My Irish Winter Poker Festival Part II
by Niall Smyth | Published: Nov 22, '11
Read part I of Niall Smyth’s Irish Winter Festival blog here.
On Day 2 I was handed a decent table draw to start. The only players I recognise were Marc who I now have position on and Fergal Nealon who I’d never played with before but heard was a very good player. The first hour ran quite well for me and I chipped up to 180k until the random table draw brought me to the feature table and a murderers row all on my left; Philip Baker, Colette Murphy (smurph), Chris Dowling and over night chip leader David Rudling. I don’t think there was a worse table and seat draw you could get at the time.
Not much happened for an hour. I haven’t played with all of them before so I’m observing a bit. A couple of times myself and David three- and four-bet each other without fireworks. Then I pick up 9-9 in the big blind and David raised. I three-bet and he four-bets me to 25k. The effective stack at the time is 110k and I ended up shipping it in and he called with A-Ks.
There was two reasons I shipped, one being I was sure I had a read on him when he had a pair and when he didn’t and two, I miscounted his chips from across the table, if I had known I would have five-bet raised and called a shove as it looks much stronger and you sometimes get folds you shouldn’t.
I flopped a 9 but the turn and river gave him a flush it was a sick way to lose a race but it was still just a race. About an hour later we get in it with 9-9 v A-K again, I flop a set while he had an inside straight draw.
This time the board paired on the turn to secure the win for me. While I don’t advocate getting it in with 9-9 all the time, both times I went with my read and it turned out right but sometimes it can be very wrong. I will always go with my read when playing live as I think it’s your greatest asset.
I forgot to mention all the betting talk before day 2 centred on Chris Dowling at 66/1 which was a massive price for someone of his ability and anyone I talked to had him backed beforehand. Unfortunately I couldn’t bring myself to do it just because it would go against every fibre in me to back someone to win something that I’m trying to.
This brings me nicely along to my next table. Chris had earlier been moved and now I was at the same table as him again. We never clashed much but I just have to mention how tilting his bubble play was he totally controlled the table even though I had more chips and position on him well that was until I made a move on him and he relieved me of about 80k.
They do say Chris is good like that though if your chips are weighing you down he’ll mind them for you just as long as you don’t expect them back. Anyways I knew he was a class player it was just unfortunate I’d to see it first hand.
I chip up again in a few spots by stacking K-K with A-5s when I turn a flush, I then get K-K myself in the best spot possible, late on I was on the button and there is a raise and two calls. I glance around the table as I usually do and John Keown tells me not to squeeze. I look at K-K, put in a decent size raise just under a fifth of my stack and end up getting a push from the original caller. An easy call for me and I practically get a double up and knock a player out.
That was my last real high point of the night.
I spew a nice few chips off on a stupid bluff where I called a reraise from a tight player and donk-led flop and have to fold getting about a billion to 1.
Then a few hands later I get Q-Q and get it all in v 8-8 and he spikes an 8 on the flop. The silver lining to that beat was the 8 came in the window so at least I knew I was playing catch up straight off. I can’t catch and am suddenly the short stack with 100k.
Now I decided I can start having a few drinks – its already 2 a.m. and I no longer have any thinking to do so seems like perfect timing in many ways. My mates are sneaking them into the poker arena which you aren’t allowed drink in, so my apologies again to the Burlington. Anyways, after four or five hot whiskeys and 30 pushes all in, I wasn’t called… not called not even once (for some reason I’m quite proud of this stat). At 3:30 a.m. I’ve made the final day with 250k and 12 left.
So its back to the bar and time for a few pints. The only thing is after 95 percent of the field has busted from a tournament it can be very hard to find a pint in sight at half 3 in the morning in fact it can be very hard not to go over your recommended daily allowance in 1 drink so again we drank on till 6. At this stage security are trying to throw everyone out (about 50 people) and everyone table pulls the same move the fake I’m leaving stand up and as soon as the bouncer leaves sit back down. We eventually move on after we bored of the cat and mouse game with the bouncer.
Part III to follow…