Monday, January 30, 2006

Jan 27th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

Another Friday night and another full house so if you do well in this you're picking up €3000 for first place these days.

I never got going. To be honest I was too tired after last nights exploits and in the cold light of day I think it was wrong of me to give up all the equity I did in the deal we made. I suppose peer pressure and the fact that I'd been concentrating so hard for almost 8 hours straight made me forget why I was there and that was to win! Ho Hum!

Meanwhile back at tonight and my rebuy came about with one of those hands you don't see too often. Holding Kd-4d on the BB it was flat called all around and it was almost a family pot as the flop came down 4h-4s-10h. Oh whoopee I thought as I immediately bet out 400 on the hope that someone might have a 10 in front of me and would be bound to call. Well TWO people did! Great...I thought...winner winner. The Js fell on the turn and suddenly there were fireworks.

I bet 800. The next player in raised to 2000, the next player went all-in for 1800 and I went all-in for 2500. The player, next to act, called and it was on their backs time.

Player A flipped Ks-4s (same hand as me) and player B flipped 10s-10d for a made house! Doh!!!!

I managed to scramble my chips back up to 6k, with the help of a double up and, of course, the add-on but went all-in shortly after the break holding 9-9 only to be squished by a player holding Q-Q!

Some you win...some you lose!

Entries -> 90 - Place -> 70th - Loss -> €110 ($132) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$3464

Friday, January 27, 2006

Jan 26th - €250+€20 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

The time I played in a €250 game you'll recall I got squished by some joker playing A-5 against my 9-9 and the flop coming 2-3-4! Like THATS ever going to happen again!

Tonight then there was me and 134 other bodies for this event at the Fitz but I've been playing well of late and felt like I could actually DO something for once in this event as usually I don't seem to be able to get past first base.

The first important hand for me came just before the break. I had around 7k in chips (from a start point of 5k) and looked down to see Ah-2h. I flat called the 300 blinds. There was then a raise to 1800 from a player in LP and, not wishing to give up on this ocassion, I called. The flop came Ad-Jd-8s. Immediately I went all-in figuring that I'd hit the card I wanted so that was that really. My opponent sat back in his chair & sighed (always a good sign!)

After several minutes of huff & puff I decided to interject...'if you look hard enough then I'm sure it'll turn into an Ace', I said, at which point he showed me the As. 'Oh I've got one of those', I splurged as I flashed him the Ah. He then passed saying his kicker card was too low to call. Thank god for that!

A while later I'm on another table and get dealt 7-7 in the SB. Its passed all the way around and I complete the blinds. 'I'm all-in', came the voice of the BB. Without a moments hesitation I called, much to his annoyance, as he firstly flipped Q-6, and then shipped 10k of his chips to me as he missed the :)

With over 20k in chips now I could choose to be more selective in playing my hands. Players were dropping fast but it wasn't until 2am when we finally got to the last 18. I had 45k in chips and no worries but one player was hitting hand after hand whenever the bet and so was monster chip lead with over 100k at this time.

Another hour passed and I'm at the final table with 80k in chips. First place paid 11k then 5.6k then €3k down to 9th at €800. I was in no rush.

After anyother hour of play and 6 of us left at the table we agreed a deal whereby 5 of us got €2800 whilst the monster chip leader got €10k. It was 4am so no-one complained. Mind you...perhaps I should have done!

Entries -> 125 - Place -> =2nd - Win -> €2530 ($3036) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$3596

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Jan 20th - 23rd (Dublin, Pokerstars, London)

Jan 20th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

This turned out to be a 'can't really be arsed' session as I got pretty much nowhere and went out just after the break.

I'd turned up early at the Fitz to try and play in the €100 Omaha game (cash) which although the sit down is a MINIMUM €100 most people sit down with at least €500 which only increases their win & loss rate on any given hand. Me??? I sit down with €100 and three hands later have over a €1000 as I win the 3 hands in style and the majority of the multi-handed. cut a long story short...I leave the table winning €1400 and then play the tournament with no concentration levels left!

