Modern Day Ninja

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Finally Xmas break

Not that I need a break from poker it has more got to do with all the travelling and boring hotel rooms that I constantly find myself in. I suppose tho these are really the only down sides to been able to travel anywhere I like playing the game I love for what can be hundreds of thousands if I do bink one, maybe get the old million euro rush and win two big ones while I'm at it. Being rolled for all these high buy in games is pretty sweet, even tho it has not been going so well. I'm pretty sure it's just small sample size & getting dogged by every fish I've come across in these games that have stopped few deep runs. You would be woefully surprised to see the amount of guys in these games that either haven't a clue, do not want to learn or the guys who still play knowing there game is not good enough to compete on such a high level. I feel like giving them a souvenir in the form of a lighter after they get felted, either that or the money toilet roll I stumbled across the other day, either way there just burning money! Let them on tho I guess, only helps me more in the long run.

I recently had a deep run in San Remo tho tbf, even if it did end in a cooler squeeze with ak only to walk into AA, it was still good experience and great on a personal level that I can hold my own or best some of the top pro's around. I play a different game and I think it works great in these events. A few particular hands stood out from that tourny, being super card dead on day one, controlling myself was the key, I played super tight and it all paid off in the last two levels of the day. It was all preflop with me up until this point, I 4bet the same guy twice to keep my stack close to starting. I got my double up in the form of AT when I turned trip tens v pocket Queens and got paid in full. I then managed to run my stack up to 90k with some nice moves, one being so in zone I 5bet a guy noticing his stack size was just absolutely perfect for me to make this play as he would fold anything up to jj-aq, he made mistake himself not thinking two steps ahead and after he tanked what was for about 6 minutes he eventually released. I lost flip at end of day to double a shortie but was no biggie considering my stack size being very healthy. Day two was a good table draw to start with until Vanessa Selbts & Shaun Deeb moved into my direct left to replace the fish who had departed. I adjusted and played pretty tight again picking my spots pretty carefully. Prob biggest hand stood out was on the exact bubble, I raised into the chip lead with AJo but I just new what this guy was up too and sure enough he 3bet from the bb, I wasn't going to lay this down to him even knowing I could make the money easily if I folded, that's not me I don't just want to cash I want to take every spot and put myself in a position to win. So I shoved the loot in as casually as you like and got the fold from him. Myself and BigMickG were just talking about bubble on the break, we had same stacks size roughly and new we couldn't open without sticking it in as big stacks were putting maximum pressure on, think Mick was still surprised I shoved with AJ on bubble, right play v this guy tho. Beats shoving 70 bigs with two 77s ay Mick lol.
I pretty much played same game throughout rest of that Ept knowing if I got the double up I could go on the attack, shame the guy had to have AA tho. Still great trip and I will always be going to Ept San Remo, great tourny and place I must say.

I'm here in Prague airport while I'm writing this, taking a chapter out of Doke's book, no better time to blog. It's nearly Xmas which means another year of poker is just over. I must say this year even without going to Vegas and being lade up for some time stil has been a pretty profitable year, I'm averaging high figures every year in mtt's according to the Hendon Mob which is pretty good, I look round at other ppl's Mobs and there years to be so erratic big score then nothing for a year or two and so on, I'm still waiting for my big one but when I do get it, I'll know all the grinding and hard work really has paid off. Last year was my worst year in the game since I hit the scene, was pretty gruesome but I still managed to turn profit even tho was my worst year in mtt's and a loosing streak in live cash that lasted almost the year, truly tilting. This year however I've been winning pretty big even with Naas now back in the picture I'm starting to turn that tide around too. I'm gonna lamp them every week for a year when variance kicks in, everyone is getting destroyed, even if they are some of the soundest men I have ever lost money to, still the fact remains I'm loosing in that place and my competitive nature won't let that die off. Bink ty, bink ty, bink ty. That's way it will go.

What a crazy year tho, there really has been some serious lows as I look back through the year but hopefully variance will kick in for next year and I can smash up the high buy in poker scene.

Early next year I think March, I'm up for appeal to get my driving licence back, two things can happen here, if I win my appeal that's brilliant I finally get back on the road driving at my own leisure and having my Toyota supra on the road will be epic. If I loose my appeal, that's it for me I can't go on waiting around on other ppl it's not fair on them and it's not fair on me so I will be moving country, which means no more grinding the Irish poker scene for me, well bar a trip home for the Irish Open of course (as long as the improvements are met). I am actually rooting to stay, I'd like to stay here for another two years and then jump ship to America also hoping online poker ban will be lifted by then.

In other news I've decided to do some staking, I've set it all up on Irish Poker Boards so feel free to apply ppl. Link not working for some reason... just go to the staking/selling section on Ipb.

I think I'm done for the year for the live Mtt's, not sure but think my next outing will be WPT Dublin, should be a great game even tho it is a bit of robbery with reg fee and funds witheld but for me it's a must play, gotta be in it if I want to win the old triple crown some day :).

Ok that's it from me, everyone have a good Xmas and see you all at the Wpt in the new year.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

From highs of Remo to the lows of Iwf

Just a quick blog on this, mainly because it's tilting the balls off me! Had great time in San Remo and was unlucky to run my AK into AA right after I had just won a flip with AJ v Elio Fox 66. Was kinda tilting especially getting the slight slowroll on top of the loud screaming chanting when the guy won the pot, it really didn't phase me all that much I was just crushed that I could of been sitting top 10 in chips with 70 players left. I would of felt at home with that stack and would pick ppl off for sport but enough dwelling ay. Defo will be back again their next year, was even more delighted to get phone call like 3 days before to say I could fly. Made all the difference and felt like I was on a life freerole. Also lobster in San Remo was epic! Overall great experience.

Back home and straight up next was Iwf, Now I say all this in the slight hope ppl at Paddy Power will listen and take my points to whats exactly wrong with their tourny's even if I do and will come across annoyed by the hole experience.

I had won a package for this back in August so was pretty happy remembering that on flight home. When I arrived for day1 and with high expectations it just was the same old back in the day theme with paddy power set ups. All the things wrong with events is in this tourny and this is why they are down on numbers (I think there actually oblivious to this). I'm gonna list a few ridiculous faults, this is 2011 poker tourny and seems pp are always 3 years behind the rest of the world, it's quiet shocking as these are the ppl that hold our 2 biggest tournys of the year, what's portrayed really makes me easily see why ppl are not bothered traveling to this event from around Europe. It would be like me going to Cork or somewhere for same structured pub game!
1. How you can have all the late reg players put on the one table as they que up is ridiculous and at the Irish Open when I late regged same thing happened and they had the neck to tell me this was completely random??? I was so infuriated and quiet blank refused to go on same table as 5 top English pros, 1 or 2 top Irish pros and decent Scandis. I got the old snotty treatment and indeed waited, 5 mins later I got my much better table draw. It just shows huge unprofessionalism right before players even get to sit down. Not good.
2. Starting stack, my god like 15k was acceptable back in 07-08 maybe but it's 2011 get with the times already, you are representing Irish poker!!! It's insulting and ridiculous. As if it didn't take you long enough to change Irish open to 20k from a whopping 10k, not 1 casino game gives ppl a 10k stack and you want Europes best to come play this game??? It's sheer madness your asking players who can afford this buy in to loose most of their chance at outplaying weaker players as you are playing so shallow and 1 hit can kill your chances altogether. If you guys can sort this you will get the likes of Europe's top players coming back to these games in drones. As of now it simply goes against every fiber of their body to hop on a plane to give up loads of equity just to play this game...why would they like? They won't!
I'll give an example of how damaging shorter stacks may be, you have limited options facing big bets from amateur players, floating is out of the question which is probably a huge part of top players game, so effectively you have confined good players options down to near same level as an amateur who probably didn't know pr how to use these options effectively like a pro would. In essence their chance at winning is hugely decreased. I have few more points on that matter but I hope you get what I am trying to show you. At least increase it to 20k,(personally I'd like to see more) it might seem small amount but it's huge in terms of options for competent players.
3. The bet sizing rule, again it's like been back in 07 and that's politely putting it. Raising the last bet not the last raise has so many things wrong with it that it's tilting. Now again good players are limited, this time with their 3betting options and again pots get more bloated which once again decreases a good players chance at winning this tournament! Instead of having great last few tables with all top players which would publicize your event greatly by this happening, you will now be left with just few top players because quiet simply no matter how good you are you cannot beat these sort variables unless you run pretty dam good. It's just not good for the future of poker in Ireland that this is the message being sent from Irish poker. It's gamble early, spin up or hit the bar for drinks. Just not good and I'm not slightly over exaggerating this. The future of Irish Poker on a big stage is probably in your hands Paddy Power!

