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Monday, March 27, 2006

Happy Birthday to me..

22 today... don't like this whole getting older thing!

Had a good weekend, went paintballing on Saturday, have the scars to prove it! Went into the Fitz on Saturday night and had my worst night ever at the poker table. I was on a high from winning €1K last week, and felt I could do well at the cash table, so I decided to head in after town, a little worse for wear (bad idea, I KNOW!). I sat down with €150, plenty to start off with at €1/€2.

I have limited experience at the cash tables so I decided to play tight until I got a feel for the table. I hadn't played a hand for the first hour until I picked up aces on the button. Everyone limps so I pot it, about €15. I get two callers, so the pot is looking good. Flop come A 10 4. Checked to me and I pot it again, €50 I think, one caller. Turn comes a rag, 2 I think, so I push for the rest and he calls with the monster that is QK?? A jack on the river and the dealer pushes a pot of well over €300 quid to some stoooopid fish.

I am a little drunk and almost open my mouth to say something, but bite my tongue and keep my manners... just. I can tell the rest of the table is shocked by the call, and I can hear whispers among the rest of them. I can see they are dying to clean this donkey out, and as I would love to retrieve my chips I (stupidly) reload for another €200.

I sit back on this again for a while and start playing a little looser, but still not comitting myself without having a hand. As this is happening I am seeing Mr Fish clean the other players out, playing absolutely terribly. He was in the usual 'Lucky Fish' mode, chasing minor hands hitting them on the river and cracking better hands.

I am dying to get a hand, as this fish is so easy to outplay it was doing my head in. Eventually I picked up KK and pot raised it again. A decent player would have realised that I had a good hand, as it was only the second time in 2 hours I had made this move, the first being with Aces. As expected, all of the better players folded, and as expected the fish called. I knew that he wasn't even thinking about what I had, he was just hoping to get lucky.

The flop came 8 J 2 rainbow, and I looked straight at him when it came down. I saw his head bobbing up and down counting to himself, so it was clear he was on some sort of a straight draw. I bet the pot and he quickly called. the turn came a blank again, and I felt I needed to end it on the turn in case he hit the river. If I just bet the pot I thought he would just flat call, so I checked it looking a bit annoyed, as if I had missed entirely.

The bluff worked (it wasn't even a good one ffs...) and he decided to try and steal it. He raised the pot (almost $100), and I pushed for another $100 on top. He thought about it for ages and finally called for almost all his stack. I flipped over the Kings, and I could see he wasn't happy. He kept his cards face down and the dealer dealt the river, the Qd. "Unlucky mate", he says and flips over 9 10 for a rivered straight.

So here I was losing pot for well over $400, against the fish of the century who was willing to call his whole stack on an open ended straight draw. As I was getting up I muttered something about being a fish which I instantly regretted, it was the dring talking. However, he simply said "listen mate, I won the hand get over it, you were outplayed...". Before I could come up with a response (which would have been nothing more than saying well done, as I was still feeling like an arsehole for calling him a fish...), the whole table burst out laughing, and some old lad, a Fitz regular (Johnny I think his name is), turned to him and said "you river the young lad twice, and now you insult his intelligence? Ah leave him alone will ya!". With this, the fish grabs his chips and leaves! He looked very embarassed as he was going.

Now I was VERY annoyed at losing two of the biggest pots I played in to such a bad player, but I feel like an arsehole for what happened. I was out of order calling him a fish, it was just because I was slightly drunk, but I think that the rest of the table were a bit unfair to him. Fair enough he was a bad player, and he was getting incredibly lucky, but there was no need for the whole table to laugh at him. In future I'll just shut my mouth when I lose a pot...

Anyway, I wasn't happy at all leaving the Fitz, and I was down €350 after only playing in two big pots, losing with Aces and Kings both on the river to badly played hands. Even still, I'll take responsibilty for losing it, as I should never have been tempted to go down there in the first place. Until I learn a bit more about cash games I'm not going to bother with them.

As for online po....po... pok... no I still cant bring myself to call it poker! As for that online game, I'm still making a small profit on PPP, although I am still amazed by how bad the standard is. It is simply amazing how bad some players actually are. And somehow this is carrying on to casino's now! I'd love to say I am getting better, but I think the average standard is just getting worse. The last three big live games I've played I've gotten far without too much effort.

The Angler's Rest game I was very hungover, and I won it. Then I played the SE €75 and got 5th. Then last week I won the €50 DC in the SE. And in all these games I can honestly say there was never any major challenge. I managed to come back from 1xBB in the €50 game ffs! As I said before I'd love to believe that I am simply getting better, but I think its a case of all the good players moving up levels, and me staying swimming with the fish...

Perhaps its time I started saving up and playing €500 and €1000 games. I'm dying for some sort of a challenge! I miss playing the Fitz €270, where I would always feel like I was the Fish hoping to get lucky. I havent played this game in months due to work commitments, but I would love to give it a crack.