I lose my initial buy in on some crazy 'one outer' gamble...hold on to the break with 7k in tow and then pursuade myself that my chances of a double up are great holding 4-4 and so throw them into the middle. Man with A-Q calls and I'm history when a Queen falls on the flop!

Back to the table games where I get a BRAG on the 3-card poker game for €25 (€1000 win) lose a bit back on the magic wheel (roulette) then play a bit more cash game winning €200 before giving up on the night just over €2k up.

Entries -> 90 - Place -> ??? - Loss -> €110 ($132) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$1160

Jan 21st - $10+$1 NL Hold'Em - Pokerstars

PokerStars Tournament #18043946, No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $10.00/$1.00
498 players
Total Prize Pool: $19520.00
Tournament started - 2006/01/21 - 11:00:00 (ET)

Dear ukpoker,

You finished the tournament in 1st place.
A $4,880.00 award has been credited to your Real Money account.

You earned 448.71 tournament leader points in this tournament. For information about our tournament leader board, see our web site at

Thank you for participating.

Enough said really!!

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

What with winning last nights $10 tournament I was well looking forward to playing in tonights $200 event. With 4000+ runners though its a REAL crap shoot so you just have to hope the software plays ball with you. It didn't!!

After 1 hour of play I still have 2570 in chips (from a start point of 2500) and over 1000 players have departed. FIRST hand back after the break though things change!

I'm on the button and get dealt Q-Q. There's a raise to 400 from UTG+1 then another raise to 1300 from a guy in MP. What do I do?

Holding Q-Q you can ALWAYS take on the first raiser. The 2nd raise, although to 1300, just seemed to be taking advantage of the UTG player raise. I decided to go all-in and pray. I did. The UTG player folded quicker than you could say BOO but the MP player called and flipped KK. Arghhhh!!!

A flop of A-6-J-9-7 meant an early bath for me but with with 3000+ people still there then it was better than finishing 4 hours later on the bubble!

Entries -> 4000+ - Place -> ??? - Loss -> $215 Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$945

Jan 23rd - £200+£20 NL Hold'Em - Grosvenor (London)

I was over in London today on business so dropped into the Grosvenor Casino in Edgware Rd, London W1 so see how much the place had changed in all the years I hadn't been there! Whilst the carpet may have changed the people certainly hadn't and I still recognised people from the early 1990's when I'd go down there of a Saturday afternoon and play in a £50 7-card stud game! Scary!

Tonights tournament (and for the next few Mondays) was (is) a £200 NL 'double chance' freezeout. This is a game whereby you get half your chips up front then the other half at any time during the first hour or on the hour if you've not already had them. Clear??

Anyway I got my 2k starting stack and proceeded to double through nicely. Holding Jd-7d and on a flop of Jh-4h-2s I'd bet out to 500 straight away indicating a big this case top pair! I get one caller. The 2c falls next. I decide to gamble that the caller was on a flush draw and so can't possibly call an all-in bet at this point so I go all-in! He calls...Ooops! He then proceeds to stand up and shout 'one card' whilst flipping the Ah-6h. A harmless non-heat none Ace falls on the river and I'm looking good!

Just before the hour mark I get the Qh-10h and with 4 other callers we see a flop of Jd-Kh-7c. Not a bad flop for me and once its checked all around I get to see the 2h fall on the turn. Now I ain't going anywhere!

Some bloke in front of me then bets 2k and gets a caller from the guy immediately to my right. Oh goodie I think and call also. The river cards bricks me with the Jc and once a player to my right makes the bet I was snookered. Pooey!

I get my 2k 'extra' chips and start round 2 with around 5k. That goes to 4k when a bluff doesn't succeed and then I get a run of cards that would make even Phil Helmuth go on tilt...9-2, 7-3, 8-2 etc etc.

With 2600 in chips left I go all-in with the Jh-Kh and get called by a player with Ah-9h. An Ace on the flop seals my fate and its au-revoir Grosvenors...for now??

Entries -> 90 - Place -> 63rd - Loss -> £220 ($385) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$560

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Jan 16th & 17th - Dublin

Jan 16th - €100+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

This event provided one of those occasions where I instigated my own demise and illustrates how easy it is to get carried away with extremely good starting hands. In this case - KK.

