Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I've been spoilt !

Having commenced live Poker in August 2005, I had my first win in my 3rd tournament, in the AUL complex in Clonshaugh. I followed that up by winning it the week later, and indeed evry single month since August 2005, I had won a live multi-table turnament of at least 50 runners.....until May 2006! :( ... in fact I didn't make any final table or in the money finish.

Yes the month of May is over, and I've had my first losing month. I haven't lost my shirt or anything, because I haven't played that much, 6 tournaments, but still ... tell that to my bank balance!

In fairness, I've just been spoilt, and it's my turn for a spot of negative variance ... at least I hope that's the reason.

I had posted a couple of tournament reports, but you know what, I've just deleted them, I'll only upset myself :) ... and no-one really gives a shit if i got outdrawn by muppets do they :) ....so I'm just parking the month of May to one side.

So we're into June, should be moving house this month, should be going to Croatia to our pad out there for a week as well, scorchio !!

For some nice photos of the area we have bought in.

We'll hit Korcula, Hvar and Brac this trip I think.
We'll go out in late August/early September as well, and I want to do Plitivice lakes, and up towards Zadar, Zagreb direction then, quite a few of our friends are going to visit in August so that will be great.

Going to Scotland in July up to my mother's homeplace in the Highlands, small place called Dufftown. She's 60, so we're having a get together dinner for that, back on her home soil....really can't wait for that.

Played in two WSOP qualifiers this week on Paddy Power, went out 34th in the first one when my AK lost to AQ (sigh) and bombed out very early in the second one to a stealth set.
Great excitement at the final table though with a good few of the boardsters roaring on the lads on the final table. A sickening beat for Dead Parrott when his Kings lost to JJ on the river, when they were down to the last 4. Careca bust out the same hand, well played Neil.

I'm going back to my spiritual online home on betfair.com from 1st June, I sneaked in two STT's at lunchtime, and won them both ... so we're off to a flyer :)

I've finished reading Phil Gordon's Little Green Book, which is an exceptional well laid out and informative book. Reading Bob Caffione now 'Improve your poker' ... which is very text heavy, and layed out poorly, but the content is excellent.
I've Negreanus book ordered as well.... so I've just about them all read at this stage ... I just need to play more now !!

World Cup starts soon.
I fancy Italy and Argentina, but I'm going to back Holland and Croatia for the value, and the craic.

Anything else I want to say? Nope. That's all Folks !!!

Friday, May 19, 2006

You Gotta Laugh !

Rounders123, Ntlbell, Shortstack, HectorJelly, Fuzzbox, Culchie, Mr Pillowtalk, El Stuntman, Big Dragon.

If you are anyway a normal person, you are probably a little confused.

No, these are the not the names of ex-presidents, indeed, nor or they names picked from the 2.30 at Chepstow. Maybe they're an Irish Version of the Tellytubbies or The Wombles?

Hope, these are the internet aliases of grown men, who in some instances have become friends.

Look at what Poker has done to me !

I used to be called Michael (when I was in trouble with my mother, I was anyway) and more commonly 'Mick'.

I was in out having a couple of pints in Lucan during the week, meeting up with an old school pal, lifelong friend, but unfortunately a non poker player, but is an Arsenal Fan, so we met up for The Champions League Final.
So we were having the few scoops, happy as Larry, and it was my twist, probably the 4th or 5th pint, and when the barman came back with the change, he said "there ya go Culchie" ... "Thanks" I said, not taking my eyes of the TV screen.
Next second I get a dig in the ribs from my buddy. "Hey, that fellah called you a Culchie" he said.
"What" says I.
"He called you a Culchie, he has some cheek!".... I looked up and recognised a guy I had played against at one of The Anglers Rest tournaments, I don't even know his name. I nodded in recognition at the barman, he 'saluted' back.

Anyways when the match was over, I had to explain to my buddy about boards.ie and how poker players have aliases, often not knowing the first name of many players, but knowing them by their aliases.

He thought it was hilarious ...you know what he's dead right !

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Poker Police

Well, I'm back!

3 months since my last post, which I see was the day before we played in The Angler Rest team event, which is a co-incidence, because it's on again tomorrow,

Hopefully we'll have the same result, as 'The Culchies' covered themselves in glory (and beer) by folding ourselves to victory :) ... It was such a good laugh, and looking forward to tomorrow.

