Saturday, 9 February 2013

Making up the hours

For those of you unfamiliar of how a cash league works, it's really quite simple. Your task is to play X amount of cash game hours in a certain time frame, for example, 60 hours in 3 months. During that 3 months, 1 euro is taken from every hand played. At the end of the 3 months, all those euros are added together, and whoever has played the 60 hours either gains a share of the money or has a freeroll in a tournament with the money collected as the prizepool.

Recently, a certain player who hadn't been seen for a few weeks appeared in the club with 6 days remaining in the cash league. With 27 hours to make up in 6 days, he knew it was going to be no easy task to reach the 60 hour quota.

In this particular 3 month span, the cash games in Limerick had been worse than I'd ever seen them. The games ran very seldom, and when they did run, they didn't last very long. The result of this was that there was just over €3,000 in the cash league prizepool when there would often be €10k plus in the pool. The only positive result of this was that only two of us managed to make the 60 hours in these 3 months. So as it worked out, €3,000 between two of us ended up being better than €10,000 split between 10 to 15 of us!

So this player with 27 hours to do in 6 days certainly saw the lucrative reward available if he was able to manage to get the required number of hours. With the games having picked up in recent weeks, he managed to get 25 hours done in 5 days. That meant with just one night to go, all he needed was 2 hours of a cash game to qualify and earn approximately €1,000 - and thus decrease my share by €500.

The final night was a Thursday and it was a pretty quiet night with not much happening. Our hero tried to round up some players for a cash game but he was struggling to convince anyone to play. Eventually, he managed to convince two others to sit down. Unfortunately, you need 4 to start a cash game.

As the other two players patience wore thin, our hero frantically searched for someone that would just sit down for 2 hours to enable him to reach the magical 60 hour mark. With no punters willing to sit down in site, our hero retreated outside for a cigarette to try to figure something out. If only there was some class of person that would do something you wanted for a set period of time in exchange for a nominal fee...

As luck would have it, such a person passed by as our hero was out having his cigarette. He approached this member of the oldest profession and began negotiating. I'm sure this girl has had many strange requests from many strange men but perhaps none quite like this...

After negotiating what he felt was a fair fee, our hero reappeared in the club, and finally with 4 players, they were able to start a cash game. After two hours of €1-€1 hold 'em and a lot of folding by the female player, our hero had finally earned his 60 hours and duly released the lady of her duties.


All told, those two hours effectively cost me €500. All I know is the next time a hooker costs me €500 for two hours of work, I'm going to make sure I get my money's worth!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Sure if you don't chance it, you can't win

I can't complain. I've been finding myself saying that a lot lately when asked 'how is the poker going?'

It definitely hasn't been going swimmingly but at the same time it's not like I'm on a monster downswing that I feel I will never see the end of. So in short, I can't complain.

After some debate with myself, I decided to go with some high(er) variance decisions to start 2013 and decided to play three MTTs in February. Grinding and low variance is all well and good, but I'm at a stage where poker winnings are covering life expenses but there isn't an awful lot left over to add to the bankroll. With this in mind, I decided to play a package that included the Euro Deepstack, UKIPT Cork and the Super Poker Event. It's not really far off applying the gigabet block theory to bankroll management - taking a shot may theoretically be a bad idea with regard to variance etc. but it's not really going to impact my financial situation all that much, whereas if I bink, it could change it massively. Vegas would definitely be in the back of mind here too. Realistically, a medium-large MTT score will be needed if I want to carry out the Vegas assault that I would have envisaged.

I felt the three choosen tournaments were all such good value with such good prizes (I'd assume all with €40k+ for first, which, unfortunately, is becoming rarer and rarer in Ireland) that it was too good to turn down. I did sell 50% of myself, but even so, the prize pools are big enough to really have a chance at a decent touch.

Anyway, as a wise man once told me, business plans are all well and good but they're not worth a wank unless you can deliver!

Thus far in 2013, I've played 2 live tournaments. The first in Clane was largely uneventful. I didn't really pick up a hand in the first 6 levels on Friday and then bust out after 15 minutes on day 2 getting it in with AQ on a QhJx9x board versus Kh5h for a slightly above average stack.

The deepstack was also a struggle as I managed to bust day 1. I faced a tough decision in the second level and felt I had to play a very big pot which ended up costing me 40% of my stack. Due to the large starting stack, there was always the possibility of a recovery. I grinded a 20k-25k stack for the rest of the day but just never got any good hands or good spots. The day drew to a close when I lost half my remaining stack with a set vs a flush (I flopped the set in a multi-way pot and was sure this was going to be my oppurtunity to double and get back in the game!). Not long after, I shoved my remaining 17BBs into the pot with JT over an open and two flats. The last caller ended up flatting with AK and insta-called. The king in the window didn't leave much of a sweat and I was outa there.

I was disappointed to bust as it really is a great tournament to get a run in. I also feel bad when I have investors and can't get a result. Generally, I don't think my game changes too much whether I have investors or not (which is a good thing!), but I do feel worse when I bust. I guess it's only human nature to feel bad when you feel you're after letting someone down.


After getting home the Saturday after busting the deepstack, I saw my granny. She asked me 'How'd you get on?'. After letting her know it didn't quite go to plan she replied with 'Ah sure if you don't chance it, you can't win'

UKIPT Cork just around the corner. I'm gona chance it...and I'm gona win!