Saturday, August 27, 2005

Aug 26th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

Being on holiday at the moment means that I can indulge more in the local game than of late.

After Wed night's great performance I was hoping to do well here again and a 6th place finish endorsed the fact that my play - live - has come a fair way what with all the Internet poker I've been playing of late.

Again I played tight early on and when getting good cards coupled with good flops I made sure I made money out of them. I got lucky again once or twice and had a nice stack as we began the proper session after the break.

Players in the Friday night game seem to play better than those in the Wed night game, as you might expect so I had to pick and choose my spots carefully. The problem with this tactic though is that if the cards don't co-operate you can find yourself getting a bit bored and, in the search for action, make rash choices about certain hands that, in the light of day, maybe have better left alone.

I curbed my enthusiasm for getting involved unless I had the goods but with 121 players left I had only 8k left and with blinds at 1k/2k I had to get busy.

I get A-9 and go all-in. No callers. +3k
I get A-2 and go all-in. No callers. +3k
I get A-10 and go all-in. No callers. +3k.

I make the final table with 11k!

So I'm short stack and need to get busy. Luckily for me two players dropped out quickly. And then I get A-Q, go all-in, get called with player and his A-4 and I double through.

One more player drops. We're now 6 and I have 40k in chips. I'm only looking to get involved when I believe I have the lead pre-flop!

We do a deal where 4th, 5th & 6th all get €500 and I look down to see J-J. I raise to 18K and its passed around to the BB who thinks that A-9 is a great all-in hand for 40k (exactly the same as me). Of course I call and Am a nice 65-35 fav! Hah!

The flop comes 3-4-5. Uh Oh!! The turn is a King. The river a frigging TWO! Mr Gamble makes a straight and I'm done. Yes thats poker but really!!

75 Entries - 6th - Win - $512.50 (€410) Loss $0 - Acc. Total +621.64

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Aug 24th - €20+€5 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

At last...a win!! In retrospect poker is a very easy game to play. After all you just have to play the cards you're dealt in a way that maximises your chances of winning. Sounds easy eh? The hand that no doubt propelled me to the final table was this...

Holding 7-7 I decided to move in in EP for around 3000 points. What I didn't realise was that there were three other players to act after me that all had the same idea. They held 6-6, 10-10 & K-K! Now in situations like this where there are 4 pairs out its a virtual guarantee that SOMEONE will hit their set. Guess what...I hit mine!!

The flop came J-2-J-7-9 and I suddenly had 12k in chips and was buzzing. The break came and went and I still had circa 12k when I get 7-7 again in MP and just flat call the blinds of 400. Three other players also came in for the minimum bet. A flop of 6h-7h-8d appeared and a player to act before me bet out 2000.

The 9-10 didn't concern me but the flush draw did so I raised it to 6k and awaited developments. The original better didn't flinch and went all-in for 10k. I called. He flipped 9h-5h for the already made straight AND the flush draw. I was hoping for a pair up! I didn't have to wait long. The 8c appeared on the turn and suddenly I was on easy street to the final table.

At the final table players dropped quite quickly and it wasn't that long before I found myself heads up with a player who had a 2-1 chip lead on me. 'Do you want to split?', I asked. 'No...we'll play on' came the reply and so we did for 5 hands!!

My opponent was definately in a hurry. He went all-in every hand so I just had to pick my spots to call. My first chance came when I held A-5 and called his all-in. He had 8h-3h (told you he was in a hurry). No 8's or 3's appeared and I then held a slight chip advantage. The next hand he was all-in again. This time I held A-7 and called. He had K-8 and once no 8 nor King had appeared on the board it was all over and I was €800 richer for a nice €715 profit.

Always nice to win!

40 Entries - 1st - Win - $893.75 (€715) Loss $0 - Acc. Total +109.14

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Aug 22nd - $200+$15 NL Hold'Em - Pokerstars

Managed a credible 1088th out of 3000+ runners in tonights event but never really got going. After 1 hours play I had 2800 and couldn't seem to catch a break whatsover. I was choosing not to raise any hand except AA, which I never got, but managed to nick a couple of blinds and win a couple of small pots but nothing of note.