Anyways haven't played a tremendous amount of poker really, and I can't be arsed talking about the events either on this post... my head hurts from being on the beer last night, so I feel like shite, and I decided I'd rather talk about The Poker Police.

The Poker Police are a recently established organisation formed in mid to late 2005, but have recently become a more powerful group, with recently recruited young kadets added to their ranks, they are becoming quite a formidable force.

I don't really mind the fact that there is a Poker Police force, but it does kinda grate my gears when the rules they lay down and dictate are not really followed by their own members.

Hypothetical Example ...

Poker Police player raises from the early position with 56 hearts (well it is suited), gets a caller. Flop comes down Ace high, Poker Police Player takes the pot with a bet representing the Ace .... N1, wp .... sometimes because of their fierce reputation, they actually just steal the blinds, as no-one calls.

'Donkey' (an affectionate term for random player not in Poker Police) raises from early position with 56hearts, Poker Police man 'smooth calls' from the BB with his pocket Kings, he doesn't like to re-raise here, because he can outplay the donkey after the flop. Flop comes 5 6 2.

Policeman checks, Donkey makes a pot sized bet, Policeman has him trapped, goes all-in, turns over his Aces gleefully, only to see the smile wiped from his face by the Donkey's two pair.

As you can see, this is a criminal offence that the Donkey has committed here.

Policeman " You're some Donkey, you're under arrest for raising from Early position with that shite ! 56 soooted ... have you no respect for Poker Law and Order? ... You are an idiot"

Donkey "Hee Haw, but officer, I've seen you raise with 56 once before from early position, I even see you ....."

Anyways, you get the picture.

I'm a little weary of the Poker Police lately, they've been 'dissing' quite a few players which is pretty disrespectful. It's their to be seen in their 'tone'... they rubbish certain achievements or tournaments.... they are quite clever in the way that they do that as well. They don't say " You're a shite player, and you're no good" ....... they'll say something like "At that level of player" or they'll challenge their hand analysis in a spiteful rather than in a constructively critical way. They seem to patrol in packs as well, they gang up on their prey, not nice to watch really.

Don't get me wrong, I love poker, but I think the main reason I love poker is the challenge against fellow players, pitting your wits against them, being aggressive when you think you can get away with it, or have the best hand ..... selling a false image for a play later in the tournament and best of all having the banter with folks who also love poker ... the comradery is great. Sure it's great when you win, but there has to be losers as well.... I like shaking the hand of losers, and when I lose I like someone offering me a handshake as well.

That handshake means alot in poker. It means more than "good game", it means "See you around next time, fellow competitior" ..... or at least it should.

I just wish The Poker Police would join in the fun, and stop being so disrespectful and aggressive with others, and then we can all just get on with one and all.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Advertising doesn't always mean you have to spend money.

Just 4 live games since my last blog entry.

I played the Drogheda tourney on January 27th and got busted out nearly immediately after the break, in the most non-eventful tourney I've played in. Delighted that Scotty won it.

I had caught a very bad cold, so as well as playing poorly, I was feeling poorly and this was the start of 6 or 7 days of not feeling 'The Mae West' ... I never get sick, so this was difficult to get used to.

On the Saturday, the Vegas Nights monthly game was on, a very good tournament, and I got busted by the most stupid call I've ever been the victim of.

Blinds 200/400, I have 6000 after taking a bad beat when an ace spiked on river ten mins earlier to kill my Kings.
I have Jh Qh on the button, folded to me, I raise to 1400, called by BB who is a largely stacked calling station fish.

Flop comes down Js Qs 6d .... a great flop for me, but I don't like the apparent flush draw. Fish bets out 800, and I want to finish this pot now, I can't afford to slowplay with just 10BB, so I move in.

He says to me "I don't think that flop hit you" and said call. I was sure he was on the flush draw, I hated his call, he wasn't getting the odds tocall, but he was a fish, so I'd just have to hope no spade came.

Imagine my absolute amazement when he turned over 4 4 ! This fellah was putting at least 50% of his stack on the line. I looked at him and just said "What the hell are you doing?"

So of course readers you know what happens now don't you ... a 4 comes on the turn .... and hey, guess what, just for good measure, a 4 comes on the river, giving our superstar Quad 4's ... and all my chips.