I've spoken to many many top players on their views about this and all these 3 points I brought up are on the top of the list of things they would sort if they could. Just ask anyone of them.

I will leave on good note, your publicity of the event and online qualifiers is brilliant and you deserve a hats of for that, also the sole survivor was brilliant introduction top notch.

Just plz fix these huge issues and I'll be the first to put my hand up and acknowledge the drastic improvements! This was no personal rant just business, it is of course made to look like a rant in hope ppl talk and this gets back to somebody who can and is willing to change things.

If i wasn't outspoken on the game I love well what sort of a person would I be then. Hope the right ppl appreciate this.
Good luck to the future of Irish poker!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Every hand revealed - Masters

I've decided this blog entry will consist of alot of hand histories and my thoughts throughout certain hands from the Waterford Masters. I have not had much drive recently to post up a blog considering I missed Vegas due to been hospitalized for nearly a month and still in recovery process but gladly things are on the up health wise and to get my first live main event festival win was just incredible start back. I pretty much thought about it everyday in hospital where at the time I did not know what was going to come of me before I went under the knife for major surgery for the 2nd time in my life. I guess positive thinking and concentrating on things you love can get you through even the roughest times but also family and friends play a huge part in recovery process too. My girlfriend Joy deserves the most credit through all of this, she left her job to go travelling with me only to have me hospitalized the next day and not to mention the mental aspect of the hole situation plus she loves Vegas as much as I do ha if not more. I owe it all to her for having such a speedy recovery, quite a remarkable woman, thank you.

Ok back to the pokers.

I arrived late due to the poor timing skills of my good friend Larry Brennan and this set the tone for everyday over the weekend, wouldn't you think we would have learned ay! Larry and Aidan I owe a shout out to for been sound blokes in giving me a lift to and fro from Kilkenny each day and night. Cheers boys.

I am gonna do roughly going to do about 10 of most interesting hands from Waterford Masters.

First hand of the entire tourny I get JJ, what a welcome back to the tables after 2 months without playing poker at all. I have to say I got that little buzz and new I was back! I opened for 150 and got 2 callers, flop 7x8x4x, I c-bet 300 and get raised to 800. Folds back to me, right here I'm already thinking about dumping the JJ but it was draw heavy board so I decided to peel and re-evaluate the turn. It comes a blank 3x, I check, villain makes it 1,650 to go, I take a read that I am behind and fold the JJ face up to the table to see, great way to judge ppl's reactions on if they would fold in that spot or not. Always digging for info :). Later I find out he is a friend of Alan McIntyres so he kindly told me he flopped top 2 pair. Sweet.

I began to feel right at home at the table and I was probably raising between 3-4 hands per round, accumulating nicely. This hand appeared, I open KsQs to 400 (blinds 100-200) youngish guy in the sb 3bets to 1,100 and folds back to me. He is well capable so I'm happy to take a flop in position. Flop 6s5s3d, he bets 2,200, pretty big and he only has 10k left behind, right here I kinda don't like it but I'm just never folding here so I make it try look like I have a big hand instead of shoving I raise to 6.3k. He goes into the tank for quiet sometime and eventually moves all in for 4k more, I call immediately and instantly he goes 'ah you got me', I'm immediately sceptical thinking uggh he has shoved with ace high but instead it turns out he has shoved with KQ off, oh lordy, how, why, are you crazy, eh I'm pot committed hello, all these entered my head and I did ask him how can you shove for 4k more like Ive to call with any random hand der and then I get the good speech 'ah well actually I thought King high was good there' I was like just stop talking buddy ssshhhhh your making it look even worse. Anyway it bricked out of course and we chopped the pot. I was shocked as he played aggro and seemed to have grasp of the maths of the game.

I go on to loose 4 pots on the trot, top 2 loosing to a turned straight etc, dunno how I didn't manage to loose more. Suddenly I was back to just above starting stack. I believe Veira is her name, first hand after being moved to my direct right she opens and I look down at QQ, she is very tight player but I'm just never throwing away QQ here with my rep that she is very aware of. I 3bet and she instantly shoves, puke, but I'm not 3bet folding, I called and Veira tables AQ, board runs out and I'm back to where I was around 35k. Poor woman every time we play I seem to win big pot or knock her out. Guilt!

Before I new it we were playing the last level of the night, I didn't actually realize we stopped at 1am every nite which I was delighted by. Last few hands of the night and I won the last 3. Paul Carr opens utg with shortish stack and I've QQ again so I just flatted I didn't think he would get it in pre. 3 way to the flop and comes 8x7x3x, Paul c-bets 1,400 I make it 3,200 and the bb gives the old well not coming back tomorrow with short stack and shoves for 10k. Paul folds. I make the call and opponent tables A3, boards runs out and a nice top up for me. I finished up day1 with 50k in chips pretty happy with that for sure. Before went back to Kilkenny had few chats with the likes of Doke and Bops ppl I hadn't seen in ages. Most of topics were about Vegas and we came to the conclusion I was lucky I missed out as I get to keep my 50k where most Irish lost theirs lol. At heart tho I still rather go and loose 50k than have the opportunity taken away from me.

Late again but ready to go after good nights sleep. Rough start tho to day 2 saw me once again drift down to 25k by misplaying a hand and also been hit in 2 others. Day 2 also began the rise of Paul Carr who came back with like 20 bigs and proceeded to spin it up to a monster stack within hours of the restart. Just before moving table won 1 or 2 big hands which settled me nicely, plus getting new table draw was good as big 100k pot with Paul would surely have played out. First hand at new table I was greeted by KK, turned out to be a simple raise, cbet and take it.
5. This hand I opened 7h5h and found a caller in Mark(celtic poker reg). He had position on me and we saw a flop of 2x3h4x, I cbet the flop knowing that Marks calling range does contain mid strenght pairs and he likes to raise them on low flops, it's sick enough as I saw this hand playing out as the flop came down. Sure enough Mark comes in with the huge size raise probably 4.5x my cbet but were playing quiet deep so it was a great spot for me to 'bring the pain' so to speak. I decided to make the big shove on Mark and was delighted to hear no snap call, as he took his time deliberating whether to call it off or not I knew I got this one spot on he has 77-1010. All I needed now was for him to fold and plan went perfectly ha probably the hardest part but thankfully after few mins he mucked 99 face up. Ppl should take something from this hand, the old school way of raising to see where you are is now outdated, it's become too easy for ppl to 'bring the pain' when your stack size acts accordingly, as the saying goes it just leaves you in a world of pain not knowing where you are. This also work both ways ppl should see more where you can be ultra aggressive these days and capitalize on small mistakes like this. I did not show the hand either out of respect and tbh I rarely show what I'm up too! Mark didn't die easily after that he's become a complete torment at these festivals because he is so wild and 99% of the time you need a hand to catch him. Also a gent that man, see n me at the Emop week later and immediately congratulated me on the win.