As always, I am still dying to win a ticket into a big game. I have played a few Irish Open qualifiers, and I've won a few tickets, but never got further than 20th. This week I'm having trouble even winning a ticket, as I think I'm still on tilt from the weekend! It doesn't help when you get a donkey knocking you out on the bubble when his A5 rivers your AQ...

Ive lost almost half of what I won last week, and I can honestly say that I cannot understand how. Other than bad decisions in choosing to PLAY poker, I havent made any major mistakes in the games themselves. I'm just a fucking FISH magnet!

Ive got the BSOP monthly final to look forward to, at least I know I will enjoy it. Regardless of being card dead, outdrawn, outplayed... at least I know it will be FISH-FREE!

Friday, March 24, 2006

BSOP game and SE €50 DC

Boards Series of Poker

Two reports this week, starting off with the BSOP heat on Wednesday night. We played this in the Fitz and seven of the lads showed up. With three of the seven going through to the final, there was a good chance that it would be a short an uneventful game. However, with so many different styles of play clashing, I had a feeling we would have a good game! Along with myself, there was DeVore, Gholimoli, Ollieboy, White Knight, Waylander and ocallagh.

Firstly I'd better explain the format of the BSOP. We have a total of 27 players this year, which breaks down into three heats of 9 every month. The top three from each heat go through to the monthly final, and gain points accordingly. Each player pays €50 per month, €25 of which goes into that months final, with the other €25 going into the 'grand final'. This game is played at the end of the eight month run of the BSOP, based on the top 9 players of the leaderboard. I estimate the prizefund for this should be €3,000+, presuming most players play all 8 months.

Having not made it through my heat last month, I was determined to at least get a point on the board by making the monthly final! Valuewise, I would never pay €50 to play in a tournament with such a good standard of players, as no-one really expects to excel in such a good field. It's all about pride!

Anyway, I started off well, robbing a few pots here and there, trying to get an idea how everyone was playing. I've played with ocallagh and Dev a few times, and have some sort of an idea how they play, although I keep picking up bad reads on Dev... For instance, about an hour into this game I picked up AJc and raised it up to 200 (blinds 25/50). Dev instantly raised it up to 700, representing a big hand. Obviously I should have folded, but I was convinced he didn't want a caller, and had a medium PP, nines or tens. I flat called and when the flop came K J J, it was just a matter of how much I could extract from him. I got 500 off him on a flop bet, but he folded on the turn, showing QQ. Bad read there by me...

Later on in the game I folded 88 on a J 5 2 board, saying "I'm probably ahead..." Dev flipped over J5 shouting "you're never ahead!!". Ah well, I need to sort out my read on Dev, but at least I got him to show his hand! I think he's just resentful about my jamming him out of the charity tournament win when my J7 rivered his AJ... Skill Dev...skill...lol

Anyway, other than Dev, I seem to be doing alright on reading the rest of the lads. I havent played with Ehsan (Gholimoli) before, but I was examining his play a fair bit, and I picked up a few interesting little things on his play. I put my read to the the test when I got involved in a pot with him holding QJ. The flop came A Q x, and he bet out at it. I sat back and observed him doing something that he did when he bluff Niall (ocallagh) out of a pot earlier. He riased big on the turn, I flat called, and he raised even bigger on the river, which I also flat called. I didn't raise because I wasn't 100% sure of my read, and I was more interested in getting information on him than anything else. If I had raised at any stage and he went over the top of me, I would be left with a very tough decision, as I didn't know how he played. It seems my read was correct, and I took down the pot with middle pair, J kicker. Ehsan didn't seem too happy and clearly had expected me to drop the hand!

I built up a good chip lead, but lost a lot of this, when I pushed on a 567 flop with AK, which I had raised preflop. Ehsan made a good call with Q7, and doubled up off me, making him the new CL, a role he fell into quite easily! We still had 7 players after the first hour, but unfortunately someone had to go, and Niall (Waylander) was that man! Ocallagh followed soon after, and Dev not too long after him. Down to the bubble now, and play had gone a bit crazy as Ehsan had remembered that there was a $1000 freeroll for the top 54 players on Tribeca, and he had to finish up soom to make it home for it. This wouldn't be so bad if he was a shortstack, but he was monster CL! He was raising every pot, and totally dominating play.

Luckily I picked up QQ here, and decided to push, feeling that Ehsan would call either way. He eventually did, calling with Q5 hearts, actually not what I wanted to see! It's times like this when I'm sooo far ahead that the beats turn up. Sure enough, the flop came Q 4 7, two hearts. I had flopped trips, but as I expected the flush draw was out... turn brough 6c, so now the straight was possible too... AGGGHHH!... he needed any 3,8 or heart to knock me out, and THANKFULLY didn't get it.

Ehsan took a big blow there, and his impatience cost him the game a few hands later when he pushed with 10 J, and ran into White Knight's pocket nines, and Ollie's pocket Kings! I folded pocket threes! No miracle cards for Ehsan and unfortunately he's out in 4th. I don't think it bothers him, he went on to win the game he was rushing hime for! Nice one Ehsan!

