Thursday, 7 July 2011

The times, they are a changin!

If you told me a year ago that in 365 days time, Full Tilt Poker would (for all relevant purposes) be gone, I would've said you were off your game. Yet we stand here today in that position. The whole thing is very interesting and if it's taught me anything, it's that you can take nothing for granted.
Luckily, I only had $14 which I received for rakeback on the site, so thankfully I didn't get stung too badly. There are guys that need to access money on the site in order to pay bills though. I feel really sorry for them and can't imagine what they are going through. Hopefully things work out faster than expected and everyone get's their money back.

I guess before I get on to the more micro-based blogging, the other macro event I have to comment on is the proposed super casino in Tipperary. Although right now, it is only planning permission that has been granted, it is still an exciting prospect. I do have to say though, that I believe I came up with this idea before anyone else did. After visiting Foxwoods about 5 years ago, I remember thinking "you know what, they should build one of those in Ballinahinch" - (probably more accurately I thought "you know what, when I become a billionaire, I'm gonna build one of those in Ballinahinch"). Anyway, regardless of whether it was me or Richard Quirke that came up with the idea, it is a very ambitious one and definitely something I'll be keeping an eye on.

As for my own life since the last blog, I guess it's been reasonably alright. I've been playing a bit online and live, doing a bit of sports betting and been keeping up to date with the WSOP.
I've been following most of the Irish's progress in vegas and unfortunately there's no bracelets to report on. Doke has had 3 cashes in bracelet events which is obviously very good statistically, but not great financially since tourney poker is so top heavy. He's running deep though, and if one of those lost races/coolers turned into a won race/cooler, he would've had a legitimate shot at a final table. Guys like Nick Newport and Tom Kitt have a few cashes too, but no big wins yet. John O'Shea as always is living the dream, and after casually winning 70k sports betting he's gona take a shot at a black chip PLO game in Bobby's Room. I guess someone has to pick up the slack since Ivey's not around.
As I'm writing this, the 50k Player's Championship is 4 handed. Hellmuth (who has already had a pretty impressive series with two 2nds in the 2-7 and Stud hi/lo championships along with 2 other cashes) is currently chip leader. The legend that is Minh Ly is also hanging around 2nd in chips. Minh is definitely somewhat of an enigma and seems to be the definition of robusto (if you look at his hendon mob for the last two years, all his cashes have been in $100-$500 tournies in LA). It's definitely going to be fun whoever wins it!

As for me, I've been gambling a bit. I've won a nice few bob sports betting lately. Although I do sports bet, I can't come anywhere near to claiming I'm +EV at it. If I see something that I think is value, I'll throw a few quid on it. I had Nadal in the French open and I also got Garcia at 16/1 ew in the BMW International Open. Garcia finished 2nd in a play-off but I managed to lay him off during it to book a reasonable win. Nadal in the French was great value as I think anytime you can get the king of clay at better than evens it has to be a good bet. I didn't have any outright bets on Wimbledon as I thought it was (literally) the toughest tournament to call in years, but I did have some match bets. I managed to get Nadal at 4/9 ONE SET UP against Del Potro. How they can give 4/9 on Nadal one set up I don't know. The other one was Nadal-Murray. I got 1/2 on that and honestly felt like I was printing moeny. I ended up with a nice chunk (I'm pretty sure the biggest single sports wager I've ever placed) on that. The next big one is the British Open and I can't help but put a few bob on McIlroy at 6/1 and Harrington at 33/1. PaddyPower are offering each-way on placing up to 7th which really is an attractive offer!

As for the ole bit of poker (which after all, this blog is supposed to be about), I have been playing a bit. Played some tournies online over the last few weeks but have ran badly. Losing the races and 70-30s at crucial times so no real results of note. I've also been playing PLO cash which has been (surprise surprise!) pretty swingy. I'm up overall but the swings are quite sick. It's the first time I've played omaha consistently but I'm definitely planning on sticking with it. It's a good game with a lot more bad players around so it makes sense to play it and get better at it. I've put some work in so I definitely think I'm +EV in the games I'm playing. Like everything though, experience is the best teacher, and when it comes to online PLO, I'm still relatively inexperienced. We'll see how it goes.
Live, I've been playing the 1/2/(5) cash game in Limerick a bit. It's good to have games back running as there was a few months where the games were scarce and you'd be lucky to have one or two per week. My recent results in the game have been decent, but I think I've ran poorly, getting unlucky in a few of the bigger pots the last few nights. I'm reasonably happy with my play though and that's really all you can ask for.

It's been all quiet on the festival front since Dundalk with the WSOP taking center stage I suppose. There are a few great games coming up in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, I'm heading off the America for a holiday so I'll miss them all! They're 3 tournament I would've 100% played so I'm pretty sickened to be missing all of them. The €440 Waterford Masters is by all accounts, a great game. There's a UKIPT in Brighton which I almost definitely would've travelled over for. I'm currently 20th in the UKIPT leaderboard, so I think it's well worth giving myself a shot at winning it before the season's over. And finally, the European Masters is coming to Dublin on the 28th. Day 1B is on the 29th and I'm coming home the 29th. I knew the flight arrived in Dublin at around 6am, but after getting a bit mixed up, I realised that'll be 6am on the 30th! The EMOP is a great event so I'm really annoyed to be missing it. There's a 500 (I think) side event on the Saturday. With jet lag and the aftermath of a two week vacation, I'm not sure if I'll be up for playing it, but I'll definitely keep my options open!

After I get back, there's some nice events coming up in August. You have UKIPT Edinburgh (£560), the Macau's Irish Poker Classic in Cork (€550) and the Unibet Open in Dublin (€1650). Definitely 3 events I'm looking forward to playing. Edinburgh is a great spot and I'd love to get another big result in a UKIPT. The Cork tournaments are always good structures and not having to worry much about accommodation and travel is always a big plus for me. The Unibet Open in Dublin is the inaugural event and one not many people seem to know much about. It's a €1650 though, which now makes it the second biggest tourney of the year (the IWF has dropped from €1650 to €1100). I'm not quite sure what to expect but all I know is that I want to win it!
This weekend, Connie is having a €225 game down in Killarney. I was probably going to play it anyway, but now I hear there is a crowd from Limerick heading to it and also it starts the Saturday (for some reason I thought it was on the Friday) which means I'm almost definitely going to play it now.

For the next few weeks,  I guess the plan will be to put in some hours online before I go, rest and relax on holidays, work on my game a bit, and prepare to have a big month in August!

Also, I will probably be selling some %s for the August tournaments. I'll probably post a thread up on IPB soon but if anyone wants to buy some before I post, let me know (PM on IPB or leave a comment) and I'll reserve them. Cheers!

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