6.This one was v young guy who let on the entire tourny he is only playing poker 2 months or something redic like that, yet he knew all spots and was min raising preflop and seemed way to comfortable post flop to be a newbie. I cannot remember his name I know he plays a bit with Jamie Flynn so I can see where the good poker comes from. We played a big hand ridiculously deep, he opens ep and I'm in the bb with 44 so I flat. Flop comes down 346 rainbow, he is playing pretty aggro and prob whiffs alot so I just flat his cbet. Turn is 10 and again it goes check bet call, I have same line of thinking here he could easily be double barreling. River comes another 3 to pair up. I was thinking oh lord let him have aces, I check again as he vbets and bluffs all the time here. Sure enough he put out quiet a big bet, I took my time and made the raise to about 1/3 of my stack, almost immediately he shoves on me so you can imagine surprise by this, I for sure said something like ' wtf is going on here'. I took ages and ages as he actually had me covered at this stage I believe we were both chip leaders at the time. I eventually worked out there is just too slim a chance he is bluffing here cause he would just flat with aces. I said 2 hands you have pocket 66's or pocket 10's which is it, no response of course ha. So I folded as much as it hurt but was the right play I felt at the time. A round of the table went and he was kind enough to tell he he had 1010, bad read by me I thought he had 66 lol. We battled all day until end of the day, quiet a formidable opponent I must say! I ran one or two good bluffs but was also lucky to get paid off in a big pot which allowed me to take over the chip lead.

7. This hand was v the soon to be great Alan McIntyre, he's like a hidden gem stil Imo. He was pretty kind enough to donate half his big stack to me but it was not easy work for me to get it. Alan opened ep and I'm new enough to the table, Laois hammer flats in hijack and I'm on the button, as I'm watching Alan seems more interested in what George Power is showing him on his phone so I did the old fake look at my cards only seeing one 9, I was actually looking at the 9 when I spotted all this from Alan, on that basis I went for the squeeze hoping I'd find a muck from both players. It was such a spot as Alan would say. I made the 3bet and was back to Alan, now he starts to pay attention and realized that I've just squeezed so I knew Alan been Alan he prob won't let that slide and of course slides out the 4bet, Laois Hammer has been double squeezed at this stage and reluctantly folds. I'm thinking of the 5bet but I think it would have been a bit much at this stage. I look back at my 2nd card to find another 9... wooop de dooo. Now the hole hand changes. I have position so best course of action was to flat. Oh if I had looked back and found A9 I would have went for the 5bet. This is stil a very tricky hand and threading lightly will be key. It's good flop for me 10x3x5x, Alan cbets, I took my time and flatted. It was still worrying me that he still cbet after the flat as he knows I wont give up easily with half a hand. Turn comes a 6x, he thinks and now checks, I'm a bit shocked as he prob plays jj and qq this way. I check it back. River comes some sort of blank maybe paired the bottom card. He thinks for a bit and checks again. I know I good now but zero value in betting, he could be spooked with jj either. I check aswel, he announces a loan 6 and I roll over the two 9s to claim the pot. My self and Alan had quiet an interesting chat about the river, if he fired the river again after checking the turn it actually looks more like he has a real hand than a bluff cause I know good player would rarely take that line when bluffing. He might have got it true. Most of my read came from Alan allowing his attention been drawn from the hand at the start, I thought he never allow lapse of concentration with a big pair as watching the action pre is vital to picking up read and not going broke with your hand on certain boards. The turn was also huge, he has to jam for his tourny life and probably new with soft field it wasn't worth the risk reward ratio. At least 'collusion' will never be accused as Chris Dowling posted on boards ha. Interesting hand regardless.

Day 3
Yes you guessed right late again for day3, that late that we lost a player in first round of the table lol. Unfortunately Alan McIntyre got ko in the last level of Day2 which sucked but then again another good player gone is always a plus. Now it was time to settle in and play to my normal plan which is picking off ppl playing relatively tight then picking up the pre flop raises relentlessly and once again hiding until short handed play again to resume the constant aggression.

There was two ppl I was curious to see how they would play which was Paul Carr and Adam Earley. I have zero history with Adam only that I knew he was a very capable player. Paul was pretty much the same very limited history but I developed over time in Waterford how he played. Working out a few tendencies was great help but overall I don't think it factored huge in the game as we barely clashed in pots worth writing about. Overall these were the two I would be keeping my eye on.

The two tables left became one pretty quickly, was lightening fast. I did not mind as I had chipped up nicely and it was Adam, Paul and myself the three chip leaders going into the final table.

Adam was now clear chip leader after knocking out Fionn from celtic poker/joint owner of Atlantis casino in Carlow. Fionn got very unlucky but hand played itself once flop came down. Fionn and Liam did me a great favour when I missed the their grand final through being ill. I had won ticket previous year from finishing 2nd and now that I could not make it they informed me they would give me free entry next year. Very kind gesture so just said I'd give them a quick shout out, two very sound guys!

8. This hand took place v Adam, we were now playing 7 handed I think. This hand played out like it did because I noticed when raising utg (Adam on button) he paused for long period of time as if he was going to 3bet then let it go. Mistake by him as I knew now it was his game plan to start 3betting me or at least he was eager to do it. Sure enough utg again I opened 6h7h and now pause again from Adam. He 3bets me this time. I'll just make up some rough figures to give you an idea of how the hand played. I opened for min raise as usual to 16k and 3bet is 38k. Right now with having read I think in hindsight I should have 4bet Adam here but I'm very comfortable post flop and were quiet deep so I took a flop. It comes 10h3hJs, not bad start flopped a flush draw and my immediate thinking was to get check raise in at some point in this hand if I do not hit my flush. I was effectively hoping Adam would continue and continue very strongly so as I could polarize his range therefore making a check raise with air a profitable good play as with reads before he is more than likely at it. Adam c-bet 39k which I decided to peal, pealing gives me a few more options and plus it makes it alot harder for him that if I do not raise his flop bet he cannot jam on me forcing me to fold my hand, also flatting and actually hitting would be great as I would severely under rep my hand and hopefully get 3 streets of value other than that I can rep scare cards etc so I had alot of options and went with the flat. Turn comes Qc, this is tricky it is a scare card but ak is in his range, also I was thinking at the time ak is also in my range too simply because of how deep we were, tbh I was just worried if he had the old k9 or not. I check to Adam and he bets 68k. I had made up my mind after watching him bet so I took little time and went for the check raise to 156k. I think I had roughly 300k in my stack left behind but really here he has the nuts or nada, no way he bets and 1 pair hand so only afraid of k9,ak or qj. He took about a minute but then released his hand with bit of a sigh but I doubt he had much in that spot. At this stage there was loads of ppl gathered around the table so I showed the 6h7h. I wanted to make sure Adam would be quiet for little while so I could continue to chip up well and secure a decent pay day at least. Great hand overall. It's good to plays hands differently and always always pay attention to your table it helped me alot in this hand.

9. This hand was pretty much a quick one v Paul Carr. I'm putting this one is just so ppl remember to watch tendencies and do not get ambitious in hands when you know your opponent plays a certain way and does not 3bet very often unless they have a hand even tho they tend to open alot preflop, different aggression be careful. This is exactly what was going on here, Paul was not 3betting alot but still I could not release my hand. It was a needless waste of chips having a read he is always strong 3betting. I opened from mid position and Paul 3bet from the bb. I had the old A4 off and went for the 4bet effectively forcing Paul to play for his entire stack preflop. Sure enough thos after my 4bet he moved all in pretty quickly and I released. At that stage this was borderline stupid from me with my current read and chip position. I gave up quiet a few chips in that hand as the blinds had just increased. It was too tempting to think if my 4bet gets through it would give me psychological edge plus alot more chips to add to my stack, which normally is good thinking but my read trumps this so stick to your reads ppl its essential.