So myself, Ollieboy and White Knight join the other qualifiers for this months final. Hopefully I can keep up my good form and place well in this, putting me high up the leaderboard! As it stands

Hyzepher - 12pts
Musician - 10pts
Gecko - 8pts
Fixer - 7pts
Davey Devil - 5pts
Norwichfan Rob - 4pts
White Knight - 3pts
NTL Bell - 2pts
Ollieboy - 1pt

I need to be in the top three to make any money, and more importantly, get some POINTS!

Sporting Emporium €50 Double Chance

I was persuaded to go down to this last night by afriend, although I really hadn't planned on it. Midweek poker is not really an option since I got this new job, especially Thursday nights, as I'm in work 6am-5pm on a Friday! Nonetheless, off I went to this game, as it it suits my bankroll, and is my preferred format, double chance. I like the Sporting Emporium, as I can relax when I'm playing there, something I could never do in the Merrion, and had only found in the Fitz before now.

Unfortunately, I nearly wasn't allowed in, as apparently I'm not a 'full member' yet as I haven't given in a drivers license or passport yet. Ok... so a garda ID and my fingerprint isin't enough then no?? I was amazed when the receptionist told me I'd have to come back another day, but after seeing the look on my face, the doorman said I could play tonight but next time I would HAVE to have a passport or drivers license. Thats fair enough. I'm all in favour of security, but its a little OTT. I mean, isin't the garda ID a legal document no? Its accepted everywhere else...

Anyway, I finally went upstairs and signed in for the game, and bumped into Nick from Vegasnights, and Culchie off boards. I started on table 5, and my friend started on table 4, right beside Nick. I looked around and recognised a few faces at other tables. It didn't take long to realise that the standard was terrible, something which can usually annoy me, as I usually get outdrawn and knocked out by one of these, but the SE is different. I had only played twice previously, making the final table once, and going out early the other time, entirely due to my own stupidity. It seems as If my bad luck doesn't run in the SE, and I can get a decent game out of the place.

I think we started with 52 players. I started well, getting my top up straight away, and bringing my 3K up to 4.5K in the first hour, mainly due to steals and reraising players when I knew they wouldn't risk calling. It is rare when I actually know I am the best player at the table (without sounding bigheaded), but this time I easily was. Not to say that some of the players were all too bad, but I feel I have learned so much in the last year, that I can finally control a table, knowing when and who to push against. There was a foreign lad at our table who was very easy to read, and who would chase any draw. I drained about 2K off him when I knew he was going for the flush draw, and priced him into calling big bets on the flop and turn. His quick fold on the river made it clear what he had been going for.

I was up to close to 5.5K when a bad ruling (IMO) cost me a good chunk of my stack. The pokerroom manager (I think) came to deal at our table, and was there about 20 minutes when I picked up 93o in the BB. MONSTER I know! Anyway, a few limpers and I checked it. Flop came A 9 4.Small blind check, and I felt he had nothing. He only had a small amount left, and I thought he would push if he had anything, as there was about 800 in the middle. UTG didn't look too happy with the flop, and I felt I could isolate the SB with a bet. I threw out 500, UTG quickly folded, and the SB thought about it and went all in, I think about 800 more. I looked at the dealer, and he said its on you, just the two of you, so I called, and flipped over my cards.

Out of nowhere the Chinese lad shouts "I still have cards!". Surely this is cheating? He hid his cards and let play pass him when I made my 500 bet. The SB the moved in and he waited until I exposed my cards until he announced he was still in the hand. Ruling? The dealer/manager ruled that I should have been keeping an eye on who was in the hand. And you shouldn't?? I f the dealer syas to me, "just the two of you left..." . Am I wrong to believe him? Surely its his responsibility to know who's still i a hand. And what about the Chinese lad? He had clearly been hiding his cards under his hands and let play pass him. Cheating no?

Anyway, he had only see my 3 as my 9 had been hidden underneath it, and he obviously pushed in. I had to fold and he showed A 5. The turn was a 5 and the river a 2. I would have made a straight, but thats not important. Once he saw my 3, he knew there was no other card I could have that was ahead of A5, so obvioulsy he pushed. The thing that annoys me is, I would never have thrown in the original 500 bet if I had known the Chinese lad was still in, as I was working off the other two players. AND I would never have called the SB's all in if I had known there was someone else in the hand.

Now I'm not annoyed that I lost the hand, or even that the dealer made a mistake (everyone makes mistakes), but I feel like I was cheated a bit, and also the dealer talked down to me after the hand as if I was some fcuking newbie, spouting some rule after the hand "it is a players responsibility to ensure....". Blah blah blah. Whaty about the dealers responsibility? If you aren't sure there's only two players left, dont fcuking say there is? I'm going to post this on boards and hopefully get a definitive ruling.

Luckily the break came soon after so my TILT didn't last too long! I was on 3.5K after the break, just above starting stack. My friend was doing well and he was up to 6K. Just before the break I saw DeDeraco get knocked out by Stormin Norm in a HUGE 3way pot when his KK was cracked by A10.... ffs Norm :)

I calmed myself down, and got my head together for the second half. We were down to 4 tables now, so still a long way to go. I had soon turned my 3.5K into just over 6K, with some good play, extracting the maximum amount from a pair of Jacks.

