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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cue Club Team Event, Killarney

So.... an update!

Ive been meaning to write a long one for a while so here goes...

I may aswell start with the most recent report, the Team Event down in the Cue Club in Kerry last weekend.

This was being organised by Connie, a fellow boardie, so there was a group of us heading down on the train. I was teamed up with Ehsan (Gholimoli) and Tom (DeVore), so we had a strong chance of winning it. Both of these had won over €5k in tournaments recently so I was in good company! I have a great record in Team Events so hopefully I'd go the distance...

Anyway, the Degenerate Gambling Brigade met up in the train station to get the 11am train down to Kerry. There was myself, Ehsan, Tom, Ian, Brian, Peter, the brothers Niall and Dave O' Callaghan and the infamous lucksack that is Dave Masters...

No sooner had we left the station than we kicked off a card game... just to get things going. What started off as a €20 rebuy round of each, turned into a crapshoot after about... 5 seconds ;)

Dave Masters had rebought about 8 times by the time we hit Kerry, and I managed to go through €100 without winning a single hand. Now Im clueless about Omaha but thats bad even for me! I thought Dave was pissing his money away, but he managed to suck out on enough people to end up splitting the €780 pot with Tom. Yes thats €780...30 rebuys between the 8 of us! So down €100 already and I havent even reached the casino yet! The game itself was costing €170 and the hotel was €55 so Id have to watch the cash flow situation!

We arrived in Kerry and made our way to the Cue Club. Killarneys a great place, I was down for a 21st a few years ago and always wanted to head back. The Cue Club itself is a great little place, its got a real club atmosphere about it, even moreso than the Fitz. Half snooker club, half poker room, I got the impression that the poker had only become a regular thing pretty recently. Its a really comfortable place to play poker, and I was looking forward to a good game.

Ive played three team events in the past, all Vegas Nights games, and every time they have gone the same way. I get onto a team with good players but unfortunately things go pear shaped and I never win the Team prize. Each time I have been battling for individual glory from pretty early on, due to other team members getting knocked out... this game was to be no different!

There was almost 100 players, and unfortunately Tom was 2nd out! In fairness he got very unlucky running big hands into bigger hands, and didnt really make a mistake, but it still meant that me and Ehsan were at a huge disadvantage straight away. Other Team Events Ive played have been 8 players per team, with points starting with final 18. So if you got knocked out 150th, you got the same as finishing 19th... 0 points. Unfortunately this game was different. Each Team started on 300 points (100 per player), and you points depending on where you finished. So because Tom got knocked out so early, he recieved -100 points! You only got 100 points for finishing 1st so we were pretty much dead and buried unless we both finished very high.

Another thing which was disappointing was the split between Team and Individual prize money. In other games Ive played its been pretty much a 50/50 split, but this was more like 85/15 in favour of the Team prize. This is probably better as it is a 'Team Event' but it meant that I had to finish top 4 just to make ANY profit (it was money back, €150, for 9th to 5th).

I started off great, flopping a house and getting paid off, and reraising with muck in a four way pot for a nice steal. Id gotten the 8k starting stack up to about 12K after the first few hands, and was in just getting into the groove until I saw Tom getting knocked out. I went on tilt a little after this, and I ended up going card dead and pissing a good chunk of my stack on terrible calls. I didnt see a decent hand for a good two hours and was getting very impatient. The first hand was against Ian. I picked up A10 which was the best hand Id seen in hours so I raised it up. It was flat called by the player to me left, and to the left of him Ian pushed for about 7K. I felt Ian was doing this with AK, AQ,AJ, A10, KQ, or any pair 99+. I didnt think the other lad was calling and was pretty much priced into calling due to my raise. Unfortunately the other lad did call and we checked down a Jack high board all the way to the river. Ian had AJ for TPTK and the other lad had AQ. Ian tripled up and I think the other lad won a side pot with the AQ. Stupid play by me....

