Modern Day Ninja

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A piece on my background

This post is for a link to a recent interview I did.

I will have a post up about Ept San Remo soon also. From then on I'll be writting alot more up to date blogs, close to every week. Most of the blogs will be on events such as recent tournaments I played and general topics of discussion in the poker world. Up next is the Fitz festival and then Wpt & Ept Prague. What a spot Prague is, how can you go wrong with two huge tournaments on within a few days of each other not to mention it's easily the nicest city I've been to. Roll on Prague.

Hope you all enjoy the interview.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Just landed in San Remo, well, I actually landed in Nice, France, to be exact. I don't really mind the drive to San Remo, It's close to being the perfect definition of the term 'scenic route'. The taxi ride costs 150 bucks and it's just about worth it, especially when your travelling with two of the best in Dermot Blain & Nick Abau Risk. You be amazed what you learn in a one hour taxi ride as obviously the general topic of conversation is Poker. Do tell? Eh, no. There was an interesting topic about staking and how its become so big it's basically keeping the hole poker scene in general afloat. Make of that statement what you will. It is an interesting topic.

I've just regged up for day1b of Ept main event. It still feels horrible and great at the same time when you're handing over a brick of 5k and change to play one single event. Run goooot plz! This is what has to be done tho if you aspire to make it big in the game. Well, for the live scene anyway.

Which brings me to Online. I have been enjoying the grind lately, not much results to show for it but I know I'm doing pretty well in general with my play. It's easy to realise how, I just count how many times over the last month I want to break my mouse off the wall at home. Thearetically, 2-3 times a night when deep which is pretty good considering I only play like 6-7 games a night. I'll probably crack soon screaming BOMBARDMENT, meanwhile throwing as much technology at the wall as possible. Bah, who am I kidding, I won't. Especialy if it's anything to go by when I bust one live event in particular last year. For ppl who don't know I went up to my room having a few kicks at this and a few kicks at that to then turn and reaslise what I thought would have been my trail of destruction to find only a single pillow lying on the floor. Gutted. If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at?!

The moral of the story is I know I've found my drive once again. To get so worked up means you care and that was something that had desserted me for quiet sometime online. I lost my drive and suffered because of it. A bit of a fiasco behind the scenes did most of the damage to me, my head was melted. I'm coming out on top of this one tho so you know always keep working hard even when you hate it. Love the game.

Another interesting fact came to my attention about online winners this year. Pretty remarkable stuff really. Only two players in Ireland are winning over 100k for the year in mtt's, consider this with roughly 6 ppl last year you can see something is up with Irish poker. Of course this one stat is pretty silly on it's own as we can all just say 'variance' but try less than 10 players winning over 50k only a slight jump again for guys above 30k and you start to think, wow, really? To mix this with the live scene and this trip, only 4 Irish came to play this Ept from what I can see. So, Is it really just the game getting tougher? Has the game evolved again to the point where playing so many tables might now be costing you money? I know it's standard thing these days to play anywhere between 16-30 tournies a night or if your Jaymo playing 136 in one night, more than my first few months play alone on stars. You sick fuck! It works for him but does it work for everyone else grinding online?

Me personally, I know I've changed my game at the start and mid tourny's. Completely trying to expolit regs and others playing far to many tables. They just can't see what I'm up too never checking their hud until deep in a tourny. By then, when deep, I guess it's safe to say I've changed my end game of tourny's also as these guys begin to open up and start to pay attention once again. Ask yourself this, Are they the one's who are really playing blind now, not me? Over the last month I'm going deep in possibly half my tournies I play which obviously is 3 yet I still hear same guys playing loads of tables say, 'well I don't need to look at huds etc untill I'm deep near end of the night as I'll have 3 or 4 tables left and give them my full concentration'. I play 7 (use to play only 4) they play 20+, I know lol sample size and all that but I am smart enough to realise something is up when there is this big gap for perhaps the same end product.

Of course there is more than one way of looking at it all and I'm obviously not taking everything into account here but there is a pattern developing. I can see it. I think 12-16 is the mark for a nights play hopefully I can get close to 12. I doubt it tho 10 seems like the mark for me but more of you guys can probably handle it better than me. Can you honestly say tho you use your hud correctly and assess situations when playing more than 6 tables at once? or are you just clicking buttons! I say only very few of you can perform this profitably.
The figues don't lie.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back To The Grind

I've lost the interest in online poker for quiet sometime, close to 9 months I'd say. It had alot to do with finding the drive to get back into the game after spending a long time recovering from surgery. It crushed me mentally for quiet sometime, I think it was just online poker that suffered as live I was still hungry. I'd play a few nights and then give up for another 2-3weeks. Not very professional to say the least but I felt it was the right choice for me over this space of time or I could have burnt out pretty easily considering. It takes alot more to realise when to step back than to continue right threw lying to yourself along the way and probably eventually loosing chunks of your roll.

