Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Irish Open 2012 - part 3

Cash Session #5
Sat night 6pm-9pm

Maximize my sleep I did and didn't wake till about 5pm the next day (it's actually only an 8hr sleep so really it's far from impressive). The PLO tourney started at 6pm but I decided to pass on playing it. Had I not pissed away €645 the night before, I may have considered playing, but having done so, I wasn't really in the mood to give the omaha a spin. Instead I decided to sit in a 1-2 PLO cash game with the plan of leaving at 9pm for the €335 turbo.

I didn't really have much luck and left €140 down after a short session. I actually forgot to record any of the hands, but from memory, I remember sticking it in with decent kings with one suit (something like KK9J). There was an utg raise followed by a few calls and I was able to get over half my stack in. I didn't think utg was messing around, but I still thought it was a decent spot. We ended up getting it in and he had double suited aces (with my suit) and held.

The mentality you have in an omaha cash game can make such a difference in your sessions. There's plenty of spots where you can effectively get the money in with a mediocre hand and dead money in the pot. You'd think this is all good because, 'sure isn't every hand in omaha 60-40', so getting your 300 stack in the middle with 100 quid dead money must be good. It's not. First of all, for it to be +EV to wager your 300 stack to win the 400 in the middle (ie the 100 dead money, plus the 300 of whoever you're getting it in with), you have to be 43%, and second of all, you're probably not 43% as much as you think! This may seem obvious and borderline simple to good omaha players, but you'd be surprised how many people think this way. Anyway, the point being that, most of the time, you shouldn't be going out of your way to get it in with the kings pf etc. That's not where your edges come from when playing PLO cash!

I can't really remember any other hands from this session. I think I won one decent hand and lost one decent hand aside from the above hand. Overall it wasn't a great session. Was still a bit tilted from the night before and probably not playing my best. I wasn't on mega tilt, but was probably playing my C-game. I left the game at 9pm to play the NLHE turbo tournament. The game was actually pretty good so I'm not sure if leaving was a good decision or a bad one.

Tourney #1
€300+35 Turbo NLHE
Sat night 9pm

So off I went to play my first tournament of the weekend. I got off to a less than stellar start when I flopped a set and let a gutshot get there on the turn. I was happy with how I played it but unfortunately was always losing some chips that hand. I managed to claw my way back to around the starting stack by the time our table broke. Things were quiet at my new table, and as is the nature of turbos, there weren't many hands of note.

My bustout hand occurred when I had 4000 chips at 300-600 [details are sketchy, but this is roughly correct]. I was in the SB and a player in MP opened to 1600. This got two calls behind and I decided to jam with QJo. The opener himself is playing ~11k so it's very likely that he will shove, thus getting a heads up pot with lots of dead money. If I'm correct that close to 100% of the time it will go: I shove, BB folds, opener re-shoves, callers fold; then I need about 32% against the openers range. Of course, it won't always play out like that. The two flatters aren't much of a worry, so aside from the BB waking up with queens, the worst case scenario is that the opener flats (tbf, this would be quite odd, even for a turbo at the Irish Open) as do the two callers, in which case I'm playing a four way pot for my tournament life with QJ.
As predicted however, the opener shoved and we got heads up, my QJ vs his JJ. His JJ held and I was out the gate. I'm 32% almost exactly against the JJ so I guess if I think I'm +EV in the field I should avoid the breakeven shove :D. I don't have pokerstove on this comp, but I'd be surprised if I'm less than 32% against his range as a lot of pairs and A9 type hands make up his range.

Following this bustout I hung around a bit and eventually retired to the room. I wasn't in the mood for poker and for some reason wasn't really in the mood for drink either. It was Saturday night at this stage and we were due to check out at noon on Sunday. I was down money and wasn't thrilled with my performance. I wasn't really 'feeling the vibe', so I guess, at the time anyway, heading home Sunday afternoon was the plan.

Tourney #2
€1000+125 NLHE
Sun afternoon 4pm

By 1.30pm on Sunday afternoon, I was checked out of the room and the bag was in the car. Munster kicked off against Ulster in the Heineken Cup quarter final at 1.45pm, so naturally I hung around the Burlington bar to watch that. The €1k NLHE side-event kicked off at 4pm but I didn't really have any plans to play that. If I'm going to play a €1k tourney, there's probably more prestigious and more +EV options than the IO side event (not that I think I'm -EV in it, but there's no internet qualifiers etc so it'd probably be a bit tougher than the average UKIPT, Winter Fest, EMOP etc.).