Then came the penultimate hand. I picked up AQ, and called a raise of 800, from a lad with about 4K. The flop came 775, and he instantly raised another 1K. I flat called, as I had seen him get away with this continuation bet earlier when I felt he was bluffing. The turn brought a blank which we both checked. I was willing to fold to any 10 J or K on the river, as I felt his likely holding contained one or more of these cards. I was sure he hadn't hit yet, and maybey should have bet the turn, but luckily when the river brought a blank, he pushed and I instantly called. He was obviously unhappy, flipping over KJ. My ace high won the pot, and I got a lot of respect from the other players, calling the whole way down for most of my stack with Ace high. I was glad my read turned out right, and was now doing nicely on over 10K.

I was then moved to table one, sitting right beside my friend! D'OH! He was doing quite well on about 13K. This is when things went downhill for me. I picked up 77 a few hands in, and called a big stacks raise of 1200, after it was obvious he was just trying to isolate a small stack, who sure enough went all in. The flop came K 3 4, and I bet out 1500, to isolate the all in guy. Sure enough the original raiser folded, but the other lad turned over 10 10! ah well, I was glad I was right in moving in against the big stack.

Unfortunately, these sevens were the best hand I would get for the next 2 hours. Totally card dead. I stayed patient waiting for a hand... and waiting. Blinded down to 6K, and I raised my SB with 10 2, hoping to take the 600 off the BB. Unfortunately he called. SHIT! Flop came 2 3 7, and I took a risk betting out 2K. Thankfully he folded, showing A6s, and I was back up to almost 8K. I didn't play a hand for another hour, not seeing anything even worth limping. I was looking for any spot to rob chips, but the table was pretty aggressive, and I just couldn't get into it. I lost half my stack when I ran into a very well played flopped flush, when he let me hit top pair. Blinds were 500/1K, and I was soon down to 3K ... I was looking for any spot to push and finally picked up A7. Worth pshing when you have 3BB! I got called by A7, and an even smaller stack (2.3K) called with A10!. No help, and the A10 tripled up and I split the side pot and got 1,200 back. Blinds at 500/1K.... ffs

I put my jacket on and waited for ANY hand to push on. I picked up Q4, and wasn't too confident but when it was raised up to 3K , I saw that with the SB and BB and one limper, and 1200 of his raise, if I pushed and was heads up with the raiser, I'm getting almost 4 to 1 on my money. I pushed and the raiser showed pocket tens. A queen on the flop and I was back in it with almost 5K! I doubled up again off the same lad a while later with A4 vs KQ, and was now back in it.

Unfortunately I was still not seeing any decent cards, and was soon blinded down again, but luckily squeezed onto the final table with about 5K. With blinds 800/1500, I had to make a move soon. I went to pick my seat number, hoping for anything but seat 2 (the big blind)... lo and behold, I pick seat 2! lol! My friend was in good shape on about 20K, and with 6 getting paid, he looked set to make the money.

First hand back, I'm BB, with 1500, out of 5K in the middle. I look down to see 52 and have to fold to the raiser, a rock who shows pocket Jacks. Next hand I see 24 and again have to fold to a raise. D'OH! Down to 1xBB again! A few hands later I picker up K 10, and its folded around to me. Only the button, SB, BB and one limper have to act, and with only 2800 left, I had to push. Folded around to the limper who calls with QQ, and the flop comes QKK! A miracle 10 on the turn pushes me up to almost 8K.

I rob the blinds a few hands later, and am soon up to just over 10K. I don't play a hand for a while, losing both blinds, until I pick up KK. A raise of 4K ahead of me, and I push for my remaining 4K. he calls, and "No ace" I ask the dealer, before the player turns over A9? Luckily I avoid an ace and am now safe enough on 15K. I lose 5K when I raise with AJ, and have to fold to an all in from a very good player, who had slowplayed the flush against me earlier. I think I was ahead this time, but he played me well either way. Unfortunately for him, I was on fire now, and just kept hitting everything! I pushed for my last 10K holding 10 10, only for him to show AA. a ten on the flop doubled me up to 20K and I was back in this!

We all agreed at this stage to pay the top 8, knocking a few quid off the top spots. Unfortunately this happened after Culchie went out in 9th, effectively the bubble! Unlucky mate! Knowing I was guaranteed €100 for 8th, I decided to go all out and play aggressively. I was on fire and the deck started hitting me in the face! Soon we were 5 handed, and I was very comfortable now, and aiming for 1st. Unfortunately, as soon as I started hitting cards, they dried up for my friend, and he exited in 5th after going card dead on the final table.

I knocked out another lad in 3rd after calling his all in with JJ. his 77 didn't hit and we were three handed. I was playing super aggressive now, and knocked out the other lad soon after, although I can't remember the exact hand. Heads up, and I had about a 2 to 1 chip lead over him. I dominated him heads up and was raising any flop I could see he didn't hit.