I stole a few pots to hang about on 14K until my second brainfart. I picked up KQ and raised it up to 2K. It was called by a player to my left who was pushing EVERY hand, so he could have had anything. I think the rest of his team were out and he wanted to jump into the cash tables because he didn't seem to care. Anyway he called the 2K and it went around to Conor (Lazare) who pushed for 6K. Again I was willing to call the extra 4K for a heads up but there was the other lunatic to worry about. He had about 20K and could knock me out.

I thought about pushing but the lunatic looked interested in his hand for once so I thought he might have something. I flat called the extra 4K, leaving myself about 8K behind. The instant I called the lunatic pushed and I was left cursing myself for my stoooopid play. I couldnt see KQ winning a three way pot, so I folded leaving almost half my stack in the pot. It turned out to be a good fold as the lunatic had AQ, but I should never have called Conor's all in. I think he had AJ and got knocked out, but as it turned out a K fell on the river so I would have sucked out if I had called!! Ugh!

I was struggling on about 6K when we got to the dinner break, and by the looks of it none of 'the dubs' were faring too well. Tom, Dave O'C and Dave Masters had all been KO'd, and the rest of us were pretty shortstacked. We checked into the hotel on the break and I left all my gear there. The room wasnt too bad, and they told us the residents bar was open all night, so I was happy enough there!

After the break I nursed my shortstack but wasn't getting the hands and dribbled down to only a few big blinds. With the blinds at 1k/2k, I was sittin on 5.5 and was willing to push on ANYTHING, but unfortunately both of my blinds there was numerous all ins and I had absolute muck. I was going to push on anything but a lot of blinds were getting robbed so I felt I might have a chance waiting for a decent hand. Unfortunatel I saw nothing until my big blind again. I had 2.5K and 2K of it was in the pot! Obviously Im pushing anything here but I noticed the SB wasn't really paying attention so instead of making this obvious I covered my *chip* with my hands and kept quiet. Sure enough it worked and he folded it to me! I had 36o by the way :)

I doubled up the next hand and was now sitting on 7K. I soon built this up to 15K and finally felt like I had a chance. We were down to 30 at this stage and it was only myself, Ehsan, Ian and Brian left. Unfortunately Ehsan got knocked out when his QQ's ran into KK in a huge multiway pot. Ian on the other hand had the chip lead at just under 100K. If only I had called with that KQ!!!

I grinded away and was sittin on about 18K , when I had my first all in of the night. I had A10c and flat called the 2K blind. There was four of us in the pot and it came out 10 4 2 with 2 clubs. One lad raised it up to 5K and I pushed for another 10K or so. He thought for ages and eventually called with 77. I needed an Ace or a club to survive and the board agreed and sent out one of each on the turn and river! Thank fuck for that....

Up to 35K now and I was motoring along nicely. I had my eyes on the €1k individual first prize, as the team prize was out the window. Down to 2 tables now and we were nearing the money (top 9 paid). Brian was knocked out soon after, and it was only meself and Ian left out of the Degenerates. He didnt last much longer though, going out in a HUGE pot which has been discussed in detail on boards. She made a great call at the end and he was unfortunate to go out.

The team part of the game was hotting up now as players started working out who was still in the running. A young lad beside me was knocking people out almost every hand, and had a massive stack in front of him. I was hanging back as we neared the bubble, and didnt want to make my usual bubble fuck up!

I decided to pick on the shortstacks who were trying to squeeze into the money, or just stay in to get more points for their team. Eventually I got my chance when the only other remaining boardie, 'Rogue Trader', decided to push for his stack which was less than 1 BB! I obviously wasnt worried about him, but I saw a chance to pick on the BB. He was on the only team that still had two players left, and I didn't think he would want to get into a pot without a hand. He had 25K to my 35K.

With the blinds at 2K/4K, I raised it up to 10K in the SB with J7. Somehow the dealer messed up on this and declared a min raise. He thought for ages and eventually called the extra 4K and we saw a flop of 5 7 8 rainbow. I felt this was as good a flop as any and he could only call a push with a very good hand, so I jammed it in.

