Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oct 22nd - €75 + €5 NL Hold'Em - Fitzwilliam Club (Dublin)

Having just sold my house in W.London I'm currently back in Dublin for a couple of weeks before going to Florida for a month before Xmas in Dublin before who knows what!

I thought I'd check out whats been happening at one of my favourite clubs here in town with a trip down to the Fitz club to play in the €75 NL Hold'em tournament and to catch up with some faces of my past!

With so much competition in terms of card rooms in Dublin these days (there are now 4 major card rooms in town) I wasn't really sure of what turnout to expect but at the end of the day there were 43 runners and I finished 14th!

The starting chips were 6k with a 30 minute clock which would point to a well structured event. Of course you still get the 'goonies' who want to go all-in on A-K in level 1 pre-flop but this kind of tournament is excellent if you can sit there and wait for cards to come and flops to develop in your favour!

After 3 levels, and the break, I had 7k hardly having seen a hand I could get involved with but with antes at 100-200, for level 4, there was really no need to panick!

Once again I was was playing good poker, bluffing nicely on a couple of pots, calling down players with King high Winning both pots) and eeked my way upto 9k and the last two tables.

Of course in any poker tournament there WILL come a time when you have to take a chance at doubling up annd my moment came shortly after...

Holding As-Jd, in MP, and with blinds at 300-600 I raised it up to 2500. My stack at this point was just shy of 9k so had around 6400 left after this raise!

All passed to the BB, a stubborn kind of player who would play medium hands like good hands and would refuse to let go if he felt good about the cards he was holding. He called and we saw a flop of Qs-6s-5s. The BB immediately bet out 4k. Decision time!

There was no way he'd bet out unless a piece of the flop but to have made a flush already would be pushing it and anyhow I had the best flush draw with the Ace of Spades in my hand! All-in!

He duly called the other 2400 and flipped Qc-8s.

The turn came the 8d...the river the 9h and that was me done!

Its a very thin line between sucess & failure at poker and I just seem to keep falling on the wrong side of that line at the moment.

Entries -> 43 - Place -> 14th Loss-> £57 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> -£1930
(Rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $2.00 / £1 = €1.40)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oct 12th - £500+£50 NL Hold'Em (Victoria Club)

I'll maybe play 4-6 of these £500+ buy in's in a single year as the variance in poker is such that you have to get EXTREMELY lucky to get your money back on them in general.

Tonight there were 137 runners at the Vic for this event and even though the structure is good with blind increases every 45 mins you're always looking at your cards knowing that this could be the last hand on the night if the poker gods deem it that way!

On table 12 I get pro's Willie Tann to my immediate left and Ben Roberts two doors further away. You know you're not playing with muppets even though the rest of the table looked, and acted at times, as though they themselves were!

I started steadily. A pair of 6's in the hole turned a set on the flop and even though betting was slow I managed to eek out 1200 points in profit which added nicely to my start stack of 5000.

It wasn't long before we moved tables and I get the bucket seat (seat 1) on my new one. Not my favourite position!

Nevertheless I get a few more chips when I make the nut flush with Ac-5c on a scary board of Qc-Qs-Jc-8c-4s and a few more chips then get added when I flop two pair. The wheels though were shortly to come off!

At this level of buy-in I expect players that raise from the off to have a certain standard of hand and I assume that if you took a straw poll amongst other like minded individuals they'd agree. This is where poker becomes POKER though and its a fine line between success & failure!

In LP I get J-J. With blinds still at 50-100 there's a raise, in EP, to 400. An EP raise to me looks like A-J, A-Q or A-K. When the action reaches me I decide that discretion is the better part of valour and simply flat call as the alternative maybe a raising war which I'd be scared to lose.

The flop is 6-8-9 rainbow! EP man bets out 500. I decide to flat call one time and then reraise all-in if no 'scary card' comes on the turn...after all he's missed right???

The turn card is a 4. Its a rainbow flop! AGAIN EP man bets out...this time 1100. Now I'm getting concerned but what the hell has he got?? A set is probably out of the question as he'd have checked from the off. Big pair??? Maybe??? I'm stumped. I call the 1100 bet.

River card is a 3. He now checks! In hindsite I should have just checked and shown my J-J but I decided to get agressive and bet our 2k. He then moves all-in for another 1450 and I'm forced to call. He flips.......10-7 for a flopped straight.....URGH!!!

My chip stack is decimated although I still have a playable 2500 chips left.

The trouble with me though is that I HATE playing short stacked. My game isn't geared to mini-bets & mini-calls. I wanna beat the fuckers out of pots with booming bets and big bluffs which I can't do with mini-stacks.

A short while later I get 3-3 and decide for a double up or die! Some 18 year old kid thinks K-Q is nice and calls my 2200 bet! A King hits the flop and its all over...again!!!

Entries -> 137 - Place -> --- Loss-> £550 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> -£1873(As from 20th April 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $2.00)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Oct 2nd - £100+£10 NL Hold'Em (Western Club)

I heard Norman Chad say, in one of the current episodes of ESPN's WSOP 2007 coverage, that there are lots of times where A-K is the last hand a player will hold in any given tournament and once again I seem to run into a brick wall when I get this hand!

Fifty eight runners for tonights event and once again I played good and steady poker throughout the evening. At the moment I'm not walking away from tournaments thinking I could have played any better or that I'm making silly moves & bluffs cos I ain't. Its just that the poker gods are putting me in situations where I can't get out!

At the first break I held 8800 in chips (from a start stack of 5k). No big hands to speak of. I just chipped away and got lucky once or twice, as you need to.

The 2nd session started a little more fortuatously. Holding Q-Q in LP there was a raise & a re-raise before me. At this point I had only 6700 in chips so in some respects it was an easy push. The original raiser folded. The re-raiser called with 10-10. My Queens held and I was upto 16k.

A few hands later I was once again back to 8k.

This time I held 10d-9d. With blinds at 200-400 I called a mini-raise to 800 and 3 of us saw a flop of J-Q-4. First to act bet out 1200. I flat called. Next to act mini-raised to 2400 and we all called. Next card out was a 7...close but no cigar. First player checked. I checked. Next player bet out 4800. EP player called, as did I. River card was a....4!!! (Oh well never mind)

Despite this minor setback I struggled on but at the 2nd break I held 8700 chips and with blinds about to go to 400-800 I had to get busy!

I moved all-in, in LP, with Ac-8c, for 7k. Lucky for me, as it turned out, the BB decided to call the 7k with 7c-6c. My Ace high took it down!

So...back upto 14k when I get A-K in LP. There's an EP raise to 3k and I don't mess around and shove all-in for 13k. The player who'd earlier called my first all-in couldn't wait to get his chips into the pot! I'd run into A-A.

And so there you have it...another disappointing night out for me! I'm sure the cards will turn soon. Just goes to show the number of pot holes one has to survive if you're going to win at poker tournaments. Me...I just can't avoid them at the mo!

Entries -> 58 - Place -> 13th Loss-> £110 Profit/Loss for 2007 -> -£1323(As from 20th April 2007 rate of exchange is calculated at £1 = $2.00)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Poker Tournament

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 4766745