I doubled him up after calling his all in holding 66 vs 99, but still had a good lead over him. I made a good move when he raised the flop of QJ6, 12K (blinds 3K/ 6K), and I went over the top with 20K holding 84o. I knew he hadn't hit the J or Q, and felt it was withe a 6 or a pocket pair. He duly folded and wasn't happy when I showed him the bluff. I had a big chip lead over him now, and when I called his all in with K9 hearts vs his Q5 hearts, I was confident the end was near... Unfortuantely a Q on the flop, and were back to even in stacks. At this point he offered a deal which would see us get €1,000 each. I agreed on the condition that I was the winner! He agreed, and we finished up at 3am. I took my money and headed straight home, as I was in work at 6am!

All in all, a good days work, and another live win under my belt. Very happy with how I am playing live at the moment, and hopefully I will get a chance to prove this in a big game sometime soon.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Movin' on up...

Moved up to $20 STT's and seem to be doing about the same at these. I'm still keeping a record of my results, and I seem to be cashing in 60-70% of these games, although I really should invest in something like pokertracker to keep a proper record of my progress.

One thing that I have begun to notice (finally!) is flaws in my online game. Namely bet sizing. In live games, I am ok at bet sizing, and usually have a figure in my head when making a bet. By this I mean, if I want to keep him in the hand, what is the maximum I can bet to keep him in? And vice versa, if I want to take him off a better hand, what is the minimum I can risk for this? In live play I just bet how much I feel will be enough, how much it would need to be if I were him. But in online all you have 2xBB, 4xBB, 8xBB.... etc. I think I might read a few articles on this, as its something I've never really considered before, but I think it might improve my game.

I've played a few more Irish Open games, and although I don't find it too hard to win the $99 entry ticket, I keep going out in the late twenties to mid thirties in the main game. I've had a decent start in every game, but never really got the cards late on to give it a real shot at getting to the FT. My best finish was 21st, but with only 4 or 5 tickets every time, this is way off the mark. Fair play to Gholimoli off boards, who bagged a ticket. I would LOVE to play the Irish Open, but I feel I have a much better chance at winning a ticket in a live game.

Played a few more MTT's aswell, but no decent cashes since the $250 the other week... I have also been playing 25c/50c cash tables, and I am making a small profit, although I have gone on major tilt once or twice! I keep running into donkeys, which outdraw me in a hand, and then put me on TILT. Something I have to try and control...

I believe to be profitable at cash games it is best to sit down with the top buy in, which is $100 at this level. The reason for this is because your aim is to maximise profit, not minimise loss. You cannot play scared. Even still, with my small BR I can't be risking $100 too often, and therefore I don't play cash games too often.

Oh, and I still haven't heard the end about my friend and the one outer. The rest of the (non poker playing) lads keep going on about how he 'beat' me at poker. I could try to explain that beat implies failure on my part... but I'm a moany enough fecker as it is! I'll let him have his glory (and my money!)

Off to paintball on Saturday. There's about 15 of us heading out for my birthday (how the fuck am I almost 22....). Should be a good laugh! And I AM going to the Fitz on Sunday for the $30 game! I keep saying that I'll be going to this, but I keep drinking too much every Saturday night, and ! Havent played live since the BSOP game last month. That reminds me, I'm playing in this tomorrow night! I'll stick a report up if I do well...


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Beware of the Fish

I finished my first week off on a bit of a bad note. Having got up to just over $700, I proceeded to lose about ten $15 STT's in a row. Partly due to not concentrating, mainly to do with running into terrible players. I was going on TILT after this, and instead of doing something stupid, I decided to withdraw most of my BR, so as not to tempt me into playing $50 and $100 games.

I withdrew 500 euro, so I had about $60 left in the account. Monday night, I jumped on for a little bit and saw a friend of mine playing. This lad is on PPP every night and makes a decent profit out of it. The surprising thing is, he is pretty terrible at poker. I won't name names (although he doesn't read this blog!), but this friend of mine has NEVER cashed in any live tournament. He has never even made a final table before, not even the Fitz freeroll.

However, he does make a steady profit from playing online. I havent played with him live in a while, so I presumed that since he was making money, presumably he was getting better. Until I saw him play the other night.... He has absolutely no concept of odds etc, he never factors in what the other player might have, he has no betting pattern whatsoever... and yet he is ripping up the 25c/50c tables.

I don't mean to badmouth him, he's still a mate, but he epitomises the exact type of player I cannot play against. It hurts my head watching him play... For instance, watching him the other night on PPP, he picks up A5o and raises $5. Flop comes QK7. He bets, gets raised and calls. Turn is a 5. he bets gets reraised and he goes all in. Other player has KQ; he rivers an ace.. And doesn't bat an eyelid...

While I was watching him play this happened a few more times... he had soon turned $20 into over $100, almost totally by outdrawing the other players. He never lets go of a good ace, and chases any draw, and you will not get him off a hand if he has hit anything. Now if thats what works for him, fair play, whatever makes you money, my point is, he seems to be relying almost purely on luck, and it seems to be working for him.

