Saturday, 22 October 2011

Folding Kings pre flop

I've been taking it easy since Killarney and have only ventured out to play twice. Was a bit burnt out after a lot of weekends away so was looking forward to staying put at home for a while. Just had a look there, and I was actually away 6 weekends out of 7 from mid-August to the end of September. Throw in a few cash games along with that and you really do see the hours and the miles pile up. Obviously the fact that things haven't been going swimmingly does make the whole grind a bit tougher to deal with.

The first time playing since Killarney was the weekend after at the Octoberfest game in Limerick. It was a €225 tourney with 48 runners. I did manage to cross a major poker milestone in this tournament as I folded kings pre-flop for the first time in my career. A new player, Dom, had just sat down to my left. I played a bit of Omaha with Dom in Cork but I think it was my first time playing hold 'em with him. One of his first hands at the table, he 3-bet me to 1500 (blinds 100-200, we're both playing ~25k) and I decide to 4-bet to 4k. He instantly makes it 11k. At this stage, it's starting to look like he has aces. I think about it for a moment and muck the kings face up. He shows aces. All in all, it's not the most difficult fold in the world. The stacks are ridiculously deep and I feel I have a good table so really there's no need for me to put my stack in here when I think I'm behind. Thankfully, it was also a spot where it was all-in or fold. I have been in similar spots with jacks or queens where I've called having put my opponent on aces and thought 'sure if I flop a set I'll get paid off'. Usually the flop comes 9-high and I mysteriously change my pre-flop read and end up stacking off!

The theme of tournament definitely seemed to be aces vs kings. On day 2, with about 17 left, I pick up kings utg and raise to 3k (blinds 600-1200 I think). A tight player behind me makes it 7k. I can't remember exactly, but I think I must have been playing about 40k-50k. Whatever stack I had, I remember anything other than a min-4bet pretty much committed me. I really felt he was strong, but it never really crossed my mind to get away from the kings. It was a simple case of if he has aces, I'm going broke. That left me with the problem of getting all the chips in the middle. I didn't really want to flat oop so I decided to just shove it in. He calls with aces and they hold.

The only other time I've played during the last two weeks was in a pretty action packed ROE game. We were playing 5 handed and there was probably 4 or 5k on the table. I've made worse plays in my life, but I can't remember the last time I've been so annoyed at how I played a hand. It wasn't one of these marginal cases or one of these 'yeah it's bad, but it's not that bad', it was just a really, really bad play that is inexcusable. I had about 600 in front of me and called a raise of 75 pf with 9933. I'm okay with this play as the plan is fairly straight forward - flop a set and jam it (I was first to act post flop). The flop came 24X and it checked around. The turn came a 3 bringing a flush draw. I potted it for 300. It folded around to Pat on the button and he obviously sticks it in with the nuts. It's really just a terrible play on my part. When the 3 turned, my initial reaction was 'I have to protect my hand' and before thinking anymore about it, I had thrown my chips in the pot. It's just such an indescribably bad play. I honestly can't remember the last time I was so mad at myself for how I played a hand.
Other than those two sessions, it's been all quiet. There hasn't been much cash action in Limerick lately and I haven't been in the mood to do much travelling.

There have been some great results out of Irish players recently that definitely deserve a mention. Niall Smyth taking down Killarney is an absolutely epic achievement. I think anyone that gets a big score is always anxious to get another result fairly soon after to prove the first one wasn't a fluke. Niall definitely did that in style by winning one of the biggest tournaments of the year. Winning one of the biggest tournaments on the Irish calendar, along with THE biggest tourney, all in the same year is truly phenomenal stuff.
Dermot Blain also ensured Ireland went 2/2 for WSOP main event final tables in 2011. He finished 5th at the WSOPE in Cannes for €275,000. The quality of the field was absolutely sick and one look at the final table will show you how strong it was.

That's it from me. I played the IPO this weekend too, will update on that later in the week. Next up is the PaddyPower winter festival next week. I'm absolutely desperate to get a result and this is the one to get it in. It's been 15 Hold 'em tournaments in a row without a cash, so it's definitely time to change that!

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