Amazingly he called with 9 10 for an open ender!! I couldnt believe he would gamble his teams chances of taking the main prize on such a mediocre holding. If I was in his position I was folding the 4K BB leaving him with 21K left, and just try and get as far as possible. His mate had a big stack and he didn't need to play to win, just finish high.

Anyway, no suckout and he gets knocked out in 12th with his team-mate berating him for the play. Amazingly, 'Rogue Trader' had 46 for the flopped straight and tripled up!

I was up to 60K now, but barely had time to stack my chips when I picked up my second big hand of the night... QQ. A serial raiser raised it up to 15K and I had a quick look around the table. I was third in chips beside the young lad with the huge stack and a drunk lad who had just moved to the table. I had the raiser covered and decided if the young lad folded, I was pushing. All I had to worry about was the drunk lad, but he could be holding anything!!

The young lad folded and I pushed for just over 60K. I could tell the raiser wasn't happy about this and I couldnt see him calling, so now I just had to dodge the drunk guy. He had about 70K, so it was a call for everything. I was happy enough to take the pot there, with blinds and ante's there was almost 90K in the pot. Anyway, he starts fumbling with his chips for a good two minutes and eventually mutters call, throwing in about 15K. I tell him its gonna cost a lot more, to which he shouts at me "I said CALL didnt I"... cheers dickhead. He was too pissed to count out the money so the dealer does it for him. The original raiser quickly folds pocket fives and I think at worst Im up against AK. Nope... the slowrollin fucker had AA all along... I thought he may have been acting to get the other lad in but it was plainly obvious he was folding.

Either way, an Ace on the flop sealed the deal and out I went in 11th feeling like Id been punched in the stomach... I hete getting that far in a tourney and getting nothing out of it.

I couldnt handle a cash game so headed back to the hotel with to meet up with the lads. They were pissed at this stage and had taken control of the pool table at the end of the bar. After poker, my next best game is pool. Im out of practise, but back in college I could wipe the floor with anyone! Myself and my brother started up the pool society in college, and organised going down to the All-Irelands every year. I made the quarter finals my first year and almost made it onto the Irish Team. Unfortuantely my brother did one better and just about made it on!

So I was looking forward to showing off my pool skills, but didnt realise when you dont play the game for a year, you aren't as good as you were when you were playing over 50 games a day on the free tables in college! I still had a bit of skill in me, and myself and Brian challenged the 'champios', Ehsan and Niall. Unfortunately a 'bad beat on the black' lost it for us, but we were destroying them so we challenged them to a rematch. Everyone was pissed at this stage so they were rubbing it in our faces! Didnt last for long though when we 8 BALLED them and sent them packing! Didnt even pot a single ball lads... Me and Brian destroyed the rest of them and finished the night unbeaten.

We left the bar at 5am, briefly attempted to chat up a few girls outside DENJOES (boggers McDonalds), then went to bed. Sorry did I say bed? Obviously I mean we went to get the cards and chips for a 10 man €20 Sit 'n Go in the Hotel lobby!! DEGENERATES!!!

I was down almost €400 from the weekend so this was a must win game for me! We had nine boardies and one local degenerate playing, and the game couldnt have started any better... The lucksack Dave Masters, who had sucked out on EVERYONE on the train journey game, was knocked out my Niall on the first hand!! And on the river too!! Perfect!!

Ehsan didnt last too much longer, and either did the local lad, who was convinced it was all fixed! Soon we were down to 4 and the rest of the lads had either gone to bed, or back down to the casino to see if there was any games going! We had decided on prizes for the top two and finally I started to hit hands. I picked up KK twice and hit a set both times, then 99 again hit a set. Even when I was folding pairs they would have hit a set! Finally the deck hits me in the face for a change!

We got down to heads up, myself and Conor, and we agreed on €130 for first and €70 for 2nd. He had a 5:1 chip lead so I didn't count on lasting too long... but somehow the game lasted over an hour! Eventually we were about 60:40 and I pushed with J7... eventually he called with 38! and rivered a straight!! aghg luckbox!! Good laugh though... I went to bed soon after and the lads headed down to the casino.

Although I bubbled the tourney and ended up down a few hundred euro, I still had a great laugh with the lads. Think I'll start going on these trips more often!



