Saturday, 21 January 2012

Slow start to 2012

I haven't quite gotten off to the start I would have hoped for 2012. I've played two tournaments, the IPC and the IPPF and bricked both.

The IPC was frustrating as I had 3 different tables in 5 hours meaning I had to spend a lot of time adjusting to the table. There's nothing like arriving at a table and having a decision in your first orbit. So many decisions are based on your opponents frame of mind at that given time. Things didn't go my way and I lost some chips 3-barreling AK on a 245JT board and running QQ into TT on a ten-high flop. I didn't really win a hand after that and ended up busting shoving 6k with A6 at 200-400 blind v blind and running into AQ. 

The IPPF was a slightly different story with a similar result. I knew I'd be late to the tournament, but made the conscious decision to play it anyway. I arrive midway through the 75-150 level with a 20k stack which is fine. First hand I play, I flat a raise with AQ in the BB. The flop comes QJ4 and I decide to ch-raise two opponents. After I check-raise, I get reraised again. I know the nature of these  <€500 buy-in tournaments, and there's definitely a chance I could be ahead. All that said, I wasn't prepared to play such a big pot early with no read on the table with such a marginal hand. I muck it and he shows the K5. 
After this I hit a few hands and build my stack to 30k. The K5 villain then raises utg at 150-300 to 900. I 3bet with aces and he shows for 18k. I snap him off and manage to dodge the 82 suited. Yup, it's that kind of tournament, playing 120BB pots aipf with aces vs 82s. That was obviously a  funny enough hand and it brought me to 48k. 
The only other real hand of note that night was where I nearly pulled the trigger on a 5bet turn bluff. It was limped around for a 4 way pot. The flop came 7c3c2c and it got checked around. The turn came the 7h. I took a stab and got reraised. Thinking about it, I felt there was no real hand he could have here. I also realised there was no real hand I could represent either. All that said, most of the time if you pile on the pressure, they'll give up, so I thought reraising his raise would be enough to get him off if he had nothing. He reraised me again. I really wanted to pull the trigger, but the thought of playing an 80k pot when the average is 25k in a soft tournament with such a good structure knowing that if you're called, you're drawing dead didn't appeal to me! I eventually mucked laughing thinking he had to be bluffing. He of course showed up the KJs! Would've been really sick if I went with my gut and just pulled the trigger! I ended the night with 36k which was okay, but obviously could have been a lot more.

Clane is very high on my list of yearly must-plays and the reason for that is because it seems to have such a unique atmosphere and brilliant craic. I'm not going to say it rivals the Irish Open in terms of atmosphere, but I'd probably take the Clane atmosphere over pretty much any other festival. 

When day 2 came, I was rearing to go. Unfortunately, the nature of a no-limit tournament is that if you get set-over-set'd and run AK into AA, it doesn't matter how up for it you are, your day can be cut severely short! So thirty minutes into day 2, before even getting my seat warmed up, I was gone. 

I'm sitting here now in the hotel room in Clane writing this blog. I never got around to doing the whole 2011 review/2012 goals blog. I did a full results review for 2011 and after doing that (went into a lot of detail) I didn't have the energy to write a blog on it.
As for goals for 2012, I decided that this year to just keep it simple. Instead of having specific goals like 'play 1000 SNGs a month' I decided to make them more general. You can't predict what's coming around the corner so for 2012 what I want is to improve my life as a whole. Yup, simple as that. Everything is related to everything in life, so if you generally feel good you play better poker. It's all the little things I want to focus on. Usually I'd come into every year hoping to change the world. This year, I just want to focus on improving the small things, because in time, that's what leads to the big things.