my trademark look with the Bruce shirt and a new plan for the side event (run better) and executed it well enough until I was chipleader late in the day. Then the ladies started to let me down: lost a 50k pot with queens v nines all in pre, and another chunk with AQs v A5o (the money going in pre when I reraised and on the turn when I hit a straight). Both of them were four flushes which to my mind is right up there with counterfeiting as annoying ways to get sucked out on. Still, I got out of the day with over 50k, below average but tenth in chips with 22 left. Other than that, the highlight of the day was listening to Neil Channing's constant chatter (which tilted the living daylights out of my Italiano neighbour) and tales (apparently some ludramaun is going around telling people like Neil I think it's correct to fold aces pre in certain spots on the bubble of a normal mtt). The other highlight was knocking Neil out to the immense relief of my Italian friend who I think offered me his first born as reward (hard to be sure since his English and my Italian were a 72o/32o type match up for what's worse). I'm happy to say I totally outplayed the Irish Open champ and WSOP bracelet winner in the hand on every street even if that's a blatant fabrication (he made a little speech and shoved sevens with a short stack in late position and I had a no brainer silent snap call with AJs in the BB and hit a jack).

Came back for day 2 with the same plan but didn't really execute. Drifted back a bit in early going chasing draws. I've come to the conclusion that shoving draws in Irish live tourneys is not really that good an idea unless you really dig getting it in as a dog as you have very little fold equity most of the time. At the start of my career I never bothered with suited connectors and maybe I was better off for it. I guess with some steal equity or against calling stations who will let you chase cheaply they're still worth playing but you're probably not losing much if you simply decide never to play them. Pretty depressing since it essentially reduces the game to waiting for cards but then again a lot of the big online winners do exactly that without dying of boredom. After a period of working out what adjustments were needed to go from playing in Ireland to playing abroad or online, I've been thinking a lot recently and talking to my poker pro buddies about the adjustments needed when I play live in Ireland (as opposed to live elsewhere, or online) and I think my live tourney game has improved for it.

Anyway, I did what was needed as far as selecting good plus Ev shipping spots to survive a short stack through the two hour plus bubble. I felt my patience and discipline deserved to be rewarded with a double up on my first called ship, but my AK failed to improve against fives and that was that, 13th for €1400. I wasn't too disappointed though: good to get some sort of a result and I was extremely happy with how I played. I always feel that consistency is a better indicator of quality in this game than any one result no matter how big.

Was thrilled to see Tom Finneran get a result in the main, and also well done to everyone else who cashed, especially eventual winner Nicholas Newport. Also well done to the organisers: this used to be a bit of a meh event but they're doing a job building it as the one of the few big buyin tourneys of the winter season. As great as it is to see all these relatively modest buyin games in Ireland, for balance it would be nice to see more big buyin events. To give live players a chance to develop their skills and make a living in the bigger games you need more than a couple of monkey events a month. For a country that quite rightly prides itself as a poker nation, it's a real shame that Ireland doesn't have an EPT leg when you look at some of the smaller countries that do.

Online continues to go very well, but I won't bore you further with exact details (that's what my Twitter and Facebook are for). Or I might run into you at one of my next live outings (Fitz EOM or JP's WSOP mini series) and get the chance to bore you with them there.



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