24/04/2006

Easter Egg (Dublin - Part Two)

Neil Channing 'Bad Beat'

With my form in big events being quite disappointing recently I had a word with Joe about my approach to this tournament. As a past Irish Open winner he was able to speak from experience when he said

“I would recommend keeping the pots small early as some of the inexperienced players won't hesitate to commit."

Apart from Mickey Wernick, who seems to have a rough idea how the game works, Joe was quite right. We had a couple of people who seemed very inexperienced in tournament play. When a player got knocked out one guy asked if he could move to that seat: (he preferred the end of the table).

I can't really explain why I ignored Joe's advice quite so much. All I can say is that ten minutes into the tournament I fired three times at QQ10 7 7 because I thought the guy didn't have a queen and he'd pass. When he thought for three minutes on the river I started to think he might call with jacks. He didn't. He called with AQ.

The only thing I'm wondering now is whether I'd have escaped with my KK on a flop of 8,5,4 if I'd have still had all of my starting chips: Probably not.

After a reasonable period of sulking I was treated to a very nice Thai meal by Des Wilson. His trip to Ireland to promote "Swimming with the Devilfish" is going very well and after two good meals I'm definitely thinking seriously about buying a copy.

After dinner I settled into a cash game at the hotel. These are running most of the day and night and are organised by The Merrion with their dealers and chips.

The rake is quite high at 18 Euro per person per hour for a 100 game (taken from each pot), but I manage to find a lively PLO game and soon have everyone gambling enough that the rake is the least of our worries. Jim Reid is my neighbour for a profitable eight hour session in amiable company.

I was very fresh going into Sunday night's E300 freeze out after a busy day of sleeping and horseracing that needed watching. I was just settling into the tournament when they announced a dinner break and a free buffet. During my profiteroles I decided that this tournament was soon to become a crapshoot, and I better try and get some chips before anyone else noticed.

First hand back from the break I made my first move of the tournament. A guy with 7,000 chips raised my blind from the button to 1100. I had 6,000 and moved in with 8d9d putting him on a rag ace. I was right and his Ah9h stood up, as did I.

When I told Scott Gray about this hand I told him I'd put him on a rag ace. He looked at me as if I was a small child and said

"You've never been to Dublin before have you? Nobody here passes a rag ace".

He asked me what the rag ace was and I told him A9. He was quick to point out that in Ireland A9 is a BIG ace.

The cash game was going quite well when I broke two of the golden rules of PLO in the same hand. The first is always get up when Shah sits down, the second never get into a pot with Shah. As he scraped in most of my profits from the session I skulked off to bed.

Monday was my last chance to strike a blow in the tournaments and I was determined to play EVERY hand in the E150 re-buy comp even if it cost me a few quid.

The plan wasn't going perfectly as I missed two of the first 30 hands and had only re-bought once to get from 2,000 to 8,000. Luckily I soon did those and then managed to invest an extra 900 into the prize pool. On at least two of those re-buys I'd played quite well.

During the freeze out I managed to pull myself together and was cruising along quite nicely when I (delete as applicable) a) horribly overplayed an AQ or b) was a little unlucky to run into AK.

Again I found myself pretty disappointed to come away from the tournaments with nothing so I decided not to play any more poker for the trip. Instead I had fun in the bar chatting with a few people and watching the final on Sky. I certainly recommend Easter in Dublin, I just wish I wasn't the egg.

Neil Channing is sponsored by BetUK.com and BetUSA.com.