10. Finally my last hand to write about, it's actually a series of hands and a look at how important tipping the table dynamics in your favour is hugely important. All this took place 3 handed after great showing from Paul Carr finishing 4th. Another notable bust out was Jay, travels to most games in Ireland and was unlucky to run into my QQ late position open when shoving from bb with k10 to finish 7th I believe. 3 handed was left Adam, Michael Walsh (who went from being the tightest player in tourny to being the most aggressive once we went 5 handed) and myself. I had built quiet a nice table dynamic, Adam was dying from a lack of cards to even enter a pot with but also at same time I think he was happy to see Michael and I going at it practically every hand. Hands in between I was taking down preflop. Ridiculous amount of steal attempts I must of had and just as high success rate. The dynamic was this and was great the two boys played along. On the button it was Adam's bb I would open and Michael would be less involved as he was sb, at same time Adam being very card dead (understaement in his eyes I'm sure) was finding it hard to play back at me plus taking a flop oop with mediocre holdings would be tough so I got away with that a bit. Another was Adam folding quiet a few buttons and I was raising every hand sb to bb into Michael and playing him oop with some good success. I did my absolute best to keep this table dynamic going and eventually after 2-3 hours of 3 handed play I was very far ahead, 2mil playing 800k Michael and 500k Adam. I new at this stage Adam was in shove mode and now would pick up the pace. This I did not want. I was starting to feel the hole toll of the entire weekend as this was suppose to be my 'see if I can stand a day or 2 of play' I never thought I would end up 3 handed with chip lead going on 3 full days of poker. I hit a brick wall at this stage and was getting quiet claustrophobic with the lack of fresh air in the room. We played one or 3 more hands and I won all three so I decided to end it right there and offered the boys a deal. Michael was on board but Adam took some time and eventually realized he was getting a great deal after bit of miscommunication on our part. I think I presented the deal pretty well one of my better plays :). I took 12k and trophy I've been after for nearly 3 years and the other 2 guys split the rest, Michael receiving 500 more than Adam but trust me Adam got a ridiculously great deal considering. Trust me tho no brick wall, no deal. Remember tilt the table dynamics in your favour or at least to what your happy enough with to secure your progression at all times!

That's all for the Masters. Also mentioning I never once was all in for my tournament life throughout the entire tourny, normally the trend I set but this time I didn't get unlucky and won all the important hands.

A final special thanks to Fox for his kind words when I was being presented with the trophy. He's a top guy and know him good few years now ever since I use to grind 2 nites a week in what was formerly Blazin Aces but is now known as the Poker Lounge. Great place and learned alot from different talented individuals that played in their and still do. I like to think I took their best plays into my own game. It was fantastic to win the Masters on my bounce back game!

Other recent games I've played were Ukipt Cork finishing 20 something, but also cashing in 3 events in the one schedule, 6max, triathlon and the main event.

Emop was good to see finally landing in Ireland. Doke finishing 2nd was great to see, well deserved score no1 grinds harder than him. He slags Mick McCloskey quiet alot about his age so I'll get one in for Mick.... great to see the drive and hunger Doke has even at his old age :) culdn't resist! The Emop did however how some very poor rules in the game and it quiet infuriated me to say the least. All in all it's great to see bigger buy ins finally coming back to the Irish scene. All these monkey games are starting to make my head spin and I will be striking off at least 5 for next year as there just not worth traveling for with cost of expenses.

Cork, I feel the macau has lost all it's prestige. I ended up busting this one due to being colour blind. I was so infuriated and felt hard done by but at end of day it was my mistake that cost me. Yet I still fail to see how ppl buy chip sets with two colours of huge importance 500 and 5k chips being the same colour. Cost me a good chance at running up a big stack and challenging for first prize. Oh well.

Coming up is a few good tournys (it's just great to be back in action), the likes of Ept London, Irish Winter festival which I won my ticket to online late last month and Mike and Jp's 6-max event. Good looking games coming up and cannot wait for them to come around.

I tried to do short and quick blogs but I have seriously no interest in them it's like keeping a diary imo. I prefer to spend ages writing one big long detailed post than 5 small ones that really doesn't benefit anyone.....Till next time.

Monday, May 30, 2011

My 5 picks v your 5 picks?

So as ever with Vegas within inches of been upon us all again I think its time for my 5 picks of Irish players for a bracelet. If anyone cares to wager v my 5 picks just post comment at the bottom lol don't be shy. Allowed 1 sub aswel seems only fair and you can pick yourself, beats choosing between likes of John o Shea maybe slightly rusty with loosing track of poker with big sportsbetting, or the other side of it an unknown also gifted good Irish poker player. I'll prob still pick John as my sub anyway tho lol.

Unfortunatly for me I have to write this blog whilst been in the great place of Naas hospital. Only couple of days left before I am suppose to leave things have gone belly up, another collapsed lung. That makes it lucky number 4. So after getting all clear only 2 weeks ago my body decides to do a U-turn and of all nights on myself and joys going away party,(I know any excuse for ppl to drink lol, even if it was my 2nd time in prob 6 months) next day or 2 is crucial to see where I stand. If I can't make Vegas this will be biggest soul wrenching thing ever to rob me in quiet sometime. Gotta look at the upside cause if i do get through this boy will I burn up Vegas! I will probably post in my thread on Irishpokerboards to confirm.

On a good note I was in the poker section of racing post, pretty happy to be selected along side those 4 wizzards for top 5 picks for a bracelet in Vegas. I think I was the only 1 not from/based in dublin, dunno if I am happy bout that either as being from Athy doesnt exactly jump off the map as a place to see or go.... Stil I'd rather be a culchie than a jackeen lol sorry guys.

Ok so here is my top 5:
1. Nick heather, 4th last year in a 1k obv knows how to beat those games, brilliant deepstack player. If he gets in same spot as last year definatly see a bracelet for Ireland.
2. Shiner, as most would know him. He has the live game edge too even tho assaming most results over 1mil all online. I just hope he is going.
3. Big Mick G, we all know mick and talk about been in form, totally crushing lately. I hope he is playing more this year than he did for last years wsop.
4. Mark mac Donnell, we all know about his crossbars, i just think he needs a bigger challenge right now and if those big pairs hold for him well then he has huge shot at a bracelet.
5. Sean prenderville, hopefully Sean has cleared time for Vegas, he got there late last year and still topped most with 2 deep runs within his short time there plus making day 3 of main aswell. Monster accumulating chips and monster with a stack, again if he goes deep you would have to fancy him v the field no matter who is left.
Sub. John O Shea, playing all the Plo events and other smaller size fields like so has great shot at a bracelet.

Ok that wraps up my picks for Wsop this year. Should be an epic trip regardless but if I do get the all clear I will be 100% focused on poker especially with Doc saying its a good idea never to drink again. Yikes now that is a statement! Could you imagine me shipping a bracelet and instead of drinking from bottle of don perion I'll be having to settle for carton of Ribena, maybe the tropical one you know spoil myself and all lol.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Now is the time to get a victory!

I think the best way to write blog's is shortish and sweet. After a few long long post's it does turn you off starting from scratch again, this is exactly why my last post was months ago. So I hope to get more post's in with maybe one or two interesting hands instead of chapters lol.

Over the last month or two I have been topping up my Hendon mob with a couple more cashes and final tables. Bit stressed still cannot win a big festival in Ireland but my deep runs have to eventually go right in the last phases sooner or later and by now I think later has become sooner :) so roll on Vegas and the new season of Ept's also. If anything I hope it all comes together in those events. I feel my tourny game has become so sharp I would happily play on any stage, bet sizing in near every situations down to a T, over betting rivers bluffs / v-bets, so I'm in a good place and hope to roll on from here.

Irish Open another decent run and same result just loose pots at worst possible times, brilliantly set up this year hats off to ppp, something I have not said in quiet a while.After been in for so much in online sats I suppose was good to get something back from the open, congrats to Seamus and winner Niall Smyth, Seamus was so so professional throughout the entire Irish Open on and off tv table he took the bad beats in his stride, great player unlucky not to win it all.

