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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

VegasNights EPT Feeder

This was being held out in the Spawell in Templeogue, was guaranteeing at least one ticket to the EPT, worth €5000. It was €130 + €20, so they needed at least 40 people just to break even. I was in two minds about whether or not to play this one, as on the one hand, I blew a good bit in Kerry and didn't really have the money for it. Also, there was most likely only going to be one or two tickets, with nothing leftover.

On the other hand, if Im ever going to play in a big ranking event, the most likely way is that Im going to win my ticket in. I decided to go out and play an STT for a ticket, and if I lost I'd head home.

So I arrived out in Templeogue at 1pm, with the game due to start at 2pm. I was one of the first out there but eventually we had enough for a one table STT. Just as we're about to start a huge group of people stroll in, and decide to join in and play. So instead of having full table STT's we decided to have 6 seater €25 games, with one ticket on offer. I sat down and in jumps Peter (Halfbaked), who had just come straight from the jackpot after winning a €2k pot... nice!

Anyway, we kicked off the game, and I asked if the lad to my left wanted to deal. He said he would then said I may aswell seeing as I was in the middle of the table. As usual, I prefer if a game is dealt as it makes it go faster, and I will normally offer, but Ive noticed the last while that it does affect your play as you are concentrating more on dealing than playing. So I agreed to deal, as it was only an STT, but there was no way I was dealing the main game if I played it!

So we kicked off and I noticed right from the start that Peter and this other guy were more interested in knocking each other out than winning the ticket! After I noticed he was pushing almost every hand, I joked as to whether he was related to Dave 'lucksack' Masters, and it turns out it was his uncle! I found out Dave had brought his whole family along, brother, mother, father, uncle.. etc. As if the field wasn't tough enough!

Dave arrived in soon after and I congratulated him on winning his ticket over to Singapore Open. I think its worth €8000, so wp Dave.

Anyway, the action was pretty one sided, as Peter and Daves uncle were clashing in pretty much ever pot. I thought my best choice of action was to wait for a decent hand and check raise one of them. I rivered a flush against Peter, when the Qh gave him trips also, and took a few chips off him.

I was playing pretty tight until eventually I picked up QQ and managed to get it in vs Peters Q2 and Daves uncles Ax. Unfortunately for me the A flopped and Daves uncle trebled up. I still won a few chips off Peter, knocking him out. Then the VERY NEXT HAND i look down at QQ again! I couldnt remember if they were the same ones but Dave Masters seemed to think so! Abyway, AGAIN an ace flops and I double up this guy Eddie (may have been Eddie the Eagle).

What are the chances of getting QQ twice in a row and losing on both of them??

Soon we were three handed and I pick up another monster, KK. Im debating whether or not to call, when Eddie pushes all in. I call in a shot and after a long thought the other guy calls too. Eddie has 22 and the other guy has AJ. I have them both covered so if my hand stands up I have the ticket.... no ace, no ace....

The flop comes.... K K x ! Go on you legend, he flops a poker! The other lads are basically drawing dead, and take it all in good spirits. What can I say, the deck hit me in the face! One thing that did annoy me was that I was getting a few looks from people who obviously thought something 'wasn't right' simply because I had been dealing.

Fair enough, I did get some ridiculous hands, but if I was cheating I think it would be a bit stupid to give myself QQ twice in a row (losing both times I might add...) and then throwing in quad kings for good measure! Talk about drawing attention to yourself!! Anyone watching would have noticed that Eddie had AA and KK, and there was a few other big hands shown.

Hopefully no-one did think this and Im probably being paranoid, but its not the first time this has happened. I was accused by a guy in UCD before aswell. Even down in Kerry last weekend there was this drunk guy in our STT that was convinced we were all cheating...

I think Im going to stop offering to deal because you get nothing out of it and if you do happen to hit a monster, sore losers will look for someone to blame, and if the guy who flopped quads was dealing... easy target.

Anyway... everyone knows Im rigged :)

So I went up and registered, and took a quick look around to gauge the numbers. It looked like we would barely have 40 players so it was definitely going to be only one ticket with a bit of cash for 2nd. This meant that I would need to play aggressively in order to have a chance at the ticket. It was first or nothing!!