Cleaned up on the STT action during the day though and drowned my sorrows, BrianMc was going great until the wheels came off, and NTLBell was in a 4 way chop for 1st place.
Felt for BrianMc, as he played well, and he actually showed me when I was a complete newb, how to milk a fish (me) on my first visit to the Fitz 14 monnths or so, I told him that story as well to his amusement. He won the next day in the Fitz €20 rebuy, so he is obviously on form now.
Myself and NTLBell ended up in the Fitz, where I played my first cash game live, and I trebled up for the night with some very very loose play, and finished the day with more money than if I had won the Vegas Nights tourney.... but still that fecking 4 4 call was pissing me off.

I played the Fitz €30 tourney the next day, and chopped that with Andy, although I was involved in two lucky results, one which was just one of these things, when Rounders123 had a pocket pair counterfeited and I ended up with a bigger full house http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2054882321&highlight=luckbox..... and one hand I played very poorly when down to 3, and I sucked out on Crumbs http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2054882443&highlight=luck+box.

The win rounded off a fantastic January for me.

Played Drogheda then Feb 5th.

First, what a great tournament, layout, dealers .. the atmospehere was great, very amicable and alot of familiar faces, I play Drogheda alot so I probably knew about 3 faces on every table at the very least.

I was on my first table only about 10 mins, KarlH (who made the money, Congrat!), Scotty and one of the Poker Lounge lads, so it was a tough table, but I didn't even get to play a hand, as I was moved to a newly formed table within 10 mins.

The newly formed table included The Snapper, a very good tourney player and no-one else that I knew although Shane Devlin who made the money as well was on it, I didn't know him at the time.

I felt quite comfortable at the table, and felt happy enough I had a read on most players, so was settling in for a long day.
Nothing for until the 100/200 level, won a small pot post flop with JQ on a J high board to keep my starting stack of 6000, lost a couple of minor pots and was at about 5000, when the first of my 3 defining hands happened.

UTG got JJ which I limped with, the table was reasonably active with a couple of Ace Rag merchants who were calling raises so I expected there to be a raise later on in the orbit which there was to 600, so there was 3 players, one of them the small blind was was playing his first hand, so alarm bells were going off.
I figured a raise wouldn't take the pot preflop (hence the limp), and was obviously hoping for a low flop, but both an Ace and a King flopped so I knew JJ was no good at this point, SB checked, I checked, the preflop raiser put in a pot size bet, which the SB called, so that was enough info for me to get out then. So stack now 4400

About 20 mins later, I get AQs in CO, one limper so far, I raise to 600 and the BB pushes all-in. I don't think this guy is a great player, so my first inclination was he had a mid pair, so that means a race. AK would have been even worse and was also a very probable hand, and the more I thought about it, I couldn't really call this. I folded my AQ face up hoping he would show, and he did, he had QQ, so I suppose it was a justified fold.
However Stack is now only 3800.

To make things even more interesting Dathio joins the table, first time I played on his table, but I didn't get too long to witness the legend at work really.
3rd and final definging hand ....Last hand before the levels were to go up. I'm dealt QQ on the button.

Daithio raises to 650 from UTG, he has a caller from an Ace Rag merchant, so 1600 in pot already with blinds, and I've 3600 left.
Purely based on Daithios reputation, I briefly considered folding the QQ, but I couldn't make another laydown, I needed to win this pot really, so I pushed.
Daithio folded (10 10 I believe), and I knew Ace Rag merchant would call, but what would the rag be, anything from 2-K would be in this guys range.
He has AK as it turns out, so I can't berate his call, and the flop brought an Ace, and that was the end of my tourney.

Short and Sweet.

Finally, www.vegasbabypoker.com is absolutely flying, I have an advertisment http://media.putfile.com/Vegas-Baby-Radio-Ad running on Newstalk106 at the moment, but the best advertisment of all is word of mouth, and Irish players seem to be winning big and telling their buddies.

I'm sponsoring Nicky O'D on his Vienna ESOP tournament, so I'm sure he'll be on the final table in front of all the cameras.

More on http://www.vegasbabypoker.com in my next blog entry, I'll go more into my thoughts then.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Running Good ! Can It Continue?

Running Good - It can't continue, can it?

Here are my live results for 2006 so far.