Last Ept I played, I owned few guys pretty hard on day1, one hand in particular in which I did get lucky also played out like this, guy who has knocked out 3 players very early opens (not great but ok type of player) ep, i 3bet jd7d, he calls, flop comes 8d5x3x, he checks I c-bet and now he goes into the tank for ages so at this point I hope he calls with his small pair/ace high because I know he is weak and can barrel him off a blank turn hence making more money. Sure enough he eventually calls, turn is 10d, now I have a straight flush draw, he checks and I bet again a nice chunk, weirdly enough he calls after like 5 seconds, instantly I though ok he either hit the 10 or had jj/qq and now is uncomfortable and doesn't know where he is so he makes fast call to try slow me down (rookie mistake but tbh I don't think I would fire the river again as this player wud snap any bet fo sho), river pops off the beautiful Ad to give me back door flush, he checks again I bet pretty big and after 30 seconds he shoves me all in, no brainer gl if he back door a higher one so I snap n he shows A10 off for top 2 pair, he obv says I could not put you on the flush cause you raise preflop...ummm ok, ul and thanks, lol. Shame it all ended in the last level of the night for me, I had 3bet the same young guy 3 times in 2 rounds of new table I had been moved to so when I picked up AQ in sb to his cut off open there was no way I was folding to his antics he was wel capable so after he 4bet it looked a great spot to 5bet shove and I did so, I was very unlucky to walk into ak here as we both new he was tired and was gonna play back at me with any hand there so I guess wasn't too bad just unlucky he picked up ak instead of the old 96 off. San Remo gorgeous place one of nicest I've ever been to in Europe defo will be back.

Jp masters, played some great poker in this event some sick plays were perfectly timed and shifted table dynamics towards myself which is what its all about. One hand I 4bet cold from bb and had original raiser flatted, scary, i had 67 off flop came 7x2x3x and it went check check, turn was 9x check check again, now I know this player has ace high, I has history on this person and believe her calling range is wider than the old AA lol, so river fell king, scary enough I know but I just had feeling she could have AQ also, crazy as it was I went for the v-bet with 3rd pair and she went into the tank for ages and ages, I was quiet happy to see this was defo AQ now and she was quiet able to call from previous hands. Eventually she folded and I showed the 6 to let everyone keep guessing. Played alot of hands like this but unfortunately same old lost big pot on last 2 tables to come to final table with once again a short stack, busted 6th good showing but severely tilting at heart. So that's 9th, 11th and now 6th 3 years in a row for the masters, good record in rest of jp's events too just quiet simply he runs best show in town, brilliantly structures his tournies and I really hope to win one of his events it's certainly been a goal of mine for a long time now!

Ukipt Cork, finally popped cherry and won an online sat to qualify for this very very satisfying ha. I done really well first night chopping the 6-max event with good mate Fergal Nealon, he showed great character coming back from early hands against me and others sucking him out, great character sir wp again. I did get the old 5 bet shove in on start of final table with the stubborn 75 off suit lol was just one of those hands, Fergal 4bet after considerable time and also I had 3bet just the hand previous so I felt he could be a little light here so I pulled a trigger and got it through, had to show it but Fergal classy guy just loved it n gave me kudos. Was fun game especially with all the knock outs :).

Day1a started so slowly for me and with a head cold I just wasn't able to play my A game not even close so I opted for abc strategy. After about 8 level and thanks to nurofen I was getting over the head cold and was feeling better, this also began the rise of my stack that went as low as 7k at one stage, so pretty happy ending the day with 144,200 chips, I know pretty incredible. Played spewy hand I guess v table mad man, very sound chap tho he congratulate with thumbs up to anyone who beat him in a pot which wasn't very often as he had over 120k by level 7. I just won decent size pot, an pick up 33 n open 1600, sb calls and bb thinks goes to call and instead makes it 10k to go, norm i instant much here and wait for better spot but he has been opening 5x pre, showing random bluffs and flatting pre then leading out in to multi way pots betting twice the pot. Here I decided to make a stand, I envisioned 4betting and seeing a snap fold lol not to be after I went for the 4bet to 22.5k, he looks weary but puts chips together and calls. Not good as I'm taking a flop with 1/3 of my stack in the middle with just 33 but I had position going for me but still lol don't try this at home ha. Flop comes kx4x5x he checks, I feel even tho flop whiffs all his range here I still will not shove the loot in as he wasn't type to fold ace high here let alone medium pocket pair so I check back, turn is blank 8x and he checks again, after some starring back and forth I check back once again as have showdown v ace high but that's all going for me, river comes the miracle 3, he checks again and after quick count of my stacks I didn't move all in I decided to bet most of my stack around 29.5k I think I had 37kish because these type players sometimes don't pay off the all ins, anyway he finally calls after thinking for few mins and i flip up the 33 n he nods in approval then sees I have a set n immediately acts like I have given him the worlds worst beat, I'm not so sure but he acted like he had ace high there to me with his reaction. Happy out anyway with huge pot and eventually stacked the same guy when I picked up kings but had to sweat his 60k all in flop bet with nut flush draw after my 3,900 c-bet, held nicely and that's where most of my chips came from.

Triathlon side event, pretty good showing, made it to the hu stage but busted to young chap Gav, can't remember his 2nd name but he is good player imo, we did play weird hand straight away hu, I open 150 with 8d9d he 3bets 450, I flat, flop comes Ah6h7s goes check check, turn is 10h made my straight but puts flush there, he now strangely leads for 1k, I do not want to raise as I fold out his bluffs and aslo prefer to call incase he checked back flop with low flush draw not to get blown off his hand, river comes js a pretty much blank although gave kq a straight now, he now checks so I go for big value bet round 1800 leaving 1500 behind...he thinks for 30 seconds and then puts me all in, soooo weird and were playing effectively same stacks so its his tourny too, we started with just 5k, I'm in the tank going true all possible hands hes going to put me in with and its just 2 either kq or turned flush, I just cant see how he would ever bluff this spot the way the hand went nor did I think he would turn a made hand like top pair into a bluff. I just could not get it out of my head no way a competent player ever bluffs here as looks I'm pot committed. I folded and lost flip then for double and Gav won, after was over he told me he had turned AQ with qh into a bluff on the river to make me fold out all 2 pair hands beating him, was pretty weird to me as my river bet is never that much with 2 pair only a bluff, flush or straight. I guess that hand is one to notch down as two totally different aggressive players thoughts. Hats off to Gav he went on to win the thing so kudos to him, I'll get him back soon also even if it is 2-1 to me ha. I think I finished 6th overall but not certain.

Day2, played my first table pretty well just picking ppl off, after the drama of the bubble bursting I got moved to a better table although it did have shiner on it he passed 1 mil winnings online last week I think so congrats to him sick feat! Won huge pot wi kk straight away after arriving and rest of players seemed scarred money so I picked up countless blinds and antes to boast a monster stacks never had so many chips was serious stuff. In the end was the same old severe card dead and loosing the big pots I got involved through suck outs and all the rest. Hope all these deep runs come to something cause now is the time to be making big moves and wins in the poker world after Pokerstars and other big brands move more into Europe as of Black Friday so roll on all the live tournys I've never been as hungry! Pretty happy with cashing in all 3 tournys tho too. Ok that will do for now, will update when out in Vegas, uncertain if I'm playing Cpt grand final will have to see with dates. Oh and lol at finding 50 euro in the lobby on way out the door with Danny so funny and pair of beats headphones for just 130 quid, a quick hats off to Danny for the blogging the man is a gent and great to see someone who loves the game be driven to be apart of it and to help us all, wd mate.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Adventures...

It is never great having to make an announcement like this, unfortunately this blog post will be my last as an Irish Eyes Poker sponsored player. A new deal could not be brokered between both sides and I completely understand Irish Eyes point of view on the topic. Of course this is sad news as I enjoyed my time wearing the Irish Eyes badge but all good things come to an end but I am looking to the future, the sky is the limit for me I feel so I am eager to move on to bigger and better things.

My live results in the last year have been normal at best in my eyes and this I hope to change immensely. I have done so online with my 2 big results and I am really hoping to take that form to my live game, especially with the 3 biggest tournys of the year coming up, Ept Berlin, Irish Open and of course Ept San Remo all within a month, eh so some run good plz lol. I will continue the push on big tournys and will be booking soon 2 months in Vegas, so like I said at start of the year I'm going for broke or millions ;).

Who knows anyway maybe soon I might get picked up again which would be great for obvious reasons, If I hit Ept and Wsop for big money I'm sure that would increase my chances. I must say I am looking forward to the future whatever it holds, all I know is I'm going to be putting all my effort into these big tournys and I'm driven for success!