He will chase a gutshot right down to the river, and he is surprised when he doesn't hit. I see him betting with nothing, and calling big bets holding nothing but high cards, and when I ask why he's calling, his reply is usually, "I'll probably hit on the river".... and he usually does.

I've a feeling that he has been playing online so long, without playing live, that it has changed the way he thinks about poker. He expects to hit magical rivers, and he expects to hit his draws almost every time.

Now without just sounding like a moany cunt, my question is, can you be profitable at poker without necessarily being that good? I don't mean to badmouth my mate, he seems to be finding this online lark a lot easier than me, but I know he would get ripped apart in any decent live game. Yet, he consistently makes profit online, mainly by dishing out bad beats to poor fuckers like me who actually make a huge effort to try and outplay people.

Anyway the main reason I'm writing this is due to an incident from last night. I don't want this to seem as if I am just pissed off over a bad beat (there's something new!), moreso that I was amazed by how he played the hand. Bear in mind he has been playing regular poker for over a year, and should have a fair idea of how I play by now. Anyway heres the hand.

25c/50c 6 player table.

($60)Rory: Ad 9c
($70)Friend: Ah 10s
($20)Player 3: 8h 10c

Flop comes down 7d 9d Ac

Friend bets, I raise, player 3 calls, Friend goes ALL IN???
It is sooo obvious he has a good ace which he just won't let go of. I'm licking my lips waiting for it to get back around to me. I know I have him beat and all I have to do is avoid a bad beat and I have it. I'm a little worried about Player 3 tripling up, but I'm more interested in showing my friend 'a lesson', in how not to over play a high ace.

The pot is about $120

At this point the % are like this to win the hand.

Rory: 62.29%
Player 3: 28.68%
Friend: 9.02%

The turn brings the 4d, so now the only card in the WHOLE DECK that he can hit is the 10h. THE ONLY CARD!!! The % now are

Rory: 83.33%
Player 3: 14.28%
Friend: 2.38%........ yes 2.38%!!!

River brings the 10h.

Fair enough its a bad beat, but the way he played it amazed me. All he saw was an Ace and he pushed. I know he didn't even consider what we had. If I tell him he was 2% on the turn this means nothing to him. I can't confront him about it because at the end of the day its only a fucking game, and he's a mate. It is still frustrating though, losing to a player that believes they played the hand correctly. I know this isin't that bad a hand but it is how he would play an ace every time.

I mean, when he plays PPP, he barely watches the game, throws in random bets at random intervals, chases ridiculous hands, and cannot let go of AK, AQ etc, regardless of the flop... I just can't make sense of it. Now I don't want to sound like I'm just slagging off his play, but in my experiences it seems that at the levels I'm playing at, the looser the player, the more they seem to make. I just can't play that loose. I don't feel comfortable playing super loose like a certain Eamon O' Reilly among others. However, this style does seem to have its rewards. Eamon won a ticket into the WSOP last year, and my friend is cleaning up (online anyway). What do you do?

Sunday, March 12, 2006


At last I get a decent cash in an online MTT. Finished 2nd in the $10 freezeout, but I'm very annoyed I din't win it. I was in the top 5 for the whole tournament, and was playing pretty well. I'm obviously happy with getting second, as its another $242 into the account, but I'm annoyed at losing when we were heads up.

He had been getting VERY lucky at the final table, and was knocking out a lot of the big stacks on badly played hands getting lucky. I wasn't complaining as I was sitting back watching him thin out the numbers! We got down to three, and I slowplayed the other lad when I hit my set on a K high flop. He pushed with AK, and no miracle for him, down to heads up.

I was way behind in chips, I think I had 40K and he had just over 200K. The thing about this lad was he couldn't be bluffed! He would call any bet on the flop, and would call 2-5xBB bets on the turn/river, if he had any of it. He would min-raise anytime he had a monster, and would fold to any min-raise I made.

I literally just kept value betting when I hit, and soon built up to close to even. However, this lad was still hitting everything, and I couldn't scare him off a hand if he had any of it. He would call down to the river with bottom pair! All I could do was play the cards I was given, and hope to hit the flop, and value bet all the way. This worked until I hit TPTK, and he hit a set. I lost big on that hand, although I should have folded the river when he min raised my value bet. It was SOOO obvious he had the set, but I just couldn't drop it.

I was out soon after, when my 66 didn't hold up to his AQ, all-in preflop. I'm annoyed for not beating him, but still happy enough about getting a few quid. Up to $600 for the week, easily the best week I've had online. Not moneywise, I've had bigger wins than this, more that I lasted this long and stayed calm, and more importantly TILT free! Hopefully I can keep this up next week... oh and there's still the matter of a little Irish Open satellite tonight... fingers crossed!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Still going...

Miracles of miracles I've managed a full week of playing online without losing the plot! Started off the week with $50, and slowly built it up to just under $400, almost entirely from $15 STT's. I'm very happy with how I'm playing in these, and I'm cashing in about 70-80% of these.