 I still kept up with the online game as now which most of you know I run a stable which holds brilliant players, it's been a pleasure to just sit back and watch these guys evolve as class players. Obviously I'm biased, but trust me when I say it these guys will dominate live tournys in Ireland soon aswel as the online world. Rob Fitzgerald is the guy I've been surprisingly delighted by his progress. He has taken everything on board and applied it within a short space of time to evolve from being a small stakes grinder to a winning mid stakes mtt'r. Not many can do that within this time frame! Then you got Colin (Hammo) Hammond & Ciaran (Tag) Taggart. You put both these guys in the same category but at same time you get a different mix of styles. Hammo just has the raw talent and he really doesn't know it, he just keeps binking all the time that we have even renamed the Ipoker 30r 10pm nightly game 'The Hammo' as it's ridiculous amount of times he's won it or final tabled it on a regular basis, not to mention many other tounry's. This see's him playing much higher for us now. He is a real gem! To Tag, well, we all know he's a monster. So what do you do with a monster? You let him loose! He will perfect his game and when he does I'll be just sitting here railing him, luaghing in awe of him destroying fields. Another influential part of this stable is funnily enough the biggest online grinder in Ireland, Dara O Kearney. Oh the irony. I cant even play a full week yet here he is never missing one. I can honestly say I don't know how the man does it. To keep that level of consistency & drive is beyond me, yet ppl like Doke are the reason why I'm back to the grind.

Which leads me to the grind. Right now, I'm playing the $700 Wcoop (ITM), along with a pretty big schedule totaling roughly 9k. I like to jump in head first. Gruelling long hours of poker mixed with keeping your head and composure. I will admit tho it has been hard but happy to say I'm on top of it and most of all really enjoying it. So yeah, back to the grind and long may it last.

For live, I think there is one or two Irish festivals coming up but next big one is Ept San Remo, Italy. A favourite place of mine. It's beautiful place and what I like most is how relaxed the hole place is, so mellow, suits me down to the ground. Coming off a decent Vegas score during the summer I'm hoping to drive on from there and really take on the high buyin live scene. Let's hope I can pull it off. Ok thats all from me for now. Short & sweet for once. Gl to all Irish in Wcoop's, bracelet plz!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Some cash action, finally.

It's been a while since I've got the chance at some cash action on regular basis, close to a year even. I have played in Naas which started out with my worst run in any one place but even that bad run eventually came to an end, thank you jebus. It brought a winning streak that span 4 weeks on the trot which got me 2/3 of my overall money dropped right back into my hand. I decided to drop the place tho not just cause of some ratty comments but the game was just dragging out all the time and plo had completely taken over, so for me was good time to move on, live plo is just so slow it tilts me, but if it's your cup of tea I'd recommend the game.

Now for the even more interesting poker hands. I swear, it is more interesting! I must say this game is absolutely epic even tho only 2 weeks have passed since 2-5-10nl game has been running in the Fitz (this week was first formal start to the game). I think this game has alot of potential with only 3 of the same players playing both weeks, so the pool of players is actually there. I have a feeling this weekly game might last the long haul. For anyone wanting to come play, it starts at 8.30pm every Wednesday night.

I decided this game is blog worthy so maybe every week or 2nd week I might blog about the happenings & give some detailed hand histories that will guarantee entertainment for you guys who choose to read it. I will only expose a certain amount of detail that I see fit for the security of my own game mainly & the guys playing also, however most big pot showdown hands will be blogged about I reckon.