Finally, I would like to thank Irish Eyes Poker for their backing and confidence they showed in me over the year which I have been with them. Also hats of to Steven Merrick top guy and just would never let you buy a drink for yourself when on trips abroad, top guy and I wish himself and Irish Eyes Poker all the best in the future.

I will leave on a good note, I am delighted to say I'll be featuring in Bluff magazine's next issue with thanks to Ciaran Corbett for his generous mention, I know Ciaran a while now he is a top guy and this gets him into top class guy status in my book now ha.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Views on no limit hold'em tournys.

Just so everybody knows, these are just my own personnel views on how I play or choose to play nl tournies in Ireland, I am not saying I am 100% correct in anyway. I just hope even if 1 person takes something from this then it has been all worth while because we are all different and 1 thing is for sure we all play differently too.

The way I will structure this will be step by step, I will do it just like a 3-day event, day1 day2 and day 3 but also while I am writting about each days I will go through alot of points so hopefully it doesn't go all over the place and I can keep some sort of structure to this piece. I am totally 100% self thought ever since I started so this will consist of my very own style of play that I have developed and I think has become very effective for me on the Irish scene. It probably won't be to every one's taste but I guess everyone is different. Ok let's get started.

This should start as you approach your table, you should be looking to profile people in what way you think they might play soley based on their appearance, this is very good for making sure you really pay alot of attention to your opponents and in doing so after an hour of play you should probably be able to work out whether or not your first thought on how each individual plays was indeed the right guess from when you first sat down, this is a great way of focusing yourself for the early stages as they can be quiet boring plus if you pick anything up on one individual and later on day 3 your back at their table it could mean the difference in winning an event to just min cashing.

For the first few levels I would play very tight only playing pairs high connected cards unless in position with suited connectors also, pretty much I would be doing my best to convince people who know me and also people who don't that I am not an aggressive player as it will be worth more to me later levels than playing loose in earlier levels, you don't have to over speculate to accumulate trust me and this should help in building a tight table image for the 150-300 level because this is where I normally like to change gears and begin to mix it up a bit with some preflop raises trying to amass a stack, even just taking down blinds is great because these days an ante does be introduced on this level or close to it and this is essential to building your stack for the rest of day 1 so you should now be applying pressure with preflop raises. Try to be the first to open pots or to single out the limpers. Obviously do not be in there with any sort of spanners, stick to suited connectors suited one gappers 67 connectors and upwards, A5 off a9 off and upwards nothing inbetween, any suited ace and of course any pair.

When taking control in pots you should remember your always repping a big hand preflop so you should adjust your c-bets accordingly to the right flops and board textures. For example 1 limper for 300 you should be making it around 900-1k to go (me personally I make it 800 at the most as I am very comfortable post flop even taking on 2-3 other players but I would not advise it, 800 norm does the trick to single out the limper tho) which will get out most thrash from the blinds and leaves you hu in position v the limper which you can put his hand range on the normal 10j qj kq small pair or suited aces just rough estimate, you should be studying what players limp with in the early levels as most of them do not change their range but everyone is different remember that. Ok so flop comes down and norm is they check to you, you should be c-betting most flops but also depending on your hand it is ok to check back some flops, like if you flop 2nd pair or top pair bad kickers pretty much hands you think are not in danger of being sucked out on to easily like qj on a k j 5 board, your opponent rarely limps with kings in his hands plus also you might get them to bluff 2 streets. Anyway c-bet most flops and if you feel your opponent is week do not be afraid barrel the turn aswel you will be surprised how often ppl fold on the turn, also look out for bluff cards which you can rep.

Flush flops to lead outs you can float these flops as if another club or whatever it is comes you can raise any bets or barrel turn and river all because you have raised preflop. Your preflop raise reps high cards like Ac etc. I am just trying to give you situations and board textures you can play aggressively on there are alot of board textures inbetween the 2 I have mentioned above which you can exploit. Obviously I cannot tell you them all or I will be here for weeks, you will just have to figure those out yourself.

I am telling you to play aggressively but also have a handbreak to stop you from making bad bluffs, always tell a perfect story when bluffing think it out as your doing it. You do not have to win every hand it is only day1 you can never win the tournament on day1, I see to many guys with all these big stacks but they do not have a notion on how to maintain them because they are always playing high variance poker. 1 gear is not correct nor will it help you win more than 1 decent tourny in your life.

As the blinds keep increasing so should your willingness to keeping up the pressure with preflop raises, sure you will get played back at but it's to let hands go pre, I don't see much point in being too adventurous on day1 as tbh day2 and day3 is where all the adventure should start. You do not need a huge stack ending day 1 but with the way I have said above you should not be too far behind the leaders, an above average stack is more than enough or close trebling your starting stack should be roughly the same. 30 bigs come the end of the night is enough also to use this strategy I am about to go into for day2. Before I do tho I want to track back to reinforce some earlier points. I can't stress enough the power of position and singling out players/limpers all of it will give you more power and control over your opponents. For day1 also it is a huge thing for me to soften the variance as much as possible even if it means sometimes sacrificing big stacks at end of the night it is ok with me because it is more important I'm still in the game more than anything else mostly because I have huge confidence in my all around game whether short, awkward stack, medium stack or big stack. This does not ruin my chances of winning overall as it's end of day 2 where you can calculate your stack size to your chances of winning, not at the end of day1 imo. Oh and also for day1 I would rarely 3bet unless I actually had a big hand, I leave that for my day2 strategy.

This day will always be known as 3bet day, quiet simply what you should be doing is 3betting ppl who you feel might be weak or who open too much, also do not be afraid to 3bet tight players with holdings like kq or sooted cards something to fall back on if they decide to take a flop, also make sure you do this in position as most times this will discourage players from even taking a flop. The kq is a good spot for a 3bet you could call them blockers lets say, if you flop a king or queen I would check back incase your are flatted by ak or aq, if you get the green light to bet the turn do so and make it a chunky one and also same for the river,sometimes this play works out much better than betting the flop,checking back turn when called and then only flatting a river bet by your opponent plus you do not know where your are in the hand when you play it like this so I much prefer the check back if you flop 1 pair and over betting turn and river which would make it look like a steal. Most average players will be set mining so look out for that, also double barrel flop and turn to get rid of the medium to small pairs that might get a little stubborn on low flops to see if your serious or not.

Breaking tables, it does have it's importance, this is where you should take a few rounds to adjust to your new table before picking up the pace, if however players are bring moved to your table if any big stacks come in and open pots straight away I would instant 3bet. This will play with their minds and make them really dislike their new table draw instantly, also they will be prone to a blow up towards you as so many ppl with big stacks suddenly get big ego's and just do not like to be outplayed and if you keep playing in position they will have to risk so many chips just trying to win a pot v you. Get in their heads and set them up, trust me your chance will come if you mess with them enough early. Obviously after your early aggression as they will see it you can they lay off and pick your spots better v them, if you pick up a hand you really have great chance of getting it all v them as they will be making moves light or calling down light, all in all their range v you comes down considerable difference where you can over value hands v them, really makes poker alot easier to get ahead!

