Friday, March 11, 2011


Well, after cashing the first first two UKIPTs of this season, my challenge in the third one (Manchester) never amounted to much at all. I was happy enough with my table draw, and early on moved up to 20K (from 15K starting) without too many showdowns or incidents. I struggled with card death all day though and eventually the table stopped believing I had a hand every time and I found it harder to get anything through. By dinner I was back down to 8k, thanks in no small part to a couple of bad river calls where I was pretty much only beating a bluff and he wasn't. I go backwards and forwards all the time trying to strike a balance between calling and folding too much in those spots: I think maybe now I need to start folding more again.

I played precisely zero hands in the next hour as there was no good spot or hand to get it in with, and was down to 4k by the time the blinds hit 300/600/75, so it was obviously imperative to get it in before I got any lower. A spot presented itself very first hand on the table. I found AQ in the SB and was obviously willing to get it in under most circumstances. The tightest player on the table, not realising the blinds had just gone up, tried to raise to 1k utg. The ruling is he has to min raise to 1200 and to be honest I'm not liking my AQ so much any more and I'm probably folding if the others fold round to me. However, a loose player flats the 1200 just behind which changes things again. Although my AQ is still in bad shape against the initial opener's range, if I ship and he reships to isolate and the other guy folds, I'm headsup getting almost 2 to 1 on my money because of all the dead money, and who knows, I can be lucky and he can have tens or jacks rather than queens plus or AK. In practise it works out even better: the initial opener tanks and folds (jacks he said), the caller calls with AJo, so I'm now a massive favourite to treble up. Unfortunately the flop came (case) jack 4 4, and I was on the rail a few seconds later. It seems that every tournament I play in Manchester ends the same way: I never really get going and late on day 1 lose the first time I get it all in.

Feargal is in bits with his wisdom tooth. While he was off looking for a dentist, I was trying to get his day switched. Toby and Dena graciously accomodated on that score. With me out and him unable to play we're basically holed up in the Ramada, which is a hell of a hole in which to be holed up. I've seen better prison cells, the TV was banjaxed, the internet connection still is. On the bright side, Feargal's managed to score a couple of tickets to the Man U - Arsenal game tomorrow (Feargal's a great man for this sort of thing) so if he feels better the plan is to hit that, and be back in time to play the 300 side event tomorrow. Only problem is the tickets are in the Stretford End so if Arsenal do score I won't be able to celebrate but will have to keep a poker face.

For the curious among you who wonder about the answers to life's biggest questions: Feargal is currently in an antibiotic haze snoring somewhere on the Richter scale between McCluskey and Power.

I went for a ninety minute run in and around Manchester through Chinatown, past the townhall, up to the cathedral, back through the shopping district, out to Old Trafford, and then back in around Manchester university and past the Hacienda (a sign outside which depressingly calls it iconic office space). Having seen Old Trafford (located not really in Manchester but a separate place called Trafford that includes Altrincham, Stretford and Sale) I now understand why so many Mancunians are ambivalent about Man U: to put it in Dublin terms they're essentially the Bray Wanderers of Manchester.



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