For the first 30 mins or so I played ABC poker. Raised with good to great starting hands, called with calling hands and passed all else. I then get KK in LP.

With antes at 50/100 there's a raise to 600 from the guy to my right. I immediately make it 1200 to go and its all passed back around to my sole opponent who reluctantly calls. Now of course the thing about holding KK, and with a caller of a decent sized raise, in tow is that you're praying for no Ace on the flop!

A flop of A-9-7 shattered my illusions and I gave a deep sigh (silently of course). My opponent immediately bet out 800. Now, of course, I'm pretty sure he has the Ace and should of swallowed my loss without further ado but noooooooo. I can't pass KK and immediately go all-in!

In some instances this MAY induce your opponent with A-low kicker to fold. After all he doesn't want to go out showing A-5 or A-9 as that would show him up to be a plonker in the case where I flip A-Q or A-K. Unfortunately for me though my opponent held A-Q and even though he dwelt fot some considerable time he called and I couldn't find another King to help me out!

Lets face it I'm just not good enough to pass KK!

Entries -> 70 - Place -> 62nd - Loss -> €110 ($132) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> -$436

Jan 17th - €150+€10 NL Hold'Em - Merrion Club (Dublin)

My first trip to the Merrion club for a while. They're attempting to get going a €10000 guarantee tourney (with 45 players) so I thought I'd give the place the once over and see if the numbers stood up.

With unlimited €100 rebuys, in the first hour, I could see the prize pool getting quite high but only 23 turned up. Never mind though...after rebuys & top ups there was still a pool of €5750 to play for.

Within 3 hands I had a rebuy. Holding KK (again) I went all-in against a player who held A-K. Needless to say an Ace appeared on the flop and my hands were in my pocket. A short time later I get KK again. Again all the chips went in! This time I was up against QQ and with no Queen on board I was feeling a little bit happier!

With lots of chips to play with and a clock of 25 mins I never felt under any pressure from then until the top-up. Another 4500 for €100 was pretty much obigatory so after the break I have around 14000 in chips.

With only 23 runners the final table came around quite quickly but with only 5 prizes paid out there was still work to be done.

One by one the players dropped. Soon there were 7! I get AA in LP and was pleased to see that the player, to my immediate right, pushing all-in himself for around 10k. I, of course call, and he's gutted as he flips K-K. I know how he felt!

Six soon became five and we're in the dough. The chip leader kept calling everyones all-in (and winning) so I was pleased to keep out of his way and continue to push up the leader board.

I took out 4th place when my A-K beat out 10-10 with an Ace on the flop.

With 3 of us left nobody wanted to deal so when the short-stack (circa 25k) went all-in with 4-4 I was pleased to see the chip leader call with 10-10 and hold on for the win!

We did a deal where I got €1800 and he got €2500. Back in the black...which was nice!!

Entries -> 23 - Place -> 2nd - Win -> €1440 ($1728) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$1292

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Jan 13th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

The term 'DONKEY' in poker circles derives from a player who KNOWS he's so far behind it isn't worth a hoot in calling but does so anyway and hoping that the poker gods around at the time take pity on his/her irrelevant play and make the 1/8 favourite in the hand look a fool by even daring to bet first. Tonight was the biggest donykey-fest of all time!

It all started around five hands into the tournament. I get A-A in LP and raise it up to 400. With blinds at 25-50 its obviously a big overbet but there always seems to be a player who thinks he can get lucky. Meet Mr Donkey! The flop comes 9-7-4 and before you can say 'bet' Mr Donkey has reached for his chips and gone all-in. Well of course I ain't passing and am happy to call. Mr Donkey flips K-7 o/s and smiles at me as a King hits the river!

Okay Dokey! These things happen. Its rebuy-time.

My 3k rebuy avoids any more confrontations with Mr Donkey, for the time being, and at the break I'm upto around 6k in chips. It'll do but, of course, it could have been better!