So we sat down to get started, 43 players which meant a ticket for 1st and €590 for second. I recognised a few players, obviously Peter, Dave Masters and Co. but I also spotted Joe 'Show' O Neill and Willow among others. Both of these are good players and I owe Joe a beat after he sucked out on me in the Fitz €270 a while ago. I was close to the chip lead, and I lost half my stack in a huge pot when I flopped middle set and ran into top set. The very next hand I pick up JJ and Joe pushes. After a long dwell up I call and he turns over tens... needless to say he flops his set and out I go... I OWE YOU ONE JOE!

So back to the tourney at hand! Right from the start people were playing very aggressively looking to build a big stack or go bust. The structure was great so there was no need for this, but with everybody aiming for first it was an understandable style of play!

I didnt get off to a great start, my luck didnt carry over from the STT and I was pretty card dead. No-one had offered to deal so the deal was changing hands every time, which does my head in. Ive nothing against people that cant deal but when you have 9 people at a table, chances are only 2 or 3 can actually deal. The rest just box the deck and most get confused with side pots etc. I was going to offer but as I said already I wanted to concentrate on my game and not on dealing, so I just let them get on with it and helped out where I could.

I didnt do much at the first table, moved up from the starting 8K to about 10K after I flopped the nut flush but no-one played. I moved table then and noticed straight away that this table was a LOT more aggressive. It wasn't long until my first big hand of the night.

I had Q6h and limped in (the blinds were still small).

Flop comes K48 all hearts. Its checked around to a LAG player who bets out 500 (blinds 100/200). He has about 7K or so.

I usually flat call here and raise a non heart turn, but this time I felt he had hit the flop and decided to raise. I knocked it up to 1500, which he quickly called. The turn is a blank, and Im now convinced hes hit either a set or two pair. I want to keep him in but want to make it expensive. Im pretty sure he thinks I have AK with the A hearts, so I think if the river is a blank he will call a push.

He dwells up for a bit and eventually calls. The turn is a brick and I instantly push. He thinks for a few seconds and says 'you cant have the flush...'. I keep quiet and he quickly calls, turning over 44. He looks genuinly surprised I have the flush shakes my hand as he leaves. Im really happy at how I played the hand, as this is how I would play AhK a lot of the time. I have to start betting my monsters more often, rather than simply check calling and pushing the river....

I get moved soon after to table 1, just to Mr Masters right.... I recognise Duke, Willow and Peter who are also at the table. Tough draw!

I dont play many pots until I pick up A10. I decide to limp in, as Ive no idea how a lot of these play, and I dont want to commit too many of my chips. As it turns out someone steals what turns out to be a large pot with A2, and if i'd raised at the start I would have taken it.

With this in mind, the next time I picked up a hand, AJs I raised it up. Duke was the only caller, and the flop comes 998 with two spades. I raise it up a bit and Duke calls. Turn comes the Q, giving me the straight too. I check, Duke bets big and I call. River is a brick, Duke checks and I push... he calls in a second with Q9!

I think I played every street as badly as its possible to do so... im an idiot....

I lost about 80% of my stack on this hand, and got moved AGAIN pretty soon after. I go back to the first table with about 4K to find an indian guy with a monster stack. I soon doubled up when i picked up KK vs Damien Kavanaghs JJ. Soon after I made a good all-in call on the river with K10 on a AK976 board vs the indian lad. He had 56.... It was so obvious he had muck and I explained this to another guy, Paddy, at the break. All you had to do was hit your hand, check it to him, let him bet and check call his all in. Easy money!

A quick chip count at the break showed the indian lad was leading on 60K with Willow in 2nd and Joe O Neill in 3rd. About 30 still in it...

I would have to make some plays after the break, and I had planned on doubling up off the indian lad ASAP! He was a wild player, calling all ins with 57 and A4! All i needed was a HAND!

Unfortunately, I just couldnt pick up a monster, but he dutifully doubled up 5 of the other 7 players at the table! His stack had dropped to 15K when this hand happened... (Down to 10 players so we were on the final table bubble now)

I have 18K, and pick up AJ on the button. Its raised in EP by solid enough player to 3K (blinds 500/1000). Folded around to me, and I flat call, hoping hes raising with a medium PP. crazy indian guy calls too in SB (surprise, surprise...)

Flop comes A 10 4. Crazy indian immediately goes all in, original raiser makes a tough fold (he had JJ), and I think for about 2 seconds before calling! Anyone else I would porbably fold here in a three way raised pot, but this maniac?? My chips were nearly in before his...