Coming close to the end of hour 2 I had 3400 when I get 10-10 in mid position and decide I had to make a move. I raised to 600. All passed around to the button who fired all-in for some 12k. His tank suggested he'd been gambling it up earlier and getting lucky so I called for all my chips. He flipped A-K and an Ace fell on the flop.

Of course I could have folded but you have to win your share of these 50/50 balls in order to be successful on a Sunday night. In this case I wasn't!

3124 Entries - 1088th - Win - $0 Loss $215 - Acc. Total -$784.61

Monday, August 22, 2005

Aug 19th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

Memo to self...don't bother trying to play poker after getting up at 7am and doing a full day at work then drive 120 miles home then decide to play poker!

A 70+ turnout tonight down at the Fitzwilliam for the €50 NL Hold'Em. Starting chips are 2500 and the rebuy/top-up is worth 3500. Being so tired I recognised that I had neither the patience nor the inclination to play properly so started raising and jamming the pot with little more than J-9 for half the time.

For a while this seemed to work but at Hold'Em this kind of tactic can't last forever with much success and it was only a matter of time before I came undone.

Holding 10c-9c I raised to 500 with blinds at 100/200 and got 3 callers. The flop came 9-J-Q and I decided to launch with an all-in bet. This was called by TWO players. One holding A-K and one holding Q-10 so I was looking for a 9 otherwise I'd be rebuying. I rebought! My nine didn't show up and that was that!

My 3500 point rebuy went the same way when I called a 750 raise holding J-9. The flop came 10d-Qc-7d. I decide to call TWO all-n bets looking for an illustrious 10. I was up against Ad-8d and Ks-Qh. A Qd fell on the turn and I was drawing dead!

My game lasted less than an hour. Ho Hum!

67 Entries - 60th - Win - $0 Loss $192.50 (€110) - Acc. Total -$569.61

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Aug 17th - £20 NL Hold'Em - Cavendish Club (Belfast)

I limit myself to 5 rebuys in these tournaments. I fugur if I can't get moving with 11.5k in chips I may as well not bother any more. Tonight was one of those nights!

With the usual 1500 points to start it was a fairly quiet start. I get AA, in LP, on the third hand of the night and get 1000 points from a player who initially raised to 500. I reraised to 1000 and he called. A flop of Q-3-5 brought about an all-in bet from me and my opponent folded.

After that though it was all downhill for the next 90 minutes. My AK got beat up by AQ. A King arrived on the river along with a 10-J-6-4 flop. My opponent called and showed the broadway! Doh! My top pair got beaten up for all my rebought chips to a 6-outer on the river etc etc.

No just wasn't happening!

With my last rebuy of the night I'd gotton lucky in a fairly big pot. Holding 9c-10c & with 3 other callers for 1000 points each we see a flop of J-Q-3. Its checked around to me...I go all-in..and everyone passed. Amazing. Anyway this got me upto around 6k in chips and I was beginning to have hope again! Then this happened...

I get 7s-4s on the BB. Blinds are 150/300. Two players call before a MP player raises to 1000. One player calls before a LP player goes all-in for 1400. The Button calls as does the SB, me, the two original callers and the original raiser. Massive pot time.

Flop is 2s-3s-4c. I'm counting the cash and go all-in for another 4k or so. I get one caller. All in all there's about 20k in the middle!! The player to call me flips 6c-6s and I'm sweating for a card to win it for me! The all-in guy from before the flop shows A-K.

The turn brings the 4h, giving me trip fours. I bang the table. Surely I must win now?? But nooooooooooo...the 5h falls on the river giving Mr 6's the scoop and I KNOW its time to go home!!

54 Entries - 45th - Win - $0 - Loss $216 (£120) - Acc. Total -$377.11

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Aug 14th - $200+$15 NL Hold'Em - Pokerstars

Grrr! That really sums up my night on this game! Even though I finished in 220th place for a $488 prize I was robbed by some dumb player calling my all-in bet with K-Q o/s. Before I get to that though a bit more about my evening!