Use the structure to your advantage, pay close attention to the structure and work out how flexible it is so you can have spells of playing fast then really tight sitting back waiting to spring into action again just when everyone is starting to forget your at the table. There is no point playing fast for a couple of hours if the structure is very slow and then speeds up later, you will be left behind. I recently just went deep in 2 high profile Sunday events coming 1st and 3rd respectively, while I was deep in both tournaments I was using 2 totally different strategies, for pokerstars game I had decided to play tight because the structure was so good and this allowed me to pick ppl off with ease pretty much coasting to the final table, a nice low variance strategy paying off plus I was given alot of respect,my plan was to make the final table and go for it, this is exactly how it panned out, a bit of a cooler 3 way saw me finish in 3rd but I was happy with my over all play because no1 was none the wiser and it even took them a good while to adjust on the final table. As for the Boyle's tournament my tactics was to rob every blind and pretty much play gun-ho style of poker, this also ended up working as I took down that tourny. I will have a blog post soon on those 2 tournaments so I'll wait to go into detail then. Finally Day 2 mainly consists of consistently adapting to your table dynamics and the structure of the tournament. 1 more thing always 3bet medium stacks this is huge as most of your 3bets pre should be targeted on these player as they have to shove all in pre for their tourny life and most of them are very unwilling to stick the loot in with their normal opening hands like aj kq 77 88, so take advantage of that, these ppl will normally have between 25- 40 big blinds. If you have done enough for day 3 it is ok to step back for the last couple of rounds as most short stacks in Ireland will be shoving for sport as most of them have the train of thought 'I need a double up here or it's not worth coming back for' that especially goes for travelling players. I think the preferred term is 'shit or bust' excuse the language ;).

Day3 (probably the final day)
Normally this will be down to the last 2 maybe 3 tables. Here I would use 1 of 3 strategy's and all are designed for making the final table with big chips or with the intent of harvesting chips thick and fast. If I have aggressive opponents who will be competing for every chip I might employ same tatic I did on the stars game last Sunday,(sometimes the structure can be so good that there is no need to play fast and furious just because you can 4bet or 5bet, this doesn't mean you have too, much less variance playing the structure and adapting like this) sit back get a great feel for the table and every now and again pick ppl off in spots that look certain to having a hand, using this tatic has to be a good structure and also once you reach the final table many of the aggro players will be surprised at how tight you were playing and that's when you can kick into gear and begin to play fast, normally I would do this when it gets 7 handed on the final table. The amount of respect I have received before makes it worth while as normally come the end of a level or 2 I have amassed a pretty big stack before ppl begin to play back at you! First person to 3bet I would instantly 4bet them sends everyone else at the table a message before trying it light again or even with a marginal hand.

Another choice you have is depending on the aggro players at the table of course, if you feel you can out agrees them well I'm all for this, but you will need pretty good post flop skills aswel as it will be short handed lots of defending and flatting raises. For this you have to be in total concentration following how many times each individual raises, where they raise from, which blinds they could be picking on (these are 3bet spots for you now), passive players in the blinds who you can exploit (I would not even be looking at my hole cards preflop if they were even the slightest bit passive, only slows you down) and finally also look for where one guy steals and the next aggro guy tries a 3bet resteal, this is where a cold 4bet steal should work close to 100% of the time unless you are very unfortunate to have him reshove but it's ok to fold you know but obviously make sure you have enough to fold equity when doing these plays.

Choice 3 I'm keeping to myself, like come on I've given enough away already, I may keep some stuff to myself or I'll be easy to read lol. I do not mind sharing info or thoughts because in tournament poker you always have to be thinking of new plays and adapting to new table dynamics, so this is why I don't really mind blogging about this sort of stuff although I don't think I have really given too much away because I would assume most ppl would already know pieces of this from experiences. Ok so for these strategy's they should put you in a position that if your good at shorthanded play you should be making top 3 at least, just bang away if you get 4 handed totally try tip the table dynamics almost make yourself look like a crazy person. You would be amazed at how often it intimidates ppl. I have done it playing Moorman(1moortime on ipoker) so even some of the best have to give into you especially if there is at least 1 fish still left in the game, again table dynamics.

Ok so I guess that's it for now but I will have a blog coming soon about the 2 tournys I managed to win 87.5k in, all in 1 night. I will be replaying all of my hand histories from these games which is a great idea and seeing what interesting hands and topics I can come up with etc etc. Should be more detail in this upcoming blog than this one here itself, you be amazed how hard it is to go into detail, there is just so many spots and situations you would be years writting them all out so ha fat chance of that! Hope you ppl enjoy this. I'll leave you with a few tips:

If folded round to you in late poistion and you look at your first card and it's an ace then go ahead raise on that itself, you are more than likey way ahead of flatting ranges anyway. C-bet flop but if it's an ace high flop check your kicker as you might have to check back which is ok it pot controls and creates value for your hand to call down ppl.

Try to play more hands without looking at your hole cards, really zone in on your opponent, this will allow you to become better at reading hands postflop, plus tbh it's a great buzz after double barrelling then river appears an you look back and see you have the nuts lol done this few times.

Lastly play with no fear, do not be afraid to make these plays, you can never evolve as a poker player if not.

Ok that will do it from me for now guys. Gl to everyone in the sunday million this weekend, one of us Irish ship it plz!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

3 in a row?

I was heading up to D4 on Thursday with the hope of making it 3 in a row for final tables in the deepstack game, with the day starting off as it did a small part of me new maybe things were not going in my favour aswel as that there was over 700 players to beat out this time. I could not get a lift to Dublin that Thursday so instead I had to settle for getting the 12.30 train from Athy to Dublin which of course ment I was going to be late which even tho it's 50k starting stack game I was still not happy about, I finally got to Hueston station and hopped into a taxi which of course was being driven by a forgein chap who had small grasp of english but worse had no idea where the Balls Bridge Inn hotel was, after about 40 mins we finally arrived at the hotel, (he even brought me to bewelys hotel, prob only hotel he knew I'd say) I jumped out and proceeded to the poker room unable to check in as I had lost so much time.

I had shrugged all the mishaps off and sat down to play relieved that I had got there in time to play and get use to my table before the first break. Unfortunately for me I managed to run into bottom set twice before that break came but I was still just so relieved to get there so I didn't mind that much plus I had gained alot of info on the players at my table in the 40 mins I had. I had tough time all throughout the day I didn't even manage to flop top pair once in the whole time I was at that table, very frustrating as the good players on my table which was about 4 players were all cleaning out the donks whilst my stack proceeded to dip down to the 30k mark, I was involved in many big hand and probably only for my reads on opponents I would surely have been sent to the rail early.

It came to the 300-600 level and we just had a break, I was going to change gears and apply maximum pressure even with fellow friend and brilliant player Fergal Nealon to my immediate left, I was pounding on the guys to my right pretty fiercely I must say and my image had change from being tight to almost reckless lag, I did not mind tho as it was working my 3bets getting threw and cbets if necessary, this hand came up where the guy I was pounding on most raised n I 3bet once again but this time with my best hand of the day AcJc and was expecting to be played back at, sure enough it was folded back round to villain who then 4 bet me, I then 5bet him and was going to call off a 6bet shove only that it screamed a huge tell, he took 10 seconds, sighed n immediately shoved all in, I had been watching him before when a hand played out he had top set and did the exact same thing the sigh and instant shove so I was left between a rock and a hard place call off the rest of my chips leaving me crippled even tho I was just about pot committed or fold and keep my 35k stack and use it to outplay this weakish field, imo considering all the points I made it was a pretty easy fold which is what I did after about 10 mins of deliberation but I feel I was hard done by as this player would have 4bet regardless of his hand. Pretty funny also very next hand and same guy opened and I 3bet once his face was priceless and he still called and I managed to win a nice spot to soften the wounds from the previous hand.

I finally got moved from this table with just 1 blind level left, it was still same story to start I picked up Aq raised and whiffed the flop and had to give it up to the donks pot bets. I finally picked up a real hand AA ha I almost didn't know what to do with it, I came in for my standard min bet and sure enough got 3bet, all the money went in preflop with my opponent holding kk so I was in with a great shot of getting back into the game if my AA held, unfortunately it was not to be as the chap flopped a boat on me and it held to knock me out with a couple of mins left before we finished up for the night. I was little heart broken as making final table 3 times in a row would have ment alot to me and more so to win it, I know to even make it 2 in a row is a great achievement but I am my harshest critic lol well almost actually my harshest critic so I felt pretty down about it but what can you do ay, just sometimes it just not ment to be and Thursday was surely an example of that, oh well we always soldier on.