First off is a real beauty from last week, some of you might of read the hand on twitter if not here you are. A young chap on his 3rd buy in, limps, Marc Macdonnell iso to 30, comes to me on the button and I 3bet to 120. Here is where it starts to get not just a little but alot weird. Original limper flats my 120 pretty quickly, folds back to Marc who decides to make it 290 to go. It's back on me, right here I'm eyeing up my own stack and it's roughly 1k so it's the perfect size to shove in here and try take it down, both the lads cover me by about 500. Before I decide to do this I glance at the original flatter who is bouncing around in his seat fumbling his chips getting ready to call Marcs 4bet, so I get spooked as this guy is pretty random. I take that read and fold my hand. Sure enough the guy flats and the two guys take a flop of Kx6s7s, limper goes for the lead out for 300, Marc calls. Turn comes Ax and now the action slows to check check. Off to the river and this brings the 8s, also it brings quiet a laugh with it too, limper now leads out for 400. Action now on Marc who thinks for about a minute and shoves the river effectively putting the chap all in. Right here I'm kinda kicking myself knowing Marc more than likely has complete air the way action has played out pre & post flop. Meanwhile with me thinking like this the action is still on the young chap who's throwing his hands in the air, giving it loads that he hates the situation Marc has put him in. He counts down his 100 & 25 chips but not his 5s & gives it a few more shrugs and calls all in. I'm pretty sure this guy thought he only had 600 behind but instead had close to 900 with all the 5chips.
Showdown: Marc KTo & limper QQ.
When the chap called he asked Marc had he got it, Marc shrugs and says he just has a king, the young chap goes mental with himself, f this and f that and shows the QQ. I mean to say I have never pissed myself laughing as much at a poker table in my life. The hand, the reactions, the crowd gathered around were all absolutely priceless. I have just never seen pocket queens so butchered in my entire life, like he actually didn't do one thing right in the entire hand. Was just so funny. Memorable hand! Wp Marc for the value shove, lol.

Our 2nd hand brings us to a more serious and possibly the most interesting cash game hand I've ever played. Nick Newport puts out a straddle for first time in the game. Immediately as the straddle chips dropped from his hand I think all 3 of us involved in this hand Nick, Marc and myself knew the dimension of what was going to happen before the chips even hit the felt. So the hand played out like this, Marc opens to 30, onto me in the sb and I make it 120 to go with Js7s, bb folds and Nick tanks for a min which means you know what is gonna happen, yup, he makes it 265 to go. Action is back on Marc, now this is where it gets interesting, he chose to flat call after a bit of a pause. I now stop with action on me to evaluate the situation and what my next move would be. Stacks are, Nick - 1,600, Marc - 2,500 and myself with 1,700. My thoughts on how the hand has played out so far was kind of to what I expected was a possibility at the start of the hand. When Marc just flats here, his representation is normally TT - QQ but in my head I just new Marc was floating Nick in position planning to outplay him postflop, also at the same time from Marc's point of view I'm going to have to be nutted or have a decent pair to either 5bet or call to continue in the hand. So right here after getting rough count on Nick's stack I work out it's prob not best to 5bet as to push out two players I would have to make it close to 700, basically that would commit me to call off my entire stack if either of the guys had shoved, in my head I am only worried about Nick having a monster but he is so easily capable of the 4bet here, easy is an understatement! Folding is obviously the right option here, well in saying that the word 'right' is used for normal hands where the normal guidelines trump any creative side but this was a totally different dynamic so for me those guidelines go out the window and the creative side takes over. (I think this thought process goes hand in hand with the debate between Lappin and Chubbs.) After all my thoughts, I go with the flat call option. I'm calling oop vrs two of the best players in Ireland with Js7s planning on outplaying them postflop, oh the levels, oh the sickness.

Flop comes out 9s3x3s. It goes check, bet 395 from Nick and flat call from Marc. So it's back to me again. It's actually a pretty good flop for me here all things aside but my plan still remains to outplay these guys so the obvious check shoving the flop doesn't really make any sense from other guys point of view so I could be looked up as easily as ace high, that play is out. Once I seen this flop come down,I went from ooooh a flushdraw to my normal instincts was ugh bit crap that board is paired to that is the perfect flop to continue my plan on. Here is why:
I repped mostly a mid sized pocket pair preflop when I decided to over call and I doubt the two guys had me on much else due to this hand being the only hand to play out this way with so much preflop action, so to state the obvious they had no reason to give me a loose range, also there is no way I have an Ax hand here, I would 5bet call a shove knowing I have at least 30% equity in the hand, but the two guys do not know that.
With the flop reading 933 it is going to be tough in their eyes for me to continue in this hand, tbh the chance of me calling on this flop is in the old 1% crew, so I knew the guys would know this and almost certainly rule me out of the hand once it went c-bet, and call, therefore this is the perfect spot for another overcall. I am completely trying to rep only one hand and that is pocket 9s for a flopped full house. This is my goal in this hand. Even when I paused, before deciding to call, all the attention was on me and I know how it looks. The guys have to be thinking ok wtf is he tanking about now because 99% of time I just muck this flop to that action. Knowing the guys have no choice but to only think this way, I proceeded with my plan and flat called to rep 9s full. The word spooked I am using alot lately, so spooked seems fitting for this one.

