Sunday, May 29, 2011

The surreal life

Sometimes it seems that every time I play the Fitz end of month, the evening starts with a lofty declaration to Mrs. Doke that "maybe I'll play a bit of live cash afterwards", only to end with a dejected storm down the stairs and out onto the street muttering under my breath how the biggest donkey at the table always seems to get my chips, far too tilted to even contemplate subjecting myself to the Hell of live cash. In actual fact my record there isn't all the bad: I notched up a few wins there in my first year and in my last half dozen or so outings I've had a 4th and two other cashes. But human memory is a selective thing.

At least I made the dinner break this time, and the dinners in the Fitz are so good that's almost the equivalent of a min cash. As I headed back for my second dessert, Mick O'Hora said there are some people who need to be protected from themselves when it comes to dessert tables. I think he was talking about himself but in all honesty he could just as easily have been talking about me. The rib injury is making regular exercise particularly unpalatable at the moment. The other highlight of dinner break was a good natter with David Lappin, who I'd also been talking to in Cork. David's been one of the top Irish online mtters for a while now, but since he doesn't play much live most people probably wouldn't recognise him or realise how good he is. Very savvy guy with a lot of interesting opinions and ideas about the industry.

With dinner out of the way, I got up to double starting stack, aka 20 bbs, which seemed like a decent enough stack to send into the middle in support of KQ after a serial opener in late position. Unfortunately he had AT and held.

So it was back to the online grind. Decent enough week, mostly crossbars, but enough of them for it to be profitable overall. I was just starting into my night session on Friday when I got a call from my friend Andrew (Yates). Andrew's great craic at the best of times, no better man to brighten up a dull night shift of clicking buttons. Andrew was trying to finagle my daughter's phone number out of me. Note to self: must stop putting pictures of my hot blonde teenage daughter on my Facebook to be seen by half the poker degens in Ireland. The night session wound down around 6 AM, so I decided to stay up and watch some TV and then head out to get the Irish Racing Post for the Poker supplement which I'd been told is the nuts since Ken Powell (kpnuts) took over.

As I was walking to the shop, I realised I'd put little or no thought into my clothing ensemble for this impromptu shopping expedition, and I must have cut quite the eccentric figure in my grinding poker hoody (good for the cold wee hours), my running leggings (which I got into the habit of wearing so I could head straight out for a run in the morning after a night of grinding) and my snazzy new formal shoes. So basically the top half of me looked like a degenerate gambler, the bottom half like a distance runner, but the feet were convinced they were on their way to a wedding or a funeral.

The guy in the shop asked me if I was looking for a paper. He looked positively bemused when I said "yes, the Irish Racing Post". I think after years during which our interactions consisted solely of him scanning the barcodes of running magazines and me handing him money for them, he thought I misunderstood the nature of the Racing the Irish Racing Post covers.

Anyway, I heartily recommend the supplement which appears every last Saturday of the month, and not just because there was a nice piece on me and Irish Eyes this month. There was also a very nice feature on Jono "GAWA9" Crute and a Q&A with Rob Taylor. Rob nominated me as the person he most admires in poker which coming from Rob is a huge compliment. As I've said before I think Rob is probably the guy who has taught me the most about poker down the years, and I still remember the thrill I felt the first time he mentioned me on his blog as someone he regarded as a good player.

I filmed a short interview with Big Iain in the Fitz on my plans for Vegas: no doubt it will emerge at some point. I'm starting to get psyched about Vegas this year. The new plan is pretty much the old plan: I'm staying across the road from the Rio in the Gold Coast for the first few weeks, then moving into the Rio for the main event, as I did last year. Apart from the main I'll be concentrating on the weekend holdem events and some of the smaller buyin midweek events. High variance stuff, but I see it as a once a year shot at the bracelet. One of the advantages of being entirely self staked (I don't sell percentages of myself in live events any more) is you can justifiably go into the event with the idea that you just want to maximise your chances of winning at any particular point (rather than your chance of cashing, or your equity). When you're playing with other people's money to ny extent you can't really do that, or at least you shouldn't. On the days I'm not playing a bracelet event, I'll be targeting some softer lower variance stuff like the daily and nightly tourneys in the Rio that are touristfests, and the stts.

A few people in the Fitz were asking me about EMOPS Dublin so there seems to be a good buzz building for Clontarf castle in late July. In addition to online satellites, Irish Eyes are running a great Ironman promotion at the moment that offers a really cheap way to get in. Full details at



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More