Shortly after the break the player sitting immediately to my left looks down at KK. Before it gets to him there's an all-in (for 3k) and a call from Mr Donkey. He goes all-in for 8k and its Mr Donkey's turn to act. Now Mr Donkey is holding 5-5 and you'd think with an all-in + a RAISE that 5-5 wouldn't look so hot but Mr Donkey has been sucking out all-night so it looks good and he calls.

The flop is 5-6-7 and everyone roars with laughter except the player with K-K who fumes but thats poker hey!

Blinds are still at 100/200 when I get A-Q on the button. There's a player and Mr Donkey in the pot already as I raise to 800. Both opponenents call. The flop is A-K-4 rainbow. Player A checks and Mr Donkey bets 1200. Now I certainly don't have either player A or Mr Donkey on a better hand than me at this moment in time so I raise all-in for another 7200. So lets look at this from a chip point of view...

In the pot already there is 2700+1200+7200 = 11100. Its 7200 to call to now win 18300. A LESS than 2/1 shot. You hold you call?

Well Mr Donkey did...without hesitation. Not to worry though as a TEN appeared on the turn and even though I could still win with any Jack, Queen or King on the river (11 outs) I missed and was done!

There are players and there are donkeys. Beware the donkeys!

Entries -> 80 - Place -> 52nd - Loss -> €110 ($132) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> -$294

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Jan 9th - €100+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

Its not all bad! I think my last post was the result of just what donkeys you find yourself up against in this game we love so much and the fact is that more donkeys = more luck required to win anything!

Luckily Monday night at the Fitz has few, if any, donkeys playing which generally means that the game is played to a more standard fashion. You know the sort...there's a raise followed by several folds. More donkeys = more callers!

Anyway I started the evening not getting very lucky when my 9-9 got sucked out on when an opponent went all-in with A-9. Ok...he only had 600 points left but from a start of 4k I was now down to 3300. My next venture into the middle was to call another all-iner for 650 points with J-10. He held A-K, fair enough, but I hit a 10 on the flop but AGAIN got sucked out on the river when an Ace appeared. Boo...hiss!! I'm on the button when I get Kh 8h and decide to try and thin the field so raise to 500 with antes at 50/100 still. I get two callers! Flop is 6h-9h-Jh. Oooooo nice! I bet 500, once its checked to me, but an opponent then goes all-in. Of course I call and he flips the Ah. I sweat the turn and the river and get through. Back up to 4k.

My luck then starts to change. I hit a good flush, again, and get paid. I hit trip Aces and get paid by another player who also had trip Aces but a smaller kicker. It was all toodling along nicely!.

Three tables left and I get 9-9 in LP, and with blinds at 200/400, I raise to 2k. I get one caller. Flop is 6-7-10 rainbow. Not the worst flop in the world for me. Its checked to me so I lauch an all-iner! "I call", says my opponent as he flips 7-7 for a set. Oops! Not to worry though as an EIGHT pops out on the river and my opponent growls! Bout time I say.

And so to the final table. I have 25k, which is never threatened, and with three of us left I pick up Ad-6h on the BB. The SB completes and I go all-in only to find the SB has slow played K-K! Ah well...a 30% chance it is then. It doesn't come but I'm a €600 winner and so about almost quits for the year so far!

Stupid game!!

Entries -> 50 - Place -> 3rd - Win -> €490 ($588) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> -$162

Monday, January 09, 2006

Jan 8th - €250+€25 NL Hold'Em - Citywest (Dublin)

I was very much hoping to play in the €1000 event over this past weekend but what with just having spent 3 weeks in Florida I find I'm fairly well skint at the moment so had to settle for this lower priced event instead.

For the first 5 levels, up till the break, I couldn't get going. I found no hands that I could really get involved with and at the break I had 8200 from a start point of 6000. From then on though things got interesting...

Shortly after the break and with blinds at 200/400 I get Ah-Kh on the button. There's a raise to 2000 and a call. I decide to plant my tree and go all-in for around 7.5k. I get one caller by a guy from Wexford who for some reason or another seemed to hate the idea of passing ANY Ace and flipped A-10. No salvation for him and I'm suddenly sitting pretty with around 16k. It wasn't to last!