Jan 8 City West €250 Entry Fee €0 Result OTM Return €0 (I won a Satelitte, and Shortstack 'took a piece of me, hence the €0 entry fee)

Jan 10 The Fitz €50 double chance, 53 runners, 1st place
Jan 13 Anglers Rest Scalps €25 (1 rebuy), 52 runners, 1st place
Jan 17 Anglers Rest €25 (1 rebuy), 56 runners, 5th place
Jan 20 Drogheda €25 (1 rebuy), 93 runners, 2nd place
Jan 21 Anglers Rest 6 handed €25 (1 rebuy)52 runners 3rd place

I haven't had any dry spell since I started playing live last August, this is a particular purple patch though, and it's nice to know that on the 21st January, I have already secured enough funds to bankroll me through the rest of this year, based on playing €25 rebuys or €50 Freezeouts, playing 2 nights per week ... happy days. Surely it can't continue, I'm prepared for a bad run, I hope it doesn't come, but if it does, I'm going to stick to the same poker I've been playing regardless.

I'm playing a little more live poker than normal at the moment due to our imminent departure from Dublin, so I'm going to squeeze in as much play as I can, because I know that a good game is hard to find down the west, however things are improving quickly, so it shouldn;t be too bad.

My goal this year is to play in the bigger tournament, the ones that take a full day to play out, rather than the hectic night time games where you have to race to stay ahead of the blinds. So I'm delighted in my recent run to have secured tickets to

€50+€50 Anglers Rest Jan 28th
€250 Drogheda Feb 5th
€20 Team Event Anglers Rest Feb 11th
and also a €250 ticket for the March Drogheda tournament as well.

All these are full day events, and I'm especially looking forward to the team event which will be a drink fest !

Vegas Nights are also running a league over the next 3 months, the top 25 point scorers will be brought on an all expenses paid weekend to London, so I'vbe half an eye on that as well.
Prize money isn't great at the vegas night tourneys because they limit it normally to a €50 spend, so you don't get the frenzy that goes on in Drogheda, but the prize pool in Drogheda makes it very much worthwhile....however they are both good set ups in their own right.

www.vegasbabypoker.com is going well, I got some business referral cards yesterday, and will start a little advertisment online and offline over the next couple of weeks.
Big Dragon is making a fecking fortune from the site, and The Snapper is also going very well, the Canadian players on the site are truly atrocious, and I haven't met anyone that doesn't agree with me. Any readers of this blog ... you really should try it out, fish in a barrell!

Interesting to see that a company was formed this week called "Andy Black Poker Ltd", I wonder what he's got up his sleeve.

Forest are going OK, keeping in touch with play off positions, I've really lost alot of interest in them at this stage, I look out for their results, see who scored (a rarity), glance at their position in the table, and that's about it.

Planning permission in Sligo is running into problems, need to make amendments to house design, but sure that's par for the course really, it's a money making racket for the County Councils, as we will have to re-apply now, with another fee of course.

Going to New York for Paddy's Day, hope to get to Atlantic City with the brother in law for some POKER as well.

OK folks, that's it ... have to head down to Mayo now, so must get cracking.

P.S If you read this leave a message, just so I know that at least there is other people out there sad enough to be interested in blogs !

Keep Lucky.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Monday, January 09, 2006

2006 - A Fresh Start

Well I am due another blog entry.

Apologies if I've had any visitors over the last 6 weeks or so, but I needed a bit of a rest from the blogging as I was getting tired of writing about wins:)

I haven't been playing too much poker lately as I've been busy, when I have I'm doing OK, won a $5 re-buy MTT on Saturday for $800 and also had a 2nd and a 6th in the last week so I'm running good on-line.

I decided to re-invest my live winnings into www.vegasbabypoker.com which I bought.

It's a site that is different to all the others, and something I feel has real potential as the online poker industry continues to grow at extraordinary rates.
It will take quite a while to be earning money as I will be re-investing income I receive in advertising and marketing for at least the first 6 months, but it is a challenge anyway, and an enjoyable one at that.

We have our house 'Sale Agreed' in Dublin, so will be moving end of February back to the west.
Another new challenge lays ahead of us there, as it will time to adapt, find jobs etc... hopefully I'll be self employed ! ... and we commence building of our own house, and all the things people do when they hit their mid thirties and start to settle down a wee bit.

Happy New Year to any readers I do have, please leave a comment if you have visited, and I apologise for lack of action on my blog in recent weeks.