Thursday, 3 November 2011

Things can only get better

Things have not been going well lately. Since my last entry, I've been to Dublin twice for the BoylePoker IPO and the PaddyPower Irish Winter Festival. Neither have went well...

The IPO was a pretty standard affair. My starting table wasn't the best (relative to the field) as there was a few good players at it including Chris Dowling two to my left. The early levels were quiet enough but when the antes came in and the table got a bit softer, I kicked it up a gear. It was like playing a few years ago, half the time you opened, you'd take down the blinds, and the other half of the time, you'd take it with a c-bet, and if someone 3bet, you could comfortably fold knowing they  probably had a premium. I was doing alright until eventual final tablist  Rory Brown got moved to the table with a lot of chips. The hand that did the damage was pretty standard. Rory opened in EP to 5k, I look down at aces on the button and 3bet to 13k. Rory flats and the flop comes KK8. He checks and I c-bet 17k. He flat calls. The turn comes a 5 I think. He checks, and I check behind. The river is another blank and he fires out almost putting me all-in (I think it was a 35k bet, I can't remember exactly what my stack was to start the hand). It's a sick spot but I think I have to call. I check behind the turn to induce a bluff on the river, so not only am I betting a lot of bluffs in his range, I'm also beating a lot of value hands (JJ etc. surely value bet that river). I call anyway and he turns up the KQs.

That was pretty much that for the IPO and I headed home fairly shortly after that. I was tempted to stay and drink for the next night or two, but I had no where booked etc. so I decided it was just best to go home. Speaking of having places booked, I think it's probably time for another Paul Carr story. Paul was registered and booked into the hotel for Friday and Saturday night. On Thursday, he rings Nicky asking if he has a spare bed in his room as he's thinking of heading up that night. Nicky (not wanting to turn down the possibility of spooning with Paul Carr) says he does. Later on that night, Nicky rings Carrie asking him what he's up to and if he's coming up. Paul tells him that he's having a drink at home and he'll be up the next day. Friday morning rolls around and Nicky rings Paul again. "I'm actually in a Amsterdam". Apparently, somewhere between Thursday night and Friday morning, he managed to get down to Cork airport, hop in a plane, and head over to Amsterdam!

I spent most of my Saturday at home watching football and rugby. While I was doing this, I did have the IPO stream on in the background. I can safely say, that the stream for the IPO was by far the best live poker stream I've ever experienced. Mike Sexton wouldn't get a look in on the Corbett, Power and O'Shea show.
Well done to all involved in running the IPO, an excellent event was definitely staged.

A week later I was back to Dublin for the PaddyPowerPoker Irish Winter Fest. The IWF is definitely one of the big ones of the year and I was determined to get a result. My initial table draw was very tough due to the ridiculous policy of seating all on-the-day buy ins at the same table. As it happened, my table draw didn't make that much difference. I was moved within half an hour to a newly formed table full of more on-the-day buy-ins (thankfully, this table was a little bit softer). Dermot Blain was at the table along with one or two other decent players, but there was still plenty of soft spots. All of this didn't really matter as about 80 minutes into the tournament, I pick up AA utg. I raise to 300, the CO makes it 1k, I make it 3k, he shoves, I call, he has kings, king on the flop, I'm out. Simple as that!
It was a pretty sick one. I guess it's good to get that type of beat out of the way. At least I now know what it feels like to be fully pumped for a big tournament, get it in with the nuts, and be the first player eliminated!

After that hand, I took it easy for a few hours and took a bit of a walk around Dublin. I came back a few hours later and decided to sit in a cash game. It was a deep 2/5 game with plenty of action. Ideally, you'd want to be buying in for a grand or more. I wasn't particularly rolled to be doing this and I really didn't want to face a scenario of being stuck €2500 about 5 hours into the festival. I bought in for the minimum and just decided to play the 'wait for aces' game. Eventually, I did actually pick up aces! I was utg and decided to limp in for 10 (it was straddled to 10 and I was playing 250). I could obviously raise here, but my stack size here is so perfect to limp, hopefully get a raise and some calls, and then shove in over it. The table didn't oblige and it was 6 way to the flop. The flop came 579 with two diamonds. It's not the best flop obviously, but I still think it's one I have to go with. I bet out 40, and the player next to me makes it 100. Zeke calls on the button and I shove. Both players call. The turn blanks and the river comes an 8. Zeke had 6d4d and the other guy had 9T. It would've been a nice pot to take down but it wasn't to be. After that, I opted for damage control and went home. The Paddy Power festivals are always brilliant craic so I was looking forward to the weekend, but sometimes when things are going badly, you're best bet is to just get out of dodge.

As it worked, I'm sure the weekend would have been immense. John Keown, the bookie from the north, took it down and I can only imagine what the session on Monday night would've been like! John is genuinely one of the best characters and nicest guys you'll meet on the Irish poker scene. He's put in the hours and there's no doubt he deserves this. A huge congratulations to John!

Unfortunately, not only have things been going badly on the tournament front, they've been going badly in pretty much every other aspect of life too!  I got a hair cut a week and a half ago and I'm convinced that's where the bad luck is coming from. I think I'll have to change it, the only problem is I got a 2 blade all over so my options are pretty limited. Included in this run of bad luck was three cash sessions in Limerick. These are the type of sessions that are invented just to frustrate you and try to beat you down. In all three sessions, every time I'd start to build some momentum, I'd get unlucky and lose some big hand. It was a case of seemingly never winning a coin flip, but then when I do win a coin flip, I'd lose a bigger one a few hands later.

Overall, it is just a case of running bad. I've actually been very happy with my play lately. I've been happy with my play, but my bankroll has still taken an absolute hammering the last few weeks. All I can really do is just just keep plugging away and hope that the luck will change. From experience, it does seem that when these bad runs do end, the other side of variance hits you and you can't lose. I'd be lying if I said I'm confident everything's gona get better straight away, but I'm also smart enough to know that past events have no effect on future events. If I keep putting myself in +EV spots, I will win. I guess I'll end this post with the cliche line of "Things can only get better!".

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