Amazingly I must add that this is the 5th tourny in a row that I have gone out holding either AA or KK v AA or KK and queens once ha but 4 out of the 5 I got it in ahead so hopefully I can get the bad run off my back it's been kicking me ever since Vegas itself so I just relishing having a hand or 2 hold up and maybe take down a big tourny soon because I know I am much better than my recent results suggest.

Role on the next round of tournys, so everyone knows here is a list of my future tournys to come I'm going to be playing Silky's western poker open for start then Ept Berlin, Irish open and soon after that will be Ept San Remo. I will be putting up a thread on Irish Poker Boards soon where I will be selling % of myself for Ept Berlin and if that goes well I will probably do the same for San Remo assuming I don't hit a big score between Berlin or the Open. One of my good mates has already taken a nice chunk of my action for Berlin so always nice to get the ball rolling. So hopefully my next blog comes with thanking ppl for buy % and getting a huge return :).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Emop Canaries (most of my time spent in the sun)

As unfortunate as it was the Emop Canaries was not kind poker wise to me at all nor was it to most of my fellow Irsh who travelled, Doke himself had pretty much the same frustrating trip as neither of us could cash in the main or side event. I will have to add it was not to our own plays so much as the Spanish armada of fish who drowned our hopes with their um unique style of play or in my own words retarded donk plays which ended our chances of running deep. It is like taking the biggest fish from every club in Ireland and landing them all in one tournament and you have to play v them all with the added deterrent of a handful of some very good players also, to name one would be Johnny Lodden which I had to sweat he was going to sit to my left after first level where the dead stack was but to my luck he quickly realized it was the table across from mine that he was suppose to be sitting at. It is a shame now as if you would have told me I was gonna bust early I'd have jumped at the chance to play first few levels with a player of his caliber but at the time I was all smiles to see him walking away! That's what it is like to play in a 1k event in Spain just so everyone knows, happy days.

My exit hand from the main event was the horrible kk v aa, it was the 150-300 level (same exit level as my last Emop Barcelona where I held aa v 77 all in preflop) and I had been playing great, I had managed to double my stack without ever having it at risk,some great reads and some great raises on the river for value saw my stack reach it's great heights, I picked up kk after two ppl had limped,one of the limper's was crazy guy who was just bonkers check raising ppl on any board and limp reraising ppl n showing the old 62off,so I thought this was a prime spot to win some more chips, I 4x to 1,200 and sure enough came back to the crazy guy and he makes it 5k to go, I just flat so he will continue his madness and that was my plan for the hole hand, flop comes 622 rainbow and now he bets 10k, I flat and off to the turn and it comes the qh which brings flush draw and now the strange bet comes in he makes it just 5k now, again I just flat so if he did hit a q he will continue to over value it, any under pair or continue his weird bluffs, river comes off suit 7 and now he decides to bet 15k which is so weird just the hole makes no sense right now, i take like 5-7 minutes rerunning the hand over and over to see what possible hands could he play this way like if he had the aa why would he only bet 5k into 30k pot when a flush draw comes out it's just not standard for amature players the norm is prob even a big shove with aa but anyway I came to the conclusion against this type player who shows up with the most random hands it's a call nearly every time, I called and he showed me aa which is still a little shocking as I right this lol.

Great tourny the main event and I stress anyone who are even thinking of it to 100% go and play these Emops totally worth it plus over 50k for the winner this time round and the numbers were down for this slightly, easily has the most amount of fish left in the world playing these games plus on top of this does be great craic with all the other Irsh who travel as Steven Merrick Ceo of Irish Eyes likes to have all the Irish at one hotel so the trip can be as enjoyable as possible not to mention the drinks on the house, hats off to Steve!

Side event would be more structured along the lines of a turbo game and again I had no luck with it but had played good so I was not too disappointed when I got knocked out shoving an ace from bb when cut off opened who was doing this alot and the sb flatted, raiser ended up reshoving with 88 and hit a boat on the turn and that was the end of tournies in Canaries for me.

Off to the airport now to catch our flight home, we did have a great dinner last night when Doke took myself and Joy out to dinner in a v stylish Japanese restaurant, the food was absolutely brilliant as I've never had Japanese before I just went for a bit of everything lol crazy I know, also at the end of the night we were treated to a bit of a laugh when the Japanese lady waiter could not hold back from telling Joy how beautiful she looked (which of course she did) and just could not stop starring at her,ha poor Joy a Japanese lesbian coming onto you I don't no what to make of that myself but it was entertaining for us as we all had a good laugh about it, topped off a great week of relaxing in the sun and spa, it was heaven for Joy I am sure of that. Great trip! Ok back to Ireland to walk my dogs good job I have a field just down the road from me,it holds two rottweilers and a siberian husky alot better than my back garden does lol, good luck Gran Canaries.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Years Resolution

Well I suppose one of my resolutions should be to update my blog more after all pretty poor performance in that area last year never mind the poker. This I hope will be a big year in poker for me or as my good mate Aidan Coonan says 'Fu 2010, 2011 is gonna be our year', I agree on the 2010 part so far anyway. I am pretty much going for broke (remember that board game? man that was a class game) I am planning to play alot of events this year around the globe, Emop's, Ept's, Wsop and of course the Irish circuit. I will of course update this to let people know my exact events, too hard to give a list now obviously. I will also be selling % of myself for Ept's and some Wsop's just so people know, I will probably do some of it through Irish Poker Boards.

My first event is actually Emop Gran Canaries so let the optimism begin, I am definitely going to enjoy it regardless come on after all it is the Canaries not many people get there in the summer let alone January. I'm playing day 2 so I will have a break for two days once myself and my girlfriend Joy arrive there. I do remember correctly that the structure in the last Emop I played moved pretty fast in the early levels with one or two levels left out, this is all the information I have on the structure as I busted level 3 all in preflop with AA obviously v 77 and well you guys no the rest. I pretty much can not wait to go now and get stuck into what I hope to be a 3day grind in the main event, I will also update my twitter while I am over there which is as I'm sure you guessed another new year resolution.

The deep stack game is coming up very soon also, now there's a tourny I'd love to win, I final tabled it two years in a row 2nd and 8th I suppose a decent accomplishment but still maybe I'll get third time lucky who knows. It's actually gonna be a hectic month or two with loads of tournys coming up in Ireland itself, Clonmell coursing festival is on like 3 days after I get back from Canaries and all the best to Liam, Fionn and Neil who are running it and also two other good friends who I hope to see at it Keith Murphy and Richie Frisby, I grew up playing poker when they owned the big slicks in Carlow, I was trying to make it in the game then. Great guys use to give me loads of support and needling of course :).

On another note, I will be playing my colleague Paul Lucey heads up on Irish Eyes very soon so keep your eyes open for that one should be mental stuff, I will of course post on twitter when we get the go ahead to start. For now all I know is we will be playing 2 heads up tables, 1 no limit hold'em and the other pot limit omaha, the stakes or anything else like that has yet to be decided, if I had my wish tho I'd be playing 12 hu tables at 25-50 smashing the pot button until the cows came home, think I got the first needle in there?! I must confess I did loose our last heads up match in the Atlantis casino so who knows whats going to happen in this game but I know one things for certain it will not be short of action! Gl to you Mr.Lucey.

I will soon enough sit down and write up a blog on my views on how to play mtt's from start to finish and maybe throw something in like hand history I've played so you can see my thought process throughout them etc, this will only be a once off tho for obvious reasons, expect my views to be alot different to other people, I seemed to always cause controversy on Irish Poker Boards when I use to post in the hand history section, always good fun tho I must say.

Finally, for people who play on Irish Eyes and also people who are thinking of joining us, I have some good news to share not only further improved rakeback deals but also the site itself will be updated soon with all new software being installed, with the likes of time bank, late reg, new layouts, seating preference and many more so pretty much a make over of updates to come, should be great I'm looking forward to it. For anyone who wants to sign up to Irish Eyes plz use my sign up code propoker100 and avail of the great offers it carry's. Once you sign up plz send a short email to '' giving your name, screen name, shirt size and address. You will receive an email back welcoming you to the team and also everything you are entitled to rb etc etc. Gl at the tables for the new year people!

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