Some of my fellow match watchers were convincing me to play the tournament, and after some messing with percentages, I ended up playing it. Ideally, I would have rathered invest less than I was in an MTT, but I guess it was just that type of weekend!

I started out well and was really feeling in the zone. I felt my focus was probably the highest it had been at any point this year, so needless to say I was feeling really good. Then this happened...

UTG opens to 400 at 75-150. HJ flats, I make it like 1100 or so with KK from the CO. The original opener folds and the HJ flats. The flop comes 772 and he checks. I c-bet and he clicks it back. This guy was creative and was definitely one to try to play you off your hand (I'd seen him min-raise the river on a bluff among other things, so he was definitely the ultra-aggro, levelling, borderline spewy type of player). Basically, never in a million years was I ever folding kings against him. I make a 3-bet on the flop and he calls. The flat call on the flop is a little suspicious, but 22 and 77 are basically the only two hands that beat me. Bluffs and worse pairs still make up a lot of his range at this point. The turn comes a blank and he checks. I bet half my remaining stack and he shoves. I obviously call. He turns up the 72hh!

Given that he ends up with the 72hh, I think I'm justified in my thinking throughout the hand, this guy definitely was capable of taking a lot of 'creative' lines. When he just flats my flop 3-bet, then it does start to look like he might have a hand. Checking back the turn may be better but I think that's just being results orientated. The guy is capable of all sorts of crazy shit and I have near the top of my range so I think I have to go broke there. With regard to his flat of the 3bet pf, as Liam said to me after the tourney, "sure obviously he's flatting you there. He knows if he hits his hand against a donkey who can't fold kings he's always getting paid off!".

Definitely one of the weirder hands I've played but I honestly can't say I regret my play in the hand.

As I was getting up, I nearly headed straight for the car in disgust. However, I felt I probably should let my investors know that their horsey didn't run too well. They were in the bar and well, I'm sure you know where this story ends up.

It was my first time drinking all weekend, and as always, the craic was good. The US Masters was on TV and the PaddyPower Beer Pong championships also took place. The beer pong got off to a good start and we made it through the 1st round but unfortunately fell in the quarter finals. The Masters on TV also provided some entertainment. I was playing with a chap in the €1k tourney who was saying he had some decent sweats for the Masters. He was saying how he had a lump on McIlroy last year and it was just torture watching him throw it away. He mentioned a few players, but I'm pretty sure one of the bets he mentioned was having £2k e/w on Bubba Watson at 100/1! Pretty sick scoop if what I remember is correct!

The night ended with me going back out to the car to get my bag and checking back into the hotel at 4am on Sunday morning.


  1. nice honest blog

    but this shoving whenever there is supposedly dead money in the pot is something you have to take a look at IMO - very high variance play and will destroy your bankroll quickly if you dont win fast.

    it also seems like from this and other blogs u are overly concerned with the prestige of a tourny!! let me tell you this is insane. playing a tournie shouldnt be based on this.

  2. the qj hand is horrific IMO

  3. @anon 1, with regard to the shoving light in PLO cash games, I totally agree with u. much too high variance and needless. I hope it was clear from the blog I was not advocating that style but rather condemning it! :)

    and yeah I also agree with ur 'prestige' comment. I didn't mean to put much weight in it in this context, the fact there were more +EV tournies around was a bigger factor. I do admit that I put some weight in the prestige of a tourney (eg I'd probably rather have 3% of myself in the Irish Open than 100% of myself in a random 100eur game, even tho the 100eur game is almost definitely more +EV). For the most part though, whether I play a tournament is not based on it's prestige, but I'd be lying if I said it never factored into my thought process.

    @anon2, I disagree, I think the QJ hand is standard enough. If I fold I'm left with 6BBs which has no fold equity. The opener can be opening relatively light and I've no evidence to suggest he should have a tighter than normal range. The flat callers behind definitely reraise their better hands.