I get Ac-Qd UTG and, in most situations like this, I flat call and hope there's a raise later on. None came and four of us saw a flop of 4d-8d-10c. Its checked around and we see the turn card (Ad) arrive. I bet out 1200 and fully expect to take down the pot but some smeaky person, in the SB, raises me to 3k.

The way I looked at it was that he COULD have the flush already but was more likely holding a weaker Ace than me. I decided to put him to the test and went all-in. He called straight away and flipped Jd-6d. I held the Qd so still had outs but the 6h fell on the river and I was back down to 8k.

What happened next though will go down as suck-out of the year.

I hold 9-9 in MP and to be fair I'm still a little on tilt after losing the A-Q pot so rather that feck about I go all-in figuring I either double up again or die. The SAME player who called me earlier with the A-10 decides to call me again. This time he has A-5.

The flop is 2-3-4 and he makes a straight. I couldn't believe it!!

Needless to say I couldn't get out of jail and that was that.

Who thought of this game???

Entries -> 242 - Place -> 178th - Loss -> €275 ($330) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> -$750

Jan 6th - €50+€10 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

Its fairly easy to lose your concentration for a couple of hands. Especially when some do-nut calls your all-in bet with nothing but a wing and a prayer and maybe some sort of death wish but comes up smelling of roses! wasn't all bad news. Early on I raised in MP with A-J and got one caller in Frank. Now Frank is the sort of player that won't back away from dumping his chips into the pot if he thinks you'll pass so I knew once HE called my original raise it would be a fight to the end! I had position on him though as the flop came 8-10-3 rainbow. He immediately went all-in and I had to call. He flipped A-8 (I couldn't believe it) and I payed for a miracle Jack. None came...but what did come was an Ace followed by another 10 giving me A-A-10-10-J beating Frank to the punchline. Justice I thought!

With 16k in chips and in no rush I get 7c-5c on the BB and there's no raise as 3 other players come in for the 400 blinds. The flop comes 3c-4c-5d, a pretty much dreamy flop for me. I bet 800 expecting to pick up the pot there and then but the player to my immediate left had other ideas. 'I raise to 3000', he said! All others passed and it was back to me. Hmmm...straight draw...flush pair!! "I'm all-in", I splurted and before I could get my 15k into the pot my opponent had his in the middle as well and flipped 2h-4d. What??

The Qh fell on the turn followed by the most unlikely 2d on the river! He'd hit two pair and I almost fell off my chair! The table then broke!

First hand on my new table I get K-10 in LP and call a raise to 800. The flop is K-10-6 and I check behind the original raiser. A Queen falls on the turn and, after another check from the original bettor I go all-in to take the pot there and then. My opponent calls...oops..and gimices as he flips K-J thinking he had me all the way. A poxy 9 falls on the river giving him the straight!

Grrr...I hate poker!!

Entries -> 53 - Place -> 27th - Loss -> €100 ($120) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> -$420

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Jan 2nd/3rd - Events in Dublin

Jan 2nd

Tue & Wed nights were spent at the Red Cow on the Naas Rd, here in Dublin and also at Mr Desmonds new plush palace of a casino in deepest Grafton Street. More on that place in a moment.

First though I went to play in the weekly Red Cow event which is giving away a shed load of tickets to this weekends main event at Citywest. Ninety-Nine runners provided enough revenue so that 5 tickets to the main event were to be given away but two significant hands killed any attempt I had to get to the prize pool.

I'm on a stack of around 9k (started with 4k) and in the BB when I get dealt 8d-5d. With blinds at 200/400 it was raised to 800 by a player two seats to the left of me. One other player called, as did I, and we saw what looked like a magic flop for me of 7c-6c-4d giving me the straight. I checked and the original raiser bet out 1500. The player next to act had 2600 left and, after some umming and arring, went all-in. I decided to then re-raise but was prevented from doing so because the 2600 guy had not 'doubled' the initial bet. Oh well! I called the 2600.

Now because I'd wanted to re-raise I knew that nomatter what card came next I had to go all-in...after all I most likely still had the best hand yeh??