There were 3188 runners for tonights event! The best I've ever done in the Sunday night game is 18th in the days when 1800 runners was a massive game. Now the entry has almost doubled and its tough out there. Having said that the prize money now goes down to 335th place or something like that so its great value if you can get that far.

At the end of hour 1 I'd barely budged and was on 2800. By the end of hour 2 I'd clawed my way upto 7k and shortly after that I got upto 10k. I got extremely lucky when I went all-in for 3500 with Jh-10h and got called by AK. The flop came A-A-8 (one heart) and I looked dead and buried. The flop then plopped another two hearts and I was back in business. I then went card dead. With antes approaching 1000/2000 the players were dropping fast and I managed to creep into the money spots with 4800 left. I then get moved table and things started to happen.

In MP I raised all-in for my 4600 in chips and, with blinds now at 1500/3000 I get the BB, with a mountain of chips calling me with 10-3. I hit my Ace and I have 11k. Two hands later I get QQ. Again I go all-in and get one caller with 9-9. No 9 hits and I'm upto 27k and looking to get further up the prize ladder. Players were dropping fast and I now get AA on the SB.

The button, with a mountain of chips, attempts the usual button raise to 8k. I go all-in for my 27k and surprise surprise the BB follows me all in as well for some 24k. The button drops and we flip. He has K-Q o/s. I'm busy counting my 60k in chips when the flop comes K-Q-8-T-K and I'm out!

What I don't get is why anyone would call off 24k of their chips when there had been a raise and a re-raise all-in before the action ever got to him! As I said earlier...Grrrrr!

3188 Entries - 220th - Win - $273 - Loss $0 - Acc. Total -$161.11

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Aug 11th - £20 NL Hold'Em - Cavendish Club (Belfast)

There were 56 runners tonight for the tournament. A big increase on last week and of course it meant that there was more a likelyhood of running into some 'beginner' who thought that A-9 would win the pot and therefore raise the hell out of it before the flop thereby making me miss the chance of a triple up to 51k in chips...but I'll get to that in a moment.

Three rebuys and a top up meant I was in for £100 by the time play resumed after the break. I'd lauched into an all-in bet on the last hand before the break for 2k with 8h-10h and had been called in two spots with players holding Q-J & K-5. A flop of A-8-5-8-9 gove me a nice treble up + antes so I set off, with my 4k top up, with just short of 11k.

Blinds increase every 15 mins after the break and steeply too. 200/400 became 400/800 became 800/1600 became 1000/2000 and I'd barely moved in chip count. I'd gotton lucky when my A-J beat Q-Q on a 8-9-10-3-7 flop and gotton unlucky when my 9-9 ran into A-A. All in all though I was holding my own.

By the time blinds had reached 2000/4000 I had 17k and I put out my BB to find 2-2 in the hole. Of course once three players had flat called there was no way I was going to go all-in in this spot but was happy to see the flop. That when this happened...

One from the button Mr Beginner raises to 14000. There are three players behind me so I fold. Mr Beginner gets 1 caller. The flop comes 5-5-2 and I'm fuming. Player A checks. Mr BBeginner goes all-in for another 10k and player A calls.

On their backs and Mr Beginner has A-9 whilst player A has K-Q. A 7 is followed by a King and Player A scoops a nice looking pot whilst I look at my 13k dejectively.

After that I had to move quick. Blinds got moved to 3000/6000 before I threw my load into the middle with 8h-6h. Unfortunatelyfor me the BB wakes up with A-7 and I'm gone in 12th place. Ho Hum!!

56 Entries - 12th - Win $0 - Loss $170 (£100) - Acc. Total -$434.11

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Aug 3rd - £20 NL Hold'Em - Cavendish Club (Belfast)

Well after last weeks 'buy-in fest' I was hoping to get through the evening with a little less in the way of activity on that front. In the end I just ended up having a 'top-up' so was in for only £40!