MTT's on the other hand, haven't gone great. I've played a few $5 and $10 one's, but haven't cashed in any of them. I've also played the $10 Irish Open feeder a few times, and still haven't got a ticket yet, although I'm in one at the moment, and I'm sitting comfortably in 4th, with 7 tickets on offer and $60 for 8th. There's 10 people left, so I'd need to fuck up big time not to get a ticket here!

Don't think I'm playing anywhere over the weekend, might get down to the Fitz $30 on Sunday. I keep meaning to play this, but I'm so hungover on Sundays that I'm in no fit state for poker!

Got me ticket! Finished 2nd. Next stop, Irish Open ticket...

Haha check out what happened when the last fella went! ALL IN, ALL IN, ALL IN! Probably the only time you'll see this at a final table...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Day 4 in the Big Brother house...

Been playing 4 days now, happy enough with how things are going. Played another 5 $15 games tonight, and a few more MTT's. Lost the first three STT's mainly through my own bad play. Then proceeded to drop another $20 playing the Irish Open feeder and $10 freezeout (when I left this Des wasn't doing too bad, wonder how he finished). Not a great start to the night, but I managed to pull first in the last 2 STT's of the night, and raked in $135, so I managed to pull a small profit of about $40 for the day. Not too bothered about making money, just happy that I'm actually playing for a few days now without losing the head and being a moany fucker about it...

Up to $364 now from the $50 I lodged on Monday. I've played about 6 hours of STT's, so it's not a bad return. I'm cashing in about 70% of the STT's I play, and I seem to be doing well when I get down to the last three, usually taking first if we are even stacked when we get down to 3. I think I've only got 2nd once. Luckily, I have yet to bubble, and I think this will be the real test!

I'm getting very bored playing at such low limits and I'm dying to move up a few levels! But I want to keep this 'experiment' running for another week or two to see if I can control my tilt first... I reckon if/when I get past $500 I'll move up to the $25. I seem to be beating the $15 without too much effort, although that could all change easily enough!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Damn Eircom...

Made another bit of profit last night, up to about $300 now from the $50 I started with. I cashed in the last 6 STT's I played last night.

Jumped onto it today after work. Managed to keep my cool, but nearly lost the head a few minutes ago. Still only playing 1 STT at a time, and decided to play the $10 Irish Open feeder alongside it. Everything was going fine until I lost connection due to a problem with my broadband.

This has been going on for a few weeks now where everytime the house phone rings it knocks the internet off for about 5 minutes. I don't know what the problem is but its our fault for getting eircom broadband! Useless shower of idiots... I'm convinced most of the donkeys I play against must work in retard companies like Eircom and Vodafone. Intelligence not a neccessity...

Anyway, as soon as I got connection back I picked up aces. I managed to get the lad all in, and he showed QQ. Hits a queen on the flop and I rebuy. Get nothing till the break, and don't bother with the top-up as I have the feeling thats not the last beat I'm going to get. A few hands later I get AJ, and raise it up. I get 4 callers, and the flop comes J8J. I go all in and get 3 callers!

Im up against JQ, 88, and KK.... turn Q... river K... haha they ALL beat me! I don't lose the head, and simply turn my attention to the STT. I instantly get QQ and call an all. He has 67d and runner runners a flush. I reach down and turn the PC off... And amazingly I don't lose the head. This is a typical situation where normally I would lose it and go on major tilt, but a few deep breaths and I put it out of my head. I think I can get through these disgusting runs if I just force them out of my head.

Looks like this experiment could be working! Thats as bad it can get playing only 2 tables, and I managed to stay calm.... just. One I get through this patch of Mickey Mouse poker, I can continue making money hopefully.

I'm more annoyed about my poxy internet connection. It is doing my head in the last week. I don't know what is doing it but every time the phone rings it cuts the connection... so annoying. Its knocked me out of a lot of games this week. I don't know enough about internet connection to know what the problem is, but there's no point ringing Eircom...

Off to the gym now, don't think I'll play any more PPP later on. An hour of horrible beats and donkey play has got me a little annoyed, and it might push me over the edge if I play again later! I played 4 STT's and an MTT and didn't cash in any of them. Just one of those days by the looks of it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

One Day at a time...

I got paid today, so I can afford to donate some more cash into the online fund. I decided to lodge 50 euro into PPP, and if I lost it I lost it. I've said I would take on board advice that I have gotten over the past few weeks. I have moved up a few levels in order to play against a better standard of players. I have also reduced myself to playing ONE game at a time. Until I have mastered this, what is the point in playing 3 or 4? I started off today on $15 STT's on PPP, and played a little bit of 25c/50c. I know 50 euro is a silly bankroll for these levels but its more of an experiment to see if I can make a steady profit, and more importantly if I can keep my cool.

I took each game VERY slowly, giving it my full attention, albeit flicking onto boards and a few blogs at the same time. I played 10 games, and kept a record of my progress. I got 1st in 3, 2nd in 2, 3rd in 2, 5th once, and 7th twice. It cost me $165 to play these, and I took back $341.50. So a profit of $176.50. I got a few bad beats along the way, but managed to keep my cool. More importantly, I didn't bubble any of them, which usually gets me pretty pissed off, as you can understand...

