Wednesday, September 14, 2011

UKIPT Dublin

Well, it was time to give the old blog a bit of a makeover so hope you like the new look. When I started this blog it was basically a sort of Dear Diary: I didn't even tell anyone about it for months. I still see it primarily as a sort of diary I'll have to look back on when it's all over.

Anyway, winning Super Wednesday on Party and the Ipoker 60K on Friday gave me a shot at a second PocketFives Triple Crown if I could win another qualifying tourney over the next few days, but despite a string of final tables on Stars and Merge, I didn't manage to convert any. So not to be on this occasion.

I took Wednesday off as my friend Mark Smyth had been selected for the "Team Pro plays a home game" segment on the TV coverage for UKIPT Dublin. He invited me, Phil Baker and Larry Santo (and Larry's friend Tyler) along. You're guaranteed entertainment with that crew and hopefully it'll translate to the coverage. Larry in particular looked awesome fresh from the tanning salon: Phil tagged the show as Hungarian Jersey Shore, a line I told him I was stealing.

After the shoot, I headed to D4 with Phil and got there in time to see Lappin amass a ridiculously big stack in the 6 max side event. He ultimately finished third: another online monkey appears to be making the transition to live poker successfully.

The following day I was back for day 1A of the main. My first table was about as bad as it gets: only 6 handed, and the other 5 were Jon Spinks, 2 other very good English lads, Richie Lawlor and Danny McHugh! I decided to buckle up my seat belt and do nothing fancy, and thankfully the table was one of the first to break. I won a lot of small pots there to get off to a good steady start, the most interesting of which was against Spinksy who elected to defend his big blind against my standard small raise. I flopped top pair and went for a pot control/bluff induce line. Spinksy did fire once (on the turn after I checked behind on the flop) but great players don't let you win much in those spots and he rightly gave up on the river.

My second table was very different: in fact it looked like a Sporting Emporium reunion! When I started playing there a few years ago, Eamon O'Reilly, Jane Topkin and Ektor were regular faces.

I switched my play a bit and played much looser at this table. For the most part it worked well for me, except for one mistake against the lovely and talented Jane (who you may remember was second in the JP Mini WSOP a couple of years ago). She defended her blinds and check raised me on a 864 board. I had tens and my first instinct was there was a good chance she was bluffing here as it doesn't look like an early position raiser's board. She didn't look too comfortable as I tanked but I couldn't quite convince myself to commit so in the end I let it go as I felt I didn't need to take a big risk on a misread at this point. Jane looked really relieved when I did let it go and confirmed to me later she was semi-bluffing with an open-ender, so very well played by her. Great spot and great bet as it forced me to decide there and then if my hand was good knowing it was nearly all my stack if I was wrong.

My next table was another nightmare, with a chipped up Dermot Blain (a super player that I don't ever remember seeing make a mistake) and nobody else over the age of 25 apart from a guy I've played with a few times called George. It wasn't the kind off table where smallball LAG was going to work so I switched gears again and played about 4 hands in an hour. Despite or I guess because of this I chipped up quite a lot at the table. The two most interesting hands:
Hand 1: Derm opens in late position. I have aces and just under 30 bbs on the button. Because I've been so tight I think a 3 bet folds out 95%+ of Derm's range (my stack size makes it obvious I'm not 3 bet folding) so I elected to flat because of this and the fact the two blinds behind were a young aggro guy who was squeezing a lot, and George who rarely folds his blinds. Flop came 985, George led for almost pot, Derm gets out of the way, I raise for almost half my stack, and George tank folds a nine. I think I probably got the maximum here.
Hand 2: A few hands later I raise A3s in late position. George flats the button and the English kid defends the small blind. Flop was T62 with two of my suit. When it was checked to me, I prepared to make a standard cbet when I realised that if I did so and got raised, I couldn't get it in with fold equity against anything legit. I therefore adjusted my bet size down to 25% of pot, and after I got check raised stuck it in. The kid tank folded so I believe he had something. The other upside to my flop sizing is it makes the shove look super strong (my tiny cbet looks like an action inducer in retrospect when I follow it up with the shove).

I escaped from that table with 50k. My last table of the day looked promising but unfortunately I had a very good aggro Russian to my immediate left who wouldn't let me away with anything. I was card dead for the last session so I drifted back to 38K which was fine: decent day's work I thought.

Tournaments like this are as much social occasions for me as anything else, so I took up Mick Mccloskey's offer of a spare bed and hung round the hotel on Friday. I played the triathlon side event and never really got going. I was put at the same table as two of my friends, wee Bridie Gribben and not so wee Steven Byrne (Mark was there briefly before a double dogging). Steven knocked me out of this event in Cork but this time it was Bridie who did most of the damage, living up to her promise to my friends who were watching to make me her bitch :) The craic at the table was mighty, Bridie was trying to get me drunk with red wine and it was a shame we broke. I didn't last very long at the new table, after which I wandered around a bit seeing how my friends who were playing 1B were getting on.

On day 2, I had breakfast with Breifne Earley (who is heading off to New Zealand this week). Breifne was one of the overnight chipleaders and asked me for some tips. I ran through some stuff on effective stacks, shoving stacks, reshoving stacks and associated ranges, only to discover to my horror when we got back that we were at the same table so I was one of the reshoving stacks I'd just told him to watch out for!

Unfortunately I didn't play as well as I had the previous day, one hero call against Bops did a fair bit of damage. I was down to 26k aka 13 bbs when Oscar Fred opened on the button for a min raise. This was the first time he'd min raised. I had a legitimate reshoving hand in the small blind, JTs, but spent a little while pondering what the first time use of the min raise meant. In the end, I decided one of three things, in order of most to least likely:
(1) A total steal. Here the min raise loses the minimum
(2) A marginal type hand that he's prepared to call a 13 bb reshove from me but not a bigger reshove from the bb
(3) A monster. Here the min raise is an action inducer

Eventually I decided to go for it and shoved. Another factor was the guy who had just moved into the seat to my left looked very competent and I couldn't expect him to make mistakes if I started shoving light, and bops was lurking just behind, so rather than shrivelling any further to a pure shoving stack, I figured I had to go for it. If the shove gets through I add over 30% of my stack, and I think JTs has 40-50% equity against most of Oscar's calling range. Unfortunately, the BB woke up with one of the worst hands he could have for me, AJ, the ace being my suit for good measure, and reshoved. Oscar folded and there was no miracle.

Well done to all who cashed, especially IPB supremo Dom Hever (who I had a share of), and my friends Max Silver (amazing Fossilmanesque defence of the crown he won last year) and Jason Tompkins. Jason's phenomenally consistent in tourneys in Ireland which is the real hallmark of class and it's surely only a matter of time before he wins a really big one.

On Sunday I appeared on Dublin City FM's "On The Ball" with Breifne Earley to talk about the success of Team Irish Eyes players at EMOP Dublin and other recent Irish tournaments. This week also saw the appearance of my first blog for the Star at their website: It's aimed at more general readers than this one.

Next live outings for me are the 100s festival in Maynooth this week, and the European Shorthanded next week.


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