Much less in the way of playable hands than last week. I think I scored more 7-2 o/s kind of hands than I've seen in a long time over the course of the evening. My BEST hand throughout tonights play was 7-7 which I got twice. More on one of those hands in a moment!

At the break and with the 4k add on I had 8.5k. With three hands to go before the break I had 8k already and was dealt A-J. In LP I raised to 2K and was called by the BB. Flop was Ac-7d-6d and I went all-in for my last 6k. 'Call', came the BB's voice and he flipped Ad-3d. I was still miles ahead but when the Kd fell on the turn I was drawing dead and was down to 1.3k.

The last hand before the break and I went all-in. I had 10c-6d! Luckily I get two callers which WEREN'T the blinds so with 4.5k in the pot for me the flop comes 4-7-5-J-3 and I get a raggity straight!

Top up of 4k for £20 followed and off we went!

My chip stack increased to 15k when I got dealt A-K on the button. With blinds at 600/1200 I raised to 3k and got two callers, the SB & the BB. The flop came J-J-2 and once the blinds had checked I bet out 5000. I get one caller, which in situations like this, can only mean one thing...he had the Jack.

Luckily for me no Ace or King fell on the turn or river to test my stack any further so as I had position I checked the turn but didn't bother calling the 'all-in' bet that came after the river card had been dealt! Mind you that knocked a hole in my stack from which I couldn't recover!

With blinds at 1000/2000 and around 7K in chips I called an 'all-in' bet from across the table with a holding of 7c-7h. My opponent flipped 10-10 and I was looking buried. With three hearts on board though, and just the river card to come, I had chances (12 to be exact) but the 2d fell on the river and I was on my way back to my B&B before you could say 'Bugger!'.

I finished 15th out of 36. Mind you it only cost me £40 so I can't moan too much!!

36 Entries - 16th - Win $0 - Loss $70 (£40) - Acc. Total -$264.11

Monday, August 01, 2005

July 29th - €50+€10 HL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam Club

Barf! Thats the only word I can think of to say about tonights tournament at the Fitz! This was my first live game down there for a good while and I couldn't find a pot to piss in!

With it being part of the 'festival weekend' the Fitz were allowing everyone to have 3 rebuys or 2 rebuys and a top up. My early failure to hit cards meant that I was in the hole for the €210 after just an hour and even though I recovered to have around 8k at the break I just couldn't find those meaningful hands to get lucky with!

My first buy-in went west when my A-K 'all-in' bet on a flop of 4-6-10 was called by a player holding Q-10. This was despite the fact I'd raised a good chunk from the off...some people!

My second buy-in got done when my A-J got scorched by 7-7 after an A-J-7 flop! Ho Hum!

My third buy-in got bolloxed when I overplayed 44. Serves me right I suppose.

And so to my final buy-in! I get A-Q and raise to 500. One caller. Flop comes Q-Q-10 and I get paid off at the end by a non-believer!

I get paid off again when I'm holding Qh-10h and get a flop of 10-10-7 and I'm upto my high point of 8k. Break time!

With so many buy-ins its a humungous prize pool. There were 99 runners so I was hoping to get a piece of it! Ha!

After the break I try to get lucky with KQ but no good. I try to get lucky with A-Q but no good and so on and so on.

My final hand comes holding 8c-9c. I'm in MP and raise to 1000 (blinds are 150/300). I get two callers. Flop comes 6-7-3. 'All-in', I announce and I immediately get called by player holding 9-9. Never mind...I still have outs!

The out I got was the door as I didn't hit my 'wanted' list! As I said earlier...Barf!

99 Entries - 58th - Win $0 Loss -$252 - Acc. Total -$194.11

*Playing in a $10 R+A event on Pokerstars on Saturday 30th I finished 4th and got $1877. First prize paid $6800. I was chip leader with 4 to go but my Ac-Jc got smashed up by A-A and that cost me half my chips. Three hands later I get J-J, raise all-in and get called by SAME player who's holding A-A AGAIN! Who says that online poker is fixed?