I lost $6 playing a MTT, and another 4000 Paddy Points in the $1000 freeroll. I went out of this on a horrible hand but I wont go into it... it was a freeroll, no point moaning about it! I then went into a 25c/50c cash game with $50, and simply played tight as fuck! I literally waited until I got aces and pushed on the flop. I ran into Kings, which didn't improve. I played for a little bit more, and left with $90, a profit of $40. I arsed about in a few more ash games, and lost a little. I don't want to play them too much, as I'm very inexperienced at them. But when I do play, I'm not playing lower than 25c/50c, maybe 10c/20c the odd time.

Overall, I ended up with around $200 profit for the day (although I have just jumped into another cash game...) If I can keep this up I'll be happy. I think I can grind out a decent profit at this level, because I know I can beat these. The only problem is it only takes one of my really bad days and I know I'll be on major tilt. I have to try and keep this under control.

I decided to change onto All-In, where I have been playing the odd time over the past few months. I jumped into a $5K guaranteed, for $25. There was about 250 players, with top 20 getting paid from $62 for 20th, to $1867 for 1st. I got off to a nice start, staying in the top 10 for the first hour or two. Didn't take many risks, but was watching the screen like a hawk, and watching out for any decent players. As the field thinned out, the standard seemed to be getting better. However, I still managed to run into the only two donkeys left in!

I won't go on about the hands but suffice is to say I was hit by a two outer and three outer in the space of a few minutes. I'm not too annoyed about losing, more about how I lost. Neither of these needed to sacrifice their chips on minor hands (A2 vs AK (straight on river), and 33 vs KK (again, 3 on river), and both players lost my chips pretty soon after getting them. I guess I'm just surprised that this standard of players make it this far in tournaments.

I'm always being told that its good to have these 'fish' at the table, but I never seem to profit off them. I honestly prefer to play against a decent standard of opponent. Thats why I love playing bigger games. You can outplay your opponents, not outdraw them (for the most part!) . I mean, if I have AA, I want to be called by AK, not some muppet with 75o!

I ended up going out in 30th, after these two hands crippled me. Anyway, this tourney aside, I'm happy with how today went, and I think I'm going to stick to the $15 STT's. Maybe move up to $25 and $50 in a few weeks. All I have to avoid is getting a really bad run in a really short space of time, like what happened the other week. But I can't see how this can happen if I'm playing one at a time. PLEASE GOD this is the start of a stress free online career...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Prague, BSOP and the Sweden game.

Prague... what a weekend! Too much happened to go on about, but I would recommend the city to anyone. I'll throw up a few photo's when I get the chance. Only bad point is my phone is now down a 20 foot drain somewhere in Prague... long story...

As for the BSOP first monthly game, I was looking forward to having a live game with the lads off boards. I think we started with 18, three tables of six. I had Ken, ocallagh, Muso, 'Norwich Fan Rob' and Iago on my table. Ken was gone pretty soon, after his aces were cracked by Iago's trip eights. I had to stay out of the lads way, as every pot was being raised, usually with MUCK! I didn't see much until I picked up KK a few hands in. The flop came A8A, so I threw in a feeler bet of about 300. Rob called, and Iago min raised. I figured one of them for the Ace, and duly folded. An ace on the river nearly had me cursing my fold, until Rob showed the quads!

I saw nothing else until I picked up queens and raised it up. The flop came down with an ace, and I raised it up to isolate. Only Muso called and I was a little worried. I was down to less than 1K from the starting stack and was almost pot committed. A 9 hit on the river, and Muso reached deep. I could tell I was behind and actually though he had A9. He told me he rivered a straight. GRRR! Ah well, I let him hit!

I was down to the felt now and was forced to push my remaining 600 on Kd 10d. Rob called with pocket fives. An easy call against the shortstack. The flop came down K 10 x. AGGHHHH! I didn't want to be a moany cunt and say "here comes the 5" but on a flop like that, the way things have been running lately..... I'd have been shocked if a 5 didn't come out. But less bitching, a 5 hits on the turn and I'm out. I dealt on for the lads until they broke for the final table (after I cruelly dealt a bad beat for ocallagh... sorry! I'm jinxed!)

Could have been a good game but I just never got going. Had a good night anyway, as I got to study the lads play a bit while I was there. Its a lot easier to watch when you aren't playing. I think I'm getting better at putting people on hands, and I correctly guessed Rob's 10 10, Muso's A A, and Iago's flush draw with a pair. Although these are still only guesses, I think I am getting them right more than wrong lately. You do have to concentrate on the hand a LOT to have a decent guess though. If only I could use this more in hands that I'm in! It seems I can have a good guess at what players have in hands I'm not involved in, but when I'm in the hand I find that sometimes other factors can cloud my view.

Anyway, enough about poker, IRELAND 3 - 0 ! ! ! What a game, the best I've been at in a while. I love the Irish team with a passion, and was so disappointed we never made the World Cup, but they played like a real team tonight, and deserved the win. I bumped into IonaPaul off boards outside Landsdowne road, hope you enjoyed the match! Bring on Euro 2008!

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