The turn brings Ax, this card almost insures that there no betting on this street. like why would nick shove the turn with Aces full if he indeed had them, he wouldn't, he knows that would be a woeful mistake. Also it stops Nick from further bluffing this hand for the same reasons I just gave above because he knows that Marc and I know this. It's a shutdown card for him. For Marc this card can never help his range, in fact it only hampers him. The range he is repping all he can ever do is bluff catch now, if indeed he actually does have TT-QQ to bluff catch with that is. To me nothing changes on the flop I still think Marc still flats to float Nick in position. Also, not to mention my line in this hand still more than likely has these guys spooked if not done with their own bluffs.
I thought about leading out on this turn card to create another level inside the current leveling going on in this hand (writting about hh is like fucking inception, it is the best way to discuss hands tho) but I decided against this because it was an ace that hit the turn, other cards and I might have gone with lead out into the two guys making them think why would he lead out here if he had it? It would be a pretty stupid bluff leading out knowing either one of us can shove on him? Is he doing this to make me shove so he can snap? etc etc questions. So trying to level inside a level is pretty complicated stuff, if you get one small thing wrong either of these guys would pick you off.
It goes check, check, check.

River comes Kx, so no flush for me which weirdly enough I'm kinda ok about, obviously it sucks but once I see I have missed it I begin to think what my next move is. Obviously there is no other decision but to lead out here so the question is, how much? I don't think shoving over a grand is the right move here as I just wouldn't do it with 9s full, I prefer to make the same bet as I would if I was really this strong. Remember these guys know me and obv remember my sizing when I'm nutted in polarized spots like this. Pretty much any decent size amount will get the same job done. I decide to bet 640 on the river. This makes Nick realize he cannot bluff now unless he wants to go for sickest one of all time the old reshove bluff with less chips. Nick after a short pause, mucks his hand (when in big pots as I make ppl fold I say 'init' in my head, Nick will get a lol out of that, private joke sry). Ok, only Marc to get through now and I'm feeling pretty confident considering the range he has repped in this hand. He asks me 'do you always have it' with an ugh and a smile, I gave no response like always. So either he is going to pass quickly enough also ie. he was floating Nick in position and now has to give up on the hand as there is nothing else to rep or he will go into the tank with TT-QQ to re-evaluate the entire hand to make sure folding this range is the right decision. Marc goes into the tank. Right here I'm thinking ok I have not given Marc enough credit at the start of the hand but this won't really effect my river bet here now as he only beats some random insane crazy bluff and If indeed I somehow was there is no way I took this line to try bluff at the pot surely? So even here and now I really like how I played this hand and he in turn has to worry about suited Ax hands even tho I know I would have went with any ace pre. Marc is now in the tank coming on close to ten minutes which actually slightly worries me, also a crowd has now gathered (probably the entire fitz) as this pot has escalated to roughly 2,500 and over 3k if Marc calls. It doesn't help me with the added variable of the crowd being around to get this bluff through as in Marc's spot he not only gets to call and show a good hero call or tap the table and muck his hand if he gets it wrong and nobody will ever know what he had. Another problem I had not totally factored was the possibility of Marc having a random 9 in his hand, like I had thought about it but obv you do not go into detail thinking about a random card that will probably be rarely in his hand. So as he is taking so long it now comes to my mind that he more than likely has a 9 in his hand and no matter how he adds the entire hand up it's going to seem fishy to him and the chances now of me having 9s full is evaporating as he tanks. Getting this bluff through becomes almost non existent. The only thing going for me now is previous history with Marc nearly always having it versus him in the last 2-3 months.

Result: Marc eventually calls and shows j9o to claim over a 3k pot. Nice call buuuudy.

My conclusion to all of this hand is mostly all about him having the 9ball in his hand. I don't think I could have played my hand any better and I am happy with my creativity and execution of my plan in this hand. I really feel with any other hand Marc has to fold allowing me to pick up the pot and more than likely show the bluff too. That was a pivotal point in the leveling war between Marc and I. I was just getting ahead but you just have to hand it to him, it was still a good call, it's to be expected when you sit at table with a player of his caliber. This shit is not over tho buddy :).