Thats the only live game Ive played in a while, as for online...

I recently bought pokertracker and HUD to see if I can improve my game. Pokertracker only works with cash games so Ive copied all my tournament stats onto my excel sheet. It shows that Ive made a decent profit in STT's but Im pissing most of it away in MTT's. At the moment $15 STT's are my most profitable, and for some reason Im messing up on the $20's. The $25's are profitable but I dont think Ive played enough to give realistic figures. Ive an average ITM of 48%, which isint bad but can probably do with some improvement. Still though, Im up $1654 so I must be doing something right!

As for MTT's, the figures are probably worse than the -$984 if you realise that of the $1,570 that Ive won, most of this was with three of four $200+ wins. Ive an ITM rating of 12% in MTTs which is pretty bad. 27 cashes out of over 200 games just isint up to scratch.If you compare this to the fact that I make the top 10% in about 80% of the live tournaments I play in, there is huge room for improvement there.

My worst loss in playing MTT’s above $20. I just don’t have the patience for these and im down about $800 altogether


As for cash games, im still trying to navigate around pokertracker and see what I can take from the stats. I havent played that many hands, about 3,500 or so, and Im still getting through the manual that a lad off boards sent me. I can see that my VPiP is probably a bit high, so I need to tighten up a bit.

One worrying thing I found was that I am unfortunately getting sucked out on a lot! (Just because Im paranoid doesnt mean they're not out to get me...) In the top 20 pots Ive lost all in preflop, Ive gone in ahead 18 times, with the other two running KK into AA preflop. I seem to run big pairs into little pairs A LOT for my whole stack, and unfortunately they dont seem to be holding up.

But when I look at my stats for the hand I am winning with the most times, AA tops the list at 72%. Now I think this should be about 80% but its close enough not to worry about. KK is 2nd on about 69%. So how come I am winning on these hands the most, but they are the two hands that Ive lost the most money on?? I thought it might be through not being able to let them go etc. but it turns out that I just seem to be losing with them at the worst possible times! Anytime I seem to get my money in as a huge favourite in a big pot, invariably THAT is when variance decides to stick its ugly head in!

Now there's no point just concentrating on how Im doing on AA and KK, thats pointless. But tbh I havent had PT long enough to analyse all the stats. It has a good feature of being able to replay your hands, and Ive gone through all of the big pots that Ive lost, although it is pretty sickening! Having to sit there and watch river after river kill me... it aint good!

Ive been trying to see if I could have played the hands any differently, but it looks like I was just unlucky... and excuse Ive been stuck on for years and cant seem to get away from! Hopefully by the time Im finished analysing my PT stats I'll find out how to change my play. I think two major things I have to do is stop buying in short to cash tables, as I will just keep getting called by big stacks looking to suck out with worse hands. Secondly, I need to get my VPiP down, and finish reading the manual to find out what all the other stats mean!

My balance was looking good until I had to withdraw most of it to finance my trip to Kerry. I left $50 in it to fund a few $15 games and hopefully work up a few hundred for a decent BR. I had built this up to $92 and was just about to head to bed last night when I decided to jump in a cash game. I jumped into a 50c/$1 game, and tried to click the box to type in how much I was to sit down with. I was going to jump in with $30 and try and grind a bit. Unfortunately I clicked the top box by mistake and took my entire BR of $92 (hey big spender...) into the game. I was about to leave and join another when but I thought now that Im here I may aswell just play a few hands. If I lost a big pot I'd leave... (you can see where this is going!)

Anyway FIRST HAND I get dealt AA... (yes its one of THOSE...) I raise to $20 and get 4 CALLERS! The flop comes K82 rainbow, cant ask for much more. Im first to act, I push and get called by one player holding 88... aaaggghhh. No luck and the $240 pot is shipped to him. As I said, this is just bad variance, but its the incredibly bad timing that sickens me. The ONLY way I could lose my bankroll would be in this situation. I accidentally enter a table with my full BR, pitiful as it is, and last one hand!

So... back to the start...

gl

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