He flips over A5!! Ship it.... 33K pot..

Turn 10.... still good... emmm ship it please??

River Q... split pot..

aaaagggghhhh you fcuking jambag!!!

A few minutes later another lad gets knocked out and we break for the final table. Im still fuming about the runner runner... everyone else got their double up off the nutter, but could I? nooooooo....

The only people I recognise at the FT are Willow, who has a HUGE stack after sucking out on Dave Masters, and Paddy, who I was talking to at the break. I found out later the guy to my right was Daves dad.

I was one of the shortstacks but was playing pretty solid and still fancied my chances of winning. We lost the first two shortstacks pretty fast, and were now down to 7. The indian guy had a huge stack but lost it all in two hands to Paddy when he had a monster both times. After he was gone, Paddy thanked me for the advice Id given him during the break. Wait till you have a monster and let him pay you off! Easy money! Out he went and we were down to 6. A guy off boards, Russh went out next, and we were down to 5.

I finally got my chance to double up when I limped in with 10 7. the flop came a juicy 779.... i checked, the BB tried a steal, i pushed and he called with A9. No suckout and Im up to about 40K.

At this stage it looks like this;

Paddy 100K
Willow 90K
Ray Masters 50K
Me 40K
Paddy Walsh 25K

The blinds are 1K/2K, so theres a lot of preflop raises taking it down. I pick up AQ, raise it up to 6K and take the blinds. Two hands later I pick up AQ, and decide to limp in, feeling that I need to make a move if I want a realistc chance at getting the ticket. So I limp in, so does Willow, and Ray makes up the BB.

3 way action and the flop comes Qh 3s 6s

Beautiful flop for me, and I plan on betting strong to look like a steal. Ive been playing very tight so I know they think I would raise with a good hand, so i try to use this against them.

Ray bets 2K, I slam out 10K trying to show strength, knowing Willow will most likely see this as a bluff. She goes all in and Ray folds. I call in a second and she happily flips over KQ. She is genuinly shocked when I show AQ, as she definitely would have thought I would raise with that.

Turn is a brick, and Im already counting up the chips. Theres just over 80K in the pot, so Im now 2nd in chips! Oh... wait theres the river to come yet! But surely I have nothing to worry about... Im a 93% favourite here... Of all the times I have been dreading a river card this was the easiest. I was SO SURE i couldnt possibly get done over this time... not this time. I had been imaginig myself winning the ticket, playing the Irish Open.... Theres NO WAY im going out like this...

Somebody tell that to pokah who decides to land a king on the river, fucking me out of the tournament... I have never been so shocked at getting a bad beat in my whole life. I nearly fell off my chair in amazement! I mean, I would consider myself an incredibly unlucky poker player, but losing $10 STT's is one thing... losing a very good chance at a 5K ticket, on a 3 outer on the river???

That is absolutely sick.... I was literally in shock for about 20 seconds... I just could not believe that it happened AGAIN... it is simply mind boggling how one person can consistenly get unlucky at the exact wrong time over and over and over again...

I flop a poker in a shitty little STT but 9 hours later when it really matters, I cant get a 93% edge to hold up.... If this was a once off I could understand it but....

Everyone at the table was genuinly sorry for me, and Willow shook my hand telling me I played the hand perfectly, but that is poor consolation when theres a 5K ticket up for grabs. I felt physically sick getting up from my seat, and felt like punching a brick wall...

I nearly crashed the car on the way home through frustration, and I dont think ill be playing live again for a while.

Willow went on to win it, and to rub salt in the wound the other three split the 590 between them.

good luck... god knows i need it

lol, ul rory, great blog by the way.. cant agree that your a very unlucky player, any time iv played with (loads of times)you constantly get monster pp's

I know what you mean, but it really depends on how you define 'luck'.

Im 'lucky' that on some days I do seem to get hit in the face with the deck, AA, KK, quads etc... but whats the use if they dont hold up?

Also, I feel that I dont get worse beats than the next guy, but its the timing of them that kills me. You dont know how many times ive gone deep in a tournament only to get knocked out on a sick beat like on Sunday.

Ive gone out on the bubble more times in big games than ive cashed, and pretty much every one of these I couldnt have played any differently. Variance just seems to strike at the worst possible time for me!

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