Going in chronological order, first up was UKIPT Cork. I played the main event in that and ended up busting the 2nd last hand of the day. I grinded the whole day but lack of hands and spots meant I could only do so much and eventually the blinds crept up. With a 15k starting stack, I had a low point of ~6k, and a peak of ~20k. As it happens, my last hand shove may have been a little light. It was one of those spots where I shoved the hand before and picked up A8s the very next hand. I hadn't quite worked out exactly how much taking down the blinds had increased my stack and how slightly it changed my shoving range. I looked at the numbers after and it looks like A8s is right on the edge of being +EV depending on exact calling ranges. Given that it was the last few hands of day 1, we'll say people didn't want to get involved and chalk it up as a +EV shove!
I busted the main on Thursday, played a cash session at home on Friday and went back down for the side event at 8pm on Saturday. Live tournies haven't been very fun so far this year so the only aim was to get 2x starting stack (for the first time in 2013) and go from there!
Neil Raine, who is currently lying top of the UKIPT leaderboard with one stop to go, was on my right for most of day 1. Neil's definitely one of the nicer guys around and it's always nice to see the good guys doing well. I did get lucky against him in one hand (well two, I won a race early on for my tournament life too!) where he flopped a set and I turned a set with my overpair. I'll admit, had I not turned my set, I was happily putting all my money in anyway so it was quite a fortunate turn card!
Overall, Day 1 was up and down but it was fun. I made one really bad mistake when I somehow ended up calling a shove on the flop with 33. I opened, a player flatted, and had the BB just shoved, I probably would've just gotten it in pre with him. As it played out, the BB 3bet a large % of his stack and I should have just folded there. There was also another hand where I check-raised the river with air and ran into a house! I'm actually ok with hands like that. One of the new years resolutions was to go with my gut more, and well, sometimes your gut is wrong! I finished day 1 with 62k (50k ave) with 20 left and 12 getting paid.
Day 2 started really smoothly as I hit a few hands and built up to 170k by the time the bubble burst.
My chip stack around the bubble
The final table played out very slowly and it took a long time to lose players. Bar a retarded-looking (hey, it wouldn't be retarded if he folded!!) bluff, the final table played out standard enough. I was all-in with 8 left and hit a very important ace on the river for AQ>99. When we eventually got 4 handed, stacks were 110k (me), 140k, 140k and 610k. So basically, whoever ran the best was probably going to finish 2nd. I got my shot but K2dd lost out to QJdd and that's all she wrote!
€2550 was a very decent cash and I was happy with it, but there's been a few cashes in the €2k-€4k range over the last 12 months and despite it being a nice chunk of change, it's not going to really change much in terms of bankroll/life/games to play. First was €9600 and had I won that for example, it probably would've been enough to convince me to book the flights to Vegas. As it stands, I'd probably be wanting another semi-decent touch to be comfortable going over (as I said before, I don't want it to be a case of going over under-rolled, or risking more than I feel comfortable risking just for the sake of "being in Vegas").
On that note, I'd say the chances of Vegas at this point are less than 50-50. The JP Norweigan Masters is coming up, and I'm hoping to grind a lot of cash at that, so maybe if that week goes really well, I'll be in better shape. Other than that, you'd be relying on an MTT score, and as we know, you can never rely on MTTs! We'll keep the faith anyway and hope something pops up! (The online MTT grind route is an option, but tbh it's not in the plans right now)
Right, this blog is looking pretty long already so looks like we'll be making it a two part-er.
I had a bit of an online session today also. I busted the Sunday 7 million at around 11pm. After doing a bit of college work, I started writing this post around 2am and since then have been railing any Irish going deep in the Sunday tournies. From the 49287 that started the PokerStars 7th Anniversary Sunday Million, there's only one Irishman left. With 182 players left, Paul Carr is 89/182 sitting on an about average stack. There's definitely another big one in Paul and with $1.2mil for first, this would be the one to do it in! No sleep now...Best of luck Paul!!