The 4c fell on the turn and I lumped in. The guy to my immediate left couldn't call fast enough for 5900 and he flipped Ac-3c killing me stone dead!

I topped up at the break (5k for €60) and so had 6900 going into the 'after break' phase. First hand in I get QQ in EP. I raise to 1900 and get an immediate caller to my left (fair enough). I then get the BB going all-in so I'm obliged to call. The person who called me first passes and the BB flips K-K (URGH!!)

Of course I get nothing on the flop and its goodnight Vienna!

Entries -> 99 - Place -> 77th - Loss -> €125 ($150) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> -$108

Jan 3rd

With working in Lisburn these past 8 months or so I hadn't had a chance to see what all the fuss was about with Mr Dublin himself (Dermot Desmond) opening the plushest casino in Dublin town back in late Oct. Tonight I went there for the €150+€10 NL freezeout event.

Wall to wall plasma tv's...soft comfy couches...a full bar! Now we're talking! The card room occupies the 2nd floor and comprises of 10 tables. A nice size and with everything still smelling very new and plush I was feeling good about my chances!

With a 4k starting stack and a 30 minute clck there should be plenty of time to play a good game. Trouble was that I took a view and was wrong and out at the same time!

After 45 mins of play I had around 4600 in chips and was toodling along nicely when I get 4-4 in EP. I flat call the blinds (100) and am happy to call a smallish raise (to 500) from across the table taking the view that he has A-K and I'm done with the hand if either card shows itself on the flop.

A flop of Q-3-5 makes me think I'm still ahead but check all the same. My raising opponent bets out 1200, as he would with any two cards in this spot, and I'm again happy to call.

The turn card is another Queen and its now I have to decide whether to play or pass. Given that I've put him on A-K to start with I can't really go against that. Given that he would have to almost certainly pass any pair smaller than Q-Q or any hand which did not include a Queen (highly unlikely) then I figure that as I've already called his 1200 bet on the flop he MUST put me on something substancial anyway.

I go all-in!

He umms and arrs and I'm hoping he'll fold but he doesn't and calls with K-K. No 4 to save me on the river and I'm out. Of course its a pisser when decisions like that go against you but you have to be prepared to go with your instinct or you'll always be a loser at this game!

Entries -> 29 - Place -> 24th - Loss -> €160 ($192) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> -$300

Monday, January 02, 2006

Jan 1st - €40+€5 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam (Dublin)

New Year - New Targets!

My first event of 2006 and at least it was a final table so I can't complain too much but I DO feel hard done by as my two big pair late in the tournament got done over on both occasions by the inevitable highr cards.

Anyway...tonight was a rebuy event so after a couple of rebuys and no flops I was getting a bit frustrated. Holding Jh-10h I called a bet of 300 which then became 600 which then became an all-in. By the time the action had got back to me there were 3 players all-in, all for more than my 1700 chips, so with pot odds on my side I also called, as did another player. On their backs! I was up against K-K, 6-6, Q-J and K-J. The flop came 7-9-4-8-A and I'd flopped an unlikely straight and suddenly had over 8k in chips!

An additional 4k for my top up meant that I had over 12k as we entered the 'proper' play part of the night.

Almost no real drama between then and the final table where I landed with 26k although just prior to this I'd gone all-in with J-J and got called, for 9k, by player holding A-K. An Ace fell on the flop and I was down to 20k.

Chip leaders were 70k, 65k & 60k but with antes at 1500/3000 there was still plenty of play left...or so I thought. Two hands in, and on the button, I get 7-7 and raise to 10k once alll other players, bar the blinds, had passed. The SB called with some ascertion and once the flop came 8-8-A and she bet out at it I had to let go.

A few hands later I get 10-10. There's a raise to 10k and I push all-in for 12.5k. He, of course, calls. 'I'm behind', he says as he flips K-Q.

The flop looks good with 8-8-7 followed by a Jack followed by a KING...URGH!

I get €200 for 7th place and a profit of...wait for it...€35 on my night out. Mind you its cheaper than drinking!

Happy New Year!!

Entries -> 53 - Place -> 7th - Win -> €35 ($42) Profit/Loss for 2006 -> +$42