I was in for 3k now after this hand as I had to top up. I did manage to win another 3k pot back off Marc again where I flatted A2o on the button to his cut off raise. It's three way to the flop with bb coming along. Flop is Ad6h7h, bb checks, Marc bets 30, I call and bb calls. Turn comes 2d, bb checks, Marc now bets 85, I make it 245, bb folds and it's back to Marc. Marc makes it 660 to go now. Ok, I'm slightly worried but with such a draw heavy board I don't think I'm getting away. Also it looks like I could be on the big draw too aswel as him. I count down my stack and I have 1,500, 850 more so I shove to the disappointment of Marc who said he thought he had effectively stuck me in for half my stack which would have forced me to call or fold my big draw knowing shoving was never getting through. Marc ends up calling, I tell him I have A2 not the big draw he was hoping I had. River comes another Ace to give me aces full. Marc mucks and I'm not only back even but showing slight profit. I won about 700 overall for the night.

That's it from me with the hand histories for now, hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have. Hopefully next week will have a few more notable hands.

Let the leveling war continue.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some high rolling in February

I began writing this blog post a couple days ago & basically I just had to scrap most of it but for good reason. The reason being I have just won the High roller deepstack event in D4, Dublin, run by D4 events. Absolutely chuffed with the win. This game was 2.5k buy in which started with 19 players taking to the felt & also boasted a prizepool of just under 45k with 19.5k of that going to the winner. Being a small field but large buy in, it was full of top players which included the likes of Johnathan Duhamel (wsop main event champion) John Eames & Marc MacDonnell but to name a few.

Highlights of the win of course involves a few sick hands and alot of luck, basically at one stage on the final table I lost a 3 way all in and was left with 5 big blinds, you guys know what happened next. A few hands stood out over the course of two days of poker. Making a call for nearly all of my stack near end of day1 holding 66 on a board of Q93,Q,T was a good read, he just bet a little too much on the river and was indeed bluffing when I called. That put me 3/8 in chips going to the final table the next day.

On the final table it was a very tight game throughout with especially the bubble play making for some great action. Myself & Max Silver began as the two shorts stacks both surviving our all ins to double through. Wouldn't you no it by the time the bubble burst myself & Max were now the two chip leaders. It's a funny old game sometimes. We eventually went 3 handed and 3 handed and I was fortunate enough to find kings vrs Max's 66 to win a huge pot and take the outright lead. Few orbits later we loose Max in third place. I was now heads up With Tim Farrelly with a slight chip lead. I've gotta give Tim alot of credit, even tho he might have satellited into this game he was never pushed around by this strong field & more than held his own outplaying quiet a few players constantly. I won a pivotal hand heads up when I made two pair on the river and check raised Tim's river value bet which was called and I showed him the bad news. This pot saw me stride ahead in chips. My winning hand of the tournament was TT the same hand I managed to knock Max out with for 3rd. Myself & Tim got it all in preflop my TT vrs his A8, no help for Tim on any street saw me lift the trophy.

A special note I must add, today of all days was my late fathers birthday so to win a tournament on his birthday was pretty special to me I must say. Funny how this world works ay.

Back in action tomorrow for the €500 main event, it really is a life grind anyone who tells you different could not be more wrong, but you gotta love it.

I was also in Deauville, France, lately. Had a pretty good time there, the architecture of all the buildings over there is really class, photo should explain this better. As my good friend Fergal Nealon said they are all about style and class in France & he could not be more right. The Ept there is probably the softest one I have ever played. It still mind boggles me that some people who clearly haven't a clue and are dead money still enter these games at €5,300 a pop. I'm not complaining tho, more the merrier in my opinion, it only increases my edge on the field. I bust day2 of the main event with two cooler hands but was lucky enough to cash in the side event for about €5k so it just about covered my trip. Fergal himself had a deep run in this but came up short of the final table, still good run all the same. Also, big congrats to Big Mick G who final tabled the main event but unfortunately finished in 8th position, still a pretty good achievement by anyone's standards.

My last entry also informed ppl I was going into the staking business, not even a month in and one of my horses, Rob Fitzgerald shipped 30rebuy game on Boyle Sports for 4.5k and same night Colin Hammond finished 3rd in another tourny. Colin showing great consistency with 4 final tables already. So that was a pretty good night I must say & congrats to the lads. Showing huge potential these guys are. It helps the lads that Alan McIntyre is in the group also. Alan is quiet simply a phenomenal player on the verge of breaking into the big time, he's got the game & is probably one of the most gifted players on the Irish scene, the potential I see in him is sky high.
Also we have another addition to the stable this time as a partner in staking none other than Dara 'Doke' O Kearney. So his general luck is a great help, lol.

Ok, that's it from me now for another while.

Foreigners, what are they good for? Contributing.

Some recent outcry on social media towards 'Foreigners' is shameful. In saying that, I believe the public is being misinformed to ta...